8.23.2018

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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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Stock Market Milestone.
The US stock market is officially in the midst of the longest bull run in its history, having hit 3,453 days as of yesterday. A so-called "bull" run is when markets rise at least 20% from the lowest previous trough without a fall of 20% or more from the high point of the run (the opposite would be a "bear" run). In this case the most recent market trough was on March 9, 2009 during the financial crisis. Since then the S&P 500 Index has grown by 321%, making it the third strongest bull run in terms of gains behind a run in the 1990s (417%) and the 1930s (325%). The run survived the 2011 downgrading (paywall) of US credit, a 2015 global selloff that wiped out $5T from world markets, and a 10% drop in February of this year.

Read about the murky origins behind why traders invoke animals when talking about the market.
Saudi Arabia Executions.
Saudi Arabia said it would seek the death penalty for six human rights activists for allegedly creating unrest among minority communities. The group includes 29-year-old Israa al-Ghomgham, who would be the first known woman executed for nonviolent political protest. The group is said to have led anti-government protests in the Shia-dominated city of Qatif (Saudi Arabia is an overwhelmingly Sunni nation) after a man and infant were killed in what the described as a response to terrorist activity. The decision contradicts young Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's effort to cast himself as a reformer - bin Salman has launched sweeping anti-corruption campaigns while instituting a number of reforms like allowing women to drive and attend soccer games. 

The country does not release official statistics but is estimated to execute about 150 people each year, mostly by beheading
Hurricane Lane to Brush Hawaii.
A hurricane warning was put in place for the Hawaiian Islands yesterday as residents prepped for the overnight arrival of Hurricane Lane, a Category 4 storm that could be the most severe in 25 years. Lane's center is about 150 miles to the west of Hawaii's Big Island, but could potentially pass directly over the northern islands by early Friday. Hurricanes rarely make landfall in Hawaii - the islands are a small target in a big ocean, and the westerly trade winds and cool sea-surface temperatures often cause big storms to lose intensity as they approach. Lane was briefly upgraded to a Category 5 storm on Wednesday before weakening slightly, making it just the second Category 5 hurricane to pass within 350 miles of Hawaii's Big Island since records began in 1947. 

See photos of the storm looming over the islands from space
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In The Know.
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Sports, Entertainment & Culture.
> Previously unreleased Mick Jagger, Carly Simon duet from 1972 is discovered by a Rolling Stones memorabilia collector (More)
> Ohio State football head coach Urban Meyer suspended 3 games for mishandling of domestic abuse case; Athletic Director Gene Smith also suspended for 3 games (More)
> CBS announces The Big Bang Theory will end 12-season run in May 2019 (More)
Science & Technology.
> Largest known brain imaging study identifies drivers of brain aging; Schizophrenia, marijuana use accelerate brain aging by 3-4 years (More)
> Denver to install "smart" roadway at test site with embedded sensors that can track speed, weight, and direction of vehicles in real-time (More)
> New immunotherapy treatment raises one-year survival rate for patients with aggressive skin cancer that has spread to the brain from 20% to 82% (More, paywall)
Business & Markets.
> Saudi Arabia halts plan to IPO Aramco, its state-owned oil giant; would have been the largest IPO in history with a proposed valuation of up to $2T (More)
> Target reports best store sales growth in 13 years, stock achieves all time high (More)
> Meet the promising startups that launched at Y Combinator's Summer Demo Days (Day 1 | Day 2) | What is Y Combinator? (More)
Politics & World Affairs.
> Democratic National Committee alerts FBI of failed hacking attempts into its voter database (More)
> Senate Leadership says body will not take up bipartisan prison reform package before midterm elections in November (More)
> Trade officials hint that US-Mexico agreement on updating North American Free Trade Agreement possible as early as today (More) | The two countries have been negotiating alone and may present take-it-or-leave-it deal to Canada (More)
In Depth.
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The Untold Story of NotPetya.
Wired | Andy Greenberg. Considered by many to be the worst cyberattack in history, the computer virus called NotPetya was built on code originally developed by the NSA. It crippled ports, froze governments, and paralyzed corporations in June 2017 - the most shocking thing about the ordeal is how unprepared the world was for it. (Read)
The Vanilla Thieves of Madagascar.
BBC | Nancy Kacungira. Less than 1% of vanilla flavoring in the world comes from real vanilla beans, which are hard to grow and harder to process. But the real deal is still highly-sought after - the beans are more valuable than silver - and most of it comes from poor villages in Madagascar. The result? A boom in violence against the farmers who cultivate them. (Read)
Etcetera.
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Gauging American perception on how the US compares to other countries, from liberty to healthcare
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The most profitable industry in every state, in map form
 
Forbes ranks the top colleges for 2018
...Also, campus cafeterias now rival restaurants in trendiness and quality.  
Companies are now offering "fur-ternity leave" for newly-minted pet parents.
Surfing is now the official sport of the state of California.
The mechanics behind why you can't open a door if someone is trying to unlock it at the same time.
Teens are worried they spend too much time on their cell phones
Clickbait: University encourages staff to say "menopause" three times a day to remove stigma
Historybook: HBD River Phoenix (1970); Salad Bowl strike begins; largest farm worker strike in US history (1970); HBD Kobe Bryant (1978); HBD 12-time Olympic swimming medalist Natalie Coughlin (1982); World Wide Web opens to the public (1991).
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