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.
Israel, Iran Trade Fire.
Israel attacked Iranian military sites in western Syria overnight after Iranian forces reportedly fired up to 20 rockets into Israel's Golan Heights. The scuffle - one of the most direct between the two regional adversaries in years - comes days after Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly revealed half-a-ton of stolen Iranian documents that purported to show a secret nuclear program. The timing of Netanyahu's announcement was seen as trying to influence the US decision on pulling out of the Iran Nuclear deal, which it ultimately did. Iran maintains a tight relationship with Syria and has kept forces in the country to support President Bashar al-Assad's government during Syria's bloody seven-year civil war. The Golan Heights region is one of the most volatile in the Middle East - lying about 50 miles from the Syrian capital of Damascus, the region was seized by Israel during the Six Day War in 1967. 

You can see a real-time, crowd-sourced map of strikes here

North Korea Releases Prisoners.
North Korea released three American prisoners yesterday, effectively removing the issue from negotiations ahead of an anticipated meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Trump. The announcement came as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visits the North to hammer out final details (like location and date) of the potential meeting. All three prisoners were American citizens of Korean descent - Kim Sang Duk and Kim Hak-song were arrested in early 2017 while teaching at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology in the North, while  Kim Dong-chul was a businessman living in China and doing business in the special economic zone of Rason (see 101). All three were in good health - a sharp contrast to the case of Otto Warmbier.

President Trump met the three on the tarmac upon return.

Mormon Church Cuts Ties With Boy Scouts.
The Mormon Church announced it would end its relationship with the Boy Scouts of America yesterday, effectively ending a 105-year-old relationship. The Church has historically been the biggest sponsor of the Scouts in the US - joining the Scouts was often seen as automatic for Mormon boys. The move will affect roughly 425,000 existing Mormon youth, or over 18% of the BSA's 2.3 million member base. Some speculate the split - announced in a joint statement between BSA and the Church - was motivated in part by the Scout's evolving stance on allowing gay and transgender members. The Church removed nearly 185,000 boys in 2017 following the decision to admit transgender troops, foreshadowing the eventual break. The Church, which has about 16 million members in 200 countries, said it will focus on developing its own youth program that will be implemented through its congregations. 

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In The Know.

Politics & World Affairs.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) becomes first Democrat to back Gina Haspel, nominee for CIA director (More) | Haspel says she would not restart pre-9/11 interrogation programs (More)
Google bans all ads relating to Irish abortion referendum ahead of May 25th vote (More)
California Energy Commission requires all new houses come with installed solar panels (More)

Business & Markets.

Wall Street Journal releases 2017 CEO pay study - median CEO compensation was $12.1M, see data visualization (More)
Vodafone - world's second largest mobile operator - to purchase certain European cable assets of US-based Liberty Media for $21.8B (More)
US beer sales slide 4% at Anheuser Busch InBev as Americans increasingly move from beer to wine and hard alcohol (More)


Science & Technology.

Deep learning algorithm spontaneously recreates the type of activity that brain cells use to navigate through space (More)
Engineered slices of human pancreatic cells capable of secreting insulin successfully treat sudden-onset Type I diabetes in mice (More)
Scientists sequence oldest virus ever found, extracted from a 7,000-year-old tooth, appears to be an ancient strain of hepatitis B (More)

Sports, Entertainment & Culture.

Picasso's Young Girl with a Flower Basket painting sold for $115M at auction (More)
Anne V. Coates, Oscar-winning film editor best known for Lawrence of Arabia, dies at 92 (More)
NBC internal investigation into Matt Lauer found sexual misconduct accusers credible, executives unaware of allegations (More)
In Depth.

Three Ways to be Middle Class. 

Brookings | Staff. Americans tend to view themselves as middle class, even if their income is far above the average household wage. But what does middle class really mean? Take a look at the different ways - cash, culture, and credentials - that people may consider themselves middle class

Bonus: See 12 different income definitions of middle class. 

America is More Diverse Than Ever - But Still Segregated. 

Washington Post | Aaron Williams and Armand Emamdjomeh. As ethnic diversity continues to grow, the myth that segregation has ended grows as well. The Post’s analysis shows there is actually a myriad of segregated communities in the United States. Explore diversity in your city, and other communities, with interactive maps and tools that show the true state of segregation in America
The most fun states in America (analysis by WalletHub).

You're better at creative problem solving when drunk

The most popular app for iPhone (45M downloads in Q1) lets you take 15-second musical selfies.

John Legend is the new voice of Google Assistant

France to ban stores from throwing away unused clothes.

Against the backdrop of #MeToo, more women giving commencement speeches.

What happens when a bulldozer hits a tree loaded with pollen.

Photos from Russia's annual Victory Day parade.

Clickbait: Texas family mistakes bobcats for rescue kittens

Historybook: RIP Paul Revere (1818); 1st American transcontinental railroad is completed (1869); Winston Churchill becomes PM of the UK (1940); RIP Joan Crawford (1977); Nelson Mandela inaugurated as president of South Africa (1994).
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