4.23.2019

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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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Kim-Putin Summit.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is set to visit Russian President Vladimir Putin sometime within the next seven days, according to reports. Preparations are being made for the visit, Kim's first with Putin, in the eastern Russian city of Vladivostok, a few hours north of the countries' shared border. Analysts say North Korea, coming off the unexpected collapse of talks with the US, is feeling the effects of international sanctions and will be looking to Russia for relief - among other things, Kim has reportedly asked for 100,000 tons of flour amid a poor harvest season and rising food prices. While the US sought full denuclearization from the North Korean regime, analysts say Moscow will focus on gradual dismantling of the nuclear program, while emphasizing the development of energy and transportation infrastructure, with the goal of providing the region with Russian-produced power. 
SCOTUS Takes Up LGBT Discrimination.
The Supreme Court said yesterday it would hear a set of cases determining whether federal law bars employers from firing employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees based on their race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, or sex (deep dive here). The question at hand is whether sexual orientation and transgender status are considered subsets of sex. Justices will hear three cases - a ruling by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals that said sexual orientation was a protected class, a case from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals that concluded it was not protected, and a third case in which a woman alleges she was fired from her funeral home job because she was transgender. Oral arguments in what should be a blockbuster case are expected in the fall.

Separately, justices will hear arguments today on whether the 2020 census can include a question on citizenship status.
Security Failure in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lankan officials were warned about potential attacks by a little-known Islamist militant group months prior to Sunday's coordinated suicide bombings that killed close to 300 and injured over 500 others, according to reports. An April 11th memo detailed the likelihood the group was planning attacks on Christian churches across the country - three churches and three hotels were ultimately targeted, with eight bombs detonated in total. The security breakdown has been blamed in part on a bitter feud between President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, which prevented the bulk of the government's cabinet officials from being privy to security briefings. Despite not preventing the attack, officials were able to arrest 24 people in the first 24 hours, indicating they had foreknowledge of the group's leaders. The Sri Lankan military was granted sweeping new powers in the aftermath of the attack, with Sirisena declaring a national emergency. 

Read a translated version of the warning memo here (paywall). 
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In The Know.
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Sports, Entertainment & Culture.
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> Steve Golin, Oscar-winning producer of Spotlight, dies at 64 (More)
> Prince's unfinished memoir, The Beautiful Ones to be released Oct. 29; will contain rare photos, scrapbooks, and lyrics (More)
> Writers Guild of America announces 7,000 members have fired their agents over ongoing contract disputes (More)

Discover healthy products that are good for your home, easy on your budget and better for the planet (More) #Ad
Science & Technology.
> Tesla unveils “full self-driving” technologies to investors in bid to make company’s electric cars autonomous (More) | SpaceX suffers setback as crew capsule catches fire during testing (More)
> New type of plastic breaks down in room-temperature solution of water and acid, dramatically improving the cost-effectiveness of plastic recycling; only 10% of US plastic is currently recycled (More)
> Scientists develop treatment that decomposes, neutralizes nerve agents like those found in chemical weapons (More)
Business & Markets.
> Oil prices increase 2% after US announces the elimination of waivers to purchase Iranian oil (More)
> After tough 2018 with large losses, food giant Kraft Heinz hires new CEO - Miguel Patricio from Anheuser-Busch (More)
> Plant-based meat maker Beyond Meat - backed by prominent venture capital firms, Tyson Foods, Bill Gates, Leonardo DiCaprio, and others - files for IPO at a $1.2B valuation (More)
Politics & World Affairs.
> Rep. Seth Moulton (D, MA-6) becomes 19th candidate to seek the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination (More) | On campaign trail, Sen. Elizabeth Warren proposes canceling some or all debt for 95% of student loans at cost of $640B (More)
> President Trump’s attorneys sue to block the House Oversight Committee from subpoenaing personal financial records (More) | Former White House lawyer Don McGahn subpoenaed (More)
> Woman linked to New IRA group arrested in slaying of Irish journalist Lyra McKee; Irish militant group issues apology over killing (More)
In Depth.
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How to Identify a Body.
The Guardian | Richard Shepherd. In his career, Richard Shepard has investigated many of the UK’s worst disasters. Few cases were as harrowing as the sinking of the Marchioness in 1989, which left scores dead and almost impossible to identify (warning - contains graphic descriptions). (Read)
Is Prison Necessary?
New York Times | Author. It sounds outlandish, but Ruth Wilson Gilmore might just change your mind. Read how three decades of activism have shaped her thought-provoking takes on incarceration and criminal justice reform. (Read, paywall)
Etcetera.
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Breaking down the state of student loan debt in America
Visualizing the leading cause of death in every US county.

Striking photos capture the unnatural transformation of the Amazon rain forest.

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This music anti-festival has amazing musicians but is impossible to get into.

Touching photos as a guard completes their last walk at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Historic farmhouses are being raided to fuel 'farmhouse chic' trend.

Even gorillas are posing for selfies
Clickbait: Washington state poised to allow human composting (it is what it sounds like). 
Historybook: William Shakespeare born, dies (1564, 1616); Actress and diplomat Shirley Temple born (1928); Rhythm Club fire in Mississippi kills 209 (1940); RIP civil rights activist Cesar Chavez (1993); First YouTube video published (2005).
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"Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful."
- Vincentio, Measure by Measure, (William Shakespeare)
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