11.28.2017

*|MC:SUBJECT|*
11.28.2017
NEED TO KNOW.
Power Struggle Ignited at Federal Agency.
Two bosses showed up to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on Monday, heightening a power struggle that began over the weekend. Both Mick Mulvaney, nominated by Trump as interim director after former head Richard Cordray resigned last week, and Leandra English, picked by Cordray as acting director, arrived to lead the agency. Mulvaney also currently leads the Office of Management and Budget, and froze hiring and rule-making on arrival at the CFPB. While the president would normally have latitude in naming agency heads, the CFPB was created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank law to be politically independent (what CFPB does). A federal judge will decide whether to issue a preliminary injunction - noting that neither side had demonstrated whether the president could be overruled or whether Mulvaney can lead two agencies at once.

Cyber Monday Sales Hit All-Time High.
Predictions of a record-breaking Cyber Monday appeared to be on target, with analysts projecting total online sales approaching nearly $6.6B, an all-time high. The numbers represent a 16% increase from last year - a similar jump to the record-breaking Black Friday sales from last week, which hit $5B. On top of an economic upswing, many point to the increased ease of mobile users to make purchases in driving the sales numbers - sales from mobile devices were expected to top sales from desktops for the first time since Cyber Monday launched in 2005. Read the history of Cyber Monday here

Senate Moves Closer to Vote on Tax Bill.

The Senate is inching closer to a vote on its $1.5T tax reform bill, with leader Mitch McConnell looking to secure 50 votes this week with tweaks for remaining holdouts. A number, like Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Bob Corker (R-TN) have cited deficits - which are projected to increase by $1.4T over ten years under the bill. Others like Ron Johnson (R-WI) have focused on unfair treatment of small businesses. Susan Collins (R-ME) has balked at the repeal of Obamacare's individual mandate, which was tacked onto the bill. The GOP - with a 52-48 majority and VP Pence as tiebreaker - can only afford two defections, and Johnson and Steve Daines (R-MT) have come out against the current version (see full whip count). The bill also includes language opening drilling in the Alaska Natural Wildlife Refuge in a bid to secure Lisa Murkowski's (R-AK) vote. 
 
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IN THE KNOW.

Sports, Entertainment & Culture.

> Harvey Weinstein faces lawsuit for sex trafficking (More) | Also resigns from Directors Guild (More)
> Grammy nominations announced this morning; preview and how to watch here (More)
> Michael Crabtree, Aqib Talib suspended 2 games for on-field fight, one of harshest penalties in NFL history (More)
 

Science & Technology.

> Europe gives controversial weed killer Glyphosate a 5-year extension on use (More)
> Scientist finds trigger that causes macular degneration, most common cause of vision loss in elderly, may point way to prevention (More)
> Neuroscientists engineer robotic arms that amputees can control with their minds (More)
 

Business & Markets.

> 180 people file suit against national chain Massage Envy for sexual harassment  (More)
> Elon Musk's SpaceX raises another $100M at $21B valuation (More)
> U.S. prosecutors charge Chinese Security firm with hacking charges, breached Siemens, Moody’s, others to steal business secrets (More)
 

Politics & World Affairs.

> Pope Francis meets today with de facto Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, was told there was "no religious discrimination" in country by military leader (More)
> Indonesia alerts 150,000 for evacuation in preparation for Mt. Agung eruption (More)
> Project Veritas gets caught by Washington Post trying to pass dramatic fake Roy Moore allegation (More)
IN DEPTH.

The Serial-Killer Detector. 

The New Yorker | Alec Wilkinson. Armed with over 750,000 homicide reports and homemade computer code, retired researcher Vincent Hargrove runs the nonprofit Murder Accountability Project. Hargrove's code searches for statistical anomalies among the more common killings - with the potential to find patterns in homicides unnoticed by local officials
 

The Secret Diet Powering Kyrie and the NBA. 

Bleacher Report | Tom Haberstroh. Skinnier than ever and casually outlasting every other player on the court, Kyrie Irving attributes his tremendous success to one, more recent, change—his diet. That’s right, Kyrie is a vegan, but he isn’t the only one: huge names like Damian Lillard and JaVale McGee are also going meatless. Check out the NBA’s newest trend of slimming down and speeding up.
ETCETERA.
And the 2017 word of the year is...

One month early, check out Reuters' Pictures of the Year for 2017.

Rolling Stone follows suit, ranks the best albums of 2017

The low-budget indie film Lady Bird passes Toy Story 2 to become Rotten Tomatoes' highest-rated film of all time.

Americans have mixed feelings about Obamacare's impact on cost and access (data from Gallup). 

Robots: In an ironic twist, headhunters are now being replaced by artificial intelligence.

More Robots: Harvard and MIT scientists build robot muscles that can lift 1,000 times their own weight.

Scientists use Google's DeepDream to create drug-free hallucinations akin to LSD

Here's how many nukes each nuclear country has.

Clickbait: Fighter pilots told to "keep windows clean" to help avoid crashing.

Historybook: Magellan reaches Pacific (1520); RIP Washington Irving (1859); Jon Stewart born (1962); Margaret Thatcher resigns (1990); Enron collapses (2001). 
"ONE OF THE GREATEST TOOLS FOR LEARNING MORE IS DOING MORE."
-Washington Irving (paraphrased)
 
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