👋 Away Message: So we had a little scheduling snafu here at WTF HQ, where both myself and Joe (voice of the pod) double-booked ourselves with personal and professional obligations next week. Oopsie! Not a very great job using a calendar on my part, I guess. On the other hand, it appears the government isn't going to be open for business anyway... Unless something truly WTF-y happens, I'll see you all again on Tuesday, October 10th, because Monday is a holiday (Indigenous Peoples' Day).
In the mean time, try our little news aggregator tool – currentstatus.io – to keep you up-to-date on the daily shock and awe. Thanks for understanding and for being here. I'm going to miss you.
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1/ Earth recorded its hottest day ever for three straight days. The record was first set on Monday, when average global temperatures hit 61.16 degrees Fahrenheit, surpassing a previous record set in August 2016. That was followed by an average global temperature of 62.92 degrees Fahrenheit on Tuesday and Wednesday. “It’s not a record to celebrate and it won’t be a record for long, with northern hemisphere summer still mostly ahead and El Niño developing,” said Friederike Otto, senior lecturer in climate science at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment in the UK. (CNN / ABC News / Axios)
2/ Texas’ strict abortion law led to nearly 10,000 more births than expected over a nine-month period. Texas Senate Bill 8, passed in September 2021, effectively banned abortions after six weeks of pregnancy with few exceptions. The research team estimated that from April to December 2022, Texas would have typically seen 287,289 births after analyzing years of previous live birth data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Instead, there were about 297,000 total births during that nine-month period – about 3% more than expected without the law. The ban also decreased abortions in Texas and six adjacent states by 38%, according to researchers. (Texas Tribune / CNN / The Hill)
3/ U.S. companies added 497,000 jobs last month – the most in over a year. The ADP National Employment Report was well above 220,000 forecasted by economists. The government’s official employment report is due Friday. And while the ADP data often differs, it’s consistent with broader trends in the labor market and is viewed as a proxy for overall hiring activity. Job openings, meanwhile, fell to 9.82 million in May, down from 10.3 million in April and below the 9.9 million estimate. Monthly job openings, however, remain historically high: Before 2021, job openings never hit 8 million. Due to the strength of the labor market, some economists worry that the Federal Reserve will continue to push up interest rates to combat inflation that hit a four-decade high last year. (Bloomberg / Associated Press / New York Times / CNN / CNBC / CNBC)
The “Great Resignation” Is Over. “Tens of millions of Americans have changed jobs over the past two years, a tidal wave of quitting that reflected — and helped create — a rare moment of worker power as employees demanded higher pay, and as employers, short on staff, often gave it to them.” (New York Times)
Americans Have Quit Quitting Their Jobs. “A slowdown in voluntary departures can indicate a softening labor market if it reflects employers’ easing demand for workers, economists say. Employees might have less confidence they will find a better job or feel they have less bargaining power. Others might just be content with their jobs.” (Wall Street Journal)
4/ The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate climbed to 6.81% – the highest level since early November and up from 6.71% the week before. A year ago, the rate averaged 5.3%. (Associated Press / CNN / Wall Street Journal)
5/ A Trump aide pleaded not guilty to six charges related to the mishandling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, including conspiracy to obstruct justice and concealing records. The Justice Department accused Walt Nauta of helping Trump move boxes of classified documents Trump illegally kept from the federal government. Trump was named as a co-defendant for five of those counts. Nauta, however, was not arraigned with Trump on June 13 and unable to enter his plea in two prior court hearings because he couldn’t find a Florida-based lawyer to represent him. (CNN / CBS News / New York Times / NBC News / Washington Post)
- Justice Department had video of boxes being moved at Mar-a-Lago before FBI search, unredacted document shows. “The Justice Department has made public more about the significant photographic and video evidence they collected last summer from Mar-a-Lago after the Trump presidency, in a newly released version of the investigative record that supported the FBI search of the resort.” (CNN)
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