3.27.2018

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3.27.2018
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.
More Fallout From USA Gymnastics.
A former Michigan State University official is expected to be charged today in connection with the USA Gymnastics sexual abuse scandal. William Strampel, 70, was the former dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at MSU, where he oversaw Larry Nassar, who was a faculty member in addition to his role as team doctor for USA Gymnastics. Nassar - whom athletes had complained about since the early 1990s - was sentenced to up to 300 years in prison for sexually abusing hundreds of athletes under the guise of medical treatment. MSU officials had been repeatedly criticized for inaction, and President Lou Anna Simon resigned in January over the case. Prosecutors have not unveiled the specific charges against Strampel, but he is reportedly facing at least one felony. 

US Expels Russians.
The US expelled 60 Russians from the country yesterday, joining Western allies in a sweeping rebuke over the alleged poisoning of an ex-Soviet intelligence officer living in the UK in early March. British officials, who blamed the Kremlin and considered the attack a violation of international law, already expelled 23 Russian diplomats. The US order includes 48 diplomatic staff from across the country and their families, as well as 12 Russian intelligence officers working at the United Nations who the US says "abused their privileges", without providing specifics. The US will also shut down the Russian consulate in Seattle - since diplomats serve at the consent of the country they're in, they can be told to leave at any time. The Seattle consulate was one of just three (plus the DC embassy) in the US and served 14 western states. Th US joins over 20 other countries who have or are planning to take similar actions (see breakdown here).  

The Seattle consulate was close to the Kitsap-Bangor naval base, which holds a stockpile of US nuclear weapons - and is guarded by dolphins

Trump Trade Deal.
The White House reached an agreement on its first major trade deal, a pact with South Korea on steel and autos. Under the deal barriers to US-made autos would be lowered, with the first 50,000 vehicles imported into South Korea gaining waivers from local safety regulations. South Korea also agreed to cap its steel exports to the US at about 2.7 million tons, or 70% of its yearly average. In return South Korea would be exempt from the recently announced US tariffs. Trump has threatened blanket tariffs on steel and aluminum - which effectively place taxes on all imports of the two metals - unless countries agree to renegotiate existing bilateral trade deals. Lower trade deficits (the net balance of trade between two countries) has been a stated goal of the administration, and the US deficit with South Korea was about $17B in 2016 (see details here). In related news, China said it would consider buying more US-made semiconductors as part of a larger trade negotiation. 

Markets closed up 3% - it was the biggest gain in 2.5 years. 

 
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In The Know.

Sports, Entertainment & Culture.

Linda Brown, famous as student at center of groundbreaking Brown v. Board of Education case, dies at 76 (More)
Zeke Upshaw, NBA G-League player who collapsed on court on Saturday, died Monday at age 26 (More)
UConn women defeat South Carolina to reach 11th straight Final Four (More) | Full bracket and results (More)
 

Science & Technology.

First in vitro fertilization-born Bison joins wild herd in Colorado, grown using reproductive material from deceased animal and has broader implications for conservation efforts (More)
Study captures scavenger cells that nibble at the ends of brain synapses to help them grow, rearrange (More)
Engineers demonstrate atomically thin light emitting films for 'invisible' displays (More)
 

Business & Markets.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announces probe of Cambridge Analytica data scandal, stock falls 6% but recovers by end of trading day (More) | Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to join Alphabet (Google) & Twitter CEOs in front of US Senate to discuss data privacy in April (More)
Pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline pays $13B for Novartis' stake in joint consumer healthcare venture (Sensodyne toothpaste, etc) (More)
Banks provide $300M rescue debt financing package for gunmaker Remington as sales slide (More)
 

Politics & World Affairs.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) backs bill loosening regulations on hemp, would remove hemp from controlled substances list (More)
EPA set to rule that Obama-era vehicle fuel efficiency standards are too strict (set average fuel economy of 50mpg by 2025), according to reports (More)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reportedly visiting China (More)
In Depth.

My Cow Game Extracted Your Facebook Data. 

The Atlantic | Ian Bogost. Amid Facebook’s recent data scandal, one man tells the story of Cow Clicker, a Facebook mini-game from 2010. The game, which only took a few days to code, could collect your personal data with just one click. Over 180,000 people played Cow Clicker - a great illustration of just how easy it was to obtain troves of personal data from the social media giant
 

The Last Conversation You'll Ever Need to Have on Eating Right. 

GrubStreet | Mark Bittman and David L. Katz. Or so say the authors, who did a wide-ranging (but informal) survey of friends, family, and acquaintances on why it's so hard to eat right. Even if it won't be the last conversation you have on the topic, one thing is clear - eating well isn't hard to figure out, just hard to do
Etcetera.
See who does NOT read books in the US (new data from Pew Research)

Having your smartphone nearby makes you worse at tasks, even if it's off

Average bonuses for Wall Street bankers jumps 17%, highest since 2006

Family's reaction to daughter getting into dream college goes viral


The best small town bar in every state (via Thrillist).

A fascinating comparison showing how deep the ocean really is

20% of university students used some of their student loans to buy cryptocurrency


Robots: Walmart now testing machines that stock shelves quicker than humans

London's Project84 public art installation draws attention to suicide


Clickbait: Amazon uses hilariously large box to ship small item

Historybook: HBD Quentin Tarantino (1963); RIP Yuri Gagarin (1968); HBD Mariah Carey (1970); Tenerife Airport Disaster, worst accident in aviation history kills 583 (1977).
 
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"There's a light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully it's not a freight train."
- Mariah Carey

 
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