9.29.2017

*|MC:SUBJECT|*
09.29.2017
NEED TO KNOW.
Twitter/Russia.
Executives from Twitter briefed the House and Senate Intelligence Committees on what they know about fake accounts sponsored by Russian-linked entities, revealing that at least 200  were responsible for spreading propaganda on its platform. That includes 22 accounts linked to Facebook profiles previously disclosed as fake Russian accounts. Yesterday's meeting was behind closed doors - ahead of what is expected to be grueling public hearings where Twitter will join Google and Facebook in late October and early November. For whatever its influence in the election, evidence strongly suggests that Russia uses proxies to push divisive cultural issues via social media - while the US debated over NFL athletes taking a knee during the anthem, Russian-linked accounts were found promoting both #standforouranthem and #takeaknee.

al-Baghdadi.
The Islamic State released a recording of its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, indicating the reclusive ISIS Caliph may still be alive. The audio was Baghdadi's first appearance since last November - Russian military said it may have killed Baghdadi during an airstrike in eastern Syria in June. The audio seems to make reference to current events, including North Korea and attacks in London and Barcelona - which would confirm Baghdadi is still alive. Analysts suspect the timing of the release is meant to galvanize ISIS fighters after suffering heavy losses as coalition forces retook the key cities of Mosul and Raqqa. The recording was widely disseminated in chat rooms and on the app Telegram - a messaging platform that is popular with terrorist groups for its encryption capabilities. US officials had not yet confirmed whether they believe the voice on the tapes is the ISIS leader. 

Scalise.

Representative Steve Scalise (R, LA-01) returned to congress yesterday almost three months after being shot multiple times by a lone gunman targeting republicans while they practiced for a charity softball game. Scalise, the Majority Whip in the House (what is a Whip?), was shot by James Hodgkinson - an Illinois man who had traveled to DC in March, reportedly angry over the November 2016 election. Shot in the hip, a bullet traveling across Scalise's pelvis, rupturing his internal organs - he arrived at the hospital in critical condition with "imminent risk of death". Scalise, who will continue outpatient therapy, returned to the chamber to packed, bipartisan applause - followed by a 60 Minutes crew, ahead of his first interview since the attack, which will air on Sunday (see preview). 
 
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IN THE KNOW.

Sports, Entertainment & Culture.

FOMO: Kim Kardashian announces she's expecting third child with Kanye West (More)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus reveals breast cancer diagnosis (More)
Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton hits HRs 58 & 59, most in MLB since 2001 (More)
 

Science & Technology.

New breakthrough in fast, mass screenings for Ebola, can replace dangerous one-by-one blood tests (More)
2011 Japanese tsunami carried almost 300 new species to US west coast, scientists confirm new ecosystems (More)
Study finds oxytocin, areas of brain responsible for sociability, could have applications in schizophrenia and autism (More)
 

Business & Markets.

Streaming TV provider Roku jumps 67% on first day as public company to $2.2B valuation (More)
US Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 3.1% in Q2, fastest in two years (More) | What is GDP anyways? (More)
Ikea acquires TaskRabbit - provider of on-demand chores - for undisclosed amount (More)
 

Politics & World Affairs.

WA State sues Oxycontin maker Purdue Pharma over addiction epidemic (More)
FEMA gets $6.7B for relief efforts towards Puerto Rico (More) | Trump will waive Jones Act (More)
IL Gov. Bruce Rauner signs bill allowing Medicaid to cover abortions (More)
WEEKEND READS.

The Dying Art of Disagreement. 

Lowy Institute | Bret Stephens. The speech from his acceptance of the Institute's 2017 Media Award, Stephens lays out his perspective on why disagreement - healthy, well-formed disagreement - is essential to maintaining a healthy, liberal democracy. (Read)
 

The Untold Story of the Assassins of North Korea. 

GQ | Doug Bock Clark. North Korea's clandestine assassination program burst into the public eye when Kim Jong-nam, the brother of current leader Kim Jong-un, was murdered by two women via a chemical nerve agent. How were two otherwise nondescript Vietnamese women developed into something out of a spy movie? (Read)
 

The Great Silicon Heist. 

Wired | Brendan Koerner. It's not as sexy as gold or straight cash, but the high-tech world runs on highly-purified silicon. When a global shortage created a black market for the material, two Alabama men found a way to steal a whopping 43 tons of it. (Read)
 

The Overmonitored Nursery. 

The New York Times | Sophie Brickman. Nest cams, smart socks, baby trackers with fifteen foot alarms - welcome to the world of extreme parental surveillance. (Read)
 

The Sorrow and the Shame of the Accidental Killer. 

The New Yorker | Alice Gregory. A powerful look at how unintentionally killing another human being affects a person - even four decades later. (Read)
ETCETERA.
Hunger Knows No Boundaries: Food insecurity for US households with children at 20%

Beware Octopuses: There is an eight continent - it's just underwater (w/ map).

A college degree means four times more net worth for Americans.

Study reveals ageism in hiring in the tech sector.

Getty will ban images that are photoshopped to make models look thinner. 

It's National Coffee Day: Here's where you can get free coffee.

Doggos On Boards: Huntington Beach holds annual Surf Dogs competition

Stanford students can now get morning after pill from campus vending machines.

Bangkok tops list of top global destination cities.

That Feeling When: Your lung tumor turns out to be a toy traffic cone you inhaled 40 years ago

Clickbait: "Fatberg" of grease, wipes causes 1 million gallon sewer overflow in Baltimore. Horrible video of sewer inspection included - Happy Friday!

Historybook: John D. Rockefeller becomes world’s 1st billionaire (1916); Jerry Lee Lewis born (1935); Willie Mays makes famous over-the-shoulder catch (1954); JFK authorizes federal troops to integrate Ole Miss (1962); Pope John Paul II is first Pope to visit Ireland (1979); 1st American woman climbs Mt. Everest (1988).
"IF YOUR ONLY GOAL IS TO BECOME RICH, YOU WILL NEVER ACHIEVE IT."
-John D. Rockefeller
 
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