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Need To Know.
Women Dominate Grammys.
The 2019 Grammys were held last night at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, with women and rap music taking center stage. The night began when Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, and others walked on stage to join host Alicia Keys, speaking to the crowd about the importance of music (see clip here). Women accounted for nearly 75% of the performances, and country music singer Kacey Musgraves won Album of the Year for Golden Hour, while Cardi B became the first solo woman to win Best Rap Album for her Invasion of Privacy. Despite not attending the ceremony, Childish Gambino (the stage name of the multi-talented Donald Glover) won Best Song and Best Record for the visceral This is America, becoming the first rap song to win the prestigious awards (see full list of winners). Singers held a tribute for Dolly Parton, who was honored as the Person of the Year.
A second woman has come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D), over an incident that occurred while both were students at Duke University in 2000. The news comes just days after Fairfax was accused of sexual assault by a college professor during a 2004 encounter at the Democratic National Convention in Boston (read victim statement). The new revelations capped a tumultuous week for Virginia political leadership, with both Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and Attorney General Mark Herring (D) battling controversies over wearing blackface. Northam - whose personal med school yearbook page had a photo of a man in blackface next to a person in KKK garb - implied he wouldn't be stepping down, saying he wanted to spend the rest of his term focusing on addressing racial equality.
Next Government Shutdown Looms.
Negotiations to prevent a second government shutdown in three months fell apart yesterday, despite White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney convening lawmakers at Camp David over the weekend. Hurdles to the talks - on top of a $5.7B price tag for extending a US-Mexico border wall - included how many, and where, unauthorized immigrants detained by border officials will be housed. One of the most contentious immigration issues, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA, or the "dreamers" program), is not on the table for discussion according to reports. Friday is the deadline for Congress to agree on a funding package that is also acceptable to the White House, and lawmakers are now exploring another stopgap funding bill. The previous record-long government shutdown lasted 35 days, ending on January 25th, and affected one-quarter of government activities and nearly 800,000 federal employees.
> New pro football league, the Alliance of American Football (AAF) brings in big TV ratings in its debut weekend (More) | How is the AAF different than NFL? (More)
> Albert Finney, legendary British stage and film actor, dies at 82 (More)
>Roma wins Best Film, The Favourite takes home most awards (7) at British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Film Awards; see complete list of winners (More)
Science & Technology.
> Study shows different neurons respond to many different features of a surface, combining a highly-complex sense of touch (More)
> UC-Berkeley to be granted CRISPR patent; separate and more narrow scope than the patent awarded to the Broad Institute (More) | Read about the long-running CRISPR dispute between the two (More)
> Report says 43% of generic drugs approved by the FDA since January 2017 haven't been made available for sale in the US (More)
Business & Markets.
> Sources say Amazon is exploring alternatives to NYC HQ2 plans in Long Island City (More)
> Mattel stock surges 20% on strong earnings, fellow toymaker Hasbro drops 5% after missing expectations (More)
> Study finds 16% pay gap exists for minority MBA graduates (More)
Politics & World Affairs.
> South Korean bumps payments to support US troops stationed in region from $830M to $924M per year (More)
> Rep. Walter Jones (R, NC-3), "Freedom Fries" congressman who switched stance on Iraq War, dies after entering hospice care in January (More)
> Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) enters 2020 presidential race, the most prominent Midwestern candidate to date (More) | Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) makes it official as well (More)
You have one day.
When it comes to experts on credit card rewards programs, we trust no one more than The Points Guy, and we recently heard from them about this card, with one last chance at mouthwatering perks.
This incredible card will stop accepting applications forever tomorrow (2/12). And you really don't want to miss it. Earn 75,000 bonus points that can be used for hotels around the world (worth an estimated $675 by The Points Guy), annual free night certificate (up to 35,000 points), complimentary Silver Elite status, and 6X earning rates at select hotels.
So before this card bites the dust, head on over to The Points Guy and check it out. What's more, the $95 annual fee is waived for your first year... it's a no-brainer.
Historybook: HBD Thomas Edison (1847); HBD Jennifer Aniston (1969); Iranian Revolution begins as Ayatollah Khomeini comes to power (1979); Nelson Mandela released from prison after 27 years in South Africa (1990); RIP Whitney Houston (2012).
"It always seems impossible until it's done." - Nelson Mandela
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