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    The first US presidential debate will have some noticeable differences

    Chip Somodevilla/Getty; Scott Eisen/Getty Images; BI

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    Almost Friday! Robots with skin!? There’s a valid reason researchers are doing it — helping plastic surgeons train — but it doesn’t make it any less creepy.

    In today’s big story, we’re looking at the first — and somewhat unconventional — US presidential debate happening tonight.

    What’s on deck:

    Markets: The next great war could be over the price of food.Tech: Tesla’s headquarters received several “terroristic” threats, according to law-enforcement records.Business: Your boss wants you to make friends at work. But do you really need a work bestie?

    But first, your time starts now.

    If this was forwarded to you, sign up here.

    The big story

    New debate, who dis?

    Evan Vucci/AP images, Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP images, Tyler Le/BI

    It didn’t come easy, and it won’t feel quite the same, but we’re getting our first US presidential debate tonight.

    President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will square off at 9 p.m. ET for a 90-minute debate.

    But don’t be surprised by some noticeable differences from what you’ve come to expect when two presidential candidates face off.

    There will be no audience, and the candidate who isn’t speaking will have his mic muted. The bipartisan group that typically holds the debates isn’t running it. And it’s also the earliest major debate on record.

    Business Insider’s Brent D. Griffiths has the full rundown on what to expect tonight.

    The impact debates have on an election is… up for debate. Candidates who aren’t well known, not a problem for Trump or Biden, see the biggest impact.

    But that doesn’t mean the debate isn’t important. It’s one of the few live events that isn’t football which is guaranteed to draw millions of Americans’ attention.

    It also represents a big gamble for Biden, Brent writes, as the president tries to silence critics on everything from his age to his handling of the economy, which is a key issue for voters.

    Chris Szagola/AP images, Julien de Rosa/AP images, Tyler Le/BI

    Meanwhile, the debate itself has some interesting subplots.

    For one, it will feature commercials for the first time. CNN, which is hosting, is selling two tiers of advertising, with the more premium version reportedly costing at least $1.5 million.

    But in a unique twist, CNN might not come away making the most from the debate. Rival networks can air the broadcast and sell commercials. And with Fox News and MSNBC often outpacing CNN in viewership, they might be able to sell ads for more money, writes BI’s Alice Tecotzky.

    Debates are also typically easy fodder for social media, specifically X, as viral moments are bound to occur. And this marks the first presidential debate the platform navigates under the Elon Musk regime.

    Meanwhile, it’ll be interesting to see how things go on Instagram’s Threads, which has largely avoided political discourse.

    However, one group won’t be able to benefit from the debate despite being perfectly positioned for the action: US sportsbooks. So-called prediction markets do exist for political betting, but regulators want to ban them.

    US sportsbooks have avoided the entire political sphere — sorry, no same-debate parlays — despite it being big business for UK bookmakers.

    3 things in markets

    Joan Cros/NurPhoto via Getty Images

    A commodity trader is warning about a potential “food war.” A combination of trade barriers and climate risk is threatening to exaggerate the demand-supply imbalance in food, according to commodity executive Sunny Verghese. “We have fought many wars over oil. We will fight bigger wars over food and water,” he said at a recent conference.Goldman Sachs’ bankers are going to get a big boost from AI next year. Top bank executives told BI the plan is to roll out a series of generative AI tools starting in 2025. The tech will “influence our workflows [and] begin to help us create new competitive advantages,” one Goldman partner said.Trump’s mass deportation plan could trigger a recession, leading economist says. Adam Posen, president of the nonpartisan Peterson Institute, warned that Trump’s pledge to deport the most workers in US history is a massive stagflationary hazard. Those effects would be exacerbated by Trump’s high-tariffs proposal, Posen said.

    3 things in tech

    Richard Bord/Getty Images; Jenny Chang-Rodriguez/BI

    “Terroristic” threats at Tesla. Texas law enforcement records show Elon Musk’s company was the target of multiple “terroristic” threats over the past two years. These include a clumsy extortion scheme by a fake hitman and a hoax active-shooter threat at its HQ. There’s little real danger to Tesla’s employees, though, thanks to the site’s tight security.Should AI help you ace a coding test? Silicon Valley is split over whether job candidates should be allowed to use AI chatbots in technical interviews, which test engineers’ grasp of coding basics. Though stances vary across companies, there’s a noticeable divide between smaller startups and tech giants.To do: Improve Microsoft’s reputation. Mustafa Suleyman, Microsoft’s new AI chief, said bringing the company out from under Google’s shadow was on his to-do list. He also said one of his main goals is to “uplevel the quality of Copilot.”

    3 things in business

    Alberto Miranda for BI

    Inside the new CEO stress test. An intelligence exam originally designed to identify the best NFL quarterbacks is making waves in corporate hiring. The test measures fluid intelligence and decision-making under pressure, skills that can make potential CEOs. But it isn’t foolproof.Maybe you don’t need work friends after all. Work friendships are great for employers: They can help workers get more done and make them more reluctant to leave their friends for a new gig. But they’re also disappearing — and that may not be a bad thing.“Silent layoffs” could backfire. The tactic, where companies give staff severance but ask them to keep details of their departure quiet, is on the rise. Experts said while the goal is to maintain trust across the business, it can actually do the exact opposite.

    In other news

    A SCOTUS opinion allowing emergency abortions in Idaho was posted on the court’s website and then quickly removed.Amazon is getting an impressive number of people to watch Prime Video, new data reveals.The biggest scandal in gaming right now, explained.Elon Musk is reigniting his space feud with Jeff Bezos: ‘Sue Origin.’Joshua Kushner’s Thrive Capital makes a further push into entertainment, backing A24, the studio behind Euphoria and Uncut Gems.Shein and Temu use a US tax loophole to keep their prices low. Now, some American brands are, too.Biz leaders could learn a thing or 2 from the way Ayo Edibiri directed her very first episode of ‘The Bear.’

    What’s happening today

    RFK Jr., who did not qualify for the CNN presidential debate, will answer debate questions via livestream during his campaign’s counter-programming.Bureau of Economic Analysis publishes final GDP data for Q1 2024.

    The Insider Today team: Dan DeFrancesco, deputy editor and anchor, in New York. Jordan Parker Erb, editor, in New York. Hallam Bullock, senior editor, in London. Annie Smith, associate producer, in London. Amanda Yen, fellow, in New York.

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