7.12.2019

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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.
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Subpoena-palooza.
The House Judiciary Committee approved a dozen new subpoenas as part of its probe into alleged obstruction of justice by President Trump during the Mueller probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The list included former Trump Chief of Staff John Kelly, the President’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and more (see full list). The final report from the Mueller probe concluded that Russia did attempt to influence the election, but did not find sufficient evidence of coordination with Trump campaign officials. However, the report did not make a recommendation either way on obstruction charges, of which it listed 10 possible instances (see list). Mueller himself is scheduled to testify next Wednesday.

In related news, the President said he would drop direct efforts to get a citizenship question on the US census, opting instead to direct the various departments to find ways to count non-citizens. 
Duterte Under the Microscope.
The United Nations' top human rights council voted yesterday to advance an investigation into violations by Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte. The conservative leader's three-year rule has been defined by a crackdown on the country's drug trade, which critics say has spiraled into a splurge of extrajudicial killings and general unaccountability. At the start of his term in 2016, Duterte urged citizens to simply kill drug users, and estimates from the country's war on drugs run from the official count of 6,600 to over 27,000. Iceland brought the resolution to the 47-member council, which was fought vigorously by Filipino representatives - the measure was ultimately passed by a vote of 18-14, with 15 countries abstaining from the vote. Despite international condemnation, Duterte has maintained strong support in the Philippines - aside from the drug trade, inflation has dropped by over 60% in the past year. 

See powerful photos from the front lines here
Vatican Mystery Deepens.
Another twist was revealed in one of the Vatican's highest-profile and enduring mysteries yesterday when officials unsealed two tombs in search of the remains of a missing girl only to find both empty. 15-year-old Emanuela Orlandi, the daughter of a Vatican employee, vanished without a trace while walking from a music lesson to her home in Rome in 1983. The case captured the attention of the Italian public, with multiple never-confirmed sightings and theories of her abduction ranging from an illicit Vatican-run sex slave ring to being part of a plot to assassinate Pope John Paul II. In 2017, the family began receiving anonymous tips that Orlandi's remains lay in or near the tomb of Princess Sophie of Hohenlohe, who died in 1983, in the Vatican's Teutonic Cemetery. Upon unsealing the Hohenlohe tomb (and its neighbor, Princess Carlotta Federica of Mecklenburg), not only were Orlandi's remains absent - no remains from the original occupants were found. Officials are now investigating the disappearance of both Princesses' remains, while the Orlandi case remains open and unsolved. 
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In The Know.
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Sports, Entertainment & Culture.
> Oklahoma City Thunder send former MVP Russell Westbrook to Houston Rockets in exchange for 9-time All-Star Chris Paul in blockbuster trade (More)
> Handwritten apology letter from late rapper Tupac Shakur to Madonna to be auctioned next week with starting bid of $100K; Madonna attempted to stop the sale before a court intervened (More)
> New Zealand and England face off Sunday (5:30 AM ET) in 2019 Cricket World Cup Final (More) | Read a beginners' guide to cricket (More)
Science & Technology.
> Japan’s Hayabusa 2 space probe retrieves first-ever sample from inside an asteroid (More)
> Google reportedly piloting hyper-local social networking app called Shoelace; aims to connect people around real-life, local events (More) | White House hosts social media summit sans Google, Facebook, Twitter (More)
MRI study confirms that REM sleep “resets” brain circuitry responsible for stress signals; disrupting REM cycles facilitates carrying stress into following day (More)
Business & Markets.
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> Healthcare stocks surge after Trump administration drops plan to rein in drug prices, Dow and S&P 500 close at record highs (More)
> Amazon to invest $700M+ to retrain US workers into skilled technical roles with the goal to “upskill” ~100k employees (1/3rd of workforce) by 2025 (More)
> Fortune releases annual 40 Under 40 list of the most influential young people in business (More)

Want a piece of the smartest investors' favorite asset class? Masterworks opens up the exclusive art market to everyone. With uncorrelated returns beating the S&P 500 by 16 points in 2018, it’s no wonder that art was the top luxury investment of the 1%. Start investing like a billionaire (More) #Ad
Politics & World Affairs.
> Hurricane warning issued for Gulf Coast as Tropical Storm Barry set to make landfall late tonight, expected to bring up to 20 inches of rain (More)
Treasury report says US budget deficit equaled $747B in the first nine months of the fiscal year, up 23% from same period last year; revenues rose 2.7% while spending increased 6.6% (More)
> Immigration officials expected to attempt round-up of over 2,000 undocumented immigrants across 10 cities starting Sunday; raids target those who’ve previously received deportation orders (More)
Weekend Reads.
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How Roy Choi Kicked Off the Food Truck Revolution.
Thrillist | Kevin Alexander. Once his parents left South Korea for the US, Roy Choi's days were consumed by drugs, gambling, and crime. After getting clean, Choi repurposed his parents' native flavors and became one of the most important faces of the American food truck craze. (Read)
The Texas Town That Bet on Bitcoin - and Lost.
Wired | Mark Dent. After the shutdown of a 60-year-old smelting plant in a small Texas town, nearly 1,000 jobs were lost. In a desperate attempt to bounce back, the community was sold on the promising industry of bitcoin-mining - until the market went south. (Read)
 
Road-Tripping With the Amazon Nomads.
The Verge | Josh Dzieza.  Most of the products sold by Amazon come from independent merchants, and some have resorted to traveling across the entire country for hot-selling products to purchase and then sell on the company's platform. (Read)
Etcetera.
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Sample the new Beyoncé-produced The Lion King soundtrack here

Americans are clamoring for a manned trip to Mars

Watch a US Coast Guardsman leap onto a drug-smuggling submarine

Ranking the best songs of 2019 (so far).

Armored car rains $175,000 in cash down on a Georgia highway.

Tools for Parenting: New sonic device repels anyone under 25-years-old

Ja Rule is off the hook for the Fyre Festival

Instagrammers are flocking to this beautiful lake that is actually a toxic chemical dump.

Clickbait: Nothing to see here, just a town mayor and his alligator bride
Historybook: RIP US founding father Alexander Hamilton (1804); The Rolling Stones perform first concert (1962); Geraldine Ferraro is 1st female VP candidate from major party (1984); HBD activist and Nobel Peace Price recipient Malala Yousafzai (1997).
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"We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced."
- Malala Yousafzai
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