Your Daily Brief

November 29, 2023

Good morning and happy Wednesday! Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban is making big moves. First, he announces he plans to leave ABC's Shark Tank after one more season. And then he agrees to sell the majority of his NBA team, the Dallas Mavericks, to the Adelson family at a reported $3.5B valuation while maintaining shares and full basketball control. Cuban has expressed political ambition before, so presidential candidacy speculation has begun. Or it could just be business. Stay tuned.

In Today’s Brief

  • U.S. House: Santos expulsion vote coming
  • India: Workers rescued from tunnel
  • Tiger Woods: Back in action tomorrow
  • Charlie Munger: Investor dies at 99

... and more

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Top Tips

Haley endorsed by top GOP donor

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley has received the endorsement of billionaire donor Charles Koch and his political network.

  • What it means: Koch’s support is a significant boost for the former South Carolina governor’s ascendant campaign. Haley, who served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations under former President Donald Trump, has surged in recent polls. An Emerson College poll released yesterday had her second in the nationwide GOP race behind Trump, albeit trailing the frontrunner by a wide margin.
  • Big bucks: Koch’s endorsement triggered a multi-million ad spend by AFP Action, his political advocacy arm, on behalf of Haley in early voting states, including Iowa. Haley now has access to Koch’s vast grassroots network and deep pockets as she aims to overtake Trump.
  • DeSantis impact: Koch’s decision is a blow to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who enjoyed the donor’s support during his reelection campaign. DeSantis’ pitch as the best alternative to Trump now likely hinges on a strong showing in the Iowa Caucuses, the first primary contest. DeSantis leads Haley in most Iowa polls but still trails Trump considerably.

Israel-Hamas truce may end today

Hamas freed 12 hostages and Israel released 30 prisoners on the fifth day of a temporary truce in the Gaza war.

  • Total numbers: Hamas has released 81 hostages and Israel has turned over 180 Palestinian prisoners -- primarily women and children on both sides -- so far. Today is the final day of the current truce agreement; Hamas has agreed to release at least 10 more hostages today.
  • Waiting game: Hamas did not release any American hostages yesterday. Only one American -- a four-year-old girl with dual U.S. and Israeli citizenship -- has been freed in the first five waves. The White House continued to express optimism that more Americans will be released soon and said there is no indication Hamas is purposely holding onto Americans. Nine more American hostages are believed to be in captivity.
  • Another extension? There was an armed skirmish in northern Gaza yesterday. Both sides accused the other of a truce violation, but the incident did not escalate. Qatar and the U.S. are pushing for a second extension to the pause and Hamas has indicated interest. Israel reiterated it will continue its offensive once the truce ends.

Hunter Biden pitches public testimony

President Joe Biden's son, Hunter, wants to testify publicly before a House committee investigating his father.

  • Biden's proposal: The House Oversight Committee subpoenaed Biden and his uncle, James Biden, and others last month as part of an impeachment inquiry into President Biden and the family's foreign business dealings. The subpoena was for a closed-door deposition, but Hunter Biden's attorney, Abbe Lowell, requested a public hearing in a letter to committee chairman and Kentucky Rep. James Comer.
  • The reasoning: Lowell wrote Comer that Biden feels the committee has used closed-door sessions "to manipulate, even distort the facts and misinform the public," and he wants to testify in public on Dec. 13. Comer rejected the request, saying he expects Biden to sit for a deposition and that he can publicly testify later. Democrats, who have said the investigation is political, criticized House Republicans for objecting to the request.
  • The process: James Biden is expected to sit for a deposition, as are other Biden associates. Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, a committee member, has said he hopes to have interviews done by the end of the year. A decision on whether to draw articles of impeachment would then come next year.
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Quick Tips

U.S. News

  • California Rep. Daniel Garcia filed a privileged resolution to expel scandal-plagued New York Rep. George Santos. House leaders must schedule a vote within two legislative days; Santos, who faces federal charges, has said he expects to be removed (More)
  • Former Vice President Mike Pence briefly considered skipping the Electoral College certification on Jan. 6, 2021, according to notes obtained from the National Archives by special counsel Jack Smith. But Pence ultimately decided to attend and told federal prosecutors in former President Donald Trump's election interference case he was sure he him he had lost the election (More)
  • Former President Jimmy Carter attended the memorial service of his late wife, Rosalynn, in Atlanta. The ceremony was attended by President Biden and first lady Jill Biden; Vice President Kamala Harris, former President Bill Clinton and former first ladies Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama and Melania Trump were also there. (More)

