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Inside Daily Brief (Apr 20th, 2017)

Tad Cummins, the high school teacher who allegedly kidnapped a 15-year-old student, has been arrested in California. The man from Tennessee was accused of taking Elizabeth Thomas on March 13, and the two had been missing since. “Investigative efforts have revealed a troubling pattern of behavior by Tad Cummins, suggesting the 50-year-old may have been abusing his role as a teacher to groom this vulnerable young girl for some time in an effort to lure and potentially sexually exploit her,” said the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. After his arrest, Thomas was found safe. – WAPO

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Mayor Bill de Blasio is supporting a proposal to increase the minimum price of a pack of cigarettes in New York City to $13. Over time, De Blasio also wants to see a reduction in the number of stores that sell tobacco products. There are approximately 9,000 stores licensed to sell tobacco products in New York City, but this number is expected to drop to 6,000 within the next decade, according to health commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett. “What we’re here today talking about is saving lives,” she said at a recent news conference with the mayor. “We want to make it easier to quit and harder to smoke.” – NYT

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A study now warns that the Zika virus may trigger epilepsy in infants. After examining 48 babies from Brazil who likely had the virus, researchers found that 50 percent had clinical seizures. “Enhancing seizure and epilepsy awareness and surveillance where active ZIKV transmission are occurring may help improve the identification of ZIKV-associated epilepsy in infants with congenital ZIKV exposure, allow for a fuller understanding of the ZIKV-associated epilepsy burden, and assist in planning and intervention efforts to ensure that those with ZIKV-associated epilepsy and their families receive appropriate treatment and support,” the authors wrote in their report. – CBSN

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Will Smith is reportedly in talks to play the Genie in a live-action remake of Disney’s Aladdin. Originally, the Genie was played by the late Robin Williams when the film debuted back in 1992. Smith had previously been looking to work with Tim Burton on a Dumbo remake, but due to his schedule, the plans fell through. Guy Ritchie, who is behind the live-action adaptation of Aladdin, is still looking for two stars to take on lead roles in the production. – THR

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According to a report from China’s Xinhua News Agency, authorities may summon Apple to “tighten up checks on software applications in the Apple Store.” However, it is unclear when or how the summoning will take place. The report appeared to target third-party apps that are available in China’s Apple Store. Some Chinese websites have already begun tightening their oversight of “online information, livestreaming services and online performance.” An Apple spokesman in China declined to comment on the matter to the New York Times. – NYT

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According to a CBS News poll, 61 percent of Americans believe that marijuana use should be legal. This is a five-point rise from the same poll conducted in 2016, and it is the highest percentage ever recorded in this survey. In addition, 88 percent of Americans are in favor of medical marijuana use, and 65 percent think marijuana is less dangerous that most other drugs. This year’s poll was conducted via telephone with 1,011 adults across the country. – CBSNEWS

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At F8, Facebook revealed that it is working on building a brain-computer interface for thought detection. A team of 60 engineers is developing the interface, which will allow users to type with their minds. Optical imaging will be used to scan users’ brains one hundred times per second to detect thoughts. Eventually, the goal will be to deliver these non-implanted devices to the public on a large scale. – TECHCRUNCH

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On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said it will be up to the Russian people to choose their next president when they go to the polls next March. "The president's successor will be decided by the Russian people only during a democratic election and by nobody else,” Putin said. He has not stated whether he will run for re-election. According to analysts, Putin will likely serve one more term before a successor comes in to take his place in 2024. – REUTERS

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