Xi Loves Me, Xi Loves Me Not: Underpinning the the global response to the wars in Ukraine and Gaza are the makings of a new world order as superpowers choose sides. NYT (Gift Article): New Global Divisions on View as Biden Goes to Israel and Putin to China. “As President Biden visited Israel on Wednesday, seeking to display steadfast American support for the country, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia was in Beijing, seeking to display his ‘no limits’ partnership with China’s top leader, Xi Jinping. The two contrasting trips show how vastly the global political landscape has been redrawn by Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and how that changed landscape is on full display in the war in Gaza.”

+ Sending Digital Owls to Athens: “Athens, Georgia, is home to the University of Georgia, and the police there are used to college town-type crimes: break-ins, bar fights and assorted rowdiness. That kind of thing. But the 911 call that came in on the night of March 13, 2019, was unlike anything the Athens-Clarke County Police Department had ever encountered.” A crazy tale from the crypt from CNBC: The secret life of Jimmy Zhong, who stole – and lost – more than $3 billion. “Zhong’s emergency call that winter evening sent investigators down a long digital trail that led back to the earliest days of bitcoin and revealed a dark truth about the universe of hackers and coders responsible for the creation of cryptocurrencies. It’s a world where heroes and villains traded places and could even be the same people. None of it would go at all the way Zhong wanted.”

+ Burial Plot: “Authorities entered the funeral home’s neglected building with a search warrant Oct. 4 and found the decomposing bodies. Neighbors said they had been noticing the smell for days.” This is not what families had in mind when they opted for green burials. Remains of at least 189 people removed from Colorado funeral home.

+ Give Me Some Good News, Stat: Meet the 2023 STAT Wunderkinds: “This year, as in past years, we’ve found inspiring stories and innovative research. All are blazing new trails as they attempt to answer big questions in science and medicine.”

+ Family Business: Catalytic converter thefts have been a big story for years. And one family had a whole lot to do with that story: Family behind $600 million nationwide catalytic converter theft ring pleads guilty. (Is it weird that my first reaction to this story was wishing that my family spent more time doing things together?)

+ Ja Rules: “Before being drafted by the Grizzlies with the No. 2 overall pick in 2019, scouting reports on the high-flying point guard out of mid-major Murray State revealed little in the way of red flags. ‘Zero,” said one veteran NBA scout who scouted Morant for a lottery team in position to draft him. “He was the consummate coachable teammate, a choirboy. Underrecruited. Didn’t have many scholarship offers. Played with a chip on his shoulder. Glowing stuff. Nothing. There was absolutely nothing.” ESPN: ‘Then the alligators got him’: Inside Ja Morant’s 18-month downfall. Let’s hope he says see ya later to those alligators and goes back to being a good, and remarkably entertaining, dude with a bright future.