3.13.2019

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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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Varsity Blues.
Federal officials announced charges yesterday against 50 people, including two Hollywood stars, for bribing instructors, coaches, and school administrators to help their children gain admission to elite schools. At least 33 parents and 9 coaches were arrested - including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin - in the massive, 6-state sweep that alleged more than $25M in total bribes (see list of people arrested). Under the scheme, athletic coaches were paid to inflate the accomplishments of undeserving students, increasing their chances of gaining admission to top schools like Georgetown, USC, Yale, and more. In other instances, students were improperly classified as special needs to allow them advantages when taking standardized tests - and in some cases, separate individuals sat in for the students to take the tests. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison. 

It's a strange case - read some of the more absurd details here.
Cardinal George Pell Sentenced.
George Pell, the Vatican's former treasurer and adviser to Pope Francis, was sentenced to six years in prison for sexual abuse of minors yesterday. Pell is the highest ranking Church official to be charged with sexual abuse crimes. The incident stems from the molestation of two choir boys after a mass in Melbourne, Australia, in 1996, and the sentence falls far short of the maximum 50 years that Pell faced. Pell actually helped establish the Catholic Church's first formal system to handle child sex abuse claims in 1997, and was appointed in 2012 to an 8-member committee on church reform (see timeline). Pell was originally accused of mishandling sexual misconduct cases of other clergy members in 2016, before accusations against Pell himself surfaced in 2017.

The case has had a resounding effect (paywall) on the Church in Australia, where officials say they've lost "two or three" generations of young people. 
Brexit Deal Nixed (Again).
Lawmakers in the United Kingdom voted down Prime Minister Theresa May's package governing how the UK would leave the European Union at the end of the month. It was the second time May lost a critical vote on the issue (see Brexit 101), this time going down by a 391-242 vote. the Brexit package voted on yesterday was a renegotiated version of a bill that fell in a historic vote in January. The fate of Brexit is now in the hands of lawmakers themselves, who will vote on whether to leave the EU on March 29th in a so-called "no deal" Brexit scenario. Observers think that lawmakers will choose to delay the March 29th deadline to provide more time to strike a deal. That outcome, however, would also need to be voted on by the EU's 27 members. 

The Bank of England recently predicted a "no deal" Brexit could be ruinous for the UK economy, causing an 8% drop in GDP, a 3.4% rise in unemployment, and a tripling of inflation. 
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In The Know.
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Sports, Entertainment & Culture.
> New York Giants trade star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns for two draft picks and safety Jabrill Peppers (More) | See the best and worse moves of the NFL offseason (More)
> The Bachelor Colton picks Cassie on Season 23 finale; Hannah B selected as new star of The Bachelorette  (More)
> Streaming music giant Spotify announces that Spotify Premium will now include streaming TV provider Hulu for free (More)
Science & Technology.
Smoking just one cigarette per day during pregnancy linked to doubled risk of infant mortality within one year after birth (More)
Study says choosing to forget a memory takes more brain power than remembering something new (More)
> Report says air pollution kills nearly 8.8 million people each year, over double previous estimates (More)
Business & Markets.
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> Drugstore giant Rite Aid announces departure of CEO, 400 managerial positions (More)
> Two large Blue Cross plans (North Carolina and Northwest states) partner to form national health insurer (More)
> Personal shopping service Stitch Fix stock soars 25% after beating wall street expectations (More)

Transfer your balance and save. This outrageous card offers a 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for a ridiculous 18 months (More) #Ad
Politics & World Affairs.
> 33 countries ban Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes following second deadly crash in five months; US still evaluating safety concerns (More) | Company says it will upgrade cockpit software following crash (More)
> Source says former vice president Joe Biden said on conference call that he'll be entering the 2020 presidential race (More)
> Trump taps National Cancer Institute chief Ned Sharpless as acting head of the Food and Drug Administration (More)
Etcetera.
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The World Wide Web turned 30 years old yesterday - here are its best moments

Plano, Texas tops the list of happiest places in the US

The number one thing parents need to be happy

The massive Venezuelan blackout in photos

The future of individual flight may be this amphibious personal plane

A first look at the Hudson Yards' 100th floor observation deck in New York City

Authorities seize $77M worth of cocaine at a New York port.

Here's what Antarctica's splitting giant glaciers look like up close (w/ video). 

This man missed the doomed Ethiopian Airlines flight by mere minutes.
 
Clickbait: World's sexiest koala has the internet hot and bothered
Historybook: Uranus discovered (1781); RIP Benjamin Harrison (1901); RIP Susan B. Anthony (1906); HBD rapper Common (1972); Pope Francis' papacy begins (2013).
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"Independence is happiness."
- Susan B. Anthony
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