9.12.2018

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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.
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Fight for Last ISIS Stronghold Begins.
An American-backed coalition began an offensive against ISIS forces in the eastern Syrian city of Hajin yesterday, the organization's final remaining stronghold. The operation, which included the Iraqi military and the Syrian Democratic Force, comes four years after ISIS declared a self-styled caliphate and seized control over swaths of western Iraq and eastern Syria (see timeline). Although the group's territory has shrunk dramatically since 2014, analysts estimate that around 30,000 ISIS militants remain across the Middle East - the reclusive leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi released a defiant audio tape in late August, urging members to continue fighting. The group has lost over 90% of the territory it once controlled - check out a real-time, crowd-sourced map of the area currently controlled by ISIS and other groups in the region.
Florence Watch, Day Two.
Official hurricane warnings were issued for the Carolinas yesterday as Hurricane Florence continues its steady march towards the East Coast. Updated projections have Florence arriving in the middle of the Carolina Coast early Friday morning as a low Category 4 storm, before bending south into Appalachia - now avoiding a direct hit on the Washington, DC region. The system is expected to slow to a crawl once it makes landfall, dumping an average of 15-20" of rain (with up to 30" in some areas) and bringing the potential for catastrophic flooding. Over 1.7 million people are currently under evacuation orders. 

The storm could be the strongest to hit the mid-Atlantic since Hurricane Hugo in 1989 - see photos here.
Rutgers Discrimination Case Reopened.
The Department of Education reopened a case against Rutgers University that alleged it created a hostile environment for Jewish students. In the process, the administration signaled it would adopt a broader definition of what it considers to be anti-Semitism on campuses across the nation. The case was originally brought by the Zionist Organization of America in 2011 after reports that a professor bullied a Jewish student and encouraged students to criticize the student on social media - the Obama administration closed the case in 2014, saying it did not find a violation (pdf) under its interpretation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. The new definition - which critics say is overly broad - could be interpreted to include demonizing or delegitimizing the country of Israel itself.  
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In The Know.
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Sports, Entertainment & Culture.
> Texas A&M tops list of most valuable college football teams at $148M annual revenue with Texas ($133M) and Michigan ($127M) in the top three; read full list to see where your school is ranked (More)
> Lawsuit by former Michigan State athlete alleges school officials prevented police investigation after she reported being raped by Dr. Larry Nassar (More)
> Actress Sally Field reveals in new memoir that she was sexually abused by her stepfather (More)
Science & Technology.
> Study of snout weevil reveals new color generating biostructures with applications from cosmetics and paints to more vivid television (More)
> fMRI brain scans show a neural link between altruism and increased empathy; people who donated kidneys were more sensitive to the emotions of strangers as measured by neural activity in the anterior insula (More)
> New NASA satellite will keep track of melting ice poles and sea ice by bouncing a laser off the landmasses from space (More)
Business & Markets.
> US job openings reach all-time record level in July; quit rate - the number of employees leaving their jobs - at highest level since 2001 (More)
> Nike sales over the Labor Day weekend - following controversial Colin Kaepernick ad - increase 31% over last year, per industry estimates (More)
> FCC pauses review of $26B T-Mobile US & Sprint merger to analyze new information (More) | Mobile telecom giant Ericsson signs $3.5 billion deal to support T-Mobile US 5G deployment in 30 US cities (More)
Politics & World Affairs.
> Turkey pushes international community to support a cease-fire in Idlib, the last rebel holdout in Syria; city is under bombardment with 3 million civilians living in region (More)
> Wanda Eileen Barzee, who kidnapped 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart with her husband in 2002, to be released from prison five years early; decision sparks outrage from Smart, others (More)
> Influential conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity ordered to reveal donor lists after appeals court ruling (More)
Etcetera.
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Fortune ranks the best daily newsletters, and you may see a familiar name...
...and most Americans continue to get their news from social media, even though they don't believe it
The world's hairiest baby is the internet's newest phenomenon
Americans' eating habits are changing as the price gap between going out and eating in gets bigger and bigger
...Speaking of eating habits, here are the best foods for your psychological well-being
 
New York City now has a pop-up fertility truck that will freeze your eggs
Tiny Colorado town is taking the nation by storm with its amazingly punny signs.
Amsterdam is rolling out insect hotels in an attempt to save its bees.
 
Clickbait: Someone installed crack pipe vending machines across Long Island
Historybook: Henry Hudson begins exploration of what will become known as the Hudson River (1609); HBD Jesse Owens (1913); HBD singer Barry White (1944); Mae Jemison becomes first African-American woman in space (1992); RIP Johnny Cash (2003).
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- Jesse Owens
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