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Last night I found an antique table on the sidewalk and lugged it back to my apartment only to discover it didn’t fit in the elevator. You learn how much you want something when you have to carry it up five flights of stairs. That table is now back on the sidewalk. Check out crucial recent vote recounts that — like the table — ended up where they started … or flipped the outcome. Meet our new favorite small-town mayor and make your pillow smell like Harry Styles (if that’s what you’re into).
The U.S. reported a record 140,000 COVID-19 cases yesterday. Hospitals in North Dakota are filled to capacity and health care workers who’ve tested positive but are asymptomatic are being allowed to work anyway. In India, Delhi also recorded a record rise in infections, worsened by air pollution 14 times above safe levels. Meanwhile, Pfizer’s CEO made $5.6 million Monday as the company’s stocks surged following the announcement of promising results for its vaccine. (Sources: CNN, BBC, Reuters)
2. Coming to One-Terms With It
President Donald Trump’s legal challenges and recounts to President-elect Joe Biden’s win are not expected to affect the outcome. So aides say Trump might now focus on running again in 2024. Still, some in the Pentagon are concerned about efforts to replace several top officials at a time when tensions with Iran remain high. Will Trump run again? Vote on Twitter. (Sources: WaPo, NBC, NPR)
3. Time Is Tikking
The Trump administration’s deadline for TikTok to restructure its U.S. operations or shut them down hits today. The popular Chinese app is in the midst of a deal with U.S. firm Oracle and has already gotten a judge to put the initial shutdown order on hold. Now the company wants the divestiture order thrown out too. (Source: WSJ)
Biden His Time
President-elect Biden’s been busily accepting congratulations from world leaders on his win — but one leader has a special connection to the former VP.
Mayor Yutaka Umeda of the small Japanese town of Yamato noticed he was suddenly trending on Twitter last week — because the characters that spell out his name can also be pronounced “Jo Baiden.” Multiple towns in Japan named “Obama” have long expressed support for Biden’s former boss, and one even erected a life-size statue of him.
In times like these, no one wants to spend time picking an outfit for a 30 minute Zoom meeting or deciding if grocery stores require “real pants.” Our friends at Outerknown found a solution that solves all these problems: the Station Jumpsuit. This best-selling jumpsuit has long sleeves to keep you warm through fall and winter, and with just one zip you’ll have a complete, fashionable outfit. An effortless, go-to outfit so comfortable that you’ll never want to take it off … could it get any better? With code OKOZY, you can get Outerknown’s Station Jumpsuit with an extra 20 percent off!
America’s not the only country where the ruling party claims foul play. Then-President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party lost power in Parliament for the first time since the country gained independence 28 years earlier. So it sought a recount in 23 seats, most of which had been won by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. The recount didn’t change the outcome — though the opposition claimed it allowed the ruling ZANU-PF to unleash violence against its critics.
2. Guyana, 2020
After the country’s March election, President David Granger claimed victory for his ruling coalition. But the opposition People’s Progressive Party demanded votes be counted again — and the world’s eyes were on the country of 800,000 people. Since the 2016 discovery of giant oil fields off its coast, Guyana has emerged as a potential future king of the oil world, with ExxonMobil leading the hunt for crude. In August, the recount showed the PPP had won, reversing the original result. ExxonMobil has since won more contracts for fresh drilling. Oil floats on stability.
When Oboh was 8, golf legend Lorena Ochoa tossed her a ball in the stands at the Women’s Open. Oboh knew then that she wanted to become the top women’s golfer in the world. Now 19, she’s on her way: She’s the first (and so far only) Nigerian on the Ladies European Tour. While Oboh could play for England — her family moved to the U.K. when Nigeria was under military rule — she’s clear about the nation she wants to represent. “I feel Nigerian at heart, it is in my blood.”
2. Xavier Perez
He’s from the state of Georgia, so it’s only logical that the Tiger Woods-obsessed Perez wants to someday play at Augusta National Golf Club. And he has the game to get there. He won his first tournament seven years ago … when he was 3 years old. Now Perez is ranked at the top of Georgia’s 12-14 age bracket (despite being, again, only 10). He has a habit of starting early: Perez was born premature and doctors didn’t think he would survive. He proved them wrong — just as he’s doing with doubters on the greens.
3. Park Hyun-kyung
The 22-year-old secured her first major tournament win this year at the Korean LPGA tournament, winning by one stroke. But that wasn’t the only milestone cleared: It was also the much-anticipated return of women’s golf after months of COVID-19 cancellations. One of the fastest rising players on the circuit, Park’s world ranking has jumped from 95 to 49 in the past six months. Her father, who caddies for her, hugged her after the Korean LPGA win. It won’t be their last celebratory embrace.
All right. Ready to take a swing at this quiz? Golf has thrived during COVID-19, with the number of rounds played up in every single U.S. state … except one. Which one?
The reality of how voting works in America is not as clear-cut as we like to tell ourselves. In a new limited-series podcast, Turnout, award-winning journalist and KCM co-founder Katie Couric explores America’s voting record, shares her hopes for the next administration and stresses the need for open-mindedness as the transition begins. Listen to the latest episode.
Smell It: Fascinating Perfumes
Lockdown is the perfect time to experiment with really weird scents — they’ll lift your mood and nobody will complain about you in the elevator.
This scent isn’t for you, it’s for your bed. The idea behind lingerie company Pour Moi’s pillow mists is that your bed will smell like one of seven celebrities you wish were in it too, including Harry Styles, Rihanna and Jennifer Aniston (because maybe it’s still 1997?).
2. Old Book Smell
Portland’s iconic Powell’s bookstore is diversifying with a unisex fragrance, which claims to smell like “bibliochor” — think petrichor but for books — and violets.
3. Formula 1 Scents
If you can’t attend a gigantic rich-person car race this year, you might as well … smell like one? Formula 1 has created its first fragrance collection of five scents with descriptions full of words like “rubber” and “asphalt” and “fearlessness.”
Being stuck at home doesn’t mean your life gets put on hold. Luckily, you don’t have to wait any longer to start planning your family. Modern Fertility’s hormone test measures the same hormones they would at a fertility clinic for only a fraction of the cost. Get the test now for $15 off and find out everything you need to know about your fertility.
The rare autumnal song that’s positively jaunty, this Kinkstrack still has a little tinkly sadness to it. Play.
2. “À la faveur de l’automne”
Tété is the French-Senegalese answer to Jeff Buckley. Even if you can’t understand the words (hint: “automne” means “autumn”), you’ll get the melancholy, nostalgic vibe. Play.
3. “Autumn Rose”
This wordless piano track from Mexican composer Ernesto Cortazar has a sweet sadness that’s very November. Cortazar was a prolific film composer and it shows in the drama and drive of this plinky song. Play.
Got a favorite autumn song? Send it to us and we’ll add it to our playlist.