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NN276: The Facebook Files

Sent as an email newsletter Wednesday, September 22, 2021. Want in? Join my email list.

๐Ÿ‘‹ Hi friends,

Welcome to the latest edition of Newley’s Notes.

I missed sending NN out last Sunday, as I usually do. This will be a shortened, dog-video-less version, sent in the middle of the week. But I wanted to highlight some reporting I’m really proud of.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Image of the week, number one, above: The Facebook Files, a WSJ series we published last week.

WSJ Facebook Files page one

๐Ÿ—ž And image number two: The front page of last Fridayโ€™s WSJ, featuring a piece I wrote with my colleagues Justin Scheck and Jeff Horwitz for the series. It went online Thursday.

The headline of our story: Facebook Employees Flag Drug Cartels and Human Traffickers. The Companyโ€™s Response Is Weak, Documents Show.

Click through to read the story; you don’t have to be a WSJ subscriber to read it.

๐ŸŽง And there’s an accompanying podcast with additional material.

The series, which began on Monday, Sept. 13 and contained contributions from a team of us at the Journal, has already had a sizable impact.

My outstanding colleague Jeff, who covers Facebook and has led our reporting, has also done several media appearances to discuss the series. Here he is on CNN, CNBC, and NPR, among others.

โญ Here are links to the rest of the stories in the series (again, these links are non-paywalled), each containing unique revelations about how the world’s largest social network operates:

– Monday: Facebook Says Its Rules Apply to All. Company Documents Reveal a Secret Elite Thatโ€™s Exempt.

๐ŸŽง Podcast here.

– Tuesday: Facebook Knows Instagram Is Toxic for Teen Girls, Company Documents Show

๐ŸŽง Podcast here.

– Wednesday: Facebook Tried to Make Its Platform a Healthier Place. It Got Angrier Instead.

๐ŸŽง Podcast here.

– Friday: How Facebook Hobbled Mark Zuckerbergโ€™s Bid to Get America Vaccinated

Normal editions of NN will resume soon!

๐Ÿ‘Š Fist bump from Hong Kong,

Newley

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Newley's Notes

NN275: Dog โ€“ or Luck Dragon?

Sent as an email newsletter September 12, 2021. Want in? Join my email list.

๐Ÿ‘‹ Hi friends,

Welcome to the latest edition of Newley’s Notes, a weekly newsletter containing my recent Wall Street Journal stories, must-read links on tech and life, and funny dog videos.

Image of the week, above: I’m proud to say that my colleagues Jeff Horwitz, Rajesh Roy and I are finalists for a Loeb award for our stories on hate speech and Facebook in India.

Here are more details on the awards. Winners will be announced September 30.

Here are 10 items worth your time this week, all related to the 20th anniversary of 9/11:

1) ๐Ÿ‘‰ A WSJ piece on Saturday’s events: U.S. Marks 20th Anniversary of 9/11 With a Day of Memorials.

2) ๐Ÿ“ธ Separately, another moving WSJ piece: Photos That Defined 9/11, and the People in Them – 20 Years Later.

3) ๐Ÿ“บ PBS Frontline documentary: America After 9/11.

4) ๐ŸŽง Podcast: interview with Lawrence Wright, author of “The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11.”

5) ๐Ÿ” Related, from Wright in The New Yorker: Did the C.I.A. stop an F.B.I. detective from preventing 9/11?

6) ๐Ÿ“ฐ How The Wall Street Journal Published on 9/11.

7) ๐Ÿ“† 9/11 in Realtime is a collection of video and audio media from the day, designed for educational purposes.

8) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Spencer Ackerman: How Sept. 11 Gave Us Jan. 6.

9) ๐Ÿ—ž A collection of local newspaper front pages across the U.S. on the anniversary.

10) โœˆ๏ธ Remembering what air travel in the U.S. was like before 9/11.

