Your Daily Brief

April 28th, 2023

Good morning, and happy Friday! On the other side of the world, Ya Ya the giant panda landed in Shanghai after departing from the Memphis Zoo in Tennessee, where she spent the last two decades as part of an agreement beween the U.S. and China. Have you ever seen giant pandas in real life? If so, reply to this email and tell us about your experience!

In Today’s Brief

  • Vatican: Women to vote at bishops’ meeting
  • Kansas: Bathroom bill veto overturned
  • Dodgeball: Sequel in development
  • Samsung: Profits fall by 95%

...and more

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Q1 GDP report

U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annualized rate of 1.1% in Q1 of this year, a slower pace than the previous two quarters.

Q3 and Q4 of 2022 saw annualized economic growth of 2.9% and 3.2%, respectively. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, this quarter’s slowdown was attributed mostly to wholesale trade and manufacturing, with companies cutting back on equipment. Meanwhile, consumer spending–which accounts for about 70% of U.S. economic activity–grew at a 3.7% pace in Q1 compared to the same period last year, marking the fastest growth rate in nearly two years.

Yesterday’s report comes two weeks after the Federal Reserve wrote that it predicts a “mild recession” this year. While the Fed has imposed nine consecutive rate hikes, U.S. inflation as measured by the consumer price index rose by 5% in March compared to last year and 0.1% from the month before.

Jerry Springer dies

Jerry Springer, the former news anchor and mayor of Cincinnati who went on to host a daytime talk show bearing his name, passed away yesterday at his home in the Chicago suburbs. He was 79.

A family spokesperson said that Springer was battling a “brief illness” which, according to some sources, was pancreatic cancer that was diagnosed a few months ago. Before TV, Springer ran an unsuccessful campaign for U.S. Congress in 1970, got elected to Cincinnati’s City Council in 1971, and became the city’s mayor in 1977. He served one term. In 1991, The Jerry Springer Show began its multi-decade run. At the height of its popularity in 1998, it beat The Oprah Winfrey Show in terms of ratings, drawing 12M viewers. After more than 4K episodes, the show ended in 2018.

Springer is survived by his wife, Micki Velton, whom he married in 1973, and a daughter, Katie.

Iran seizes oil tanker

Iran’s navy reportedly seized an oil tanker destined for the U.S. yesterday in international waters.

The U.S. Navy said Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps took control of a Marshall Islands-flagged tanker which it identified as the Advantage Sweet. According to satellite tracking data, the tanker was in the Gulf of Oman, north of Oman’s capital Muscat, yesterday afternoon. At the time of its seizure, the tanker had just left Kuwait and was traveling through the Strait of Hormuz, where a fifth of the world’s traded oil passes. Its destination was reportedly listed as Houston, Texas.

In a statement, the U.S. Navy’s Mideast-based 5th Fleet called Iran’s actions “contrary to international law” and called for Iran to “immediately release the oil tanker.” The 5th Fleet added that the Advantage Sweet was at least the fifth commercial vessel Tehran has unlawfully seized in the last two years.

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Around the Globe

  • Thai police arrested and charged a woman for allegedly poisoning over a dozen of her friends and acquaintances with cyanide (More)
  • Pope Francis will allow women to vote at an upcoming meeting of bishops for the first time in Vatican history; the changes apply to the norms governing the Synod of Bishops, a Vatican body that gathers the world’s bishops together for periodic meetings (More)
  • A missing yacht with three Russians & two Egyptians on board reached safety in Djibouti; the yacht went missing for days following an attack off the coast of Yemen, according to its owner (More)

On the Homefront

  • The Kansas State Legislature obtained a supermajority vote to overturn Governor Laura Kelly’s veto of a bill that requires Kansans to use public restrooms that correspond to their sex (More)
  • A train derailed in southwest Wisconsin and some cars landed in the Mississippi River, according to local reports; authorities haven’t confirmed what the train was carrying and haven’t said whether there were any injuries or fatalities (More)
  • Carolyn Bryant Donham, the woman whose accusation led to the 1955 lynching of Emmett Till in Mississippi, died at age 88 in Louisiana, per the Calcasieu Parish coroner’s office (More)

