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A Costly Choice on Minimum Wage, More Lawmakers Retire, and Good News for Reindeer—THE EDGE A Costly Choice on Minimum Wage, More Lawmakers Retire, and Good News ...

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The Edge

A Costly Choice on Minimum Wage, More Lawmakers Retire, and Good News for Reindeer—THE EDGE

photo of Jack Fitzpatrick
February 18, 2014

By Jack Fitzpatrick (@jackfitzdc)

TODAY IN ONE PARAGRAPH: An increase in the federal minimum wage could reduce employment by 500,000 jobs, according to an estimate (with plenty of emphasis on estimate) from the Congressional Budget Office. Reps. Rush Holt and Gloria Negrete McLeod are the latest to announce their retirements from Congress. Nine people died in the most violent day of protests yet in Ukraine. China called the United Nations report on North Korea "unreasonable." New documents released by Edward Snowden show that the NSA and other spying agencies targeted WikiLeaks. And more than a fourth of the country thinks the sun revolves around the Earth.


MINIMUM-WAGE HIKE COULD COST 500,000 JOBS (MAYBE): A Congressional Budget Office report estimates raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 would reduce employment by 500,000 workers. The report predicts the effects of a bill sponsored by Sen. Tom Harkin and Rep. George Miller and backed by President Obama. The office said the estimate was uncertain and that there could be a very slight decrease in employment—or a decrease of about a million jobs. (Catherine Hollander, NJ)


PHYSICIST RUSH HOLT TO RETIRE FROM CONGRESS: The Democrat, who may be best known for beating IBM computer "Watson" at Jeopardy, has been one of the top advocates for scientific research funding in Congress. (Kate Zernike, NYT)

SO WILL A CALIFORNIA FRESHMAN DEMOCRAT: Gloria Negrete McLeod announced she will run for the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, opting to "represent this community locally" rather than continue serving in Congress. (Cahn/Livingston, Roll Call)

AT LEAST NINE DIE IN WORST DAY OF UKRAINE PROTESTS: Opposition leader Vitaly Klitschko feared an assault and urged women and children to leave Kiev's central square. The major clash came after police set a deadline to end street disorder, which they ignored. (Polityuk/Balmforth, Reuters)

CHINA CALLS UN'S NORTH KOREA REPORT 'UNREASONABLE': The report warned Kim Jong-un that he may be held personally liable for murder, enslavement, torture, and rape—but Chinese officials criticized the report, saying it was "politicizing human rights." The panel recommended that the U.N. refer the allegations to the International Criminal Court, but China may use its veto power to block any action on the issue. (Mullany/Cumming-Bruce, NYT)

SPY AGENCIES TARGETED WIKILEAKS: New documents released by Edward Snowden show that the NSA pushed for criminal charges against WikiLeaks head Julian Assange, and that its British counterpart tracked visitors of WikiLeaks' site. (Julian Hattem, The Hill)

TARGET DATA BREACH COST BANKS $200 MILLION: Estimates from the Consumer Bankers Association and the Credit Union National Association on the financial damage of Target's data breach were higher than earlier guesses, raising to over $200 million combined. (Dustin Volz, NJ)

THE WEEKEND IN ONE PARAGRAPH: Obama will hold a joint news conference with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will speak at the 2014 Innovative Smart Grid Technologies conference at 8:30 a.m. and at the National Press Club on domestic supplies of energy at 12:30 p.m. The House is in session but the Senate is not.


FINLAND'S GLOWING REINDEER ANTLERS: Herders in Finland are experimenting with a super-reflective paint that could make their reindeer more visible to cars. (BBC News)

DOES THE SUN REVOLVE AROUND THE EARTH? 26 percent say yes, according to the National Science Foundation. (Brian Resnick, NJ)

WHY OBAMA WANTS YOU TO KNOW HE LIKES ART HISTORY: The president apologized in a handwritten letter to a University of Texas professor who was miffed at his remarks on art history majors. (Danielle Wiener-Bronner, The Wire)

THE PRESUMPTUOUSNESS OF 'SKIN'-COLORED CRAYONS: Even in India, peach-colored crayons are labeled "skin." (Aarefa Johari, Quartz)


ANTARCTICA'S FIRST TINDER HOOK-UP: The mobile dating app is aimed toward more densely populated areas, but it worked for two researchers at the end of the world. (Grace Wyler, New York Magazine)

WHEN DOES WATCHING BECOME 'BINGE-WATCHING'? it's a question facing many House of Cards fans right now. (Nolan Feeney, The Atlantic)


THE PROBLEM WITH OBAMA'S AMBASSADORS, IN ONE CHART: Between political donors and career foreign-service officers, one is more likely to end up in Norway and the other in Chad. (Eric Posner, Slate)

LAST NIGHT'S LATE-NIGHT FUNNIES IN UNDER 2 MINUTES: To celebrate Presidents Day, David Letterman recalls his first joke about a president, a zinger about William Howard Taft's weight. (Mauro Whiteman, NJ)
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