10.16.2017

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10.16.2017
NEED TO KNOW.
Mogadishu.
At least 300 were killed and over 300 more injured when a truck bomb was detonated in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Sunday (map). Officials believe the Al-Qaeda affiliate al-Shabab is responsible, though the group has not claimed credit yet - they have coordinated a string of suicide bombings and attacks during their decade-long insurgency against the central government (background on conflict). The bombing came just three days after two top Somali defense officials - charged with leading the fight against the group - resigned. The attack - which ignited a nearby fuel tanker, adding to the damage - was the single deadliest in the country's fraught history.

A for Effort.
In a story about something that did not happen, the NCAA declined to punish the University of North Carolina for creating fake classes that hundreds of student athletes took and received credit for. In short, the African and Afro-American Studies Department created so-called "paper classes" resembling traditional independent study courses - with zero rigorous grading or faculty interaction. An independent report commissioned by the University concluded that over a decade and a half, more than 3,100 students enrolled in 188 different paper classes - over half of those enrolled were student-athletes. The NCAA ruled that, because the fake classes were available to the student body at large, they were not considered "extra benefits" and therefore outside its jurisdiction. UNC was placed on probation between 2015 and 2016 by its accrediting agency for lack of oversight in the scandal. If you have extra time, the full story is quite fascinating


Raqqa.
Coalition forces are preparing a final push to retake the Syrian city of Raqqa, the de facto capital of the ISIS regime since it captured the city in 2014. The Syrian Defense Force, a Kurdish-Arab alliance backed by US special forces, began the battle to retake the city earlier this summer, now controlling roughly 85% of the war-ravaged city (photos). Reports indicate that the SDF negotiated a deal with the roughly 300-500 remaining ISIS fighters - who ran out of ammunition but still hold a number of civilians - to abandon the city in exchange for releasing hostages. See a real-time conflict map of ISIS-controlled areas here.

 
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IN THE KNOW.

Sports, Entertainment & Culture.

Colin Keapernick files grievance against NFL owners for collusion (More) | Packers QB Aaron Rodgers breaks collarbone, may miss rest of season (More
Harvey Weinstein expelled from Motion Picture Academy (More)
Joe Jonas, Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner engaged (More)
 

Science & Technology.

Politifact website had code that secretly used visitors' computers to mine cryptocurrency  (More)
New strain of drug-resistant malaria emerges in Cambodia, Thailand (More)
Newly developed medical robot outperforms human surgeon in skin-cutting demo tests (More)
 

Business & Markets.

Bayer to sell seed & herbicide biz unit for $7B in effort to clear anti-competitive concerns for pending Monsanto acquisition (More)
Facebook launches food ordering & delivery service (More)
Stealth augmented reality startup Magic Leap raising $1B (More)
 

Politics & World Affairs.

Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) draws primary challenger in state Senate leader Kevin de León for 2018 election (More)
Dept. of Justice to help prosecute hate crime case in murder of Iowa transgender student (More)
> Iraqi forces advance on Kirkuk, Kurdish region that recently declared independence (More)
ETCETERA.
Data: The number of NFL football fans is dropping, other sports holding steady.

Pitchfork reviews the much anticipated Kurt Vile/Courtney Barnett collab Lotta Sea Lice

Congrats Alaska: New data from the CDC shows the states where STDs are the most prevalent. 

A Bit Much: This ingestible Fitbit-like device monitors your gut habits from the inside.

Photos: The best shots from this weekend's Albuquerque hot air balloon festival.

Some of the best college mascot dancing we've seen in a while. 

Teal and grey or pink and white? The answer to what color those shoes are is revealed.

The book that Sec. of Defense Jim Mattis reads to prepare for North Korea.

Interesting: The name of almost every country refers to one of four things.

A remote area in Kazakhstan was home to a quarter of the world's nuclear tests - here's what it looks like now.

Clickbait: God bless local news (A Large Cat Spotted).

Historybook: Marie Antoinette gets the guillotine (1793); Oscar Wilde born (1854); John Brown leads raid on Harper's Ferry (1859); Margaret Sanger opens first family planning center (1916); Walt Disney Co. founded (1923); Bryce Harper born (1992); Million Man March takes place in DC (1995).
"THE TRUTH IS RARELY PURE AND NEVER SIMPLE."
-Oscar Wilde
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