What we’re reading: Twitter layoffs spark class action lawsuit, upcoming midterm elections



A sign for Twitter headquarters is reflected in. a window in San Francisco, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. Employees were bracing for widespread layoffs at Twitter on Friday, as new owner Elon Musk overhauls the social platform. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

By Alli Shoop

Elon Musk to lay off up to 50% of Twitter’s workforce, sparking a class action lawsuit

Elon Musk finalized his purchase of the social media giant Twitter one week ago, and an email went out to employees saying about half of the company’s employees would be losing their jobs beginning today. 

On Thursday, another email went out to Twitter employees prompting them to be checking their email for employment status notifications, according to a copy of the email obtained by CNN

The email also notified Twitter employees that, “to help ensure the safety” of employees and Twitter’s systems, the company’s offices “will be temporarily closed and all badge access will be suspended.”

Twitter employees filed a class action lawsuit due to the company’s intended layoffs, citing that the layoffs violate a federal law requiring 60 days’ notice for employees before layoffs. 

The Worker Adjustment and Restraining Notification Act requires large companies to notify workers two months prior to planned job cuts. 

Attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan filed the suit and said, “We filed this lawsuit in an attempt to make sure that employees are aware that they should not sign away their rights and that they leave an avenue for pursuing their rights.”

Key Senate race moves toward GOP in election forecast

FILE – “I Voted” stickers are displayed at a polling place. The instant polls close across the country when Tuesday’s Nov. 8, 2022, midterm election ends the Associated Press could declare winners in some races. (AP Photo/Thomas Peipert, File) (AP)

Republicans’ path to the Senate majority continues to broaden ahead of Tuesday’s election and now includes a state that President Joe Biden carried by 7 points just two years ago. 

New Hampshire is moving from a projection to lean Democratic towards a “toss-up,” according to Politico.

According to polls, Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan still has a narrow lead over Republican candidate Don Bolduc but is no longer seated as a significant favorite.

The battle for the Senate majority continues to be polled as a “toss-up,” but the possible outcomes now include a sizeable Republican majority. 

If the GOP is able to win the six “toss-up” states, that would award the GOP with 54 seats total. 

If the two major parties win an even split of the “toss-up” states, then Republicans would still win a one-seat majority in the chamber. 

Washington State is finding itself in a “toss-up” race with Democratic Senator Patty Murry still the favorable candidate, but Republican Tiffany Smiley has gained ground, according to the polls. 

New Hampshire also joins five other “toss-up” states, including Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Wisconsin. 

Influenza and other respiratory illness cases are expected to be record-breaking this season

A flu vaccine is readied at the L.A. Care and Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plans’ Community Resource Center where they were offering members and the public free flu and COVID-19 vaccines Friday, Oct. 28, 2022, in Lynwood, Calif. The U.S. flu season is off to an unusually fast start, adding to a 2022 autumn mix of viruses that have been filling hospitals and doctor waiting rooms. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File) (AP)

The number of illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths from influenza this season have doubled in the past week. 

The CDC is estimating that there have been at least 1.6 million flu cases, resulting in 13,000 hospitalizations and 730 deaths from influenza this season. 

Three reported cases of infant death due to influenza have been reported this season with two in Texas and one in South Carolina.

Flu activity is currently highest in the South, with Mississippi and Alabama having the greatest prescription rates for Tamiflu, according to Walgreens data. 

“What the data tells us so far is we’re likely to have a fairly substantial influenza season,” Dr. Timothy Brewer, a professor of epidemiology at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, told ABC News. “It’s taking off at a faster rate than usual. We’re clearly in the influenza season but what we’re seeing is a more rapid rise in cases.”

Respiratory syncytial virus, RSV, is also soaring in the US, with hospitalizations significantly higher than usual according to the CDC. 

RSV symptoms are typically cold-like and cause mild symptoms, but can result in serious illness in some cases. 

Four in every 1,000 babies under six months old have been hospitalized with RSV so far this season according to data from CNN

Indigenous group holding dozens of hostages, including Americans, in Peruvian Amazon oil spill protest

FILE – Cleaning crews work on Pocitos Beach contaminated by an oil spill, in Ancon, Peru, Feb. 15, 2022. A report by a congressional investigative commission released Friday, June 24, said the Spain-based company Repsol is mainly responsible for the spill triggered by surging waves caused by the eruption of an underwater volcano near Tonga. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia, File) (AP)

An Indigenous group in Peru’s Amazon region has taken around 70 tourists hostage as they made their way through the area on a guided boat tour. 

The Indigenous group said it took action to protest the lack of government aid following an oil spill in the area, according to local media. 

The tourists include citizens from the U.S., Spain, France, the U.K. and Switzerland. 

Lon Haldeman, one of the American tourists being held hostage, said in a statement shared with CBS News by his wife that the group had been held “for the past 26 hours.” 

“The villagers are peaceful toward us but they did take over the boat with spears and clubs,” Haldeman said in the statement. “No one had guns. We were parked near an island last night and the villagers took the battery from the boat motor. The captain and drivers are being held in a village jail. The village wants to keep the big boat for ransom. We might get some small rescue boats. There is new action every hour.”  

Angela Ramirez, a Peruvian national among the hostages shared on Facebook, “The sooner they are heard, the sooner they will let us go” and “Help me help them be heard.”