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SpaceX's Big Blastoff | Trump Wants Military Parade

| The Presidential Daily Brief |
 
IMPORTANT
February 7, 2018
 
SpaceX's Falcon Heavy, the world's most powerful rocket, lifts off from Cape Canaveral Tuesday. Source: Getty
SpaceX Launches Massive New Rocket

It’s flying high. SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon Heavy from Florida’s NASA Kennedy Space Center Tuesday, sending up the most powerful rocket currently in use. Essentially three rockets strapped together with 27 engines, the 230-foot behemoth carried a red Tesla sports car — with “Starman” the mannequin and David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” playing — over the Atlantic Ocean and into space. Two boosters returned, landing intact, but a third lacked fuel and crashed. It’s a milestone in commercial spaceflight, providing heavy lifting at just $90 million per launch — which isn’t so astronomical.

Sources: The Atlantic, BBC, AP
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Trump Orders Generals to Stage Military Parade

He enjoyed watching tanks on the Champs-Elysees. President Donald Trump has tasked the Pentagon with staging a military parade like the Bastille Day procession he saw in Paris — which made such an impression that Trump reportedly told his French counterpart he’d have to top it. The event — likely costing millions of dollars — has provoked comparisons to despotic shows of force, but Presidents John Kennedy and George Bush Sr. staged similar displays. The Pentagon confirmed that planning is underway and Trump has suggested it might happen on Independence Day.

Sources: Washington Post, The Guardian
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Deadly Taiwan Earthquake Topples Buildings, Kills 7

Fears are mounting. More than 140 people are missing after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake hit Taiwan’s east coast just before midnight Tuesday, killing at least seven and injuring more than 200. Rescuers are searching for survivors in several large buildings, including a hotel that collapsed into its lower floors and a 12-story apartment block that’s tilting precariously. The shallow temblor struck 13 miles northeast of Hualien, near the convergence of two tectonic plates. A series of aftershocks have kept residents outdoors, and authorities warn that tipping structures may collapse.

Sources: NYT, CNN, BBC
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Markets Rebound After Big Drop

Was it a blip? The Dow Jones average shed more points Monday than ever before, so fear was high on the list of Tuesday’s initial market drivers. But after swinging 1,167 points between its intraday valley and peak, the Dow ended 2.3 percent up — a gain mirrored by most other indexes. Traders appeared to heed reassurances from officials who said strong labor market indicators didn’t mean higher interest rates were imminent, and economic underpinnings remain strong. Asian markets spiked upward today but lost most of those gains, and analysts warn of further volatility.

Sources: WSJ (sub), Reuters, MarketWatch
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Briefly

Know This: Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn has resigned as CEO of Wynn Resorts following sexual misconduct allegations. France is accusing Syrian forces of using chlorine gas in its recent assaults on rebel areas. And a Missouri state legislative seat flipped to Democrats in yesterday’s special election for a district that President Trump won with 61 percent of the vote.

Reconcile This: “We are closer to an agreement than we have ever been.” — So said Democratic leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of bipartisan budget negotiations, while the president threatened a government shutdown over immigration. The House passed a six-week spending bill yesterday, and Senate leaders hope to follow before tomorrow’s deadline.

Talk to Us: This year OZY will be going around the world on a year-long tour to visit every single country, and we’d love for you to get involved. Where in the world are you when you read OZY? Send us pictures — they might make it onto OZY.com — and tell us what rising stars, new trends, music and food we should be writing about. Or even pitch us a story! Get in touch at aroundtheworld@ozy.com.

Created With: JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Where Non-College Grads Can Get Good Jobs

Blue collar jobs may be on the decline, but skilled service jobs are soaring. This state-by-state guide can tell you where to find good jobs, and what they pay.

Sources:OZY
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INTRIGUING
 
Brain Implant May Stimulate Better Memory

It’s the latest buzz. Scientists have created an implantable device that might spark recollections by jolting the brain when it seems at risk of forgetting new information. This deep-brain stimulation combined with a real-time map of neural activity — showing when and where cells in the lateral temporal cortex need a nudge — improved results on a memory exercise by as much as 15 percent. DBS implants are already being used to help manage Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy, but researchers hope this targeted technique might even help treat dementia patients.

Sources: Scientific American
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Avoiding Libya's Perils, Migrants Target Spain

They’re navigating turbulent waters. Europe-bound migrants are increasingly choosing the Mediterranean’s dangerous western route, with some even attempting to jet-ski across the Strait of Gibraltar. While the Libya-to-Italy route is still bustling, arrivals in Spain doubled in 2017 — and five times more refugees died attempting that journey than taking boats to Greece. Those who do make it to Spanish soil encounter an unsympathetic Madrid government with limited resources. But with insurgencies and poverty still breeding misery in parts of Africa, the hazardous crossings are likely to continue.

Sources: OZY
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Alt-Weeklies Face Grim Future

It’s all the news not fit to print. While enterprising local journalism is as important as ever, its platform has never been more imperiled. Once a mainstay of local media landscapes, alternative weeklies like Nashville’s The Scene and Baltimore’s City Paper are dying out — victims of social media and a collapsing financial model. Scrappy and irreverent, they’ve provided critical windows onto neighborhood-level news through dogged reporting and long-form writing. Many are searching for ways to stay profitable, such as dropping print editions, like Manhattan’s Village Voice, or putting up paywalls.

Sources: CSM
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'Game of Thrones' Creators to Write New 'Star Wars' Films

They are one with the force. Disney announced yesterday that showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have been tapped to further explore that galaxy far, far away. Their cinematic Star Wars tales will be separate from the Skywalker saga — ending in 2019 with Episode IX — and another film series being developed by Last Jedi director Rian Johnson. Benioff and Weiss say they’re excited and “a little terrified by the responsibility.” They’ll look toward the stars after completing the final season of Game of Thrones.

Sources: Variety, THR
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Norovirus Hits Pyeongchang Security Staff

Nobody wins this event. Some 1,200 private security guards in South Korea’s Olympic host city have been quarantined after 41 were hospitalized with norovirus symptoms including headaches, stomach pains and diarrhea. Local health officials say contaminated ground water may be to blame. To compensate, 900 South Korean soldiers have been deployed as replacements for the security guards, who’ll remain in their quarters until Olympic officials are sure they won’t spread the contagion. Meanwhile, authorities are disinfecting Olympic accommodations while checking others for signs of illness ahead of the Opening Ceremony on Friday.

Sources: TIME, ESPN
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