Your Daily Brief

November 28, 2023

Good morning and happy Tuesday! If you check your luggage while flying, there is a 99.5% chance it will safely be returned to you. As for the bags that fall through the cracks? Travelers are eventually reimbursed, and then their lost possessions likely end up in Scottsboro, Alabama. The Unclaimed Baggage store has been buying lost luggage from airlines (and bus and train providers) since the 1970s and then selling the goods at steep discounts. They even had a space shuttle camera come through once (they did give that back to NASA, though).

In Today’s Brief

  • Congress: Back in session today
  • New Zealand: Drops smoking ban
  • Olympics: Historic 2030 bid by Swiss
  • Disney: Bob Iger holding town hall

... and more

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Top Tips

Israel-Hamas truce extended

Israel and Hamas have agreed to extend a temporary war pause for two more days.

  • The agreement: The truce, originally scheduled to end yesterday, will go through tomorrow. The amended deal, again brokered by Qatar, was struck when Hamas agreed to the Israeli demand to release 10 hostages for each additional day.
  • Monday’s releases: Eleven more hostages were freed by Hamas while Israel returned 33 Palestinian prisoners. Hamas turned over 69 hostages during the initial four-day truce, primarily women and children. Israel has released 150 prisoners, mainly women and children. There are still about 170 hostages remaining, but Hamas does not hold all of them.
  • Still waiting: The U.S. has said it expects two American women to be released during the truce, but they have not yet been freed. The White House expressed optimism the women would be released today or tomorrow. There are nine American hostages remaining. A four-year-old girl with dual American and Israeli citizenship was released Sunday, the first American hostage freed.

NATO meeting on tap

NATO’s foreign ministers, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, will open a conference today in Brussels.

  • Top of the agenda: The meeting, the first since Israel’s war with Hamas began, will renew the alliance’s commitment to supporting Ukraine’s defense in its war against Russia. The NATO-Ukraine Council will meet at the minister level for the first time; the body was established to improve cooperation and prepare Ukraine to join the bloc eventually.
  • More Ukraine: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he believes Ukraine will join the coalition once its war with Russia is over, subject to reforms. The U.S. denied reports it and Germany are pressing the Ukrainians to open negotiations with Moscow.
  • Other matters: Sweden’s NATO ascension will not be approved due to continued resistance from Hungary and Turkey. Troop increases in the Western Balkans will also be discussed amid growing tensions between Serbia and Kosovo.

Vermont shooting suspect arrested

Burlington, Vermont, police have arrested a man suspected of shooting three college students of Palestinian descent.

  • Suspect named: Jason J. Eaton, 48, was arrested late Sunday night. He has pleaded not guilty to three second-degree murder charges and is being held without bail. ATF agents found a pistol and ammunition in his apartment.
  • Victims hospitalized: Kinnan Abdalhamid, a student at Pennsylvania’s Haverford College, Tahseen Ali Ahmad, a student at Trinity College in Connecticut, and Hisham Awartani, a student at Brown, all remain hospitalized. Abdalhamid was shot in his backside, Ali Ahmad in his chest and Awartani was shot in the spine. They were headed to a holiday gathering at the time of the incident.
  • Bias crime investigation: Two of the victims were wearing kaffiyehs at the time of the shooting, according to police. Eaton has not been charged with a hate crime, no information about an alleged motive has been released and President Joe Biden stopped short of calling the incident an alleged hate crime. But Attorney General Merrick Garland confirmed the FBI is investigating whether it was one.
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Quick Tips

U.S. News

  • The House and Senate return to work today after adjourning for Thanksgiving. Among the top priorities for lawmakers over the next few weeks: Funding for Israel, Ukraine and border security and New York Rep. George Santos’ potential expulsion (More)
  • Former President Jimmy Carter is expected to attend his late wife Rosalynn’s memorial service today in Atlanta. Carter, 99, last made a public appearance in September (More)
  • A failed wheel bearing on a train car is to blame for a derailment in Kentucky last week. The accident caused a chemical fire and forced evacuations over Thanksgiving (More)

