Your Daily Brief

May 16th, 2023

Good morning, and happy Tuesday! We all lead busy lives, and 15 minutes may not seem like a lot of time, but we can make them go a long way. If you find yourself in need of a pick-me-up today, try out some of these 15 ways to recharge and come back feeling refreshed and more focused than before!

In Today’s Brief

  • Bakhmut: Ukraine claims gains
  • DeSantis: Defunds DEI programs
  • Archer: Ending after 14 seasons
  • Vice Media: Files for Chapter 11

...and more

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Top Tips

Runoff election in Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu are heading for a runoff on May 28th, according to an announcement from electoral officials in the country.

89% of Turkey’s eligible voters reportedly cast ballots. Preliminary results showed that Erdogan secured 49.5% of the vote, falling half a percentage point short of the majority required to clinch the election. Kilicdaroglu, who leads the opposition alliance, garnered 44.9%. Kilicdaroglu campaigned on promises to oversee constitutional reforms to restore a parliamentary system, reverse crackdowns on free speech, and repair the country’s economy, which is currently facing high inflation and currency devaluation.

Serving first as prime minister in 2003 and as president since 2014, Erdogan has been in power for 20 years. The election comes on the heels of a February earthquake that became the deadliest natural disaster in modern Turkey’s history and for which Erdogan’s government’s response faced criticism.

Video game merger

European Union regulators approved the deal for Microsoft to acquire video game maker Activision Blizzard for $68.7B weeks after UK regulators blocked it.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, said in its ruling that Microsoft offered adequate remedies in the area of cloud gaming to address antitrust concerns. Those remedies reportedly include allowing users to stream Activision games like Call of Duty that they purchase on any cloud streaming platform, not just Microsoft’s.

Microsoft announced its intent to acquire Activision Blizzard in January 2022 and still faces hurdles to secure regulatory approval. The company has until May 24th to appeal the decision in the UK, and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's case for blocking the deal is also pending. If the deal goes through, it would be the biggest of its kind that the video gaming industry has ever seen.

The underwater professor

An associate professor from the University of South Florida has broken the record for the longest time spent living underwater without any depressurization.

Joseph Dituri, 55, has spent 75 days living in Jules' Undersea Lodge at the bottom of a 30-foot-deep lagoon in Key Largo as of today and plans to stay for at least 100 days. The previous record of 73 days was set by two professors who also lived in the lodge in 2014. In a statement, Dituri said that his goal is “to inspire–not only for generations to come–but for scientists around the globe who study life undersea and how the human body functions when in extreme environments.”

Unlike a submarine, the lodge doesn’t use any technology to adjust for the increased pressure from being underwater. Dituri–who served in the Navy for 28 years–is teaching biomedical engineering classes online while he lives in the lagoon, per the University of South Florida.

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Quick Tips

Around the Globe

  • A Chinese court sentenced a U.S. citizen to life in prison on spying charges; John Shing-Wan Leung, 78, is reportedly a permanent resident of Hong Kong and was jailed yesterday (More)
  • Ukrainian forces made the first “significant” gains in Bakhmut in six months, according to a Telegram post from the country’s Commander of Ground Forces, Olexsandr Syrskyi (More)
  • ExxonMobil reaches a settlement with 11 Indonesian villagers from the Aceh province; the villagers have been at the center of a two-decade-long lawsuit alleging that they endured torture, sexual assault, and beatings by Indonesian soldiers contracted by ExxonMobil (More)

On the Homefront

  • Florida Governor DeSantis signed legislation that bans state funding for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs in the state’s universities (More)
  • Special counsel John Durham ended his four-year investigation into possible FBI misconduct in the agency’s probe of ties between Russia and former President Trump’s 2016 campaign, saying that the FBI’s probe lacked “analytical rigor” but brought forth no new indictments or evidence (More)
  • Tesla CEO and Twitter owner Elon Musk lost an appeal to limit a 2018 agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission that requires an attorney to review some of his tweets before he posts on the platform (More)

