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Good morning. It's Friday, Dec. 1, and we're covering a lingering cease-fire, an advance for electric vehicles, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.


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Need To Know

Truce Extends Another Day

An extended cease-fire between Israel and Hamas that began over the weekend reached its seventh day Thursday, with Hamas releasing eight additional hostages in exchange for the release of 30 Palestinian prisoners by Israel. As of yesterday, the number of hostages released totaled 104, with more than 230 Palestinians released by Israel.


To date the majority of hostages released, captured during Hamas' initial Oct. 7 attack in southern Israel, have been women and children. Analysts have suggested the release of remaining hostages may require Israeli concessions beyond a general cease-fire—though that remains to be seen. 


Israel has said it will renew its offensive—now expected to turn toward southern Gaza (see map)—once the cease-fire ends. 


Detroit's Electric Road

The city of Detroit opened the country's first road capable of wirelessly charging

electric vehicles as they drive this week, a key step toward wider adoption of the technology. The quarter-mile demonstration project is meant to show the feasibility of wireless charging as a supplement to an eventual nationwide charging network for electric vehicles. 


The technology relies on magnetic resonance induction, similar to wireless charging for cellphones and other devices (and discovered by Nikola Tesla). Effectively, large copper coils placed under the road create a magnetic field, which induces an electric current in a receiver in the car as it drives through, thereby charging the battery (watch 101). The process is not harmful to humans. 


In the demonstration, the charging rate reportedly reached as high as 19 kW, a small percentage of the stored energy needed to power an average electric vehicle during regular use. 


Analysts say the enhanced roads may help address "range anxiety"—a concern of potential consumers worried electric vehicles can only travel limited distances.   


Russia Bans LGBTQ+ Movement

Russia's Supreme Court yesterday declared the international LGBTQ+ rights movement an extremist organization in the latest and most severe legal move against LGBTQ+ activism in the country.


The country's Justice Ministry accused the unnamed organizations of inciting social and religious discord. Critics fear the ruling could be used to persecute any LGBTQ+ person or organization, potentially leading to lengthy prison terms under the guise of "extremist" involvement. It remains unclear how the ruling will be enforced as the law bans a vaguely defined movement that does not formally exist; Russia's antiextremism laws are punishable by up to 12 years in prison.


This decision follows a series of restrictive laws against LGBTQ+ rights, including bans on propaganda and a ban earlier this year on transgender transitions. Russian President Vladimir Putin has made socially conservative values a core part of his campaign with elections in the spring and has portrayed such activism as something inherently Western.


In response, many independent Russian media organizations displayed the LGBTQ+ flag on their social media.

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In The Know

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture


> Shane MacGowan, frontman for iconic Irish punk band The Pogues, dies at 65 after encephalitis diagnosis (More)

> Sports Illustrated taps Colorado football coach Deion Sanders as its 2023 Sportsperson of the Year (More) | USC's Bronny James, son of LeBron James, cleared to return to basketball after suffering a cardiac arrest in July (More)

> Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo faces $1B class-action lawsuit over his promotion of NFTs (More) | 2023 NCAA Women's Soccer College Cup begins today; see preview and full schedule (More)


Science & Technology

In partnership with Autonomix

> International climate summit, COP28, begins in Dubai; delegates announce the creation of a climate disaster fund to help poorer nations mitigate and recover from extreme weather events (More)

> UK Biobank releases complete genomic sequences from a 500,000 volunteer cohort for study by researchers, the biggest set of genetic data from a single group ever made public (More)

> Engineers demonstrate tiny robots made of human cells—referred to as "anthrobots"—capable of repairing damaged neural tissue (More)

From our partners:  Micro medical breakthrough. Autonomix is creating a first-in-class diagnostic tool that’s no bigger than the head of a pin. Paired with a catheter, their microchip can detect nerve signals that correspond with a wide range of disorders like hypertension, pain, heart problems, and more. Invest in Autonomix before their planned Nasdaq listing.*


Business & Markets

> US stock markets close mixed (S&P 500 +0.4%, Dow +1.5%, Nasdaq -0.2%); Dow rallies to new high for the year, surpassing previous high in August (More) | US

consumer spending rises 0.2% in October, slowest increase since May and down from 0.7% rise in September (More

> Pharmaceutical giant AbbVie to buy biotech company ImmunoGen for $10.1B in deal expected to close in 2024; ImmunoGen develops cancer drugs (More) | Sam Altman returns as OpenAI CEO; Microsoft receives nonvoting board seat (More) | Tesla sets Cybertruck starting price at $61K with availability in 2025 (More)

> OPEC countries and oil-producing allies announce voluntary individual oil cuts totaling 2.2 million barrels per day for the first quarter of 2024; Saudi Arabia leads with announced cut of 1 million barrels per day (More)


Politics & World Affairs

> Vote to expel Rep. George Santos (R, NY-3) expected today, with as many as 90 Republicans likely to back the measure (More) | See previous write-up (More)

Atmospheric river expected to drop up to a foot of snow in some parts of the Pacific Northwest, with precipitation continuing throughout the weekend (More)

> New York appeals court reinstates partial gag order on former President Donald Trump over criticism of judge and court personnel involved in civil fraud trial; closing arguments set for Jan. 11 (More)



> How to Avoid World War

Economist | Zanny Beddoes. (Podcast) Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger gave this interview a few months before his death Wednesday at age 100, comparing contemporary geopolitics with decades past. (Listen)


> Explaining Xi Jinping's Rise to Power

Vox Atlas | Staff. From the impoverished son of a banished co-revolutionary of Mao to the most powerful Chinese leader in 50 years, Xi Jinping's ascent is a fascinating tale of ambition. (Watch)

> Dog Show Dramas

Vanity Fair | Mary Pilon. Flat-faced, stout-legged French bulldogs have ascended to such an elite status some can be bought for over six figures—but entrenched views over their varying color have generated rifts in the breeding community. (Read)


> Bigfoot Believers

Texas Monthly | Lauren Larson. Hundreds gathered at a Bigfoot conference this summer to hash out the latest plans to spot a specimen of the legendary creature— efforts hampered by growing mistrust of all media. (Read)

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Etcetera—Best of November 2023

Editor's note: More than 10 million monthly clicks can't be wrong. Here are the most popular stories we ran in November. Enjoy!


(11/13/23) California's third-largest city (by area) is pretty much empty


(11/3/23) Listen to the Beatles’ final song, "Now and Then."


(11/13/23) Pod of orcas takes down a yacht


(11/15/23) National Geographic unveils the year's best pictures


(11/6/23) The bestselling vehicle in all 50 states


(11/20/23) Where millennials are moving


(11/29/23) Compare your tipping behavior to the average American


(11/15/23) When a horse gets loose on a plane


(11/1/23) NASA captures image of ghostly cosmic hand


(11/15/23) US Air Force's new "flying wing" bomber takes first flight


(11/21/23) Why some people get red wine headaches


Clickbait: Toilet paper's secret power


Historybook: First moving assembly line introduced by Ford Motor Company (1913); Rosa Parks arrested in Alabama for refusing to give up her bus seat (1955); Author and activist James Baldwin dies (1987); World AIDS Day commemorated for first time (1988).

"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced."

- James Baldwin

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