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Henry Kissinger dies at 100: The Morning Rundown, Nov. 30, 2023

Nov 30, 2023

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Henry Kissinger, the influential and polarizing secretary of state under two presidents, has died.  And Elon Musk has a strongly worded message for advertisers fleeing his social media site. These stories and more highlight The Morning Rundown for Thursday, November 30, 2023.

Henry Kissinger Dies at 100

Henry Kissinger, the secretary of state and national security adviser under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, died Wednesday, Nov. 29, at the age of 100.

Kissinger, a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany, became a naturalized citizen in 1943, five years after arriving in the U.S.

He joined the U.S. Army as an interpreter and intelligence officer, then attended Harvard where he earned three degrees and joined the faculty.

During his time in office, Kissinger negotiated with the Soviet Union amid the Cold War, and opened talks between the U.S. and China leading to Nixon’s 1972 visit.

Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973 for his efforts to end the Vietnam War.

Often being credited as one of the most influential political figures in American history, he also faced criticism over accusations of war crimes including his role in the bombing of Cambodia during the Vietnam War.  

Kissinger received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977.

Throughout the decades, Kissinger was consulted by presidents of both parties. 

Cease-fire extended; American hostage released

The temporary cease-fire between Israel and Hamas will continue for at least one more day.

The last-minute agreement will see Hamas release up to 10 Israeli hostages on Thursday, Nov. 30; Israel in exchange will release 30 Palestinians from its prisons.

According to Qatar which is mediating the truce, Thursday’s extension is under the same terms as the past six days, meaning no military actions and more humanitarian aid will be allowed to enter Gaza. 

On Wednesday, Nov. 29, 49-year-old dual Israeli-American citizen Liat Beinin was among 16 hostages released by Hamas.

“I’ve got some very good news to report,” President Joe Biden told reporters after her release. “Liat Beinin is safe in Egypt. She’s crossed the border. I talked with her mother and father. They’re very appreciative and things are moving well. She’ll soon be home with her three children.”

Beinin was one of the estimated nine Americans taken by Hamas during the Oct. 7 terror attack in Israel.

Beinin’s husband remains a hostage in Gaza, according to the White House. 

Elon Musk has message for advertisers fleeing X

X owner Elon Musk is accusing advertisers who have pulled their spending from the social media site over antisemitic posts of blackmailing his company. 

Speaking at the New York Times’ DealBook Summit on Wednesday, Nov. 30, Musk had a very strongly worded message for those advertisers, including Disney CEO Bob Iger.

“Don’t advertise. If someone is trying to blackmail me with advertising, blackmail me with money, go f—yourself. go f—yourself. Is that clear? I hope it is. Hey Bob,” Musk said.

Brands like Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, IBM and Sony have suspended their ads after Musk endorsed a user’s post of an antisemitic conspiracy theory.

Musk has denied being antisemitic and admitted at the summit that he should not have “replied to that particular person.”

Musk traveled to Israel earlier this week where he met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

DeSantis-Newsom to debate on Fox News

Fox News will host a debate on Thursday night, Nov. 30, but it’s not the next GOP presidential primary debate — though it does involve presidential candidate Ron DeSantis.

The Republican Governor of Florida will be debating Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom.

The 90-minute debate is hosted by Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

DeSantis looks to make an impact as polls show his support slipping. A Washington Post Monmouth University poll earlier this month had the Florida governor in fifth place in New Hampshire, with 7% of voters backing him, well behind the frontrunner former President Donald Trump who was at 46%.

Newsom, a supporter of President Biden’s and rumored potential future presidential candidate, first challenged DeSantis to a debate last year.

Fox News says Hannity’s questions will focus on the two governors’ “vastly different approaches” to issues facing the country. 

The debate airs on the Fox News Channel starting at 9 p.m. ET.

Life expectancy in U.S. begins to rebound

Life expectancy in the United States has started to rebound after hitting historic lows during the covid-19 pandemic, according to new data released Wednesday, Nov. 29, by the CDC.

In 2022, life expectancy at birth was 77.5 years compared to 76.4 years in 2021.

A decline in COVID-19 deaths accounts for more than 80 percent of the increase.

But despite the 1.1-year increase, life expectancy in the U.S. is still lower than pre-pandemic levels. In 2019, the life expectancy was 78.8 years.

The CDC says the increase does not fully offset the loss of 2.4 years of life expectancy seen between 2019 and 2021 during the height of the pandemic.  

Other factors such as an increase in deaths due to influenza, pneumonia and kidney disease continue to affect life expectancy in the U.S. 

The cost of the ’12 Days of Christmas’

For the holidays, if your true love is planning to give you five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens and all the other gifts mentioned in the carol “The 12 Days of the Christmas,” it will cost them more than ever before.

PNC Financial Services released its 2023 Christmas Price Index on Wednesday, Nov. 29 —its whimsical way of measuring consumer spending by showing the current costs for each gift mentioned in the song.

This year, all 12 gifts would cost your true love an all-time high of $46,729. It’s a 2.7% increase over last year, slightly lower than the overall consumer index, which is up by 3.2% in the last 12 months. 

The gift with the biggest jump in price: the two turtle doves, up 25%.

PNC says “The True Cost of Christmas,” meaning the total cost of all 364 gifts repeated in the song’s verses, is over $200,000 for the first in the index’s 40-year history.

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