11.28.2023

 

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Good morning. It's Tuesday, Nov. 28, and we're covering another cease-fire deal for the release of more hostages, a racketeering trial against a Grammy Award winner, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Temporary Truce Extended

Israel and Hamas have agreed to extend their temporary cease-fire deal an additional two days, with Hamas agreeing to release at least 20 more hostages in exchange for the release of 60 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons. The extension comes after the two sides yesterday swapped a fourth group of Hamas-held hostages and Israeli-held prisoners, completing an original four-day deal brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the US.

 

As of Monday, Hamas has released 69 hostages of the more than 240 people who were abducted Oct. 7, while Israel has released 150 prisoners. Under the original plan, Hamas had agreed to release 50 hostages and Israel had agreed to release 150 prisoners, three for every hostage released. A majority of the people freed on both sides are said to be women and children. Humanitarian aid continues to enter the Gaza Strip. 

 

Separately, Elon Musk visited Israel yesterday after receiving backlash for supporting an antisemitic post on X (formerly Twitter), which had prompted major brands to suspend advertisements on the platform. Israel announced Musk's satellite internet provider, Starlink, will only operate in Israel and Gaza with Israel's approval. 

 

See updates on the war here

 

MH370 Lawsuit

A Chinese court held the first hearing yesterday of a liability lawsuit filed by relatives of more than 40 passengers on a Malaysia Airlines flight that vanished in 2014. The families argue the airline neglected to search for the plane after it vanished and are seeking a fund to search for the missing aircraft, civil compensation of between $1.4M and $11.2M each, and damages for mental distress in the amount of $4.2M to $5.6M each.

 

MH370 disappeared from radar screens March 8, 2014, having deviated from its planned route while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Despite one of the most expensive searches in aviation history (around $150M), only a few pieces of debris have been found and the cause of the airliner's disappearance remains unknown. The search was halted in 2017, and MH370 remains classified as missing. 

 

Of the 227 passengers onboard, 154 were Chinese citizens. The families of more than 110 other passengers have already settled with the defendants and received between $300K and $400K each. A total of 239 people died, including crew. A similar lawsuit filed in the US was dismissed in January 2020.

 

Young Thug on Trial

Opening arguments began yesterday in the racketeering trial of Atlanta-based rapper Young Thug, who faces allegations his record label, YSL, has operated as a criminal street gang for a decade. The case was launched by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, the same prosecutor overseeing a different racketeering case against former President Donald Trump for alleged election interference in 2020.

 

Young Thug—born Jeffery Williams—is a 32-year-old Grammy-winning rapper known for collaborations with Drake, Travis Scott, and others. Prosecutors allege Williams violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act as the leader of a Bloods gang affiliate responsible for murder, drug dealing, and more. Racketeering laws are designed to prosecute organized crime groups like the Mafia, allowing prosecutors to target entire networks instead of individuals. The trial has stirred controversy for its planned use of the artist's lyrics as evidence, a practice critics describe as discrimination.

 

Analysts claim the trial, whose jury selection took 10 months and is expected to feature roughly 400 witnesses, could last months.

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with Upway

> Taylor Swift's "Eras Tour" concert film to be released on streaming platforms Dec. 13 and will include three songs not included in theatrical release (More)

> "The Late Show" canceled this week as host Stephen Colbert recovers from a ruptured appendix (More) | Jean Knight, singer known for Grammy-nominated hit song "Mr. Big Stuff," dies at 80 (More)

> Dolly Parton's "Rockstar" album debuts at No. 1 on Billboard's top album sales chart, the highest ever for Parton in the chart's 32-year history (More) | Jennifer Lopez to release first new album in a decade Feb. 16  (More)

From our partners: Give the gift of adventure with an e-Bike. At Upway, you can buy e-Bikes from top brands like Aventon, Specialized, and Trek up to 60% off retail price. Just browse, buy, and wait for your brand-name e-Bike to roll up to your door within a week. Plus, every bike comes with technician approval & a 1-yr warranty. Upway's Bike Friday Sale is still on: Enjoy up to $1000 off on a selection of e-Bikes.

 

Science & Technology

> UK-based Oxford Quantum Circuits announces the world's first cloud-based quantum computing platform for use in commercial enterprise applications (More) | Quantum computing 101 (More)

> Researchers find a distinct set of stem cells in the adult mouse brain activated during pregnancy, which develop into olfactory neurons; may play a role in helping parents identify offspring by their scent (More)

> CRISPR-based cancer therapy shown to destroy certain repeating DNA sequences only present in cancer cells in lab study; may open avenue to treating glioblastoma, an aggressive type of brain cancer (More)

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close lower (S&P 500 -0.2%, Dow -0.2%, Nasdaq -0.1%) (More) | Chinese fast fashion e-commerce business Shein files for US initial public offering; company last valued at $66B (More)

> Amazon tops UPS and FedEx as the biggest delivery business in the US, on track to deliver 5.9 billion packages in 2023 (More) | Tesla sues Sweden after striking postal workers block deliveries of its license plates; Swedish court orders Sweden's transport authority to deliver the plates within seven days or pay a $95K fine (More)

> US home sales for newly constructed homes fall 5.6% month-over-month in October, but were up 17.7% year-over-year (More

 

Politics & World Affairs

> Nearly 2 million people left without power after Black Sea snowstorm batters southern Ukraine and Russia; at least four storm-related deaths have been reported (More) | At least 24 people killed after lightning and hailstorms strike western India's Gujarat state (More)

> Suspect who shot and injured three Palestinian American college students in Vermont over the weekend pleads not guilty to attempted murder charges; attack is being investigated as a possible hate crime (More)

> Jury selection begins in trial of two paramedics charged in 2019 death of Elijah McClain, 23, who died in a hospital days after being restrained by police officers and injected with a sedative overdose by paramedics (More

 

In-Depth

> The Most Valuable Color in the World

BBC | Zaria Gorvett. Tyrian purple was the most valuable color in the world for hundreds of years until its recipe vanished. Using ancient clues, one man embarked on a 16-year quest to resurrect this legendary dye. (Read)

 

> Thousands of Miles From Home

Atavist | Lily Hyde. The story of three Ukrainian women from two generations of the same family who all became pregnant a few weeks apart, before a war came between them. (Read)

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Etcetera
 

Merriam-Webster's word of the year is "authentic." 

 

White House unveils its 2023 holiday decorations, featuring 98 trees.

 

Sunday broke the US air travel record for busiest day ever.

 

Plan your stargazing with this nifty interactive calendar.

 

Some angler fish may spend their whole lives upside down.

 

Google will begin deleting inactive accounts this week.

 

Museum honoring LeBron James opens in Akron, Ohio.

 

Are Cookie Monster's cookies actually edible

 

Clickbait: The world's smallest nation has one permanent resident.

 

Historybook: American-born Lady Astor becomes first female member of the House of Commons (1919); Motown Records founder Berry Gordy born (1929); Basketball inventor James Naismith dies (1939); Comedian Jon Stewart born (1962); Margaret Thatcher resigns as prime minister of the UK (1990).

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