12.13.2019

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Need To Know
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Johnson Wins Big
Voters in the United Kingdom delivered Prime Minister Boris Johnson a decisive victory in yesterday's snap election, handing the Conservative Party a majority in the House of Commons and all but ensuring the passage of Johnson's Brexit package. Estimates from overnight tallies suggest the party won 364 out of 650 seats, close to 50 more seats than they held before the election and their biggest majority since 1987. The party even made inroads into areas usually held by the opposition Labour Party; the first to report was the working-class district of Blythe Valley, who voted conservative for the first time since it was created 70 years ago. Johnson called the election after his Brexit package stalled with lawmakers and some opinion polls heading into the day had Johnson losing seats, which would've resulted in a hung Parliament. Instead, Johnson will use the momentum to aim to get Brexit across the finish line by late January.
Impeachment Set to Move to Full House
The House Judiciary Committee is set to vote today to advance two articles of impeachment against President Trump, setting the stage for a full House vote next week. A final committee vote was expected yesterday but was postponed after a contentious, 14-hour markup hearing during which various Republican proposals to alter the text were considered and rejected on party-line votes. The imminent vote would move the articles out of committee and into the full chamber for debate, with Democrat leaders targeting a final vote before leaving DC for the holiday break. The House is widely expected to approve the measures, which would toss the process to the Republican-controlled Senate with the task of trying President Trump on the two charges (see 101). While Senate Republicans are still mulling strategy, they are considering a quick trial, while the White House has expressed a desire to call a number of witnesses.

Various House Democrats are butting heads over who gets to become impeachment manager.
Protests in India
Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in northeast India yesterday, protesting the passage of a controversial religious citizenship bill. Critics of the Citizenship Amendment Bill say the legislation enshrines religious discrimination into law by establishing a legal path to citizenship for a wide range of undocumented immigrants from nearby countries (Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, and more) except Muslims. The exclusion is seen as an extension of the surge of Hindu nationalism in India, which is 80% Hindu and 15% Muslim, and the bill is expected to be signed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who rode nationalist sentiment to reelection in May. The move follows the elimination of the autonomy of Kashmir, India's only Muslim majority state, and a citizenship registration effort that left nearly 1.7 million Muslims off its lists

Notably, secularism is embodied in India's constitution ($$, FP). 
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In The Know
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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
> Ten former NFL players, including running back Clinton Portis, indicted in alleged multimillion-dollar scheme to defraud the league over healthcare costs (More)
> NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke to depart in 2020; Burke is speculated to take on larger role at Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway (More)
> MLB announces it will begin testing for opioids and cocaine following death of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs who died in 2019; marijuana removed from "drugs of abuse" list (More)
Science & Technology
> Researchers uncover 44,000-year-old rock wall art depicting hunting scene with mythical creatures in what may be the world's oldest recorded narrative story (More)
> Twitter says it's funding research into an open and decentralized standard; critics say its a move for Twitter to avoid responsibility for content hosted on its platform (More)
> First-ever map of wind patterns on Mars produced; Martian terrain influences wind dynamics up to nearly 190 miles into the upper atmosphere (More)
Business & Markets
All three US stock markets indices up (S&P 500 +0.9%, Dow +0.8%, Nasdaq +0.7%) to record highs as sources say President Trump agrees to limited trade deal “in principle” to roll back tariffs scheduled for Dec. 15; no official word yet from China (More)
> Facebook invests $130M to fund content oversight board, independent trust allows users to appeal Facebook’s decisions on content moderation (More)
> Nestlé selling US ice cream business (Dreyer’s, Häagen-Dazs,  Skinny Cow, and others) for $4B (More)

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Politics & World Affairs
> Congressional leaders reach tentative agreement to fund government that would avoid Dec. 20 shutdown, pending vote and presidential sign-off (More) | House passes sweeping drug bill requiring Medicare to negotiate drug prices with companies (More)
> Democratic National Committee announces rush of four presidential primary debates in early voting states: Iowa (Jan. 14), New Hampshire (Feb. 7), Nevada (Feb. 19), and South Carolina (Feb. 25) (More)
> Jersey City shooting being investigated as domestic terrorism; two shooters with links to Black Hebrew Israelite movement held a kosher grocery store hostage Tuesday, killing four (More) | Manifesto-like document found (More)
Weekend Reads
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The Ferry
Guardian | Ghaith Abdul-Ahad. After two decades of graft, corruption, and instability driven by years of war, it took a devastating ferry disaster along Iraq's Tigris River to expose a rotten system. (Read)
Video
What Facial Recognition Steals from Us
Recode/Vox | Joss Fong. The rapid pace of technology is such that unintended consequences don't become apparent until after the fact. This 10-minute explainer breaks down the tech behind facial recognition - and what society is likely to give up as it proliferates. (Watch)
'Everyone Has to Sleep'
Curbed | Patrick Sisson. A look at Martin v. City of Boise, a case currently winding its way toward the Supreme Court, which could drastically alter the way cities treat their homeless population. (Read)
Bonus: The Best of 2019
Longreads | Staff. Love reading long-form journalism? Check out Longread's top-ranked pieces from each week throughout 2019. (Read)
 
 
Etcetera
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The time-honored British tradition of taking your dog to the polls (w/photos).
The National Suicide Hotline switches to a three-digit phone number, 988.

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See the iHeartRadio finalists for the best podcasts of the year.
Eater ranks the best chefs, restaurants, and cocktail bars of 2019
Berlin Zoo unveils the names for its new Panda twins.
You had one job: "Smartest lock ever" reveals unfixable hack that allows intruders in.
This World War II submarine base was converted into a digital art center.
Take a look at this recently-sold $150M Los Angeles mansion.
Clickbait: Who ordered this box of absolute nightmare fuel?
Historybook: HBD diplomat George Shultz (1920); HBD actor Dick Van Dyke (1925); HBD Jamie Foxx (1967); HBD Taylor Swift (1989); 10 new countries announced to join European Union (2002); Saddam Hussein captured by American forces (2003).
You made it. Have a great weekend.
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