Start your day smarter with a dossier on the most important world news, rounded off with a shot of intriguing and offbeat stories. Like the president, you deserve no less.
Nov 08, 2021
A federal appeals court ruled that President Biden must hold off enforcing his latest vaccine mandate for private employees. Elon Musk has promised to honor the results of a Twitter poll this weekend, which may see him selling $21 billion in Tesla stock. Houston concertgoers are seeking answers after a crowd surge killed eight and injured hundreds at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival. The Iraqi prime minister narrowly avoided an assassination attempt, signaling an unstable post-election period. All this and more in today’s Presidential Daily Brief.
1 - Courts Pump the Brakes
Biden’s private-employer vaccine mandate may have to wait
A federal appeals court stayed enforcement of President Joe Biden’s recently announced vaccine mandate that would apply to all employees at mid- to large-size companies, saying it raises “grave statutory and constitutional issues.” The attorney generals of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Utah, along with many private companies, all support the petition to prevent the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration from enforcing the vaccine and testing mandate. The mandate would affect nearly two-thirds of all U.S. workers. (Source: Axios)
2 - Twitter to Musk: Sell!
Elon Musk turns to Twitter as a moral compass
Billionaire Elon Musk took to Twitter this weekend to decide the future of his Tesla holdings in response to a proposed tax on billionaires’ unrealized gains. Almost 58% of Twitter respondents voted in favor of the share sale, which translates to about $21 billion in stock sell-offs for the electric car company. Musk has yet to comment on poll results, but abiding by the poll would mean a hefty tax bill for a man who pays zero income tax. Musk says he does not claim a salary or bonuses from his companies. (Source: BBC, WSJ)
3 - Nightmare in Houston
Tragedy strikes Travis Scott Concert
At least eight concertgoers between the ages of 14 and 27 died on Friday night after a crowd surge at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival in Houston. Two lawsuits were filed on Sunday by families of the deceased placing the blame on organizers Travis Scott, Live Nation and other entities involved with the festival. Investigations are underway to determine what led to the surge. Faulty safety barriers, a lack of security forces as well as a nationwide shortage of low-wage, part-time labor may all have contributed to Friday's tragedy. (Source: AP)
4 - Assassination Attempt in Iraq
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi survives drone attack
After contested national elections in October, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi narrowly survived a drone attack on his home this weekend that injured six of his bodyguards. Iraqi President Barham Salih condemned the attack, describing it as a prelude to a coup attempt. No one has claimed responsibility, but similar explosive-carrying drones have been used by the Islamic State group in northern Iraq. The assault comes amid widespread protests over election results following October's lackluster turnout, with only 41 percent of Iraqis voting. Ousted pro-Iranian parties have demanded a manual recount.
5 - Briefly
Here are some things you should know about today:
The U.S. expects an influx of vaccinated international travelers. Travel restrictions were lifted today for much of the world’s population with proof of vaccination. United Airlines is expecting a 50% surge in international inbound passengers today compared with last week. (Source: Reuters) Pro-democracy protesters tear-gassed in Khartoum, Sudan. Since the military gained control in a coup last month, demonstrators are demanding a peaceful transition to civilian rule. (Source: BBC) Scarcity of U.S. truck drivers exacerbates supply-shortage crisis. An estimated dearth of 80,000 truckers in the U.S. — a number set to double in the next decade — is causing nationwide supply shortages. While the shortage is not new, an increase in freight demand has worsened the crisis as the U.S. economy reopened after lockdowns, waves of baby boomers retired and the effects of the pandemic linger. (Source: BBC)
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1 - The Old Man in the Mountains
Record-breaking octogenarian completes the Appalachian Trail
M.J. Eberhart, aka Nimblewill Nomad, completed the Appalachian Trail on Sunday. The 83-years-old nabs the title for oldest person to complete the daunting 2,193-mile trail from his friend Dale “Greybeard” Sanders, who earned the honor in 2017 at the age of 82: “My dear friend Nimblewill is taking my record away from me, and I’m happy for him. Records are made to be broken.” The retired optometrist began hiking thirty years ago and never looked back. Before earning this title, Nimblewill had already trekked 4,400 miles from the Florida Keys to northern Quebec, a feat he chronicled in his book Ten Million Steps. (Source: AP)
2 - Kenyan Magic
Kenyans Dominate the 50th New York City Marathon
The New York City Marathon returned on Sunday for its 50th edition after being canceled last year due to the pandemic. Watching the race’s 30,000 competitors make the 26.2-mile trek across all five boroughs provided many New Yorkers a welcome opportunity for community after months of lockdowns. Olympic gold medalist Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya won the women’s race, while Albert Korir, also of Kenya, pulled ahead to win the men’s. Marcel Hug of Switzerland — known as the Silver Bullet — continued an outstanding year, winning the men’s wheelchair race for the fourth time, while Madison de Rozario of Australia won her first women’s wheelchair title. (Source: NYT)
3 - Bounty for DarkSide
The U.S. puts shady hacking group in the crosshairs
Last May, a ransomware attack carried out by the mysterious group DarkSide crippled a vital 5,500-mile pipeline providing fuel to the East Coast. The U.S. government is now offering $10 million for information leading to the “identification or location” of DarkSide leaders. Members of the organization are thought to be harbored by Russia, a safe spot for many top cyber-criminals, who are protected from U.S. prosecution by a police force that ignores accusations from the West. (Source: BBC)
4 - TikTok Saves Teen
Missing girl saved by a TikTok campaign
A 61-year-old man was charged with unlawful imprisonment of a minor after crossing multiple state lines with an underage female passenger. Drivers were alerted by the girl's hand signals — which she learned from TikTok’s “Signal for Help” campaign — leading to her rescue. The campaign, initiated by the Canadian Women’s Foundation, gives victims of domestic abuse a discrete way to ask for help using nonverbal cues. The gesture consists of tucking your thumb into your open palm, then folding your other four fingers over your thumb. (Source: NPR)
5 - No Walking Down the Aisle
Julian Assange and fiancee fight to marry
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his fiancee Stella Moris are preparing legal action against U.K. deputy prime minister Dominic Raab and Governor of Belmarsh prison Jenny Louis for preventing their marriage. Moris, a lawyer, said the couple and their two children have been denied their human rights and linked British officials’ lack of action to U.S. hostility toward WikiLeaks. Authorities in the U.S. were recently accused of plotting to kill or kidnap Assange during his years of asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. (Source: Guardian)
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