1.23.2018

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1.23.2018
NEED TO KNOW.
Breaking: Tsunami Alert Issued for West Coast.
A tsunami watch has been issued from Washington to California, as well as Alaska and British Columbia, after a reported 8.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Gulf of Alaska (zoom out on the US Geological Survey's earthquake map to see it). The quake hit about 175 miles southeast of Kodiak - the region is prone to earthquakes, with the North American and Pacific tectonic plates meeting to form a subduction zone (where the two plates can slide over each other). Officials are warning people to avoid beaches, with tsunamis capable of traveling over 600 miles per hour in the open ocean and appearing with little warning. 

Federal Government Reopens.

The three-day old shutdown of the federal government came to at least a temporary halt yesterday after Congress passed a stopgap measure that would fund operations through February 8th. The bill also included a six-year extension of the popular Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) - which costs the federal government about $15B per year and services nine million low-income children (see stats). The deal was reportedly brokered by a group of bipartisan senators, with a promise that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) would allow debate on protecting so-called "dreamers" (read 101) in the coming weeks, along with an open amendment process on any legislation. The concession upset many in the liberal wing of the Democrat base, though the same standoff could replay itself three weeks from now.

Testimonies in Nassar Case Continue.
Over 120 women have testified to sexual abuse at the hands of Larry Nassar, a former physician for the US women's gymnastics team. Nassar pleaded guilty to molesting over 150 underage girls in his capacity with USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University - after which Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina allowed victims to directly address Nassar, should they wish to. Originally planned for four days with 88 statements - including powerful testimony from Olympian Aly Raisman (video) - the total is now expected to exceed 140. Nassar was originally arrested by the FBI in December 2016 after agents found thousands of images of child pornography, including Nassar molesting underage girls - for which he received a 60 year sentence. USA Gymnastics also suspended John Geddert yesterday, who coached the team to gold in 2012, over his ties to Nassar. 

 
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IN THE KNOW.

Sports, Entertainment & Culture.

> Oscar nominations announced this morning; here's how to watch live (More)
> Pat Shurmur named Head Coach of NY Giants (More) | Arizona Cardinals hire Steve Wilks as Head Coach (More)
> Neil Diamond announces Parkinson's diagnosis; will retire from touring (More)
 

Science & Technology.

> China, with loose regulations, has already used CRISPR to perform human gene-editing (More) | What is CRISPR? (More)
> In major advance in understanding galaxy formation, research shows evidence of strong "winds" around black holes (More)
> Scientists pinpoint cause of mysterious polio-like illness paralyzing children in the US and Europe - a virus called Enterovirus D68 (More)
 

Business & Markets.

> Netflix adds 8M subscribers in Q4, shares soar 10% in after-hours trading to top $100B value (More)
> Trump administration issues new tariffs on imported solar panels and washing machines (More)
> Bacardi to buy Patron Tequila for $5.1B (More)
 

Politics & World Affairs.

> PA Supreme Court says gerrymandered state congressional map violates constitution, must be redrawn ahead of 2018 midterms (More)
> Vermont becomes 9th state to legalize recreational marijuana (More)
> Russian sub spotted 100 miles off North Carolina coast, being tracked by USS Cole (More)
IN DEPTH.

John Bel Edwards' Balancing Act. 

Governing | J.B. Wogan. As the only Democratic governor in the Deep South, John Bel Edwards has so far threaded the needle between policy and partisanship. With a focus on finances, Edwards may be doing what many thought was impossible in the region - bringing back centrist politics
 

Meet the Man Who Wants Nevada to Kill Him. 

The Marshall Project | Maurice Chammah. In the past 40 years, over 1,000 people have been executed in the United States. Of those, about 10% are referred to as “volunteers,” meaning that they waive their appeals and ask for execution. One of these volunteers, named Scott Dozier, had been on death row for 10 years before he finally accepted his fate. Join him on his roller coaster journey through capital punishment.
ETCETERA.
Naomi Parker Fraley - America's real Rosie the Riveter - dies at 96.

Ahead of the Oscars, check out the Razzie Awards for 2017's worst performances.

How America has changed in the last year, by the numbers.  

Comedy Central's Drunk History returns for Season 5 tonight - see trailer here (may contain NSFW language). 

Report says adolescence now extends to age 24.

Paddington 2 breaks records for most positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

See the richest person from each state

Woman hitches ride on flight with no ticket from Chicago to London by hiding in plain sight

Not All Heroes Wear Capes: Triumphant dad wins parenting with epic bubble bath wall.

Historybook: HBD John Hancock (1737); US and Vietnam reach peace settlement (1973); RIP Paul Robeson (1976); RIP Salvador Dali (1989); Madeleine Albright becomes first US female Secretary of State (1997).
"HAVE NO FEAR OF PERFECTION - YOU'LL NEVER REACH IT."
- Salvador Dali

 
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