Elon Musk’s tweets often seem like jokes. They never are.
In September, the Tesla and SpaceX founder tweeted that he’d be opening a “brick store” in about two months. “Only 10 cents a brick!” he touted. And while Musk’s self-imposed due date has come and gone, The Brick Store LLC is set in stone, TechCrunch reports.
Musk has spent the past two years working on a project called The Boring Company, which literally bores holes through the Earth to create tunnels that alleviate traffic. Just Friday, The Boring Company completed a tunnel under Los Angeles that Musk has called “disturbingly long.” Another tunnel to Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium is also in the works, which people will travel through on “autonomous electric skates” that travel up to 150 miles per hour, per the company’s website.
But all that boring moves a lot of dirt. And with dirt, you can make bricks. That’s the simple premise behind The Brick Company, which Musk started in July, per public documents obtained by TechCrunch. Bricks will be available for purchase at a brick-and-mortar shop called — what else — The Brick Store, the documents show. The Brick Store will be made of bricks and accented by “forbidding black steel security grilles,” TechCrunch writes, and will be located right outside the just-completed tunnel.
Musk branded what seemed to be The Brick Store as “a watchtower” in a tweet yesterday, and announced The Boring Company was hiring “a knight to yell insults at people in a French accent” from its dirt brick facade. Please, read more at TechCrunch. Kathryn Krawczyk
Democrat Andrew Gillum has officially ended his bid for Florida governor, congratulating Republican Ron DeSantis in a Saturday Facebook video.
The progressive Gillum was expected to be the state’s first black governor, seeing as he consistently polled ahead of the President Trump-backing DeSantis. Election Day results were far tighter, and Gillum actually conceded that night after DeSantis secured 49.9 percent of the vote with 99 percent of precincts reporting.
But after reports showed votes in some Democratic strongholds, including the notorious Broward County, had not yet been counted, Gillum retracted his concession. A gap of just 34,000 votes, or .41 percent, between Gillum and DeSantis triggered a recount. DeSantis eventually finished with 49.6 percent of the vote to Gillum’s 49.2 percent, per The New York Times.
Gillum reflected the protracted ballot-counting process in his concession video, calling for updates to Florida’s voting system.
Gillum’s concession comes after Trump tweeted congratulations to the Democrat for “running a tough race” Saturday morning. Florida’s Senate race between current Gov. Rick Scott (R) and current Sen. Bill Nelson (D) is still undergoing a manual recount. Kathryn Krawczyk
About 500 Georgians have been told to evacuate their homes after a train carrying propane derailed in their small town.
“Several” railroad cars tipped off the tracks in Byromville, Georgia, which is 55 miles south of Macon, CSX Railroad tells The Associated Press. Some of the cars contained pressurized propane, prompting the county’s sheriff to order anyone within half a mile of the incident to evacuate.
That radius contains “practically the whole town” of Byromville, town fire chief Brett Walls tells local CBS affiliate WMAZ. Walls put the number of derailed cars anywhere from 15 to 30, and said the propane that spilled from them was odorless. No injuries have been reported.
Check out the station’s footage of the incident below. Kathryn Krawczyk
Mass shootings have hit music festivals and movie theaters. They’ve rocked every level of the education system. They’ve spared people who’ve gone on to be killed another day. And now, the names of those lost in America’s everyday tragedy have filled a whole page in The Washington Post.
On Saturday, the Post published a scathing piece from its editorial board, condemning how “sadly — maddeningly — Congress has failed to” combat the ever-growing scourge of shootings in America. But below its argument for action was something even more moving: A list of victims who’d been killed in mass shootings since the 1999 attack at Columbine High School. The names filled an entire page in the Post’s print edition. And, as the Post noted, the list was surely incomplete. Look at the whole spread below. Kathryn Krawczyk
The @washingtonpost editorial board filled a full page with names of mass shooting victims. “The list continues to grow.” https://t.co/rJujqR2hFD pic.twitter.com/zJpvCMkPP6
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) November 17, 2018
President Trump won’t stop proclaiming House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) should be the next Speaker of the House. And Pelosi won’t stop waving those endorsements away.
In a Saturday morning tweet, Trump continued his push for Pelosi in a very Trumpian way: Bragging that he could get Pelosi “as many votes as she wants” to become speaker. Trump also called out Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), a Republican who told The Buffalo News Thursday he’s willing to support Pelosi, in his tweet. But when asked about Trump’s endorsement — and any possible support from Republicans — Pelosi was not so kind.
