2.24.2020

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Need to Know
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Election Interference
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was briefed by intelligence officials last month that Russia may be seeking to aid his candidacy in the Democratic presidential primary, according to reports over the weekend. The revelation follows news that Russia may also be seeking to boost President Trump in the run-up to and during the general election. The sum of the findings was presented to the House Intelligence Committee last week, though the extent to which ongoing efforts are supporting either campaign (as opposed to broad interference to undermine public confidence in US elections) is under dispute. Details on the efforts were not provided; however, the intelligence community has previously concluded Russia carried out a widespread disinformation campaign on social media generally targeting then-candidate Hillary Clinton while sowing larger political discord (see report), and is believed to be behind a series of email hacks against the Democratic National Committee. 

See examples of the Russian memes used in the 2016 election here.
Sanders Cruises in Nevada
Speaking of the Vermont senator, Sanders sailed to an easy victory in the Nevada caucuses Saturday, the third nominating contest in the Democratic presidential primary. With almost 90% of precincts reporting, Sanders has a commanding 47% of the vote, followed by Joe Biden (21%), Pete Buttigieg (14%), and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) (10%). Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is targeting March 3 Super Tuesday races while flooding national airwaves with ads, was not on the ballot. The second-place finish was a small victory for Biden, having finished in fourth in Iowa and fifth in New Hampshire, as he moves toward South Carolina's Feb. 29 primary with a slight lead in the state. In total, candidates need 1,991 delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot - Sanders leads with 38 (see totals) - and just 101 have been awarded so far.

A whopping 1,357 delegates will be awarded Super Tuesday, as 14 states and a number of communities abroad cast ballots.
Remembering No. 24
A memorial for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna will be held this morning at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, the venue where the former NBA superstar spent the majority of his career. The two were killed in a tragic Jan. 26 helicopter crash that also claimed the lives of seven others. Nearly 250,000 people visited the arena to pay tribute to Bryant in the days following the crash, leaving officials nervous about the potential for large crowds in the area this morning. In an effort to counter crowds, organizers released 20,000 tickets and will not be showing the tribute on live screens in the area surrounding the center (it will air on most LA television stations). Police are planning on barricading the area and have said they will turn away those without tickets. See the best fan-made murals honoring Bryant here.

The outpouring of support from fans has been such that the two are said to be buried in unmarked graves to protect the family's privacy.
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In the Know
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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
> “Friends” reunion special, which will include full original cast, confirmed for May release on HBO Max; the streaming service will also get entire series library on launch date (More)
> B. Smith, restaurateur and TV personality, dies at 70 following battle with Alzheimer’s disease (More)
> Tyson Fury dominates Deontay Wilder in seventh round victory via technical knockout to win WBC world heavyweight title (More)
Science & Technology
> Retreating glacier in Antarctica's Pine Island Bay reveals uncharted island (More)
> Japan moves ahead with plans for first-ever mission to land a rover, collect samples from Martian moon Phobos in 2024 (More)
> Study suggests killer whales migrate from polar to tropical waters each year to jump-start growth of new skin cells; may crack mystery of why some whales travel more than 11,000 miles each year (More)
Business & Markets
> Wells Fargo, the fourth-largest bank in the US, agrees to pay $3B fine to settle fake account scandal, admits to pressuring employees to push accounts (More)
> Warren Buffett releases famed annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholder letter (More) | See Buffett's archive of shareholder letters, a treasure trove of business counsel (More)
> US stock markets down Friday (S&P 500 -1.1%, Dow -0.8%, Nasdaq -1.8%) on continued coronavirus fears (More)
Politics & World Affairs
> Italy quarantines an estimated 50,000 people across 10 towns as coronavirus cases spike to 132, the highest total in Europe (More) | Death toll hits 50 in Iran (More) | US officials preparing for outbreak to reach pandemic levels (More)
> Off-duty police officers exchange gunfire with newly reconstituted military in front of Haiti's national palace in escalation of protests over low police pay (More)
> New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D) reveals he has likely cancerous kidney tumor, will undergo surgery in early March (More)
Take your time, no shortcuts.
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Etcetera
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Watch Rhianna get a standing ovation for her speech at the NAACP Image Awards
Nearly 40% of Europeans in their late twenties still live with parents.
Ranking TikTok challenges by how likely they are to hurt you.

From our partners: The best wines you’ve never heard of are now available on this hot wine site. #Ad
Breathtaking winners of the International Landscape Photographer of the Year
New York City has a burgeoning turtle problem
That feeling when you unexpectedly find your doppelganger.
Professional hockey team turns to 42-year-old Zamboni driver as an emergency goalie.  
Daredevil Mike Hughes dies riding a homemade rocket.
Clickbait: Musician plays violin while having brain surgery
Historybook: Marbury v. Madison establishes the principle of judicial review in US (1803); HBD Nike cofounder Phil Knight (1938); Steve Jobs born (1955); Fidel Castro retires as President of Cuba (2008); RIP legendary Indian actress Sridevi (2018).
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