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Need To Know.
In a surprise announcement, President Trump announced a 5% tariff on all Mexican goods entering the US that will stand until the White House feels the Mexican government has acted sufficiently to stem the flow of Central American migrants reaching the US border. Reports say the tariffs will escalate - from 10% on July 1st up to 25% on October 1st in gradual increments - unless the White House is satisfied. The announcement also comes as the administration nears the finish line on an overhauled trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, an effort whose completion may now be in doubt. Mexican officials pointed to increased raids along the Mexico-Guatemala border and a crackdown on humanitarian and work visas granted to incoming migrants as evidence of efforts to stem the flow of migrants.
Nearly 110,000 migrants were captured between ports of entry or deemed inadmissible along the Southwestern border in April (see stats). Mexico was the second largest supplier of goods to the US last year, totaling $372B in imports (more stats).
Louisiana Heartbeat Bill.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed a law prohibiting abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat last night, joining a wave of states passing anti-abortion measures since the beginning of the year. Fetal heartbeats can be heard as early as six weeks, though many have questioned its efficacy as a medical milestone during pregnancy. While laws increasing restrictions on abortion in other states were primarily driven by Republican legislatures (see breakdown), the Louisiana bill was sponsored by a Democrat, State Sen. John Milkovich, and was signed by a Democratic governor in Edwards. Edwards, who has long positioned himself as pro-life, drew sharp criticism from Democrats nationwide for his support of the bill. The law includes one caveat - the restrictions will not go into effect unless a similar Mississippi law is upheld in federal court.
Eight Crowned as Spelling Champs.
In a historic first for the Scripps National Spelling Bee, eight young spellers were crowned as co-national spelling champions after organizers felt that they had run out of challenging words. The decision to call the competition came after the field of 565 contestants was winnowed down through a grueling 20 rounds that began on Tuesday - the eight eventual winners went through the final five rounds correctly spelling their words. The Bee had seen six two-way ties in its 94-year history - a tie-breaking scheme that included a vocabulary test was put in place in 2017, but dropped this year without being put into use. Among the eight winners was 14-year-old Erin Howard of Huntsville, Alabama, who became the first champion not of South Asian heritage since 2007. All winners will receive the full $50,000 cash prize.
> Musician R. Kelly charged with 11 new counts of sexual abuse, including some that carry minimum sentences of 6-30 years; Kelly now faces 21 total charges against him (More) > Pascal Siakam's 32 points lead Toronto Raptors to 118-109 victory over Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the NBA Finals (More)
> JPMorgan Chase agrees to $5M settlement in paternity leave case after male employee was denied leave for not being 'primary caregiver'; is largest ever US settlement in a parental leave discrimination case (More)
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Science & Technology.
> Biomedical firm raises $110M to develop blood testing technology for early detection of pancreatic, ovarian, and other cancers (More) | Common ingredient found in glue unexpectedly helps grow large quantities of blood stem cells in lab (More)
> Apple, Google, and dozens of other tech companies sign letter condemning British plan to eavesdrop on encrypted messages (More)
> Study finds gut microbiome contributes to autism-like symptoms in mice; more research needed to understand link between gut bacteria and autism spectrum disorder (More)
Business & Markets.
> Rideshare giant Uber announces first quarterly earnings as a public company, revenues grew 20% with $1B loss – shares up 2% to ~$40 in after-hours trading, still below $45 IPO price (More)
> US falls to third in annual ranking of most competitive economies behind Singapore and Hong Kong (More)
> FedEx to roll out 7-day delivery service starting in January 2020 in response to e-commerce demand (More)
Politics & World Affairs.
> Former Senate Appropriations Chairman and 7-term Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran (R) dies at age 81 (More)
> North Korea reportedly executes nuclear envoy as part of purge of officials following failed summit between Kim Jong Un and President Trump (More)
> New Hampshire overrides governor’s veto, abolishes the death penalty (More)
How Football Leaks is Exposing Corruption in European Soccer.
New Yorker | Sam Knight. With the Champions League final just one day away, the world awaits the climax of European soccer - but the operator of the sport's whistleblower site Football Leaks is less than enthused. See how Rui Pinto's leaks are uncovering corruption among the soccer elite. (Read)
The Incel Problem.
The Cut | Alice Hines. Self-labeled incels - those who consider themselves to be involuntary celibate - mainly lurk on backwater internet forums, commiserating and trading misogynistic jokes. Lately though, many are turning to extreme plastic surgeries in order to bolster their self-confidence in real life. But does it address their underlying issues? (Read)
ESPN | Baxter Holmes. As the Lakers failed to reach the playoffs for the fifth consecutive year, the organization's intense rehabilitation efforts have completely collapsed. Inside the failed reboot of the NBA's crown jewel. (Read)
Etcetera - Best of May '19.
Editor's Note: 300,000+ clicks don't lie - here are the month's most popular articles. Enjoy!
Historybook: Poet Walt Whitman born (1819); London’s Big Ben ticks for the first time (1859); HBD Clint Eastwood (1930); HBD Brooke Shields (1965); Watergate secret source ‘Deep Throat’ is revealed (2005).
"Be curious, not judgmental." - Walt Whitman
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