Q: Madam Leader, would you accept Republican help to win the gavel?Pelosi: “Oh please. … Never, never never.”https://t.co/iRfShAtrzO
— Erica Werner (@ericawerner) November 17, 2018
Trump’s endorsement comes in the wake of yet another incoming House Democrat, this time Virginia’s Abigail Spanberger, saying Friday she wouldn’t vote for Pelosi to become speaker. She joins 17 other Democrats who’ve publicly denounced Pelosi’s bid, CNN reports. Pelosi met with Spanberger and several other members of her opposition on Friday, including Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), who’s considering a run against Pelosi for the top role.
Just after Democrats regained the House last week, Trump similarly tweeted that he could throw a few Republican votes her way if Democrats don’t pull through. Less surprisingly, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) also tweeted that he “fully support[s]” Pelosi on Saturday morning. And Pelosi seems as confident as ever, with a spokesman telling The Washington Post Saturday that she’ll “win the speakership with Democratic votes.” Kathryn Krawczyk
The Supreme Court has opted to hear arguments over President Trump’s administration’s decision to add a question of citizenship to the 2020 census.
The question, which would directly ask if “this person a citizen of the United States,” has been challenged in six lawsuits around the U.S. This has led to disputes over what evidence can be brought up during the trials, and if Trump officials’ motives in enacting the addition can be discussed as well. But the Supreme Court’s timing on this decision is “curious,” seeing as the controversial census already undergoing one trial in New York, The Washington Post writes.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the addition in March, originally claiming the Justice Department ordered the move. But documents unveiled in one of the lawsuits later showed Ross talked about adding the question with former Trump strategist Stephen Bannon, suggesting Ross drove the change himself. Ross and other administration officials’ motivations for the addition are now slated for discussion in the forthcoming Supreme Court hearing.
The Trump administration has fought to block Ross from facing questioning over the matter, and last month the Supreme Court refused to allow the deposition of Ross in the New York case, per NPR. U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman has scheduled closing arguments in the New York case for Nov. 27, while the Supreme Court has the case slated for next February.
The citizenship question has faced criticism from advocates who say undocumented people will avoid answering the census out of fear. That would lead to undercounts in Democrat-heavy areas, and perhaps cut federal aid that undocumented immigrants in those areas rely on. Kathryn Krawczyk
The Camp Fire has left 71 dead and more than 1,000 missing throughout northern California. It’s also spread some of the dirtiest air in the world to San Francisco and beyond.
After burning for more than a week, 50 percent of the blaze had been contained as of Friday night, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said. Reports of missing people swelled from more than 600 on Friday to 1011, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea tells CBS News. Honea also warned the list was “dynamic” and could grow or shrink as those who don’t realize they’ve been reported missing come forward.
Meanwhile, air quality in northern California has reached levels as poor as cities in China and India. It’s nearly impossible to navigate the “apocalyptic fog” surrounding the fire, The New York Times writes, and hospital workers say reports of respiratory complications have surged. Nearly 200 miles south in San Francisco, the city’s iconic trolleys have been pulled from the streets amid smoky air. Residents have taken to wearing respiratory masks, schools have closed, and the so-called “Big Game” between the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University has been postponed. Kathryn Krawczyk
November 16, 2018
The CIA has “high confidence” that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder of U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, officials first told The Washington Post.
The CIA reportedly drew its evidence from, among other things, a phone call between Khashoggi and bin Salman’s brother Khalid bin Salman, in which Khalid told Khashoggi to visit the Saudi consulate where he was killed. The crown prince told Khalid to make the call, per the Post. A team of 15 Saudi operatives then reportedly flew via government airplane to Istanbul for the murder.
The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned 17 Saudis it said were “involved in” Khashoggi’s murder earlier this week. But this is furthest the U.S. has gone toward implicating Saudi Arabia for the crime, per reports from multiple sources.
Khashoggi was killed after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, and Turkey has long maintained the Saudi government was responsible. Saudi Arabia once said the murder was a predetermined rogue operation, but shifted to say it was a random killing when announcing charges against 11 alleged perpetrators earlier this week. Bin Salman is close with President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, and some have suggested the Trump administration avoided implicating Saudi Arabia to preserve an alliance with the country.
A spokeswoman for America’s Saudi consulate told the Post that the CIA’s claims in its “purported assessment are false.” Kathryn Krawczyk
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