6.26.2018

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6.26.2018
All your news in a single email. We scour 100+ sources so you don't have to. Culture, science, sports, politics, business, and more - all packaged in a 5-minute read below.
 
Need To Know.
California Wildfires Begin Again.
Thousands were forced to evacuate as raging wildfires encroached on homes in Lake County, CA, roughly 120 miles north of San Francisco. As of Monday morning the fires had burned through nearly 8,200 acres and destroyed 22 buildings, prompting Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency. The region, still charred from last year's historic fires, were in the middle of unusually hot temperatures with high winds and dry vegetation. Forecasts say the high heat will last for a week or more, though increased humidity should aid firefighting efforts. 2017 was the state's worst wildfire year on record with nearly 1.4 million acres burned, 43 killed, and over $13B in damage.

First Marijuana-Based Drug Approved.
The Federal Drug Administration issued the nation's first approval for medicine derived from marijuana-based compounds yesterday. The drug uses cannabidiol (also known as CBD) which is not associated with a drug high - that is largely the job of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC - but is thought to suppress cellular mechanisms related to anxiety. In previous studies, CBD oil was shown to reduce seizures in patients with certain forms of severe epilepsy by up to 40%. Prior to marketing, the Drug Enforcement Agency must reclassify CBD - because it comes from marijuana it is classified as a Schedule I drug, it cannot be sold and by federal definition has no medical value. The DEA is expected to make the change within 90 days. 


Some legal analysts speculated that recognition of the medical use of marijuana derivatives would begin a domino effect leading to full legalization in the US.

SCOTUS Declines on Gerrymandering (Again).
For the second time in a month, the Supreme Court largely sidestepped making a major decision on the ability of states to draw their congressional districts at their discretion. The first case involved charges of partisan gerrymandering, with challengers alleging that North Carolina legislators drew state districts in ways that overly favored Republicans - the Court ordered a lower court to reconsider whether the plaintiff's had standing (definition here). The second case argued that Texas lawmakers had drawn maps in ways that intentionally diluted the votes of minorities - the Court overturned a lower court's decision, saying plaintiffs had not sufficiently demonstrated racial gerrymandering in most districts. The decisions come just one week after the Justices avoided making major decisions in two highly anticipated cases on the issue arising from Wisconsin and Maryland. 

 
In The Know.

Science & Technology.

Scientists find almost 1,000 new genes linked to higher intelligence; genes also correlate with increased anxiety, depression, and autism rates (More)
Semi-annual list of world's 500 most powerful supercomputers released; US back in top spot, but China has 206 of top 500 after having zero in 2002 (More)
Study suggests male testosterone levels largely determined by environmental factors, challenging theory that genetics plays dominant role (More)
 

Business & Markets.

Harley-Davidson moving US production overseas on motorcycles sent to the EU as result of new tariffs (More)
US stock markets fall 1%+ on trade war fears - worst losses in over 2 months (More)
Meituan-Dianping - China's massive e-commerce services business referred to as the "Amazon of services" - will IPO in Hong Kong at reported $60B valuation  (More)
 

Politics & World Affairs.

Customs and Border Protection stops referring immigrants for criminal prosecution, effectively pausing 'zero tolerance' policy (More)
Prince William visits Israel, the first-ever visit from a member of the British royal family (More)
Former Trump press secretary Sean Spicer developing TV talk show, tentatively titled "Common Ground" (More)
 

Sports, Entertainment & Culture.

ESPN's annual The Body Issue released yesterday; see photos of all 15 athletes featured (More) | See full archive from previous issues (More)
James Harden edges out LeBron James to win his first NBA MVP (More) | See full list of NBA award winners (More)  
> Richard "Old Man" Harrison, patriarch on Pawn Stars, dies at 77 (More)
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In Depth.

The Teens Who Hacked Microsoft’s Videogame Empire. 

Wired | Brendan KoernerWhile lots of teenagers spend their time playing video games, a lot less spend their time hacking them. It started as harmless fun, but when David Pokora was indicted for $1 billion of intellectual property theft, things got serious. Find out how some teenagers’ love of coding and gaming took them to some risky - and highly illegal - places.  
 

The Trouble With Johnny Depp. 

Rolling Stone | Stephen Rodrick. It seems that Johnny Depp has made us laugh and cry countless times. His crooked smile always feels inviting, and his eyes can level any audience. But Depp is no longer the youthful heartbreaker he once was - now a divorcee, living an extravagant and unsustainable life, and contemplating better times with old friends like Tom Petty. Take a look at the fascinating trials and tribulations of Johnny Depp in this extremely intimate interview.
Etcetera.
The most bikeable cities in the US

Zsa Zsa the English bulldog wins world's ugliest dog

All international passengers at the Orlando airport will now get facial scans

This 99-year-old spreads joy by making daily birthday phone calls - over 35,000 of them

A new report gives Nigeria the unwanted distinction of being the world's poverty capital.  

These are America's top ten oldest and youngest industries


Archaeologists are scouring the concert field that held Woodstock '69

Clickbait: 12th annual angry tea table flipping contest held in Japan.

Historybook: Francisco Pizarro is assassinated (1541); HBD Babe Didrikson Zaharias (1911); Berlin Airlift begins (1948); JFK delivers famous  ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’ speech (1963); Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage in US (2015).

 
"The formula for success is simple - practice and concentration then more practice and more concentration."
- Babe Didrikson Zaharias

 
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