11.18.2019

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Need To Know
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Iran Blocks Internet Access
The Iranian government shut off access to the internet across the country yesterday as anti-government protests spread to a reported 100 cities. The move was meant to curb the ability of citizens to communicate with each other and the outside world and came a few days after the government announced a 50% price increase on gasoline. The price hike - the subsidized price is now 50 cents per gallon and about $1.50 per gallon if commuters use more than the monthly ration limit of 26 gallons - was speculated to have been called to fill a budget gap driven largely by reimposed US sanctions. At least a dozen people have died and more than 1,000 have been arrested during the demonstrations, which come amid a broader economic crunch, with youth unemployment around 30%. 

Here's how some countries can easily turn off the internet ($$, Wired). 
Study Casts Doubt on Heart Stents 
The largest study of its kind found the use of heart stents is mostly ineffective in reducing the risk of heart attacks compared to widely available medicines for the vast majority of patients. An estimated 500,000 patients undergo the procedure each year, in which tiny mesh tubes are inserted into coronary arteries to help keep narrowed blood vessels open (see 101). Many patients are nonemergency cases seeking treatment for chest pain linked to poor blood flow to the heart, known as stable angina. The $100M study found no statistical difference between those receiving stents and those who took generic aspirin and blood pressure medicine - roughly one in seven in both groups experienced a heart attack after four years. The study did find the procedure, which can cost between $15K and $40K or more, was twice as likely to reduce chest pain (though a large placebo effect may be at play). 

In related news, the Trump administration will require hospitals to publicly disclose prices negotiated with insurers. 
Swift Against the Machine
A feud between pop megastar Taylor Swift and A-list music manager Scooter Braun escalated over the weekend, with Swift accusing Braun's record label Big Machine of prohibiting her from playing her older songs at the upcoming American Music Awards. Swift also alleges Braun and Big Machine CEO Scott Borchetta also denied the use of the songs for a Netflix documentary. The pair deny both claims, saying they were shocked at Swift's comments, originally made Thursday night on her Tumblr account. Swift recorded her first six albums under Big Machine before jumping to Universal's Republic Records last fall; Braun's Ithaca Holdings bought Big Machine in July, along with the rights to Swift's original catalog of songs. Swift, who has accused Braun of being an industry bully, has said she plans to rerecord at least the first five albums in 2020 when it becomes legally permissible. 

Here's why Swift - known for writing her own songs - is set on rerecording her own music.
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In The Know
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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
MLB and NFL players unions team up to form company to help athletes capitalize on their likeness; the new business will initially focus on video games and trading cards (More)
> "Joker" becomes first R-rated movie in history to pass $1B at global box office (More) | British celebrity photographer Terry O'Neill dies at 81 (More) | See some of O'Neill's most iconic photos (More)
> Cleveland Browns' Myles Garrett receives indefinite suspension for striking Steelers QB Mason Rudolph with helmet (More) | Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, out of football since 2016 after leading kneeling protests during national anthem, holds workout for eight NFL teams (More)
Science & Technology
> Scientists demonstrate stretchable, self-healing, and conducting polymer material for use as electronic skin (More)
> STAT unveils annual list of Wunderkinds, the top up-and-coming biomedical researchers and doctors from across North America (More)
> New technique allows the creation of 3D maps from aerial footage in near real-time without human oversight; approach developed by Army Corps of Engineers using drones (More)
Business & Markets
> Saudi Aramco - Saudi Arabia's national oil company and world’s most profitable company - aims for $1.7T IPO valuation; shares will be restricted to Saudis and institutions permitted to invest in the Saudi stock market (More)
> US retail sales bounce back with 0.3% growth in October after September’s 0.3% decline; September was the first drop in seven months (More)
> Public Interest Registry, the organization which manages .org websites, to be acquired by private equity firm (More)
Politics & World Affairs
> Louisiana incumbent Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) wins reelection, 51% to 49%; the only Democratic governor in the Deep South ran on pro-gun, anti-abortion platform (More) | Election 2020: Mayor Pete Buttigieg jumps into first place in Iowa presidential poll (More)
> Violence in Hong Kong escalates as police storm Hong Kong Polytechnic University; protesters set fire to barricades to hold back police (More) | Leaked documents show how Chinese officials organized the mass detention of the Uighur minority in the Xinjiang region (More)
> Venice floods peak over 5 feet for third time since Tuesday; mark had not been passed more than once in a year since records began in 1872 (More) | ...Photos here (More)
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Etcetera
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"Jeopardy!" whiz avenges loss, wins Tournament of Champions.

Our favorite time of the year: The 2019 Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards have been announced.

Surprisingly, this is not the worst headline ever written about Britain's Prince Andrew.

There's a new way to calculate the age of your dog

From our partners: Insurance seems to get more complicated by the day. This is why you you might be overpaying for renters or home insurance. #Ad

This 9-year-old genius is about to graduate college

How to train people to treat you with respect

New Yorker captures perfect photo of a shooting star.

The secret history of the lost champagne cellars under the Brooklyn Bridge

Clickbait: Real life "Breaking Bad" duo foiled
Historybook: Abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth born (1797); HBD poet and novelist Margaret Atwood (1939); 918 die in a mass murder-suicide in Jonestown, Guyana (1978); Massachusetts becomes the first US state to recognize same-sex marriage (2003).
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