3.8.2019

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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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Manafort Sentenced.
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was sentenced to just under four years in prison yesterday, after being convicted on charges of financial fraud last August. Manafort was one of the earliest targets to be swept up in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into potential Russian meddling in the 2016 election, though the charges were ultimately unrelated to his time on the Trump campaign. Critics slammed the sentence as light - guidelines recommended 20 to 24 years, amounting to an effective life sentence for the 69-year-old. Manafort's case was split across two courts, and he could face additional time in prison with a second sentencing scheduled for next week. 

In related news, former Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen filed suit against the Trump Organization for legal costs related to the Russia probe. 
SXSW Kicks Off.
The eclectic South by Southwest festival begins today in Austin, TX, kicking off what has become one of the most popular annual gatherings in the US every year. What started as a regional music festival over 30 years ago has evolved into a sprawling, 10-day conglomerate celebration of film, live music, seminars, and celebrity appearances - think TED Talks meet Bonnaroo and the Tribeca Film Festival. Highlights range from talks by former House Speaker John Boehner, actress Olivia Wilde, and philanthropist Priscilla Chan, to films like Jordan Peele's unsettling Us (see trailer), to a slew of up-and-coming music acts. The festival runs through Sunday, March 17th, with close to 100,000 people expected to attend.

Not attending? You can watch a number of the conferences, concerts, and keynotes via live stream
Venezuela Blackout.
A massive blackout hit Venezuela yesterday afternoon, reportedly knocking out power in 22 of the country's 23 states. Many areas, including the capital of Caracas, went dark well into the night. President Nicolás Maduro's government blamed the outage on an "electrical attack" on the Guri Dam, one of the world’s largest hydroelectric stations, by the US and other anti-government interests. Venezuela has been mired in a nearly decade-long economic crisis, and Maduro faces a challenge to power by opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who declared himself interim president last month. Guaidó is now recognized as the country's head of state by the US, Canada, and over 50 other countries. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a vocal critic of the Maduro regime, was also fingered as a culprit behind the outage. 

Rubio apologized, saying he pressed the wrong button on his "electronic attack app."
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In The Know.
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Sports, Entertainment & Culture.
> Disney announces its streaming service will include entire film library (More) | Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge to open May 31 at Disneyland and August 29 at Disney World (More)
> College basketball fraud investigation expands, with LSU's head coach Will Wade caught on wiretap discussing payment to recruit (More) | TCU and Creighton also named by prosecutors in pay-for-play scandal (More)
> Baseball Hall of Famer Tom Seaver retires from public life following dementia diagnosis (More)
Science & Technology.
> New study suggests dinosaurs were thriving prior to a massive asteroid strike 66 million years ago; refutes theory that dinosaurs across the globe were in terminal decline with or without the impact (More)
> Google sister company Waymo will start selling its self-driving car vision systems as stand-alone units for robotics, security, and other uses (More)
> Genetically engineered immune system cells shown to nearly wipe out lupus in mouse tests; treatment close to 100% effective in 26 of 41 mice (More)
Business & Markets.
> European Central Bank (ECB) extends rate hikes until 2020 and offers banks cheap loans in effort to revive European economy (More)
> IBM CEO Ginni Rometty calls for Congress to pass the Equality Act to protect LGBTQ+ community from discrimination (More)
> Homeshare giant Airbnb to acquire last-minute hotel deal site HotelTonight (More)
Politics & World Affairs.
> Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown (D) says he will not enter 2020 presidential race; announcement comes after two-month "Dignity of Work" tour (More)
> Philadelphia becomes first major US city to ban cashless stores and restaurants (More)
> House votes to condemn hate speech following alleged anti-Semitic comments by Rep. Illhan Omar (D, MN-5) (More)
Weekend Reads.
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Why So Many Americans Are Turning to Buddhism.
The Atlantic | Olga Khazan. As church attendance continues to decrease in Western societies, those in search of inner peace are increasingly looking East, to meditation and Buddhism. (Read)
A Mess on the Sidewalk.
The Baffler | John Lorinc. Google's Sidewalk was supposed to turn Toronto's blighted Port Lands neighborhood into a digital utopia. Instead, the plan is quickly going sideways. (Read)
 
Empire of Fear.
Daily Beast | Rene Chun. Is it better to rule by fear or respect? For David Pecker, CEO of the National Enquirer's parent company, there's only one - very obvious - answer. (Read)
 
"Be Yourself" is Terrible Advice.
The Outline | Leah Finnegan. Being yourself can be a truly empowering experience, unless you're not exactly sure who your authentic self actually is. (Read)
Etcetera.
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The history of why you need to set your clocks forward one hour this weekend
 
Fearless Girl heads to London for International Women's Day
Five years after disappearing, five theories about what happened to flight MH370
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The top reasons Americans take out personal loans.
Peek inside the world's 10 most expensive hotel suites
Amazing art installation shows rising water lines against existing buildings
Queen Elizabeth makes her first Instagram post ever
Beer label Pabst Blue Ribbon is launching its own whiskey.
Clickbait: Stop worrying, the stolen 800-year-old mummified Crusader head has been recovered
Historybook: HBD New York Stock Exchange (1817); American actress Claire Trevor born (1910); RIP William Taft (1930); RIP Joe DiMaggio (1999); Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 disappears, 239 people die (2014).
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- Joe DiMaggio
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