Everything You Need to Know, In a Single Daily Email.

2.21.2020

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Need to Know
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Nevada Caucuses
The next step in the 2020 presidential cycle takes place tomorrow as Nevada Democrats gather for the state's caucuses. It will be the first nominating contest in a state with a significant minority presence with Latinos making up about 30% of Nevada's population, most of whom strongly favor Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Sanders enters the day on the heels of a near tie in the Iowa caucuses and a victory in the New Hampshire primary, while boasting a 10-point lead in national Democratic polls (see poll averages). Nevada will award 36 pledged delegates, and the other candidates - Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Joe Biden, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Tom Steyer, and Michael Bloomberg - appear set to stay in the race at least through Super Tuesday. The March 3 showdown ($$, WashPo) features primaries in 14 states and will award one-third of the 3,979 pledged delegates available. With an incumbent president, Republicans aren't holding Nevada caucuses - but Trump will hold a rally tonight in Las Vegas.

Wednesday's debate was the most-watched primary debate in history, drawing an estimated 19.7 million viewers.
AI Powers a Medical Breakthrough
In a potential medical milestone, researchers reported yesterday the use of machine learning to identify a powerful new antibiotic capable of fighting some of the most lethal known bacterial strains. Notably, the structure of the molecule - dubbed halicin - is distinct from all known antibiotics; the artificial intelligence program found the drug in a database of potential diabetes treatments (read abstract). While AI has aided drug discovery in the past, halicin is believed to be the first example of AI finding a wholly new antibiotic without the aid of human assumptions and demonstrates that drugs found using the technique are worth pushing through time-intensive clinical testing. To make the discovery, the program sifted through almost 100 million chemical structures, searching for predicted antibacterial properties in molecules that looked nothing like existing antibiotics - a virtually impossible task for researchers alone. The drug is currently being tested in mice.

Need to brush up on AI? Read 1440's guide to machine learning here.
Roger Stone Sentenced
Republican operative Roger Stone was sentenced to 40 months in prison yesterday after being convicted of obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and lying to Congress. The case against Stone, an ally of President Trump, stems from allegations that Stone coordinated between whistleblower website WikiLeaks and the 2016 Trump campaign as the website released Clinton campaign emails obtained by Russian hackers. The case was a tumultuous one, sparking the resignation of four federal prosecutors and coming amid multiple tweets from the president calling the case unfair. Attorney General William Barr said the tweets - which echoed criticisms that called the prosecution overzealous - made it "impossible" to do his job. Following the sentence Trump said he would not pardon Stone at the moment, preferring to let the process play out, but left the door open to the possibility. 
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In the Know
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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
> Jury in Harvey Weinstein trial wraps up third day of deliberations without verdict; jury to rehear testimony this morning from Annabella Sciorra, who accused Weinstein of 1990s rape (More)
> Undefeated boxers Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury square off Saturday (9pm ET, ESPN+/Fox PPV) in Las Vegas in rematch for world heavyweight title; first fight in 2018 ended in a draw (More)
> Google and WarnerMedia sign deal to bring HBO and HBO Max to YouTube TV (More) | CBS All Access to expand its on-demand library to include programming from Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, and Comedy Central (More)
Science & Technology
> Radar mapping around the tomb of ancient Egyptian King Tutankhamun suggests the presence of undiscovered hidden chambers; findings resurrect controversial theory that Queen Nefertiti may be buried nearby (More)
> Measurements of samples of iron from meteorites suggest early Earth formed over the course of 5 million years nearly 4.5 billion years ago, much more quickly than current theories suggest (More)
> New estimates say humans are responsible for 25 to 40% more of total methane emissions than previously thought; methane has a greenhouse gas effect about 80 times that of CO2, but leaves the atmosphere about 10 times quicker (More)
Business & Markets
> Major investment bank Morgan Stanley to acquire online trader E*Trade for $13B in all-stock deal (More)
> L Brands to sell 55% stake in lingerie maker Victoria’s Secret to private equity firm Sycamore Partners valuing company at $1.1B (More)
> Kronos and Ultimate Software merge to form human capital management software giant valued at $22B (More)
Politics & World Affairs
> US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell named as acting director of national intelligence; Grenell previously founded a public affairs firm and served as US spokesman to the United Nations (More)
> Intelligence officials brief House Intelligence Committee on Russian efforts to interfere in the 2020 election to boost Trump campaign; officials did not say Trump campaign is coordinating with Russia, and critics say Trump has sanctioned Russia over 2016 interference (More
> China changes definition of "suspected" and "confirmed" coronavirus cases, with "confirmed" status coming only after laboratory testing; critics say change will lead to underreporting (More)
Weekend Reads
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A Home for Crazy Ideas
Wired UK | Oliver Franklin-Wallis. Addressing global problems, inventing a breakthrough technology, and producing a radical outcome. Here's what it takes for an idea to be considered at X, Google's secretive moonshot laboratory. (Read)
What Sank the HL Hunley?
Smithsonian Magazine | Rachel Lance. An explosive new theory tries to crack the mystery of what sank the most famous (and lethal) submarine of the Civil War. (Read)
 Podcast 
McMillion$
HBO | James Lee Hernandez, Brian Lazarte. In parallel to the now-available documentary, take a deeper look at the unbelievable scheme to defraud the McDonald's Monopoly giveaway game and how the FBI cracked the case. Available without an HBO subscription. (Listen)
The Secret History of Page Six
Esquire | Kate Storey. It ruled the gossip world for more than four decades, but in the era of social media where celebrities can control the narrative, can the venerable Page Six survive? (Read)
 
 
Etcetera
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The 2020 census has already started in Alaska's remote Toksook Bay.
The most beautiful World Heritage sites around the globe.
This floating river parade celebrates the terrifying art of Hieronymus Bosch.

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In America's richest town, $500K a year is now below average. ($$, Bloomberg)
Computing community mourns the passing of the inventor of copy and paste.
Watch a whiteout in Canada cause a 200-car pileup.
Blue whales are returning in record numbers to Antarctic's South Georgia island.
A class ring lost in Portland five decades ago surfaces in Finland.
Clickbait: Wendy's Twitter account gets savage with Burger King.
Historybook: The Communist Manifesto is published by Karl Marx (1848);  Musician Nina Simone born (1933); NASCAR founded (1948); Malcolm X assassinated (1965); RIP Billy Graham (2018).
You made it. Have a great weekend.
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"I'll tell you what freedom is to me - no fear."
- Nina Simone
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