Officials from the Department of Justice and FBI announced 16 new charges, including racketeering, against Chinese telecom giant Huawei. The indictment alleges the company (pronounced "Wah-Way") and its affiliates conspired to steal intellectual property from at least six companies under the guise of business partnerships (read indictment). In one example, source code for a company's routers - unnamed, but believed to be Cisco - was copied and used in its own products. The racketeering charge is notable as it effectively treats the company as a criminal enterprise, and the indictment alleges that bonuses were given out to engineers who successfully obtained proprietary information from other companies. The case has wide-ranging geopolitical implications and comes as the US has tried to persuade allies to avoid Huawei technologies, especially for 5G wireless infrastructure, over espionage concerns. CFO Meng Wanzhou, currently under house arrest in Canada over fraud charges in the US, was personally named in the indictment.
All-Star Tribute for Kobe
The NBA All-Star Game will be held this Sunday (8pm ET, TNT), bringing together the league's biggest stars for a weekend full of events in Chicago. The third year since abandoning the East vs. West format, the league had two captains - Los Angeles' LeBron James and Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo - draft from a pool of star players. The pair also faced off last year in what became a celebration of offense, with Team LeBron winning 178-164. The entire weekend is expected to be threaded with tributes to former superstar Kobe Bryant, who died along with eight others, including Bryant's daughter, in a Jan. 26 helicopter crash. In addition to specially designed uniforms, the final quarter will be untimed, with each team aiming for a target score honoring Bryant's no. 24.
The Senate voted yesterday to limit the White House's ability to carry out future military operations against Iran without Congressional approval. Introduced as tensions rose following the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, eight Republican senators joined all 47 Democrats in supporting the bill, which was based on the 1973 War Powers Act. Introduced by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), the bill gained rare bipartisan support; the expansion of executive discretion in military operations has been a point of contention for decades. Attention to the issue ramped up following the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, with critics accusing both the Bush and Obama administrations of using the AUMF well beyond its intended scope of fighting terrorism linked to 9/11. While the vote sets up a likely veto showdown with the White House, supporters said the bill would help regain Congress' constitutional authority to declare war.
Editor's Note: Monday is Presidents Day in the US. See you Tuesday - have a great long weekend!
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How Ultra-Processed Foods Took Over Your Shopping Cart
The Guardian | Bee Wilson. It's cheap, convenient, ubiquitous, and likely negatively impacting your health. Take a look inside the rise of ultra-processed foods. (Read)
The Specter of Brain Trauma
Washington Post | John Rosengren. Did sports-related head injuries contribute to Mike Pavelich - a US Olympic hockey hero who played a key role in the 1980 Winter Olympics "Miracle on Ice" - violently attacking a neighbor? (Read, $$)
CrimeReads | Kate Winkler Dawson. Before the advent of advanced forensics, criminologists 100 years ago were left to piece together the identity of murder victims using meager amounts of evidence. In one case, using nothing more than a single ear. (Read)
Macaulay Culkin is Not Like You
Esquire | Ryan D'Agostino. From child star to frontman for a no-name garage band, on the surface Culkin appears chewed up and spit out by the Hollywood fame machine. In fact, he may have achieved liberation. (Read)
Historybook: RIP Saint Valentine (269); Abolitionist Frederick Douglass born (1818); Pale Blue Dot photo taken by Voyager 1 (1990); Dolly the sheep dies; was first cloned mammal (2003); Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting; 17 killed and 17 injured (2018).
You made it. Have a great weekend.
"Love isn't love till you give it away." - Oscar Hammerstein, 'The Sound of Music'
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