July 12th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

The man with the brand, a travesty on Capitol Hill, and Kicking and Dreaming all the way to the World Cup finals.

From NATO meetings to the Capitol Hill hearings, there is one name dominating world events. And it’s not who you think it is. Yes, Trump dominates the headlines. But it’s Vladamir Putin who is pulling all the levers of global power and watching as the fruits of his nefarious global efforts pay off time after time. (Trump only helps.) To succeed in today’s global marketplace, you need an effective personal brand. Given Putin’s recent successes, one could argue that having the brand is more critical than leading a thriving nation. Here’s WaPo on The Branding of Vladimir Putin. “Two decades of efforts by Kremlin specialists have chiseled an international icon of inscrutability and might out of a former municipal bureaucrat who wore ill-fitting suits. Russia’s allure no longer revolves around Tchaikovsky and Tolstoy; today, the attraction centers on a squinting, clenched-jawed and occasionally shirtless president.”


Peter Peter Trumpkin Eater

“In the summer of 2016, I was one of a handful of people who knew the details of Russian election interference and its possible connections with members of the Trump campaign. This information had the potential to derail, and quite possibly, defeat Mr. Trump. But the thought of exposing that information never crossed my mind … I have the utmost respect for Congress’s oversight role, but I truly believe that today’s hearing is just another victory notch in Putin’s belt and another milestone in our enemies’ campaign to tear America apart.” Special Agent Peter Strzok came out swinging in his appearance before House Committees.

+ Then things got really heated. I urge you to watch the outtakes of today’s hearings. While Trump is on his way to meet Putin, his Congressional backers are attacking an FBI agent who has won a medal for running counter-intelligence operations against Russians. Another win for Red Player One.


London (Name) Calling

“‘We are doing numbers like they’ve never done before or ever seen before’ … The number that the president mentioned – 2 percent of countries’ GDP – was in fact a main product of NATO meetings four years ago.” Trump departed the NATO meetings with the alliance intact (yes, that’s somehow news). Now he’s in the UK. The BBC is tracking the trip that will include a lot of protesters, a big balloon, and a meeting with the queen (god save her…)


Best Actress

“At the center of the organization is the impersonator — a woman whose sophisti­cated research, skill with accents and deft psychological and emotional manipulation have earned her the begrudging respect of her victims and trackers. K2 investigators believe the woman is the ‘talent’ of an operation that, while relatively small, may have legs on at least three continents.” The Hollywood Reporter: Hunting the Con Queen of Hollywood: Who’s the Crazy Evil Genius Behind a Global Racket?


Klan Destined

“He suddenly realized he wanted to escape the Klan. But how? He was 22 years old, had no skills and no job, had $100 to his name, and was covered in white supremacist tattoos, and his criminal record was about to get longer. He’d hardly read any books except the Bible and the Kloran, the KKK’s secret handbook. He’d spent nearly every hour of his life dedicated to a vision of white supremacy that he wasn’t sure was so superior anymore … He had virtually no friends outside the movement. If he turned his back on his family and crew, they might try to kill him.” MoJo: Inside the Radical, Uncomfortable Movement to Reform White Supremacists. “What the f*ck am I doing with my fucking life? How are we the supreme race? We’re f*cking idiots.”


Neutrino Bombshell

The Atlantic has the latest on a breaking news story that began a few billion years ago: For the first time, astronomers have traced a neutrino back to its birthplace, billions of light-years across the universe.. “Neutrinos are everywhere, and they pass through everything, all the time. This includes your little place on Earth: your home, your body, the membranes that enclose the cells that make you you. About 100 trillion neutrinos pass through your body every second. You can’t feel them, but perhaps you can feel some wonder in knowing they’re there, just passing through, a toll booth on an invisible journey without an end.” (I don’t really understand this story, but I’m sharing it anyway. In other words, I’m doing what everyone else on the internet does…)


Kicking and Dreaming

“Many of the European squads, as we know, draw heavily from immigrant communities — a testament not just to the multiculturalism of the societies they represent but also the courage and determination of migrants in Europe, achieving success in the face of adversity and pervasive discrimination.” Ishaan Tharoor in WaPo: The World Cup is a victory for the immigrant dream.

+ “Luka Modric, the Tolkien-esque wizard at the core of the Croatian midfield, was himself a refugee. Serbian militia burned down his family’s home, and murdered his grandfather and six of his relatives. His family was consigned to live in a hotel, where he played soccer in the parking lot.” Franklin Foer: The Greatest World Cup Fairy Tale of All Time.

+ Quartz: A World Cup photographer was tackled by the joyful Croatian team. He kept shooting. (At least until one of the players kissed him.)

+ Soccer governing body FIFA wants to crack down on images of attractive female fans in a bid to fight sexism.


Fortnite of the Living Dead

“The 100-player, last-man-standing video-game shooter is obsessed over by rappers and athletes, hotly debated in high-school cafeterias, and played by 125 million people. All this, not because of a major technical or graphical breakthrough, or for a groundbreaking work of narrative depth, but for, essentially, a simple, endlessly playable cartoon.” NY Mag: The Most Important Video Game on the Planet. (If anyone sees my son in there, please tell him he’s late for dinner.)


Throne Buster

Netflix got more Emmy noms that HBO for the first time — which proves that buying a thousand lottery tickets gives you a better shot than buying three. Variety: Game of Thrones, Netflix Lead Emmy Nominees.

+ Here’s a list of all the nominees.


Bottom of the News

“A major new study questions the common wisdom about how we should choose our careers.” From The Atlantic: ‘Find Your Passion’ Is Awful Advice. (In fairness, pretty much all career advice is awful advice.)

+ Beware of the violently large crowds massing in England. No, it’s not the Trump visit or World Cup hooligans. Build-A-Bear had a sale.

+ The man with world’s longest fingernails has them cut off. (As a nail biter, I can’t believe he passed up on the opportunity to slowly chew them down to the nub.)

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