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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 30, 2021
Omicron fears ramp up as questions persist over the new Covid variant. Long-time Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey announced he will leave the company once again. The Biden Administration sees another setback as the vaccine mandate is rejected by a Missouri federal court. And elsewhere in Missouri, Amazon warehouse workers will get another shot at unionizing after a labor board rules in their favor. All this and more in today’s Presidential Daily Brief.
1 - Jury Still Out
Omicron mutations alarm scientists, but limited data impede conclusions
A day after the World Health Organization warned that the global risk from the omicron variant is “very high,” President Joe Biden sought to reassure an anxious nation, calling the variant “a cause for concern, not a cause for panic.”Omicron’s many mutations have alarmed scientists, but no one knows yet exactly how this variant behaves in real-world situations and whether or not it is immune to vaccines. Meanwhile, as traders nervously watched markets, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned that the recent uptick in cases poses a threat to the U.S. economy and complicates inflation outlooks. (Sources: CNBC, BBC, WaPo)
2 - Under New Management
Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, steps down as CEO
JackDorsey announced Monday that he will leave the company he co-founded once again, this time of his own accord. The unconventional CEO, known for his long beard and devotion to meditation and fasting, gave little explanation for his resignation, noting only that the company should “break away from its founding founders.” Earlier statements have led some to speculate that Dorsey is planning to shift his focus more fully to Bitcoin. Twitter veteran Parag Agrawal, the company’s current chief technology officer, will succeed Dorsey. (Sources: AP, CNBC, Protocol)
3 - Mandate Must Wait
The Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate is blocked in 10 states
A federal court in Missouri ruled Monday that the vaccine mandate, which requires healthcare workers to get vaccinated by January 4, cannot be implemented by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Though courts have generally upheld vaccine mandates, U.S. District Judge Matthew Schelp wrote in his decision that, “The nature and breadth of the CMS mandate requires clear authorization from Congress — and Congress has provided none.” Missouri, Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Wyoming, Alaska, South Dakota, North Dakota and New Hampshire are all exempt from the mandate until the Biden Administration appeals the decision and the case is taken to the Eighth Circuit. (Sources: Axios, Fox News)
4 - Showdown in Bessemer
Amazon warehouse workers will vote again on unionization after labor board intervention
A review by the National Labor Relations Board found that Amazon inappropriately pressured warehouse workers to vote against unionizing. Results of the second election will determine if the warehouse, located in the town of Bessemer, outside Birmingham, Alabama, could be the first unionized Amazon warehouse in the nation. Efforts of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union leading the drive were supported by President Biden the first time around. Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel responded to the board’s decision by emphasizing the landslide vote against unionization in the first election. Amazon is expected to appeal the board’s decision. (Sources: NPR)
5 - Briefly
Here are some things you should know about today:
Elizabeth Holmes testifies that she was raped at Stanford. The former Theranos CEO said the incident compelled her to leave university to found Theranos, where she entered into an abusive relationship with the COO. (Source: CNN)Medical debt collection tactics disproportionately affect Black Americans. Census data show that 28% of Black households in the U.S. have medical debt, compared with 17% of white households (Source: Bloomberg) Ex-Google workers sue the tech giant. Employees allege that Google violated its motto, “Don’t be evil,” which they say amounts to a contractual obligation. (Sources: NPR)
Watch Christy Turlington Burns Discuss
Her Careers as a Model and a Model Activist
1 - End of the Road?
Tiger Woods reveals he won’t resume full-time golfing after near-fatal crash
Tiger Woods said he would not return to golf full time following a severe car accident in February. The 15-time majors champion, who sustained serious injuries to his legs and back when his vehicle hit a median and flipped going 85 miles per hour, said that while he will play in some tours, “getting all the way to the top is not a realistic expectation.” Earlier this month, the athlete had posted a video of himself swinging clubs on his Twitter account, saying that he was “making progress.” (Sources: BBC, CNN)
2 - The Big Get
LSU pinches star coach Brian Kelly from Notre Dame
The news that LSU has grabbed Brian Kelly from Notre Dame shocked college football fans last night, after media leaks confirmed the move. Kelly, one of the most accomplished coaches in college football, and the winningest in Notre Dame history, messaged team members his apologies for not telling them in person. It’s the second coaching bombshell in college football this week, following USC’s capture of Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma. (Sources: ESPN, The Athletic)
3 - Twice Is Nice
Swedish lawmakers elect the country’s first female prime minister — again
Sweden’s Parliament has elected Magdalena Andersson by a narrow margin for the second time in a week. Andersson was first elected to the post last Wednesday but quit the same day after the coalition government she hoped to lead broke down. Andersson replaces former Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, who stepped down earlier this month. She is the first woman to hold the position in Sweden. After the second vote, Swedish Social Democrats jubilantly tweeted that they will, “create the green jobs of the future by leading the way in climate change and regaining control of welfare. Led by Magdalena Andersson — our prime minister!” (Sources: NYT, FT, CNN)
4 - Hitched in Dubai
Actress Lindsay Lohan announces her engagement on Instagram
The 35-year-old actress, who has sought safe harbor from media scrutiny in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, for the last few years, posted the news on Instagram yesterday. Little is known about fiance Bader Shammas, a Dubai resident whose LinkedIn page says he’s the assistant vice president of international wealth management at Credit Suisse. In the post, Lohan called her betrothed, “My love. My life. My family. My future,” with a photo of the happy couple embracing and her oval diamond ring. Dubai has long served as an escape for celebrities fleeing the spotlight, as the city is paparazzi-free. (Source: AP)
5 - A Final Salute
Barbados makes its divorce official in a star-studded celebration
Barbados officially became the world’s newest republic in an overnight ceremony that coincided with the country’s 55th anniversary of independence. Dame Sandra Mason was sworn in as president in front of a euphoric crowd that included the Prince of Wales and Barbadian singer Rhianna, marking the end of more than 200 years of British influence. After a final salute to the Royal Standard flag, Prince Charles acknowledged the “appalling atrocity of slavery” that the Caribbean island endured. Earlier in the day, Queen Elizabeth conveyed her “warmest good wishes” and said the nation holds “a special place” in her heart. (Source: BBC)
Grace and Gratitude
As we enter the holiday season, we’d love to hear what you’re grateful for or what makes you smile. We’ll be sharing your thoughts in our Grace and Gratitude Corner.
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