9.18.2019

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Need To Know
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Netanyahu Suffers Setback 
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's bid for a fifth term in office appeared to suffer a setback yesterday, with exit polls showing his conservative Likud party tied with the rival Blue and White Party at 32 parliamentary seats apiece. With votes still being counted, neither party looks to be in a position to form a governing coalition (seats by party here). It was the second election in five months after Netanyahu failed to form a coalition following April elections - a first in the country's history - prompting the 120-seat Knesset to dissolve (see 101) and new elections to be scheduled. The results leave Netanyahu's former defense minister Avigodr Lieberman, head of the Yisrael Beiteinu party (9 seats), as a de facto kingmaker - Lieberman said he will push for a secular unity government. Netanyahu has not conceded the results as of this morning, saying he will seek to cobble together a coalition of smaller parties. 
Bahamas Threatened Again
After dodging a threat from Hurricane Humberto over the weekend, the beleaguered Bahamas is prepping for the potential arrival of Hurricane Jerry toward the end of the week. While the islands still face significant ocean swells, the Category 3 Humberto is no longer a direct threat, having turned northeast into the open Atlantic Ocean. Meanwhile Jerry, while still a tropical storm, is forecast to reach Category 1 or 2 status by Friday and will threaten Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and the Bahamas through the weekend (see trajectory). The storm rolls in just two weeks after Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas, bringing 185 mph winds and causing $7B in damage - 54 people were killed and hundreds are still missing. Read about the islands' long history of withstanding devastating storms.

To the west, Tropical Storm Imelda made landfall along the Gulf Coast last night. 
Cokie Roberts
Award-winning political journalist Cokie Roberts passed away at age 75 yesterday from complications arising from breast cancer, according to her family. Roberts was considered a trailblazing reporter, joining NPR in 1978 - a time when relatively few women held influential positions in journalism - as their congressional correspondent, later moving on to ABC's World News Tonight in 1988. She was one of the most decorated journalists of her time, having been awarded (among other recognitions) the Edward Murrow Award, the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence, and a 1991 Emmy for coverage of presidential candidate Ross Perot. Roberts was one of the few in her family who didn't run for office - her father was the one-time House Majority Leader - a fact which she said always made her feel "semi-guilty". 
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In The Know
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Sports, Entertainment & Culture
> Peacock announced as NBCUniversal's new streaming service (More) | ...and will feature a Saved by the Bell reboot (More) | ...meanwhile, HBO Max picks up rights to The Big Bang Theory for $600M (More)
> Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star pitcher Felipe Vazquez arrested on multiple felony counts of sexual assault on a child (More)
> Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek announces he's resumed chemotherapy to treat pancreatic cancer; Trebek recently finished treatment on Stage 4 cancer and was thought to be in near remission (More)
Science & Technology
> In mouse study, scientists demonstrate the transplant of protective brain cells without the need for anti-rejection drugs (More)
> Facebook expands definition of terrorist organizations, will use AI to block video uploads of live shootings; move comes ahead of Senate hearing on online extremism (More)
> Scientists revise estimates of the maximum mass of a neutrino, the lightest subatomic particle, at 500,000 times lighter than an electron; particles are the most abundant in the universe despite being nearly undetectable (More)
Business & Markets
> Federal Reserve expected to drop interest rates today for the second time this year; markets expect a 0.25% drop (25 basis points in finance speak) to 1.75%-2.0% (More)
> For the first time since 2008, the Federal Reserve injected cash into money markets after a sudden shortfall of cash drove repo rates (the rate at which financial institutions lend to each other) to as high as 9% yesterday (More)
> FedEx shares fall ~10% in after-hours trading after missing expectations and cutting profit forecast given higher costs to grow services & lower revenues since cutting relationship with Amazon (More)
Politics & World Affairs
> Report says over 73,000 fires are raging across Indonesia, arising largely from land clearing for agricultural use; six provinces have declared a state of emergency (More)
> Liberal Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) endorses challenger running against moderate incumbent Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL-3); part of broader effort by liberal groups to challenge moderate and conservative Democrats (More)
> White House set to revoke California's waiver to set its own emission standards for automobiles, following state's move to set standards that exceed federal levels (More)
 
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Etcetera
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Stunning discovery may change how we understand Shakespeare
The best places to live in the US according to 100,000+ data points
America's 10 best new restaurants for 2019
US Air Force dedicates newest fighter jet in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen.
The $50B plan to save New York City's transit system
In the friendzone? New program uses AI to scan your texts for love (paywall, Wired). 
The Downton Abbey castle is now available on Airbnb
Doorbell camera captures a touching flag salute
Clickbait: Pigeons poop on lawmaker while discussing pigeon poop problems
Historybook: Royal Opera House opens in London (1809); HBD New York Times (1851); Margaret Chase Smith becomes first woman elected to US Senate (1948); RIP Jimi Hendrix (1970); Cyclist Lance Armstrong born (1971).
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