NC Congressional Map Overturned.
A panel of federal judges overturned North Carolina's congressional map yesterday, stating it was unfairly divided to favor Republicans. A district court previously found that two NC districts were unconstitutional due to racial gerrymandering - meaning the districts were drawn to minimize minority voter impact - but this is the first time a court has overturn an entire map based on political gerrymandering. Courts have been uneasy to determine what amount of political influence on districting is appropriate. The courts said the map can't be used in the upcoming midterm elections, and gave officials until Jan. 24th to propose a remedial plan - but warned it would draw the boundaries itself if the new map was found inadequate. The state may appeal, kicking the issue up to the Supreme Court.

Trump Signals Support for Broad Immigration Plan.
President Trump expressed support for a plan that would couple protections for young immigrants to funding for enhanced border security. The conversation took place during a 90-minute meeting with Republican and Democrat leaders, much of which was televised. However, the President went further, expressing interest in finding a pathway to citizenship for the nearly 11 million undocumented workers currently in the US. While this would be a departure from his early campaign rhetoric, the President suggested he was prepared to "take the heat". 

CA Mudslides Wreck Areas Hit By Fires.
At least 13 were killed after heavy rain sent mudslides through towns in Santa Barbara County. At least 25 more were injured and crews had to air lift at least 50 to safety - an almost worst-case scenario for an area hit by the Thomas wild fires just weeks earlier. According to the National Weather Service, rainfall exceeded 5 inches in some places, causing waste high mudslides. The rain came after nearly 11 months of dry weather in Southern California. See photos of the aftermath here.  

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Sports, Entertainment & Culture.

> Comic book legend Stan Lee accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women (More)
> Bonnaroo festival lineup announced; Eminem and the Killers to headline (More)
> Warner Brothers undergoes major reorganization as Toby Emmerich promoted to film chairman (More)

Science & Technology.

> SpaceX's secret government payload "Zuma" reportedly lost after failing to detach properly (More) | Faulty part may have been made by Northrop Grumman (More)
> Functioning human muscle grown using unassigned stem cells (More)
> Researchers discover identical twins share more than genes, have similar molecular "machinery" (More)

Business & Markets.

> Toyota and Mazda to build a new $1.6 billion assembly plant in Huntsville, AL (More)
> Crunchbase releases 2017 Venture Capital report - $213B invested, 23% increase over 2016 (More)
> The Swiss National Bank profited $55B in 2017 due to emergence as major money manager (More)

Politics & World Affairs.

> Bannon departs Breitbart, reportedly ousted by mega-funder Rebekah Mercer (More)
> House, Trump considering lifting ban on funding earmarks (More)
> Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) release transcript of interview with FusionGPS, author of infamous Russia dossier - FBI may have had whistleblower in Trump Org (More)
One of the best photos of Jupiter ever taken by NASA's Juno satellite.

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eBay's most shopped items & trends from 2017.

Robots: PancakeBot is an overly complicated way to make pancakes...with robots

It snowed in the Sahara Desert, and the white-capped dunes are eerily beautiful

Kodak creates own cryptocurrency to help protect artists digital rights and watches stock price soar.

The best and worst brand names - and 3 naming trends for 2018.

The best photos from a roving restaurant critic.
Clickbait: With ingestible pill, you can track fart development in real time on your phone.

Historybook: Treaty of Versailles ends World War I (1919); UN General Assembly gathers for first time (1945); HBD Rod Stewart (1945); HBD George Foreman (1949); RIP David Bowie (2016).
-George Foreman
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