9.24.2019

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Need To Know
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Up in the Air 
Hundreds of thousands were left stranded around the world after British travel giant Thomas Cook, the world's oldest travel company, suddenly went out of business yesterday. The company, which owned and operated its own airlines and chain of hotels and resorts, shut its doors after a deal for $250M in emergency financing fell through. It was a precipitous fall for a company valued at $2.3B just a year ago, though the company, which analysts say failed to adjust to intense online competition, had amassed a debt of nearly $2.5B. British officials said they were working to bring home at least 150,000 Britain-based travelers left abroad. In addition to stranded travelers, an estimated 21,000 workers across 16 countries lost their jobs. The closing of the group's airline is the second major British airline collapse in two years, following the shuttering of Monarch Air in 2017.
Russian Doping
The World Anti-Doping Agency announced yesterday it would consider banning Russia from participation in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics for allegedly tampering with results of doping tests from its athletes. The body has given Russia three weeks to explain inconsistencies in data from a Moscow lab, which officials say differ from test results  received from a whistleblower three years ago. In 2016, a doctor from Russia's anti-doping agency - who died unexpectedly in February of that year - exposed a wide-ranging scheme  ($, NYT) to cover up doping efforts that involved the Russian government. Providing the new data was part of an agreement to lift a ban placed on the country's anti-doping agency. Doping has become almost a time-honored tradition for Russian athletes - the country has already been stripped of 43 Olympic medals over the years, the most of any nation and 30% of all medals ever rescinded. 
Heatwave Threatens Hawaiian Coral
A months-long heatwave in the waters of the Pacific Ocean is likely to threaten Hawaii's renowned coral reefs, researchers said yesterday. The warming waters - which stretch from the islands to California, and up to Alaska - are expected to rival the record
temperatures set in 2014, when vast expanses of the ocean rose more than 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees F) above average. Roughly half of the coral along the Hawaiian coastline was bleached during the previous heatwave - when waters warm for an extended period, coral expels the colorful algae it uses as a food source (see 101). Bleached coral is still alive, but eventually starves if temperatures stay high for too long. Hawaii's reefs are also popular with tourists, and the near-shore reefs alone generate an estimated $800M in revenue from divers for the state. 

Elsewhere, a 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck Puerto Rico overnight. 
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In The Know
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Sports, Entertainment & Culture
> Team USA's Megan Rapinoe tops World Cup teammate Alex Morgan to win The Best award, FIFA's prize for the top women's player internationally (More) | Lionel Messi wins a record 6th The Best award for top male player (More)
> Chicago Bears force five turnovers, beat Washington Redskins 31-15 on Monday Night Football (More)
> 71st Primetime Emmys draws just 6.9M viewers, smallest TV audience for any Emmys ever; ratings dropped 32% from last year (More)
Science & Technology
> Google researchers reportedly achieve "quantum supremacy", solving a problem that can only be done by quantum computers (More) | Quantum computing 101 (More)
> Youth climate activist Greta Thunberg speaks, scolds policymakers at the United Nations Climate Action Summit (More) | Trump makes surprise visit during Indian Prime Minister's talk (More)
> NASA's InSight rover detects unexplained pulses in Mars' magnetic field, finds planet's crust is more magnetic than expected; may indicate subsurface liquid reservoir (More)
Business & Markets
> Marilyn Hewson (Lockheed Martin), Mary Barra (General Motors), Abigail Johnson (Fidelity) top Fortune’s 22nd annual Most Powerful Women in Business list (More)
> Boeing to pay families of the 346 killed in 737 MAX crashes $144,500 from a $50M assistance fund (More)
> Bond prices of co-working giant WeWork fall as sources say the Board is exploring replacing CEO Adam Neumann (More)
Politics & World Affairs
> FBI arrests US Army soldier for conspiring to plan attacks on US cell towers, news stations; suspect allegedly told undercover agents he was targeting Democratic Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke (More)
> Electronic cigarette giant Juul under reported criminal probe by federal prosecutors in Northern California; probe comes amid FTC, FDA investigations and growing backlash over health concerns (More)
> Democratic National Committee raises thresholds to qualify for fifth debate; candidates must have at least 165,000 individual donors and receive at least 3% in four recognized polls (More)
In Depth
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Mama Jan's Superstars
Vox | Jewel Wicker. In the past, artists in musical genres like rock, R&B, and hip-hop were largely ignored by vocal coaches, who preferred to work with classical singers. Enter Mama Jan, a once-aspiring artist who has become the driving force behind the voice of superstars like Usher, Justin Bieber, Drake, and more. (Read)
Crash Course
New Republic | Maureen Tkacik. Faulty autopilot systems are responsible for two separate Boeing 737 MAX crashes in the past year, resulting in 346 deaths. But the real culprit may not be the systems themselves, but a managerial disaster within Boeing that led to botched oversight. (Read)
 
 
Etcetera
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The top 100 landowners own 2% of America (w/ maps). 
Science concludes money can actually buy happiness
From our partners: Passive income is all the rage. These apps reward you for stuff you're already doing. #Ad
Renaissance painting worth millions found hanging above woman's stove
Your cat isn't aloof, it's just socially flexible
One day after leaving the NFL, embattled receiver Antonio Brown goes back to college.
...and yes, that screaming football fan on TV was your college dean
Only the toughest hounds can compete in the annual "Running of the Wieners"
Clickbait: Angry walrus sinks Russian navy boat
Historybook: Author F. Scott Fitzgerald born (1896); Devils Tower is proclaimed the first American national monument (1906); Muppets creator Jim Henson born (1936); Honda Motor company founded (1948); RIP Dr. Seuss (1991).
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- F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender is the Night
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