3.29.2019

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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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Lyft Goes Public.
Ride-sharing giant Lyft priced its initial public offering last night and will start trading later this morning, ending months of anticipation and beating chief rival Uber to the milestone. Shares will open at $72 per share, up from the $62-$68 price projected at the start of its roadshow (roadshow 101) representing a total company valuation of around $30b. The offering was reportedly significantly oversubscribed, which makes analysts think the stock could surge once trading begins. The company had long taken a backseat to Uber in the US, but doubled its market share from 17% to 39% by the end of 2018. Though the company netted a loss of $911M in 2018, its $2.2B in revenue was double 2017 and bookings rose 76% to $8.1B. Lyft leads a year expected to be full of high-value tech IPOs including Uber, AirBnB, Pinterest, Palantir, Slack, and others.

The “Year of the Unicorn” is projected to generate a $230B windfall and over 6,000 new millionaires - mostly in San Francisco.
New York Opioid Lawsuit.
New York state attorney general Letitia James announced a sweeping lawsuit targeting the makers and distributors of potent prescription opioid painkillers, according to legal documents filed yesterday. The complaint (read here) accused the prominent Sackler family -who runs Purdue Pharma, the pharmaceutical company behind OxyContin - of systemic fraud, pushing to circumvent limits on per-person prescriptions and funneling profits to offshore accounts. The civil suit also accuses major distributors like Cardinal Health and Amerisource Bergen of manipulating the schedule of shipments to avoid monthly limits. The news comes just days after Purdue settled a similar suit with the State of Oklahoma for over $270M. Opioids, which also include heroin and fentanyl, led to 47,600 overdose deaths in the US in 2017 - more than 80% of heroin users said they began by abusing prescription painkillers. 
Wow Airlines.
Icelandic discount carrier Wow Airlines abruptly closed its doors early yesterday morning, stranding passengers around the globe. The move came after talks to secure financing to keep the company afloat fell through. While the company, known for flights from the US to Europe that were often priced below $200, initially indicated passengers who booked to or from Iceland with the company could seek refunds, it's unclear whether other flights will be refunded (paywall). Other carriers like Icelandair and Lufthansa are offering discounted flights to help shuttle stranded passengers home. An estimated 3.5 million people flew with the company in 2018 - passengers were reportedly told to go look for "rescue fares" from other airlines. Read an obituary for the now-defunct carrier here
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In The Know.
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Sports, Entertainment & Culture.
> Los Angeles Dodgers set Opening Day record with 8 home runs in win (More) | See scores from around the MLB on baseball's Opening Day (More)
> Jay-Z to receive President's Award at NAACP Image Awards (More) | Jussie Smollet nominated for role on Empire (More) | President Trump calls on FBI, DOJ to investigate prosecution decision to drop charges in Smollet case (More)
> Gonzaga, Purdue, Texas Tech, Virginia advance to Elite 8 of NCAA tournament (More) | Women's Sweet Sixteen begins this weekend, see full bracket (More)
Science & Technology.
> Doctors perform first organ transplant from donor with HIV virus; kidney given to patient who was also HIV positive (More)
> New study estimates over 500 amphibian species are on the verge of extinction due to spread of deadly fungus (More)
Business & Markets.
> Direct-to-consumer mattress company Casper secures $100M in Series D funding, becomes newest "unicorn" - companies worth over $1B - at $1.1B valuation (More)
> German auto-parts maker acquires Michigan-based Wabco Holdings in $7B deal (More)
> Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan steps down amid efforts at the bank to recover from 2016 scandal where employees generated fake accounts to meet quotes; shares jump 2.6% (More)

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Politics & World Affairs.
> Dept. of Housing and Urban Development charges Facebook with housing discrimination enabled by its microtargeting ad system (More)
> Tanker hijacked by rescued migrants recovered by Maltese special operations team, guided safely to port; migrants staged takeover after being loaded onto ship returning them to Libya (More)
> First Democratic presidential debate scheduled for June 26-27 in Miami; full field includes 16 candidates, lineup for both days will be chosen at random (More)
Weekend Reads.
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The Business of Your Face.
Fortune | Jeff John Roberts. Facial recognition technology has improved tremendously in recent years due to new algorithms introduced by startups and billion dollar companies alike. But to create and train these algorithms, these companies have used billions of human faces without any permission - and there's a good chance you were one of them. (Read)
This is Not Me.
Washington Post | Terrence McCoy. Every day, Monica Diaz wakes up in her tent at the base of Union Station and finds a way to prepare for her full-time job. See inside the rise of tent encampments and one woman's journey to keep her job - and life - afloat. (Read, paywall)
 
On the Trail of the Robocall King.
Wired | Alex Palmer. One attorney from a travel website decided to follow the trail of a single scam email. He uncovered the source of millions and millions of robocalls. (Read, paywall)
Etcetera - Best of March '19.
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Over 200,000 monthly clicks don't lie - here are the best articles from March 2019. Enjoy!
 
(3/12/19) The three most useless words in the English language

(3/21/19) Science thinks it may know why times flies as we get older.

(3/22/19) Country music star Justin Carter dies after being shot with a music video prop.
 
(3/19/19) Forget helicopter parents, snowplow parents are killing kids' life skills.  

(3/21/19) There’s a three-way tie for the most expensive city in the world.

(3/25/19) The highest earning region in the US isn't in New York or California.

(3/20/19) The 10 most popular puppy names for 2019.

(3/14/19) Woman captures intimate portraits during her commute using her iPhone.
 
(3/7/19) The curse of living on Instagram's most famous street.

(3/26/19) NASA scientists determine the perfect length for a power nap

(3/15/19) Here's why you always feel tired right after waking up

(3/5/19) Just in time for Mardi Gras, a breakdown of America's most sinful states.

(3/6/19) The best photos from New Orleans' Mardi Gras celebration.

(3/11/19) When taking selfies at the zoo goes wrong

(3/28/19) Answering the age-old question, what’s the least useful body part?

(3/27/19) Clickbait: Gwyneth Paltrow's daughter is calling her out over this picture
Historybook: US President John Tyler born (1790); Baseball player Cy Young born (1867); Walmart founder Sam Walton born (1918); Dow Jones closes above 10,000 for 1st time (1999); RIP actress Patty Duke (2016).
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