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Need To Know.
Border Policy Roils DC.
President Trump met with congressional leaders on immigration issues yesterday, amid increasing public outcry over the administration's "zero tolerance" border policy. Under the policy, officials prosecute as many illegal border crossings as possible. If detainees are accompanied by children, those children are placed on a separate processing track while adults are prosecuted - an estimated 2,000 separations have occurred since the policy was implemented in mid-April. Also yesterday, House Democrats staged a protest at a high-profile, but unrelated, hearing on the FBI probe into Hillary Clinton's use of private email servers. The public backlash has led a number of Trump allies - including Sen. Ted Cruz (R, TX) and Freedom Caucus chair Mark Meadows (R, NC-11) - to introduce bills addressing the issue. 

Number of Global Refugees Rises Again.
The United Nations refugee agency reported yesterday that the number of forcibly displaced persons around the world rose to 68.5 million people in 2017. The number counts people displaced from their localities by either environmental or governmental causes - though the most common cause is armed conflict. The agency estimates 16.2 million people became displaced during the year, with 13.3 million returning home, for a net increase of 2.9 million over 2016 levels. That number represents roughly one person for every 110 people in the world - the displacements were led by a war in South Sudan and government-led attacks on the Rohingya population in Myanmar

Canada Officially Legalizes Weed.
The Canadian Senate officially passed a finalized bill legalizing cannabis for recreational use across the country. The body had previously passed legislation with a number of amendments that needed approval from the House of Commons. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau - who aggressively pushed the reforms - applauded the decision as taking money out of the hands of criminals currently selling on the black market. An exact date for the bill to go into effect has yet to be set, but officials estimate it will take 8-12 weeks to prepare for the change. Under the bill individuals over 18 can possess up to 30 grams while production and distribution will be overseen by the provinces. Tax on the substance is expected to bring in around $675M per year - see the drug's legal status around the world. 

In Britain - where use of the drug is tightly controlled - a 12-year-old boy with severe epilepsy went into seizures after officials seized his cannabis oil. 
In The Know.

Business & Markets.

General Electric to be replaced by Walgreens in Dow Jones Industrial Average index - GE was one of original 30 companies in 1896 (More)
Starbucks to close 150 stores next year amidst lower same-store sales, stock slides 3% in after-hours trading (More)
FedEx earnings deliver, exceeding revenue and profit estimates (More)

Sports, Entertainment & Culture.

Osteria Francescana in Italy is named world's best restaurant; see full list of top 50 restaurants in the world (More)
Star Trek: Discovery creator signs 5-year deal with CBS to expand Star Trek franchise with the network (More)
Directors of Frozen, Inside Out tapped to lead Walt Disney & Pixar Animation Studios (More)

Politics & World Affairs.

US pulls out of UN Human Rights Council, delivering on longstanding threat to leave in the absence of major changes (More) | Separately, the administration will allow small businesses to establish association health plans, which aren't held to Affordable Care Act minimum requirements (More)
Reports say Chinese hackers are carrying out wide-ranging attacks on US satellites, defense firms (More)
White House deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin resigning, will return to private sector (More)

Science & Technology.

IBM unveils AI-powered machine that can debate with humans in real-time (More)
Study finds 25% of dolphin and whale species engage in postmortem-attentive behavior, or grieving; behavior correlates with larger brain size (More)
One week after being knighted by Queen Elizabeth, astrophysicist Steven Crowley named as director of renowned Princeton Plasma Physics lab (More)
The best books so far in 2018, according to Amazon reviews

...also, the 10 best movies of the year according to Rolling Stone

The World Health Organization officially recognizes obsessive video gaming as an addictive disorder

The most scenic drive in all 50 states.

Iceland's World Cup match was watched by 99.6% of its citizens on Saturday

...and World Cup fans have nearly drunk all the beer in Moscow

A hat supposedly worn by Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo fetches $325k at auction.

Avocados with a longer shelf life will soon be on a shelf near you

Clickbait: All you can eat restaurant closes for very predictable reason

Historybook: Samuel Morse patents the telegraph (1840); HBD Brian Wilson (1942); Mobster Bugsy Siegel is killed (1947); HBD Nicole Kidman (1967); Manjil–Rudbar earthquake kills 35-50K (1990). 

"Music is God's voice."
- Brian Wilson

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