We Just Found a Habitable Planet Orbiting Earth’s Nearest Neighbour: Here’s What We’re Reading

The Daily 5 is Sharp’s essential reading list for what’s happening in the world today. Make sure to follow us on Twitter or subscribe to the Sharp Insider newsletter to stay up to date.

Here’s what we’re reading today.

1. Astronomers found an Earthlike planet in the habitable zone of the closest star to the sun

“Out of the 100 billion stars in the Milky Way and the many multiples beyond it, one, the red dwarf Proxima Centauri, is our closest stellar neighbour.

“On Wednesday, a team of astronomers announced they had discovered a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri — and that the planet is rocky, has a mass similar to Earth’s and sits in the ‘goldilocks’ zone where liquid water could exist on its surface.” Read the full story at the Star.

2. Inside Facebook’s (Totally Insane, Unintentionally Gigantic, Hyperpartisan) Political-Media Machine

“Maybe you’ve noticed your feed becoming bluer; maybe you’ve felt it becoming redder. Either way, in the last year, it has almost certainly become more intense. You’ve seen a lot of media sources you don’t recognize and a lot of posts bearing no memorable brand at all. You’ve seen politicians and celebrities and corporations weigh in directly; you’ve probably seen posts from the candidates themselves. You’ve seen people you’re close to and people you’re not, with increasing levels of urgency, declare it is now time to speak up, to take a stand, to set aside allegiances or hangups or political correctness or hate.”

John Herrman at the New York Times looks at the rise of “a strange new class of media outlet” that has taken over our social media feeds.

3. How to Stay Rich in Europe: Inherit Money for 700 Years

“Maintaining inherited wealth has worked for generations of Frescobaldis over 700 years, and it has let the descendants of Jakob Fugger in Germany continue to run the social-housing complex the Emperor’s banker founded almost half a millennium ago. It’s less of a blessing for Europe as a whole, where family fortunes are more prevalent than in the U.S. or Asia. Their relatively high level is a sign of the continent’s low social mobility, keeping education, income and social connections from evolving over generations.” Bloomberg traces the history of some of Europe’s wealthiest families, some of whom date back to the Middle Ages.

4. After ISIS strikes Kurdish wedding, Turkey enters Syria

“Turkey sent tanks, warplanes and special operations forces into northern Syria on Wednesday in its biggest plunge yet into the Syrian conflict, enabling Syrian rebels to capture an important Islamic State stronghold within hours.

“The operation, assisted by American warplanes, is a significant escalation of Turkey’s role in the fight against the Islamic State, the militant extremist group ensconced in parts of Syria and Iraq that has increasingly been targeting Turkey.”

5. Will Canada still buy the F-35?

“Canada could withdraw from the F-35 stealth fighter jet program on short notice by paying a little more than $300 million U.S., according to an analysis prepared by the defence department soon after the Liberals won the federal election.

“The government could leave after only 90 days’ notice, although it would still need to pay the remaining fees the previous Conservative government committed to the F-35 program, according to the Department of National Defence documents obtained by Postmedia.”