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๐Ÿฆด Dog-related video of the week:

โ€œHaving a luck dragon with you is the only way to go on a quest. –Falcore โ€

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๐Ÿ’ก Quote of the week:

โ€œSuccess is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.โ€ – Robert Collier

๐Ÿ‘Š Fist bump from Hong Kong,

Newley

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NN274: Joyful Jack Russells

๐Ÿ‘‹ Hi friends,

Welcome to the latest edition of Newley’s Notes, a weekly newsletter containing my recent Wall Street Journal stories, must-read links on tech and life, and funny dog videos.

If you like NN, please share this link so others can subscribe.

Image of the week, above: Out and about with Ginger.

Here are 10 items worth your time this week:

1) ๐Ÿฆ  On Covid and parenting.

2) โœˆ๏ธ RIP business travel.

3) ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Given that Australia won’t let citizens leave the country during the pandemic, can it still be considered a liberal democracy?

4) ๐Ÿ–๏ธ I was unaware that there is a Margaritaville Resort – a Jimmy Buffet-themed hotel, bar, and restaurant – in Times Square.

5) ๐Ÿ‘‰ As the 20th anniversary of September 11th approaches, and given the U.S. withdraw from Afghanistan, Netflix has a timely five-part documentary I’ve been watching: “Turning Point: 9/11 and the War on Terror.”

6) โญ Related: “The Children of 9/11: Lessons in Resilience” is a moving WSJ feature by my colleague Leslie Brody.

7) ๐Ÿฆ Here are the year’s best photos of birds.

8) ๐ŸŽƒ Bud Light pumpkin spice hard selzer? You better believe it. (Via the sharp-eyed PB)

9) ๐ŸŽง Podcast of the week: Elizabeth Holmes’s trial is beginning; don’t miss “Bad Blood: The Final Chapter,” hosted by John Carreyrou, who broke the Theranos story for the WSJ.

10) ๐Ÿ€ Capybaras are running wild in Buenos Aires. Video is here.

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๐Ÿฆด Dog-related video of the week:

Not new, but new to me: “Hilarious Jack Russell Goes Crazy with Excitement at Crufts 2017!

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๐Ÿ“– What I’ve been reading

After finishing the superb “Blood and Oil,” I’ve turned to some World War II history. I’d been searching for some time for a single volume that encapsulates the conflict, and think I have found it in Max Hastings’ “All Hell Let Loose: The World at War 1939–45.”

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๐Ÿ’ก Quote of the week:

โ€œYou can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another." – Ernest Hemingway

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๐Ÿ‘Š Fist bump from Hong Kong,

Newley

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Newley's Notes

NN273: Bouncing Border Collies

๐Ÿ‘‹ Hi friends,

Welcome to the latest edition of Newley’s Notes, a weekly newsletter containing my recent Wall Street Journal stories, must-read links on tech and life, and funny dog videos.

If you like NN, please share this link so others can subscribe.

โ˜€๏ธ Image of the week, above: A recent sunset here in Hong Kong, seen from a ferry.

I’m happy to resume weekly delivery of Newley’s Notes after a brief break. If you’ve taken time off this summer, I hope your getaway was restful. If you haven’t yet, I hope you’re able to get some downtime. Onward!

Here are 10 items worth your time this week:

1) ๐Ÿงช A remarkable development yesterday in the trial of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes: she may argue she was being abused psychologically, emotionally and sexually by then Theranos President Ramesh โ€œSunnyโ€ Balwani.

2) ๐Ÿ˜” RIP Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts.

3) ๐Ÿ‘‰ As the twentieth anniversary of September 11th approaches, a moving longread: “What Bobby McIlvaine Left Behind.”

4) ๐Ÿšถโ€โ™€๏ธWhy great thinkers are serious about walking.

5) ๐Ÿ’ฌ A look at why Google has failed to build a successful messaging app.

6) ๐Ÿงฌ A list of the 50 best sci-fi and fantasy books of the last decade.

