Extra, Extra

Thought Experiment: Putin “thought our unity would shatter at the first testing. He thought democratic leaders would be weak. But he thought wrong.” So said President Biden. Here’s the latest from the NATO Summit.

+ Truth Uncovered: “The company said in a statement that its decision to get out of Florida was a business decision necessary to manage its risk exposure in the hurricane-prone state.” Farmers Insurance pulls out of Florida, affecting 100,000 policyholders. Farmers knows what we’re all starting to know. John Hendrickson in The Atlantic (Gift Article): Boiling the Ocean. “Did you think it would all happen this fast? The heat domes, the thousand-year floods, the apocalyptic wildfires, that horrific orange sky? This summer’s convergence of extreme events makes it feel like we’re living in a CGI-laden disaster movie. But those epic blockbusters all offer the same material comfort: an ending. What we’re experiencing is different.”

+ A Star is Born: “The photo is gorgeous. It could easily hang in a museum, as if it were a large canvas painting produced by a collaboration of impressionistic and modern artists. But it is very real, showcasing the process of stars being born a mere 390 light years from Earth.” The Webb telescope just offered a revelatory view of humanity’s distant past.

+ Manson Follower Paroled: “Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten, a former homecoming princess who at 19 helped carry out the shocking killings of a wealthy Los Angeles couple at the direction of the violent and manipulative cult leader, walked out of a California prison Tuesday after serving more than 50 years of a life sentence.”

+ Inflate Rate: “Sharply lower energy prices continue to be a major factor pulling down overall inflation. Gasoline prices, for instance, are down 26.5% compared to a year ago.” Inflation falls to 3% in June, lowest since March 2021.

+ Kundera: NYT: “Milan Kundera, the Communist Party outcast who became a global literary star with mordant, sexually charged novels that captured the suffocating absurdity of life in the workers’ paradise of his native Czechoslovakia, died on Tuesday in Paris. He was 94.” Even in translation, his words had an unbearable lightness. So great.

+ Bird Brains: Twitter Beat Out Threads for Coveted Taliban Leader Endorsement (that oughta lure back big advertisers), and at long last, Tommy Tuberville says ‘White nationalists are racists.’ The next question for Tuberville to ponder: Are Nazis antisemitic?

+ Couch Serfing: “In 2019, Franklin’s niece found three handwritten documents around the singer’s home in suburban Detroit. One, dated 2014, was found underneath a couch cushion.” A jury rules a handwritten will found under Aretha Franklin’s couch cushion is valid. (After I die, all my kids will find under the couch is a collection of lost AppleTV remotes.)

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