11.26.2019

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Need To Know
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Historic Jewel Heist in Germany
In what is being considered one of the greatest jewel heists in history, thieves made off with hundreds of prized jewels from a museum in Germany yesterday. According to police, the burglars started a fire that disarmed the security system at Dresden's Grünes Gewölbe museum, sneaked into the building's renowned Green Vault (see photos) through a small corner window, and disappeared with armfuls of 18th-century treasure. Museum officials called the loss "priceless" owing to the historical value of the pieces; experts estimated the dollar value of the theft to be more than $1.1B. The haul consisted of three sets of ornate jewelry with dozens of separate pieces commissioned by the Saxon ruler Augustus the Strong, who created the vault to flaunt his kingdom's wealth in 1723. A manhunt has yielded no suspects as of this morning.

See the best of the rest of the historic jewel heists in recent history.
US Returns to Northern Syria
American troops have rejoined Kurdish fighters to conduct targeted counterterrorism missions in northern Syria, according to reports yesterday. The groups were said to have carried out a raid against remaining ISIS fighters more than 100 miles south of the Turkish border in Syria's Deir al-Zour province. The strategically important region contains the crossing of the Euphrates River into Iraq and has also seen attempts by Iran to exert influence via proxy groups. The news comes roughly two months after President Trump ordered an abrupt withdrawal from Syria's northern border with Turkey (see maps) to make way for a Turkish operation to remove the Kurdish fighters from the region. As the threat of ISIS recedes, complex dynamics in the multisided conflict have emerged - Kurdish forces partnered with the US to fight ISIS, but Turkey (a NATO ally) considers the group a terrorist threat (deep dive here). 

Back in the US, Conan - a special operations canine injured in the al-Baghdadi raid - was honored at the White House (w/video). 
Court Rules in Adnan Syed Case
The US Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from convicted murderer Adnan Syed, likely leaving him to finish out his life sentence in prison. The 38-year-old was found guilty in the 1999 killing of Hae Min Lee, who was found strangled in a Baltimore park. Syed's case was reopened in 2016 after being detailed in the popular podcast "Serial," where investigative journalist Sarah Koenig presented new evidence - including new witness testimony - that cast doubt on the original conviction. A Maryland court decided to reopen the case, a move upheld by a state appeals court, but the state's top court struck down the decision. The podcast won a Peabody Award and was downloaded more than 175 million times, and is widely credited with sparking the now popular true-crime genre of podcasts. A follow-up HBO documentary revealed that Syed rejected a 2018 plea deal that would have required him to serve just four more years before release.

If you've never heard the original podcast, it's worth a listen - find it here
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Stock picks for Fools.
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In The Know
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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
> World Anti-Doping Agency recommends banning Russia from 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics for noncompliance with testing standards; Russian athletes would compete under neutral flag (More)
> Bill Cosby criticized for lack of remorse in first interview from prison; maintains innocence, expects to serve full prison sentence for 2018 sexual assault conviction (More)
> Billboard names 17-year-old singer Billie Eilish its 2019 Woman of the Year; the pop star nabbed six 2020 Grammy nominations and a Billboard No. 1 album (More)
Science & Technology
> Researchers make first-ever recording of the heart rate of a blue whale; minimum rates 30-50% lower than predicted (More)
> Harvard, MIT, and local health centers partner on $50M cell manufacturing center to increase the volume and lower the cost of cell and gene therapies (More)
> T-Mobile says data breach exposed personal info of more than 1 million customers to malicious actor (More)
Business & Markets
> All three US stock market indices up to record highs (S&P 500 +0.8%, Dow +0.7%, Nasdaq +1.3%) on US/China trade deal optimism as Chinese tabloid states officials are “very close” to initial deal (More)
> Charles Schwab formally announces plans to acquire fellow online brokerage TD Ameritrade in $26B all-stock deal (More)
> eBay to sell ticket marketplace StubHub to Swiss ticket reseller Viagogo for $4.05B (More)
Politics & World Affairs
> Dozens of physicians sign letter saying WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is in such poor health he may not survive to stand trial in the US (More)
> Report on impeachment hearings expected from House Intelligence Committee shortly after Thanksgiving (More)
> Supreme Court pauses House subpoena for Trump financial records while deciding whether to take up his appeal (More) | Federal judge says former White House lawyer Don McGahn must testify (More)
In-Depth
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How Our Home Delivery Habit Reshaped the World
The Guardian | Samanth Subramanian. Of the 165 billion home deliveries made last year, around half of them were made by Amazon. The company has made hassle-free, next-day delivery the expectation rather than the norm, and the rest of the world is racing to adapt. (Read)
Death by Train
Philly Inquirer | Jason Laughlin, Dylan Purcell. Half of the train engineers in the United States say they have witnessed a death on the tracks while working. When tragedy strikes, engineers typically receive an average of three days' leave, often resulting in emotional stress, anxiety, nightmares, and PTSD. (Read)
 
 
Excellent historical returns, without the jargon.
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The Motley Fool is a true family business: founded by brothers Tom and David Gardner out of their garage in Alexandria, VA. Since then, they've grown remarkably, thanks in part to some life-changing stock recommendations. Some highlights:
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Etcetera
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Watch as the Capitol Christmas Tree arrives at the White House
What to bring to Thanksgiving (or Friendsgiving) dinner
Americans feel they have little control over their own privacy.
Life imprisonment is now favored over the death penalty.
Why Wendy's social media strategy is undeniably brilliant
The man behind the World Wide Web says the internet is broken.
This freaky video of baby owls probably explains most alien encounters.
A dog drove a car in circles for hours (and yes, there's video). 
Clickbait: Burglar picks the wrong 82-year-old woman to rob.
Historybook: RIP abolitionist Sojourner Truth (1883); HBD National Hockey League (1917); Peanuts creator Charles Schulz born (1922); King Tut’s tomb is uncovered by British archaeologist Howard Carter (1922); HBD Tina Turner (1939).
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