🌍 Wall-E wannabes

Plus: Breached whale.

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Photo: Rebecca Cook (Reuters)

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Whales could derail a new US trade deal. The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework—a sprawling trade agreement between the US and a dozen other countries—has been jeopardized by Japan’s taste for whale meat.

Indian companies gave workers the day off to see a movie. Some employees even got free tickets to see one of the country’s most popular movie stars, Rajinikanth, in Jailer.


The US Congress called on FIFA to recognize the exiled Afghan women’s soccer team. The international pressure coincides with the knockout stage of the Women’s World Cup.

One of China’s largest property managers has burned through $7.6 billion this year. Country Garden is nearing default, magnifying the country’s property woes.


Robo delivery has a ways to go

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Photo: Courtesy of company (Reuters)

Serve Robotics—an Uber-backed robot delivery company—is going public, but it needs a lot of money before its fleet of Wall-E wannabes start delivering your pizza.

Developing and operating robots is costly. Just take a look at the figures below:


2,000: Number of delivery robots Serve plans to deploy with Uber Eats
$56 million: Amount of funding Serve says it has
$1.4 million: Serve’s operational costs—per month

As Quartz reporter Michelle Cheng explains, the robot-delivery industry is still very much in its infancy.


Who’d win in Musk vs. Zuckerberg? Italy!

The proposed fight between Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter owner Elon Musk will be anything but a cage match, and the victor won’t be either tech titan, but rather, the proposed location.


The “epic location” of the battle of egos—potentially Italy—would fulfill an ancient Rome-themed, Gladiator-esque dream of Musk’s. But if the fight and the location hold true, it’ll mean big tourism bucks for the host country, as well as millions of dollars in philanthropic donations.

The World Bank is inconsistent on homosexuality

The World Bank has suspended all new loans to Uganda, arguing that the country’s law against homosexuality, passed in March, “fundamentally contradicts” the Bank’s values.


The institution isn’t the only one to take a stand against Uganda’s draconian law—the US, for one, is reviewing $1 billion in aid to the country. But it’s not like Uganda is an anomaly. In fact, it’s one of 62 countries that have enacted laws criminalizing homosexuality in some form or another, many of which the World Bank still has relationships with.

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Surprising discoveries

AI has made its way to White Castle. So has a massive Terms and Conditions agreement—no really, it’s huge.


A fifth force of nature likely exists. Step aside gravity, electromagnetism, strong force, and weak force, there’s a new subatomic-particle mover in town.

Not one, but two new types of moles were discovered. The furballs have been secretly living in the mountains of Turkey, where they can withstand severe heat and cold.


A NASA spacecraft studying the Sun for the past 17 years is homeward bound. It’ll be doing a lap near Earth for the first time since it launched.

You can still get Twitter-branded stuff. Among the 600 items up for sale is a neon sign of the flashing once-iconic bird.


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