Your Daily Brief

November 21st, 2023

Good morning, and happy Tuesday! It seems counterintuitive, given the popularity of at-home shopping and the rise in contactless payment methods sparked by the pandemic, but the Federal Reserve printed a record number of $50 bills last year. The reason? It has found Americans are carrying more cash now than in recent years. A prevalence of bigger bills helps maintain the supply of smaller ones in circulation. Have a great day!

In Today’s Brief

  • Trump: Gag order likely to remain
  • Gaza: Conflict outside another hospital
  • Shakira: Settles tax case in Spain
  • Gas: Prices nearing three-year low

... and more

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Top Tips

Thanksgiving travel mayhem is possible

Record crowds and severe weather could create a wild Thanksgiving travel week nationwide.

  • The forecast: The southeast will experience thunderstorms today with strong winds and potential tornado risk. Heavy rains should carry up the coast into the Mid-Atlantic region, although flooding is unlikely. Gusty winds are expected in the Northeast with a wintry mix emerging in the parts of Pennsylvania and New York and carrying into New England as the week progresses. Wet conditions should continue across the East Coast on Wednesday. Thanksgiving Day should be clear, but bad weather could resume this weekend.
  • Record crowds: The Transportation Security Administration projected the busiest travel season ever last week, with the Thanksgiving window opening last Friday and continuing through next Tuesday. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has already criticized Republican lawmakers for funding cuts that could impact federal agencies' effectiveness.
  • Worth monitoring: American Airlines flight attendants have asked for federal approval to go on strike, potentially during December's holiday rush. Southwest Airlines pilots have also moved toward a potential strike in recent days.

AI company drama continues

Ousted OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has agreed to join Microsoft as his former employees are threatening to quit in protest.

  • The latest: Microsoft hired Altman to be the CEO of a new artificial intelligence group after he was fired by his old company's board last week. Microsoft is the biggest stakeholder in OpenAI, which launched ChatGPT. Former OpenAI president Greg Brockman will join Altman at Microsoft. Twitch co-founder Emmett Shear is OpenAI's new interim CEO.
  • The revolt: Almost all OpenAI employees have threatened to quit in an open letter, demanding Altman's reinstatement and resignations from the company's board members. Despite his deal with Microsoft, Altman is still reportedly open to returning.
  • Markets respond: Microsoft's stock jumped over 2% after it announced Altman would join the company, closing at an all-time high. The rally helped all three major indexes close higher as Wall Street enjoyed another day of gains.

Recommended Reading!

10 years worth of tech news happened in the last 3 days … and this section just scratches the surface of what’s going on with OpenAI, Microsoft, and the complete upheaval in the world of AI.

If you like newsletters (it appears you do!), we recommend subscribing to Techpresso — there’s no cost, and it’s very similar to Tip News, only it keeps you up-to-date on the biggest stories in tech. One of the best newsletters out there, and a friend of Tip. You can click this link right here to subscribe instantly.

Biden's birthday renews focus on age

President Joe Biden turned 81 yesterday, drawing more attention to his age ahead of next year's election.

  • In history: Biden is already the oldest president ever by several years. Former President Ronald Reagan was 77 when he left office. And former President Donald Trump, considered Biden's most likely general election opponent in 2024, is 77. Biden would be 86 at the end of a complete second term.
  • Good humor: Biden cracked wise about his age at the annual Thanksgiving turkey pardon ceremony, joking he was not around when the first one occurred 76 years ago. He has also sought to use his experience as an advantage.
  • Strategy reports: Aides are said to have suggested Biden take steps to avoid calling attention to his age in preparation for his reelection campaign. He has reportedly been advised to shorten any walks he makes on camera and to wear comfortable footwear to reduce the risk of a fall.
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Quick Tips

U.S. News

  • A Washington appeals court seemed inclined to restore a gag order against former President Trump in his federal election interference case. But the three-judge panel could narrow the order and allow Trump to more directly criticize special counsel Jack Smith and prosecutors (More)
  • The White House condemned businessman Elon Musk for alleged antisemitic rhetoric on X. But an official said there is no plan to end government contracts with Musk's Starlink and SpaceX (More)
  • The Supreme Court will not hear an appeal from Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted in the 2020 murder of George Floyd. Chauvin, who received a 22-year sentence, argued he was denied a fair trial (More)

