Your Daily Brief

October 31st, 2022

Good morning, and happy Monday! Today is Halloween, and in the spirit of starting your day off in the spookiest way possible, we’d like to share a Hollywood Reporter critic’s list of the 15 scariest movies of all time. There are several horror classics in there, for sure, but we’d be willing to bet there are also a few films you haven’t heard of. Take a look and reply to this email with your thoughts, agreements, or ire! Anyway, here’s what we have for you:

In Today’s Brief

  • Brazil: Lula wins presidential runoff
  • New York City: Malcolm X settlement
  • The Witcher: Henry Cavill exiting
  • ExxonMobil: Posts record profits
  • Powerball: Jackpot climbs to $1B
  • Top Tips: Russia backs out of Ukraine grain deal, Halloween stampede in Seoul, Indian pedestrian bridge collapses

At least 153 dead in Seoul Halloween stampede

At least 153 people were killed and 82 others were injured in a crowd crush during Halloween festivities in Seoul, South Korea over the weekend.

According to Seoul’s Yongsan fire department, the incident occurred in a narrow, downward-sloping alleyway near the subway station in the Itaewon neighborhood. The fire department’s chief, Choi Seong-beom, said that most of the individuals who were hurt or lost their lives were teenagers or in their 20s. South Korean officials stated that nineteen of the injured were in serious condition and receiving emergency treatment following the incident, and said the death toll could rise.

This weekend’s gathering in Itaewon marked the first Halloween event in Seoul since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Reports claim that over 100,000 people were in attendance. In terms of casualties, the stampede is the deadliest peacetime occurrence in South Korea since 2014, when 304 people died in a ferry sinking.

Russia suspends its participation in Ukraine grain agreement

Russia halted its involvement in an agreement that allowed grain exports from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports after claiming that Ukraine carried out a drone attack on its ships in Crimea.

Russia’s defense ministry said Ukraine attacked its Black Sea Fleet near Sevastopol with 16 drones on Saturday. Subsequently, Moscow pulled out of the deal that Turkey had brokered to restart Ukrainian grain exports in the Black Sea that had been halted due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. According to the United Nations, about 47M people were suffering “acute hunger” amid global food shortages and rising prices when the agreement was entered into in July.

Since then, the agreement has allowed more than 9M tons of Ukrainian grain to be exported and was due to be renewed on November 19th. Turkey is reportedly holding talks with Russia after Moscow halted its participation in the deal, and the European Union yesterday called on Russia to reverse its decision.

Suspension bridge in India collapses into river after reopening

At least 132 people lost their lives and an unconfirmed number were injured after a suspension bridge collapsed in the western Indian state of Gujarat yesterday.

The pedestrian bridge had been closed for seven months of renovations and reopened to the public four days before the collapse. Built in 1880, it extends about 755 feet across India’s Machchhu River. State minister Brijesh Merja said that about 350 people were on and around the bridge when the incident occurred, confirming that at least 132 individuals had died so far and that 17 people were admitted to hospitals. Meanwhile, the office of the district collector in Morbi–the district where the bridge is located–said 170 people had been rescued as of last night.

Local officials said that overcapacity was the reason for the bridge’s collapse. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office announced that the families of those killed shall receive roughly $2,500, while those injured will receive roughly $600.

Around the Globe

  • Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva won Brazil’s presidential runoff yesterday, beating incumbent and current President Jair Bolsonaro with 50.88% of the vote, according to the country's election authority; Lula previously served as the Brazil's 35th president from 2003 to 2010
  • Islamic group Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for two car bombs that exploded at Somalia’s education ministry on Saturday, leaving at least 100 people dead and wounding 300; the attack was the country's deadliest since a truck bomb that exploded at the same intersection in October 2017 killed 500
  • The U.S. released Guantanamo Bay’s oldest prisoner to his home country of Pakistan after almost two decades; Saifullah Paracha, 75, was suspected of financing al-Qaeda and was arrested in 2003, but maintained his innocence and was never charged - see the press release from Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs here

On the Homefront

  • Muhammad Aziz, who was exonerated last year in the 1965 killing of Malcolm X, and the estate of a second man who was cleared posthumously reached a settlement with New York City and state totaling $36M, according to remarks from their attorney
  • U.S. District Court in Seattle found that the city of Everett's dress code ordinance saying that bikini baristas must cover their bodies at work violated the Equal Protection clauses of the U.S. and Washington state constitutions
  • An unspecified number of zip ties were found at the scene of the attack on Paul Pelosi–House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband–by an intruder at the couple’s California home, according to reports from the San Francisco Police Department

Glitz & Games

  • Netflix renewed the fantasy series The Witcher for a fourth season and has recast the main character Geralt of Rivia with Liam Hemsworth; Henry Cavill announced he is exiting the series after three seasons in an Instagram post
  • Boxer and YouTuber Jake Paul defeated Anderson Silva, mixed martial artist and former UFC middleweight champion, by unanimous decision in a boxing match at Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona; Paul’s professional boxing record is now 6-0 with 4 wins by KO
  • Major League Baseball’s World Series resumes between the Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia tonight at 8:03 PM ET; the series is currently tied 1-1

Business & Markets

  • Major indexes in the stock market ended Friday’s trading session in the green, with the Dow Jones posting its largest weekly gain since May (Dow +2.59%, Nasdaq +2.87%, S&P 500 +2.46%)
  • Oil company ExxonMobil set a profit record for the second consecutive quarter, earning $19.7B from operating activities and growing cash flow to $24.4B; the company’s Q3 profits are up 177% from the same period last year and up 6% from Q2 - see ExxonMobil’s quarterly earnings report here
  • Singer Taylor Swift’s album Midnights sold 1.58M copies in its first week, according to Luminate Data (formerly Nielsen Music); Swift’s album achieved the biggest sales week of the year and the biggest sales week since Adele’s album 25 shifted 3.38M units seven years ago

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Tip & Tricks

  • Bump This: Up-and-coming rapper Destin Laurel channels old-school Kanye West with a pitched-up gospel sample in his new track “Walkin’” - listen on Apple Music and Spotify
  • Chow Down: If you’re one of those people who can’t help but say the words “air fryer” every ten minutes, check out this recipe for air fryer chicken shawarma bowls that’ll make you want to quit your job and open a halal cart on a busy intersection
  • Good News: Read about the former real estate developer who created a village of microhomes on a 51-acre plot in Austin, Texas to provide housing for nearly 350 individuals coming out of chronic homelessness 
  • Cash Grab: The Powerball grand prize climbed to $1B after no one matched the winning numbers and won the estimated $825M grand prize on Saturday night; the next drawing is tonight
  • Say What: “There was a reawakening of what was more valuable than anything, which is my love for my family. It takes precedence over my work and that was a hard lesson to learn,” actor Sylvester Stallone said in an interview about how the brief separation between him and his wife Jennifer Flavin helped him rethink his priorities to his family
  • Hot Goss: During an interview with Gayle King, Julia Roberts revealed that Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife Coretta paid the hospital bill for her birth in 1967 (whoa…what a story)
  • Life Hack: Eating the right kinds of food is the best way to keep yourself from falling into those pesky post-lunch sinking spells - take a look at this list of 47 foods that will give you all-day energy, along with some tips on how to work them into your diet

Looking Back…

On October 31st: Benito Mussolini becomes Prime Minister of Italy (1922); Barbra Streisand’s album People goes #1 for 5 weeks (1964); U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson orders an end to American bombing in North Vietnam (1968); New Zealand film director Peter Jackson is born (1961).

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