7) โ“Did mega-bestselling thriller author Dan Brown write, under a pen name, a humorous 1995 dating guide called “187 Men to Avoid”?

8) ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ท What’s the secret to Costa Ricans’ longevity?

9) ๐ŸŽง Podcast of the week: sociologist Stephanie Jaros on the always-excellent Cool Tools.

10) ๐Ÿ’ฏ I love this gallery of beautiful old cassette tapes.

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๐Ÿฆด Dog-related video of the week:

Hopping into the weekend

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๐Ÿ“– What I’ve been reading

I’m nearly finished with the riveting “Blood and Oil: Mohammed bin Salman’s Ruthless Quest for Global Power,” the 2020 book by Bradley Hope (co-author of the smash hit “Billion Dollar Whale”) and my WSJ colleague Justin Scheck. If you care about the Middle East, geopolitics, oil and energy, or just how power is wielded, you have to read this book.

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๐Ÿ’ก Quote of the week:

“You donโ€™t have a right to the cards you believe you should have been dealt with. You have an obligation to play the hell out of the ones youโ€™re holding.” – Cheryl Strayed

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๐Ÿ‘Š Fist bump from Hong Kong,

Newley

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Newley's Notes

NN272: Histrionic Huskies

Me with Giorgio Chiellini

Sent as an email newsletter July 18, 2021. Want in? Join my email list.

๐Ÿ‘‹ Hi friends,

Welcome to the latest edition of Newley’s Notes, a weekly newsletter containing my recent Wall Street Journal stories, must-read links on tech and life, and funny dog videos.

โšฝ ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Image of the week, above: that time in 2015 I bumped into the great Giorgio Chiellini in Jakarta. Chiellini, you may have seen, just captained Italy in their Euro 2020 championship win over England. I still can’t believe I actually have a photo with him ๐Ÿ™‚ More on the Azzurri’s success below…

๐Ÿšจ โœ๏ธ Programming note: NN will be on summer holiday beginning next week. It’ll be back in your inbox in mid-August!

Here are 10 items worth your time this week:

1) ๐Ÿ† ๐Ÿงค Italy beat England to win Euro 2020. Defender Chiellini, pictured with yours truly above, was outstanding, as usual. But goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was out of this world: He made the winning penalty save and was named player of the tournament – a first for a goalkeeper. Epic. And he’s only 22!

2) ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฐ The Biden administration issued an advisory cautioning U.S. businesses in Hong Kong that the “new legal landscape” here could “adversely affect businesses and individuals” as Beijing asserts control.

3) ๐Ÿงญ โ€œRoadrunner,โ€ the new documentary about Anthony Bourdain, has just come out – and features an AI speaking in Bourdain’s voice.

4) ๐Ÿš€ Richard Branson flew into space. Is a new era of private spaceflight upon us?

5) ๐Ÿ’ป Longread of the week: Cal Newport on making remote work last.

6) ๐ŸŽฅ Here is a lovely collection of old movie posters.

7) ๐Ÿ“Ž Microsoft is bringing Clippy back.

8) ๐Ÿงธ Toys based on dead startups.

9) ๐Ÿ“ป Radiooooo is a “musical time machine” that spans the globe. Super cool.

10) ๐Ÿ”‰ Emergency alarm sounds from around the world, rated.

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๐Ÿฆด Dog-related video of the week:

Just like kids.

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๐Ÿ’ก Quote of the week:

โ€œEnjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.โ€ – Robert Brault

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๐Ÿ‘Š Fist bump from Hong Kong,

Newley

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NN271: Buoyant Beagles

๐Ÿ‘‹ Hi friends,

Welcome to the latest edition of Newley’s Notes, a weekly newsletter containing my recent Wall Street Journal stories, must-read links on tech and life, and funny dog videos.

If you like NN, please share this link so others can subscribe.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Image of the week, above: a personalized license plate spotted here in Hong Kong. (Thanks, A!)

