10.15.2019

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Need To Know
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Crisis in Syria
The US began a full withdrawal of ground forces in northeastern Syria over the weekend as a Turkish military operation to sweep away formerly US-backed Kurdish fighters created chaos along the country's northern border. The decision came a week after the US pulled an initial 50-100 troops out of the contentious Turkish-Syria border region, effectively giving a green light for the Turkish incursion whose stated goal is to create a 30-mile "safe zone" along the border. The plan effectively requires removing the Kurdish-led Syrian Defense Force, a key US ally in the fight against ISIS but designated a terrorist group by Turkey. Amid chaotic reports, the bloodshed - with dozens of civilians killed and nearly 120,000 people displaced - led the White House to announce new sanctions on the Turkish government and halt trade negotiations until the country brings fighting under control. 

Check out this fascinating inside look at a series of bluffs that led to the decision to pull US troops.
Marathon Marks Broken
Kenyan distance runner Eliud Kipchoge eclipsed a mark once thought to be physically impossible, running a marathon distance in under two hours Saturday. The 34-year-old completed the specially-designed course in Vienna in 1:59:40, beating the milestone by 20 seconds and passing his 2017 attempt by 45 seconds. However, the accomplishment won't be recognized as an official world record however. Designed to shave every potential second off his time, Kipchoge's team used 41 rotating pace setters, delivered drinks on bikes, and employed a mostly straight course (breakdown here). Since Roger Bannister broke the sub-four-minute mile barrier in 1954, many have debated when (or if) a two-hour marathon - a 4-minute, 34-second pace - would be accomplished, with record times plateauing (chart here) over the past five decades. Some scientists estimate the human limit is just a few minutes under the symbolic two-hour milestone. 

One day later, fellow Kenyan Brigid Kosgei smashed the women's world record, with a 2:14:04 race at the Chicago marathon. 
Democratic Debates (Part IV)
Twelve candidates take the stage tonight in the fourth Democratic presidential primary debate, live from Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio (8pm ET, CNN). It is the most crowded debate stage of primary season, with all 10 candidates from the third debate auto-qualifying and billionaire activist Tom Steyer and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-2) making the cut in the interim. Hanging over the debate is the ongoing controversy regarding Hunter Biden, the son of front runner Joe Biden, and his role with Ukrainian energy company Burisma while the elder Biden was vice president (see background). Several candidates on the stage find themselves stuck between publicly supporting the House's impeachment inquiry while privately grumbling about what they say was a clear conflict of interest. Biden enters the night leading the polls with 29.6%, but Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has closed the gap considerably, trailing by about 6 points (see poll averages). 

Separately, current ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland is expected to testify this week in the ongoing impeachment inquiry. 
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Peace of mind in moments.
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In The Know
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Sports, Entertainment & Culture
> Simon Biles breaks all-time record for most gymnastics world championship medals (25); passed former Belarusian gymnast Vitaly Scherbo (23) (More)
> Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo share Man Booker Prize for best original novel in the UK; joint winners declared for first time in 30 years (More)
> Astros even up AL Championship Series 1-1 with Yankees in 11-inning win (More) | Nationals win 8-1 to go up 3-0 against Cardinals in NLCS (More) | Report says Angels knew of Tyler Skaggs' drug use before his overdose death in July (More)

From our partners: Postanly is a weekly email with hand-picked health, wealth, and personal growth resources for living a long, prosperous, and productive life. Feed your curiosity with insightful posts from top writers.
Science & Technology
> MIT couple, Harvard researcher win Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for work in translating lab-style randomized control studies to anti-poverty field experiments (More)
> Study finds humans have the ability to regrow cartilage in joints similar to salamanders (More)
> In first-ever global study, researchers find intensity of lake algae blooms has increased over past three decades; toxic algae estimated to cost $4B annually in US (More)
Business & Markets
> Sources say China wants to hold additional trade talks to finalize details of the “phase one” deal announced by President Trump Friday, US stock markets down slightly as investors await details (More)
> Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency holds first meeting of governing body in Geneva, Switzerland with 21 members after eBay, Visa, Mastercard & others pull out from project (More) | Libra 101 (More)
> Michigan removes $600M pension fund commitment from Fisher Investments after CEO’s sexist comments at investor summit (More)
Politics & World Affairs
> More than 50 killed after Typhoon Hagibis slams into Japan as the most powerful storm to make landfall in the country since 1958 (More)
> At least two dead, one person still missing after Hard Rock Hotel construction site collapses in New Orleans over the weekend (More) | See video of collapse (Watch)
> Acting Department of Homeland Security Chief Kevin McAleenan steps down (More) | Longtime Fox News anchor Shepard Smith abruptly resigns following Friday's newscast (More) | Catches colleagues by surprise (Watch)
In Depth
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Is Amazon Unstoppable?
New Yorker | Charles Duhigg. A lot has changed for Amazon in the past four years. It's tripled its workforce, bought Whole Foods, has traditional retail in full retreat, and has made CEO Jeff Bezos the richest person on Earth. The scariest part for competitors? The behemoth shows no signs of slowing down. (Read, $$)
Too Many Times
BBC | Nawal al-Maghafi. Follow this investigative piece as it tracks Rasul, an Iraqi teenager and victim of a trafficking system which subjects young women to temporary marriages. Called zawaj al-mutaa, the scheme creates a widely-used loophole for theologically-approved sexual exploitation. (Read)
 
 
Let's talk money.
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Trivia time: how much would term life insurance coverage cost for a healthy 32-year-old man?
 
About $25.64/month for a $1,000,000, 10-year Haven Term policy issued by MassMutual (as of September 2019). In other words, peace of mind every month for the price of a couple of pizzas.
  
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Etcetera
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The best places to retire in the US

A look at what it takes to become an elite "smokejumper"
One of the world's most popular video games has gone dark
For our NYC-area readers: Big congratulations to our partner brunchwork as they launch their exclusive clubhouse in Bryant Park this Saturday, 10/19. Special guests include Peloton co-founder Graham Stanton, NEA Venture Partner Liz Landsman, and more. Click here to learn more

Builders uncover massive African-American Last Supper during DC renovation.  

About $400B of food goes to waste before it even hits shelves
Mesmerizing drone video captures whales using air bubbles to hunt
Forty-five photos that definitely look Photoshopped (but aren't). 
A stalker tracked a pop star based on the reflection in her eyes
Clickbait: A rattlesnake, gun, some whiskey, and uranium: What do these things have in common
Historybook: I Love Lucy airs for first time (1951); HBD Sarah “Fergie” Ferguson, the Duchess of York (1959); Black Panther Party is created (1966); Wayne Gretzky becomes all-time NHL points leaders (1989); RIP Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen (2018).
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