World News

  • Fighting broke out near another Gaza hospital as Israel continued its offensive against Hamas. Israel said it was fired upon by militants inside the Indonesian Hospital and it did not fire directly on the facility (More)
  • An inquiry witness alleged UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak advocated for the government to let people die rather than institute a second COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. Sunak, who was foreign minister at the time, said he will respond when he testifies (More)
  • North Korea told Japan it will attempt launch a spy satellite as soon as tomorrow. This would be the nation's third try despite warnings from rival South Korea. (More)

Entertainment & Sports

  • Shakira settled with prosecutors in Spain a day before her tax evasion trial was scheduled to begin. The singer maintained her innocence, but will pay a $7.5M fine and avoid the prospect of an eight-year prison sentence and $26M fine (More)
  • TGL, a mixed-reality golf league led by Tiger Woods and Rory McElroy, will delay its launch until 2025 after the venture’s Florida-based arena suffered significant damage following a power outage. Players will compete on a virtual course and take actual strokes from short range (More)
  • Live Nation and Ticketmaster have been subpoenaed by a U.S. Senate panel for documents related to ticket pricing and fees and secondary sales. Legislators have been investigating since outcry over ticketing for Taylor Swift's current tour (More)

Business & Markets

  • Major indexes closed higher yesterday, with the Nasdaq leading the gains (Dow +0.58%, Nasdaq +1.13%, S&P 500 +0.74%)
  • Gas prices have fallen nationally for the last nine weeks and experts believe a gallon could be at its lowest on Thanksgiving since 2020 later this week. Gas has dropped below $3 in several southern states (More)
  • The United Auto Workers union is expected to focus on efforts to organize workers at Tesla and foreign-owned automakers following its new deal with the major U.S. manufacturers. Honda, Hyundai and Toyota have already committed to wage increases (More)

Tips & Tricks

  • Feel Good: A group of women at a Dallas-area senior living community have harnessed their hobby for good causes. Known as the Knit Wits, they make homemade caps for infants in a local hospital’s pediatric cardiology wing. They have also knitted caps, scarves and toys for children in Ukraine.
  • Be Safe: A listeria outbreak has reached seven states and caused one death so far, leading to fruit recalls. Nectarines, peaches and plums sold over the last seven months at stores such as Publix and Walmart are included in the recall.
  • Go Deep: Lab-grown meat – cultivated by scientists using animal cells – has the potential to deliver significant economic, ecological and ethical benefits, but production costs remain high. Over 100 startup companies worldwide are striving to build an industry capable of replacing traditional agriculture.
  • Pretty Penny: A rare bottle of scotch whiskey sold for $2.7M at auction last weekend, setting a new industry record. Only 40 bottles of The Macallan Adami 1926 were bottled in 1986 after aging for 60 years in sherry casks.
  • Sneak Peek: It is not a trailer, but it is still quite the sight – Empire Magazine has published a photo of Eddie Murphy playing arguably his most iconic role, Axel Foley, in Netflix’s upcoming film Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Foley. It will be the fourth installment in the comedy series and the first in 30 years.
  • Swan Song: CBS announced yesterday its long-running primetime series Blue Bloods will end after its upcoming 14th season. Tom Selleck stars in the drama about a family of New York City police officers.
  • Life Hack: The holiday season brings a parade of social events, and that can be a challenge for those who are struggling in regards to their relationship with alcohol. A former bartender has some advice on how to implement mindful drinking in a sustainable manner that delivers real results.


A look at this year's most bizarre fashion trends and styles.

An explainer about why people are getting semicolon tattoos.

... and someone finally got to reporting a Nick Adams profile.

Data says millennials are moving to these cities in big numbers.

Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund is forming a UFC rival.

Is it feasible for Argentina to dump the peso for the U.S. dollar?

Prince Harry and his family will not be going home for Christmas.

... while Snoop Dogg did not make a significant lifestyle change.

Looking Ahead ...

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Question of the Day

How are you traveling for Thanksgiving?

Driving or staying home

Flying or taking a train

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I see the highlights in the morning, if at all (91%)

I tune in every night (9%)

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