10.13.2017

*|MC:SUBJECT|*
10.13.2017
NEED TO KNOW.
Obamacare.
President Trump signed an executive order yesterday that will allow certain types of health plans to be exempt from the regulations of Obamacare. Specifically, the order calls on federal agencies to find ways to expand so-called association health plans - where small businesses group together to purchase insurance - which are exempt from many regulations contained in Obamacare (deep background here). Supporters note this will offer more plans with cheaper premiums; critics contend those plans will be bare-boned and siphon away young, healthy enrollees, destabilizing the broader insurance market. Either way, the decision will be slow to take effect - the order only asks agencies to propose rule changes, and any implementation would not occur until almost 2019. In a related move, early reports this morning say Trump will seek to end key insurer subsidies - known as cost-sharing reductions - saying Congress never appropriated the $7B necessary to pay for them. 

Freedom.
An American-Canadian family was freed after being held for five years by an extremist group in Afghanistan. American Caitlan Coleman and her husband, Canadian Joshua Boyle, were abducted in 2012 while traveling through Afghanistan's Wardak province by a group known as the Haqqani network - Coleman was several months pregnant at the time. The Haqqani network, while allied with the Taliban, is an independent insurgent organization that operates out of northern Pakistan near the Afghanistan border. The network is known for high-profile kidnappings - including holding Bowe Bergdahl, a US soldier who deserted his station in 2009. Coleman, who successfully gave birth after being taken hostage, had two more children while in captivity. 

Iran Nuclear Deal.
President Trump will disavow the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action today, the deal to monitor Iran's nuclear development negotiated by 7 countries (Iran plus US, China, France, Russia, UK, and Germany). This does not mean the US will leave the deal - Trump faced an October 15th deadline to determine whether Iran was in compliance with current terms. If they are found to be in compliance, then the President would 'recertify' the deal and things would continue as is. If not, then the deal would be 'decertified', and Congress would have the option to impose further sanctions or leave the deal altogether. Reports suggest that the Administration will decertify, but remain in the deal, looking to broaden its scope to conventional weapons and other, non-nuclear related activities. Following today's announcement, Congress will have 60 days to make a final decision on changes - though any changes would need to be renegotiated with the other 6 countries. 
 
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IN THE KNOW.

Sports, Entertainment & Culture.

> Chicago Cubs defeat Washington Nationals, advance to third-straight National League Championship Series (More)
> Actress Rose McGowan accuses Harvey Weinstein of rape (More) | McGowan's Twitter account blocked for posting private phone number (More)
> Dallas Cowboy running back Ezekiel Elliott's 6-game suspension reinstated after court ruling (More)
 

Science & Technology.

> Study pinpoints genetic basis for differences in skin color (More)
> AccuWeather CEO, Barry Myers, nominated to lead National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), main federal climate agency (More)
> Engineers develop programmable "camouflaging" material based on octopus skin (More)
 

Business & Markets.

> Banks kick off earnings season - JPMorgan & Citi slide on credit card lending losses (More)
> Richard Branson invests in Elon Musk's Hyperloop biz; to be re-branded as Virgin HyperLoop One (More)
> Hair restoration robotics biz Restoration Robotics prices IPO, shares surge 40%+ in first day of trading (More)
 

Politics & World Affairs.

> House passes $36.5B aid package for Puerto Rico, CA wildfires (More)
> Sen. Susan Collins announces today whether to stay in Senate or run for Governor of Maine (More)
> Rival Palestinian groups, Hamas and Fatah, signed reconciliation deal handing Gaza strip to Fatah (More)
WEEKEND READS.

How Chicago Gets Its Guns. 

ProPublica | Mick Dumke. The flood of guns that drive Chicago's highest-in-the-country homicide rate come in mainly from surrounding states. But unlike the drug trade, the gun market relies on small-time dealers who bring them in a few at time - at big profits. (Read)
 

Google X and the Science of Radical Creativity. 

The Atlantic | Derek Thompson. How the company is bringing back the spirit of invention by letting a wide range of unrelated, far-out thinking experts wander (and wonder) freely. (Read)
 

'Making It' at Rolling Stone

Esquire | Mike Sager. A look back at the glory days of Rolling Stone when - as described in Sager's embedding into the Venice street gang - reporters could get all the resources needed to chase truly unique stories. (Read)
 

Fight Club.

Miami Herald | Staff. A thoroughly disturbing takedown of the Florida juvenile justice system responsible for a 45% one-year recidivism rate, from prison staff betting on planned inmate fights to sex offenders masquerading as counselors. (Read
 

Is Living Forever Going to Suck? 

Popular Science | Alexandra Ossola. The most interesting question comes at the end - can we be happy living longer in a world unrecognizable from the one we were born in? (Read)
ETCETERA.
The AP obtains audio of the alleged sonic weapon used against US diplomats in Cuba. 

Edu Data: 80% of superintendents say more investment is needed in early childhood education.

Speaking of Data: See The Economist's interactive Safest Cities 2017 index.

See Harvard Biz Review's survey of how 1,000 CEOs spend their day

Under the Hood: Interactive look at the guts of the iPhone as it evolved over time

East African countries no longer want second-hand clothes from the West (NYT paywall). 

Watch the asteroid that flew very close to Earth yesterday. 

Roger B. Rabbit: The 20 best hip hop movies of all time.

Forget the Dress: Are these sneakers gray and teal, or pink and white? 

Clickbait: Scientists find $2 million worth of gold in Swiss sewage.

Historybook: Nero becomes Roman Emperor (54); Continental Navy established (1775); HBD Margaret Thatcher (1925); Italy declares war on Germany (1943); HBD Jerry Rice (1962); HBD Sacha Baron Cohen (1971); RIP Ed Sullivan (1974); Chilean miners rescued after 69 days underground (2010).
"BEING POWERFUL IS LIKE BEING A LADY. IF YOU HAVE TO TEL PEOPLE YOU ARE, YOU AREN'T."
-Margaret Thatcher
 
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