2.28.2019

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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.
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Cohen Testifies.
President Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen testified in an open-door hearing before the House Oversight Committee yesterday, answering questions from Democratic and Republican lawmakers. Cohen alleged that Trump had advance knowledge of the release by WikiLeaks of a trove of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee, though he stopped short of claiming Trump knew the content of the emails themselves. Cohen alleged that Trump disguised reimbursement to him for a hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels by making payments that resembled a retainer, and alluded to unspecified criminal investigations against the president that have not been made public (more highlights). GOP lawmakers countered that Cohen himself is set to begin a three-year prison sentence, and began the hearing by admitting he had lied to House and Senate investigators in previous appearances. 

Cohen finishes the week meeting with the House Intelligence Committee tomorrow in a closed-door hearing. 
Report Points to Negligence in CA Fires.
Federal documents filed yesterday showed that utility provider Pacific Gas and Electric delayed key safety upgrades of a high-voltage transmission line thought to be the cause of the deadliest wildfires in California history. The company said it was planning to spend over $30M in December 2018 to address clearance issues along the Caribou-Palermo line that were identified in 2013. The Camp wildfire, which killed 86 people and ravaged the town of Paradise, began on November 8th, 2018. The company already faced a lawsuit brought by over 70 families alleging that safety violations were behind the blaze, and the company's stock dropped a further 4% on the news. 
North Korea Summit Ends Abruptly. 
The second summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ended without an agreement on steps towards denuclearization, officials said yesterday. Trump said that Kim would only agree to close some - but not all - of the country's nuclear sites in exchange for the lifting of all international sanctions (see overview of sanctions in place). The pair then canceled a planned joint press conference in which they were expected to discuss follow-up steps to a commitment made by Kim to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula in the historic first summit last June. It was unclear whether talks would continue in the future.

"Sometimes you have to walk," Trump told reporters. 
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In The Know.
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Sports, Entertainment & Culture.
> Fox announces reboot of Beverly Hills, 90210 with original cast (More) | See what the original cast looks like now (More)
> Former Heisman Trophy winner and ex-NFL quarterback Johnny Manziel booted from Canadian Football League for unspecified reasons; will pursue options in US (More)
> Arbitrator orders Fox to pay $179M to cast and producers of crime series Bones, stating that Fox execs committed fraud; is 2nd most expensive payout in television industry history (More)
Science & Technology.
> Google's DeepMind demonstrates use of machine learning to optimize energy delivery from wind power farms, improving cost-competitiveness by up to 20% (More)
> Bill Gates partners with MIT to unveil the Top 10 Breakthrough Technologies for 2019 (More)
> Volvo rolls out the Polestar 2, an all-electric sedan meant to compete with Tesla's Model 3; will be outfitted with Google's Android operating system (More)
Business & Markets.
> US working to abandon tariff hikes to 25% on Chinese goods, in sign potential trade deal is looming (More)
> Fed Chairman Jerome Powell says Federal Reserve will stop shrinking its balance sheet later this year (More) | Why that matters (More)
> Weight Watchers stock falls a whopping 34% after whiffing on expectations - CEO attributes losses to the popularity of low-carb keto diet (More)
Politics & World Affairs.
> Senate report blasts Chinese-funded institutes on US college campuses; accuses universities of failing to disclose how much funding they've received from China (More)
> Severe flooding isolates two Northern California towns after Russian River reaches highest levels in 25 years (More)
> Political operative Leslie McCrae Dowless arrested for allegedly tampering with absentee ballots during 2018 election in NC-9 House race (More)
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In Depth.
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Antarctica’s Missing Meteorites.
The Atlantic | Robin George Andrews. The majority of known meteorites have been found in Antarctica, but iron meteorites turn up in the region far less than the global average. On an extreme expedition, researchers are attempting to find these "lost meteorites" that are hidden in great depths of ice. (Read)
When Clothes are Made of Plastic.
Vox | Brian Resnick. Polyester, nylon, and acrylic now account for nearly 60% of the fabrics used to make our clothes, and there's one big problem - all of these are forms of plastic which contribute to microplastic pollution. In every wash cycle, hundreds of thousands of fibers enter the water system, eventually making their way out to sea. (Read)
Etcetera.
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A new study of social networks says anger can be contagious.
Hawaii tops the list of the best US states for overall wellbeing
The Miracle of Life: New parents face up to six years of sleep deprivation.  
Walmart is phasing out its iconic greeters, worrying the elderly and disabled
Netflix modified the ending to the UK release of The Notebook because it's too sad
This funky glamping site in South Korea is reinventing the campground
The tiny bag fad is really getting out of hand
Good samaritan tries to feed stray kitten, gets $46,000 hospital bill
Clickbait: Firefighters are called in to save a fat rat stuck in a manhole cover
Historybook: Mobster Bugsy Siegel born (1906); HBD basketball coaching legend Dean Smith (1931); HBD actress Bernadette Peters (1948); Record 106M watch series finale of M*A*S*H (1983); Gulf War ends (1991).
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