7.24.2019

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Need To Know.
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Mueller Set to Testify.
Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies today in back-to-back hearings in front of the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees regarding his probe into Russian election meddling. The hearings come despite Mueller’s initial statement that he wished to avoid public testimony. House Democrats, who contend President Trump attempted to slow down the probe, are expected to focus on alleged obstruction of justice. Mueller’s final report did not make a recommendation either way on obstruction charges, but listed 10 potential instances for consideration (see list). The 24 hours leading up to today’s hearings have seen a flurry of activity - the Justice Department instructed Mueller to limit the scope of his responses, while Mueller requested that a long-time aide join as a witness. The aide, Aaron Zebley, would be open to questioning by lawmakers if sworn in. You can livestream the hearing here starting at 8:30am ET. 

Separately, FBI director Christopher Wray testified yesterday, saying Russia was likely to attempt to interfere in the 2020 elections.
Britain's New Chief.
British lawmaker Boris Johnson will take over for outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May after the former foreign secretary was voted head of the country’s governing Conservative Party yesterday. The 66-year-old Johnson is a staunch supporter of the United Kingdom’s impending departure from the European Union, but faces a challenge reaching an agreement across a highly-polarized and fractured Parliament on a package guiding the so-called Brexit. May herself announced she would step down after failing three times to reach an agreement, which had been negotiated with the EU but required the UK Parliament’s approval to finalize. Johnson has until October 31st, at which point the EU will boot the UK, with or without a deal in place (here’s what a no-deal Brexit may look like). 

Watch Johnson’s inaugural speech here.
Big Tech Under the Microscope.
The Justice Department will launch an antitrust probe into companies like Google, Apple, and others, examining the companies' market share and whether they acted to stifle competition. Antitrust laws are typically invoked when the government believes a company has become a monopoly (see 101), or has gotten so large it is able to squash competitors in a particular industry. Though the announcement didn't name specific companies, it was previously reported that the Justice Department struck a deal with the Federal Trade Commission, with the former responsible for Google and Apple and the latter overseeing Facebook and Amazon. The news comes on the heels of a reported $5B fine leveled by the FTC against Facebook - the largest civil penalty in the agency's history - for mishandling user data. The four companies are some of the largest in the world, with a combined market capitalization of $3.3T - the stocks took a small hit on the news.  
In The Know.
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Sports, Entertainment & Culture.
> Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande top list of nominees for MTV Video Music Awards with 10 nominations apiece; see full list of nominations for 2019 VMAs airing August 26 (More)
> Russian boxer Maxim Dadashev dies following injuries suffered in boxing match in 11th-round knockout loss Friday; Dadashev was previously undefeated as a professional (More)
> Dr. Robert Ballard, explorer who discovered Titanic ship wreckage, announces expedition to find Amelia Earhart's missing plane (More)
Science & Technology.
> New microfluidic device allows hospitals to diagnose sepsis within minutes using a pinprick of blood (More) | The condition, caused by an overwhelming immune system response to infection, kills 270,000 Americans per year and is responsible for 1 in 3 hospital deaths (More)
> Report alleges Apple artificially inflates the ranking of its own apps in the App Store; Podcasts, despite a 1.7-star average ranking, was ranked #1 over better-reviewed third-party apps (More)
> Study finds fat cells play key role in transformation of melanoma as the cancer metastisizes in vital organs (More)
Business & Markets.
> Earnings Season: Coca-Cola beats earnings expectations on strong sales of zero-sugar sodas & coffee products, shares up 6% (More) | Social media giant Snap shares up 10%+ in after-hours as userbase grows 7% to 203M (More)
> Global trade increased by only 0.5% in Q1 2019, the slowest pace since 2012 per International Monetary Fund (More)
> Health and wellness retailer GNC to close 900 stores, largely mall locations (More)
Politics & World Affairs.
> Senate approves bill funding 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund through 2090, effectively making it a permanently authorized program (More) | President Trump files suit against House Committee, New York state officials to prevent state tax returns from being provided to Congress (More)
> Medical study concludes mystery attack on diplomatic staff in Cuba left lasting physiological differences in victims' brains, while skeptics remain; over 40 staff between 2016-2018 reported neurological symptoms from unknown source (More)
> After resisting calls for resignation amid protests, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló reportedly stepping down today; move follows leak of trove of offensive text messages, dubbed "Rickyleaks" (More)
Etcetera.
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Is college becoming too easy for students

The link between health spending and life expectancy across the world
 
It’s Coffee Week!
 Get yourself a cup, with some pretty magical health benefits, for up to 40% off. #Ad

Ranking America's funnest states

England has been invaded by a swarm of flying ants

America's dirtiest beaches are experiencing bacterial spikes

This site turns your selfies into haunting classical artwork

Photos of puddles turn the world upside down

Papa John’s has created a tiny pizza just for bees.

Clickbait: Man transporting $140M in meth accidentally runs into parked police cars
Historybook: Jacques Cartier claims Canada for France (1534); Aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart born (1897); Machu Picchu is uncovered (1911); Apollo 11 splashes safely in Pacific (1969); HBD Jennifer Lopez (1969).
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"Never do things others can do and will do, if there are things others cannot do or will not do."
- Amelia Earhart
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