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The 5 Smartest Stories From This Week You Probably Missed

Fighting the plastic epidemic, who runs in 2020, and will the Cleveland Browns ever be good again?

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The world’s problems, both big and small were under the magnifying glass of longform journalism this week. What constitutes a “small” issue, of course, is rather subjective. For law students nearing the end of their degree program, passing the bar is understandably among their biggest concerns. Other people are kept up at night, riddled with concerns over their health. Then there’s the world’s plastic problem, as well as who might emerge to run for president come 2020. And for many in Cleveland, it is, as usual, all about the Browns. Read on to peruse this week’s slew of dilemmas and the ways some people are trying to fix them.

Quarterback Baker Mayfield might be the future of the Cleveland Browns franchise, but there are plenty of other questions to be answered about this team. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

For the city of Cleveland, any given citizen might tell you he’s concerned with the state of the economy or the job market. But others might be just as likely to volunteer their worry over the Browns. The previously pathetic NFL team seemed to finally gain some positive momentum this season. But in ESPN‘s latest deep dive, the team still suffers from plenty of infighting between management and ownership over how best to address the Brown’s still glaring weaknesses. And there’s also a tidbit about large-screen projected porn.

Can plastics be eliminated by a new store-to-door ordering service?

When it comes to the epidemic of plastic waste plaguing the planet, it seems a new cure-all emerges almost every day—and none every really pan out. But perhaps Loop will. It’s a service introduced this week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that shows real promise, writes CNN. Loop takes inspiration from the past, in the form of a now obsolete profession—the milkman—to create what it sees as a brighter, cleaner future; complete with reusable, non-plastic containers that will actually, well, be reused.

Sen. Bernie Sanders thinks he’s the man to fix America’s problems. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

To deal with the many problems facing the United States, several ambitious Democrats have already emerged with plans for a run for the presidency in 2020. One candidate who believes he’s still got it, despite losing in the 2016 Democratic primary. is Bernie Sanders. GQ enjoyed several months of unprecedented access for this in-depth look at a man ready for a second bite at the presidential campaign apple.

The gut might hold the answer to many of the body’s problems. (Getty Images)

Like the brain, there are still many parts of the body that we don’t fully understand. One of those areas is the gut and how it seems to, according to the BBC, “dictate many aspects of our health.” There’s a whole host of bacteria, fungi and viruses making a home down there and they are all essential to our general wellbeing. If you’re not squeamish, read on.

Sanctions may be coming to solve the problem of under-performing law schools. (Jens Schlueter/Getty Images)

Many of our country’s most powerful decision makers started out in law school and once had to stare down the proverbial barrel of the bar exam. It is, perhaps, the single hardest test they will have ever taken. Whether they pass or fail depends in large part on how well their school prepared them. But far too many, according to a new report by USA Today, are failing  because their universities did the same. And soon the consequences for these underachieving schools may be dire.