10.9.2019

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Need To Know
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Testimony Tug-of-War
The top US diplomat to the European Union pulled out of scheduled testimony yesterday, prompting a joint subpoena from three House committees. Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the EU, was summoned after text messages released last week revealed that embassy staff raised concerns to Sondland that military aid was - in their view - being withheld from Ukraine until an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden was initiated by Ukrainian officials. The concerns are at the heart of a controversial call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Tensions escalated quickly yesterday - by early afternoon the White House sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (read here) declining to participate in all aspects of the impeachment inquiry, calling the effort unconstitutional and partisan. The move likely sets up a legal showdown ($$, WashPo) over the power of the congressional subpoena and the President's ability to claim executive privilege. 
America's Worst Serial Killer
FBI officials have corroborated over half of the nearly 100 murders claimed by current inmate Samuel Little, making the 79-year-old the most prolific known serial killer in US history. Little, now serving multiple life sentences following a 2012 conviction, confessed to killing 93 people last December. Facing the arduous task of reviewing each case, officials say they have conclusively linked Little to at least 50 killings across 19 states between 1970 and 2005. The total surpasses Gary Ridgway - known as the Green River Killer - who is attributed with 49 murders in the 80s and 90s. Like Ridgway, Little preyed primarily on females living on the margins of society, a strategy officials say kept him off the radar as he drifted from state to state. The FBI is looking for help connecting the dots on Little's other confessed victims. 

Read Little's account - with drawings of some of his victims - in his own words.
SCOTUS Hears Pivotal LGBTQ Case
The Supreme Court heard a trio of pivotal cases yesterday examining protections for LGBTQ employees in the workplace. The first two cases, consolidated into a single argument, involve a county employee in Georgia who says he was allegedly fired for participating on a gay softball team and a skydiving instructor allegedly fired after a client filed a complaint related to the instructor's sexual orientation (deep dive here). The two cases ask the Court to consider whether sexual orientation is a protected class under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The third case asks whether Title VII extends similar protections to transgender employees. The arguments are the highest-profile LGBTQ cases since the court ruled same-sex marriage legal in 2015 - Anthony Kennedy, the author of the 2015 majority opinion, has since retired.

A decision is expected next summer, just in time for the 2020 election. 
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In The Know
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Sports, Entertainment & Culture
> National Book Foundation announces its 25 National Book Awards finalists including five finalists in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, translated literature, and young people's literature (More)
> Sony announces its next-generation console Playstation 5 will be launched in time for holiday 2020; see all hardware and software features (More)
> Team USA wins gold at world gymnastics championship and Simone Biles breaks all-time record with 21 career world championship medals (More)
Science & Technology
> Nobel Prize in Physics awarded for the first observation of an extra-solar planet and advances in understanding the cosmic microwave background (More) | What is the CMB? (More)
> Fossil discovery suggests the last woolly mammoths died out on the Arctic's remote Wrangel Island roughly 4,000 years ago (More)
> California becomes first state to allow pharmacies to offer HIV prevention drugs without a prescription (More)
Business & Markets
> US stock markets down (S&P 500 -1.6%, Dow -1.2%, Nasdaq -1.7%) on continued uncertainty over trade talks with China scheduled to start Thursday (More)
> Jury says Johnson & Johnson must pay $8B in punitive damages to man over claims it didn’t warn men that taking antipsychotic drug could lead to gynecomastia, or the growth of male breasts (More)
> Boeing’s venture arm to invest $20M stake in Virgin Galactic, commercial space company founded by Sir Richard Branson (More)

The most popular investment for the ultra-wealthy is fine art. And today, 1440 readers can bypass the 5,000+ wait list on the premier art investment platform, Masterworks. Sign up now (More) #Ad
Politics & World Affairs
> Protests in Ecuador sparked by the removal of fuel subsidies force government to retreat out of the capital city of Quito (More)
> Officials say nearly one million migrants were apprehended or turned away at the US-Mexico border in fiscal year '19, though last four months have seen continuous declines (More)
> Power shutoffs affecting 800,000 residents begins in northern California, could last up to a week as crews work to fix power lines responsible for string of deadly wildfires (More)
Etcetera
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Get ready for a nasty flu season
The most haunted place in all 50 states
Meet Victoria's Secret's first plus-sized model

From our partners: These apps will pay you to play games on your phone. #Ad
20 new moons were found around Saturn, and you can help name them.
New bar concept charges patrons by the hour instead of by drinks
Ranking the 200 best songs of the 2010s
Nevada is fighting to keep out zombie deer
Chernobyl's notorious reactor 4 control room is now open for tours
Clickbait: The world's oldest people have these 9 things in common
Historybook: John Lennon born (1940); Landslide in Itlay kills over 2,000 (1963); Che Guevara is executed (1967); Oskar Schindler dies (1974); Malala Yousafzai survives assassination attempt (2012).
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