What to watch for today
The US Democratic National Convention kicks off. First Lady Michelle Obama and Senator Bernie Sanders will both give speeches at the convention in Philadelphia, where the first day will carry a “United Together” theme. Later this week Michael Bloomberg will speak, endorsing presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton.
Arab League summit meets in Mauritania. The organization, which brings together 22 Arab countries, will meet this week with a plan to focus on terrorism and Arab national security. Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sissi and king Salman of Saudi Arabia are both expected to attend, as will Sundanese President Omar Al Bashir, despite the warrant for his arrest issued by the International Criminal Court.
The UN Security Council discusses the Middle East and ISIS. The meeting will focus on the ongoing crisis in Syria and Iraq, and the destruction caused by ISIS insurgents in both countries.
Over the weekend
Bernie Sanders called for the resignation of the head of the DNC, and Wikileaks granted him his wish. Debbie Wasserman Schultz will resign immediately after the convention in Philadelphia. Longtime party operative Donna Brazile will be the interim chair of the committee, and Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio has been named chair of the Democratic National Convention. The shakeup came after Bernie Sanders went on ABC’s This Week and called for Wasserman Schultz to resign amidst a flood of leaked emails suggesting the party had aided Hillary Clinton’s campaign while undermining his.
Young Hispanic voters don’t care that Tim Kaine speaks Spanish. Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tapped Virginia senator and fluent Spanish speaker Tim Kaine as her running mate. Younger voters said his fluency might appeal to their parents’ generation, but Clinton and Kaine have a lot of work ahead of them if they hope to energize young people still wary after the failed DREAM Act.
A Colorado town was warned to stop drinking its marijuana-laced water supply. The residents of a tiny town in eastern Colorado were asked to stop drinking and cooking with public water because it contains THC. Issues with Hugo, Colorado’s water were first made public by a company that uses tests to check employees for THC, according to a report by the Denver Post. The FBI is assisting in the investigation.
Can Pokémon Go get the world to care about the plight of Syrian children? How’s this for a First World reality check? Images of children in Syria holding drawings of Pókemons, hoping to catch the world’s attention, asking “I am from Syria… save me!” have been spotted across the web. The campaign was launched by the Revolutionary Forces of Syria (RFS), a coalition opposing Bashar al-Assad’s government in the Syrian civil war and were taken in cities around Syria including Idlib, Hama, Aleppo, and Damascus.
The attacks in Germany follow an ominous new terror blueprint. In its recent report on terrorism in the EU, Europol highlighted the rise in younger suspects arrested for suspected terror offenses. Alongside a sharp rise in arrests on terrorism charges overall, around one in four suspects apprehended last year was 25 or younger, up from one in six in 2013
Quartz obsession interlude
Olivia Goldhill on why scientific research in behavioral genetics still makes people feel uncomfortable: “Think of someone whose political ideology leads them to ignore and groundlessly reject science. Typically, this often describes those on the right of the political spectrum, where climate change, women’s reproductive health, and even evolution are routinely dismissed. But a massive and fast growing field in science—behavioral genetics—has a huge body of conclusive evidence that, at first reading, seems at odds with left-wing ideology.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Donald Trump is terrifyingly similar to Vladimir Putin. Even his mannerisms and body language suggests Trump is an American version of the propaganda, fear, and hatred put forward by Putin.
Stop worrying about human-like robots and focus on robotic humans. Changes in our technology and environment are presenting us with constant stimulus and making us behave in an increasingly machine-like way.
Those who loudly say they “don’t care” about celebrity gossip need to shut up. In 2016, the world is drowning in misery and violence, and we need a break. Taylor Swift’s latest feud is the perfect escapism.
A 15-lb lobster was rescued from being served as dinner at a Florida restaurant. Larry, estimated to be between 60 and 110 years old, is now headed to the Maine State Aquarium.
The study of “cuteness” is an emerging academic filed. There are more than 100 publications in an online “cute studies” bibliography, which combines behavioral science, cultural studies, and biology.
Russia won’t be completely banned from the summer Olympics. Though the country’s track and field team will not be allowed to compete, other Russian athletes will have to individually apply and meet strict criteria to be allowed to attend.
Birds are communicating with humans in Mozambique. Traditional Yao honey-hunters reward birds that show the way to honey with beeswax. And scientists have now noted inter-species communication between the two groups.
An 18-year-old has invented the “Swiss Army Knife” of drones. He’s been flying drones since he was 12 years old, and wrote up a wish list of drone functions before making his dream a reality.
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