World News

  • Forty-one workers were rescued from a partially-collapsed highway tunnel in India yesterday after being trapped for 17 days. Miners dug the men out by hand after several failed rescue attempts (More)
  • Pope Francis has canceled a trip to a climate change conference in Dubai due to illness. But the Holy See Press Office says he will still hold his weekly public audience today and keep other scheduled meetings in Rome (More)
  • The wife of Ukraine’s top spy has been hospitalized after an apparent poisoning. Ukraine said her food was laced with “heavy metals” and an official said it appeared to be a purposeful act, but no public accusations have been made yet (More)

Entertainment & Sports

  • Tiger Woods will enter his first competitive event in almost eight months starting Thursday at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. Woods said he is pain-free after several surgeries and hopes to play one tournament each month in 2024 (More)
  • Tiffany Haddish said she will “get some help” after her second DUI arrest in two years. The actress and comedian fell asleep behind the wheel last week in Los Angeles after performing at The Laugh Factory comedy club (More)
  • Paris will double the cost of public transportation when it hosts the Summer Olympics next summer. Officials said residents who have passes will be protected from rate hikes and costs will go down after the event (More)

Business & Markets

  • Major indexes closed higher yesterday, bouncing back after being in the red on Monday amid hopes the Federal Reserve is done raising interest rates (Dow +0.24%, Nasdaq +0.29%, S&P 500 +0.10%).
  • Billionaire investor Charlie Munger, who was Warren Buffett’s closest partner at Berkshire Hathaway, died yesterday at 99. Munger advocated simplicity in investment strategy and was a heralded philanthropist (More)
  • Disney CEO Bob Iger said he wants to invest $60B in the next decade to expand the company’s theme parks during a town hall with employees. Iger also said ESPN will launch a direct-to-consumer streaming service by 2025 (More)

Tips & Tricks

  • Take Stock: Apple CEO Tim Apple recently sat down with singer Dua Lipa on a BBC podcast to discuss how he runs the company. And he shed some light on the key traits the tech giant looks for in its employees.
  • Go Deep: Chinese President Xi Jinping has become the country's most powerful ruler since Mao Zedong. This Vox documentary video examines his steady rise to power and what the future may hold.
  • Sneak Peek: Amazon Prime has released the first photos from its upcoming Fallout series. Based on the video game about a dystopian world following a nuclear apocalypse, it will feature Kyle MacLachlan, Walton Goggins and Ella Purnell.
  • Big Idea: The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended new cars be fitted with technology that makes it difficult, or even impossible, to speed. Intelligent speed assistance technology would use GPS and sign recognition to control how fast cars can go based on speed limits as a safety measure. But even its supporters say adoption is unlikely.
  • Hot Goss: You just never know who you might meet behind bars. Reality TV star Jen Shah is reportedly serving as a personal trainer to disgraced Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes and other inmates at the Federal Prison Camp in Bryan, Texas.
  • Good Tip: We all get a passive-aggressive email now and then. Figuring out the appropriate – and productive – way to respond is always a challenge. But one expert suggests the best way to handle the situation is often to just pick up the phone.
  • Life Hack: Are you feeling burnt out at work? You are not alone. And one expert says there is a simple and effective way to recharge your batteries – just embrace being boring.

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Running down the bombshells in the new Royal Family tell-all.

Snowfall has declined 2.7% globally in the last 50 years.

… and money can’t stop declining birth rates worldwide.

Amazon will use AI to deliver packages this holiday season.

Everyone is OK after a plane crashed into a car in Minnesota.

Russia has extended an WSJ reporter’s pre-trial detention.

... while Turkey will likely allow Sweden to enter NATO soon.

A secretive Chinese fashion company has filed for an IPO.

Looking Ahead …

The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree will be lit tonight in Manhattan and the NYPD is reportedly on high alert for protestors attempting to disrupt the event with demonstrations related to the Israel-Hamas war. Pro-Palestinian protestors briefly interrupted last week's Thanksgiving Day parade and there have been social media posts suggesting similar events at the tree lighting.

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Question of the Day

Have you experienced burnout at work?



Last week's results

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

Beginning work to avoid a shutdown in January (75%)

Funding for Israel, Ukraine and the border (25%)

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