Extra, Extra

Re-Fugee: “About two months later an FBI special agent interrupted Michél at brunch near his apartment in SoHo. The agent had 12 photos of Chinese officials and many questions: Who did Michél meet at the Four Seasons? Who else had contacted him from the Chinese government? And of course: How had a famous rapper and record producer found himself in the middle of a high-stakes negotiation between global superpowers?” Bloomberg (Gift Article): The Fugee, the Fugitive and the FBI.

+ The Voice: “Card, 73, and her husband, Greg Grace, 75, dashed to their bank in Regina, Saskatchewan, and withdrew 3,000 Canadian dollars ($2,207 in U.S. currency), the daily maximum. They hurried to a second branch for more money. But a bank manager pulled them into his office: Another patron had gotten a similar call and learned the eerily accurate voice had been faked, Card recalled the banker saying. The man on the phone probably wasn’t their grandson.” They thought loved ones were calling for help. It was an AI scam.

+ Knicks and Stones: “‘It’s the architecture that tells you where to go in a train station,’ Chakrabarti said. In Penn, the architecture generally tells you to go away.” The New Yorker’s excellent William Finnegan on The Fight Over Penn Station and Madison Square Garden.

+ Salvador Slammer: “Successive presidential administrations have taken different approaches — many have adopted the mano dura, or ‘iron hand’ tack, instituting harsh crackdowns to mitigate the violence. But Bukele is on an entirely different level; his administration has imprisoned tens of thousands, many arbitrarily, repeatedly extended a state of emergency severely curtailing the rights of ordinary citizens, and attacked and even detained his critics in the press.” El Salvador’s massive new prison and the strongman behind it. “What’s more, Bukele’s tough tactics appear to be popular with Salvadorans overwhelmed by years of living under the brutal rule of gang violence.”

+ Island Hopped: “Some 10% of the local population in the tropical island nation of Seychelles is dependent on heroin in what is now an epidemic, according to the country’s government. Even being locked away offers no protection for those dependent on the drug.” The island paradise held prisoner by heroin.

+ School Poisonings: “A crisis over suspected poisonings targeting Iranian schoolgirls escalated Sunday as authorities acknowledged over 50 schools were struck in a wave of possible cases. The poisonings have spread further fear among parents as Iran has faced months of unrest.”

+ Ice Cream of Crop: America is about to get to know the new speed skating phenom from Kewaskum, Wisconsin. They already know about him in the Netherlands where the 18 year-old just dominated the world championship.

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