Here are 10 items worth your time this week:

1) ๐Ÿ†• My latest: an exclusive out Monday. The lede:

Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc. and Alphabet Inc.โ€™s Google have privately warned the Hong Kong government that they could stop offering their services in the city if authorities proceed with planned changes to data-protection laws that could make them liable for the malicious sharing of individualsโ€™ information online.

The story was followed by The New York Times, Reuters, The Guardian, the South China Morning Post, and others. It was also mentioned in newsletters like Axios AM and CNN’s Reliable Sources.

And for the latest, see a follow-up I wrote on Tuesday: Hong Kong Tries to Ease Big Techโ€™s Concerns Over Data Law.

2) ๐Ÿ’ฐ An important investigation by my WSJ colleagues Melissa Korn and Andrea Fuller: โ€˜Financially Hobbled for Lifeโ€™: The Elite Masterโ€™s Degrees That Donโ€™t Pay Off.

3) ๐Ÿ‘‰ A statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee has been taken down in Charlottesville, Virginia.

4) โš–๏ธ Longread of the week: On Britney Spears’s life under a conservatorship.

5) โ˜• Michael Pollan: Should we quit caffeine?

6) โญ Why Houston, Texas is better than Austin.

7) ๐Ÿ“– Fourteen-year-old Zaila Avant-garde became the first Black American to triumph in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

8) ๐Ÿ‘– Jorts – jean shorts – are cool now.

9) ๐Ÿ’ฌ On Twitter addiction.

10) ๐Ÿถ Elmo is adopting a puppy named Tango. (Thanks, PB)

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๐Ÿฆด Dog-related video of the week:

๐Ÿ• Happiness.

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๐Ÿ’ก Quote of the week:

โ€œMy working habits are simple: long periods of thinking, short periods of writing." – Ernest Hemingway

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๐Ÿ‘Š Fist bump from Hong Kong,

Newley

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NN270: Cunning Canines

๐Ÿ‘‹ Hi friends,

Welcome to the latest edition of Newley’s Notes, a weekly newsletter containing my recent Wall Street Journal stories, must-read links on tech and life, and funny dog videos.

If you like NN, please share this link so others can subscribe.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Image of the week, above: yours truly on an epic hike – up to Kowloon Peak – with friends recently.

Here are 10 items worth your time this week:

1) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Happy Fourth of July! Here is an oral history of “Independence Day,” released 25 years ago this weekend. [Hollywood Reporter]

2) ๐Ÿ’ฐ The Trump Organization and its chief financial officer were charged with tax-related crimes. [WSJ]

3) โœ‰๏ธ Facebook launched a newsletter service (think Substack) called Bulletin. [The Verge]

4) ๐Ÿช‘ Want something nicer than Ikea, but don’t want to pay for designer furniture? “Ikea hacking” may be for you. [The Hustle]

5) ๐Ÿ“บ The long tail is for real: big TV hits are going away. [Washington Post]

6) ๐Ÿด QR code menus are the worst. [Slate]

7) ๐Ÿ’ป “The Internet is rotting” [The Atlantic]

8) ๐ŸŒ Maps of countries’ colors, based on satellite images. [Data Stuff]

9) ๐Ÿงจ Enjoy these English-language advertisements for Japanese fireworks from the 19th century. [Public Domain Review]

10) ๐Ÿค– AI-generated art is getting super interesting. [Charlie Snell]

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๐Ÿฆด Dog-related video of the week:

๐Ÿถ “Nice and easy now” [Imgur]

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๐Ÿ’ก Quote of the week:

“Who sees all beings in his own Self, and his own Self in all beings, loses all fear…When a sage sees this great Unity and his Self has become all beings, what delusion and what sorry can ever be near him?” – Upanishads

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๐Ÿ‘Š Fist bump from Hong Kong,

Newley

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NN269: Vivacious Vizslas

Final Apple Daily front page

๐Ÿ‘‹ Hi friends,

Welcome to the latest edition of Newley’s Notes, a weekly newsletter containing my recent Wall Street Journal stories, must-read links on tech and life, and funny dog videos.

