Rep. Darrell Issa to Retire.
After serving southern California's 49th district since 2001, Rep. Darrell Issa (R) announced he will not seek reelection next year. Issa - a self-made millionaire who doggedly pursued the Obama administration as Chair of the House Oversight Committee - is one of the highest profile names in a wave of House Republicans stepping down in 2018. Issa was vulnerable despite having served 9 terms, with the 49th district voting for Clinton +9 in 2016. While Issa's district may end up being a competitive race - he won reelection in 2016 by only a half point - the general trend of retirements may not be enough to swing control of the House. Of the 30 GOP retirements announced only 13 are in competitive districts (paywall), whereas 10 of the 15 districts with retiring Democrats are competitive. 

ICE Conducts Nationwide 7-Eleven Raids.
Immigration officials made 21 arrests in raids on 7-Eleven convenience stores across the country. In what officials described as the largest move against a single employer hiring illegal immigrants, the raids hitv nearly 100 stores in 17 different states. 7-Elevens were not randomly targeted - the raid was reportedly a follow up to 2013 sweeps that resulted in the arrest of nine franchise owners and managers in NY and VA. After the 2013 raids the parent company, 7-Eleven Inc., said it had cracked down on franchise hiring processes. 

Mudslide Death Toll Rises.

Mudslides in southern California have claimed 17 lives as search and rescue teams look for at least another 17 reported missing. The mudslides were triggered by early morning flash floods on Tuesday in Santa Barbara county - an area hit hard by the recent wildfires. The fires make ground particularly prone to mudslides as the charred hillsides have less ability to absorb water. At least 100 homes were destroyed (see photos) - adding to the chaos were reports that officials did not send out emergency alerts until after the heavy downpour began on Tuesday. 
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Sports, Entertainment & Culture.

> Grammy performers announced; Bruno Mars & Cardi B join list that includes Childish Gambino, Lady Gaga, and Logic (More)
> Ricky Martin confirms marriage to artist Jwan Yosef (More)
> YouTube pulls social media celeb Logan Paul from Google Preferred in further discipline move after he filmed a suicide victim in Japan (More)

Science & Technology.

> Tiny robots perform in vivo tissue regeneration, applications include repairing birth defects (More)
> 3-D printing creates super soft tissue, similar to brain and lungs (More)
> Artificial muscles help people walk via gel-based robotics (More)

Business & Markets.

> Warren Buffett names 2 vice chairmen at Berkshire Hathaway, paving way for potential successor (More)
> Federal Reserve profit payments to US Treasury fall to $80B in 2017 due to lower interest rates (More)
> Trump Administration seeking to alter decades-old lending rules in low-income communities (paywall) (More)

Politics & World Affairs.

> Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens admits affair, accused of blackmailing woman (More)
> Court puts hold on March 5th DACA termination, says 'dreamers' program can't end while legal challenges are ongoing (More)
> Sec. of the Interior Ryan Zinke exempts Florida coast from Trump's expansion of offshore drilling, may push other states to request same (More)

Letter to My Younger Self. 

Players Tribune | Quentin Richardson. A touching and introspective letter from retired NBA standout Quentin Richardson to his 12-year-old self, tracing his path through his brother's murder in South Side, Chicago, to playing with a young Canadian phenom named Steve Nash. Like Q says, you gotta be a dog to compete in the NBA - and life.  

America’s Worst Graveyard Shift.

Bloomberg | Peter Waldman and Kartikay Mehrotra. Cleaning anything usually ends up being a dirty job - but imagine cleaning a slaughterhouse. For immigrant workers in the meatpacking industry, this unfortunate image is their reality. But the job isn’t only bad because it’s icky - with dangerous machinery and stringent deadlines, cleaning a slaughterhouse is more than just unsavory, it’s unsafe. Immigrants aren’t only subjected to low-pay and dangerous conditions, they also are refused some of their basic rights.
The top 50 most bedbug-infested cities in America.

Fitness chain bans cable news from its TVs, says not conducive to "healthy lifestyle". 

The TSA's ten strangest finds of the past year

Binged Black Mirror and need more? Check out the eerie short film “The Sweetening”.

The 5 top videos of heartbroken Georgia fans after Alabama's comeback win.

Thousands of belligerent hockey fans find it in their hearts to be nice to a kid.

Diet Coke rolls out four new flavors and a new look.

Major power outage hits world's largest consumer electronics show

Historybook: HBD Alexander Hamilton (1755 or 1757); Grand Canyon becomes a national monument (1908); HBD Mary J. Blige (1971); RIP Edmund Hillary (2008).
-Edmund Hillary
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