May 3rd – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Where Inflation's Rubber Meets the Road

Why are some things so expensive these days? Is it the aftermath of the pandemic? Is it the supply chain or interest rates? Is it just that manufacturers and retailers forced to raise prices during moments of systemic inflation tend to keep them raised as long as we keep buying? To try to gauge the inflated prices that have left tread marks on the savings of Americans who already had little to spare, ProPublica’s Michael Grabell decided to track the the life of an overpriced tire, from a rubber plantation in Southeast Asia to a repair shop in Mississippi. This is where the grubber meets the road. Overinflated: The Journey of a Humble Tire Reveals Why Prices Are Still So High. “The lowly tire shop, it turns out, may be one of the best places to examine the post-pandemic recovery and its uncertain future. Tires have been buffeted by nearly every force driving inflation since the pandemic began — from border shutdowns that prevented migrant workers overseas from reaching rubber plantations to the war in Ukraine’s toll on an obscure but essential ingredient in tires called carbon black.”

+ Federal Reserve raises interest rates to 16-year high as fight to tame inflation continues. (This is getting tiring.)

+ Note: Next week, I’ll be moving NextDraft to a new platform. You shouldn’t have do anything. There will be a slightly new look and new features to come. If for any reason you stop getting the newsletter, you can always visit NextDraft and sign up again.


We’re History

“The pandemic plunge in U.S. history accelerated a downward trend that began nearly a decade ago, hitting this recent low at a time when the subject itself has become increasingly politically divisive.” NYT (Gift Article): It’s Not Just Math and Reading: U.S. History Scores for 8th Graders Plunge.


Belabor the Point

“As the Wisconsin lawmakers suggested, these new bills are partly a reaction to the competitive labor market and struggles businesses have been facing to fill open positions. But they’re also rooted in longstanding conservative opposition to workplace regulation.” Vox: The push to weaken child labor laws, explained.

+ 10-year-olds among hundreds of children found working at McDonald’s restaurants.


Ante Social

When he was a kid, people thought Dan Cates was a few cards short of a deck. Turns out he had an ace in the hole. Actually, a pair of aces. “While he has achieved more than even he thought possible, Cates finds himself on dual missions as he crisscrosses the world. Like that 12-year-old with the Bible, he’s on a meandering quest to understand how his brain works and how he can improve every facet of his life. At the same time, Jungleman wants to save the world.” WaPo (Gift Article): How to win at cards and life, according to poker’s autistic superstar. “With $23 million in career earnings, Dan ‘Jungleman’ Cates, now 33, is considered one of the best card players in the world.”


Extra, Extra

The Price of Free Press: “They paid a hefty price for their commitment to report on and convey the truth … And for that, we are committed to honoring them and ensuring their voices will continue to echo worldwide until they are safe and free.” 3 imprisoned Iranian female journalists win top UN prize.

+ Shooter Arrested: “Gunman Francisco Oropesa was found Tuesday evening stowed under a pile of laundry in a closet just a few miles from the massacre site.” Several arrests have been made in connection with the capture of a man suspected of fatally shooting five people last week in a Texas home.

+ Band and Brothers: “Allegations of sexual, verbal and physical abuse have swirled around Menudo for decades, but the investigation by the LAPD, centered around an attack that allegedly occurred at the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, is the first known criminal investigation surrounding Menudo and its creator by law enforcement.” LAPD investigating Menudo founder over allegations of sexually assaulting ex-boy band member. “Rosselló had spoken out years earlier about alleged abuse during his time with Menudo, but his account regained new focus as part of the Peacock docuseries “Menendez & Menudo: Boys Betrayed,” which looks into the allegations of abuse within the band, and the alleged connection to Jose Menendez, the former RCA music executive who was murdered in 1989 by his two sons.”

+ Big Gulp: “For the first time, scientists have caught a star in the act of swallowing a planet — not just a nibble or bite, but one big gulp … It’s a gloomy preview of what will happen to Earth when our sun morphs into a red giant and gobbles the four inner planets.”

+ Memorable Breakthrough: “An experimental Alzheimer’s medication slowed declines in patients’ ability to think clearly and perform daily tasks by more than a third in a large clinical trial.”

+ Unpaid Leave: “Altogether, Britain is expected to be the worst performing of the world’s 20 biggest economies this year.” The Atlantic: Britain is now paying the price for its decision to leave the European Union.

+ Learn From Our Mistakes? CDC opens probe after 35 test positive for covid following CDC conference. “Attendees say many people did not mask, socially distance or take other precautions recommended earlier in the pandemic.”

+ Hall Pass: The 2023 “Rock and Roll” Hall of Fame Class includes Kate Bush, Missy Elliott, Willie Nelson, George Michael, Sheryl Crow, and Rage Against the Machine.


Bottom of the News

“The driver Jess … said the company had failed to remove the drug dealer from the app or take down the one-star review he gave her, and said at one point she was even scolded by a customer support officer for not delivering the package.” Uber Eats driver’s one-star review for refusing to deliver crystal meth.

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