Glitz & Games

In partnership with Flaviar

  • Animated series ‘Archer’ will end with its upcoming 14th season at FXX; season 14 will reportedly debut on FXX on August 30th with two new episodes beginning at 10 PM ET/PT and will be available to stream the next day on Hulu (More)
  • John Daly withdrew from the PGA Championship due to an injury and was replaced in the field at Oak Hill Country Club by Germany’s Stephan Jaeger (More)
  • Jennifer Lopez’s film ‘The Mother’ was watched by 2.8M households in the U.S. over its debut weekend, according to data from Samba TV (More)

From our partners: Discover Fine Drinks from Craft to Big Brands – Founded in 2012, Flaviar is the world’s largest premium spirits club, with operations in the U.S. and Europe. If you enjoy the finer things and want to refine your palate, Flaviar offers a better way to experience the finest spirits from around the world.

Business & Markets

  • Major indexes in the stock market closed higher, with the Dow snapping a five-day losing streak (Dow +0.14%, Nasdaq +0.66%, S&P 500 +0.30%)
  • Digital media company Vice Media filed for Chapter 11 protection yesterday in New York federal court; founded in 1994 as a Montreal-based punk magazine, the company was valued at $5.7B in 2017 (More)
  • SpaceX hired NASA’s former head of human spaceflight Kathy Lueders, according to a statement from the company; Lueders will reportedly work out of SpaceX’s Starbase launch and rocket development facility in southeast Texas (More)

Tips & Tricks

  • Feel Good: Learn about Pivot, a nonprofit in Oklahoma that works to help homeless young adults find shelter in the state by offering tiny homes at a low rate and–as its name suggests–aims to be “a turning point for youth”
  • Speak Peek: Watch the official trailer for Lisa, an upcoming documentary about the life and death of Apple’s most pioneering computer that never was, featuring sabotage, hired goons, and a landfill in Utah
  • Stream On: Get ready to say “yes, chef” and return to TV’s most stressful kitchen; FX announced yesterday that the hit Hulu series The Bear is returning with season 2 on June 22nd  
  • Bump This: James Arthur relies on a fingerpicked acoustic guitar, strings, and his lower register in his poignant new single “A Year Ago” - listen on Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube
  • Chow Down: You’ve heard of overnight oats and instant oatmeal…but have you considered baked oatmeal for breakfast or a snack? Check out this recipe for baked blueberry oatmeal that tastes best with whole-rolled oats and doesn’t require any special equipment to whip up
  • Nerd Out: Read up on the history of how our planet became breathable during the “Great Oxygenation Event,” which occurred around 2.4B years ago and was one of Earth’s biggest transformations; before it, there was practically no oxygen in the atmosphere, and after it, there was!
  • Life Hack: Taking a lunch break helps relieve pressures from work and has some surprising benefits for both mental and physical health, but one 2022 survey shows that as many as 40% of people opt to skip them - here are six reasons to take a lunch break and block off that time in your daily calendar


See a list of America’s most spoiled dog breeds.

…and the Montreal dog park that bans barking.

Examining how long Americans keep their cars.

An unearthed video of teens discussing 1950s fads.

After the CNN Town Hall, Trump’s first interview.

One Hawaii kayaker’s close call with a tiger shark.

A simple look at what’s happening with the debt ceiling.

Discover what you can do to restore quality to our soil.

Looking Back…

On May 16th: Pope Benedict XV canonizes Joan of Arc as a saint (1920); the military seizes power in South Korea, overthrowing the Second Republic (1961); The Beach Boys release their album Pet Sounds (1966); actor Henry Fonda is born (1905).

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Question of the Day

Would you rather spend 100 days living in space or underwater?



Yesterday's Results

Which adventure would you rather embark on?

Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (92%)

Summiting Mount Everest (8%)

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