Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: November 6, 2022

Biden issues warning about Trump, democracy ahead of midterms, Twitter launching $8 ‘verification subscription’ on App Store, and more

1

Biden, Obama issue warnings about Trump, democracy ahead of midterms

President Biden made his final plea to voters on Saturday ahead of the upcoming midterm elections, stumping for Democratic candidates in battleground Pennsylvania. The president, who is also set to campaign in New York state on Sunday, highlighted his legislative achievements during a speech in Philadelphia, while also warning that democracy, as well as abortion rights, voting rights, social security, and Medicare were on the ballot. Biden was joined in Philadelphia by former President Barack Obama, who echoed a similar message. Former President Donald Trump also campaigned in Pennsylvania for the GOP, calling the U.S. a "country in decline" and telling voters to "stop the destruction of our country and save the American dream."

2

Twitter launching $8 ‘verification subscription’ on App Store

Twitter has begun advertising its controversial Twitter Blue subscription service, which will allow users to pay $8 a month to receive a verified blue checkmark on their account. An update to Twitter seen on the iOS Apple app store over the weekend said that users who sign up for the service could receive the verification "just like the celebrities, companies, and politicians you already follow." The company has notably not announced any requirements needed to verify a user's authenticity prior to signing up for the verification service. Twitter director of product management Esther Crawford said the subscription isn't widely available yet, but that a "small early group" may see the changes go live already. 

3

Putin signs law to conscript convicted criminals for service

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law that will allow Russia to conscript convicted criminals into military service. The law allows the Russian military to mobilize people who have been convicted under the country's Criminal Code of serious crimes, such as murder, drug trafficking, robbery, and larceny. Putin's actions now allow Russia to conscript potentially hundreds more citizens who were previously forbidden from serving in the military due to outstanding convictions. The only group reportedly exempt from the law are those who have been convicted of sex crimes, treason, spying, or terrorism. Putin said Friday that had already mobilized its goal of 300,000 additional conscripted soldiers. 

4

At least 38 people injured in Manhattan high-rise fire

At least 38 people were injured Saturday during a fire at a high-rise apartment building in midtown Manhattan. The blaze, which began around 10:30 a.m. local time, started after flames appeared on the building's 20th floor, caused at least five serious injuries, and two people remain in critical condition. Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said the fire started due to a faulty lithium-ion battery, and Chief Fire Marshal Daniel E. Flynn told The New York Times the unit where the fire started had at least five electric bikes that contained these batteries. Officials further said they believed the resident of the unit had been repairing the bikes, and were looking to see if foul play was involved. 

5

Astros beat Phillies in 6 games to win their 2nd World Series title

For the second time in franchise history, the Houston Astros are World Series Champions, as they defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in six games on Saturday night to plant themselves at the top of the baseball world. While Houston has been a dominant team for the past six years, this was their first title since 2017, a World Series win that was marred by a massive cheating scandal that has cast a shadow over the team ever since. The Astros, though, defeated their naysayers, and won Game 6 by a score of 4-1, with starting pitcher Framber Valdez pitching a strong six innings. Yordan Alvarez would crush a three-run homer in the sixth inning that solidified the win. 

6

China sees 6-month high in COVID cases despite lockdowns

Despite some of the strictest restrictions and lockdowns in the world, China on Sunday saw a six-month high in its COVID-19 cases. The country's National Health Commission reported 4,420 new locally-transmitted infections from the disease, marking the highest single-day case rate in China since this past May. The number also skyrocketed from 3,659 new infections just one day earlier. However, despite these high numbers, China's COVID totals as a whole remain among the world's smallest, partially due to its strict "zero-COVID" policy implemented by Chinese President Xi Jinping. This policy involves massive slates of lockdowns and quarantines, as well as daily testing. 

7

Liz Cheney crosses aisle again, endorses Democratic colleagues

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) continues to break from her own party, and on Saturday endorsed a Democrat for the third time in the upcoming midterms. Cheney threw her support behind Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), who is seeking re-election in Virginia as the first Democrat to win the state's district in 36 years. "I'm honored to endorse Abigail Spanberger," Cheney told CNN in a statement. "I have worked closely with her in Congress, and I know that she is dedicated to working across the aisle to find solutions." Cheney, a ranking member of the House January 6 Committee, has said she will not remain a Republican if Donald Trump is the party's 2024 presidential nominee. 

8

At least 9 people shot in Philadelphia, leaving 2 critical

A violent Saturday night in Philadelphia saw at least nine people shot, leaving two of them in critical condition, city officials said. The violence occurred in the city's Kensington neighborhood, when police say multiple shooters exited a vehicle and fired around 40 shots. The injured parties were taken to the hospital, where seven of them were listed in stable condition. The target of the shooting remained unknown, police said, and investigators were currently looking into the motive for the attack. The shooters were able to return to the vehicle and leave the area, and a manhunt is underway. 

9

Powerball climbs to record $1.9 billion after no winner is pulled

People will once again have a chance to test their luck at a life-changing game, as the Powerball jackpot rolled over to a record $1.9 billion after nobody won the jackpot during Saturday night's drawing. The California Lottery Association, which participates in Powerball, said the game will have its next drawing on Monday evening. If someone were to win the jackpot, they would be able to take installments paid out over 29 years, or a lump sum of cash equal to $929 million after taxes. However, the odds of winning remain extraordinarily low, with the chance of getting the massive jackpot just one in 292 million. 

10

Singer, rapper Aaron Carter dies at 38

Singer and hip-hop artist Aaron Carter was found dead in his Lancaster, California home on Saturday morning, multiple outlets reported. A spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said they responded to a 911 call at Carter's home around 11 a.m. that morning, where they found a deceased male in a bathtub. No cause of death has been reported. Carter was known for his debut studio album, Aaron Carter, as well as hit singles such as "I Want Candy" and "That's How I Beat Shaq." The singer comes from a musical family, as his brother Nick Carter is also well known as a member of the boy band Backstreet Boys. 

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