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Need to Know
Iran Strikes Back
Iran retaliated yesterday for the killing of general Qassem Soleimani, firing 15 ballistic missiles at two Iraqi military bases housing US troops. Following the attacks, Iranian officials appeared to signal their response to Soleimani's death had concluded, at least in the short term; the US reported no casualties. The attack comes the same day as Soleimani's burial in his hometown of Kerman, which was interrupted by a deadly stampede that killed 56 people and injured nearly 200 others. In the US, administration officials will brief congressional leaders on intelligence leading to last week's drone strike that killed Soleimani. Meanwhile, the House will reportedly vote on a resolution under the 1973 War Powers Act (see 101) requiring congressional approval for any further military action against Iran, though such a bill appears unlikely to be approved by the Senate.

See a timeline of US-Iran tensions dating back to the 1950s
Boeing 737 Crashes...in Iran
A Ukrainian Airlines plane crashed shortly after taking off from Iran's main international airport in Tehran early this morning, killing all 176 people on board. It is the third high-profile fatal crash involving a Boeing aircraft in the past 15 months, following a crash in October 2018 outside Jakarta, Indonesia that killed 189 people and a March 2019 crash outside Addis Abba, Ethiopia that killed 157 people. Unlike the previous incidents which were linked to faulty automated safety systems on Boeing's newest model, the 737 MAX, yesterday's crashed reportedly involved an older model 737-800. It was stunning timing, coming just hours after Iran fired a series of missiles at US targets in Iraq. Both Ukrainian and Iranian officials said a mechanical failure was suspected to be the cause of the crash, though inspectors were not able to immediately assess the wreckage (see photos). At least 82 Iranians were aboard when the plane went down. 
Earth-Like Planet Spotted
NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) located its first Earth-like planet outside the Solar System, scientists announced. The planet, located 100 light-years away, is roughly the same size as Earth and resides in the habitable zone of its host star - meaning conditions are suitable for liquid water. The planet-hunting telescope scans the same portion of the sky for a month at a time, allowing scientists to detect and infer the properties of planets by measuring how a star's brightness dims as planets pass in front of them. More than 4,000 exoplanets have been observed (tens of billions are likely to exist) before TESS, but only a few are Earth-sized and orbit in conditions suitable for life. Proxima Centauri b is the closest at 4.2 light-years away.

TESS also found its first circumbinary planet - a planet that orbits two stars instead of just one.
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In the Know
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“Ugly Betty” creator Silvio Horta dies at 45 (More) | Elizabeth Wurtzel, bestselling author of “Prozac Nation,” dies at 52 (More)
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Science & Technology
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Business & Markets
> Smart speaker maker Sonos sues Google for patent infringement in creating audio products (More)
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Politics & World Affairs
> Federal prosecutors recommend six-month prison term for former national security adviser Michael Flynn; Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about Russia contacts (More)
> Spain to be led by coalition government for first time in 80 years after acting prime minister Pedro Sánchez gains backing for alliance between socialist and left-wing Unidas Podemos parties (More)
> Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he has the votes to proceed with impeachment trial, will defer the question of additional witnesses until after trial begins (More)
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Old musicians don't die, they become holograms. ($$, NYT) 
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