Welcome to Monday. How we feelin’? A BIG thanks to everyone who participated in our Dear America Project so far, the response has blown us away.
If you haven’t yet but still want to share your vision for the country, there’s still time — submissions will be open until November 30th at midnight. (Lost as to what we’re talking about? Check out the project here.)
P.S. We made it through Friday the 13th unscathed… great job everybody. 👏😎
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”
– Robert Louis Stevenson
This Week at a Glance
Monday: Read on to find out 😉
Tuesday: Former President Barack Obama releases memoir
Wednesday: FAA expected to lift grounding of Boeing 737 MAX; NBA Draft
Fifteen countries in the Eastern Hemisphere virtually signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) on Sunday, concluding eight years of negotiation over the largest free trade agreement in the world.
A deeper dive…
The deal includes the ten-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) along with China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand, encompassing a combined ~29% of global GDP and creating a free trade bloc larger than both the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and the European Union.
The RCEP is expected to eliminate a range of tariffs on imports between member countries within the next 20 years. It also contains provisions governing intellectual property, financial services, e-commerce, and professional services.
India was also a part of the negotiations but backed out late last year due to concerns over the deal’s market-opening requirements, which officials said could harm domestic industry and agriculture with a surge of imports. Signatories of the RCEP said the door remained open for India to join the accord in the future.
Closer To Home
The U.S., the world’s largest economy, isn’t part of the deal. Its government pulled out of a proposed 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) involving several RCEP members (not including China) shortly after President Trump took office in 2017.
President-elect* Joe Biden has yet to reveal his administration’s official trade policy in the region, while analysts say strengthened engagement with Southeast Asia is necessary to protect U.S. interests and counter Beijing’s growing influence.
*The term “president-elect” is widely used to refer to the projected winner of the U.S. presidential election during the period before their inauguration on Jan. 20, though the president is not officially elected until Electoral College votes are cast and certified by the incoming Congress.
So… what are people saying?
Biden must prioritize trade, Asia-Pacific leadership
The final two states were called on Friday by multiple sources, which awarded North Carolina to President Trump and Georgia to President-elect Biden. The Associated Press called NC for Trump, but has not yet called GA per its policy regarding races subjected to recounts. Left-Center | Right-Center
The Trump campaign lost or dropped court challenges in three battleground states (PA, MI, & AZ) on Friday, and withdrew a central part of its PA suit on Sunday. Left-Center | Right-Center
The U.S. reported 155.7k new COVID-19 cases and 1,252 deaths on Sunday, according to data from the CDC.
NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasiosaid public schools would remain open on Monday – despite earlier warnings they might close – after the city’s seven-day positivity rate fell from 2.83% to 2.57% on Sunday (below the 3% threshold required to close schools).
North Dakotaissued a mandate requiring face masks in public on Friday, becoming the 35th state to do so. The order also limits restaurants and bars to 50% capacity and requires they close by 10 PM.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfootannounced a city-wide stay at home advisory for the next three weeks due to a recent surge in coronavirus cases. The advisory, which comes into effect today, asks residents to avoid leaving their home except for essential travel and recommends against traveling for traditional Thanksgiving gatherings.
⚾ A League Of Her Own
The Miami Marlins hired Kim Ng (pronounced “ang”) as their general manager on Friday, making her the first woman and first Asian-American in league history to fill the position. Over her 30-year career, Ng rose to the role of assistant GM for the Yankees and the Dodgers and served as a senior vice president of operations for the MLB (2011 to present).
More: Ng is also the first female GM in any of the Big Four men’s professional sports leagues (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL).
🚀 Blast Off
SpaceX launched four astronauts from NASA and Japan’s space agency JAXA to the International Space Station yesterday (full video). The joint mission made SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule, which the astronauts named ‘Resilience,’ the first fully-crewed commercial vehicle in NASA history.
More: Sunday night marked the second crewed space mission launched from the U.S. since 2011 — the first being earlier this year when SpaceX’s Crew Dragon carried two NASA astronauts to the ISS.
🥡 Foot In The Door
DoorDash filed for IPO with the SEC on Friday ahead of an expected debut on the NYSE before year’s end. Among other things, the company revealed it has ~1M Dashers (delivery workers) and over 18M customers, and reported a $149M net loss through the first three quarters of 2020 on revenues of $1.9B. DoorDash has raised $2.5B in VC funding to date, with its last round valuing the company at $16B.
