8.16.2018

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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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Manafort Trial Winds Down.
The trial against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has reached its final stages, with both sides presenting closing arguments yesterday. Manafort, one of the earliest targets of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into potential Russian meddling in the 2016 election, faced 32 charges of conspiracy and financial misconduct. Prosecutors wrapped up their case by alleging that Manafort was given an unjustified $16M loan by Federal Savings Bank because the bank's chairman, Stephen Calk, sought a top post in the Trump Administration. After receiving the loan, according to documents, Manafort pressured top Trump aide Jared Kushner to find a spot for Calk. Manafort's defense, which called no witnesses, rebutted the prosecution by attacking the prosecution's key witness, Manafort associate Rick Gates. The trial will now go to the jury with a decision possible sometime next week. 

It was also a tough week for Gates, who accidentally admitted to having an extramarital affair while being cross-examined by the prosecution. 
Crazy Rich Asians.
The much-anticipated romantic comedy based on the best-selling novel of the same name, Crazy Rich Asians, hit movie theaters yesterday. The movie has received significant press for being the first major Hollywood film to fill all the leading roles with Asian-Americans since 1993's The Joy Luck Club. The film currently has a 93% rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes and is expected to bring in $26M in it's opening weekend (the film itself had a total budget of $30M). While much of the anticipation had been centered on the diversity of the cast, some groups pointed out that the ensemble actually left out a number of Asian subgroups, most notably western populations. The 2013 novel by author Kevin Kwan, which debuted in 2013 and has gone as high as #3 on Amazon's best-sellers list, has two sequels - China Rich Girlfriend (2015) and Rich People Problems (2017). 
Beverage Giant Goes Big in Cannabis.
Constellation Brands, the parent company of beer brands Corona and Modelo, announced a $4B investment in Canada's biggest cannabis company, Canopy Growth. The move raises Constellation's stake in the company from 9.9% to 38% and positions it for an emerging market - marijuana and marijuana-infused beverages - it predicts may soon be legalized across the US. In the meantime, Canada recently became the second major nation to fully legalize use of the products - Constellation plans to begin introducing infused beverages in Canada sometime in 2019. Canopy shares surged 30.4% while Constellation's actually dropped 6.1%. The North American legal cannabis market is estimated to grow to just under $50B by 2027. 

In the US about a quarter of Americans aged 18-to-29 report using marijuana regularly. 
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In The Know.
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Sports, Entertainment & Culture.
> Legendary rock band Aerosmith announces 2019 residency at the Park MGM in Las Vegas (More)
> Colorado school district institutes 4-day week; plan will save district $1M a year (More)
> E! reality series star Lyric McHenry found dead in NYC at age 26 (More)
Science & Technology.
> Maternal lifespans found to be strong predictor of ability of daughters to reach age 90 without chronic disease (More)
> New technique may regenerate a type of light receptor in mice; a potential path to curing blindness from eye diseases (More)
> Study identifies "zombie" gene that boosts tumor suppression in elephants, which have a cancer mortality rate of 5% compared to humans 17% despite having 100x more potentially cancerous cells (More)
Business & Markets.
> Uber releases Q2'18 financials: $2.7B in net revenues, up 49% from last year; loses $891M; paid drivers $8.6B (More)
> Earnings Season: Macy's beats sales expectations, but stock falls 14% given limited capture of strong retail sales growth (More) | Tech giant Cisco beats wall street expectations, stock up 6% (More)
> Two of the largest public radio platforms - PRX & PRI - merge to create podcasting giant (More)
Politics & World Affairs.
> White House revokes security clearance for former Obama CIA director John Brennan (More)
> FBI documents reveal that Hans Keirstead, a candidate running against Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R, CA-48), was target of cyberattacks; Rohrabacher has been outspoken supporter of Russia (More)
> Drug overdoses in US hit new high in 2017 at 72,000, up 6.6% from 2016 (More)
In Depth.
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From Death Traps to Disneyland.
Popular Mechanics | Matt Blitz. Throughout their history roller coasters have become taller, faster, and more thrilling than ever - but the industry still reveres its past. See inside the 600-year history of the roller coaster, from Pennsylvania coal carts to Russian ice slides. (Read)
The Iraqi Spy Who Infiltrated ISIS.
The New York Times | Margaret Coker. Meet Capt. Harith al-Sudani, a 36-year-old Iraqi spy and former computer technician, who has stopped 30 ISIS vehicle-bomb attacks and 18 suicide bombers. Read about the day when he thought he had been discovered after 16 months undercover. (Read, paywall)
Etcetera.
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One chart that shows how behind the US is from the rest of the world in paid time off
Britain's summer is so hot that the scorched grass is revealing historic archaeological sites.
Study says for online dating, women hit peak desirability at age 18 while men hit their peak at age 50 (paywall). 
Experts break down 8 movies that got the science really, really wrong.
Mind-blowing image of auroras around Earth from the International Space Station
The Girl Scouts newest cookie in the lineup is...
Survey says Americans want transparency, not censorship, in their news
A driver in Spain was pulled over and tested positive for every drug police had on their checklist
Clickbait: Maine restaurant faces "disturbing and hostile" customers after switch to straight-cut french fries
Historybook: Gold is discovered in Canada’s Yukon Territory, sparks Klondike Fever (1896); RIP Babe Ruth (1948); Sports Illustrated is first published (1954); HBD Madonna (1958); RIP Elvis Presley (1977). 
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