10 things you need to know today: November 20, 2023

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter dies at 96, Gaza fighting spreads as push continues for temporary cease-fire, and more

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter
Rosalynn Carter seen walking up the steps of Air Force One in 1978
(Image credit: Diana Walker/Getty Images)

1. Rosalynn Carter dies at 96

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter died Sunday at her home in Plains, Georgia. She was 96. The Carter Center in Atlanta had announced Friday that Mrs. Carter, who had dementia, was in hospice care at home. Rosalynn Carter advocated for better treatment for the mentally ill when her husband, Jimmy Carter, was in office and for decades afterward. She established the modern office of the first lady, becoming the first to maintain an office in the East Wing of the White House. She expanded the first lady's traditionally ceremonial role and advised her husband. The Carters were married for 77 years, the longest presidential marriage in the nation's history. The Washington Post, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

2. Gaza fighting spreads as cease-fire push continues

Hamas gunmen fought Israeli forces trying to enter Gaza's largest refugee camp on Sunday. In northern Gaza, a strike killed at least 24 people at a school run by the United Nations, a U.N. official said Sunday. The intense fighting came as U.S. and Israeli officials neared a deal on a days-long cease-fire in exchange for the release of hostages Hamas took in its deadly Oct. 7 raid in southern Israel. Israeli tanks approached another hospital in northern Gaza as troops continued to search Al-Shifa Hospital, where Israel says Hamas operated an underground command center, which Hamas denies. A United Nations humanitarian team allowed inside described the facility as a "death zone." Reuters, The New York Times

3. Yemen's Houthis seize ship in Red Sea

The Israeli government said Sunday that members of Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi militia had hijacked a cargo ship in the Red Sea. The Houthis did not immediately claim responsibility, but hours earlier they had released a statement threatening to target any Israeli-flagged, owned, or operated vessels traveling through the Red Sea. The Israeli military called the incident a "grave event" but said the ship, which had been heading to India from Turkey, was "not an Israeli ship" and had a 25-member "international crew, without Israelis." The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the ship was British-owned, and operated by a Japanese company. The New York Times

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4. Bidens kick off Thanksgiving week with dinner for service members

President Joe Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden started the week's Thanksgiving celebrations on Sunday at dinners for service members during a visit to naval installations in Virginia. The evening included an early screening of the upcoming movie "Wonka." "You literally are the backbone, the spine, the spine of this nation," the president said at Norfolk Naval Station, where he and Jill Biden helped serve dinner with service members from the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and the USS Gerald R. Ford. "Only 1% of you, that's all, that protects the 99% of us." The Bidens plan to spend Thanksgiving on Nantucket in Massachusetts. ABC News

5. Libertarian outsider Javier Milei wins Argentina's presidential run-off

Far-right outsider Javier Milei won Argentina's presidential run-off election on Sunday, defeating Sergio Massa, the center-left finance minister. Milei campaigned on a promise to "break up with the status quo" represented by Massa. Milei's brash, anti-establishment politics and embrace of conspiracy theories inspired comparisons to former U.S. President Donald Trump. The economist and former TV pundit won 55% of the vote, according to preliminary results. As Massa conceded, Milei said the election had put the South American nation back on "the path that we should never have lost. Today we retake the path that made this country great." CNN, The Guardian

6. Busy LA freeway section reopened after fire

A key section of the I-10 Freeway south of downtown Los Angeles is scheduled to be reopened in time for the massive city's Monday morning commute after being shut down for more than a week due to a fire apparently started by arsonists. The mile long section of the highway, which is used by 300,000 vehicles daily, was closed after the fire erupted, fueled by pallets, construction materials, and other items being stored under the freeway. Initially, authorities said it could take weeks to reopen it, but crews worked around the clock to get the job faster, speeding up the timeline. They finished a day ahead of updated expectations. Los Angeles Times

7. Abbott endorses Trump in trip to border

Former President Donald Trump visited a town on the U.S.-Mexico border and picked up Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's endorsement in the 2024 presidential race. Trump vowed to make Abbott's job "much easier" by enacting hardline immigration policies, like rounding up undocumented migrants and sending them to massive new detention camps in South Texas, to curb a wave of undocumented migrants trying to cross the border into Texas. Abbott has clashed with President Joe Biden, used state resources to crack down at the border, and sent migrants to cities led by Democrats to call attention to illegal immigration. "We need a president who's going to secure the border," Abbott said. The Dallas Morning News, The Associated Press

8. 'Hunger Games' prequel leads domestic box office

"Hunger Games" prequel "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes" led a busy domestic box office weekend, bringing in $44 million in North American theaters and $98 million globally in its debut. The haul fell short of the original films in the franchise, which featured Jennifer Lawrence in a role that vaulted her to stardom. The first four "Hunger Games" films each launched with at least $100 million at the domestic box office. But "Songbirds and Snakes" brought in enough to beat out three other newly released films: Universal and DreamWorks Animation's "Trolls Band Together," Sony's gory "Thanksgiving," and director Taika Waititi's sports comedy "Next Goal Wins." Variety

9. Microsoft hires Sam Altman after OpenAI replaces him

Microsoft has hired OpenAI co-founder Sam Altman to lead its artificial intelligence operations after OpenAI's board replaced him with Emmett Shear, Twitch's ex-CEO. Altman will be joined by former OpenAI president Greg Brockman, who quit hours after Altman was fired, to lead Microsoft's new in-house AI development team. Microsoft, OpenAI's biggest backer, had led a frantic push by OpenAI investors for the company to bring back Altman. Microsoft remains committed to working with the ChatGPT start-up under Shear, the software giant's CEO, Satya Nadella, said in a post early Monday. Microsoft shares dropped 1.7% on Friday but were up as much as 2.7% in pre-market trading early Monday. Bloomberg

10. Napoléon Bonaparte's hat sells for $2.1 million

A faded felt bicorne hat worn by Napoléon Bonaparte sold for $2.1 million at a Sunday auction. The broad, black hat is one of just a few worn by the 19th-century French leader still in existence. Initially valued at $650,000 to $870,000, the hat was the centerpiece of an auction of the French emperor’s belongings collected by a French industrialist who died last year. Most officers wore their bicorne hats front to back, but Napoleon wore his side to side, a style known as "en bataille," or in battle, because it made it easier for his troops to spot him during combat. The auction came days ahead of the release of Ridley Scott's film "Napoleon" starring Joaquin Phoenix. The Associated Press

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