More: Reuters reported on Thursday that food delivery company Instacart picked Goldman Sachs to lead its planned 2021 IPO that could value the company at ~$30B.
⛳ Dustin Johnsoncompleted the lowest 72-hole score in Masters history (20-under 268) to win his first green jacket by five strokes on Sunday.
🏈 Paul Hornung, a Heisman Trophy-winning Notre Dame quarterback (nicknamed ‘Golden Boy’) and Hall of Fame Green Bay Packer running back, died Friday at 84.
🍴 Wait A Minute…
On November 6th, Würstbar, a bar and restaurant based in Jersey City, NJ, posted a message on its social media pages: A staff member tested positive for COVID-19 and the eatery would be forced to temporarily close. Following the announcement, owner Aaron Kahn called his barber to cancel an upcoming haircut and inform him of his dining establishment’s dilemma.
“I can wait on your tables tomorrow,” his barber told him.
Andre Fersa, who owns the Virile Barber Shop – just two doors down from Würstbar – quickly made good on his promise to help, taking over the restaurant’s Instagram with a post insisting that the weather was too nice for him to let his neighbor’s restaurant (which has outdoor seating) stay closed. Along with friend Joe Mercurio, Andre spent an entire workday waiting on more than 40 tables. The eatery was able to reopen with its regular staff later that week.
🐦 Toucan Play That Game
Electrical worker Joilson Brites Antunes of Santa Cruz do Sul, Brazil, was in for a big surprise. While on an assignment to tear down three old telephone poles on a bustling city street, he climbed to the top of one of the tall wooden posts – preparing to cut it down – but instead discovered a hole in the structure housing a family of toucans.
Knowing toucans are endangered and rarely nest in urban areas, Joilson was determined to protect the birds. After calling back to his office and pondering the predicament, the utility worker decided to cut only the portion of the beam containing the nest, fastening the severed piece to a new, metal telephone pole.
The transition’s final test occurred as the mother toucan – who had been away from the nest – returned to her transplanted home… and acted as if nothing had changed.
🐕 🐴 Dog & Pony Show
Ricardo Pimentel of Southern Mexico founded the Tierra de Animales (Land of Animals) animal shelter in 2011 after dropping out of college. The 10-acre rescue facility, located 20 miles outside of Cancun, is home to about 500 animals and is also Ricardo’s personal residence. Thus, when Hurricane Delta approached the region early last month, the animal enthusiast acted fast to protect his beloved rescues, opening his home to 300 dogs.
Nevertheless, Ricardo’s bighearted actions were worth the stink, as all of the animals survived the powerful storm. The shelter owner, who posted a video of his storm preparations and sea of animals on social media before the hurricane arrived, was shocked to find that, after finishing the cleanup of debris, donations from around the globe began pouring in to support his facility.
Family • Tradition • Flavor
The 150 year Ortega® tradition all started with Maria Conception Jacinta Dominguez Ortega — or as we like to call her, Mama. With a small charcoal-burning stove, she whipped up memorable meals her family loved.
From the juicy red tomatoes for her sauces, to the corn she patted into mouth watering tortillas, everything Mama lovingly prepared for her family was fresh; every dish was special. And that tasty tradition continues today.
Bring Ortega to Your Dinner Table
Ortega makes taco sauces, seasonings, taco meal kits, peppers, beans, salsas, tortillas & shells: In short, everything you need to create a delicious meal to bring the family together — just like Mama. Get $1 off the purchase of any two products using the link below.
⚡ Wave Runner… a team of Spanish researchers discovered a new method that makes it possible to transform electricity into hydrogen or chemical products solely using microwaves — no cables or contact with an electrode.
🧨 All’s Whale That Ends Whale… fifty years ago last Friday, Oregon highway workers exploded an eight-ton whale carcass using 20 cases of TNT — and showed the explosion on local television. Watch the infamous clip.
🐦 Flip The Bird… a three-year-old Belgian-bred racing pigeon was sold for a record $1.9M at auction yesterday to an anonymous Chinese buyer.
♟️ Brain Games… a recent study examining ~1.6M moves by professional chess players over the past 125 years suggests the human brain reaches its cognitive peak around 35 years old and begins to decline after the age of 45.
Spread the Word
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