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Need To Know.
NFL Kickoff.
The NFL kicks off this weekend, with the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears getting things started early last night with a 10-3 Packers win. A number of intriguing storylines are set to unfold this season, with the New England Patriots (11-5 in the 2018 regular season) looking to defend their Super Bowl LIII championship without retired star tight end Rob Gronkowski. While Patriots QB Tom Brady chases a record seventh Super Bowl victory, eyes will be on two younger quarterbacks in Patrick Mahomes and Jared Goff. Mahomes picked up MVP honors last year while throwing for over 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns - his Kansas City Chiefs (12-4) narrowly lost to the Patriots in overtime of the AFC Championship. Goff, who threw for nearly 4,700 yards and 32 touchdowns, led the Los Angeles Rams (13-3) to the Super Bowl, ultimately falling to the Patriots. Other early season items of note include Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliot ending his holdout (and becoming the league's highest-paid RB) just days before the opener, and star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. making his debut with an unusually optimistic Cleveland Browns squad.

Here's a look back at last season's Mahomes-Goff duel in what has become known as the best Monday Night Football game in history.
Dorian Crawls Up Coast.
Nearly two weeks since first approaching the Bahamas, Hurricane Dorian was downgraded to a Category 1 storm early this morning. Dorian's eye just brushed the Carolina coast, with the system dumping 5 to 11 inches of rain and knocking power out for 250,000 residents in North and South Carolina. The storm also caused significant flooding and storm surges along coastal cities, with Charleston expected to see some of the highest water levels on record (see video). The current trajectory has the system continuing to head up the coast, bringing wind and rain to the US Northeast before passing over Canada's Atlantic coast, passing directly over Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Meanwhile in the Bahamas - where Dorian arrived as a Category 5 and lingered for almost two days - officials have raised the death count to 30 but expect the toll to worsen as search and rescue efforts continue. 
Vitamin E Acetate.
Health officials across the country have linked a compound known as Vitamin E acetate to a rash of illnesses and deaths caused by the use of electronic cigarettes. Over 215 vaping-related illnesses have been reported since June along with two deaths - the latest being confirmed in Oregon this week. The root cause of the sicknesses appears to be severe lung inflammation caused by the inhalation of one or more of the many compounds found inside the vaping material (how e-cigs work). While Vitamin E acetate is a common supplement, when inhaled the oil-like substance can cause coughing, shortness of breath, and other respiratory ailments. The news comes as large e-cigarette companies have taken heat over allegations of marketing nicotine products to minors, though the illnesses in question appear to be often caused by people using the pens to smoke marijuana products (NYT paywall). Vitamin E acetate has only been found in samples containing THC (marijuana's main psychoactive compound), with none found in nicotine samples. 

Officials were quick to emphasize other compounds are still being investigated. 
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In The Know. 
Sports, Entertainment & Culture.
> Nicki Minaj, 10-time Grammy Award-nominated rapper, announces retirement from music industry at age 36 to start a family (More)
Serena Williams wins semifinal match 6-3, 6-1 to reach US Open Final against 19-year-old Canadian Bianca Andreescu (More) | See full US Open bracket (More)
> 11 more women come forward and accuse opera icon Plácido Domingo of sexual misconduct (More) | Michigan State University to pay $4.5M fine in Larry Nassar sexual assault case (More)
Science & Technology.
> China's Yutu-2 moon rover finds unexpected gel- or glass-like substance in lunar impact crater (More) | ...and India's unmanned lunar probe attempts to land this afternoon; would make India the 4th country to land a craft on the moon (More)
> 550-million-year-old worm-like fossil pushes back estimates of when early animal evolution began, adds to body of evidence challenging the "Cambrian explosion" (More)
> Facebook rolls out dating platform, will appear as a tab inside the mobile Facebook app (More)
Business & Markets.
> US stock markets surge (S&P 500 +1.3%, Dow +1.4%, Nasdaq +1.8%) as US and China officials plan to resume trade war talks in October (More)
> CVS and Walgreens join Walmart and Kroger in requesting customers no longer openly carry guns in stores (More)
> Sources say coworking office giant WeWork may lower IPO valuation to ~$20B, down from latest private valuation of $47B, amidst business model concerns (More) | Athletic clothing giant Lululemon smashes earnings expectations on strong same-store sales, shares up 5% in after-hours (More)

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Politics & World Affairs.
> Former Zimbabwe strongman president Robert Mugabe dies at age 95 (More)
> UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's brother leaves Parliament, citing tension between family and disagreement with Johnson's pursuit of a no-deal Brexit (More)
> Jason Greenblatt, chief White House advisor on Middle East peace process, to leave role for private sector; Avi Berkowitz, aide to Jared Kushner, will take on expanded role (More) | ...and administration rolls out initial proposal to scale back government role in mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (More)
Weekend Reads.
Why College Became So Expensive.
Atlantic | Joe Pinsker. A look at the toll the spiraling cost of higher education is taking on middle class families, in an interview with author Caitlan Zaloom. (Read)
40 Dead Americans.
Men's Journal | JR Sullivan. In 2008, a power plant spewed toxic coal sludge across 300 acres of rural Tennessee farmland. Ten years later, 40 cleanup workers are dead and hundreds are ill. (Read)
Four Months, Two Clients.
NY Mag | James D. Walsh. What's pressure? Four months out of law school Mariel Colón Miró found herself surprisingly vaulted onto the legal teams defending drug lord El Chapo and accused sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein. (Read)
Consider the Forehand.
New Yorker | Louisa Thomas. A fascinating video breakdown of what has become the most dangerous weapon in tennis. (Watch)
The best (and craziest) photos from Burning Man 2019
Ranking the world's most livable cities
...and Harvard tops the Wall Street Journal's annual list of best colleges (paywall). 

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Older brother surprises younger brother at bus stop with new costume every day
NASA probe catches an avalanche on Mars
11,000 Facebook sleuths help return couple's 1940s love letters.  
World War II veteran breaks scuba diving record at age 96
Man breaks into Taylor Swift's home, proceeds to just hang out.
Clickbait: Ohio woman caught smuggling an infant in a duffel bag faces life in prison.
Historybook: Magellan’s ship Victoria completes circumnavigation of globe (1522); Social work pioneer Jane Addams born (1860); Munich massacre takes places at Munich Olympic Games; 11 Israeli athletes killed by terrorist group (1972); HBD Idris Elba (1972); RIP Three Tenors member Luciano Pavarotti (2007).
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