1. McDonald's launches CosMc's spinoff restaurant
McDonald's is launching its new spinoff restaurant brand, CosMc's, this week. The fast-food giant plans to open 10 CosMc's locations by the end of 2024 to test the concept. The first one opens this week in Bolingbrook, Illinois. The other nine restaurants will be in Texas. The menu will include familiar offerings like Egg McMuffins and M&M McFlurries, plus new fare like Churro Frappes and pretzel bites, CNBC reported. The burger chain is marketing CosMc's — named after a space alien that appeared in McDonaldland advertisements in the 1980s and early '90s — as a place for customers to get quick snacks and coffee. CNBC
2. Google launches beefed-up AI model, Gemini
Google on Wednesday launched project Gemini, a long-anticipated artificial intelligence system widely seen as the search giant's answer to OpenAI's ChatGPT. A lighter version of Gemini, called "Nano," will run on Android devices, while the more powerful "Pro" version will power Google's AI chatbot Bard and its Pixel 8 Pro smartphone. Google "created much of the foundational technology behind the current AI boom," and was "clearly and embarrassingly caught off guard by how good ChatGPT was," The Verge reported. Gemini marks a counterpunch. Google says Gemini will make Bard more intuitive and better at tasks involving planning. The Verge, The Associated Press
3. Washington Post staff holds 24-hour strike
Hundreds of Washington Post staffers planned to participate in a one-day strike Thursday. The workers said they would walk out to join a picket line and rally outside the newspaper's downtown Washington headquarters. They also urged readers not to read the paper or visit its website. Union members said they were protesting stalled negotiations that have left them without a contract for 18 months. They also oppose what they say are stingy buyouts the company, now owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, recently offered to cut costs. The Washington Post Guild said the protest was the union's biggest since the 1970s. The Washington Post, CNN
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4. New Mexico sues Meta over child safety
New Mexico Attorney General Raul Torrez filed a lawsuit against Meta Platforms on Wednesday, accusing the social media giant of recommending sexual content to children and steering the accounts of underage users to adult predators on Facebook and Instagram. The lawsuit also named Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg as a defendant. Torrez said his office's investigation found that Meta's networks "are not safe spaces for children but rather prime locations for predators to trade child pornography and solicit minors for sex." Meta said it uses sophisticated technology and child safety experts to "help root out predators." Albuquerque Journal
5. Stock futures mixed after Dow's losses continue
U.S. stock futures were little changed early Thursday after the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell for a third straight day. Futures tied to the Dow were down 0.2% at 7 a.m. ET. S&P 500 futures were flat and Nasdaq futures were up 0.2%. The Dow and the S&P 500 fell 0.2% and 0.4%, respectively, on Wednesday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 0.6%. Investors will be watching jobs data for fresh clues on whether the Federal Reserve will decide to stop raising interest rates to cool the economy and bring down inflation. Private payrolls data released Wednesday showed employers added 103,000 jobs in November, fewer than expected. The November jobs report comes out Friday. Morningstar, CNBC
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