April 27th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Korean Summit, Sects and the City, plus Weekend Whats and Feel Good Friday.

“On Friday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made a historic visit to the South. It’s the first time this has happened since the Korean War ended in 1953. Kim arrived at the summit in the demilitarized zone dividing the peninsula in a blacked-out car. Alongside him ran a team of 12 bodyguards. He was greeted at the border by South Korean President Moon Jae-in. The pair shook hands and even went off script as Kim invited Moon to step back into North Korea with him.” The meeting, while groundbreaking, was long on pomp and short on details. So let’s start with the pomp. Here are the pictures from the historic meeting of the Korean leaders.

+ “We bade farewell to the frozen relationship between North and South Korea, which was a nightmare. And we announced the beginning of a warm spring to the world.” BBC: Koreas make nuclear pledge after historic summit. Plus, five key moments from the Kim-Moon meeting.

+ “It was easy to forget that this was a man who has threatened the world with nuclear war, used summary executions and foreign hit jobs to eliminate his rivals and presided over some of the worst human-rights abuses in recent history.” The Economist: Can the euphoria of the Korean summit last?

+ “In a deliberate show of confidence — almost bravado — Kim literally strolled across the military demarcation line that has divided the Koreas for three generations, sat as an equal at the negotiating table with Moon and then joined him at an intricately arranged banquet before riding his black Mercedes limousine back into the land he rules absolutely.” Interesting takes in this AP analysis: North Korean leader displays nuclear pride.

+ A throwaway line about North Korea’s most “famous” dish set off a cold noodle craze in South Korea and across social media. (Reminder: The most popular dish in North Korea is government imposed starvation.)

+ NY Mag: The Campaign for Donald Trump’s Nobel Peace Prize Has Begun.


Sects and the City

“Part of the problem, Lubarsky admits, is people like himself: Seattle’s red-hot tech economy, led by companies such as Amazon and Groupon (where Lubarsky works), has filled the city with an army of well-paid workers bidding up the price of housing. But that tech-fueled demand has tended to overshadow the other driver: insufficient supply.” Seattle, like San Francisco and other cities, is facing a massive problem. It’s too expensive for most people to live there. Politico Magazine: My Generation is Never Going to Have That.”


Weekend Whats

What to Book: While I’m opening browser tabs with cable news on in the background, my wife is putting her time to wiser use by reading voraciously (often completing a book a day). Don’t miss her list of the Best Fiction of Spring 2018.

+ What to Read: “Let me give you a bit more perspective. The question of why Blac Chyna chose to use a Y in Chyna … that’s something about which my interest level is low, but still greater than zero. What Kanye Thinks of Trump is not.” From me: I Don’t Care What Kanye West Thinks About Donald Trump. (And it’s not for a lack of trying.)

+ What to Hear: About a year ago, I watched as Bishop Briggs completely stole the show at concert where she was the opening act. And now her album is finally out. Check out Church Of Scars from Bishop Briggs. (Fun fact: Bishop Briggs’ stage name is borrowed from her town of Bishopbriggs in Scotland. She needed a stage name because she shares a real name with another singer; Sarah McLaughlin.)


Anniversary Rift

“At least 38 protesters have been killed by Israeli live fire and more than 1,600 wounded in the weekly protests since they began March 30. Israel has rejected the international criticism, saying it is defending its sovereign border and accusing Gaza’s Hamas leaders, who are organizing the protests, of using the crowds as cover to carry out attacks.” Israel recently celebrated the remarkable achievements of its mere 70 years of existence. But the forward progress within the country stands in stark contrast to a never-ending peace process that seems to be going backwards. AP: Deadly violence erupts again in Gaza at Israeli border fence.


Everybody into the Gene Pool

“The Golden State Killer raped and murdered victims across California in an era before Google searches and social media, a time when the police relied on shoe leather, not cellphone records or big data. But it was technology that got him.” From the NYT: How “abandoned” DNA samples and a genealogy site led to the front door of a killer.

+ “”People who submit DNA for ancestors testing are unwittingly becoming genetic informants on their innocent family … [they] have fewer privacy protections than convicted offenders whose DNA is contained in regulated databanks.” AP: Genealogy site didn’t know it was used to seek serial killer.


Houses for Sale

“In 2008, an Egyptian man with a reputation for small-time financial scams bought an opulent 10,400-square-foot mansion on famed Rodeo Drive. Sale price, according to public records: $10.3 million. Then, six weeks later, he transferred the mansion to a shell company set up by a brash New York billionaire – for no money at all.” Reveal: A small-time scam artist gave Trump a mansion for $0. Why? (Maybe he just had a really inexperienced broker…)

+ The House Intelligence Committee Republicans released their final Russia report. They found failures at the FBI, but cleared Donald Trump.


That 70s Show

“Six months ago, a conservancy official cleaning out an office came across two cardboard boxes that had been sitting around for decades. Inside were 2,924 color slides, pictures made in parks across New York City’s five boroughs late in the summer of 1978. No one had looked at them for 40 years.” From the NYT: Scenes Unseen: The Summer of ’78. (The nostalgia is especially powerful because no one in these photos is looking at their phone…)


MSG in a Bottle

Helen Rosner in The New Yorker: “Despite MSG’s image makeover, I’ve found that plenty of people remain resistant to incorporating it into their cooking. They are willing to bring MSG into their homes as a component in other foods—more than happy to accept it as a flavoring powerhouse in Doritos, instant ramen, canned soup, and bouillon cubes, or at least happy to accept its euphemisms, like ‘hydrolized soy protein’ and ‘autolyzed yeast.’ But the notion of buying and using the raw ingredient is often a bridge too far.”


Screen Test

“A New Study Shows That SPF 100 Sunscreens Might Not Be Just Pure Marketing BS.” On the other hand, if you need that much sun protection, you might want to consider walls and a roof.


Feel Good Friday

“When a man threatened to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge onto a major interstate in Detroit, Michigan early Tuesday morning, authorities quickly worked to find a way to keep him safe. The Michigan State Police said its troopers and local officers coordinated with several 18-wheeler drivers to line up under the overpass to prevent the man from injuring himself.”

+ “Just 200 years ago, 85% of the world population lived in extreme poverty. 20 years ago it was 29%. Today only 9% live in extreme poverty while the majority of people (75%) around the globe live in middle-income countries.” But wait, there’s more. 50 Ways The World is Getting Better.

+ “Me going through cancer, him being on the Phillies at that time and now the Dodgers and us crossing paths, statistically it’s almost impossible. It’s amazing.” As a boy with cancer, he met his MLB hero. Now they play for the same team

+ Mark Your Calendar. Danny DeVito Day Declared in Jersey.

+ And, ABBA Reunites. (I know, I know. I buried the lede.)

Copied to Clipboard