7.15.2019

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Need To Know.
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Barry Soaks Gulf Coast.
Hurricane Barry made landfall along the Gulf Coast over the weekend, drenching parts of Louisiana and Mississippi with up to 15 inches of rain and creating flood conditions along an already-swollen Mississippi River. Barry, the first Atlantic hurricane to hit the US in 2019, arrived as a category 1 storm and quickly weakened. Though the wind damage was relatively minor, Barry's meandering pace - at one point it was moving north at just 3 miles-per-hour - meant that many flood-prone areas along the gulf saw extended periods of heavy rain (see photos). About 65,000 people remained without power as of Sunday evening, and forecasters warned of potential tornadoes as the system moved into Arkansas and Missouri. The 2019 hurricane season, which runs from June 1st through November 30th, is expected to be below-average in terms of total storms, with six hurricane-strength systems predicted to reach the US. 
Amazon Prime Day Kicks Off.
Amazon Prime Day begins today, with the online retail giant planning to place a steep discount on over 1 million items. The sale - which will last for 36 hours, beginning at 3pm ET this afternoon - has become symbolic of Amazon's weight in the retail market as well as the shift in consumer preferences toward e-commerce. The company even hosted a streamable concert last Wednesday, headlined by Taylor Swift. Online shopping has grown to $600B annually in the US (historical data), and Amazon's share of that market is close to 50% - or 5% of all retail sales in the country each year. Consumers bought an estimated 100 million items during last year's event, despite the website crashing numerous times. Amazon's annual haul has forced brick-and-mortar stores like Walmart, Target, and Macy's to offer their own deals. Not everyone loves the extravaganza - workers at a Minnesota shipping fulfillment center have planned a six-hour strike to protest Amazon's new one-day shipping policy. 

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NYC Blackout.
Much of Manhattan's Upper West Side was hit with a three-hour blackout Saturday night, stranding residents in elevators and leaving Broadway performers in the dark. The outage, which left nearly 73,000 near New York City's Central Park without power (see photos), came 42 years to the day that a massive blackout plunged almost the whole city into darkness for over a day (paywall, NYT). The utility company had pinpointed the substation where the problem arose, but said it would need to conduct an investigation before concluding what cause the blackout - Gov. Andrew Cuomo went farther, indicating a fire or explosion had occurred. Officials had ruled out terrorism or a cyberattack by Sunday. 

A number of impromptu street performances broke out after Broadway shows were forced to shut their doors for the night. 
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In The Know.
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Sports, Entertainment & Culture.
> Novak Djokovic beats Roger Federer in fifth-set tiebreaker to win Wimbledon, the longest final in Wimbledon history (More) | Simona Halep tops Serena Williams to win her second grand slam (More)
> Emily Hartridge, YouTube star and social media influencer, dies at 35 in Britain's first e-scooter death (More)
> England defeats New Zealand to win 2019 Cricket World Cup (More) | Read a beginners' guide to cricket (More)
Science & Technology.
> Healthy lifestyle linked to 32% drop in risk of dementia in people with high genetic risk of the disease (More)
> New study finds genetic evidence suggesting that insects feel chronic pain following injury (More)
> Facebook-developed AI program beats six all-star poker players in over 10,000 hands; represents leap forward for AI programs used in "imperfect information" scenarios (More)
Business & Markets.
> Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to fine Facebook $5B for exposing info of 87M users, largest fine imposed by FTC against tech company (More)
> Volkswagen to invest $2.6B into Pittsburgh-based autonomous vehicle startup Argo AI  (More)
> Anheuser-Busch InBev pulls planned IPO of Asia Pacific business unit, would have been largest worldwide 2019 IPO (More)

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Politics & World Affairs.
> French police fire tear gas to break up "yellow vest" protesters following Bastille Day parade in Paris; officials say 152 people detained (More) | Who are the yellow vests? (More)
> At least 26 people killed after militant Islamist group al-Shabab storms hotel in Somalia (More) | UN release 2019 Poverty Index, finds 1.3 billion people globally have multiple poverty indicators (More)
> House testimony by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller on the probe into 2016 Russian election interference postponed to July 24th (More) | Trump jumps into intraparty Democrat squabble between Nancy Pelosi and freshman progressive representatives (More)
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Etcetera.
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America's most iconic brands are losing their luster
How jobs will be transformed over the next ten years
Entrepreneurs are 50% more likely to have long-term mental health issues (paywall, WSJ). 
Mind-blowing map of all the planets discovered outside our solar system
Koko the chimpanzee returns to Dutch zoo after bout with depression
Take a look at US soccer star Megan Rapinoe's daily diet
Ukraine is trying to lure more tourists to Chernobyl

Half-a-million people are planning on storming Area 51
When gender reveal stunts go horribly wrong
Clickbait: Ever wonder if a python can eat a crocodile? Here's the answer.
Historybook: Spanish explorer and conquistador Ponce de Leon dies (1521); Rosetta Stone is found in Egypt (1799); HBD journalist and businesswoman Arianna Huffington (1950); Fashion designer Gianni Versace is murdered (1997); Twitter is launched (2006).
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"I am not interested in the past, except as the road to the future."
- Gianni Versace
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