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The future of the Amazon rainforest...
November 02, 2022 View Online | Sign Up | Shop

Morning Brew

Droplette

Good morning. Did you know that you're able to get free swag when you share the Brew? You certainly can—and we're here with a little update on those rewards.

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Neal Freyman, Max Knoblauch, Abby Rubenstein

MARKETS

Nasdaq

10,890.85

S&P

3,856.10

Dow

32,653.20

10-Year

4.047%

Bitcoin

$20,477.75

Uber

$29.75

*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 2:00am ET. Here's what these numbers mean.

  • Markets: Besides a bright spot in Uber, which said that passenger numbers have topped pre-pandemic levels, stocks mostly closed lower. Why? Because in this economy, good news = bad news. The good news is that job openings in September cruised higher, signaling a healthy labor market. The bad news: A resilient labor market could force the Fed to extend its rate hikes longer than expected.
  • Economy: Speaking of the Fed, it'll announce its next rate hike today. All signs point to its fourth-straight increase of 75 basis points.
 

ENVIRONMENT

I am Lula. I speak for the trees.

Overhead view of the Amazon rainforest Mauro Pimentel/Getty Images

Days after he was defeated in an election, Brazil's incumbent president Jair Bolsonaro agreed to hand over the reins of the world's largest Latin American country to former prez Luiz Inácio "Lula" da Silva come January 1.

Lula, a leftist, has plenty of issues to tackle in his return to the role, but he's vowed to make one a priority: protecting the Amazon rainforest. While covering just 1% of the Earth's surface, it's a piece of land that is virtually unparalleled in its biodiversity, and is critical to the global fight against climate change.

Some Amazon stats:

  • As one of the world's most important "carbon sinks," the Amazon rainforest, when healthy, is able to capture and store about the equivalent of Germany's total greenhouse gas emissions. If all the carbon it's storing was released, it would account for 20 years' worth of global emissions at current rates, according to Bloomberg.
  • On the biodiversity front, the Amazon is home to 14% of the world's birds and 18% of its vascular plants, per Vox. And those are only the ones we know about—a new species of animal or plant is discovered in the Amazon every three days on average, the World Wildlife Fund estimates.

That's been under threat

Under Bolsonaro, Amazon deforestation rates soared to record highs as he pulled funding from environmental protection agencies, empowering cattle ranchers to illegally cut down trees. Due to human-related activities, parts of the Amazon have started belching more carbon dioxide than they absorb.

Lula has pledged to reverse Bolsonaro's policies, saying in his victory speech Sunday, "The planet needs the Amazon alive." He's trying to repeat the successes of his first two terms, when deforestation dropped by roughly 75% from its peak in 2004.

It won't be easy. Much of Brazil's Congress is friendly with Bolsonaro, so they could challenge Lula's environmental policies. Plus, the people who earn a living from mining and agriculture in the region say environmental laws will leave them with no alternatives for work—a sentiment shared by local leaders and other Brazilians. In more than 50% of the states that make up the Amazon forest, Bolsonaro won the popular vote, per the NYT.—NF

        

TOGETHER WITH DROPLETTE

Nothing surface-level about this skincare

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Pair your device with Droplette's mobile app and their ~newly released~ treatment modes for a personalized skincare routine for target areas (think: under-eye and lip plumping).

Here's the best part: Brew readers get ~exclusive~ early access to Droplette's Cyber Week sale—40% off + a free gift with device purchase.

For today only, use code BREWHOLIDAY40 when you shop their biggest sale of the year.

WORLD

Tour de headlines

Benjamin Netanyahu Amir Levy/Getty Images

Benjamin Netanyahu could return to power in Israel. In Israel's fifth election in four years, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears to hold a slim lead as of late last night, exit polls showed. On trial for corruption charges, Netanyahu has mounted a political comeback by forming an alliance with right wing and religious parties. If Netanyahu's bloc keeps its lead (a big if, since they're still tallying votes), he'd attempt to create the most right-wing and religious coalition in Israel's history. The final results will be reported on Friday.

The chorus to ban TikTok grows louder. Brendan Carr, one of five commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission, told Axios that he doesn't see "a path forward for anything other than a ban" of TikTok, the social media company with more than 200 million downloads in the US. Carr, and other US officials, views the app's Chinese ownership as a threat to US national security. But to ban TikTok, he'll need support from elsewhere in DC—the FCC can't regulate TikTok on its own.

Yesterday in Elon: As he works out his business plan in public for all to see, Twitter's new owner and CEO pitched an $8/month subscription that includes verification, half as many ads, priority in replies, and the ability to post longer videos. (He reportedly floated a $20/month subscription originally, but appeared to relent after some power users, including author Stephen King, blasted it.) Meanwhile, one of the world's biggest advertising agencies recommended its clients pause campaigns on Twitter, and at least five top execs have ditched the company in the past few days.

MUSIC

Rapper Takeoff fatally shot at 28

Rapper Takeoff performing Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

Takeoff, a member of the platinum-selling Atlanta rap trio Migos, was killed in a shooting yesterday outside a Houston bowling alley.

The rapper, whose legal name is Kirsnick Khari Ball, rose to fame as part of the group with the 2013 hit "Versace," which was remixed by Drake and others. Many career highlights followed:

  • Migos appeared in an episode of Atlanta, and when series creator Donald Glover won a Golden Globe, he gave the group a shoutout.
  • The group was nominated for two Grammys.
  • Takeoff released a new, well-received album with his bandmate and uncle, Quavo, earlier this month.

