Your Daily Brief

November 29th, 2022

Good morning, and happy Tuesday! Did you know that gaslighting is Mirriam-Webster’s word of the year for 2022? In case you’re not familiar, gaslighting is defined as the act of manipulating someone into questioning their own reality…and it’s a real bummer that it was looked up so much this year. We promise to never do that to you!

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In Today’s Brief

  • Monkeypox: Now called mpox
  • California: Four years of drought
  • Portugal: Beats Uruguay in World Cup

Mauna Loa erupts

Mauna Loa, the world’s largest active volcano located on Hawaii’s Big Island, began erupting early yesterday for the first time in almost 40 years.

The eruption began at Mauna Loa’s summit caldera and followed a series of earthquakes in the region. According to the US Geological Service (USGS), lava flow is mostly contained within the summit, but residents have been placed on alert and have been warned that the situation could change. In a statement published yesterday, the US Federal Aviation Administration said that the agency is “closely monitoring the volcanic eruption and will issue air traffic advisories once the size of the ash cloud is determined.”

Located inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Mauna Loa covers half of Hawaii’s Big Island, which is home to over 200,000 residents. Per the USGS, it has erupted 33 times since 1843, with the last one taking place in 1984.

Buffalo gunman pleads guilty

The gunman who killed 10 people in a racially-motivated mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket in May pleaded guilty to state charges yesterday.

Payton Gendron–who was 18 at the time of the incident–allegedly drove over 200 miles to carry out the attack at a Tops Friendly Market, which he live-streamed while armed with a semiautomatic weapon. 11 of the 13 people he shot were Black. Now 19, Gendron was charged on the state level with one count of domestic terrorism in the first degree, 10 counts of first-degree murder, 10 counts of second-degree murder as a hate crime, three counts of attempted second-degree murder as a hate crime, and one count of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

According to Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn, Gendron is the first person in New York state to be found guilty of domestic terrorism motivated by hate. The sentence carries an automatic life sentence without parole upon conviction.

Biden calls on Congress to avert rail shutdown

U.S. President Biden called on Congress yesterday to pass legislation that would force railroad workers to accept the tentative labor contract that the White House brokered in September.

In a White House statement, President Biden urged lawmakers to accept the tentative agreement between leadership of railroads and 12 unions “to avert a potentially crippling national rail shutdown.” Biden then cited examples of economic consequences if such a shutdown took place, saying that “communities could lose access to chemicals necessary to ensure clean drinking water” and “farms and ranches across the country could be unable to feed their livestock” if an agreement isn’t reached by December 9th.

Prior to Biden’s announcement, over 400 groups called on Congress to intervene, warning that a rail traffic stoppage could freeze almost 30% of domestic cargo shipments, disrupt up to 7M travelers per day, and cost the U.S. economy up to $2B each day it remains in place.

Around the Globe

  • The World Health Organization announced that it will begin using the new term “mpox” as a synonym for monkeypox; per the WHO, both names will be used simultaneously for one year while the name “monkeypox” is phased out (More)
  • Somali forces ended a more than 20-hour battle to regain control of the hotel Villa Rose seized by Al-Shabaab forces in Mogadishu; per Somalian police, at least 14 individuals lost their lives during the siege (More)
  • Shanghai’s Disneyland Resort said it will remain temporarily closed starting today (November 29th) to comply with China’s zero-Covid policies (More)

On the Homefront

  • Federal water managers told several California cities to prepare for a fourth year of drought and warned of possible “conservation actions” such as water cuts (More)
  • More than 2M people in the Houston area were placed under a boil order notice yesterday due to loss of pressure at a purification plant following a power outage; all public schools in Houston were closed as well as some private schools and local colleges (More)
  • Two members of the three-person board of supervisors in Arizona’s Cochise County voted to postpone certifying the county’s election results, saying they wanted to hear more evidence from those who have argued that the county’s voting machines were not properly certified (More)

Glitz & Games

  • The Houston Astros are reportedly signing former American League MVP first baseman Jose Abreu to a three-year contract (More)
  • Metallica announced an upcoming world tour for 2023-2024 and the band’s 12th full-length studio album entitled 72 Seasons, to be released on April 14, 2023; the album is Metallica’s first full-length collection of new material since 2016’s Hardwired…To Self-Destruct (More)
  • Portugal’s national soccer team beat Uruguay with a final score of 2-0 at the World Cup yesterday; the match was interrupted in the second half when a protester ran onto the field waving a rainbow flag and wearing a shirt that read “Save Ukraine” on the front and “Respect For Iranian Women” on the back (More)

Business & Markets

  • Major indexes in the stock market closed lower amid supply chain concerns over Covid-related protests in China (Dow -1.45%, Nasdaq -1.58%, S&P 500 -1.54%)
  • Cryptocurrency lending firm BlockFi has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States following the implosion of FTX (More)
  • Film production company Legendary Entertainment has cut ties with Warner Bros. and entered a multi-year worldwide film distribution partnership with Sony Pictures; Legendary will continue partnering with other companies for streaming, since Sony doesn’t have a streaming service (More)

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Tip & Tricks

  • Bump This: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers released a live album entitled Live at the Fillmore, 1997 last week, and it’s jam-packed with all of their classic hits and then some - listen on Apple Music and Spotify
  • Chow Down: Salmon is one of the best kinds of fish to absorb flavor, on top of being packed with protein and Omega-3 fatty acids - check out these 20 healthy salmon recipes to help you swim upstream through the end of the year
  • Good News: Meet the UK-based supermarket chain Iceland Foods, which is helping people in the midst of financial hardship by lending shoppers money for groceries through small, interest-fee loans
  • Nerd Out: Read about a Norweigan company that has discovered a way to turn worn-out tires into oil instead of discarding them (this could be huge, considering some estimates suggest that as many as 1B tires are discarded every year)
  • Say What: “It felt like it was a wise thing to do in terms of the challenges, and at the moment, I don’t have any plans to change it,” Bob Iger said of Disney’s hiring freeze while hosting his first town hall since returning to the company for his second stint as CEO
  • Hot Goss: Tesla/SpaceX/Twitter/everything else CEO Elon Musk fired off a series of tweets at Apple, making accusations that the company has “threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store” for reasons unknown
  • Life Hack: With prices staying high pretty much everywhere, stretching your dollars could be the difference between gifting your nieces and nephews a lump of coal or something actually cool this year - here are 32 creative ways to save during an economic downturn

Looking Back…

On November 29th: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson appoints the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination of JFK (1963); about 28,000 couples gather at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. for a mass wedding ceremony conducted by Sun Myung Moon (1997); George Harrison dies of cancer at age 58 (2001); Irish-born author C.S. Lewis is born (1898).

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