2.4.2020

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Need to Know
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'A Total Meltdown'
Voters in Iowa were left without a winner in last night's caucuses after technical issues caused a delay in reporting. One major issue was said to involve confusion with a mobile reporting app that forced organizers to verify results against paper backups. The issues left a void in the highly anticipated contest - the country's first primary vote in the 2020 election - leaving candidates like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) to all claim tentative victory, or at least tout robust performances. Some expressed worry the delay may throw into question the integrity of results, though officials said the quality of the votes had not been affected. It was the first time the software had been used in the caucuses, and sources say the app had been developed within the past two months and had not been adequately tested at caucus sites. Results are expected this morning at the earliest. 
State of the Union
President Trump will deliver the State of the Union address tonight from the House chamber, his third such address since assuming office. With the speech coming one day after the Iowa caucuses and one day before a likely acquittal in the Senate impeachment trial, aides say the president is likely to promote a growing economy and highlights from his first term, de-emphasizing legislative goals for a potential second term. The speech is also expected to touch on trade wins, efforts on criminal justice reform, and fighting the opioid epidemic. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer will be giving the Democratic rebuttal, followed by a second, Spanish rebuttal from Rep. Veronica Escobar (D, TX-16). 

The Senate is in recess until tomorrow afternoon, with a final impeachment vote scheduled for 4pm ET.
Limbaugh Announces Cancer Diagnosis 
Conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh announced yesterday he has been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer after seeing a doctor for shortness of breath. The 69-year-old host is considered the most influential voice in conservative talk radio and the eponymous "The Rush Limbaugh Show" is one of the most listened to radio shows in the US, reaching more than 20 million people monthly across 650 affiliate stations. Limbaugh made the announcement on-air, saying he would begin treatment immediately but hoped to return intermittently, including as early as Thursday. Limbaugh started as a disc jockey in Kansas before being given a show out of Sacramento, Calif., in 1984. His opinions quickly found a national audience, elevating him to fame and leading an array of others to emulate his model.
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In the Know
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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
> "Hamilton" movie sets release date for October 2021; Disney spent $75M on rights for the film that was shot in June 2016 with the full original Broadway cast (More)
> More than 102 million people watched Super Bowl LIV across all viewing platforms, up 1% over last year's game; first ratings increase in five years (More)
> Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg nominated for 2020 Nobel Peace Prize by two Swedish lawmakers; Thunberg was also nominated in 2019 (More)
Science & Technology
> Rocket launch startup Skyrora demonstrates 3D-printed engines powered by plastic waste; engines would be used in launch vehicles for small satellites (More)
> First genomic analysis of schizophrenia in people of African descent turns up multiple genetic mutations that occur more frequently in people with the disease (More)
> Large-scale, $104M HIV vaccine study in South Africa halted over lack of efficacy; drug combo showed slightly higher infection rate than the placebo group (More)
Business & Markets
> Shares of electric carmaker Tesla surge 20% on analyst upgrades to $140B valuation (More)
> Federal Trade Commission plans to block $1.37B acquisition of shaving startup Harry’s razors by Edgewell, the parent company of Schick (More)
> Shares of Alphabet (Google) drop 5% as the company misses revenue expectations (More)

6,000 data points later. The Ascent vetted hundreds of card offers and crunched the data to compile this shortlist of 0% interest credit cards. Get saving (More) #Ad
Politics & World Affairs
> One person killed, five others injured after gunman opens fire on Greyhound bus in California; shooter was arrested after being forced out of bus, no motive identified (More)
> Leaked audio reveals Iranian officials knew almost immediately that the downed Ukrainian plane had been shot down by the country's military, despite originally blaming mechanical failures (More)
> Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs James Byrne fired abruptly after five months on the job; Sec. Robert Wilkie cited loss of confidence in Byrne, declined to provide further reason (More)
In-Depth
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The Ghost Hunter
Atavist | Leah Sottile. Since 1694, rumors have swirled about the wreck of a Spanish Manila galleon that spilled immense amounts treasure just off the Oregon coast. Centuries later, balls of beeswax and pieces of broken porcelain continue to tantalize treasure hunters. (Read)
Pope vs. Pope
New Yorker | Paul Elie. When Pope Benedict XIV stepped down in 2013, he signaled his intent to live a life outside of the public view. Now a doctrinal rift over celibacy in the priesthood has pitted him versus the current Pope Francis in what has become a proxy for the struggle between Catholic conservatives and progressives. (Read, $$)
 
 
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Etcetera
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Ranking the 10 hottest neighborhoods in the US
Kansas City Chiefs player pays every adoption fee at a pet shelter to celebrate Super Bowl win
Watch a time-lapse video of the hospital China built from scratch in 10 days.
The cultural heritage behind Shakira's viral halftime tongue wag.
This book collection has survived three centuries of war.
Choosing the right morning alarm could reduce grogginess
Stephen King flees Facebook over misinformation.
Canada's annual hair-freezing competition is here.
Clickbait: Simone Biles shows off her newest trick.
Historybook: George Washington elected first president of the US (1789); Aviation innovator Charles Lindbergh born (1902); Rosa Parks born (1913); RIP pianist and entertainer Liberace (1987); Facebook is founded (2004).
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