World News

  • New Zealand has scrapped plans for a world-first generational smoking ban in order to fund tax cuts. The proposal, which would have made it illegal for people born after January 2009 to ever buy cigarettes (More)
  • The leader of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's political party said Russia offered to end its invasion if Ukraine agreed to end its bid to join NATO. The proposal is said to have occurred last spring (More)
  • Iceland is still bracing for a volcanic eruption experts say could happen at any time. But seismic activity has decreased in recent days (More)

Entertainment & Sports

  • Switzerland will bid to host the 2030 Winter Olympics with a $1.6B price tag, which would be the cheapest in history when adjusted for inflation. The bid also calls for the entire country to be used to host events (More)
  • Taylor Swift announced her Eras Tour concert film will become available on streaming platforms on Dec. 13, her 34th birthday. The extended version will include three songs not seen in theaters (More)
  • The Carolina Panthers fired head coach Frank Reich yesterday after just 11 games. It is the shortest tenure for an NFL coach in 45 years (More)

Business & Markets

  • Major indexes all closed lower yesterday, starting slow as they bid to extend a current four-week hot streak (Dow -0.16%, Nasdaq -0.07%, S&P 500 -0.20%).
  • Disney CEO Bob Iger will hold a town hall meeting with employees today. Hot topics may include the company’s production studios and theme parks, streaming plans and the future of ESPN (More)
  • New home sales saw a 5.6% MoM decline in October, falling more than expected as mortgage rates spiked. But sales remain up 17.7% YoY (More)

Tips & Tricks

  • Feel Good: Alexandria Cowheard learned CPR as a senior in high school. Four years later, she put her skill to good use, springing from her post manning the drive-through window at a Wendy's in Kentucky to save a customer who had collapsed in the parking lot.
  • Be Smart: Ear-cleaning devices and techniques have become popular, especially on social media. But doctors say you should stay away because our ears are designed to clean themselves, and that pesky earwax is a sign things are working as they should.
  • Don't Forget: If you have an old Gmail account that you have not used in a while, make sure you check on it. Google will be deleting inactive accounts, and any content associated with it, starting on Friday.
  • Lucky Find: A British couple was going through their house with an antiques expert when they made a remarkable discovery: An old cup in their garage was actually a relic made out of a rhinoceros horn during China’s Qing Dynasty. The 17th-century mug will be auctioned off Thursday.
  • Go Deep: In Louisiana, a student can get a high school diploma for under $500 and never have to attend a single class. This fascinating Associated Press investigation examines how nearly 9,000 unapproved schools in the state can grant degrees without meeting state guidelines.
  • Sneak Peek: Comedian Ricky Gervais announced his Armageddon stand-up show will premiere on Netflix on Christmas Day. The streaming service has released a trailer.
  • Life Hack: Candles provide many benefits at this time of year – atmosphere, fragrance and warmth, to name a few. But too many things can go wrong when there is an open flame involved. That is why many people are using warmers to enjoy their candles without fretting about fire.


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Merriam-Webster's 2023 word of the year is ... authentic.

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North and South Korea have a new common foe: Hair loss.

Stephen Colbert is on the mend after a ruptured appendix.

Looking Ahead ...

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe will hold meetings in North Macedonia starting Thursday following the NATO summit. Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, has pledged to attend if Bulgaria will allow his plane to pass through its airspace en route. Russia said there will be no meeting with U.S. officials, but that other Western countries have requested to speak to Lavrov.

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Question of the Day

What should be the top Congressional priority for the rest of 2024?

Funding for Israel, Ukraine and the border

Beginning work to avoid a shutdown in January

Yesterday's Results

Would you like to see a Barbie sequel?

No (93%)

Yes (7%)

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