11.17.2022

Facts, without motives.
 

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Good morning. It's Thursday, Nov. 17, and we're covering a hint at Elon Musk's future plans at Twitter, defections from a much-hyped college ranking list, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Elon's Plans for Twitter 

Elon Musk said he expects to find a new leader to run Twitter and reduce how much time he spends managing the social media platform he acquired last month for $44B. The SpaceX and Tesla CEO made the remarks yesterday while testifying in a trial over his 2018 compensation package at Tesla.

 

Musk also issued an ultimatum to Twitter employees in an email yesterday, giving them until 5 pm ET today to either commit to working long hours to build Twitter or leave with three months of severance pay. The news comes after the billionaire laid off half of Twitter's 7,500-person workforce and fired top executives. 

 

Musk's first two weeks at the helm have also been marked by other changes, including a rollout of Twitter Blue, a new paid verification subscription service, which was later rescinded after scammers impersonated brands, celebrities, and other public figures. The service is set to relaunch Nov. 29. 

 

Twitter has also reported about 20% growth in its daily users; the platform last reported 237.8 million users in the second quarter when it was still public.

 

De-escalation in Poland

Polish and NATO officials confirmed yesterday a missile that struck Poland near the country's border with Ukraine, killing two people, was likely unintentional and not a targeted launch by Russia. The initial findings significantly eased concerns that the incident would trigger a response by NATO.

 

The 30-member bloc, which counts Poland—but not Ukraine—as a member, has a mutual defense agreement in the event of military attacks (what is Article 5?). Polish President Andrzej Duda suggested the accidental strike came from an errant Ukrainian air defense missile as the country attempted to defend against a daylong barrage of missiles from Russia.

 

The Ukrainian military said it shot down 77 of 90 missiles fired by Russia Tuesday, with Russian forces targeting power generation and transmission infrastructure. Lack of electricity has been a key concern for Ukraine as winter approaches. See updates on the war here.

 

Yale Quits Rankings

Yale Law School announced yesterday it would no longer participate in the US News & World Report's annual law school rankings, a list it has topped every year since the rankings began. Dean Heather Gerken argued the rankings discourage support for low-income students and those pursuing public service careers. Later in the day, Harvard Law made a similar announcement.  

 

The announcements are the latest challenge to the credibility of the popular rankings, which for years have served as the premier guide for prospective college students. Its methodology weighs various factors, including the school's retention rate, standardized test scores, and reputation (see method), but no audit process exists to ensure school information is accurate. 

 

Schools often invest significant resources to receive a high rank. In September, Columbia University—consistently near the top in recent years—acknowledged it submitted inaccurate data to the rankings after one of its professors spoke out. A similar scheme at Temple University in 2018 resulted in a professor serving a year in jail.

In partnership with Miso Robotics

Remember When Humans Did That?

 

Working the fryer at the local hot chicken joint is a thankless job. Between the grease burns and low wages, it’s getting harder and harder for fast food restaurants to staff their kitchens. In fact, the labor shortfall in this industry is growing by 500,000 jobs every month.

 

Luckily, Miso Robotics has a solution: their AI-powered robots can fry food, fill drinks, and make a perfect coffee—among other things—all without a bathroom break. It’s for this very reason that US fast food giants like Buffalo Wild Wings and Jack in the Box have turned to Miso Robotics’ tech to operate their kitchens and boost margins by up to 3x. With proven success in US commercial kitchens, Miso plans to expand globally next—a 20-million-restaurant market opportunity that’s 17x bigger than Miso’s prior potential.

 

To fuel their international expansion, Miso has opened a funding round for investors to get in on the automation of the global fast food market. Check out the Miso investment offering before the round closes tomorrow, Nov. 18.

Please support our sponsors!

