🐤 You've got a deal

Dollar stores have always been a bargain hunter's best friend, but now there's another option.

Tuesday | May 23rd, 2023
Early Chirp

Happy Tuesday, chirpers! If you’re a Mexican food fan, you might be celebrating “Taco Tuesday” at your favorite eatery … but did you know that the phrase is actually trademarked by the Taco John’s chain?

Never fear, Taco Bell is currently leading the fight to free up the phrase so anyone can use it to ring in the tastiest day of the week!

-Chris Agee

Markets
NASDAQ
IXIC
$12,721.57
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Dow Jones
DJI
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-$115.49 (-0.35%)
S&P 500
GSPC
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$3.00 (0.07%)
EUR-USD
EURUSD
$1.08
$0.00 (0.06%)
Bitcoin
BTC-USD
$26,844.83
$91.01 (0.34%)
Plug Power
PLUG
$8.84
$1.11 (14.36%)
*Market data for this issue is from May 22nd, 2023 at 3:46pm EST

🏦 Markets: It was a mixed day on Wall Street to start the week as all eyes were on D.C. to avoid a debt crisis. President Joe Biden prepared to meet with Republican leaders to reach a deal that would raise the debt ceiling before June 1, which experts say is the date the U.S. could default on its debt.

World

The Breakdown

A quick look around the world.

The Breakdown DoorDash/Giphy

🌯 Phone-y fees: A new lawsuit claims that DoorDash has been hitting unsuspecting customers with some nefarious charges. One allegation is that iPhone users are more likely than Android users to receive a so-called “expanded range” fee. Although it’s supposed to offset the added cost associated with long-distance deliveries, complainants insist that it was tacked on to iPhone orders more often “likely because studies reveal iPhone users earn more.”

🏀 All-star exit: NBA superstar Carmelo Anthony announced his retirement this week. He called it a “bittersweet goodbye” and described how the sport helped give his life purpose from the days when he “had nothing, just a ball on the court ad a dream with something more.” Now, the 10-time all-star believes the time is right to step down from the pros and says his “legacy now and forever lives on” through his 16-year-old son Kiyan.

💰 Facebook fine: Meta just broke a record — but it’s not a good one. The European Union handed Facebook’s parent company a $1.3 billion fine for privacy violation. According to the decision, the company also has to halt its process of sending personal data about European users to America by October. Amazon held the previous record for E.U. privacy violations with a fine imposed in 2021. Meta signaled it would appeal the decision.

🎰 Taking a gamble: The NFL imposed several suspensions last month based on violations of the league’s gambling policy, but an announcement this week indicated that the investigation isn’t over. The probe has been complicated by the patchwork of laws governing sports betting across the United States, though the NFL has a policy in place prohibiting players and other team personnel from betting on games.

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business

How This App Quickly Became The Biggest Name In Bargain Shopping

It's being called the online version of a dollar store.

How This App Quickly Became The Biggest Name In Bargain Shopping Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

As online shopping becomes more ubiquitous, there’s an app or website that can serve the same purpose as just about any brick-and-mortar store. Of course, Amazon is the leader of the pack — but there are plenty of other successful startups that serve all sorts of niche markets.

And that brings us to one of the most talked-about online retailers of the past several months…

What is Temu?

If you haven’t already downloaded this app, you’ve probably seen some ads or social media posts about it. Temu has only been available in the United States since September, but it’s already become the most downloaded app on both Apple and Google platforms.

As for why there’s been so much interest in the company lately, that’s pretty obvious. It promises a place where cost-conscious consumers can “shop like a billionaire” without spending a lot of cash.

Super Bowl ads cemented its place within the U.S. retail atmosphere and countless social media users have given it even more exposure by documenting the arrival of all sorts of products they ordered from the site.

It’s all about the deal

Comparisons between Temu and the local dollar store have become common --- and for good reason. But some folks think that Temu, which consists primarily of China-based sellers, is actually even better than a store like Dollar Tree.

