2.21.2017

*|MC:SUBJECT|*
2.21.2018
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.
Walmart Can't Keep Up.
Walmart shares dropped 10% erasing $30B+ of market value yesterday after posting lagging profits and slowing online sales growth in the fourth quarter holiday season. The world's biggest retailer posted 23% growth in online sales in Q4, a significant decline from Q3 growth of 50%, a decline viewed by investors as insufficient as Walmart struggles to keep pace with the world's largest online retailer, Amazon. Analysts also speculated that Walmart's problems run deeper - younger demographics don't view Walmart as an online shopping destination, even if they have what consumers are looking for. In related news, Albertson’s - one of America’s largest grocery chains - is acquiring Rite Aid in a $24B deal to increase its footprint in its battle with Amazon, who recently acquired Whole Foods.

Amazon stock was up 1.36% on the day to a total market value of $710B. 


Trump Bans Bump Stocks.
President Trump instructed the Justice Department yesterday to develop regulations that would heavily restrict gun accessories known as 'bump stocks' - add-ons that effectively convert a semi-automatic rifle to automatic. Officials have not indicated that a bump stock was used in last week's school shooting in Parkland, FL, though one was used by Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock, who killed 58 and injured 851 last October. Legislation to ban the accessory was proposed after the Vegas shooting, but did not advance (paywall). Fully automatic weapons have been banned since 1986 (except older guns grandfathered in), but bump stocks are legal because, technically speaking, the trigger must still be pulled upon each fire (see explainer).

Even the National Rifle Association has said it's open to such a ban. 

Preventative Peanut Allergy Treatment.
A preventative treatment for peanut allergy showed success in a preliminary study, according to results released Tuesday. California-based Aimmune Therapeutics said the experimental treatment prevented reactions in nearly 67% of high-risk children, allowing them to ingest a 600-mg dose of peanut protein (equivalent to two peanuts) with no effects, compared to 4% who took a placebo. Millions of US children are allergic to peanuts - up to 2.5% of all children across the country - and no preventative treatment for the often life-threatening reactions exists. The current recommended approach is early exposure to infants around six months old, which can reduce the risk of developing the allergy. 
 
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IN THE KNOW.

Sports, Entertainment & Culture.

> PyeongChang: Lindsey Vonn takes bronze medal in women's downhill (More) | Team USA falls behind in medal count (More
> George Clooney, Oprah, other celebs donate $500K each to student march against gun violence (More)
> University of Louisville loses appeal, forced to vacate 2013 basketball National Championship (More)
 

Science & Technology.

> Study shows how microscopic, light-powered wires can control electrical signals between individual neurons in brain (More)
> New filter removes discarded pharmaceuticals (like dissolved anti-anxiety medicine) from wastewater using titanium dioxide nanofibers (More)
> New 'brain-on-chip' allows scientists to watch how the brain develops wrinkles (More)
 

Business & Markets.

> Chipmaker Qualcomm increases bid for NXP Semiconductors to $44B (More)
> Venezuela launches pre-sale of controversial oil-backed cryptocurrency, petro (More)
> Google launches Google Pay, Apple Pay competitor (More)
 

Politics & World Affairs.

> Pentagon to release updated policy on transgender troops today (More)
> Syrian government bombards eastern suburb of Ghouta, over 250 dead in two days (More)
> North Korea cancels secret Olympics meeting with VP Pence at last minute (More)
For our Bitcoin enthusiasts: Our friends at Finimize - a daily finance email we read each morning - are running a $500 Bitcoin Challenge. Enter and predict what it's price will be on March 2 and win up to $500 in Bitcoin.
ETCETERA.
Interesting data on the number of people arrested by ICE who have criminal backgrounds (new research from Pew).

51% of Americans say North Korea is top threat, tripling in two years

On the heels of Black Panther, every Marvel movie ranked worst to best

Athletes with asthma are more likely to medal at the Winter Olympics.  

Jellyfish chips, coming to a grocer near you

Sales of bulletproof backpacks skyrocket after FL shooting

An FAQ for your new cursed Instant Pot (some satire from McSweeney's).

Woman sues California Department of Fish and Wildlife for not acknowledging Bigfoot.

Clickbait: That time an average skier gamed the system to compete in the Olympics.

Historybook: The Communist Manifesto is published by Karl Marx (1948); NASCAR founded (1948); HBD Nina Simone (1933); Malcolm X assassinated (1965). 
"I'LL TELL YOU WHAT FREEDOM IS TO ME - NO FEAR."
- Nina Simone
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