Da Vinci Painting Shatters Record at Auction.
A rare painting by Leonardo da Vinci sold for a whopping $450M at an auction yesterday, shattering the previous record of  $179M set by Pablo Picasso’s “Women of Algiers (Version O)”, sold in May 2015. The painting - one of only about 20 by da Vinci known to exist, and the only one in private hands - depicts Christ holding a translucent globe, and is called "Salvator Mundi". Some critics said the high price tag was less about the rarity of the work, and more about an aggressive advertising campaign led by auction house Christie's ahead the sale (complete with a Leonardo DiCaprio cameo in a promotional video). 

GOP Senator Comes Out Against Tax Bill.
Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) announced his opposition to the Senate tax bill, creating a significant hurdle as committee deliberations begin. With a 52 seat majority, the GOP can afford 3 defections while passing the bill - VP Mike Pence can act as a tiebreaker -Johnson is typically a dependable conservative vote, so his opposition narrows the path considerably. Johnson cited that corporations, typically large companies that pay at the corporate tax levels, would be favored over "pass-through" entities, typically small businesses that pay at the individual income tax level. The Senate plan, like the House plan, proposes to cut the corporate rate from 35% to 20% - resulting in $1.3T in gross cuts for corporations but only about $362B for pass-throughs - despite a special provision for smaller companies. Separately, the House may pass its version of the $1.4T tax plan as early as today. 

Momentum Builds Against AL Senate Candidate.
The allegations against embattled Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore continue to rise, with two more women accusing the former state Supreme Court Justice of sexual misconduct. The new claims bring the total number of accusers to seven. In the face of growing public outcry Moore has stood firm, denying the claims - but the GOP has begun distancing itself from the candidate. Senate leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) predicted the upper chamber would expel Moore if elected, and House leader Paul Ryan (R, WI-01) said Moore should step aside. President Trump has yet to weigh in. More impactful, the Republican National Committee pulled its funding from Moore's campaign. A new poll from the National Republican Senatorial Committee shows Moore trailing Democrat Doug Jones by 12 points
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Culture, Entertainment & Sports.

> Jesmyn Ward's Sing, Unburied, Sing wins 2017 National Book Award for fiction; See complete list of winners (More)
> Mass murderer Charles Manson hospitalized, reportedly on deathbed (More)
> Ezekiel Elliott withdraws appeal and will serve remainder of his six-game suspension (More)

Science & Technology.

> Bench-scale ionic 'solar cell' could provide on-demand water desalination (More)
> Boosting key protein that allows Type 1 diabetes to progress halts disease in mice (More)
> Astronomers find Earth-like planet that could sustain life, one of closest in proximity at 11 light years away (More)

Business & Markets.

> Target announces weak holiday forecast, shares slide 10% (More)
> Email marketing firm SendGrid increases 13% on first day as public company (More)
> Airbus signs $50B jet deal with US private equity firm, one of largest ever (More)

Politics & World Affairs.

> 50 years after false arrest, Wilbert Jones leaves Louisiana prison (More
> Wife of CA shooter who killed four on Tuesday found dead in home (More)
> Richard Cordray, head of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to step down (More) | What CFPB does (More

The Three-Degree World. 

The Guardian | Staff. Wherever you stand on the issue of how bad global warming will get, or what we can or should do to mitigate it, it is straightforward to calculate sea-level rise as global temperature increases. In a series of impactful visuals, The Guardian lays out what regions and cities would be underwater if temperatures continue on their current path.  

What is Kansas trying to hide?

Kansas City Star | Staff. For the Kansas state legislature, transparency doesn’t seem to be a priority—quite the opposite in fact. Interestingly enough, nine out of ten laws passed in Kansas don’t even have authors. Kansas is so fearful of public knowledge that its police don’t release body cam footage in cases of death, despite most states publishing it.  See how the Kansas state government has operated in the shadows, and why they wish to stay in the dark.
Netflix survey shows 67% of users watch content in public - and usually at work.

Cards Against Humanity buys vacant plot of land on US-Mexico border in bid to stop border wall.

Titanic will return to theaters for its 20th anniversary

An interactive map showing where refugees have settled in the US since 2002

Fake News: Russia used a video game trailer as proof of US support for ISIS

The new Deadpool 2 trailer takes an unexpected approach.

See the best entries in National Geographic's 2017 nature photography contest (48 hours to go!).

Clickbait: Death Row inmate placed on suicide watch

Historybook: Francisco Pizarro captures Incan emperor (1532); HBD W.C. Handy (1873); RIP Clark Gable (1960); RIP Milton Friedman (2006).
-W.C. Handy
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