12.16.2019

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Need To Know
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New Orleans Cyberattack
New Orleans declared a state of emergency Friday as officials ordered computer systems across the city to shut down in response to a suspected cyberattack. City employees reacted in time to the ransomware attack - where malicious software paralyzes computer networks, rendering services inoperable until a ransom is paid - and no accounts were accessed or data lost, officials said. Despite the minimal damage, the incident is the latest in a threatening trend of hacker groups targeting city and local governments who are often under-resourced and unprepared to deal with a sophisticated cyberattack. Atlanta was held hostage for a week in 2018, refusing to pay $51K in bitcoin but suffering an estimated $17M in additional costs as city administration ground to a halt; Baltimore similarly refused to pay $76K during a weekslong attack this year, suffering an estimated $18M in damages. However, smaller governments often have no choice but to pay up - the average ransom payout in 2019 Q2 was above $39K.
Burrow Wins Heisman 
Louisiana State quarterback Joe Burrow won college football's Heisman Trophy in a landslide, being voted first on more than 90% of ballots cast for the sport's most outstanding player. Riding a breakout season after transferring to LSU from Ohio State before the 2018 season, Burrow beat out QB Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma), QB Justin Fields (Ohio State), and defensive end Chase Young (Ohio State). Burrow tossed for 4,715 yards and 48 touchdowns, rushing for another three scores, while throwing just six interceptions (see stats). He broke the single-season record for pass completion rate at 78% - more than a 20% improvement from his 2018 campaign - including a jaw-dropping 63% on passes greater than 20 yards. The campaign has positioned No. 1 LSU as the favorite to win the College Football Playoff; they face No. 4 Oklahoma Saturday, Dec. 28 at 4pm ET (ESPN), followed by No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Clemson. 

In the NFL, tapes from the New England Patriots' Spygate 2.0 scandal were released.   
Impeachment Vote Expected This Week
The House Judiciary Committee voted 23-17 Friday to advance articles of impeachment against President Trump, setting the stage for a debate and vote in the full House this week. House leaders meet tomorrow to determine the rules for floor debate, how long it will last, and how many, if any, amendments will be allowed (read about the powerful House Rules Committee). Democrat leaders in the House are targeting an impeachment vote before the holiday break. Assuming passage, the Republican-controlled Senate would be required to try the charges, one for abuse of power and the other for obstruction of Congress. Senate Republicans are still mulling their strategy for the expected trial.

You can read the full text of the articles here.

In related news, first-term Democrat Rep. Jefferson Van Drew (NJ-2) said he would switch parties over the impeachment vote.
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The socks that just won't quit.
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Many of us know a special type of discomfort that can only be described as socks slipping. You’re walking down the hall, shift your weight to the right, and – woops – your sock went from calf to ankle. But what do you do? Adjust it in the middle of the hallway, or ride out the discomfort indefinitely?
 
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In The Know
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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
> Miss Jamaica Toni-Ann Singh crowned 2019 Miss World with Miss France Ophély Mézino and Miss India Suman Rao finishing second and third (More)
> French New Wave actress Anna Karina dies at 79 (More) | James "Radio" Kennedy, inspiration behind 2003 "Radio" film, dies at 73 (More) | Danny Aiello, who earned Oscar nom for "Do the Right Thing," dies at 86 (More)
> "Frozen 2" becomes the sixth Disney film, eighth overall in 2019 to top $1B global box office; both are single-year records (More)
Science & Technology
> New mapping technique reveals the lowest land point on Earth, underneath Antarctica's Denman Glacier; valley is roughly 11,500 feet below sea level, 10 times deeper than current record location on the Dead Sea shore (More)
> Study pinpoints neural circuit that promotes reward-like behavior in brain in response to low levels of alcohol consumption; likely plays role in transition to alcohol dependence (More)
> United Nations annual Climate Change Summit runs two days over schedule, ends without agreements on major policy changes (More)
Business & Markets
> US stock markets whipsaw Friday as US and China announce phase one trade deal has been reached which removed tariffs set to kick in yesterday (More)
> California Governor Gavin Newsom rejects bankruptcy plan submitted by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) stating it fails to meet requirements of new wildfire laws (More)
> European food delivery giant Delivery Hero to acquire South Korean rival Woowa Brothers for $4B as global food delivery competition heats up (More, $$, FT)
Politics & World Affairs
> Reports say the US expelled two Chinese officials after they breached a military base in Virginia; motivation for the breach is unknown, some officials believe the pair were testing security (More)
> Mexico says it was blindsided by language in updated trade deal to have inspectors visit factory sites to ensure labor regulations are being followed (More)
> Supreme Court to rule on whether financial institutions must turn over President Trump's records to Congress and local prosecutors in New York; decision expected by end of June (More)
The gift of comfortable calves.
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Our COO, Pierre, swears by Pierre Henry Socks (no relation, we swear!) thanks to their no-quit attitude: the proprietary “double comfort elastic” makes sure socks stay up all day long and never fall down.
 
Give yourself or a loved one the gift of comfortable calves this season with Pierre Henry Socks. They’re the perfect holiday gift this season, with daring (yet office-appropriate) designs and premium quality. At checkout, take 15% off with code 1440.

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Etcetera
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The memes that defined the decade.
 
See Forbes' annual list of The World's 100 most powerful women.
See 19 striking findings from 2019.
Newton High school wins championship on anniversary of Sandy Hook.

Amateur astronomer captures a stunning pair of spiral galaxies (w/photo).
An AI program will finish Beethoven's Tenth Symphony.
Sleep apnea is (indirectly) killing people around the globe.
John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John reunite as Danny and Sandy
Clickbait: Saturday Night Live and the gift of children's clothing
Historybook: Ludwig van Beethoven born (1770); Boston Tea Party (1773); Author Jane Austen born (1775); Anthropologist Margaret Mead born (1901); World War II’s Battle of the Bulge begins (1944).
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"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
- Margaret Mead
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