Economist Milton Friedman published an essay in 1970 arguing that the job of a corporation was solely to make money for its shareholders. General Electric CEO Jack Welch pushed that idea about as far as it would go — and broke capitalism.
From North Korea with Love
Kim Jong Un took a bulletproof train to visit Vladimir Putin in Russia this week. Jenny Town at the Stimson Center explains how the two leaders have little to lose and much to gain from each other.
New variant just dropped
Seems like everyone’s got Covid again. Vox’s in-house epidemiologist, Dr. Keren Landman, delivers the good news and the bad news about Pirola.
In Google we antitrust
Google is headed to court over allegations its search engine violates federal antitrust law. The Verge’s Adi Robertson breaks down the case, and David Pierce explains how Google Search came to rule the internet.
Hunter becomes the hunted
Hunter Biden is set to be indicted this month. The WSJ’s Aruna Viswanatha goes over the evidence with us, and Politico’s Jonathan Lemire looks at what it all means for President Biden’s reelection bid.
Blame Capitalism: Souring on the system
Capitalism has entered its villain era. In a new series running Fridays this month, we look at how Americans came to blame it for just about everything.
From Pac-12 to Pac-2
The Pac-12 college football conference has lost nearly all its teams now that schools like USC and Colorado have announced they’re leaving for rival leagues. The Athletic’s Chris Vannini explains why fans are beleaguered.
Why American sunscreen sucks
Better sunscreen exists, you just can’t get it in the US. Amanda Mull and Elise Hu explain why.
The new Cold War
The Cold War started earlier than we think — and maybe never ended at all. Historian Calder Walton says understanding the US-Soviet conflict prepares us for this era of tensions with Russia and China.
…We’re trusting it anyway
Tech companies are racing to make new, transformative AI tools, with little to no safeguards in place. This is the second episode of “The Black Box,” a two-part series from Unexplainable.
We don’t know how AI works…
The researchers who create and study tech like ChatGPT don’t understand exactly how it’s doing what it does. This is the first episode of “The Black Box,” a two-part series from Unexplainable.
#SeAcabo: Spain’s World Cup reckoning
Saying “it’s over,” Spain’s World Cup-winning women are using an unwelcome kiss to try to end sexism in sports.
The Real Housewives of Today, Explained
Taking cues from striking actors and writers, reality TV stars are lobbying for better treatment from networks like Bravo and Netflix.
Why top Republicans want to bomb Mexico
Long-shot presidential candidate Ron DeSantis said he would send US forces into Mexico “on day one.” Longer-shot presidential candidate Will Hurd explains why that’s a bad idea.
China’s young and restless
China’s ambitious youth planned to cash in on their country’s meteoric rise on the world stage. Instead, many of these 20-somethings are disillusioned and “lying flat.” Economist Nancy Qian explains why.
America is so Messi
With Lionel Messi, footy may have finally arrived in the United States. The Athletic’s Tom Bogert and Men in Blazers founder Roger Bennett explain how the Argentine superstar is transforming American soccer.
Death of a Hot Dog Salesman
Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin, the caterer-turned-warlord who recently attempted to overthrow Russia’s government, has apparently died in a plane crash. Puck's Julia Ioffe explains why it’s reasonable to suspect foul play.
The other eight debate
Fox News desperately wants you to watch tonight’s Republican presidential debate. The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple explains why, and Vox’s Christian Paz has a primer.
Back to school loans
President Biden can’t stop, won’t stop trying to forgive student debt, even as borrowers are shortly expected to resume payments. The Washington Post’s Danielle Douglas-Gabriel explains.
Why Russians still support the war
As Russians begin to experience Putin’s war firsthand, they are not reacting the way Westerners might expect. Journalist Masha Gessen and researcher Jade McGlynn explain why not.
After the Green Rush
Adelanto, California, was broke. Could legalizing marijuana cultivation offer a fix? Reporter David Weinberg’s podcast Dreamtown details how the path to salvation was marred by scandal, debt, and corruption.
The San Francisco Standard’s Liz Lindqwister reports from San Francisco, where people are flipping her off for hailing rides in robotaxis. The Verge’s Andrew Hawkins explains how long before one pulls up in front of you.
Florida man indicted (again) (again) (again)
Oft-indicted former President Donald Trump is at it again. Stephen Fowler, host of Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Battleground: Ballot Box podcast, explains the paradox of the Fulton County charges.
Why Maui burned
Hawaii’s landscape has been rapidly changing for the last 200 years thanks to plantations, tourism, and climate change. A reporter and climatologist explain how those factors fueled one of the worst wildfires in US history.
A postpartum pill
The FDA’s approval of a new pill that treats postpartum depression could be yet another signal that we are living in a golden age of medicine.