Spotify To Go Public as Streaming Dominates.
The streaming music giant Spotify plans to go public, having reportedly filed a confidential Initial Public Offering in late December (what is an IPO?). In an move nearly unprecedented for a large company, Spotify will pursue a direct listing on the NYSE, meaning no new shares will be issued but existing investors can trade their shares on the open market. The move avoids many of the traditional fees associated with an IPO - which can be up to 7% of the overall value - and if successful, may change the way companies pursue IPOs. Spotify and its nearly 140 million users have led the surge in streaming music, which now accounts for two-thirds of the recorded music business. Overall, Americans streamed more than 377 million songs in 2017 (see top streams), up 50% from the previous year. The announcement comes in the face of a $1.6B copyright infringement lawsuit against the company, which has been valued as high as $19B. 

Manafort Sues Over Indictment in Russia Probe.
Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort filed suit against Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the Department of Justice over his indictment in the ongoing probe into potential Russian meddling in the 2016 election (read complaint). The suit claims Mueller went outside the scope of his investigation, and asks a federal judge to narrow the probe and dismiss the charges against Manafort. In an unusual move, Manafort chose to file a civil complaint rather than directly asking the presiding judge to dismiss the case. Experts believe it will be an uphill battle for Manafort, who pleaded guilty to 12 charges related to foreign lobbying in late October. His trial is set to begin in May. 

Random Draw to Break VA Election Tie Today.
After a court rejected a request to reexamine a contested ballot, Virginia officials will hold a random draw to determine the winner of the state's 94th House district. Incumbent David Yancey (R) and challenger Shelly Simonds (D) both received 11,608 votes in last November's election - Simonds originally had a one vote lead, but the ballot was determined to have scratched out Simonds and voted for Yancey (see contested ballot). Virginia has a Democratic Governor and state Senate, and the House is currently split 50-50 - meaning the results could swing the balance of power of the entire state government. Officials will - literally - draw a paper slip from a glass bowl today at 11am to determine the winner. 
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Sports, Entertainment & Culture.

> Jacqueline Woodson, best-selling children's author, named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature (More)
> President Trump to attend Monday's College Football Playoff national championship game in Atlanta (More)
> Ellen Page announces surprise wedding to dancer Emma Portner (More)

Science & Technology.

> New whole body imaging using positron emission tomography - one of most sensitive and flexible techniques - could revolutionize medical diagnosis (More) | How PET works (More)
> Genetic test from 11,000-year-old infant suggests ancient Americans arrived in one big wave (More)
> 'Horrific' security flaw in Intel chips dating back to 2004 will require vast majority of users to patch (More)

Business & Markets.

> IBM is suing Expedia, alleging patent infringement (More)
> US car sales drop slightly for first time since financial crisis, 17MM sold in 2017 (More)
> Didi Chuxing - the "Uber of China" - acquires 99, Brazil's largest ride-hailing biz for $600M (More)

Politics & World Affairs.

> Doug Jones (D-AL) sworn in as Senator, GOP majority narrows to 51-49 (More)
> China shuts down production on 533 vehicle models for failing to meet efficiency standards, part of broader climate push (More)
> Trump excommunicates former adviser Steve Bannon after book excerpt published (More)

Losing Conner’s Mind. 

The Atavist | Amitha Kalaichandran. Doctors knew then two-year-old Conner Beish's cerebellum was slightly underdeveloped and experienced seizures. It wasn't until he began to forget words he knew and became unable to walk and play that a rare genetic disorder was discovered. At the same time, an experimental treatment that showed success in dogs was coming down the pipe - and the race to save Conner and thousands of other children began. 

How America Moves Its Homeless.

The Guardian | Staff. Today, there are more than 500,000 homeless in the United States. As that figure continues to rise, cities are resorting to the relocation of their homeless population (via free bus tickets) more than ever before. Over the course of 18-months, the Guardian looked into the consequences of relocation by accounting for over 30,000 separate journeys. Hear the tales of migration that have never been told, and their impact as well.
In honor of National Trivia Day, 60 little-known facts

Also...meet HQ Trivia, the new trivia app taking the US by storm (no they aren't paying us - we're just addicted). 

These abandoned theme parks will either make you nostalgic or creeped out.

American Girl’s 2018 Girl of the Year will be an astronaut.

Data shows Americans continue to move to the West and South.

Mike Tyson is building a 40-acre ranch dedicated to marijuana growing, education and innovation in California.

Burning Man reveals Galaxia temple for 2018.

The Knot reveals average diamond carat size for engagement rings in 2017

(It's old but...) Ludacris rapping popular kids book Llama Llama Red Pajama must be seen

Clickbait: 'Jeopdary!' contestant loses $3,200 for mispronouncing "gangsta".

Historybook: HBD Louis Braille (1809); New York Stock Exchange opens on Wall Street (1865); Boxer Floyd Patterson born (1935); RIP T.S. Eliot (1965); The euro makes its debut (1999).
-T.S. Eliot
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