July 29th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Your kids need to play more video games, Trump v Baltimore, and America's coming winter without Coats.

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that it was a very big weekend for Bugha, Nyhrox, and Aqua. As a few million people looked on, those three legends etched their names in the digital record books by pulling down a total of $6 million in the first Fortnite World Cup Tournament. Bugha (also known as 16 year-old Kyle Giersdorf) pulled in a cool $3 million as he won the overall championship at Arthur Ashe Stadium in NY. (It’s time to stop getting mad at your kids for playing video games all day long and time to start getting mad at them for not being good enough at them.)


Send a Raven (and an Oriole)

“I understand that everything that Donald Trump says is offensive to some people. The president is pushing back against what he sees as wrong. It’s how he’s done it in the past, and he’ll continue to do it in the future.” There’s an odd tinge of truth in that explanation from acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney following another few days of presidential racism in which Trump took on Elijah Cummings, Baltimore, Al Sharpton, and the common decency we once associated with the White House. AP: Accused of racism, Trump blasts black congressman as racist. (Trump is in danger of using up all of his black targets too early. By 2020, he’s going to be hate-tweeting about Black Friday, Black Cats, and Black Sabbath.)


Winter is Coming…

… and America will be without Coats. From the NYT: Dan Coats to Step Down as Intelligence Chief; Trump Picks Loyalist for Job. “In a speech to intelligence officers in January, Mr. Coats said it was their duty to seek the truth about the world. ‘And when we find that truth, to speak the truth.'” (In other words, it was never going to work out.)

+ The Atlantic: Dan Coats Spoke Truth to Trump. Now He’s Out.


Gilroy Shooting

CNN: “A 6-year-old boy, a 13-year-old girl and a man in his 20s were killed when a gunman opened fire with an assault-type rifle at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in northern California on Sunday night, Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee said … Instagram posts bearing the name of the gunman mentioned a white supremacist book and showed a picture of people walking around the event shortly before the shooting began.” (First responders likely saved a lot of lives by engaging the shooter within a minute of the attack.)


Estamos Contratando

“In an extraordinary turn of events, some of the same people who had been privately denigrated by Mr. Rosselló and his confidants — journalists, feminists, musical performers and L.G.B.T. organizers — turned the tables on the governor. Capitalizing on already festering ire over the territory’s weak economy, graft scandals and a callous response to Hurricane Maria, the small demonstration at the airport turned into a series of mass street protests that toppled his government in just two weeks.” NYT: 15 Days of Fury: How Puerto Rico’s Government Collapsed.

+ “The man who would have been Rosselló’s next in line, Puerto Rico Secretary of State Luis Rivera Marín, isn’t an option, having resigned earlier this month over his involvement in the scandal … And now the island’s justice secretary, Wanda Vázquez, who was expected to replace Rosselló, says she doesn’t want the job.” (Her reticence might have to do with accusations, “including that she launched a domestic violence investigation against a political opponent.”) Now that the old governor is on the way out, Puerto Ricans face a tough question. Who Will Be Their Next Governor?


Clerical Assistance

“When a serial pedophile was sent to jail for abusing dozens of minors, Opus Bono was there for him, with regular visits and commissary cash. When a priest admitted sexually assaulting boys under 14, Opus Bono raised funds for his defense. When another priest was criminally charged with abusing a teen, Opus Bono later made him a legal adviser. And while powerful clerics have publicly pledged to hold the church accountable for the crimes of its clergy and help survivors heal, some of them arranged meetings, offered blessings or quietly sent checks to this organization that provided support to alleged abusers.” AP: Unmarked buildings, quiet legal help for accused priests.


Eyes Wide Shut

The burgeoning sleep industry really wants you to go the f*ck to sleep because if you don’t, you will die. (And there’s nothing an insomniac likes more than more pressure around sleep.) Netflix and its competitors are using autoplay and other tricks to keep you up all night. Meanwhile, an endless stream of startups are here to convince you that even though technology is keeping you up, you just need one more app to get to sleep. GQ on the business of sleep.


The Pod Squad

“A serologist examined data from a 1993 report on blood found under Griffin’s fingernails and said she thought there were two different types. Amateur photo enthusiasts tried to discern a footprint in the alleged feces clump in the kitchen. When Ruff needed help figuring out who had a certain unlisted phone number, a listener volunteered to go to the Kilgore city library and pore over old phone directories.” Texas Monthly: Crowdsourcing Justice: It took only a handful of people to wrongly convict Ed Ates of murder. It took an army to free him from prison. (You have the right to a lawyer. What you need is the right to a podcast host…)


Heal Thyself

“Several of the scientists disagreed with Lindsay’s hypotheses about his ailment. But that wasn’t unexpected. He didn’t even have a bachelor’s degree and he was telling doctors from Harvard University, the National Institutes of Health and the Cleveland Clinic something their medical training told them was impossible.” This college dropout was bedridden for 11 years. Then he invented a surgery and cured himself.


Bottom of the News

“Truth be told, the many warnings stir the bowels, especially the caution of ‘unexploded objects.'” WaPo takes a stroll on Britain’s deadliest path. This walk is sublime. Just avoid the bombs, tides and quicksand. (Keep calm and stop carrying on…)

+ Lizzo. Tiny Desk Concert. You’re Welcome.

+ Mariner’s shortstop J.P. Crawford made a throw that, even after seeing, I would describe as impossible. But Crawford’s play wasn’t the most amazing one of the weekend. That title belongs to a fan holding a baby.

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