After news of Takeoff's death broke, journalist Jemele Hill placed him in a lineage of young rap artists who died as victims of violence: "I was in college when Biggie and 'Pac were killed and thought there was no way we'd ever experience anything remotely close to that again," she tweeted. "Now it's happening so frequently that you barely have time to recover before someone else killed."

Conversations about the frequent deaths of young rappers like XXXTentacion, Nipsey Hussle, and PnB Rock have been ongoing as artists and fans grapple with how to mourn appropriately and how to prevent more tragedies. According to CNN, at least one famous rapper has been killed by gun violence every year since 2018.—AR

        

GAMING

Anyone playing 'Call of Duty' lately?

Call of Duty Illustration: Grant Thomas, Photos: Call of Duty

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, the latest installment in Activision Blizzard's tentpole franchise, launched just in time to cause a horrific rift in the cousin dynamic this Thanksgiving. Despite a general slowdown in the gaming industry, the game is putting up record numbers, earning $800 million in sales in its first three days of full release.

That's enough to give Modern Warfare II the best opening weekend of any Call of Duty game in the franchise's 19-year history, and represents a strong turnaround from last year's disappointing entry, Call of Duty: Vanguard, which fell flat amid stiff competition. It's all relative, though: Vanguard is still the second-best-selling console or PC game of the last 12 months.

So what's helping push Modern Warfare II to new opening heights? Well, it has a $69.99 price point (the new standard), customers who preordered were able to play for eight days ahead of launch, and its use of skill-based matchmaking in multiplayer mode has made online play a less rage-inducing experience for players who happen to suck.

Zoom out: Modern Warfare II's performance could have a lasting impact on the video game industry. Antitrust regulators tasked with approving Microsoft's $69 billion acquisition of Activision are looking closely at the franchise, concerned it could be made exclusive to Xbox.—MK

        

GRAB BAG

Key performance indicators

A Chinese man who won the lottery cloaking his identity Guangxi Welfare Lottery Center

Quote: "I didn't tell my wife and child for fear that they would be too complacent and would not work or work hard in the future."

The winner of a ~$29.9 million Chinese lottery jackpot wore a mascot suit to claim his prize so nobody—and we mean nobody—would know his identity. The man, identified only as Mr. Li, told local newspapers he was keeping his jackpot a secret from his wife and child so they wouldn't become rich deadbeats. Time will tell if his decision is imitated by any potential winners of tonight's Powerball jackpot, which has ballooned to $1.2 billion after no winning tickets were sold Monday.

Stat: The rate for I bonds, an asset that's tied to the rate of inflation, was lowered to 6.89% yesterday from its record high of 9.62%. But in the final days of the previous rate, investors hoarded I bonds like a college freshman who was offered a free t-shirt. On Friday, the Treasury sold $979 million of I bonds, nearly as much as the entire amount sold in the three years from 2018 to 2020, per CNBC. The investors also crashed the website.

Read: US workers have gotten way less productive. No one is sure why. (Washington Post)

WHAT ELSE IS BREWING

  • Chief Justice John Roberts temporarily blocked a congressional committee from accessing President Trump's tax returns.
  • Amazon is dramatically expanding its library of ad-free music and podcasts for Prime members.
  • SpaceX's Falcon Heavy launched into space for the first time in more than three years. It's the world's most powerful operational rocket.
  • The frazzled Brooklyn Nets parted ways with coach Steve Nash, and appear likely to bring on suspended Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka to fill the spot.

BREW'S BETS

Music to help you focus: We compiled 10 websites offering background music that'll help you zone into work. Check it out.

Easy kitchen tips: How to keep bread from going stale, how to squeeze more juice from your lemons, and lots more tricks to help you become a better chef.

Fraud. Lies. Scandal. Join acclaimed critic Bethanne Patrick as she uncovers literary true crimes on Missing Pages, the podcast named a "must-listen" by the Washington Post and New York Magazine. Listen on your favorite podcast app.

Gut check: Pendulum's Akkermansia contains a next-generation probiotic strain (that you can't get anywhere else) to help you hit those health goals—starting with your gut. Get 20% off your first month with code BREW here.*

Tune in: The WashingtonWise podcast from Charles Schwab covers the stories that likely matter to you (and your money), like policy initiatives for retirement savings, taxes, trade, inflation fears, and more. Listen to the latest episode.*

*This is sponsored advertising content.

GAMES

The puzzle section

Word search: Hit the ice in today's NHL logo Word Search. Play it here.

Trivia in the purest sense of the term

178 people named Hirokazu Tanaka came together in Tokyo on Saturday to break the Guinness World Record for largest gathering of people with the same first and last name.

Here's our question for you: People with which name held the previous record?

Hint: It's the name of an American celebrity with the initials "M.S."

AROUND THE BREW

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On The Crazy Ones, we break down MrBeast's $1.5 billion valuation and the factors that have allowed him to be so successful. Listen or watch here. Plus, support our launch on Product Hunt by leaving a comment or review.

💲 Become smarter with your money by reading our free personal finance newsletter, Money Scoop. Sign up here.

Over its 55-year history, Vans has been synonymous with cool. Join the company's CMO, Kristin Harrer, to hear about the evolution of streetwear marketing. It's going down at The Brief.

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Martha Stewart

         

Written by Neal Freyman, Max Knoblauch, and Abigail Rubenstein

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