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Need To Know.
(Potential) Hurricane Barry.
The first hurricane of the 2019 storm season is set to hit the US this weekend, as meteorologists predict a tropical storm currently moving through the Gulf will intensify today and tomorrow. While its peak projected wind speeds are low, the storm is expected to dump double-digit rainfall totals along the Louisiana coast (see trajectory), where storms have already pushed the Mississippi River close to the top of the levees protecting New Orleans. Assuming it strengthens, it will be the first of what is expected to be a below-average hurricane season in terms of total storms. The US is estimated to see six hurricanes during the remainder of the 2019 season - which runs from June 1st through November 30th - only two of which are expected to be category 3 storms or above.
World Cup Parade.
The US women's national soccer team received a hero's welcome, returning home to a ticker tape parade in New York City following their World Cup victory over the weekend. The women's team sealed the championship - their second Cup title in a row and fourth overall - with a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands, having never trailed throughout the tournament. Star Megan Rapinoe, winner of the Golden Boot for most goals and assists during the Cup, gave a rousing speech highlighting the team's diversity (watch here). US Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro, who managed to mispronounce Rapinoe's name while introducing her (awkward moment here), was interrupted by chants of "equal pay." The phrase was a reference to the ongoing - and somewhat nuanced - debate over the disparity in compensation between the men's and women's team, despite the women's history of success. Nearly 17.8 million Americans tuned in to watch Sunday's final. The group capped off the night by winning Best Team at ESPN's 2019 Espy Awards.
See the best photos from yesterday's celebration here.
Acosta Defends Epstein Case.
Current Labor Secretary Alex Acosta defended a plea deal he struck with billionaire Jeffrey Epstein over sex abuse charges back in 2008, when Acosta served as a US attorney for Florida’s Southern District. At a press conference, Acosta called Epstein a “sex predator" and said the deal was the best option at the time. Despite the FBI identifying 36 victims alleging molestation, the deal allowed Epstein to plead guilty to a single count of underage solicitation - he ultimately served a 13-month sentence that included work release. Criticism of the deal was revived after New York prosecutors brought new charges against Epstein, alleging he trafficked underage girls between New York and Florida. As a wealthy financier, Epstein made acquaintances with influential names, including former President Clinton, President Trump, businessman Les Wexner, the UK’s Prince Andrew, and more.
Trump defended Acosta as Secretary but said he would review the 2008 deal.
> Taylor Swift ($185M) tops Forbes' list of 2019's highest-earning celebrities, with Kylie Jenner ($170M) and Kanye West ($150M) rounding out top 3 (More) | See full Celebrity 100 list (More)
> Jonnie Davis tapped to replace Patrick Moran as head of ABC Studios; move is part of larger restructuring following Disney-21st Century Fox merger (More)
> Jim Bouton, New York Yankees pitcher and best-selling author of controversial baseball book Ball Four, dies at 80 (More)
Science & Technology.
> Skull found in Greek cave pushes estimation of the first humans to leave Africa back to 210,000 years ago, 16,000 years earlier than previously thought (More)
> Coral reefs are retreating from the equator and shifting to more temperate regions; new growth has dropped by 85% in tropical zones, while doubling in subtropical zones (More)
> Explorer team recreates 200-mile voyage in dug-out log canoe to demonstrate how Paleolithic humans may have settled Japan’s Ryukyu Islands (More)
Business & Markets.
> US stock markets reach record highs as Fed Chairman Powell’s testimony hints at potential rate cut, S&P 500 hits 3,000 for first time (More) > American Airlines shares up 3% as unit revenue (revenue per flight capacity) increases given 737 MAX flight cancellations (More)
> General Electric union workers reject four-year deal, sending company and union back to negotiating table (More)
Let’s talk numbers. Did you know art has beat the S&P by 180% since 2000? Or that 88% of wealth managers recommend investing in art? Masterworks is an exclusive platform for diversifying into high-end art — claim your invitation here (More) #Ad
Politics & World Affairs.
> Top UK diplomat to the US resigns after leaked documents show President Trump criticism (More) | Federal court dismisses emoluments case against Trump, which alleged his hotels’ profit off foreign visitors was unconstitutional, saying plaintiffs lacked standing to bring case (More)
> German Chancellor Angela Merkel has third shaking fit in month, raising concerns about health (More)
> British Navy intercedes as Iranian paramilitary vessels attempt to stop a British tanker in the Strait of Hormuz; incident follows the seizure of an Iranian vessel for dodging sanctions, shipping oil to Syria (More)
With Flipboard’s dive deep on politics you can learn more about the 2020 presidential candidates, like Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg. Want to round out your day with some culture? Check out The Culturist—your guide to everything creative and current so you can stay entertained and inspired. Or put your earbuds in and sing along to new music from Artists on the Rise.
ESPN | Gwendolyn Oxenham. While Megan Rapinoe was busy winning the World Cup and being praised as the tournament's top player and scorer, her brother Brian watched from his dormitory, wearing an ankle monitor, with other former inmates involved in the same community reentry program. (Read)
I Did Not Go to Heaven.
Slate | Ruth Graham. Six years after Alex Malarkey's horrific car crash, the book recounting the event - which claimed he had visited heaven and returned to Earth - spread like wildfire throughout the Christian community. His later disavowal led to the crumbling of his family and turned Christian publishing on its head. (Read)
Historybook: President John Q. Adams born (1767); Vice President Aaron Burr mortally wounds Alexander Hamilton in duel (1804); To Kill a Mockingbird is published (1960); RIP iconic actor Laurence Olivier (1989); RIP former First Lady Lady Bird Johnson (2007).
"The clash of ideas is the sound of freedom." - Lady Bird Johnson
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