3.15.2018

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3.15.2018
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.
UK-Russia Ties Deteriorate.
Britain expelled 23 diplomats and severed high-level ties with Russia yesterday in response to the alleged poisoning of an ex-Soviet intelligence officer living in the UK. The victim, 
Sergei Skripal, acted as a double agent for the British intelligence service MI6 in the 1990s - he was arrested by the KGB in 2004 but released to Britain in a 2010 prisoner swap. After relocating in the UK for years, Skripal and his daughter were poisoned last week (both remain in critical condition). Though the Kremlin has denied responsibility, British Prime Minister Theresa May publicly accused Russia of the attack, calling it an "unlawful use of force" against the UK. The diplomatic break triggered a larger withdraw from the west, with Russia recalling hundreds of international employees from its energy giant, Gazprom. 

Senate Rolls Back Parts of Dodd-Frank.
A number of Senate Democrats joined with Republicans to pass legislation that would roll back key parts of the Obama-era financial reform law known as Dodd-Frank. The bill, which passed 67-31, eases regulations around which banks are considered "systemically risky" - and therefore subject to more oversight - from $250B down to $50B in total assets. The bill also allows banks with less than $10B to engage in proprietary trading - meaning they are allowed to use customer deposits to make a variety of trades. This brings more risk, and regulators sought to prohibit large (or so-called too big to fail) institutions from so-called prop trading in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. The legislation now heads to the House, where lawmakers want to further roll back existing regulations, potentially upsetting the deal struck in the Senate. 

Lamb Wins PA-18 (For Now).

Democrat Conor Lamb looks to have scored an upset victory over Republican Rick Saccone in Pennsylvania's 18th district special election. The race was too close to call by the end of night on Tuesday, and officials spent Wednesday counting remaining ballots as they straggled in. The final count as of yesterday evening had Lamb at 113,813 votes (49.8%) and Saccone at 113,186 (49.6%) with all 593 precincts reporting - Libertarian Drew Miller picked up 1,379 votes (0.6%). The win will most likely be contested by Saccone, but represents a significant shift in a district that favored President Trump by 20 points in the 2016 election. Lamb's win may be fleeting - under the recently redrawn congressional map for the upcoming 2018 midterms, the southeast Pittsburgh suburbs will be wrapped into the 14th and 17th districts, both occupied by Democrats. Lamb will have to choose which district to run in, and analysts point out that without the Democrat-leaning suburbs, the 18th district may swing back to the GOP, leaving three Democrats for two House seats. 

See how the maps changed under redistricting here (paywall). 
 
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In The Know.

Sports, Entertainment & Culture.

Miley Cyrus sued for $300M for copyright infringement on new song We Can't Stop (More)
> Four teams advance to NCAA March Madness 1st round including Syracuse, St. Bonaventure (More) | Today's schedule, TV info (More)
2018 James Beard Award (best restaurants/culinary excellence) nominees unveiled (More)
 

Science & Technology.

New report highlights issues with startup Cruise's driverless cars, frequently hesitating and swerving; Cruise has focused on more realistic, difficult-to-navigate city streets than other companies (More)
Scientist fuse living and synthetic cells together for first time, allowing use of cell's biological functions while protecting it from the environment (More)
Google will open up its Maps app for developers to build augmented reality programs using its geocoded info (More)
 

Business & Markets.

SEC charges founder & CEO of blood testing biz Theranos Elizabeth Holmes with "massive fraud" after raising $700M from investors in multi-year fraud (More)
Toys 'R' Us to close all 885 US stores, up to 33k jobs at risk (More)
Item 3 (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) to oppose nominations of Mike Pompeo for Sec. of State, Gina Haspel for head of CIA (More)
Report finds 139 wrongful convictions were overturned in 2017 across the country, with average time in jail before release close to 10 years (More) | See Report (More)
Sister of SC church shooter Dylann Roof arrested on drug and weapons charges after police alerted to threatening online messages (More)
In Depth.

What It’s Like to Die Online. 

Marie Claire | Amanda Montell. When chronically ill patients turn to Youtube to document their struggle, they also create a byproduct - hope. Here are the inspirational stories of the brave individuals who share their experience living with cancer, as well as dying with it.
 

There's No Scientific Basis for Race. 

National Geographic | Elizabeth Kolbert. The launch of a year-long series on racial, ethnic, and religious groups and their changing roles in 21st-century life, National Geographic takes an inward look on how it has long covered the science of race. The conclusion is that the storied magazine has effectively misconstrued the issue, with incalculable collateral damage - the concept of race is made up.
Etcetera.
New data shows strong correlation between income and incarceration (via Brookings). 

2018 World Happiness Report ranks Finland as the happiest place to live

Best photos from yesterday's school walkouts


The most beautiful libraries from around the country

The 2018 National Magazine Awards were announced across 20 categories

Brilliant: New online video game lets players steer a robot through an actual river to pick up trash

Astronaut’s DNA no longer matches identical twin’s after year spent in space

Portraits of the world's most beautiful chickens - number 12 will leave you clucking! (pretty amazing photos actually).

Clickbait: French baker fined for working too hard

Historybook: Julius Caesar murdered by Brutus (44 BCE); Andrew Jackson Born (1767); HBD Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933); HBD will.i.am (1975).

 
One more chance to share with friends!
"My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant to be your own person, be independent."
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg

 
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