If you like NN, please share this link so others can subscribe.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Image of the week, above: The final issue of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Apple Daily newspaper. The headline says, “Hong Kongers Bid a Painful Farewell in the Rain.” More details below.

๐Ÿšจ Correction: In last week’s NN I shared a photo of an adorable puppy from a shelter here in Hong Kong. I said his name was Lucas, but I’m told that it is actually Edmund. I regret the error!

Here are 10 items worth your time this week:

1) ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Apple Daily printed its last paper, “ending an era of unfettered reporting critical of Beijing in the cityโ€™s mainstream print scene.” [WSJ]

2) ๐Ÿ‘‰ A condo near Miami collapsed Thursday, killing nine people – and another 152 people are unaccounted for. [NPR]

3) ๐Ÿ”ฅ The U.S. Pacific Northwest is seeing record-breaking sweltering weather. [AP]

4) ๐Ÿ’ป John McAfee, creator of the well-known antivirus company, died in a jail cell in Spain, where he had been ordered extradited to the U.S. on criminal charges. [WSJ]

5) ๐Ÿ›ธ The U.S. government officially cannot explain what’s behind the many UFO – make that unidentified aerial phenomena – sightings stretching back to 2004, according to a new report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. [New York Times; DNI dot gov]

6) ๐Ÿ‘ Headline of the week: “When an Eel Climbs a Ramp to Eat Squid From a Clamp, Thatโ€™s a Moray.” [New York Times]

7) โ›ณ Paul McBeth, a professional disc golfer, landed a $10 million endorsement deal. [The Ringer]

8) ๐Ÿ“† Want a new perspective on time? View your life in weeks. [Coruscant Consulting]

9) ๐Ÿ˜„ Podcast of the week: Patricia Corby, Associate Professor of Oral Medicine and Associate Dean of Translational Research at Penn Dental Medicine, goes deep with Peter Attia on the importance of oral health as we age. [Peter Attia MD]

10) ๐Ÿ“บ “The 21 Best Comedies of the 21st Century (So Far)” [New York Times]

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๐Ÿฆด Dog-related video of the week:

๐Ÿถ “Dogs are gonna dog.” [Imgur]

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๐Ÿ’ก Quote of the week:

"Do not seek to have events happen as you want them to, but instead want them to happen as they do happen, and your life will go well.โ€ – Epictetus

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๐Ÿ‘Š Fist bump from Hong Kong,

Newley

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NN268: Playful Puppies

Newley stray dogs Hong Kong

๐Ÿ‘‹ Hi friends,

Welcome to the latest edition of Newley’s Notes, a weekly newsletter containing my recent Wall Street Journal stories, must-read links on tech and life, and funny dog videos.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Image of the week, above: I recently participated in a work-organized volunteer outing at the Sai Kung Stray Friends Foundation shelter here in Hong Kong. The fine folks at that group are looking after more than 100 dogs. Among them is this handsome fellow, named Lucas. Click through to their website to find out how to support the organization.

Here are 10 items worth your time this week:

1) ๐Ÿ‘‰ Juneteenth – June 19 – is now a U.S. federal holiday. People across the country gathered Saturday to commemorate the date. [The Guardian]

2) ๐Ÿˆ Carl Nassib, of the Las Vegas Raiders, became the first active NFL player to announce he is gay. [ESPN]

3) ๐Ÿ’ฐ Someone in tiny Lonaconing, Maryland, population 1,200, won $731 million in a state Powerball lottery in January – but no one knows who. [Washington Post]

4) ๐Ÿ”ซ File under “the world in 2021”: Hand-held anti-drone weapons are a thing. [The Drive]

