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Good evening. Here’s the latest at the end of Monday.
2. Pennsylvania’s Republican candidate for governor has alarmed many Jewish voters.
The race between Doug Mastriano, a state senator who promotes Christian power, and his Democratic opponent — Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who attended a Jewish day school — has centered to an extraordinary degree on Shapiro’s religion.
Mastriano has repeatedly lashed Mr. Shapiro for attending and sending his children to what Mastriano calls a “privileged, exclusive, elite” school, suggesting to one audience that it showed Shapiro’s “disdain for people like us.” Mastriano is now losing ground with a small but significant part of the Trump coalition, squandering opportunities with more conservative and religiously observant Jews.
On the local level, little-noticed state legislative races could be hugely consequential this year, as a Supreme Court case could give these officials nearly absolute power over federal elections.
Tonight, the Republican author J.D. Vance and Representative Tim Ryan, a Democrat, will debate each other in a closely fought Senate race in Ohio.
3. California cities rethink warehouses.
In the state’s Inland Empire, a critical storage-and-sorting point that has rapidly expanded in recent decades, several cities have halted new warehouse projects. The timeouts are meant to assess pollution, the appropriate distances between homes and warehouses and the impact of heavy truck traffic on streets.
The number of warehouses in the region has increased from 650 in the early 1990s to nearly 4,000, bringing more than a hundred thousand jobs. But complaints have skyrocketed.
Labor groups have also entered the fray, warning that the new ordinances will cost the region tax revenue and needed jobs and potentially disrupt a shaky national supply chain.
In other California news, the president of the Los Angeles City Council stepped down from her powerful leadership role after leaked audio showed her making racist remarks.
4. Retirees displaced by Hurricane Ian face a wrenching situation: Remaking their previous lives may not be possible.
The storm that ravaged Florida’s southwest coast disproportionately affected the state’s older residents. Many retirees live on fixed incomes, lack flood insurance or purchased their homes before the housing boom of the last decade, when the region was far more affordable.
Some have decided that moving out of the state is their only option. “We have talked about it, we have argued about it, we have screamed about it, we have cried about it,” one storm survivor said. “Our bubble has been burst.”
5. Meta’s metaverse is off to a rocky start.
The company previously known as Facebook has spent billions of dollars constructing the so-called metaverse, where people inhabit immersive digital environments. But its first year has been bumpy: Meta’s flagship virtual-reality game, Horizon Worlds, remains buggy and unpopular. Many employees have said they don’t understand the company’s metaverse strategy. And one executive said that the amount of money spent on unproven projects made him “sick to my stomach.”
Meanwhile, my colleague Kashmir Hill spent more than 24 hours inside the immersive, three-dimensional universe of Horizon Worlds. It was surprisingly fun.
A new technology podcast: In the inaugural episode of “Hard Fork,” tech journalists Kevin Roose and Casey Newton debate whether Elon Musk’s newest offer to buy Twitter is for real this time.
6. The former Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke and two others won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.
Bernanke, along with the academic economists Douglas Diamond and Philip Dybvig, were cited for research on banks and “how society deals with financial crises.” They wrote separate papers in 1983 about the banking risks that can lead to a market crash.
Many top economists celebrated the selection, which may be newly relevant as confidence in the economy wanes.
Here’s a list of everyone who has won Nobel Prizes this year.
7. Colleen Hoover is dominating the best-seller list, upending assumptions about the publishing industry.
The genre-spanning author has sold 8.6 million print books this year, more than James Patterson, Dr. Seuss or even the Bible. She also holds six of the top 10 spots on The New York Times’s paperback fiction best-seller list. And her rapid commercial rise comes despite a lack of industry support: Several of her books have been self-published, and she has rejected suggestions to focus on a specific topic.
Instead, her success largely comes from word of mouth. Her fans act as evangelists, driving sales through ecstatic online reviews and viral reaction videos. Mostly women, Hoover’s fans call themselves CoHorts and post gushing reactions to her books’ devastating climaxes.
What to read: In Alan Moore’s first story collection, “Illuminations,” the British writer and comic-book titan works his subversive power on a smaller scale.
8. Reusable shopping bags are helping rescue an age-old Indian industry.
The industry that produces jute, a coarse fiber, in the Ganges Delta had been struggling for decades, as synthetic alternatives flooded the market. But in recent years, as governments and consumers have sought biodegradable fabric to develop more sustainable grocery bags, the Indian industry has rebounded.
The burlap bags sold at Trader Joe’s are made in the state of West Bengal, where production has recently spiked. The U.S. is by far the largest destination for Indian jute products, growing by 25.5 percent to almost $100 million last year. Other countries have also banned single-use plastics, offering hope for further expansion.
In other environmental news, parts of Europe are drying out from the warmer climate, forcing the Netherlands — a country long shaped by an overabundance of water — to confront a punishing drought.
10. And finally, the universe — built block by block.
Christopher Slayton, an 18-year-old Minecraft creator known online as ChrisDaCow, spent two months exploring black holes, identifying the colors of Saturn’s rings and looking at his home planet from outer space — all from his desk chair.
Starting with Earth, he constructed large parts of the known universe in Minecraft’s vast three-dimentional virtual landscape. His massive project shows the educational applications of the block-building video game, which can conceptualize difficult ideas like the enormity of outer space.
Have an expansive night.
Brent Lewis compiled photos for this briefing.
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