10.16.2019

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Need To Know
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Brexit Agreement Close
Just days ahead of a critical Oct. 19 deadline, negotiators are closing in on a deal governing the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, sources said yesterday. According to reports, the monthslong impasse is close to resolution after embattled Prime Minister Boris Johnson - who has pledged to leave the EU with or without a deal - made concessions on how the agreement would be implemented in Ireland. Policymakers have been beguiled by the so-called "Irish backstop," which seeks to avoid a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, the latter of which is part of the UK. Both are currently part of the EU, making the transport of goods and people across the shared border easy - a reality that could evaporate without an agreement in place. The draft deal would let Northern Ireland to largely abide by EU customs laws, allowing a mostly open border between the two countries. 

If a deal is reached, Johnson must still win approval from Parliament by an Oct. 31 deadline.  
First All-Female Spacewalk
The first all-female spacewalk in history could now take place as early as tomorrow, NASA officials said yesterday, after a battery system failure on the International Space Station caused the on-again, off-again operation to be moved up to next week. Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir will venture out to repair the power system, instead of replacing old batteries as was initially intended. Koch, on track to set the record for longest continuous spaceflight by a female astronaut at 335 days when she returns to Earth in February, was originally scheduled to make the walk with astronaut Annie McClain in March. The plan was scrapped at the last moment due to lack of appropriately-sized spacesuits. There have been 220 spacewalks on the ISS since its inception in 1998 - including a six-hour venture last Friday, which Koch also joined. 

Here are seven things you always wondered about spacewalks but didn't know who to ask. 
Debate Roundup
Twelve candidates took the stage in the fourth Democratic presidential primary debate last night in Westerville, Ohio. Much of the attention was focused on Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who leads polling in the early caucus states Iowa and New Hampshire, with lower-polling candidates taking aim at the cost of her centerpiece Medicare-for-all proposal. Many jockeyed for speaking time on the crowded stage - Warren took the lion's share, speaking for more than 23 total minutes (see breakdown by candidate). It was the first debate since the launch of the House impeachment inquiry, sparked by allegations that President Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate front-runner Joe Biden. When pressed, all candidates said they support the impeachment process, while Biden managed to largely sidestep questions about his son, Hunter, taking leadership positions with foreign companies. See more winners and losers from the night

Meanwhile, Hunter Biden sat down for his first in-depth interview, denying wrongdoing but saying he used "poor judgment"
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In The Know
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Sports, Entertainment & Culture
> Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announces nominations for 2020 class; nominees include Whitney Houston, Notorious B.I.G., and Dave Matthews Band (More)
> Washington Nationals sweep St. Louis Cardinals 4-0 to advance to team's first-ever World Series (More) | Houston Astros top New York Yankees to go up 2-1 in ALCS (More) | NBA star LeBron James comments on Hong Kong spark US backlash (More)
Actress Felicity Huffman reports to prison to serve 14-day sentence following guilty plea for mail fraud; is first parent to serve prison time in widespread college admissions scandal (More)
Science & Technology
> A 3,000-year-old bag of Bronze Age artifacts found at German battle site suggests Northern European societies were more organized than previously thought (More)
> Google officially unveils Pixel 4 phones, capable of touchless operation via hand gestures (More)
> United Kingdom generated 40% of power via renewable sources in Q3 of 2019, surpassing fossil fuel power (39%) for the first time since the UK began using coal power plants in 1882 (More)
Business & Markets
Big Bank stocks - JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Citi, Wells Fargo - deliver strong quarterly earnings on consumer growth (More) | Wells Fargo takes $1.6B charge for retail sales scandal leading to reduction in earnings (More)
> International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects global growth will increase at slowest pace since the 2008-2009 US financial crisis as result of trade wars (More) | IMF 101 (More)
> MGM Resorts to sell Las Vegas properties Bellagio and Circus Circus for more than $5B (More)
Politics & World Affairs
> Russian troops move into northern Syria following US withdrawal, with country looking to entrench itself as the dominant power player in the region (More)
> Defense Department, budget officials, and Trump personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani miss Tuesday subpoena deadline to turn over documents in impeachment inquiry (More) | Speaker Pelosi (D, CA-12) says House will not hold full impeachment inquiry authorization vote (More)
> Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam abandons annual policy address after being disrupted by heckling lawmakers (More)
Etcetera
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Global workers are shifting to do-it-yourself education
... and US women are flocking to the trucking industry
Scientists pinpoint the most unhappy year in US history

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This AI-powered robot can solve a Rubik's cube one-handed
Now you can book an igloo for an overnight stay at the North Pole
Judge makes $107M math error in opioid verdict.
The lines of software code that changed the world
The worst (or best?) Wheel of Fortune intro of all time (via YouTube). 
Clickbait: Jennifer Aniston breaks Instagram
Historybook: Marie Antoinette is executed (1793); Author Oscar Wilde born (1854); Walt Disney Co. is founded (1923); HBD actress Angela Lansbury (1925); RIP Tony, Academy, and Emmy Award-winning actress Shirley Booth (1992).
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