10.12.2017

*|MC:SUBJECT|*
10.12.2017
NEED TO KNOW.
Rules of Origin.
Trade officials from the US, Canada, and Mexico met in Washington yesterday for the next round of renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The deal - which eliminated virtually all tariffs between the three countries - governs almost $1T in annual trade. The talks are expected to be contentious, focusing on "rules of origin" for automobiles. Currently, a vehicle gets the benefits of the deal if at least 62.5% of its parts come from NAFTA countries. The US wants to raise this limit (or have a US-specific quota) to boost domestic production - but auto suppliers say it will have the opposite effect, making vehicles too expensive. Talks are expected to conclude next January, with changes going to Congress for approval. [Editor's note: If you love data like us, check out these fact sheets on US trade with Canada and Mexico.]

The Scouts.

The Boy Scouts of America announced yesterday that it will accept girls into its ranks, citing a desire to shape the next generation of women leaders. While the Boy Scouts will maintain separated genders, the announcement is a pivot for the 107-year-old, 2.4 million member club - but one that follows its acceptance of transgender scouts earlier this year. Girls will first be allowed into the Cub Scouts - for ages 7 to 10 - with a program for older girls becoming available in 2019. The Girl Scouts- who have overlapping mission statements and brushed back the idea when floated in August - were immediately skeptical, saying their 1.8 million member can serve girls better. A good read on the increasing rancor between the two organizations can be found here.

Wildfires.

The fires ravaging northern California may get worse before getting better, as a weather pattern with low humidity and wind gusts up to 45 mph is set to descend into the region north of San Francisco. As the humidity lowers, moisture leaves the dead brush and vegetation on the ground - making it easier to catch fire (learn more here). The blaze - made up of about 22 separate fires spanning over 265 square miles - has claimed 23 lives and left over 280 people missing, with whole towns in Napa County under mandatory evacuation. The fires are about 50 miles north of the Bay Area (see map) - but ash has begun raining down in San Francisco. 
 
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IN THE KNOW.

Sports, Entertainment & Culture.

> MacArthur fellows revealed; winners of $625k 'genius grant' include artists, musicians, and educators (More)
> Fallout from Harvey Weinstein allegations continue as Weinstein reportedly heads to rehab (More) | Ben Affleck apologizes for 2003 groping of Hilarie Burton (More)
> NY Yankees beat Cleveland Indians, advance to face Astros in AL Championship Series (More) | Nationals defeat Cubs to send series to decisive Game 5 tonight (More)
 

Science & Technology.

> FDA panel considers Spark Therapeutics' gene therapy for inherited blindness, would be first hereditary gene therapy in US (More)
> Cost for charging infrastructure for full global electric vehicle fleet estimated at $2.7T (More)
> Intel unveils working prototype of 17-qubit quantum computing chip, with packaging (More) | How quantum computing works (More)
 

Business & Markets.

> Facebook announces 2018 launch of Oculus Go - VR for the masses priced at $199 (More)
> Berlin-based Meal Delivery biz (More)
> Ola - Uber's Rival in India - raises $1.1B for expansion (More)
 

Politics & World Affairs.

> White House Deputy Chief of Staff and cybersecurity expert Kirsjen Nielsen tapped to lead Dept. of Homeland Security (More)
> Top tech firms urge Supreme Court to take up case clarifying workplace discrimination, gay rights case (More)
> Reports say Kaspersky Labs knowingly modified antivirus software to allow Russian govt hacking (More)
IN DEPTH.

The Victims of Fake News. 

Columbia Journalism Review | Nina Berman. A Sandy Hook parent accused of being part of an elaborate hoax. County election officials accused of processing one million illegal votes. Businesses accused of hosting a pedophilia ring. These quick hit interviews shine a spotlight on the very real human beings at the blunt end of fake news. 
 

Inside the CIA’s Black Site Torture Room.

The Guardian | Larry Siems. If you feel up to it, imagine a cold, dark cell: in place of your toilet, you have a bucket, but that is preferable to a diaper like some others have. You’re chained to a ring in the wall and waiting for the next water boarding session. Welcome to what prisoners call “the Darkness,” a CIA prison near Kabul, Afghanistan. Take a look into the CIA’s dark history with 274 documents that have been recently declassified due to the death of one of the inmates: Gul Rahman.
ETCETERA.
Data Viz: Amazing (and scary) slide map showing how child obesity rates have skyrocketed since 1975.

The New Yorker is skeptical of Lady GaGa's new Netflix documentary, Gaga: Five Foot Two.

See how much top US tech firms spend on R&D each year.

Photos: The most beautiful pictures of bugs you will ever see.

(Ta)Couture: Taco Bell and Forever 21 unveil a saucy fashion collaboration

And: Gucci Is officially going fur-free

And Even More: Fashion business Coach changing name to Tapestry.

The scariest haunted attractions In the country.

Robots: Here's the fighting robot that could enter the battlefield next year.

The decline of the large US family, in charts.

Clickbait: Radioactive wild boars in Sweden are eating nuclear mushrooms.

Historybook: Columbus reaches the New World (1492); First Oktoberfest (1810); Robert E. Lee dies (1870); HBD Pavarotti (1935); John Denver dies in plane crash (1997); Matthew Shepard murdered in anti-gay attack (1998); RIP Wilt Chamberlain (1999); USS Cole attacked, killing 17 (2000); Terrorist attack in Bali kills 200 (2002).
"EVERYTHING IS HABIT FORMING, SO MAKE SURE WHAT YOU DO IS WHAT YOU WANT TO BE DOING."
-Wilt Chamberlain
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