Good morning. It's Wednesday, Sept. 15, and we're covering California's recall election, the passing of a "Saturday Night Live" icon, and more. Have feedback? Let us know at email@example.com.
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California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) defeated an attempt to recall him from office yesterday, with voters turning down the effort by a 64%-36% margin as of early this morning. It marked a significant victory for the Newsom administration after polls last month found voters effectively split on the decision.
The ballot had two questions—whether Newsom should be recalled, and if so, which of more than 40 candidates should replace him. Because a majority voted "no" on question
one, no one was selected for question two. Similar to the 2020 presidential election, mail-in ballots were sent to all eligible voters, likely boosting turnout in what was otherwise an out-of-cycle referendum. As of the weekend, nearly 8 million ballots—or 35% of the state's eligible voters—had been received by officials.
See county-by-county results here.
SpaceX is set to launch four private citizens into space today, beginning a three-day mission that will take them 360 miles above the Earth's surface. The trip marks the first time in history an all-private crew will be put into orbit—54 private citizens have entered space, though always tagging along with military or professional crew members.
The launch doubles as a fundraiser for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Billionaire Jared Isaacman funded the trip, inviting three others—St. Jude employee and childhood cancer survivor Hayley Arceneaux, veteran and aerospace engineer Chris Sembroski, and space advocate Dr. Sian Proctor. Riding aboard an autonomous SpaceX Dragon capsule, the crew will orbit the Earth at speeds of 17,000 mph, circling the planet once every 90 minutes, before splashing down off the coast of Florida Friday.
The launch window, pending weather, is set for 8 pm ET.
A raft of economic data revealing the quantitative impact of the pandemic on household finances in the US was released by the US Census Bureau yesterday.
Median household income dropped by $2,000 between 2019 and 2020, a decline of almost 3%, to $67,521. It marked the first significant decline in the measure in a decade. The earnings of full-time, nonseasonal workers jumped almost 7%—but the number of such workers dropped by 13.7 million, suggesting low-wage jobs took
the brunt of losses during the pandemic.
The official poverty rate (see 101)—measured pretax and without stimulus payments—was at 11.4% in 2020, up one percentage point from the previous year. The supplemental poverty rate—measured posttax and with any government aid—was 9.1%, down 2.6 percentage points from 2019, reflecting the effect of multiple stimulus packages.
Dig into more data here.
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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
> Norm Macdonald, influential comedian and former "Saturday Night Live" star, dies at 61 of cancer (More) | Actors and fellow comedians react to Macdonald's death (More)
> Three books by American authors among six shortlisted for the prestigious Booker Prize for fiction; winner to be announced Nov. 3 in London (More)
> US Soccer offers identical contracts to women's and men's national teams (More) | NFL's opening week TV
ratings up 7% from last year, including top Monday Night Football opener since 2013 (More)
> UK study finds 256 of 51,281 total COVID-19 deaths in England (about 0.5%) between January and July were in fully vaccinated patients; the average age of breakthrough deaths was 84 years old (More) | US COVID-19 hospitalizations total about 90,000, down 10% since Sept. 1 (More)
> Experimental amputation technique allows patients to retain the feeling of "phantom limbs," or proprioception; approach may allow doctors to match prosthetics with natural muscle coordination (More)
> Genetic mutation found in bacteria living in extreme temperature found to extend life span when
recreated in worms and flies; findings have implications for longevity research (More)
> US stock markets fall (S&P 500 -0.6%, Dow -0.8%, Nasdaq -0.5%) despite lower-than-expected August inflation growth of 5.3% over last year and 0.3% since last month (More)
> Amazon seeks to hire 125,000 employees, at an average entry hourly pay of $18; company has opened 250 facilities this year and plans to
open another 100 US facilities in September (More)
> Apple releases four new iPhone models and Watch Series among other items at annual product event (More) | Design startup Canva raises $200M at $40B valuation (More)
> States of emergency declared in Texas and Louisiana as Nicholas, now a tropical depression, drops up to 14 inches of rain in some spots; storm is projected to stall out in central Louisiana (More)
> Senate Democrats unveil modified voting reform bill, with provisions targeting partisan gerrymandering and designating Election Day a
federal holiday; legislation requires 60 votes to clear the filibuster in the evenly divided Senate (More)
> Haitian prosecutor seeks charges against Prime Minister Ariel Henry over alleged links to participants in the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse; Henry banned from leaving the country (More)
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"The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life."
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