12.17.2018

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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.
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Mulvaney Heads to White House.
President Trump named Mick Mulvaney as acting Chief of Staff on Friday, temporarily filling the vacancy left by the resignation of Gen. John Kelly. Sources said the title of acting was meant to preserve flexibility for the President, though insiders speculate he will eventually fill the job permanently. Mulvaney is a former conservative US House member from South Carolina, currently wearing two hats as the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as well as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) - he will reportedly step away from those roles during his tenure. Mulvaney will be the administration's third Chief of Staff. In related news, Trump announced that Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke would leave his post by the end of the year.

The job is notoriously difficult - read the famous "Rumsfeld Rules" (pdf), pulled together by Donald Rumsfeld when he was Gerald Ford's Chief of Staff. 
Vaping Surges Among Teens.
Results from an annual survey released today found that vaping among adolescent teenagers nearly doubled between 2017 and 2018, the largest increase in use of any drug in the past 43 years of the survey. The study, which surveyed almost 45,000 students across 392 public and private schools, reported that nearly 21% of high school seniors had vaped in the past 30 days, compared to 11% in 2017. Vaping, which involves inhaling the exhaust of an electronic cigarette, has been criticized for introducing nicotine to teenagers. The FDA announced last month it would seek to limit the sale of flavored vaping products in an effort to stem use among young adults. In positive news, the study found that only 3.6% of seniors smoke regular cigarettes daily - down from 22% in 1998 - and binge drinking and use of opioids declined among the same group. See more data here (pdf). 
Affordable Care Act.
A federal judge in Texas struck down the Affordable Care Act on Friday, likely setting up a string of legal challenges to the Obama-era health insurance overhaul. US District Court Judge Reed O'Connor ruled that the law's individual mandate was unconstitutional. A 2012 ruling by the Supreme Court said that the individual mandate, which imposes a fine if a person does not have health insurance, was constitutional because it was essentially a tax. However, a line in the 2017 tax overhaul eliminated the fine, leading O'Connor to conclude it could no longer be a tax - and extended the ruling, finding the entire health care law unconstitutional. Experts say the decision will make little change in the short-term, and Obamacare will remain in place while appeals make their way through the courts. 
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In The Know.
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Sports, Entertainment & Culture.
> Colin Kroll, co-founder of HQ Trivia and Vine, dies of apparent drug overdose at age 34 (More)
> Disney fires Andi Mack actor Stoney Westmoreland after his arrest for arranging meeting with 13-year-old for sex (More)
> Miss Philippines Catriona Gray tops South Africa, Venezuela to win Miss Universe 2018 (More) | Spain's Angela Ponce becomes first transgender woman to compete in Miss Universe (More)
Science & Technology.
> Negotiators from over 200 countries, including China and US, adopt recommendations to put 2015 Paris Climate Accord into action; US still in climate pact until 2020 under current law (More)
> New research suggests tornadoes form from the ground up instead of starting with cloud rotation, challenging conventional models (More)
> China introduces "social" punishments for scientific misconduct, including blacklisting for open jobs and access to loans (More) | Follows announcement of secretive gene-edited human baby experiment (More)
Business & Markets.
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> US stock markets fall Friday (S&P 500 -1.9%, Dow -2%, Nasdaq -2.2%) after reports of lower output & retail growth in China (More)
> Report claims Johnson & Johnson knew its baby powder contained asbestos, kept information from regulators (More)
> Robinhood - trading startup known for commission-free trades - backtracks on 3% interest checking accounts after SIPC says accounts will not be secured (More) | What is the Securities Investor Protection Corporation or SIPC (More)

This jaw-dropping card is offering 0% APR for 14 months and 5% back in rotating categories. Pay no interest until 2020 and double your cash back (More)
Politics & World Affairs.
> Sen. John Kyl (R-AZ), appointed when then-Senator John McCain passed away, to resign on Dec. 31st; Gov. Doug Ducey will appoint second replacement to serve until 2020 elections (More)
> Sandy Hook Elementary evacuated after receiving bomb threat on sixth anniversary of mass shooting (More)
> Developing: US airstrikes kill at least 62 members of extremist group al-Shabaab in Somalia (More)
Etcetera.
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Meet the woman who just ran the world's fastest 24-hour race
How many hours workers have to work to afford their mortgages.
Chicago Bears player pops question to girlfriend after big win
Ranking all 50 states, according to their best beers.
Pitchfork ranks the 100 best songs of 2018...
...While Rolling Stone ranks the year's 50 best albums
Tantalizing slo-mo of ice breaking on a trampoline (via Twitter).
This professor sent mercenaries to save her student from ISIS
Clickbait: 3-D printed heads let people unlock your phone
Historybook: Wright Brothers make first successful airplane flight (1903); HBD Pope Francis (1936); The Simpsons makes television debut (1989); RIP American actress Jennifer Jones (2009); North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il dies (2011).
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