4.17.2018

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4.17.2018
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.
Pulitzer Prizes Announced.
The 2018 Pulitzer Prizes were announced yesterday, ranging across 21 categories that included coverage of issues ranging from the #MeToo movement to a profile of Charleston, SC church shooter Dylan Roof. Notable 2018 awardees include the Santa Rosa Press Democrat for its coverage of the 2017 California wildfires (Breaking News category), the Cincinnati Enquirer for its vivid reporting on the opioid crisis (Local Reporting), and commercial and critical sensation Kendrick Lamar became the first rapper to win for his album DAMN. (Music). The New York Times won the coveted Public Service category for breaking the Harvey Weinstein story. In one of the more incredible stories, Ryan Kelly won the Photography category for capturing the moment a car plowed into a crowd at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va - it was Kelly's last day on the job and he now works in a brewery

Despite being prestigious, winners aren't exactly showered with gifts - 20 of the 21 categories come with $15,000 and a certificate (the Public Service category awards a gold medal). 

SCOTUS to Review Sales Tax.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case with significant implications for the competition between online retailers and traditional brick-and-mortar stores. More than 40 states have joined in asking the Court to review a decades-old rule that allows many online retailers to avoid charging sales tax - if a company does not have a physical presence in the state in which a given customer lives, then the company is not obligated to collect sales tax. The net result is that many online retailers have an advantage over large retailers with brick-and-mortar presence like Macy's, Walmart, and others because they can price their products lower. However, the original 1992 opinion that required only companies with a physical presence to collect sales tax was issued prior to the onset of widespread e-commerce, which has risen to $120B in the US each year (see data). Legally, the customers are required to self-report the sales tax, though only about 1% of customers do so - meaning states are losing out on an estimated $8-13B in annual tax revenue. 

State by state tax laws can be tricky to navigate - like in Illinois, where some candy bars aren't considered candy due to flour content. 

New Lung Cancer Treatment.

A new study showed that pairing chemotherapy with a new type of immune system-boosting drug can greatly improve survival odds in patients with a common form of lung cancer (see paper). The drug, called pembrolizumab or Keytruda, is a type of immunotherapy known as a checkpoint inhibitor. The immune system normally attacks foreign or malignant cells based on whether certain checkpoints (or molecules attached to cells) are switched on or off. Cancer cells can often manipulate these switches to avoid detection - checkpoint inhibitors ensure they are in the proper position. For patients receiving the drug in combination with chemotherapy chances of death were reduced by 48%, and while the median survival time for patients who did not receive the treatment was 11.3 months, the survival time with the immunotherapy was so long the median had not been determined by the time of the report. 

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths each year, causing 1.7 million deaths worldwide.
 
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In The Know.

Sports, Entertainment & Culture.

Desiree Linden is 1st American to win Boston Marathon in 33 years; Yuki Kawauchi of Japan is men's winner (More)
After FBI raids, Trump lawyer Michael Cohen forced to reveal Fox News TV host Sean Hannity as client in bid to invoke client-attorney privilege to protect records (More)
Harry Anderson, comedian and Night Court actor, dies at 65 (More)
 

Science & Technology.

Virus that causes mononucleosis shown to raise risk of 7 other major diseases, including multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes (More)
SpaceX launches NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), which will seek out distant and previously undetected planets (More)
Study shows dinosaurs rapidly expanded population after a mass extinction of lower life forms 232 million years ago (More)
 

Business & Markets.

Amidst growing protests and boycotts, Starbucks CEO apologizes & flies to meet 2 black men arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks last week (More)
Netflix outpaces Wall Street expectations with 7.4M new subscribers vs 6.5M expected, stock up ~5% in after-hours trading (More)
China's economy - world's second largest after US - grew 6.8% in Q1, faster than expected (More)
 

Politics & World Affairs.

Seven inmates killed in South Carolina prison, worst prison riot in over 25 years (More)
Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe heads to Florida to meet with President Trump on North Korea, trade issues (More)
US, UK, Australia issue rare joint statement blaming Russia for widespread 2017 cyberattacks (More)
In Depth.

The Past and Perilous Future of Sports Illustrated. 

The Ringer | Michael MacCambridge. Given its decline in both readership and online footprint, it's easy to forget that the venerable magazine was the biggest name in sport journalism for decades. Even those who work in the industry don't turn to it anymore, and it's hard to overstate how steep its fall has been. Is there a path out of the darkness for Sports Illustrated?
 

Was There a Civilization On Earth Before Humans? 

The Atlantic | Adam Frank. No, it's not a trick question. And no, there isn't any evidence for it (unless you're a conspiracy theorist). But that's the point - if an industrialized civilization existed for 100,000 years, that would be 500 times the length of mankind's current appearance. But if it happened 100 million years ago, would we be able to find any evidence? Scientists say it's not as clear cut as you might think
Etcetera.
Tax Day: 45% of Americans feel their taxes are too high, which is the lowest since 2012.

...And doctors are offering free tax prep for low-income families while in the waiting room.


A data-infused look at the most common jobs by age.

Ancient Mayan sacrificial cave revealed in new Nat Geo footage

Kanye West is back on Twitter after a year of silence

Spectacular frozen photos of the world's biggest freshwater lake in Siberia

Uncle Jesse steps into fatherhood.

The best speakeasy bars around the world (via Thrillist).

This optical illusion completely disappears when you stare at it.


Clickbait: Man bills wife over "exceptionally difficult" mother-in-law

Historybook: RIP Benjamin Franklin (1790); Bay of Pigs Invasion (1961); Apollo 13 returns safely to Earth (1970); HBD Victoria Beckham (1974).

 
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