While the latter opted to raise its prices amid rampant inflation, there are many items available on Temu for less than a buck. And there are also regular deals that give shoppers access to limited-time discounts.

Its business model has allowed Temu to offer great prices so far, but skeptics wonder how long it will last. The company isn’t very transparent about its supply chain, so there’s no real guarantee about the future of this “online dollar store.”

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Game

Solve today's crossword and win a prize!

Highest score wins an Amazon gift card!

Crossword

*Prizes are sent out via email the next day by 11am EST.

work life

Remote Work: Good For Employees, But Not For Their Temporary Homes

The life of a digital nomad can have unintended implications.

Remote Work: Good For Employees, But Not For Their Temporary Homes South Park/Giphy

There are many reasons individuals have largely embraced the remote work revolution that emerged during the pandemic. Some love the opportunity to work from home, but others take a much different approach and choose to work as far away from home as possible.

They’re called “digital nomads” and the trend has become increasingly popular recently.

What it means

Many employers have become far more receptive to the idea of allowing workers to “clock in” from just about anywhere they like … as long as the work is getting done. And a growing number of people have taken advantage of that freedom by taking extended trips to locations around the world.

It’s no wonder why people might enjoy trading in the view from a dreary cubicle for the exotic backdrop of a Caribbean island. And on paper, it might seem as though the injection of money from these digital nomads would benefit the places where they set up shop.

But that’s clearly not the case, at least from the perspective of those who live there all the time.

“Temporary colonizers”

Medellin, Colombia’s Provenza community has become a popular destination for digital nomads, and locals aren’t shy about expressing their opposition. You can find a collection of pointed posters and signs hanging up throughout the neighborhoods where existing homes have been transformed into rental properties to fill the need created by remote workers.

Ana Maria Valle Villegras is responsible for creating many of these signs, which say things like:

  • “Digital nomads, temporary colonizers”
  • “I’ll trade an Airbnb for a neighbor and a home”
  • “Medellin is not for sale — stop gentrification”

She said her criticism is not unique, explaining that “rents have been going up” and people have been kicked out of their homes in order to make room for digital nomads.

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dad joke

Where is the best place to sell a used chess set?


At a pawn shop.

world news

French Protesters Have Resorted To Banging On Pots And Pans

They're making it impossible to ignore their continued presence.

French Protesters Have Resorted To Banging On Pots And Pans Telmo Pinto/SOPA Images/Shutterstock

Ongoing demonstrations across Paris and much of the rest of France started when the nation raised the age for pensioners from 62 to 64. While that might not sound like such a big deal, particularly for Americans who are planning to work well into their late 60s if not longer, the French people say they didn’t agree to the change — and they’re making their voices heard.

Things are getting loud

If French President Emmanuel Macron and other leaders thought they could simply ignore the protests of the people, they received a rude awakening in recent weeks. As Macron was set to land in the area of La-Cluse-et-Mijoux in April, dozens of demonstrators were on hand to make his arrival as disruptive as possible.

In addition to chants, many of them were banging on pots and pans as they marched.

The president arrived on schedule, and the helicopter in which he was riding temporarily overshadowed the din of the protesters. But soon enough, anyone in the area was once again treated to the sound of opposition.

A history of protests

Of course, this isn’t the first time the French people have taken to the streets to express their displeasure with the state of affairs. In the years prior to COVID-19, there was the massive “yellow vest” movement during which protesters spoke out against various policies — starting with a spike in the price of fuel.

It seems clear that today’s protesters are hoping that saucepans will become a symbol that rallies like-minded citizens against what they say is an unfair decision.

French writer Christian Salmon explained: “We are not being listened to, we are not being heard after weeks of protests. So now we are left with a single option, which is not to listen to you either.”

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Early Chirp

Written by Chris Agee

90 N Church St, The Strathvale House
Grand Cayman KY1, 9006, Cayman Islands

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