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All your news in a single email. We scour 100+ sources so you don't have to. Culture, science, sports, politics, business, and more - all packaged in a 5-minute read below.
Need To Know.
2018 Midterms.
Voters head to the polls today in one of the most highly anticipated elections in recent memory, with control of Congress hanging in the balance. Republicans seem likely to retain control of the Senate - Democrats would have to defend 5 seats ranked as toss-ups (FL, IN, MO, MT, WV) and win 2 toss-ups currently controlled by the GOP (AZ, NV), while defending seats leaning Republican like that of Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND). The story is reversed for the House, where the GOP will likely have to sweep about 22 toss-up seats while avoiding any upsets in order to retain control. There are 36 gubernatorial races and the GOP heads into the day with control in 33 states - but a number of races without incumbents in conservative strongholds are coming down to the wire. Keep an eye on Kemp (R) vs. Abrams (D) in Georgia (current polls have Kemp +2.8), Gillum (D) vs. DeSantis (R) in Florida (Gillum +3.2), and Kobach (R) vs. Kelly (D) in Kansas (Kobach +1). Over 34 million early ballots have been cast, more than a 50% increase from the 2014 midterms.

Find your polling station here.
College Basketball Tips Off.
The 2018-2019 college basketball season gets underway today, with the top ten chock full of blue bloods, headlined by Kansas and followed by Kentucky, Gonzaga, Duke, and Virginia. Fans will be treated to marquee match-ups right off the bat, with Kansas taking on #10 Michigan State and Duke facing Kentucky in the Champions Classic tonight (7pm ET, ESPN). Vegas has Duke as the leading contender to win the 2019 championship at 4/1 odds, followed by Kentucky (6/1), Kansas (15/2), Gonzaga (10/1), and North Carolina (10/1). In a bit of a surprise, oddsmakers say #7 Nevada - who returns four starters from a Sweet 16 team - has a 12/1 chance of winning the title. Check out the 50 best games of the upcoming season, and the top candidates for National Player of the Year. 
Amazon May Split HQ2.
A number of reports surfaced yesterday suggesting that online retail giant Amazon would split (paywall) its proposed second US headquarters between Long Island City, NY and Crystal City, VA. The news comes just one day after reports that Crystal City had been chosen, and would give the company hubs outside both New York City and Washington, DC. Cities around the country rushed to pull together lucrative packages to land the company's so-called HQ2, and speculation intensified around which would secure the estimated $5B in investment and 50,000 new jobs after Amazon narrowed down the list to 20 cities in January. Some observers pointed out that while the subsidy packages would probably change if the company does split HQ2, the infrastructure and housing strain on each metro area would be considerably less. Amazon has stayed silent on news of the split. 

Read about Amazon's unique Seattle headquarters here
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In The Know.
Sports, Entertainment & Culture.
> US Olympic Committee to strip USA Gymnastics of its status as official national governing body in wake of Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal (More)
> Toxicology report says rapper Mac Miller died of accidental overdose combo of fentanyl, cocaine, and alcohol (More)
> Floyd Mayweather announces New Year's Eve mixed martial arts fight in Tokyo against Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa (More)
Science & Technology.
> Scientists develop material that can remove pollutants and split water molecules into hydrogen at the same time (More)
> Wellcome Trust and the Gates Foundation pledge to make all their funded research open access by 2020 (More) | What is the Wellcome Trust? (More)
> Report says Earth's ozone layer healing following 1987 ban on chlorofluorocarbons; layer over Northern Hemisphere should be restored by 2030, hole over Antarctic healed by 2060 (More)
Business & Markets.
Brought to you by Policygenius: Insurance made easy
> Telcom giant Verizon will reorganize its business segments into Consumer, Business, and Verizon Media Group/Oath, shifting focus to types of customers served (More)
> Home improvement chain Lowe's announced it will close 51 underperforming stores throughout the US and Canada in effort to boost profitability; company trying to catch up to industry leader Home Depot (More)
> Fidelity Investments reports that Q3 2018 saw record-high average account balances in retirement funds; 401(k) plans increased 2.4% from Q2 to $106,500, and the average employee contribution reached 8.7% of income, its highest level since 2006 (More)

> Need life insurance? Compare quotes, apply online, and get expert help with Policygenius (More)
Politics & World Affairs.
> Jury selection begins in trial of Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán; notorious Mexican drug lord accused of killing at least 33 people (More)
> Armed separatists kidnap almost 80 middle school students in Cameroon; country has struggled with armed rebels seeking to establish "Ambazonia" (More)
> Gab, the social media site where Pittsburgh shooter Robert Bowers posted anti-Semitic comments just prior to synagogue attack, back online after being ditched by major service providers (More)
In Depth.
Millions of Teens Can't Finish Their Homework.
The Atlantic | Alia Wong. Now that 70% of teachers assign homework that requires internet access, a segment of students are finding it extremely difficult to finish their work at home. Technology can enhance educational opportunities, but unequal internet access still prevents nearly 20% of teens from finishing their homework. (Read)
Why Doctors Hate Computers.
The New Yorker | Atul Gawande. As a community, doctors are no strangers to using technology. But 90% of US hospitals now use systems like Epic to manage electronic health records, which many in the medical profession describe as "monster[s] of incomprehensibility." (Read, paywall)
70% of Americans are confident in the accuracy of today's elections
Elon Musk shows off video of Boring Company's two-mile-long tunnel under Los Angeles
If you like us....check out the For The Interested newsletter for a weekly collection of simple ideas to help you become better at your work, art, and life. The most recent issue includes 100 Must-Read Books of 2018, How To Tame Your Anxiety, How To Maximize Serendipity, and more.
Brilliant photos of London's homage to those who died in World War I
30 trips that you need to book at least one year in advance
The enchanting history of Notre-Dame Cathedral's stone gargoyles
This Texas restaurant wants to pay you $100/hr to pet puppies
Senior citizens are replacing teenagers as fast-food workers
Clickbait: This donkey sings opera
Historybook: HBD basketball inventor Dr. James Naismith (1861); Teddy Roosevelt travels to Panama and becomes first President to make diplomatic tour outside US (1906); Bolshevik Revolution begins in Russia (1917); UN formally condemns apartheid in South Africa (1962); RIP Hollywood great Gene Tierney (1991).
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