9.27.2017

*|MC:SUBJECT|*
09.27.2017
NEED TO KNOW.
Basketball and Bribes.
Top college basketball programs found themselves facing allegations of involvement in a complex pay-to-play scheme after federal corruption charges were filed against 10 people - including assistant coaches from Oklahoma State, Arizona, Auburn, and Louisville, among others. The charges allege that a major apparel company - reportedly Adidas, since James Gatto, the director of global sports marketing, was arrested early Tuesday - paid players tens of thousands of dollars via third party intermediaries to attend schools sponsored by the company. The intermediaries also steered players towards certain sports agents and financial advisers. The charges are part of an investigation launched by the FBI in 2015 into the criminal influence of money on coaches and student-athletes in the NCAA. In a twist, the central witness in the investigation - Louis "Marty" Blazer - is a disgraced investment banker who struck a plea deal last week, admitting guilt to five federal charges. Many expect a scorched earth approach by the NCAA in doling out punishment over the charges - up to and including the death penalty, where the program is shut down at least one full year. 

Tax Reform.
President Trump will roll out his administration's tax reform plan today, seeking reductions in both the corporate and individual income tax rates, while doubling the standard deduction. The plan would cut corporate taxes from 35% to 20%, while dropping the top individual tax bracket from 39.6% to 35% and collapsing the current seven brackets to three (see individual brackets), with the other two set at 25% and 12%. The income level at which those brackets would apply has not been specified. Likewise, the proposal calls for the removal of a number of deductions - but leaves the difficult task of choosing which ones to eliminate to congress. The US brought in about $3.3T in revenue in 2016 - with 9% of that generated by corporate taxes ($300B) and 47% coming from individual income taxes ($1.55T). Critics argue the proposed tax rates will further increase the deficit ($585B in 2016) unless packaged with spending cuts. 

Saudi Arabia.
The Kingdom announced yesterday that it will drop its ban on women drivers. The ban - which was implemented in 1957 - had become an international symbol of the country's oppression of women. The change may be an indicator of the preferences of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the 32-year-old King's son who is first in line for succession - and who has spearheaded the Vision 2030 modernization effort. The decision follows a similar step over the weekend to let women into a national stadium for the first time. The country is majority Sunni Muslim and follows strict adherence to Islamic religious code - one consequence of which has been a history of restricting women's rights

 
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IN THE KNOW.

Sports, Entertainment & Culture.

Dwyane Wade reportedly signs 1-year deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers (More)
Khloe Kardashian and NBA player Tristan Thompson are having a baby (More)
Sofia Vergara tops Forbes' highest paid TV actresses list for 6th straight year, taking home $41M (More)
 

Science & Technology.

Amazon-backed Space X competitor, Blue Origin, signs up third customer (More)
China blocks WhatsApp, broadens censorship (More)
Tech giants (Amazon, Facebook, Salesforce) add $300M to White House computer science education push (More)
 

Business & Markets.

Equifax CEO Richard Smith 'retires' at age 57, expected to testify before Congress next week (More)
Bass Pro Shops completes $4B acquisition of Cabela's (More)
Boston-based Indigo raises $100M for smart crops - resilient to drought, insects, and nutrient-poor soil (More)
 

Politics & World Affairs.

STDs hit record high in US for third straight year (More) | See full data (More)
Senate Foreign Relations Chair Bob Corker (R-TN) announces retirement (More)
Former State Chief Justice Roy Moore wins GOP primary for Senate special election, will face Doug Jones on Dec. 12th (More)
ETCETERA.
New Study: The racial wealth (not income) gap is worse than you think

Photos: 2017 best underwater shots from Scuba Diving Magazine. 

What fake-news readers look like on the left and the right.

Data Viz: The percentage of women who are household breadwinners has tripled since 1970. 

The 4 longest range missiles in the world.

Search data predicts Halloween's most popular costume.

Twitter testing increasing character limit from 140 to 280

Pigeons are better at multitasking than humans.

It's Just Carbon: 1,109-carat diamond, biggest in a century, sells for $53M.

Rapper B.o.B launched a GoFundMe page to prove the world is flat

Clickbait: A man ghosts his girlfriend - a decade later in a different country she becomes his boss.

Historybook: HBD Samuel Adams (1722); John Adams negotiates peace with British (1779); HBD Hiram Revels (1817); First production Model T Ford built (1908); Poland surrenders to Germany (1939); HBD Lil Wayne (1982); HBD (officially) Google (1998); Angela Merkel wins re-election (2009)
"TRYING TO TEAR DOWN THE PAST PROHIBITS YOU FROM BUILDING UP YOUR FUTURE."
-Lil Wayne
 
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