5.17.2018

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5.17.2018
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.
Michigan State Settles with Nassar Victims.
Michigan State University's Board of Trustees approved a $500M settlement for the victims of former USA Gymnastics lead physician Larry Nassar. The University, which has been heavily criticized for inaction during Nassar's nearly 20-year tenure, reached the agreement with lawyers representing 332 victims. Nassar was originally arrested by the FBI on child pornography charges in 2016. He subsequently pleaded guilty to 10 separate counts of sexual assault stemming from his time with the gymnastic program - over 150 women gave victim impact statements at the trials. The scandal has rocked the highest levels of university leadership - former MSU president Lou Anna Simon stepped down in January and a probe of the school's response led to separate sexual misconduct charges against the former dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine, William Strampel, who was Nassar's boss at the time. 

Critics of the university - which had $1.1B in unrestricted net assets as of 2017 - wondered whether tuition hikes or state funding would be used to cover the cost of the agreement. 

Record-Breaking Black Hole Discovered.
Astronomers discovered what is considered to be the fastest-growing black hole in the known universe, according to reports published yesterday. Black holes - which are made when dying stars collapse in on themselves, creating a gravitational pull so strong even light can't escape (see 101) - grow by sucking in nearby gas, dust, and sometimes other stars. In this case, researchers estimate that the newly discovered black hole consumes mass equal to our Sun every two days. Located about 12 billion light-years away from Earth, measurements suggest it has consumed the equivalent of 20 billion suns during its lifetime. Interestingly, this black hole doesn't appear black - the dust and gas get so hot as it gets pulled in, it gives off light like a hot coal. 

North Carolina Teacher Strike.
Teachers in North Carolina walked out of classrooms yesterday, marching at the statehouse in Raleigh to protest for better pay and higher education funding. Classes were canceled in 40 counties across the state and nearly 20,000 teachers joined the protest - North Carolina is the sixth state to see such protests, following West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, Colorado, and Kentucky. According to the National Education Association, average US teacher salaries are just under $60,000 per year, but vary from about $82,000 in New York to $42,300 in West Virginia (see report) - North Carolina ranks 35th when adjusted for cost of living. Public schools receive about 45% of their funding from states, versus 8% from the federal government, making them particularly sensitive to state budgets. It is unclear whether teachers in North Carolina can win similar concessions as other states, like the 5% pay raise in West Virginia, because the state government is close to finishing a two-year budget deal. 

A survey released this week said 94% of teachers report out-of-pocket spending on classroom supplies, at an average annual cost of $479. 

 
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In The Know.

Politics & World Affairs.

New study estimates US has spent $2.8T on counterterrorism efforts from 2002-2017, currently 14% of federal discretionary spending each year (More)
Senate Intelligence Committee advances Gina Haspel as first female CIA director, Haspel reportedly has enough votes to secure nomination in full Senate vote (More)
Office of Government Ethics refers President Trump to DOJ for potentially failing to disclose $250,000 payment to lawyer Michael Cohen for unspecified expenses on June 2017 disclosure forms (More) | Transcript of Trump Jr.'s testimony on 2016 meeting with Russian lawyer released (More)
 

Business & Markets.

Earnings Season: Macy's shares up 10% after blowing past Wall Street expectations (More) | China's Tencent - maker of messaging app WeChat - shares up 7% after strong Q1 (More)
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg to meet with European Parliament to discuss Cambridge Analytica scandal (More)
Russell 2000 - an index of the smallest market cap companies - achieves all-time high (More)
 

Science & Technology.

Senate passes bill reinstating Net Neutrality rules, would prevent service providers from charging different rates for different internet content, legislation is expected to stall in House (More)
Smallest and cheapest-ever device that can identify people by smell is demonstrated, has applications in search and rescue missions and bio-identification (More)
Hacker breaks into servers of Securus, a company that allows law enforcement to track individual's cell phone use across the country (More)
 

Sports, Entertainment & Culture.

Backstreet Boys release first new single in 5 years; watch music video here (More)
Hedge fund billionaire David Tepper to buy NFL's Carolina Panthers for record $2.2B (More)
CBS announces fall lineup will include Murphy Brown, Magnum P.I. remakes (More)
In Depth.

Virtual Reality is the Next Way to Portray War. 

Quartz | Gabo Arora. Since the beginning of civilization, the ways to capture war has evolved from cave drawings to Pulitzer Prize-winning photography. But the next medium, virtual reality, is likely to be a game-changer in communicating both the humanity and inhumanity of war
 

The Untold Story Of Robert Mueller In Combat. 

Wired | Garrett M. Graff. Special Counsel Robert Mueller makes his bed after waking up - every day, no exceptions. He does this because he regards discipline very highly, a skill that was sharpened during the Vietnam War, where Mueller was shot in the thigh by a .50 caliber bullet. Learn how Mueller’s time in the Marine Corps shaped his life as a public servant.
Etcetera.
Study says 40% of US households can't afford ordinary middle-class expenses.

The 50 most iconic movie posters of the 1980s.

Science pinpoints optimal age of puppy cuteness


A shipwreck reveals an 800-year-old Made in China label

Study says be happy, live longer.


Two Sherpa guides set records for total number of Everest climbs.

Here's what maternity leave looks like around the world


Americans overestimate how much teens have sex in high school.

Clickbait: A volcanic eruption can't ruin a day on the golf course.  

Historybook: Aristides is 1st winner of Kentucky Derby (1875); Brown v. Board of Education decision (1954); HBD Sugar Ray Leonard (1956); 1st same-sex marriages performed in US (2004); RIP Donna Summer (2012).

 
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- Sugar Ray Leonard

 
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