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👋 Hi friends,
Welcome to the latest edition of Newley’s Notes, a weekly newsletter containing my recent Wall Street Journal stories, must-read links on tech and life, and funny dog videos.
🇺🇸 Photo of the day, above: Today’s WSJ front page. The headline: “Biden Charts New Course.”
More on that below.
🚨 Breaking: A new story out just this morning U.S. time: Pfizer’s Covid–19 Vaccine Proves 90% Effective in Latest Trials.
“A vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and partner BioNTech proved better than expected at protecting people from Covid–19 in a pivotal study, a milestone in the hunt for shots that can stop the global pandemic.”
🤞 “The vaccine proved to be more than 90% effective in the first 94 subjects who were infected by the new coronavirus and developed at least one symptom…”
💬 Meanwhile, in non-political news, I had a brief story out Friday. The headline: Facebook’s WhatsApp Gets Green Light to Expand Mobile Payments in India. It begins:
Regulators in India granted Facebook Inc.’s WhatsApp permission to expand its digital payments service, a win for the company after a delay of nearly three years in its largest market by users.
🔮 BUT: As I note, they’re limited to 20 million users. That’s a lot, yes, but they have a staggering 400 million people on the platform in India, so it’s only about 5% of their user base. Reminder: Facebook has big plans for India, and back in April said they’re plowing $5.7 billion – their biggest foreign investment ever – into a partnership with a mobile operator owned by India’s richest man.
On to this week’s NN.
🗞 1) So: We have a president-elect! My colleague Scott Austin created a fantastic Twitter thread featuring newspaper front pages, ranging from Biden’s hometown paper (“Mr. President”) to Scranton’s Times-Tribune (“Made in Pa.”) to a paper in Stockholm (“You’re Fired”) to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (“After Long Week, a New President”) and many more.
🎧 2) “He had one message that was at the core of his candidacy. And that was the country is in search of unity and a return to some sense of normalcy and stability.” My DC-based colleague Sabrina Siddiqui, who covered the Biden campaign, joined our The Journal podcast to explain how he won.
★ 3) I really like this map, “Purple States of America.” Rather than the familiar red and blue states, it shows in a more nuanced fashion how people voted.
» 4) FiveThirtyEight: Biden Is Projected To Be The President-Elect. Here’s How It All Went Down. “In our era of political polarization, competitive elections are the norm and our country remains deeply divided,” Sarah Frostenson writes. “Trump might not have won a second term, but the question of where the country heads next is an open one.”
✴️ 5) Buzzfeed News: “…one figure in particular was credited with flipping Pennsylvania — the myth, the legend, the one-and-only Gritty.”
❓6) The Philadelphia Inquirer: "No, not that Four Seasons: How Team Trump’s news conference ended up at a Northeast Philly landscaping firm. (And speaking of Four Seasons – and Gritty – there exists a T-shirt of said business, with Gritty riding a tractor.)
😷 7) Axios’s Hans Nichols: “Joe Biden plans Monday to name a 12-member task force to combat and contain the spread of the coronavirus, sources tell Axios.”
🗣 8) The Verge’s Adi Robertson: “Trump will lose his Twitter ‘public interest’ protections in January.”
📱 9) What does Biden’s win mean for Silicon Valley? “D.C’s spotlight will brighten on privacy, surveillance and hate speech online,” Axios’s Ina Fried writes. “These issues animate Democrats, and Biden has already pledged a task force to study ties between online harassment and real-world extremism, violence and abuse. ”
🐕 10) Dog-related video of the week: Here is Champ & Major Biden’s video debut! – yes, those are Joe and Jill Biden’s pups. Major, who the Bidens got in 2018 from the Delaware Human Association, will be the White House’s first rescue dog. You can follow the doggie duo on Twitter here. (Thanks, Anasuya and Mike W.!)
💡 Quote of the week:
“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.” – Seneca
👊 Fist bump from Hong Kong,