1.28.2020

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Need to Know
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Witness Vote Looms in Senate Trial
With President Trump's legal team resuming their defense on the sixth day of the Senate's impeachment trial, GOP leaders said a key vote on whether to call new witnesses will be held Friday. The vote will likely determine whether the trial ends this weekend, or persists, potentially through the Feb. 4 State of the Union. To date, arguments have hinged on witnesses and evidence contained in the House-passed articles from December; so far both sides of the aisle appear unmoved by one another (public sentiment has barely budged). Additional witnesses appeared off the table until reports emerged Sunday that former national security adviser John Bolton was preparing a book manuscript supporting claims that Trump withheld military aid to pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden (the president denied giving such an order). Four Republicans would need to side with the 47 Democrats to call any new witnesses; Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have signaled they are considering the move.
Stocks Drop on Virus Fears
Markets sank yesterday after confirmed cases of the Wuhan coronavirus skyrocketed over the weekend, surfacing in at least 12 countries including France, Germany, and the United States. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 454 points (-1.6%), its biggest drop since October, while the S&P 500 dropped 52 points (-1.6%) and the Nasdaq fell 176 points (-1.9%). The pullback was led by airlines dealing with a flood of canceled and rescheduled flights, and gaming stocks like Las Vegas Sands (-6.8%) and Wynn (-8.1%) hit by dampened Lunar New Year celebrations. Some analysts project overall Chinese GDP could drop by 1.2% in the wake of the deadly virus. At least 106 people have died from the outbreak with close to 3,000 infected; five cases have been reported in the US, though more than 100 cases are being investigated.
Victims Identified in Bryant Crash
Officials identified seven other victims of the deadly helicopter crash that killed former NBA superstar Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, Sunday morning. Joining Bryant on the trip to his Mamba Sports Academy were John and Keri Altobelli and their daughter, Alyssa, who was a teammate of Gianna; Christina Mauser, the top assistant coach on the Mamba girl's basketball team; Sarah Chester and her daughter, Payton, who was also a teammate; and Ara Zobayan, a flight instructor and Bryant's private pilot. The cause of the crash is yet to be determined, but the fog was severe enough to ground law enforcement aircraft and Zobayan needed permission from air traffic controllers to continue with the flight. Experts say flight logs suggest Zobayan may have become spatially disoriented ($$, WashPo) in the fog, though mechanical failure has not been ruled out. 

Take a look at Kobe's legacy in 24 stats.
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In the Know
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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
> Harvey Weinstein trial continues as former “Project Runway” production assistant Miriam Haley testifies about alleged rape by Weinstein in 2006 (More)
> Ratings for 2020 Grammy Awards hit all-time low of 18.7M viewers age 18-49; also lowest total viewership since 2008 (More)
> Jo Martin revealed as first black “Doctor Who” in show’s 56-year history; the British actress will be the 14th incarnation of the doctor (More)
Science & Technology
> New technique turns any carbon-based garbage, including food waste, into high-quality graphene by flash heating; the 2D carbon sheets can be used in applications from electronics to reinforcing building materials (More)
> Researchers discover a direct path to inject nanosized capsules into the nucleus of living cells; ability represents potential breakthrough for targeted drug delivery (More)
> Leaked documents allege antivirus giant Avast sells detailed web browsing history via a subsidiary to companies like Home Depot, Pepsi, and more, unbeknownst to most of its 435 million users (More)
Business & Markets
> Boeing secures $12B in bank commitments to help weather effects of nearly yearlong 737 Max crisis (More)
> GM to invest $3B to transform its Detroit-Hamtramck plant in Michigan into its first all-electric US vehicle plant (More)
> Study reports high-frequency traders - who swap shares in fractions of seconds - earn around $5B in the global stock markets, effectively acting as a tax on investors (More)
Politics & World Affairs
> Supreme Court grants administration request to implement "public charge" rule while awaiting appeals; rule allows officials to withhold green cards from applicants that may rely on government assistance (More)
> President Trump expected to preview White House's Middle East peace plan with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and challenger Benny Gantz today (More) | Palestinians boycotted talks, but plan reportedly includes conditional Palestinian statehood (More, $$, WashPo)
> At least eight people dead in Alabama boat dock fire; cause of blaze unknown, which destroyed 35 boats, with officials still searching for those who jumped from dock into water (More)
In-Depth
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The Leap
LA Times | Helene Elliott. (From 1996) On the heels of the tragic helicopter crash that took the life of NBA star Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven others, look back at Bryant as he prepared to make a generation-defining leap straight from high school to professional basketball. (Read)
How Facial Recognition Works
California Sunday | Staff. From smartphones to surveillance systems, facial recognition technology has infiltrated our everyday lives, along with growing fears over privacy and security. Here's a primer on everything you need to know about the tech, from its history, to how it works, to the growing backlash against its use. (Read)
 
 
Etcetera
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