2.1.2019

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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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Super Bowl Weekend.
The city of Atlanta will host the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots this weekend as the two teams face off in Superbowl LIII (Sunday, 6:30ET on CBS). It will be the ninth Super Bowl for the Patriots during Tom Brady's tenure (with a 5-3 record), an era that began 17 years ago when they beat the then-St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI. The Patriots enter the game as 3-point favorites after opening as slight underdogs. Elsewhere, New Orleans Saints fans are still grumbling from the sidelines over a non-call on a key play where a Rams player interfered with a Saints receiver late in the game (see video) - a long-shot lawsuit to force the NFL to replay the Saint-Rams conference championship was dismissed yesterday. 

Don't like football but watch for the commercials? Read what makes a Super Bowl ad successful, and how ad prices have stalled after years of relentless increases, and finally, a preview of the best commercials - including Chance the Rapper and Backstreet Boys singing about Doritos.
Saudi Purge Ends.
Saudi Arabia officially ended a wide-ranging anti-corruption purge that involved over 380 high-ranking officials. The crackdown began in late 2017, with most of those involved being detained at the Ritz-Carlton in the capital city of Riyadh to await charges of money laundering, bribery, extorting officials, and using their office for political gain. The crackdown was led by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and reportedly yielded $107B in funds. While corruption has been a significant issue for in the Kingdom - experts estimated that nearly 10% of all government funding is diverted by corrupt officials (paywall) each year - the sweep was also seen as a consolidation of power by the Crown Prince. 

Elsewhere in the region, Pope Francis will make his first visit to the Arabian Peninsula when he travels to the UAE over the weekend. 
Weapons Treaty Withdraw.
The US is expected to withdraw from a decades-long nuclear weapons pact with Russia citing the country's ongoing violation of the treaty. The 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which banned all nuclear and conventional weapons and their launchers with ranges of about 300 to 3,400 miles, led to the elimination of over 2,600 missiles between the two countries in the first five years of the pact. US officials dating back to the Obama administration have complained that Russia has been in violation of the treaty, specifically through the deployment of certain cruise missiles (read about the Novator 9M729 missile). The Trump administration announced late last year it would give Russia 60 days to comply with the treaty or it would withdraw. Some experts worry that ending the deal could spark a new arms race between the two countries. 
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In The Know.
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Sports, Entertainment & Culture.
Leslie Van Houten recommended for parole in her conviction for 1969 Charles Manson family murders; Van Houten's two previous parole recommendations overturned by CA governor (More)
> Mariah Carey performs in Saudi Arabia amid criticism and boycotts from women's rights activists (More)
> NBA superstar Kristaps Porzingis traded from NY Knicks to Dallas Mavericks in 7-player swap (More) | NBA All-Star game reserves announced; see full team (More)
Science & Technology.
> Study estimates that with new, more strict definition of high blood pressure, the number of US adults with some form heart or blood vessel disease increased from 24 million to 121 million (More)
> Uber to roll out inclusion of public transport options in app beginning in Denver (More)
> Research shows you can learn new words while you sleep during a distinct phase of slow-wave sleep; memory formation occurs in brain in same way as when awake (More)
Business & Markets.
> US and Chinese officials wrap up two days of trade talks, President Trump plans to meet with Chinese President Xi in near-term to finalize comprehensive trade deal (More)
> Earnings Season: Amazon beats profit expectations, but forecasts Q1 sales below Wall Street expectations, shares down 5% in after-hours (More) | GE shares spike 11% as corporate turnaround plan shows progress (More)
> US stock markets experience best January in 30 years - S&P 500 and Dow up 7%, Nasdaq up 10% (More)
Politics & World Affairs.
> Democrats reveal details of $22B border security package (More) | No money for wall, but party leaders appear to give wiggle room with suggestion of "fencing" (More)
> Death toll rises to 21 as bitter cold continues grip on northern US, temperatures set to warm up over the weekend (More)
> Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tells fellow lawmakers he is running for president, asks for support (More)
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Weekend Reads.
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Why Some Japanese Pensioners Want to Go to Jail.
BBC | Staff. The recent spike in crimes committed by people above the age of 65 has the widely law-abiding populous of Japan looking for answers. Many believe the crimes are being intentionally committed to gain access to rent-free living, as the perpetrators still receive their pension while in jail. (Read)
The Bicycle Thief.
Chicago Magazine | Steven Leckart. Once a shoo-in for the cycling Olympic trials, Tom Justice was one of the last people you would expect to pull a string of bank heists. He did though - all with just a messenger bag and his trusty bicycle. (Read)
 
You Know the Lorena Bobbitt Story (But Not All of It).
New York Times | Amy Chozick. In 1993, Lorena Bobbitt attacked her husband with a kitchen knife. While her name surfaced in tabloid headlines and comedy skits for years, it is only now that she is able to talk about the night she finally snapped in a documentary produced by Get Out director Jordan Peele. (Read, paywall)
Etcetera - Best of January '19.
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Editor's Note: Determined by tens of thousands of clicks, here are the most-read articles from the past month. Enjoy!
 
(1/15) Introvert or extrovert, here are 5 tips to becoming a better conversationalist.

(1/9) This is the personality trait that makes people comfortable around you.

(1/29) Bill Gates' favorite infographic that captures 200 years of human progress. 

(1/17) Global risk map reveals the most dangerous places to visit this year

(1/30) Why some people stay thin no matter what they eat

(1/14) UCLA gymnast's floor routine goes viral after she scores a perfect 10 (w/ video).

(1/24) The ten best side hustles for 2019.

(1/8) Don't Argue, It's Science: Study determines the most influential film of all time

(1/30) Oblivious tourist in Australia holds one of the world's most poisonous animals.

(1/23) Breathtaking photos of a frozen Niagara Falls

(1/8) Ranking vegetables by how healthy they are

(1/10) Ancient History: Never-before-seen photos of young celebrities just hanging out, before the era of social media.

(1/25) Meet the richest person in every state

(1/3) 10 of the strangest items TSA uncovered in luggage last year
Historybook: Oxford English Dictionary debuts (1884); HBD film legend Clark Gable (1901); HBD Big Boi (1975); HBD mixed martial artist Ronda Rousey (1987); Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates on reentry, seven astronauts killed (2003).
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-  Laurel Clark, medical doctor aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia
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