Your Daily Brief

December 5th, 2022

Good morning, and happy Monday! Did you know that flying cars might actually be coming soon? Apparently, Santa Clara-based Alef Aeronautics says it plans to deliver its flying car by the end of 2025, and the company claims it can take off vertically and fly like a helicopter up to 110 miles on a single charge. Should make grocery runs all the more interesting.

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In Today’s Brief

  • Netherlands: First solar-powered EV in production
  • Georgia: Runoff set for tomorrow
  • World CupFrance & England advance

    ...and more

Iran morality police

Iran’s attorney general Mohammad Jafar Montazeri made claims at an event that the country is disbanding its morality police, according to reports from local media.

Montazeri’s comments come amid nationwide protests sparked by the September death of 22-year-old Masha Amini, who was detained for improperly wearing her hijab and later died in police custody. Montazeri was quoted as saying, “The morality police had nothing to do with the Judiciary and the same institution that established it has now abolished it,” adding that “the judiciary will continue to supervise social behaviors.” Amid his comments, Iranian state media held that the country’s interior ministry oversees the morality police and not the juidiciary.

Established in 2005, the morality police enforces the dress code which requires women to wear long clothes in addition to hijabs. As of last night, Montazeri’s claims have yet to be confirmed by Iran’s government, and Iranian officials have previously said Tehran would not change the Islamic Republic’s mandatory hijab policy.

Indonesian volcano erupts

Thousands were under evacuation orders after Indonesia’s Mount Semeru volcano erupted on the country’s main island of Java at 2:46 AM local time yesterday.

According to local reports, nearly 2,000 people in the eastern part of Java were forced to evacuate as Indonesian authorities raised the volcano’s warning status to the highest level, meaning its activity had escalated. While no injuries have been reported so far, Indonesia's Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation said that hot ash clouds had drifted nearly 12 miles from the eruption center, and Japan's Meteorology Agency said the volcano’s plume of ash reached a height of 50,000 feet.

Mount Semeru is Indonesia’s highest volcano, and its last major eruption was in December of last year. That eruption left 51 dead, several hundred others injured, and forced the evacuation of more than 10,000 people.

El Salvador crackdown

El Salvador’s government reportedly sent 10,000 soldiers and police to seal off the town of Soyapango over the weekend to search for gang members.

In a message posted to Twitter on Saturday, El Salvadorian President Nayib Bukele said, “Starting now, the township of Soyapango is completely surrounded.” Per local reports, all roads leading to the city were blocked, officers have been checking identity papers, and special forces have been searching homes for gang members. The move was part of a crackdown Bukele has led for the past nine months on street gangs that have extorted money from businesses and assumed de facto rule in many neighborhoods of the country’s capital, San Salvador.

Since President Bukele declared a state of emergency in late March after a wave of homicides, more than 58,000 people have been jailed by authorities in the country, which is home to about 6.5M people.

Around the Globe

  • OPEC+ agreed to stick to its oil output targets at its meeting yesterday; the decision comes two days after the Group of Seven nations agreed to a price cap on Russian oil set to take effect today (More)
  • At least nine people lost their lives and eight others were declared missing in Johannesburg, South Africa after a flash flood swept away members of a church congregation along the Jukskei River yesterday (More)
  • Roughly 1,700 seals were found dead on the Caspian Sea coast in southern Russia with the cause of the animals’ deaths unknown, according to local officials (More)

On the Homefront

  • Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger confirmed that more than 1.85M Georgians have voted early in the runoff race between Senator Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker, which is set for tomorrow (More)
  • A power outage in central North Carolina that left about 45,000 homes and businesses in the dark over the weekend was the result of gunfire from vandals, according to a statement from Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields (More)
  • U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in an interview that the United States is “actively engaged” with Russia over a possible prisoner swap to free Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan, who are both currently in Russian custody (More)

Glitz & Games

  • Rock band U2 (compromised of Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr., The Edge, and Bono) along with Amy Grant, Gladys Knight, George Clooney, and Tania León were recipients of this year’s Kennedy Center Honors, which took place last night (More)
  • Pro football and college football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders was named full-time head coach of the University of Colorado Boulder’s football program over the weekend (More)
  • The French men’s national soccer team beat Poland 3-1 to advance to the 2022 World Cup quarterfinals; they will face England in the next round (More)

Business & Markets

  • Stocks ended mixed on Friday and ended last week with gains in all major indexes (Dow +0.10%, Nasdaq -0.18%, S&P 500 -0.12%)
  • Delta Air Lines and its pilots’ union have reportedly reached a preliminary agreement to give pilots more than 30% in pay raises over four years; the agreement still needs union approval and ratification by pilots before it is implemented (More)
  • Cryptocurrency exchange Gemini is reportedly attempting to recover $900M of its customers’ funds from crypto lender Genesis and its parent company Digital Currency Group following the collapse of FTX (More)

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Tip & Tricks

  • Bump This: Get trippy with the futuristic funk track “Fantasy” by up-and-coming band Cruza - listen on Apple Music and Spotify
  • Chow Down: Since brussels sprouts are the comeback vegetable of the 21st century, you should take a look at this recipe for roasted brussels sprouts with garlic that you can bust out in time for the holidays
  • Go Deep: Check out the world’s first solar-powered electric car from Dutch startup Lightyear that has reportedly entered into production, according to a statement from Lightyear’s CEO and co-founder Lex Hoefsloot
  • Nerd Out: Read about how an AI art software called Lensa AI went viral over the weekend for creating magical avatars of its users (if you have Instagram and have opened the app in the past 48 hours, chances are you’ve seen a Lensa portrait…or several)
  • Say What: “You came to fight 80 years ago from the other side of the Atlantic to ensure our shared ideals and faith in democracy would triumph. France will be eternally grateful,” French President Emmanuel Macron said while presenting five U.S. veterans with Legion d'Honneur medals
  • Hot Goss: Actress and comedian Keke Palmer, 29, revealed she is pregnant during her opening monologue while hosting Saturday Night Live
  • Life Hack: Believe it or not, the food we consume can help us ward off unwanted anxious and depressive spells - here are some foods, drinks, and nutrients that help promote mental well-being

Looking Back…

On December 5th: Pope Innocent VIII condemns witchcraft via papal bull (1484); U.S. President James K. Polk confirms the discovery of gold in California (1848); Joe Louis defends his heavyweight title against Jersey Joe Walcott in New York City (1947); American film producer and entrepreneur Walt Disney is born (1901).

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