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Need To Know.
House Cuts Yemen Support.
The Democratic-controlled House approved a Senate-passed resolution ending US military support for the war in Yemen yesterday. President Trump is weighing whether to use the second veto of his administration to allow for further US involvement in the four-year conflict led by Saudi Arabia, which sits directly to the north of Yemen. The country’s civil war has escalated into a proxy battle between the Saudi-backed Yemeni government and Iran-backed Houthi rebels, but has inflicted a devastating famine and widespread disease on the civilian population. At least 10,000 civilians have been killed and up to 14 million are at risk of starvation - one report estimated 85,000 children under the age of 5 had died from acute malnutrition. Lawmakers also see the resolution as an opportunity to rebuke the Saudi government over the 2018 killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Officials said late yesterday that a man who claimed to be long-missing kidnapping victim Timmothy Pitzen was attempting to carry out a hoax, and was in fact a 23-year-old with a criminal record. Brian Michael Rini was found wandering and asking for help in Northern Kentucky - when police got to Rini, he identified himself as Pitzen and claimed to have escaped from a hotel room where he was being held by two men in Cincinnati, Ohio. Pitzen was last seen in May of 2011 when his mother checked him out of class, citing a family emergency, before committing suicide (read backstory). A note found with the body indicated that Timmothy had been left with unidentified caretakers, but said that his location would "never be found". The Pitzen family said they were devastated when DNA tests revealed Rini was an impostor.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos will retain 75% of the company's stock owned by himself and his now-former wife, MacKenzie Bezos, as details of the couple's massive divorce were revealed yesterday. While he will retain full voting control over her shares, she walks away with nearly 4% of the company - an amount worth over $36B, making her one of the five richest women in the world. He also retained the couple's entire stake in the Washington Post and the Blue Origin aerospace company. The two are splitting over a relationship between Jeff Bezos and Los Angeles news anchor Lauren Sanchez, which exploded into public consciousness after the National Enquirer allegedly tried to extort Bezos by threatening to release hacked personal text messages in exchange for positive news coverage (see Bezos' scathing reply). It was ultimately revealed that actors working for the Saudi Arabian government hacked Bezos' personal phone and passed information to the Enquirer.
MacKenzie Bezos, who joined Twitter just hours after the divorce was final, said she was looking forward to her next phase in life.
> Nominations announced for 2019 Billboard Music Awards; rapper Cardi B leads all artists with 21 nominations in 18 categories (More)
> NCAA basketball Final Four: See preview and predictions for men's tournament beginning Saturday (More) | And preview, predictions, and how to watch women's games tonight (More)
> Mormon Church announces major reversal of 2015 policy which now allows children of LGBT marriages to be baptized (More)
Science & Technology.
> Scientists find party drug MDMA opens “critical period” in which the brain is more effective at learning positive social behaviors; may help treat post-traumatic stress disorder (More)
> In mice tests, boosting the performance of microglia in the brain restored cognition in old age (More) | Meet microglia, the brain’s garbage crew (More)
> Amazon launches effort to provide global, space-based broadband internet using over 3,200 satellites in low Earth orbit (More)
Business & Markets.
> US-China trade talks continue in Washington, DC - President Trump signals deal could be reached in the next 4 weeks (More)
> Tesla shares fall 11% after missing delivery expectations (More)
> Electronics giant Samsung sees Q1 operating profit fall 60% given lower memory chip revenue (More)
Politics & World Affairs.
> Boeing CEO apologizes to families of the victims in deadly Ethiopian Air crash as report clears pilots of blame, pinpoints faulty sensors on 737 MAX 8 plane (More)
> Violence Against Women Act reauthorization also passed, heads to Senate after House closes controversial “boyfriend loophole” (More)
> Rep. Tim Ryan (D, OH-12) jumps into 2020 presidential race; Ryan unsuccessfully tried to unseat Speaker Nancy Pelosi last year (More) | See guide of all 16 major Democratic candidates (More)
Too Many Democrats Are Running in 2020, According to Science.
Politico | Lilly Kofler. Over a dozen candidates currently seek the Democratic nomination, and behavioral scientists think that "choice overload" may have a profoundly negative effect on the 2020 campaign. (Read)
DJs of the Future Don't Spin Records, They Write Code.
Wired | Michael Calore. See inside the Algorithmic Art Assembly, a California music festival that is dedicated to surprisingly creative algorithmic music and art. (Read, paywall)
When Experimental Stem Cell Treatments Cause Harm.
Washington Post | Laurie McGinley and William Wan. Despite reports of their treatments causing patients to go blind - and an aggressive lawsuit from the FDA - US Stem Cell has continued operating. Why? (Read, paywall)
When Did America’s Heart Turn Cold on Buffet Chains?
Vox | Kaitlyn Tiffany. Buffet chains once flourished in the US, with restaurants like Ponderosa carrying a healthy domestic and international presence - but soon, many were filing for bankruptcy. See inside the rise and fall of the US buffet. (Read)
Historybook: Pocahontas marries English colonist John Rolfe (1614); HBD Booker T. Washington (1856); American Civil War Battle of Yorktown begins (1862); HBD Colin Powell (1937); RIP Kurt Cobain (1994).
"There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure." - Colin Powell
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