3.20.2018

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3.20.2018
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.
Uber Halts Self-Driving Cars After Death.
Uber suspended its self-driving car program across North America after a pedestrian was killed by one of the company's test vehicles in Tempe, AZ, overnight Sunday. It is believed to be the first pedestrian killed by a vehicle operating in autonomous, or self-driving, mode. The exact cause of the crash is unknown - the car was being operated in autonomous mode, but had a human safety driver at the wheel for emergency purposes. Though the pedestrian, a 49-year-old woman, was reportedly outside the crosswalk and it was dark, the accident left tech analysts scratching their heads. The car's vision system, specifically its LIDAR mounts (see 101), should easily detect an unobstructed person regardless of lighting - check out a great breakdown of what a self-driving vehicle sees here. Other companies operating self-driving vehicle tests include Ford, General Motors, Lyft, and Google (through Waymo). 


In California where accidents involving self-driving cars must be reported regardless of severity, there had been 59 incidents since 2014 - most of them caused by humans.

Brexit Transition Begins.
The United Kingdom and European Union agreed to terms of the UK's exit from the 28-member bloc yesterday, ending months of protracted negotiations. The agreement, which sets in motion the final steps of the so-called Brexit (see background), establishes a 21-month transition window that becomes final on December 31st, 2020. Proponents of a swifter transition criticized British Prime Minister Theresa May over a number of concessions, most notably allowing EU citizens to travel freely in the UK until the end of the transition period. On the flip side, the UK will be able to independently sign and ratify its own trade deals. May was elected after then-Prime Minister David Cameron resigned following a national referendum to leave the EU in June 2016, and has been a supporter of a Brexit strategy since the first referendum. 

Last Male Northern White Rhino Dies.
The world's last male northern white rhino died this morning in Kenya, leaving just two remaining known northern white rhinos in the world - both females. The rhino, a 45-year-old named Sudan, was euthanized at the Ol Pejeta nature reserve as his health deteriorated due to old age, said caretakers. His death leaves behind his daughter, Najin, and his granddaughter, Fatu. There are two types of white rhinos, northern and southern - the latter are not endangered (and have an increasing wild population around 20,000). 
Scientists will continue to try and prevent the extinction of the northern subspecies - they can't mate with black rhinos, but could potentially mate with their southern counterparts, even though they are genetically different. In vitro fertilization is also being considered. Rhino horns are mostly made up of keratin, the same thing as human fingernails, but a lucrative black market has driven widespread poaching.

Last year, poachers killed a 4-year-old southern white rhino and stole its horn - inside a French zoo
 
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In The Know.

Sports, Entertainment & Culture.

NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament wraps up wild first two rounds (More) | Updated bracket and results (More)
Weinstein Co. files bankruptcy; voids non-disclosure agreements for any Weinstein victims, allowing them to now speak out freely (More)
Sex and the City actress Cynthia Nixon announces she's running for Governor of New York (More)
 

Science & Technology.

New class of hybrid material defies traditional physics models, provides paint-on lighting (More)
Scientists and historians combine to link massive volcanic eruption, dated using ice core samples, to conversion of Iceland to Christianity (More)
Programmable DNA turns proteins in cell into drug delivery vehicles (More)
 

Business & Markets.

Facebook shares slide ~7% losing ~$40B in value after data privacy concerns stemming from Cambridge Analytica scandal (More) | Markets (Dow, Nasdaq, S&P 500) down ~1.5%, worst day in 5 weeks (More)
World financial leaders kick off G20 meetings in Buenos Aires (More) | What is G20? (More)
Media Mogul Michael Ferro steps down as Chairman of nation's 3rd largest newspaper biz Tronc (Chicago Tribune, NY Daily News) hours before sexual misconduct allegations released (More)
 

Politics & World Affairs.

Supreme Court upholds new, 'less gerrymandered' Pennsylvania congressional map, will be used in 2018 midterms (More)
CEO of Cambridge Analytica, data firm under fire for Facebook leak, caught on film discussing using bribes and sex workers to entrap politicians (More)
Developing: Austin-bound package explodes at San Antonio FedEx center, may be linked to serial bombings (More)
In Depth.

Does Recovery Kill Good Writing?

New York Times Magazine | Leslie Jamison. When looking back on literary history, it’s difficult to ignore the great writer-drunks. Most literary movements have them, but the question of alcohol’s utility in writing still looms large in the mind of many young writers. Join Leslie Jamison on her journey as a recovering alcoholic to answer this question.
 

The Key to Making Peace in Africa. 

Foreign Affairs | George Clooney, John Prendergast. Beyond power and control over resources, one of the biggest drivers of conflict in Africa is the conflict itself - and the ability to loot from the billions of foreign and humanitarian aid that flood in times of crisis. Unless we focus on the systemic conflict plaguing many African countries, argue Clooney (the actor and activist) and Prendergast, we will continue to fuel a never-ending fire.
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Etcetera.
Women in the world of tech in one infographic

Study suggest income gap for black males persists, even when growing up rich.

LEGO rolls out sustainable plant-based building blocks


Unveiling the US News 2019 law school rankings

Artificial intelligence can spot signs of Alzheimer's before family members

Not the Burrito He Wanted: Ohio native Bruce Wayne ends record 500-day Chipotle streak


The 30 best artists at South by Southwest (via Rolling Stone). 

What it's like to fly in Singapore Airlines’ $24,000 first-class suite.

Platypus milk may save us from widespread bacterial infections

Clickbait: Video of a woman dominating a cotton candy eating contest goes viral


Historybook: HBD Mister Rogers (1928); KFC founded by Harland Sanders in KY (1930); HBD Pat Riley (1945); HBD Spike Lee (1957); John Lennon & Yoko Ono marry (1969).
 
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