2.1.2018

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2.1.2018
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.
Gowdy Continues Resignation Wave.
Conservative US House member Trey Gowdy (R, SC-4) announced via Twitter that he would not seek reelection in the fall. The popular conservative, best known for his hounding of the Obama administration over the 2012 Benghazi attack, said he intends to return to the justice system in South Carolina - he was a district attorney before joining the House in 2010. Politico has a good look at what drove Gowdy to pull the plug. As chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Gowdy became the 9th GOP chairman to call it quits ahead of the 2018 midterms and the 38th overall. You can see a full list of both sides and how it compares to other years here. The retirement gap between the GOP and Democrats is high (38 to 17), but what matters is how many of the newly opened seats are in competitive districts.

Nassar Begins Third and Final Sentencing.
Former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar is back in court, facing more sexual abuse charges. Nassar, who just finished an emotional trial in which over 150 victims shared statements of abuse at his hands, is also accused of similar crimes at the Twistars gym in Eaton County, Michigan. The previous trial related to charges in Ingram County - Nassar received up to 175 years in prison for those charges, and 60 years in a previous case involving child pornography. He is charged with seven official counts of sexual assault in Eaton County - though Judge  Janice K. Cunningham said 265 victims had come forward, with 65 scheduled to speak as of now. 

White House, FBI Butt Heads Over Memo.

The FBI urged the White House yesterday to withhold a memo detailing how the Bureau and Justice Department allegedly abused authority in surveilling an individual associated with the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. The memo itself was prepared by majority staff on the House Intelligence Committee and Chair Rep. Devin Nunes (R, CA-22), and a House panel voted to publicly release it on Tuesday, kicking the decision to the White House. It's still unclear what the memo says - it's classified and hasn't been released yet - but it reportedly accuses the FBI of using unverified information to obtain a FISA warrant, allowing the FBI to spy on an American citizen (in this case, a Trump campaign advisor). FBI director Christopher Wray, reviewed the memo and said the Bureau had "grave concerns" about "omission of material facts...and inaccuracies". Democrats are accusing Nunes of secretly altering the final version of the memo before sharing it with the White House. 
 
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IN THE KNOW.

Sports, Entertainment & Culture.

> Diane Lane, Greg Kinnear join House of Cards cast for final season (More)
> Former NBA player Rasual Butler and wife, former American Idol contestant Leah LaBelle Vladowski, killed in single-car accident (More)
> Fox wins 5-year contract for NFL's Thursday Night Football; deal reportedly worth $3B (More)
 

Science & Technology.

> Astronomers find large organic chemicals - building blocks for complex life - in nearby galaxy (More)
> Injecting a cocktail that stimulates the immune system directly into a tumor eliminates cancer all over body in mice (More)
> Twitter users lose millions of followers as company goes after fake accounts (More)
 

Business & Markets.

> US Oil production tops 10M barrels/day for first time since 1970 (More)
> Federal Reserve Bank leaves interest rates unchanged at 1.25-1.5 % (More)
> Earnings Season: Boeing stock up 6% to all-time high after record jet deliveries (More) |  Facebook beats revenue expectations, but users spent 5% less time on site due to news feed changes (More
 

Politics & World Affairs.

> Justice Department drops corruption charges against Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) after November mistrial, was accused of trading gifts for influence (More)
> Center for Disease Control director, Brenda Fitzgerald, resigns over conflict of interest concerns around tobacco stocks (More)
> 1 dead, 4 injured in Amtrak collision with truck - 3 GOP lawmakers aboard en route to retreat (More)
IN DEPTH.

Day Zero. 

New York Times | Norimitsu Onishi and Somini Sengupta. In what sounds like a Hollywood disaster script, South Africa's second-biggest city, Cape Town, will run out of drinking water in less than three months. With the taps turned off and nearly 4 million people needing to line up for water rations, officials have no idea what to expect when Day Zero hits
 

The Astronaut Who Might Actually Get Us to Mars. 

Texas Monthly | Katy Vine. Meet Franklin Chang Díaz, the man who immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 18 with one goal--to become an astronaut. But even though he achieved his goal and is tied for the most spaceflights in history, Díaz isn’t giving up just yet. While privately building revolutionary plasma engines for NASA is no easy job, discover why Díaz might be our best shot at Mars.
ETCETERA.
The World's funniest joke according to science (not sure we agree).

How to take the fastest path to becoming a CEO, based on a 10-year study.

Boredom at work costs US companies $100 billion each year.  

Meet the killer whale who can speak human words.

Chinese women are spending millions of dollars on virtual boyfriends.  

Harley-Davidson’s choppers going silent - now with electric motors

Top secret Australian government files found in file cabinet in pawn shop

Police pull over a car and oranges come tumbling out.

Clickbait: French woman gives birth to rubber glove, five compresses

Historybook: Oxford Dictionary debuts (1884); HBD Clark Gable (1901); HBD Big Boi (1975); Ayatollah Khomeini returns to Iran from exile (1979); Columbia disintegrates on reentry, seven astronauts killed (2003).
"LIFE MOVES SO FAST. YOU GOTTA DOCUMENT THE GOOD TIMES."
-Antwan André "Big Boi" Patton
 
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