Everything You Need to Know, In a Single Daily Email.

11.7.2019

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Need To Know
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Challenge in Kentucky
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin (R) will challenge the results of Tuesday's election, in which he lost to challenger Andy Beshear (D) by 0.36% or slightly more than 5,000 votes. Bevin's campaign officially requested a recanvass, one of three options available including a vote-by-vote recount and an outright election contest (used for causes of fraud). The process, in which counties recheck and report their machines' numbers, buys Bevin time - his campaign said they were also compiling instances of unspecified irregularities. Bevin came up short despite a last-minute campaign rally by President Trump, who won the state by 30 points in 2016. However, experts warn against extrapolating the result to the national stage - Bevin had become deeply unpopular, partly due to a high-profile clash with the state's teachers union, and Kentucky Republicans still enjoy a supermajority in the state Legislature and flipped the attorney general and secretary of state offices.  
CRISPR Inches Toward Cancer
Researchers expressed cautious optimism yesterday after trials using CRISPR to fight cancer showed minimal side effects in the first human trials. In the tests, the gene-editing technique (see 101) was used to modify immune cells in three patients: two with blood cancer and one with sarcoma. To accomplish the feat, scientists removed T cells from each patient, deleting three genes that hinder their ability to recognize and attack cancer cells and added a fourth to make them more effective. After reinjection, the engineered cells survived and multiplied - a key step toward growing into a super-charged "army" of T cells throughout the body. While it is too soon to know if the treatment improves chances of survival, no adverse health effects were observed, a major advance for the field. 
Impeachment Probe Goes Public
The House Intelligence Committee announced yesterday it would begin public hearings related to the ongoing impeachment inquiry starting next week. The initial lineup of witnesses includes the top US diplomat in Ukraine, William Taylor (scheduled for Nov. 13), Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent (Nov. 13), and the former Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch (Nov. 15). Meanwhile, House Republicans are considering reassigning Rep. Jim Jordan (OH-4), a dogged critic of the probe, to the Intelligence Committee to strengthen the questioning of witnesses. Unlike usual hearings where each committee member gets five minutes for questioning, Democrats and Republicans will designate legal staff to lead up to 45 minutes of questions for each side, per witness. Also yesterday, the committee released a transcript from Taylor's closed-door hearing from last month. 

Editor's Note: Yesterday we incorrectly referred to the victims of the mass murder in Mexico as members of the Church of Latter-day Saints. In fact, they were members of an offshoot branch and not formally affiliated with the LDS. Thanks to our readers for the correction.  
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In The Know
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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
> James Dean, the pop culture icon who died in 1955, cast in 2020 film "Finding Jack"; the deceased actor will appear via CGI taken from previous footage and photos (More)
> American Music Awards announces Billie Eilish, Camila Cabello, Dua Lipa, and Lizzo as performers; Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez were previously announced to perform at the Nov. 24 awards show (More)
> Robyn Crawford, close friend of Whitney Houston, confirms romantic relationship with the late singer (More)
Science & Technology
> Preeminent science journal Nature marks its 150th anniversary; see the 10 most influential papers in its history (More) | Visualize the interdisciplinary connections between its publications (More)
> New organ-on-a-chip replicates the liver, could allow rapid toxicity testing and speed the development and approval of new drugs, food, and more (More)
> Fossil of prehistoric ape may provide key evidence in the evolution of human walking; 11-million-year-old specimen had straight legs for upright walking and long ape-like arms (More)
Business & Markets
> SoftBank sees first quarterly loss in 14 years with $8.9B loss from Vision Fund investments in WeWork and others, CEO Masayoshi Son states “My investment judgment was poor” (More)
> Federal prosecutors charge two former Twitter employees with spying on behalf of Saudi Arabia; pair illegally retrieved personal data of users with history of criticizing the country (More)
US productivity (hourly output per worker) drops by a 0.3% annualized rate, the biggest quarterly drop since 2015 (More)
Politics & World Affairs
> Iran reportedly injects uranium gas into nuclear reactors at Fordo complex; reactors will enrich uranium to 4.5%, exceeding limits of 2015 deal but falling short of the 90% needed for weapons grade material (More)
> Election 2020: Former Trump attorney general Jeff Sessions to run for his old Senate seat in Alabama against incumbent Doug Jones (D) (More) | Sixteen-term congressman and head of House defense appropriations Pete Visclosky (D, IN-1) to retire at end of term (More)
> China jails nine for smuggling potent opioid fentanyl into the US; represents the first arrest in joint US-China operation (More)
In-Depth
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How Does the Soul Survive Atrocity?
NYT | Jennifer Percy. As the looming threat of ISIS slowly recedes, a generation of Iraqi children - many who lived under, or were taken captive by, the group - face a crushing mental health crisis. Does modern psychotherapy have the tools to face the effects of such brutality? (Read)
The Internet is Getting Less Free
Recode | Rani Molla. For the ninth consecutive year, privacy and freedom of speech on the internet - once a hallmark of a globally connected information network  - have declined. Misinformation, government censorship, and passive and active surveillance have combined to create a bleak future for online freedom. (Read)
 
 
Etcetera
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Fake news on social media has exploded in 2019
You're not single, you're self-partnered
...and it's now more common to cohabitate than to be married

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The fragmented figures of Venice will make you look twice
The IRS releases its updated tax tables
Pigs may solve the organ transplant crisis
South Koreans are faking their funerals to better learn life's lessons.
Disney's live-action "The Little Mermaid" has the internet raging
Clickbait: Nothing to see here, just a massive bear trapped in a dumpster
Historybook: Nobel Prize-winning physicist and chemist Marie Curie born (1867); Jeannette Rankin becomes first woman elected to US congress (1916); Evangelist Billy Graham born (1918); RIP Eleanor Roosevelt (1962); Magic Johnson announces his HIV-positive diagnosis (1991).
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