4.18.2019

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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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Massive Opioid Sting.
In the biggest crackdown of its kind in US history, federal prosecutors charged 60 doctors, pharmacists, and other medical professionals yesterday with illegally pushing opioid prescriptions. The sting spread across five states in the Appalachian region (OH, KY, TN, WV, and AL) - officials said those charged were responsible for about 350,000 improper prescriptions, amounting to as much as 32 million pills over the course of years. Officials did not indicate those arrested worked as part of a network, rather that all repeatedly prescribed unjustified pain pills. Allegations include doctors selling prescriptions, leaving blank prescription pads for others to fill out, and hosting opioid parties. One Tennessee man, the self-proclaimed “Rock Doc”, was accused of trading fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that can be 100 times more powerful than morphine, for sex (in addition to trying to pitch a television reality show) .

Over 47,600 people died from opioid-linked overdoses in 2017, and the Department of Homeland Security even considered classifying fentanyl as a weapon of mass destruction under certain circumstances
Scientists Revive Pigs' Brains.
In a study that may raise questions about the nature of death and consciousness, scientists restored partial electrical activity in pigs' brains up to ten hours after the pigs were slaughtered. Brain cells usually degrade very quickly as the body stops delivering oxygen and blood to the organ. In the study, Yale researchers pumped a synthetic blood substitute into 32 disembodied brains beginning 4 hours after death (read abstract). The team monitored the brains over six hours, finding that the treated cells maintained their structure and even resumed normal metabolic functions, consuming sugar and pumping out waste. When an electrical signal was applied, neurons in the samples began firing, indicating they were still capable of functioning up 10 hours postmortem. Scientists were quick to stress the brains were not "alive" in the traditional sense, but the study breaks new ground in what processes are considered irreversible during death, and may lead to new treatments for strokes and brain injuries. 
Mueller Report Out Today.
Attorney General William Barr is expected to release Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on potential Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election on Thursday. The results of the nearly two-year-long investigation are rumored to clock in at roughly 400 pages and will include four categories of redactions - grand jury material, sensitive intelligence, matters that could affect ongoing investigations, and infringements on the privacy rights of “peripheral third-parties". The report is said to be lightly redacted, providing a fuller snapshot of the investigation. In a summary to Congress released in late March, Barr quoted Mueller as saying the investigation could not establish that anyone associated with the Trump campaign conspired to interfere in the 2016 elections, but did not reach a conclusion on allegations of obstruction of justice. A press conference is scheduled for 9:30am ET. 
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In The Know.
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Sports, Entertainment & Culture.
> Time 100: Most Influential People of 2019 list released (More) | Taylor Swift and Khalid to perform at 2019 Time 100 gala on April 23rd (More)
> Beyoncé drops surprise 40-track live album on same day as her Netflix documentary Homecoming becomes available (More)
> Full 2019 NFL season schedule released; Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers to kick-off NFL's 100th season September 5th (More) | Upstart league the Alliance of American Football files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy (More)
Science & Technology.
> US astronaut Christina Koch to spend 11 months in space, break women's record for space flight duration (More)
> First human trial of CRISPR gets underway as two cancer patients get treated with gene-edited versions of their immune cells (More) | CRISPR 101 (More)
> NASA’s Cassini space probe finds deep lakes of liquid methane on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon (More)
Business & Markets.
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> Videoconferencing provider Zoom prices IPO at $36/share, representing $9B valuation – first day of trading tomorrow (More)
> Earnings Season: Pinterest prices IPO at $19 per share, valuation tops $10B (More) | Morgan Stanley beats Wall Street expectations on strong wealth management performance, shares up 3% (More) | IBM sees cloud computing revenues drop, shares fall 4% (More)
> Amazon to exit Chinese domestic marketplace (goods from third-party Chinese merchants) in shift to more lucrative business lines (More)

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Politics & World Affairs.
> Former Peru President Alan Garcia dead after apparent suicide; Garcia shot himself as police arrived to arrest him in connection with bribery case (More) | 18-year-old Florida woman whose threats prompted Denver school closures found dead, also in an apparent suicide (More)
> White House tightens travel restrictions, limits remittances to Cuba; move comes in response to Cuba’s support of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (More)
> North Korea tests new type of tactical guided missile two months after talks with US collapse (More)
An incredible new release.
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In Depth.
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The McKinsey Way to Save an Island.
Intelligencer | Andrew Rice. In the face of bankruptcy and a $74 billion debt, the Puerto Rican government is in disarray. But for the last two years, one of the world's most influential consulting firms, McKinsey & Co., has made a killing in helping to hit the country's reset button - with questionable results. (Read)
15 Months of Fresh Hell Inside Facebook.
Wired | Nicholas Thompson and Fred Vogelstein. In early 2018, CEO Mark Zuckerberg pledged to spend the year fixing Facebook. Instead, it was a roller-coaster year full of scandals and resignations, and also record profits. (Read, paywall)
Etcetera.
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Mapping where traffic pollution causes the most childhood asthma.

...and 2019's best and worst states for children's health care

Study debunks the 10 most harmful myths about sleep.

Watch an oddly terrifying pack of robo-dogs pulling a truck.

Pepsi teams up with Russian startup to ruin your night sky.

From chefs to hosts, meet the up-and-coming faces in the food scene

Marine vet crawls across the Boston Marathon finish line

Study says men's beards are significantly dirtier than dogs
 
Clickbait: Florida man arrested for eating pasta belligerently.
Historybook: Paul Revere’s famous ride during American Revolution (1775); Original Yankee Stadium opens (1923); RIP Albert Einstein (1955); HBD Kourtney Kardashian (1979); RIP Dick Clark (2012).
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