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Need To Know.
Budget Deal (in Principle).
President Trump held a rally in the border city of El Paso, Texas, last night, drumming up support for his administration's request for border wall funding. Just minutes before the evening was set to begin, lawmakers in DC announced a tentative "agreement in principle" to fund the government through the remainder of the fiscal year. The deal partially funds the White House request for $5.7B to build 200 miles of border wall, providing $1.375B for 55 miles of construction. If passed by Congress, the package would need the president's signature to avert a second government shutdown. Potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke, who has been flirting with jumping into the race, held a competing rally a half-mile away from Trump's.
Separately, California Gov. Gavin Newsom recalled the state's National Guard from US-Mexico border, saying they would be redeployed to fight forest fires.
Winter Storms Across the US.
A large winter storm is sweeping through the Midwest, bringing icy roads and up to two feet of snow in some places. The system is expected to sweep through the Great Lakes and into the Northeast by tonight, placing nearly 100 million people in its path and is expected to disrupt travel up and down the East Coast. On the opposite side of the country, Seattle is in the middle of its snowiest month in over 30 years - over 14 inches have fallen at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in February alone, more than double the annual average. The wild weather extended all the way down to Hawaii, where residents are recovering from an intense storm that brought 191 mph peak winds and rare snow to Maui.
Denver Teachers' Strike.
Over 4,000 Denver teachers went on strike yesterday after negotiations over their compensation structure fell apart over the weekend. It was the first such strike in the district in 25 years. At the center of the disagreement is how much money should be set aside for bonuses versus base pay - Denver Public Schools began shifting towards an incentive-based system a few years ago for items like teacher retention. Schools - which service close to 100,000 students - will remain open during the strike, staffed by a combination of administrators and substitutes. The walkout follows a massive strike by Los Angeles teachers in January, and a wave of similar protests in 2018, from Arizona to North Carolina.
> Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray chooses to play football over baseball; will have to repay part of his $4.6M signing bonus from MLB's Oakland A's (More)
> Duke University opens investigation into rape by former alumni and NBA player Corey Maggette; accuser is also the second woman accusing Virgina Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual misconduct (More)
>Bohemian Rhapsody director Bryan Singer's new film Red Sonja is postponed following multiple sexual assault allegations against Singer (More)
Science & Technology.
> Study raises alarm on rapid decline of insect populations; says 40% of known insect species are declining in population and one-third are endangered, with global total insect population falling 2.5% annually (More)
> White House to launch Artificial Intelligence initiative; includes R&D, workforce, and more (More)
> New biometric security technology authenticates users by reading lips; early demos identify false IDs over 93% of time (More)
Business & Markets.
> Morgan Stanley to acquire Solium Capital - employee stock compensation administrator - for $900M (More) | Home Wi-Fi start-up Eero to be acquired by Amazon (More)
> Autonomous delivery startup Nuro raises $940M from SoftBank's Vision Fund (More) | Vision Fund 101: the ~$100B fund transforming technology investing (More)
> US small business optimism drops from record highs, per Wells Fargo/Gallup index (More)
Politics & World Affairs.
> British economy shrunk by 0.4% in December and grew at 1.4% overall in 2018, the lowest rate in six years; slowdown comes amid Brexit uncertainty (More)
> Rep. Ilhan Omar (D, MN-5) apologizes for tweets criticizing pro-Israeli interest groups after Democratic leadership denounces the comments as anti-Semitic (More)
> Trials begin in Spain for dozens of separatists who led 2017 uprising in Catalonia region (More) | Thousands march in Madrid saying Spanish government was too conciliatory towards region (More)
TV Guide 2.0
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Why So Many Americans Feel Cheated By Their Student Loans.
Buzzfeed News | Anne Helen Petersen. In the 1980s, the average American college student graduated with $746 worth of debt - last year, that figure reached an astounding $37,172. Today, 44 million Americans have student loans, and shaky government promises of loan forgiveness have put the default rates are on track to reach 38% by 2023. (Read)
The Trace | Brian Freskos. Although it may seem counterintuitive, gun dealers - of which there are more than McDonald's and Starbucks combined - are being burglarized more and more each year. These robberies are one of the main sources that fuel the black market weapons trade. (Read)
There's a mom on the loose at Towson University, looking for people to date her son.
Clickbait: Weather forecaster fills map with nasty tweets she received after interrupting a popular TV show to report on a deadly flood.
Historybook: HBD Abraham Lincoln (1809); HBD Charles Darwin (1809); HBD children’s author Judy Blume (1938); President Clinton acquitted on impeachment charges (1999); RIP Peanuts creator Charles Schulz (2000).
"Life is like a ten-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use." - Charles Schulz
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