3.5.2019

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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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HIV Milestone.
Doctors reported yesterday that a London man has been effectively cured of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, using a complex process that involves the transfusion of bone marrow stem cells. The case represents a long-sought-after duplication of the landmark treatment of the "Berlin Patient", eventually revealed to be American Timothy Brown, who went into long-term remission following the procedure. Roughly 10% of Caucasians have a natural resistance to HIV - a mutation in a specific type of immune cells, called CD4-positive T-cells, prevent the virus from entering and infecting the cell (see the science). Doctors transplanted stem cells, which produce blood and immune system cells, from the bone marrow of a patient with this mutation into the HIV-positive patient. Though the patient has been in remission since 2017, doctors said the results should not be viewed as a worldwide cure for the virus, given the complexity of the procedure. 
Fat Tuesday.
Communities around the globe are celebrating Mardi Gras today, the final day before the traditional Christian fasting period of Lent. In New Orleans, home to the season's most iconic party in the country, officials are expecting an estimated 1.4 million people. The party can wreak havoc on the city's infrastructure - officials installed "gutter buddies" in advance of this year's parties after sucking out 93,000 pounds of discarded beads from a five-block stretch of the city's sewage system last year. The schedule of events is complex, with a number of different groups hosting parades along different routes - read up on the "krewe" culture, and take a peek inside the workshop where the biggest floats are made

Elsewhere, check out photos from Brazil's 2019 Carnival celebrations.
Dems Launch Ranging Probe.
House Democrats announced a broad-ranging probe of the Trump administration yesterday, sending letters requesting documents to over 80 individuals. Recipients, identified by new House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D, NY-10), included people from the 2016 presidential campaign to executives in the Trump Organization (see full list). Critics said that Nadler had already made up his mind to impeach the president, and was not interested in an open investigation. The move came on the same day that the heads of the Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight committees requested documents from the State Department regarding correspondence between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Separately, newly-minted Attorney General William Barr said he would not recuse himself from overseeing Mueller's investigation.
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In The Know.
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Sports, Entertainment & Culture.
> Luke Perry, 90210 and Riverdale star, dies at 52 after suffering massive stroke (More) | Keith Flint, singer and founding member of British band The Prodigy, dies at 49 (More)
> San Francisco Giants CEO Larry Baer takes leave of absence while MLB investigates video of him in physical altercation with wife (More)
> Ray Kelvin, CEO and founder of British retailer Ted Baker, resigns after misconduct allegations (More)
Science & Technology.
> IBM unveils new quantum computer over twice as powerful as its current prototype; progress suggests practical quantum computers may be 10 years away (More) | Quantum computing 101 (More)
> Scientists modify corn and other staple crops by introducing pollen carrying CRISPR-edited genetic materials; can speed the creation of faster-growing, more versatile crops (More)
> Engineers show that spider silk can be used as robotic muscles through contractions that change with the surrounding humidity (More)
Business & Markets.
> US stock markets fall (S&P 500 -0.4%, Dow -0.8%, Nasdaq -0.2%) as US construction spending fell in December (More)
> AT&T to restructure WarnerMedia, plans to invest savings into programming to compete with Netflix (More)
> OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma exploring bankruptcy due to 2k opioid crisis lawsuits (More) | FDA puts 15 retailers - including Walmart, 7-Eleven, and Walgreens - on notice for selling tobacco to minors (More)
Politics & World Affairs.
> Colorado's John Hickenlooper (D) becomes second governor, 12th major Democratic figure to enter 2020 presidential race (More)
> 84 arrested in Sacramento march protesting decision to not charge police involved in 2018 shooting of unarmed Stephon Clark (More)
> Report says China banned 23 million people from buying plane or train tickets in 2018 for having low "social credit" scores (More) | How the system works (More)
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In Depth.
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How a Black Man Says He ‘Outsmarted’ a Neo-Nazi Group.
Washington Post | Katie Mettler. James Hart Stern is the new president of the neo-Nazi group called the National Socialist Movement, but as a black civil rights activist, he seems to be an odd representative. (Read, paywall)
The Hipster Effect.
MIT Tech Review | Staff. Those who feel alienated from mainstream culture and perform opposite trends are sometimes referred to as hipsters. The hipster effect seems to echo through many subcultures - but why do anti-conformists always end up looking the same? (Read)
Etcetera.
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Just in time for Mardi Gras, a breakdown of America's most sinful states.

The economics on those shared scooters are looking pretty bad

The winners of the Underwater Photography of the Year awards are here, and they are stunning

...And Apple highlights the best photos taken on iPhones from around the world

Rare-but-creepy videos of Amazon spiders chowing down

Ughh Millennials: You'll take a pay cut for a bump in job title.

This father-daughter duo just completed a 91-day rowing trip across the Atlantic Ocean.

How a one-handed adventurer is redefining rock climbing.
The optimal way to structure your day isn't the 8-hour workday.
Clickbait: The newest viral fad involves throwing cheese at babies
Historybook: 5 American colonists shot by British troops in Boston Massacre (1770); Joseph Stalin dies (1953); RIP country music artist Patsy Cline (1963); HBD Joel Osteen (1963); Former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez dies (2013).
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