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Need To Know.
Storms Ravage US South, Midwest.
A line of slow-moving storms sparked tornadoes and caused record snowfall and low temperatures across much of the southern and midwestern United States yesterday. The upper Midwest caught the brunt of the icy weather - Green Bay, Wisconsin, saw 23 inches of snow, Minneapolis saw 22 inches, and some areas in Michigan got almost 18 inches in the span of two days. In the greater Detroit area, accumulating ice caused over 1,000 power lines to fall, and more than 300,000 homes and businesses were left without power. The weather caused record low temperatures in Oklahoma City (30 degrees Fahrenheit), Kansas City (25 degrees), Des Moines (31 degrees). The southern part of the storm system caused flash floods and at least ten tornadoes across Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas. 

More Sanctions Following Syria Strikes.
The US will hit Russia with additional sanctions for its support of Syria's Bashar al-Assad, according to reports. The move follows US-led airstrikes against targets in Syria over the weekend in retaliation for a chemical attack allegedly carried out by the Syrian government. The United Kingdom and France also participated in the strikes, which focused on sites that support the country's chemical weapon production capability - including a production facility, warehouse, and research center (see map of strikes). Earlier in the week the town of Douma - a suburb of the Syrian city of Damascus with pockets of rebels fighting against the Syrian government - was hit with a chemical gas attack that killed over 70 and injured hundreds. The use of chemical weapons is a violation of the multilateral Chemical Weapons Convention, which Syria signed onto in 2013. The strikes are expected to raise tensions with Russia and Iran, who are allies of the Syrian government. 

In related news, the Pentagon reported a 2000% increase in the presence of Russian trolls online in the 24 hours following the strikes.

Barbara Bush in Failing Health.
Former first lady Barbara Bush and wife of George H.W. Bush is in failing health following a series of recent hospitalizations, according to reports yesterday. A spokesperson for the Bush family said the 92-year-old will not seek further medical treatment, instead opting to focus on "comfort care". Bush had battled Graves' disease - a condition involving an overactive thyroid - and had undergone both heart surgery and an operation for a perforated ulcer in recent years. In addition to being only one of two first ladies to also be the mother of a president - the other being Abigail Adams - she is widely known for her literacy efforts through the Barbara Bush Foundation. 

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In The Know.

Sports, Entertainment & Culture.

Jason Aldean is named Entertainer of the Year at Academy of Country Music Awards (More) | Full list of ACM award winners (More)
Milos Forman, Oscar-winning director famous for Amadeus, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, dies at 86 (More)
Beychella: Beyoncé becomes 1st black woman to headline Coachella (More)

Science & Technology.

Sedentary habits like sitting linked to thinner medial temporal lobe, a region of the brain involved in forming new memories (More)
200 demonstrations around the globe held for second annual March for Science (More)
Physicists set new record for quantum entanglement, demonstrating control over 20 quantum bits (More) | What is a qubit? (More)

Business & Markets.

Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP - the world's largest advertising agency - steps down in wake of  personal misconduct allegations (More)
Bank stocks (JPMorgan, Citi, Wells Fargo) deliver stronger than forecasted earnings, but shares slide as results fall short of high expectations (More)
Elon Musk says Tesla will be profitable by year-end, no additional investor capital required; shares spike 2% (More) | Musk's SpaceX reportedly raising money at $27B valuation, would be 3rd most valuable private US company after Uber & AirbnB (More)

Politics & World Affairs.

Over 200 million eggs across nine states recalled due to salmonella fears (More)
Former FBI director James Comey gives first interview since dismissal in May 2017 (More)
Tens of thousands of Hungarians march to protest Prime Minister Viktor Orban after pro-government news outlet begins publishing names of critics (More)
Google is working on new self-destructing emails for Gmail

...The company is also working on a new AI program that will answer any question by reading thousands of books

Watch a bat volcano erupt in Mexico

Lyft shows its internal breakdown on how much its drivers can make

Traveling? Here's the most beautiful spot every European country

The most expensive streets in America to rent an office (a download from JLL Research). 

Sayonara: Japan to implement tax on travelers leaving the country.  

Workers in the restaurant industry consume the most marijuana (says the CDC). 

You can now buy Bernie Madoff's former Hamptons beach house

Clickbait: Viagra gives plants a lift.  

Historybook: HBD Charlie Chaplin (1889); Harriet Quimby is 1st woman to fly across English Channel (1912); HBD Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1947); HBD Selena (1971); 32 die, 17 injured in Virginia Tech mass shooting (2007).

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"The good and the great are only separated by the willingness to sacrifice."
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

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