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Need To Know.
Barr Testifies Before Senate.
Attorney General William Barr testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, during a hearing that focused primarily on the Justice Department’s handling of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into 2016 election interference by Russia. Senate Democrats had criticized Barr for his brief summary of the probe, released as a letter to Congress weeks ahead of the modestly-redacted full report. The hearing came one day after it was revealed that Mueller had urged Barr to speed the release of the report, saying Barr’s letter summary, while not inaccurate, did not provide sufficient context for the conclusions. During the testimony Barr critiqued aspects of the probe, questioning why Mueller investigated instances of obstruction of justice if he had decided that he would not be able to pursue charges under Justice Department restrictions. Barr will not appear before the House today as previously planned, citing lack of clarity over whether he would face questions from staff attorneys during the hearing.
Archaeologists confirmed yesterday that a 160,000-year-old fossilized jawbone found on the Tibetan Plateau belonged to a member of a mysterious group of human ancestors known as the Denisovans. It was a stunning find for scientists - despite contributing genetic material to modern-day populations across Southeast Asia, remains from the species had only ever been found in a single cave in Siberia. The new find, which is also larger than any of the Siberian samples, suggests the group roamed much farther and at higher altitudes than previously thought. Because of the limited evidence, researchers know relatively little about the Denisovans, but it is believed that they developed from a common ancestor with Neanderthals, spreading across Eurasia around 300,000-400,000 years ago. The jawbone itself was actually found by a Buddhist monk in 1980, but it wasn't until recently that researchers were able to investigate the recovery site, which is a protected religious sanctuary.
Details on Tuesday’s deadly shooting at the University of North Carolina Charlotte emerged yesterday as officials pieced together evidence on the attack that killed two students and injured four others. According to reports, the 22-year-old shooter was a former student who did not target the victims, but rather opened fire indiscriminately in the middle of final presentations of an anthropology class. The shooter was not enrolled at the time of the attack, school officials said, but had familiarity with the building where the shooting occurred. One of the victims who was fatally shot, 21-year-old Riley Howell, was hailed as a hero after witnesses say he attacked the shooter, allowing officers time to subdue the gunman. Police are still searching for a motive for the attack - you can read about the victims here.
> Drake is big winner at 2019 Billboard Music Awards with 12 wins, becomes most awarded artist in Billboard Music Award history with 27 total awards; see complete list of winners (More) > Two-time Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya loses appeal in ruling that she must take drugs to suppress testosterone levels (More)
> Longtime Disney vet Alan Bergman promoted to Co-Chairman of Walt Disney Studio Entertainment after overseeing massive success of Avengers: Endgame (More)
New from Casper: the incredible Hybrid Mattress collection. Check it out, along with the rest of Casper's great products (More) #Ad
Science & Technology.
> Researchers create first comprehensive map of how Alzheimer's modifies the genes of individual brain cells (More)
> Scientists find the box jellyfish sting, which delivers one of the most lethal toxins in the animal kingdom, can be neutralized by common cholesterol drugs (More)
> Russian President Vladimir Putin signs bill to create "sovereign internet", allowing Russia to effectively unplug from the World Wide Web beginning in November (More)
Business & Markets.
> US Federal Reserve holds interest rates steady, signals rates will continue to remain unchanged (More)
> Cannabis firm Curaleaf agrees to purchase cannabis oil manufacturer Cura Partners in $950M all-stock deal (More)
> a16z, one of the leading venture Capital firms in the world, closes $2.75B for new investment funds (More) | See a16z's portfolio and exits (More, paywall)
Politics & World Affairs.
> Wikileaks founder Julian Assange sentenced to 50 weeks in British jail for skipping bail to avoid 2012 Swedish sexual assault charges; Assange still awaits extradition to US (More)
> White House requests $4.5B in emergency funding from Congress for humanitarian assistance and staffing at the US-Mexico border; funds would not go towards border wall (More)
> UK Prime Minister Theresa May fires Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson after he allegedly leaked British plans to allow embattled Chinese firm Huawei to help build the country's 5G wireless network (More)
Bedsheets from the city that never sleeps.
In 2014, husband and wife Rich and Vicki Fulop spent a night in a luxury hotel. And what was the best part of the trip? The incredible sheets. When they got home, they tried to buy their own set, only to discover it would cost them an insane $1,000. WHAT?!
So, the idea for Brooklinen was born: 5-star hotel quality sheets at affordable prices. Fast forward to today, and Brooklinen is among the highest-rated bedding companies with over 30,000 five-star reviews, and a mindset that differentiates them from the rest. Brooklinen approaches the bedding biz like a small business: they work directly with manufacturers, employ an all-star customer service team, and stay true to the original mission of quality.
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Not Just One of the Boyz.
Rolling Stone | Alan Light. The late John Singleton, the writer and director of the influential Boyz n the Hood who passed away this week, was both the first African American and the youngest person ever nominated for Best Director at the Oscars. In this retrospective interview from 1991, see inside Singleton's righteous - yet often polarizing - artistic creations. (Read)
The Right Way to Regulate Electric Scooters.
Citylab | Jesse Halfon. Micromobility, any transportation smaller than a car, has seen a remarkable rise over the past year, with Americans taking over 84 million trips on shared bikes and scooters. But as bike and scooter-sharing companies continue to grow, so have their legal troubles. Here's how to regulate the emerging industry without stifling its innovative potential. (Read)
Historybook: RIP Leonardo da Vinci (1519); Playwright Tennessee Williams wins Pulitzer Prize (1955); HBD Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (1972); HBD singer-songwriter Lily Allen (1985); Osama bin Laden is killed by US special forces (2011).
"Luck is believing you're lucky." - Tennessee Williams
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