Glitz & Games

In partnership with Earth Conscious Life

  • Meta is shutting down Facebook Watch original programming, home to series such as Red Table Talk co-hosted by Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, and Adrienne Banfield-Norris (More)
  • Ex-UFC fighter Nate Diaz turned himself in to New Orleans Police and was booked on a charge of felony second-degree battery; Diaz was issued an arrest warrant Monday stemming from a street brawl last weekend (More)
  • 20th Century Studios is developing a ‘Dodgeball’ sequel, with Vince Vaughn set to return and Jordan VanDina attached to write the script (More)

From our partners: The Need to GROW — Our soil is losing quality, stripping our food of vital nutrients and leading to an increase in diseases and skyrocketing food prices. In these tough times, the world needs grounded hope more than ever…and The Need To GROW is a powerful film that offers just that. Click here to watch the film and discover how you can be part of the solution.

Business & Markets

  • Major indexes in the stock market closed higher, fueled by increases in tech names such as Meta (Dow +1.57%, Nasdaq +2.43%, S&P 500 +1.96%)
  • Cloud storage company Dropbox lays off 500 employees, a figure representing about 16% of its workforce, according to a memo sent to employees by CEO Drew Houston (More)
  • Samsung reported that its quarterly operating profit dropped by 95% to reach its lowest level since Q1 2009; the drop was reportedly caused by falling prices for its memory chips and weak demand (More)

Tips & Tricks

  • Feel Good: Meet Dennis Maliq Barnes, a 16-year-old high school senior graduating two years early who has been offered admission at more than 170 colleges and more than $9M in scholarships
  • Sneak Peek: Watch Optimus Prime’s arch-enemy Unicron descend on Earth in the middle of 1994 in the official trailer for Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, due out in theaters on June 9th
  • Bump This: Drift off into your daydreams with the epic instrumental “True Nature” from Mexican acoustic guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela - listen on Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube
  • Nerd Out: Read up on how astronomers have come across an extremely hot exoplanet named KELT-9, which is 670 light years away from Earth, and discovered the element Terbium…which has never before been found in any exoplanet’s atmosphere
  • Go Deep: The U.S. and South Korea entered into a joint defense declaration which includes plans to have U.S. nuclear-armed submarines dock in South Korea for the first time in over 40 years - learn what’s in the Washington Declaration and why it matters
  • Hot Goss: The manhunt for former skateboarder and reality TV personality Bam Margera is over; the Jackass alum surrendered to authorities yesterday morning
  • Life Hack: If you want to develop leaner muscle and get stronger, you should know which muscle groups to exercise at the same time for the best results - here are the major muscle groups to work out together and some basic exercises to get you started


In case you missed night one, more on the NFL Draft.

Visualizing the growing intelligence of ChatGPT.

What Spain is like right now during a record heatwave.

…and what it’s actually like to climb Mount Everest.

Mattel releases its first Barbie doll with Down syndrome.

Watch Tucker Carlson’s first statement since leaving Fox.

…and what to know about his & Don Lemon’s lawyer.

A West Texas town unveils a 3D-printed neighborhood.

Looking Back…

On April 28th: Muhammad Ali refuses induction into the U.S. Army at the height of the Vietnam War (1967); outlaw Billy the Kid escapes from prison in Mesilla, New Mexico (1881); Apple launches the iTunes Store, giving users the ability to purchase and download music from the Internet (2003); novelist Harper Lee is born (1926).

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Question of the Day

Which daytime talk show did you prefer watching?

The Jerry Springer Show

The Oprah Winfrey Show

Yesterday's Results

Do you think Disney should have less power in Florida?

Yes (63%)

No (37%)

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