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Inside Daily Brief

Inside Daily Brief (Aug 29th, 2019)

1. 📝 The Justice Department’s inspector general found that former FBI Director James Comey violated FBI policies in the way he handled memos of private conversations with President Trump. In a newly released report, the watchdog office said that Comey gave one memo with unclassified information to a friend, with instructions to share it with a reporter, and also failed to return his memos to the FBI after he was dismissed in 2017. Comey shared the memos with his attorneys and also retained copies of some in a home safe. The report said that Comey's actions "set a dangerous example for the over 35,000 current FBI employees" that also have access to sensitive and non-public information. The Justice Department has declined to prosecute Comey. - NYTIMES

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2. A study released on Thursday suggests that genetics affect about a third of same-sex behavior and that not one but many genes are involved — with the remainder explained by social and environmental factors. The controversial study, "How do genes affect same-sex behavior?", suggests that it is impossible to predict a person's sexuality and there is no one "gay gene," according to its authors. The research, which generated debate even before it was published, showed that two to 10 percent of the world's population reports having same-sex partners. The study, which involved 477,522 participants whose genomes were scanned, is the largest in history to analyze the genetics of same-sex sexual behavior. Benjamin Neale, a lead researcher and geneticist at the Broad Institute of M.I.T. and Harvard, said he hopes that the results "can be used to educate people a little bit more about how natural and normal same-sex behavior is." - BBC

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3. ⚖️ Both Uber and Lyft voiced support for $21-an-hour minimum wage for drivers in California, where lawmakers are set to vote on a bill that would ensure employee status and benefits for gig-economy workers. A state Senate committee is scheduled to vote Friday on Assembly Bill 5, or AB5, which already passed California’s state assembly. It would confirm a California Supreme Court ruling from 2018 that classified ride-hailing drivers as employees. Uber and Lyft said they would back a new pay structure to ensure that their drivers make $21 an hour; it would only be in effect when there is a rider in the car or the driver is on their way to pick up a passenger. - NBC NEWS

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4. 📉 The world's biggest problem in the next 20 years will be a population collapse, Elon Musk predicts. The world needs more babies as it faces the grave problem of an impending population decline, according to the Tesla founder and Alibaba founder Jack Ma. The two men spoke about the birth rate problem, among other issues, during a debate at Thursday's World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai. Ma said that the number of babies born in his native China - which was 15 million last year, its lowest in a half-century - is "not enough." Musk said that while most people think there are too many people on the planet, this is "an outdated view." - QUARTZ

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5. 🚬 The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has launched an investigation into Juul's marketing practices, which critics have argued are deceptive and target minors, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. The federal agency could seek monetary damages based on the probe's findings, according to the Journal. In a statement, Juul said that it is fully cooperating and is "transparent with any government agency or regulator." The news comes after Juul Labs CEO Kevin Burns said this week that people should not begin using Juul's vaping products unless they already have a "preexisting relationship" with nicotine. In the interview that aired on "CBS This Morning," Burns acknowledged that the long-term effects of vaping are unknown. - CNBC

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6. 🐢 A rare two-headed turtle hatchling - nicknamed Squirt and Crush - was discovered on a South Carolina beach this week. Non-profit Sea Turtle Patrol Hilton Head Island posted a picture of the baby on Facebook, saying that it was found during a nest inventory and then released into the ocean. The bicephalic hatchling is more common in reptiles but still rare, experts noted. Sea turtle hatching season is currently in full swing. - INSIDER

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7. ⚖️ Nearly 25,000 people across New York will automatically have their records cleared of cannabis convictions, after the state's decriminalization law took effect this week. The measure lowers the penalty for possessing between one and two ounces of cannabis and caps fines; it will also eventually lead to the sealing of more than 200,000 convictions. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who signed the measure, noted that communities of color have long been "disproportionately impacted by laws governing marijuana" and continue to suffer consequences of unfair convictions. - NYTIMES

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8. 🚫 The TSA has banned collectible "Star Wars" Coke bottles from flights, saying that they resemble explosives. The $5 bottles are one of the many unique items that people can buy at the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge park, which opened on Thursday in Orlando, Florida. The bottles have enamored fans, who have put them on display in social media posts or turned them into Christmas ornaments. The Orange County (Calif.) Register first spotted the ban and cited a TSA official, who explained that "replica items are not allowed on aircraft." - OC REGISTER

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9. 📈 AAA is urging drivers and pedestrians to be vigilant around traffic signals after the deaths from drivers running red lights reached a 10-year high. A AAA study based on government crash data showed that 939 people were killed in 2017, which is the last year that the data was available. On average, two people are killed every day in the U.S. by red-light running. Brian Tefft, a senior researcher for the AAA Foundation, said the agency cannot explain why the deaths have risen. - AP

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10. 🥰 According to studies, couples who meet through dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Plenty of Fish are more likely to commit and have longer happier marriages. While online dating was considered a sad last resort, more evidence suggests that over the past decade, people who meet online are more likely to find compatible partners who share their goals. And while it may appear that these apps are "meat markets," sociologist Jess Carbino — who led the research at Tinder and Bumble — says that couples who met online tended to be more committed than those who met offline in part because "they could actually visualize the market" and feel like they found the best match for themselves. - WSJ

A version of this story first appeared in today's Inside Social.

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Written and curated by Beth Duckett in Orange County. Beth is a former reporter for The Arizona Republic who has written for USA Today, Get Out magazine and other publications. Follow her tweets about breaking news and other topics in southern California here.

Editor: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside).

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