10.18.2019

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Need To Know
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Parliament's Super Saturday
The British Parliament will sit tomorrow in a rare Saturday session to consider a new draft deal governing the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union. The convening will be just the third Saturday session for the body since World War II began. The elusive draft agreement was reached by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and EU leaders late yesterday after Johnson made key concessions that avoid establishing a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. The contentious issue had stymied lawmakers, with critics saying the possibility violated the 1998 Good Friday Agreement (see 101) that ended decades of violence between the two nations. Johnson now needs final approval from Parliament ahead of an Oct. 31 deadline. If voted down, Parliament will either send Johnson to request an extension from the EU or hold a no-confidence vote in an attempt to replace him, with an outside shot of holding a second national referendum on whether to leave at all.
Syrian Cease-Fire
Following a meeting with Vice President Mike Pence yesterday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to a five-day cease-fire in northern Syria, allowing time for Kurdish forces to retreat from the area. The agreement pauses a Turkish invasion meant to sweep Kurdish fighters from the country's border region - an incursion that began after the US abruptly withdrew its forces last week. Turkey aims to create a 20-mile deep safe zone along the border, an area in which the Kurdish-led Syrian Defense Forces had effectively occupied since 2015 when they helped the US dismantle ISIS while the rest of Syria was gripped by a bloody civil war. Despite its former alliance with the US, the group is considered a terrorist threat by the Turkish government. The broader region has been a hotbed of geopolitical conflict, with the stateless Kurds occupying a borderless area that overlaps with Syria, Turkey, Iran and Iraq. 

Want to know more about the Kurdish people? Start here
Lawmakers Remember Elijah Cummings
Flags are flying at half-staff today in remembrance of Rep. Elijah Cummings (D, MD-7) who passed away early yesterday at age 68 after long-standing health complications. Cummings had sought medical care earlier in the week, though limited details were given. He had experienced ongoing issues since a 2017 heart valve replacement. The 13-term congressman was known as a civil rights advocate and towering African-American figure on Capitol Hill, fighting to solve social issues that plagued his district of inner-city Baltimore. A graduate Howard University in Washington, DC, Cummings was also known as a mentor to a generation of young minority lawmakers and political staff. Having risen to chair the powerful House Oversight Committee, he frequently sparred with President Trump and had become a key figure in the ongoing impeachment inquiry. 

See Cummings's life in photos
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In The Know
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Sports, Entertainment & Culture
> Astros defeat Yankees to take 3-1 lead in American League Championship Series; will clinch a trip to World Series with win in Game 5 tonight (More) | Reigning NFL and Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes dislocates kneecap during Thursday night win over Broncos (More
> Alicia Alonso, legendary ballet dancer and founder of National Ballet of Cuba, dies at 98 (More)
> Puerto Rican rapper Anuel AA nabs five awards at 2019 Latin American Music Awards including artist and album of the year; see list of all winners (More)

If You Like 1440: Check out our partner Now I Know, a daily trivia email newsletter with some of the most fascinating tidbits - like the story of the Italian bank that takes cheese as deposits.
Science & Technology
> Study links how active a person's nervous system is to overall life span, with higher neuronal excitation correlating with shorter lives (More)
> Ford announces plans to roll out nation's largest electric vehicle charging network with 12,000 stations across US; comes ahead of launch of "Mustang-inspired" electric SUV (More)
> Scientists find lack of sleep triggers the body's endocannabinoid system, causing cravings for sweet and fatty foods similar to marijuana use (More)
Business & Markets
CEO Mark Zuckerberg defends Facebook in speech at Georgetown University saying company won’t police free speech: “We must continue to stand for free expression” (More)
> United Auto Workers (UAW) will continue strike as union members vote on new deal with General Motors (More) | Key terms of proposed deal here (More)
September data show US housing starts declined 9%; manufacturing production dropped 0.5% (More)
Politics & World Affairs
> White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney walks back comments suggesting military aid to Ukraine was held up to push an investigation into interference in the 2016 election (More) | ... and announces US will host 2020 G-7 summit at Trump-owned Doral golf course in Miami (More)
> More than 500,000 people lose power as a "bomb cyclone" rips through the Northeast US; most powerful October storm on record in Boston (More)
> New York City approves plan to close notorious Rikers Island prison complex, one of the world's largest, by 2026 (More)
Weekend Reads
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One Night at Mount Sinai
The Cut | Lisa Miller. How one determined woman took on a world-class medical institution and revealed a rock-star doctor as a criminal sexual predator. (Read)
 
The Worst of the Worst
Buzzfeed | Craig Silverman. 27-year-old Asher Burke built a small empire by brazenly scheming baby boomers online using fake celebrity product endorsements - until the FTC came calling. (Read)
 
Ughh, Millennial Tech Companies
The Atlantic | Derek Thompson. WeWork, Uber, DoorDash and other companies that define the millennial urban lifestyle are hemorrhaging cash, possibly signaling an end to the consumer-tech gold rush. (Read, $$)
 
Etcetera
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Even in low-income countries, childhood obesity is rising shockingly fast
Ranking the coolest dads of 2019
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Banksy's Gross Domestic Product store is now taking orders online
All-woman flight crew flies 120 girls to space camp
Most dairy cows are descended from two bulls and that's a problem
You're doing it wrong: Xerox selects clear as the color of the year
This invisibility shield is halfway decent
These countries have the best reputations in the world.
Clickbait: That is one naughty yacht (via YouTube). 
Historybook: Moby-Dick is first published (1851); US purchases Alaska from Russia (1867); RIP Thomas Edison (1931); HBD Hall of Fame football player and coach Mike Ditka (1938); HBD Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn (1984).
You made it. Have a great weekend.
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"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
- Thomas Edison
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