In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Kevin Spacey charged in the UK with seven new sexual assault allegations; Spacey previously pleaded not guilty to separate charges of sexual assault in the UK (More)

Tennis star Novak Djokovic granted visa to compete at January's Australian Open; Djokovic was deported on the eve of the 2022 tournament for entering the country without being vaccinated against COVID-19 (More) | Justin Verlander and Sandy Alcantara win AL and NL Cy Young Awards for MLB's best pitchers (More)

> Jay Leno undergoes surgery and is expected to make a full recovery after sustaining third-degree burns from gasoline fire Monday (More) | "Thotiana" rapper Blueface charged with attempted murder in Las Vegas (More)

 

Science & Technology

> Alzheimer's researchers reveal how a key gene increases the risk of the disease; a variant known as APOE4 disrupts cholesterol processing in the brain, leading to defects in the protective coatings around nerve fibers (More)

> First-of-its-kind model combines large-scale climate factors, nutritional stress, and ecological sciences to predict when the deadly Hendra virus will spillover from bats to humans (More)

> Leprosy-causing bacteria may have the ability to promote liver regeneration, study shows; results suggest potential future treatments for patients with end-stage liver disease (More)

 

Business & Markets

In partnership with The Ascent

> US stock markets close lower (S&P 500 -0.8%, Dow -0.1%, Nasdaq -1.5%); Target’s decline in sales drags down retail stocks (More)

> US retail sales increased higher-than-expected 1.3% in October (More)

> UK inflation increases 11.1% in October, a 41-year high (More)

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Politics & World Affairs

> Republicans take the House as Rep. Mike Garcia (R-CA) wins reelection, securing 218th seat (More) | Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reelected as minority leader in closed-door process, fending off challenge from Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) in a 37-10 vote (More) | Rep. Karen Bass (D, CA-37) defeats billionaire developer Rick Caruso in Los Angeles mayoral race by 6%, becomes city's first female mayor (More)

> Suspect in Wisconsin mass hit-and-run, who slammed through a Christmas parade last November and killed six people, is sentenced to life in prison (More) | Wrong-way vehicle in Los Angeles hits and injures 25 LA County sheriff's recruits who were running during training exercise (More)

> Iran sentences four more protestors to death over mass anti-government demonstrations, per the country's judiciary news agency; the total number of known people sentenced to death is now up to at least five (More)

 

In-Depth

> The Demon River

Hakai | JB MacKinnon. Looking back at a powerful atmospheric river that flooded British Columbia in 2021, becoming the costliest disaster in the Canadian province's history to the tune of $13B in damages. (Read)

 

> Punk Rock in the Heart of Hollywood

Narratively | Shawna Kenney. How a handful of musicians and misfits transformed the pop culture narrative in a time when a video killed the radio star and bubblegum pop dominated the airwaves. (Read)

Robot Chef World Tour

 

In partnership with Miso Robotics

 

Restaurants around the world are craving automation. The US labor shortfall grows by 500,000 jobs per month. And European fast food restaurants aren’t any better, facing falling margins from lofty wages up to 50% higher than the US employees.

 

That’s why Miso is traveling abroad. After improving efficiency and tripling margins in US kitchens, Miso is sending its food-frying, drink-filling tech to Europe, with plans to tackle Asia after. This means that investors have a chance to back Miso’s innovations on an international scale—a 17x larger opportunity than ever before. Access your Miso investment opportunity here—the round closes tomorrow, Nov. 18!

Please support our sponsors!

Etcetera
 

Watch the Orion spacecraft on its way to the moon.

 

The difference between food from Hawai’i and Hawaiian food.

 

… and introducing figgy-pudding-flavored Spam.

 

The most beautiful skylines in the US.

 

Photos from the red crab migration on Christmas Island.

 

The best places to visit this holiday season.

 

Man takes cold showers for a year, so you don’t have to.

 

Ten thousand mink are on the loose in Ohio.

 

Clickbait: Professor leaves us asking, “where is the beef?”

 

Historybook: Suez Canal opens (1869); Actor Danny DeVito born (1944); Former US national security adviser Susan Rice born (1964); Arnold Schwarzenegger sworn in as governor of California (2003); First known case of COVID-19 traced to man who visited Wuhan, China (2019).

"Your struggles develop your strengths."

- Arnold Schwarzenegger

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