🌊 Better (Not) Call Mike!

Plus: Putin visits China for meeting with Xi

Yah but was Taylor Swift there?

85 years ago today, NBC aired the first sporting event in US history. It was a baseball game between Columbia and Princeton, shot on a single camera. Given that only a few hundred Americans had TVs at the time, think of the audience size as that of The Golden Globes. Ehh, maybe more...

🇨🇳 Putin and Xi meet in Beijing

👮🏻‍♂️ Nashville police officer gets OnlyFired

🎥 Reality TV-themed 20 Questions

Here’s the link to today’s reality TV-themed 20 Questions! Have a great weekend.

–Max, Max, and Alex


Russia 🤝 China

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping met in Beijing

  • The trip was Putin’s first abroad since being inaugurated for a fifth term earlier this month

  • Last year, China became Russia’s top trading partner as it supplied it the technology, cars, clothing, and raw materials that the West no longer could. Russia is China’s sixth-largest trading partner

  • “Our cooperation in world affairs today is one of the main stabilizing factors in the international arena,” Putin said while standing next to Xi during a press conference. “Together we uphold the principles of justice and a democratic world order”

Dig Deeper

  • In a statement, they criticized the US, accusing it of “hostile” policies and saying it has a “Cold War” mentality

  • Putin reaffirmed Russia’s “recognition that Taiwan is an integral part of China”; China pledged to help “resolve the Ukraine crisis”

  • Despite the united front they presented, analysts said that both countries have different goals: Russia is seeking greater Chinese support; China is seeking to balance between Russia and the West


Rescued After 26 Years

  • From 1992 to 2002, Algeria’s civil war killed up to ~200,000. Thousands also disappeared, including 19-year-old Omar bin Omran, who vanished in 1998 and was presumed dead

  • Yet his family never stopped searching for him – his mother’s dying wish in 2013 was, “Please, do not stop searching for [him]. I am sure he is still alive” – and on Sunday, a tip led police to find him

  • Omran, now 45, was found alive in his neighbor’s cellar several hundred feet from his family home. He said he had occasionally seen his family members from his neighbor’s cellar but hadn’t called for help “because of a spell that his captor had cast on him”

Dig Deeper

  • Authorities said they have taken a 61-year-old doorman into custody for the “heinous” crime

  • The man has also been accused of killing Omran’s dog, which was found dead of a suspected poisoning after it kept lurking around the neighbor’s house following Omran’s disappearance

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Dig Deeper


Cohen Cross-Examined

  • Cohen – Trump’s former lawyer – is the star witness in Trump’s New York trial. He alleges Trump ordered him to pay Stormy Daniels to conceal an affair and then falsified business documents to conceal his reimbursement

  • During cross-examination on Thursday, Trump’s lawyers attempted to portray Cohen as a liar who is seeking revenge against his former boss, citing an instance when Cohen lied to Congress and another in which he said Trump belongs in a “f*cking cage”

  • Cohen is likely the prosecution’s final witness. The jury may begin deliberating – and could have a verdict – as soon as next week

Dig Deeper

  • During one heated exchange, Trump’s lawyers disputed Cohen’s claim that he discussed the Daniels situation with Trump on a 2016 phone call. “That was a lie,” Trump’s lawyer said. “You did not talk to President Trump on that night”

  • During another exchange, Trump’s lawyer asked, “Do you want to see President Trump convicted in this case?” Cohen responded, “Sure”

  • The judge overseeing the case told lawyers they should prepare closing arguments for Tuesday


Euthanasia for Mental Illness

A 29-year-old Dutch woman is set to be euthanized on the grounds of mental illness

  • Under Dutch law, a person must be the victim of “unbearable suffering with no prospect of improvement” to qualify for euthanasia. It allows euthanasia on the grounds of mental illness

  • On Thursday, news broke that a 29-year-old received approval for euthanasia on the grounds of her depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and a personality disorder. She had applied in December 2020 after undergoing treatment for ten years

  • She will now likely be euthanized in the coming weeks

Dig Deeper

  • She told The Guardian she feels relief: “It’s been such a long fight,” she said

  • On the day of her death, doctors will give her sedatives, which will push her into a coma until she dies. “My partner will be there,” she said, adding that she has chosen to die in their home

Some Quick Stories for the Office

🍔 The UK division of McDonald’s dropped the smile from their “Happy Meal” boxes to mark Mental Health Awareness Week (May 13-May 19). The “Happy Meal” will also rebrand to “The Meal,” while the message “It’s okay not to feel happy all the time” will appear on the bottom of the box

🔫 Slovak authorities charged a 71-year-old former security guard with attempted murder for the shooting of Prime Minister Robert Fico. Slovakia’s interior minister called him a “lone wolf” with no clear political affiliation, although he had attended anti-government protests

🇭🇰 YouTube said it would block access in Hong Kong to videos of “Glory to Hong Kong,” which was the unofficial anthem of pro-democracy protesters in 2019. Last week, a Hong Kong court outlawed distributing the song; on Wednesday, YouTube said it would comply with that order

📈 The Dow Jones stock index briefly surpassed 40,000 for the first time on Thursday. All three major stock indexes ended the day slightly down a day after hitting record highs following positive inflation data

