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

2.28.2020

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Need to Know
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Last Stop Before Super Tuesday
Democrats in South Carolina will head to the polls tomorrow as the state holds its presidential primary election, the fourth and final nominating contest before next week's pivotal Super Tuesday showdown. While Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) enters having won contests in Nevada and New Hampshire, Joe Biden, who secured a critical endorsement from Rep. James Clyburn (D, SC-6), enters with a commanding double-digit lead (poll averages). The state presents a challenge for candidates who have struggled to connect with minority voters, with black voters expected to make up almost 60% of tomorrow's vote. The primary is seen as a springboard into the March 3 Super Tuesday races, when 14 states and communities abroad will hold their primaries. With President Trump running as an incumbent, South Carolina Republicans canceled their primary. 

As a reminder, candidates need 1,991 delegates to win the Democratic nomination on the first ballot. Just 155 will have been awarded after tomorrow - a whopping 1,357 will be awarded Tuesday.
Markets Sink (Again)
US markets plunged once again yesterday amid fears the coronavirus outbreak may significantly disrupt the global economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1,190 points (-4.4%), pushing the index down more than 11% on the week, while the S&P 500 fell 138 points (-4.4%), and the Nasdaq tumbled 414 points (-4.6%). All three markets have fallen by more than 10% since record highs set last week, officially pushing the market into correction territory and putting it on track for the worst week since the 2008 recession. Some analysts said the drop was largely due to the acceleration of new coronavirus cases outside China and the associated economic impact, but there was also a contribution from an overvalued market that may have been looking for a reason to pull back. Nearly 83,000 confirmed cases of the virus have been reported worldwide with more than 2,800 deaths.

Stock futures point to more losses once the markets open this morning. 
Former Baltimore Mayor Sentenced
Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh was sentenced yesterday to three years in federal prison for abusing her office for personal gain. Pugh, elected in the aftermath of 2015 riots that crippled the city, stepped down in April 2019 after a bombshell report revealed she accepted a no-bid contract from the University of Maryland Medical System for copies of her children's book series "Healthy Holly." The $500K contract came while Pugh was on the system's board of directors, and the payments overlapped with her tenure on a key health committee in the state Senate and her time as mayor. Moreover, the book publisher only delivered 60,000 copies despite the contract being for 100,000 copies, effectively double-charging the university. Similar arrangements were revealed with at least two other organizations, with the scheme netting a cumulative $850K.

Pugh's scandal revealed a rash of self-dealing at the university medical system, prompting a wave of board resignations. 
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In the Know
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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
> "Full House" star Lori Loughlin and husband set for Oct. 5 trial in college admissions scandal and face up to 50 years prison each if found guilty (More)
> Director Roman Polanski, still wanted in US for 1977 rape, to skip French Oscars after widespread backlash over his nominations (More) | Opera singer Plácido Domingo walks back previous apology for alleged sexual misconduct (More)
> Free agent Tom Brady open to playing for another team next year after 20 seasons with New England Patriots (More) | NFL Combine wraps up this weekend; here are the best performers so far (More)
Science & Technology
> Report shows more than 40% of Americans are obese, almost 10% are severely obese; numbers are a slight rise from 2015-16, with the latter rate rising tenfold since 1970 (More)
> Medical researchers discover two distinct subtypes of schizophrenia: one shows lower volumes of gray matter across the brain, while the second has similar volumes of gray matter compared to healthy brains (More)
> Star known as Betelgeuse begins brightening again after four months of mysterious decrease in intensity (More)
Business & Markets
> Food delivery giant DoorDash files for confidential IPO, was last valued at $13B (More)
> Thyssenkrupp to sell elevator business line to investor consortium for $18.7B (More)
> Plant-based meat giant Beyond Meat triples quarterly revenues but misses profit expectations due to high costs, shares fall 10% in after-hours markets (More) | Brewing giant AB InBev forecasts 10% decline in profits due to coronavirus (More)

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Politics & World Affairs
> Department of Health and Human Services whistleblower alleges health staff working to quarantine Americans returning from China didn't have proper gear or training to protect against coronavirus spread (More)
> Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the 2020 Conservative Political Action Conference, one of the country's largest conservative political events of the year (More
> At least 33 Turkish troops killed in airstrike in northern Syria; attack may have been carried out by Russian-backed forces, escalating tensions between the two countries as they vie for control in the region (More)
Weekend Reads
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Garbage Language
Vulture | Molly Young. An exquisite look at the spread of corporate-speak and how the nonsensical language is often used to conceal problems, avoid work, and further power imbalances. (Read)
 Podcast 
American Panic
Gimlet/Conviction | Staff. The second season of the popular podcast "Conviction" explores how communities across the country were swept up into the widespread hysteria around satanic cults in the late 1980s, leaving scores imprisoned on scant evidence. (Read)
The Exhausting (but Lucrative) Lives of Childhood Sleep Consultants 
Vox | Evie Ebert. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and tired parents are willing to pay a premium for someone - anyone - to transition their infants onto a consistent sleep schedule. (Read)
 
 
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Etcetera: Best of February 2020
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Editor's Note: More than 750,000 monthly clicks can't be wrong. Here are the most popular stories we ran in February. Enjoy!

(2/12/20) The 10 best places to move to right now.

(2/20/20) One reason Americans are bad at math.

(2/24/20) That feeling when you unexpectedly find your doppelganger.

(2/4/20) Ranking the 10 hottest neighborhoods in the US.

(2/7/20) The best and worst states in America for singles.

(2/11/20) Take a peek inside those $225,000 Oscar gift bags.

(2/13/20) Lobo the husky goes way off track at the Westminster Dog Show.

(2/25/20) Frolicking seals named the best underwater photo of the year.

(2/13/20) This subway mouse fight is the people's choice for wildlife photo of the year.

(2/26/20) Sulky newborn stares down delivery doctors.

(2/21/20) In America's richest town, $500K a year is now below average. ($$, Bloomberg)
 
(2/27/20) People who drive expensive cars are the worst, science says.

(2/19/20) The newest threat to honeybees is organized crime.

(2/27/20) Clickbait: Something is causing the human eyeball to elongate
Historybook: Mobster Bugsy Siegel born (1906); Basketball coaching legend Dean Smith born (1931); Record 106M watch series finale of M*A*S*H (1983); Gulf War ends (1991); RIP actress Jane Russell (2011).
You made it. Have a great weekend.
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"If you treat every situation as a life and death matter, you'll die a lot of times."
- Dean Smith
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