July 5th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Save the world: Watch more TV. Plus, Senators melt in Moscow's hands, napping at work, and the Juul of denial...

I’ve got some interesting news for parents like me who are worried about their kids spending too much time in front of screens this summer. For the good of your family, your community, and society at large, you should let your kids spend more time watching TV and playing videogames. We debate a lot about how screen time affects what we do. But The New Yorker’s Alan Burdick reports on a series of studies that ask a different question: How does what we view affect what we don’t do? It turns out that one thing we don’t do while watching TV is commit crimes. And we don’t simply move those crimes to a more convenient time slot. We cancel them altogether. This is How to Fight Crime with Your Television.

+ Full disclosure: While you’re fighting crime by watching TV, your TV is watching you. And it’s collecting more information than you might think. The NYT’s Sapna Maheshwari on How Smart TVs in Millions of Homes Track More Than What’s On Tonight.


Trigger Warning

“With further tit-for-tat levies already threatened between the U.S. and China, some investors are concerned this week may mark the start of a trade war that spreads globally.” Will the tariffs on Chinese goods escalate into a full-on trade war? We’ll know more after midnight when additional tariffs kick in. From Bloomberg: Trump to Pull Tariff Trigger at Midnight in Trade-War Escalation.


Border State of Mind

“I wonder what will finally placate the fearful people 1,500 miles away who sent these border agents and National Guard troops to the borderlands. More checkpoints, more families detained, vaster tent cities? Maybe the wall they dream of? For most people, or most open-minded people, a simple visit might be enough to be reassured that this is not a scary place.” WaPo: I’m from the border. The news is getting it wrong. (Editor’s note: The news you’ve been reading via NextDraft is getting it right. But this is still a worthwhile read.)

+ Immigration isn’t a problem for this Texas town — it’s a way of life.

+ “The Gulf of Maine is not a major route for illegal immigrants sneaking into the United States … If anything, people are sneaking the other way. They’re trying to get out of the U.S. and into Canada to claim asylum.” Toronto Star: US Border Patrol questions crews of at least 10 fishing vessels in Canadian waters. (I can’t decide who I’m more afraid of: Canadian fishermen or Central American toddlers.)


Rain of Terror

“More rain is forecast this weekend, putting pressure on rescuers to formulate a plan to extract the boys before flood waters rise any higher.” CNN on the latest from the Thai cave rescue efforts: Boys and coach not yet well enough to attempt escape.

+ Here’s a collection of photos from the scene.


Juul of Denial

“‘If you’ve never smoked, and you try Juul for a few days, this is a recipe for addiction,’ says Peyton, who calls Juul a double-edged sword. ‘You could make someone addicted who’s never been a smoker — or, for someone who is addicted to nicotine, this could be a way to get off of cigarettes.'” So what is Juul? A new and promising way to kick the smoking habit? Or a gateway to get millions of new, young customers addicted to nicotine? Well, here’s a hint: The private investment market currently values the company at $16 billion.

+ Here’s another hint: Cigarette companies are racing to launch a vaping product to compete with Juul.


European Union Jacked

“What will happen is what I predicted at the very beginning: There will be a civil war, there’s nothing we can do about it. This is the path of civil war. I’d like to avoid it.” So said Lech Walesa as Poland’s government is attempting to purge the country’s Supreme Court. “The new rules lower the mandatory retirement age for judges to 65 from 70, which could force out up to 27 of the 72 Supreme Court justices, and also call for a disciplinary chamber to be established, raising fears that the governing Law and Justice Party will use the new directive to intimidate judges.” (The European political winds that have been blowing in the wrong direction just got a little bit stronger.) NYT: Poland’s Supreme Court in Disarray After Judges Defy Purge.

+ “The proposed policies would subject individuals—mostly immigrants or children of immigrants —to rules that are at turns punitive or paternalistic, based primarily on where they live.” Why Denmark Is Doubling Down on Its Ghetto List.

+ NYT: Germany’s Europe-Shaking Political Crisis Over Migrants, Explained.


Thaw Shucks

“I’m not here today to accuse Russia of this or that or so forth.” So said Sen. Richard C. Shelby as a group of Republican senators met with their Russian counterparts in Moscow. (Editor’s note: Russia did this, that, and so forth. And they are showing no signs of stopping.) WaPo: Republican lawmakers come to Moscow, raising hopes there of US-Russia thaw.


What If You Had An Off Day?

“This year, we’re doing it again. And this time, we’re actively encouraging other companies to join us. Because no American should have to choose between a paycheck and fulfilling his or her duty as a citizen.” Patagonia wants U.S. companies to give employees election day off.


From Dawn to Desk

Looking to sneak a few winks in your cubicle? Well, it might be time to bring your afternoon nap into the light of day. Chicago Tribune: Office napping climbs out from under the desk and into high-tech pods.


Bottom of the News

“The social curiosity that drives us to speculate about other people’s love lives is pervasive, and common. But in the last few decades, it has combined with the access and connectivity the internet allows, as well as our fraught relationship to celebrity — how close these stars seem to us, and yet how vastly far away — and spurred ever more elaborate imaginings.” Buzzfeed: A Journey Into The Dark Heart Of Celebrity Relationship Conspiracy Theories. (I, of course, have no interest in small matters like the romances between celebrities. That said, I really am worried that Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson are moving too fast…)

+ There’s a law against setting off fireworks in LA. Well, from the looks of things, it might be more of a guideline than a law. Or maybe even just a gentle suggestion.

+ Franklin Foer on Neymar: The Annoying Genius Who Makes the World Cup Worth Watching.

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