5) ๐ŸŽต Joni Mitchell’s “Blue” was released 50 years ago this week; musicians reflect on the album’s greatness. [New York Times]

6) ๐ŸŽฌ Steven Spielberg has signed up to make movies for Netflix. [WSJ]

7) ๐Ÿ”ฅ Art-related story of the week: “Scientists Recreate Stone Age Lamps and Torches to See How Ancient Artists Illuminated Caves.” [Inside Science]

8) โœ๏ธ On the culture of documents and meetings at Amazon. [Justin Garrison]

9) ๐Ÿ’ป How inexpensive netbooks for students in Argentina empowered a generation of musicians. [Rest of World]

10) ๐Ÿ“บ Just out: the season two trailer for “Ted Lasso.” [YouTube]

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๐Ÿฆด Dog-related video of the week:

๐Ÿ• “There are two types of dog.” [Imgur]

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๐Ÿ’ก Quote of the week:

“We must not allow the ignoble to injure the noble, or the smaller to injure the greater. Those who nourish the smaller parts will become small men. Those who nourish the greater parts will become great men.” – Meng Tzu

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๐Ÿ‘Š Fist bump from Hong Kong,

Newley

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NN267: Dunkin’ Doggos

Sent as a newsletter on June 13, 2021. Want in? Join my email list.

๐Ÿ‘‹ Hi friends,

Welcome to the latest edition of Newley’s Notes, a weekly newsletter containing my recent Wall Street Journal stories, must-read links on tech and life, and funny dog videos.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Image of the week, above: a watercolor, done from a photo I took on a recent trip to Hong Kong’s Lamma Island.

Here are 10 items worth your time this week:

1) ๐Ÿ’ฐ “ProPublica has obtained a vast cache of IRS information showing how billionaires like Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Warren Buffett pay little in income tax compared to their massive wealth – sometimes, even nothing.” [ProPublica]

2) ๐Ÿฆ  A Covid–19 report from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California says the Chinese lableak hypothesis is plausable. [WSJ]

3) ๐Ÿš€ Jeff Bezos will be on his space company Blue Origin’s first flight carrying people to the edge of space. [TechCrunch]

4) ๐ŸŽ New Apple updates are coming this fall: FaceTime gets Zoom-like features, Macs get a low-power mode, Safari gets tab grouping, and more. [WSJ]

5) ๐Ÿ’ฌ Authorities around the world busted hundreds of suspected criminals by secretly gaining access to an encrypted messaging platform used on mobile devices. [WSJ]

6) โšฝ Euro 2020 – that is, the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship, being played a year late due to Covid – has kicked off! Favorites include Belgium, Italy, Portugal and – my pick to win – France. [Wikipedia]

7) ๐Ÿ‘€ End-times-related video of the week: a tour of a survivalist community living in underground bunkers in South Dakota. [Laughing Squid]

8) ๐ŸŒฒ Now out: winners of the BigPicture natural world photography contest; my favorite is number five, “Facing Reality.” [The Atlantic]

9) ๐Ÿ’Š Longread of the week, by Erika Fry: “How Amazon, JPMorgan, and Berkshire Hathaway took on Americaโ€™s health care system – and lost.” [Fortune]

10) ๐Ÿ˜ข Dog-related tearjerker of the week: An eight-year-old-boy in Virginia set up a stand to sell his Pokemon cards to fund treatment for his sick puppy, Bruce. Once word got out, people all over the country pitched in – and Bruce is now on the mend. [Washington Post]

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๐Ÿฆด Dog-related video of the week:

๐Ÿ€ “This dog can dunk.” [Reddit]

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๐Ÿ’ก Quote of the week:

“No one can live happily who has regard to himself alone and transforms everything into a question of his own utility; you must live for your neighbor, if you would live for yourself.” – Seneca

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๐Ÿ‘Š Fist bump from Hong Kong,

Newley