1.31.2018

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1.31.2018
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.

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NEED TO KNOW.
Amazon Leads Healthcare Partnership.
Online mega-retailer Amazon announced yesterday it would partner with Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase to form a new company focused on improving healthcare and lowering costs for employees of the three companies. Though the press release offered few details - it clocked in at about 400 words - the new company will be an independent not-for-profit (definition here) focused on technology solutions for "simplified, high-quality, and transparent healthcare at a reasonable cost". The companies together have over 500,000 US employees. The US spends about 18% of its GDP on healthcare - about twice as much as other developed countries - and spending has been increasing faster than inflation. Healthcare stocks took a big hit, losing about $67B in market cap from what is a $3.5T industry. 

No Messenger App for Kids, Say Experts.
Dozens of pediatric and mental health experts signed a letter urging Facebook to shut down its newly launched Messenger Kids app. Facebook released its new Messenger Kids app in early January, billing it as a safer way for kids to chat and send videos without parental supervision. Experts say the program targets a user base under 13 years old - the companies previous minimum target age - that is "developmentally unprepared" for the effects of social media usage. The letter comes on the heels of news that phone-addicted teens - of which social media usage is a large part - are less happy and have higher anxiety. 

Treasury Releases Russia Blacklist.

At the behest of Congress, the US Treasury released an updated list of Russian oligarchs and other figures identified as playing roles in various hostile actions, like aggression in Ukraine and meddling in foreign elections. The list included almost all senior political figures and almost 100 billionaires. No action was associated with the list - its purpose was to 'name-and-shame' individuals - but its release angered the Kremlin and sent a clear signal of targets should sanctions be imposed. The release followed Monday's news that the administration will decline to impose new sanctions urged by Congress in a bipartisan bill at the moment. The list was also criticized for being partially cribbed from a Forbes article - which the White House admitted
 
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IN THE KNOW.

Sports, Entertainment & Culture.

> Glee actor Mark Salling dies of suicide at age 35; Was awaiting sentencing for child pornography charges (More)
> Kansas City Chiefs QB Alex Smith to be traded to Washington Redskins (More)
> Kevin Towers, Arizona Diamondbacks & San Diego Padres general manager, dies at 56 (More)
 

Science & Technology.

> Brain 'pacemaker' may help slow Alzheimer's decline via deep brain stimulation (More)
> Originally taking $2.7B and supercomputers, new handhold device can sequence the human genome in seconds with 99.88% accuracy (More)
> Customizable fabric-like power source developed for better wearable electronics (More)
 

Business & Markets.

> Department of Justice and SEC to probe Apple over software that slowed older iPhone models (More)
> Facebook to ban cryptocurrency ads which are “frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices" (More)
> Silicon Valley Bank releases annual Startup Report, 61% have positive outlook (More)
 

Politics & World Affairs.

> FCC concludes Hawaii emergency worker who sent false missile alert mistook an internal drill, believed an attack was imminent (More)
> Saudi anti-corruption drive nets $106B in settlements, money will go to social welfare programs (More)
> Trump delivers largely bipartisan State of the Union (More) | Rep. Joe Kennedy delivers Democrat response (More)
ETCETERA.
Everything you should know about happiness in one chart.

Parents share the weirdest things their kids have said...and it gets creepy fast.

Crawl and climb inside this massive art installation made of tape

Goodnight to the Midwest from the International Space Station (w/ photo).

Seattle - the hottest real estate market in the country - is up 12% in the past year.

These fashion accessories change color to match your outfit.

Your brain reveals who your friends are

The world’s oldest man Francisco Núñez Olivera dies at 113 years old

Clickbait: Woman's emotional support peacock denied entry to flight (w/ photos). 

Historybook: Guy Fawkes is executed (1606); 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery, passes in Congress (1865); HBD Jackie Robinson (1919); HBD Justin Timberlake (1981).
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