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Good morning. It's Monday, Nov. 28, and we're covering anti-lockdown protests in China, the remembrance of a Ukrainian tragedy, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.


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Need To Know

China Protests

Protests against pandemic lockdowns grew across China over the weekend in light of a deadly Friday blaze in Urumqi, a city in the Xinjiang province in the northwest. Ten residents died when an apartment under lockdown caught fire, with protesters claiming lockdown measures hampered rescue efforts.


Demonstrations involving hundreds took place in at least eight cities—including Beijing and Shanghai—and dozens of universities, where gatherings to mourn the fire victims turned into protests of China's restrictive coronavirus policies. Some protesters even called on President Xi Jinping to step down. China's "zero-COVID" approach—which requires stringent lockdowns in response to an outbreak in cases—has led to periods of social isolation and economic slowdown. Officially reported cases reached an all-time high near 40,000 Saturday.


The upheaval comes a month after the 20th National Congress extended Xi Jinping's reign into a third five-year term, where Xi doubled down on the nation's zero-COVID approach. 


Holodomor Remembrance Day

Ukraine over the weekend marked the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor—a severe human-made famine that ravaged the country between 1932 and 1933, killing as many as 5 million people. The causes have been variously attributed to Soviet dictator Josef Stalin seeking to blunt a burgeoning Ukrainian independence movement and agricultural mismanagement by the centralized Soviet Union government. The tragedy has taken on renewed significance amid Russia's current invasion of Ukraine; learn more about the Holodomor here (w/video).


Meanwhile, officials in the capital of Kyiv said power had largely been restored following a Wednesday barrage of Russian missile and drone strikes targeting energy infrastructure. The attacks came as snow fell and temperatures dropped below freezing across most of the country. Reports suggest the winter weather has slowed on-the-ground operations on both sides. 


In the country's south, Russian forces continued to shell Kherson, the strategic port city it occupied since March but recently abandoned in the face of a Ukrainian counteroffensive. See updates on the war here.


Succession Rumors in North Korea

The 10-year-old daughter of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made her second-ever public appearance over the weekend, sparking rumors over her potential future in the country's male-dominated leadership hierarchy. Her appearance, the first of which came earlier in the month, makes her the first to be publicly confirmed as one of Kim's children. 


Named Ju Ae, she is believed to be Kim's middle child, with an older brother aged around 12 and a younger sister around 5 years old. Her abrupt debut has left international observers speculating about the status of Kim's supposed eldest child, a boy who has never been revealed in public. Fueling further speculation, she was introduced with honorifics describing her as her father's "most beloved" and "precious" child. The tightly scripted events come a year after Kim supposedly suffered undisclosed health problems, though those reports have been disputed


Explore Kim's mysterious family tree here.

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In The Know

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with DUER

> USA-England World Cup 0-0 draw hauls in 15.3 million US viewers, a record for a men's soccer match (More) | See today's schedule (More) | ... and latest standings (More)

> Disney's "Strange World" set to lose $100M+ at box office after bringing in just $18M in debut holiday weekend (More) | An estimated 42 million viewers tune in to Thanksgiving's Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants matchup, the most-watched regular season NFL game ever (More)

> Irene Cara, Oscar- and Grammy-winning singer and actress known for "Fame" and "Flashdance," dies at 63 (More)

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Science & Technology

> Twitter CEO Elon Musk says the platform saw record new user signups in the week ending Nov. 16, with more than 2 million users added per day (More) | Will roll out revamped check mark verification system as soon as Friday (More)

> US regulators unanimously vote to ban new telecommunications and surveillance equipment from five Chinese companies, including Huawei and ZTE, on national security grounds (More)

> Fossil discovery may represent the oldest-known brain structure ever discovered; 525-million-year-old specimen resolves century-long debate over neurological development in early sea creatures (More)


Business & Markets

> US stock markets close mixed Friday (S&P 500 -0.03%, Dow +0.5%, Nasdaq -0.5%) but end the holiday-shortened week higher (More)

> Black Friday shoppers spent a record $9.1B online this year, up 2% over last year; analysts expect shoppers to spend $11B today for Cyber Monday (More)

> Chevron receives limited authorization license from US government to resume pumping oil from Venezuela after country agrees to implement $3B humanitarian relief program (More)


Politics & World Affairs

> More than 3,000 US flights delayed amid busy Thanksgiving travel season (More) | Nearly 55 million Americans estimated to have traveled at least 50 miles for Thanksgiving, 98% of prepandemic level (More)

> Kanye West announces 2024 presidential bid just weeks after being cut by sponsors Adidas, GAP for antisemitic remarks (More) | Former President Donald Trump blames West for bringing alleged white supremacist to dinner without his knowledge (More)

> Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen to resign as head of governing party after local election losses, will complete presidential term (More) | Five dead, nine missing after landslides on Italian island of Ischia Saturday (More

Powered by Science


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How to test if we're living in a simulation


Clickbait: Fighting for the right to be boring


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).

"The world has to change to fit you. And if you stick to your principles, values, and morals long enough, it will."

- Berry Gordy

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