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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.
Trump at Border.
President Trump visited the US-Mexico border yesterday, building on Tuesday's prime time address to press his case for funding to expand a border wall. Following a series of unsuccessful talks with congressional leaders, reports indicate the administration may be laying the groundwork to declare a national emergency at the border. The move would allow the White House to access pots of money across different departments largely without congressional approval - sources say the Pentagon is drafting options that would allow the Army Corps of Engineers to oversee construction. Trump canceled his trip to Davos to address the border wall issue, which is at the center of a partial government shutdown now stretching into its 21st day. 

In related news, a prototype of one of the steel barriers was cut through by a power saw in a test by the Department of Homeland Security. 
Female Overdose Rates.
New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that deaths from drug overdoses rose 260% for women aged 30 to 64 between 1999 and 2017. The numbers represent a rise from about 4,300 deaths per year to over 18,100 for the demographic. When narrowed to opioids, deaths from overdoses for the same group soared 492%. The rise is part of an opioid crisis in which over 33,000 die each year, driven largely by synthetic drugs like fentanyl, which is roughly 100 times more powerful than morphine. 

You can read the full report here
US Troops Begin Leaving Syria.
Officials began the process of withdrawing US troops from the US-led military coalition in Syria this morning, according to officials. The withdrawal was announced by President Trump in mid-December, with a timeline of four months for a complete drawdown. About 2,000 US personnel remain in the war-torn country, at the tail-end of a multilateral effort to eliminate ISIS troops who moved into the eastern part of the country during Syria's brutal, 8-year civil war. The pullout also threatens ethnic Kurds in the region, whose militia partnered with the US to fight ISIS but has been a long-standing target of Turkey, which borders Syria on the North. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged that Kurdish militia fighters would be safe following the withdraw. 
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In The Know.
Sports, Entertainment & Culture.
> Las Vegas police issue warrant for DNA sample from soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo for investigation into 2009 rape allegation (More)
> Three-time tennis grand slam champion Andy Murray announces his retirement at age 31 (More)
> Lady Gaga apologizes, will remove her 2013 duet with R. Kelly from all streaming services in wake of latest R. Kelly sexual abuse allegations (More)
Science & Technology.
> New study says oceans are warming faster than expected, leading to sea level rises of almost 12 inches via thermal expansion on top of other contributions like melting glaciers (More)
> Canadian telescope captures mysterious, brief signals known as fast radio bursts; originating in deep space, one of the sources is only the second known to flash repeatedly (More)
> Researchers design protein from scratch that fights kidney and skin cancers without the life-threatening side effects of the naturally-produced protein (More)
Business & Markets.
> Macy’s cuts full-year forecast on poor holiday-season sales, shares drop 18% (More)
> Fiat Chrysler to pay $700M+ to resolve DOJ lawsuits over emissions scandal (More) | Ford to cut thousands of jobs and exit unprofitable markets in Europe (More)
> Electronic scooter startup Bird raising $300M from Fidelity at $2B valuation (More)

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Politics & World Affairs.
> Former Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen will testify before House Oversight Committee prior to heading to prison (More)
> Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro sworn in for second term following controversial reelection last year; pressure increasing amid ongoing economic crisis (More)
> Missing Wisconsin teen found alive just one hour from home; had been missing since October when parents were found murdered (More)
Weekend Reads.
The Science of Dreaming.
Longreads | Jessica Gross. Science journalist Alice Robb discusses lucid dreaming, monitoring dreams for your mental health, and the many other merits to dream analysis. (Read)
How Cities Make Money by Fining the Poor.
NYT Magazine | Matthew Shaer. In recent years many states have significantly increased their court fees due to economic difficulties. While the increase hardly has an effect on most, it's become the difference between freedom and jail time for the poor. (Read, paywall)
Is Marijuana as Safe as We Think?
The New Yorker | Malcolm Gladwell. A recent 468-page report from the National Academy of Medicine on cannabis was expected to bring groundbreaking results, but ultimately raised more questions than answers. (Read)
The Weight I Carry.
The Atlantic | Tommy Tomlinson. Being overweight in America is no easy task, especially when receiving uninformed or misguided advice. The author, who describes himself as "nearly a sphere", discusses the trials and tribulations of daily life. (Read)
LinkedIn ranks the most promising jobs of 2019
How the obsession with taking photos is changing how we view the past
20% of millennials say they expect to die in debt
The 30 best pieces of advice for entrepreneurs
Charting 20 years of the most popular websites on the Internet
Doo Doo Doo: Viral children's song "Baby Shark" cracks the Billboard Hot 100
After conversion during prison stint, man goes from inmate to mayor
Pro gambler bets $100k that he can stay in complete darkness for 30 days
Clickbait: Man takes sword to brother, believing him to be a lizard person
Historybook: HBD Alexander Hamilton (1755 or 1757); Grand Canyon becomes a national monument (1908); First use of insulin to treat diabetes in humans (1922); HBD Mary J. Blige (1971); RIP Edmund Hillary, first person to reach summit of Mt. Everest (2008).
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- Edmund Hillary
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