5.3.2018

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5.3.2018
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.
Boy Scouts Change Name.
The Boy Scouts of America announced it will drop the word 'Boy' from its name, as girls prepare to join the program for the first time ever. The name change, while symbolic, bolsters the Boy Scouts plan to become the premier Scouts program in the US - and widen its membership base in the process. The Boy Scouts announced plans to allow girls to join its ranks last October - girls will first be allowed into the Cub Scouts (ages 7 to 10) with a program for older girls becoming available in 2019. The expansion follows the 2015 decision to allow openly gay scout leaders and a 2017 decision to allow transgender scouts. While the 107-year-old organization has about 2.4 million members, enrollment has dropped from about 3.35 million since 2000. The Girl Scouts - who have overlapping mission statements and bristled at the October announcement - maintains its 1.8 million member club serves girls better. 

Read about the increasing rancor between the Girl and Boy Scouts here

Cambridge Analytica Folds.
Cambridge Analytica, the embattled political consulting firm at the center of Facebook's data privacy scandal, declared bankruptcy and said it would cease major operations yesterday. The decision was made by the firm's parent company, SCL Group, who called any rebuilding effort "futile". The decision comes just two months after news broke that the firm skimmed the personal data of up to 87 million Facebook users, which it used to build a massive database. To harvest the data, simple surveys were created that exploited extremely lax enforcement by Facebook around the ability of apps to not only grab personal data from app users - largely without their knowledge - but their friends as well (see a 101 explanation of the scheme). The data was then used to microtarget inflammatory advertisements during political campaigns like the 2016 US presidential election and the 2016 British referendum to leave the European Union. See the company's statement here

Giuliani Contradicts Claims on Payments.
Former New York City mayor and current legal adviser Rudy Giuliani indicated that President Trump reimbursed personal lawyer Michael Cohen for a nondisclosure payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels. Documents showed Cohen paid $130,000 to Daniels in October 2016 in exchange for Daniels not discussing a 2006 encounter with Trump - the President has said he has no knowledge of the payment between the two parties. Giuliani - who clarified that Trump repaid Cohen over a number of months for "unspecified expenses", and still may not have known the reason for the cost - reiterated that any payment did not come from the President's campaign account. Some observers say Giuliani may have been trying to discount any claims of campaign finance violations, though it is not entirely clear that violations were avoided even if the payments came from the President's personal account. 


In related news, former Clinton lawyer Emmet Flood joined the President's legal team. 
 
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In The Know.

Sports, Entertainment & Culture.

The Handmaid's Tale renewed for Season 3 on Hulu (More) | Hulu passes 20M US subscribers (More)
Washington Redskins cheerleaders forced to pose topless in 2013 shoot according to NY Times report  (More)  
MoviePass brings back popular plan that allows subscribers to see unlimited movies for $10 (More)
 

Science & Technology.

> Astronomers detect helium in atmosphere of exoplanet, the first observation of the element in the atmosphere of a planet outside our solar system (More)
Hawaii passes bill to ban sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate - chemicals which harm coral and ocean wildlife - would impact top brands (More)
Scientists find adjacent nerve clusters in mice brains that activate fear or courage response when faced with threat (More)
 

Business & Markets.

US Federal Reserve holds interest rates steady, expected to raise rates at June meeting (More)
Tesla reports record $710M loss as it burns cash during Model 3 production, stock down 6% in after-hours trading (More)
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi files for $10B IPO on Hong Kong exchange at $80-100B valuation (More)
 

Politics & World Affairs.

> 2 black men arrested at Philadelphia Starbucks settle lawsuit for $1 and a promise to establish a $200,000 program for young entrepreneurs (More)
Body camera footage of police breaching hotel room of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock is released (More)
Reports say North Korea on verge of releasing three American prisoners in advance of likely meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (More)
In Depth.

Tesla Doesn’t Burn Fuel, It Burns Cash. 

Bloomberg | Dana Hull, Hannah Recht. Elon Musk isn't just a tech genius, he's also a prodigious fundraiser. But while Musk tweets jokes about bankruptcy, his biggest project - Tesla - is running through so much cash it is on track to run out by the end of 2018. As a bonus, the article includes one of the better GIFs we've seen recently. 
 

Replacing Politicians with Experts is a Bad Idea. 

The Guardian | David Runciman. People have criticized the democratic philosophy since its inception, but recent turbulence in many governments has reignited some doubt. Many now wonder if governments would be better off letting the experts handle the decision making, giving up their individual vote in the process. Here’s why that train of thought might be headed in the wrong direction.
Etcetera.
Where the names for Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials came from.

See the biggest export from each US state

The world's best independent bookstores (as ranked by Atlas Obscura readers).

Which countries had the highest military budgets in 2017


The Tooth Fairy is showering kids with cash these days.

This Brazilian man has lived in a sandcastle on the beach for 22 years


Tips to boost your cultural intelligence

Volunteers rebuild ‘Field of Dreams’ after it was vandalized (video).

Clickbait: Los Angeles schools police officers return grenade launchers but will keep rifles, armored vehicle

Historybook: Niccolo Machiavelli born (1469); HBD Sugar Ray Robinson (1921); HBD James Brown (1933); Margaret Mitchell wins Pulitzer for Gone with the Wind (1937); First bulk spam email is sent (1978). 
 
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- Margaret Mitchell

 
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