🌿 The Justice Department initiated the process of reclassifying marijuana from a Schedule I (“high potential for abuse” and no accepted medical use) to a Schedule III (“moderate to low potential” for abuse) drug

🌊 The US military finished installing a floating pier off the coast of Gaza, US officials said. The US military will transport humanitarian goods to the pier, from which trucks will carry them down a 1,800-foot causeway to the shore. The US said food will begin arriving soon

Some Quick Stories for Happy Hour

👮🏻‍♂️ More like OnlyFired: The Nashville police department fired an officer for appearing in an OnlyFans video in uniform. In the video, he pretended to pull over the OnlyFans star and then touched her breasts

🐊 Florida Man ≠ American Man: A 66-year-old Florida man discovered he’s not a US citizen after living there for over 60 years. He was born to a Canadian mother and moved to the US at age two

🌶️ One Chip Autopsy: Autopsy results confirmed that a Massachusetts 10th grader died in September 2023 after eating a large quantity of chile pepper extract during the TikTok “One Chip Challenge”

🎮 We’re baaaack: EA Sports will release “College Football 25” – its first college football video game since 2013 – on Friday, July 19

🤭 Family discount? A man in Colombia left work and went to a brothel to hire a sex worker. Upon arrival, he discovered he had hired his wife

20 Questions

Ladies and gentlemen, the Weeknd. Last weekend, we did a US-themed 20 Questions. Well, it's hard to get more American than that, but I think we can do it. This week's 20 Questions is Reality TV-themed. You can't understand America in 2024 without understanding reality TV culture. This was a difficult list to put together, but we hope you enjoy it.

We hope you enjoy. Here’s the link – see you on Monday!

Last Week’s 20 Questions:

1. How would your local coffee shop react to you asking for almond milk?

"Almonds don't make milk" - 9%
"Sure!" - 82.3%
"You're still stuck in the almond milk days, huh?" - 3.8%
"Get out of my shop right now" - 4.9%

2. Least attractive accent?

Midwestern- 16.8%
Southern - 11.4%
Bostonian - 37.7%
New Yorker - 34.1%

3. Better pizza style?

New York thin crust - 68.5%
Chicago deep dish - 31.5%

4. Pop, soda, soft drink, or coke?

Pop - 23.9%
Soda - 50.7%
Soft drink - 6.4%
Coke - 19%

5. Prettiest state?

Hawaii - 39.8%
California - 11.4%
Colorado - 20.8%
Alaska - 28%

6. Randomest state?

Wyoming - 19.5%
North Dakota - 29.5%
Delaware - 32.9%
Arkansas - 18.1%

7. Best BBQ?

Kansas City - 24.9%
Texas - 45.1%
Georgia - 8.8%
Another southern state - 21.3%

8. Scarier species: Florida man or Ohio man?

Florida man - 82.7%
Ohio man - 17.3%

9. Best rivalry in sports?

Red Sox vs. Yankees - 27.2%
Duke vs. UNC - 7%
Ohio State vs. Michigan - 22.5%
Alabama vs. Auburn - 10.6%
Everybody vs. the Cowboys - 32.6%

10. Most unique city in the US?

New Orleans - 59.3%
Las Vegas - 24.9%
San Francisco - 8.7%
Boston - 7.1%

  1. Nicest people?

Minnesota - 38.6%
North Carolina - 27.2%
Utah - 16.3%
Texas - 17.9%

12. State with the most annoying levels of state pride?

Texas - 62.2%
California - 16.2%
New Jersey - 15.1%
Michigan - 6.6%

13. State predator that scares you the most? (Not that kind...)

Gators in Florida - 25.3%
Grizzlies in Alaska - 20.9%
Rattlesnakes in Arizona - 34.1%
Deer ticks in Vermont - 19.6%

14. Who would win in a regional civil war?

East - 61.8%
West - 38.2%

15. Best state rivalry?

Ohio vs. Michigan - 32.9%
Florida vs. Georgia - 18.3%
California vs. Texas - 34.3%
Massachusetts vs. New York - 14.6%

  1. Most iconic US monument?

Mt. Rushmore - 17.5%
Statue of Liberty - 76.4%
Hollywood sign - 2.3%
Washington monument - 3.8%

17. Most avid NFL fanbase?

Buffalo Bills - 17.1%
Pittsburgh Steelers - 15.7%
Kansas City Chiefs - 11.2%
Green Bay Packers - 34%
Dallas Cowboys - 22%

18. Prettiest US city?

San Francisco - 17.4%
Boston - 9.3%
Charleston - 61.1%
Washington, DC - 12.2%

  1. Most iconic regional fast food chain?

Culver’s in the Midwest - 13%
In N Out in California - 41.7%
Waffle House in Georgia - 28.9%
Dunkin’ in Massachusetts - 16.4%

  1. Was there an omission on this list that you want to call out?

Most common comments: Whataburger, Eagles fans, and Memphis BBQ.

Final Thoughts

Thank you for all of you who sent in nice notes about the new podcast this week. If you want a trippy and informative episode, don’t miss our interview with Harvard physicist Avi Loeb. We talked the universe, aliens, ET rocks, government coverups, and more.

Have an amazing weekend.

–Max, Max, and Alex