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Weekend edition—Trust at the UN, chess on Wall Street, mastiff mania


You might laugh at the notion that the UN general assembly has anything to teach the business world. The “world’s biggest meeting” can also, with its fetish for arcane procedures, interminable declarations, and impenetrable jargon, seem like the world’s most dysfunctional one.

An ode to my top commenter


For a while, when I was pregnant and blogs were still new, I was the top commenter on my blog. And of course, every post I write is sort of an ode to me, or at least an ode to the current diatribe-colored glasses I’m wearing.

Mexico’s foreign minister trolls Trump on DACA, says NAFTA’s end wouldn’t be “end of the world”


There are signs that Mexico and Canada are increasingly less worried by the idea of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) falling apart.

Facebook’s Frankenstein moment, McCain pulls the plug, and eight other stories you missed


1. What hump? Social media is about to become as central to our political discourse as it has been to our lives over the past decade.

Senator McCain: “I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal”


Once again, senator John McCain is thwarting the Republican party’s effort to repeal Obamacare. A new proposal was advanced this week by senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy.

How Congress could regulate Facebook vs. how Mark Zuckerberg wants to do it himself


The push to regulate Facebook is on in earnest in Washington, DC—and so is the pushback. Two Senate Democrats are circulating a letter on Capitol Hill, hoping to drum up support for a bill that would make the social-media giant disclose more information about who is buying political ads on its platform and whom those ads target.

Fear of market volatility is driving financial decisions


Only half of Americans have a positive outlook for their financial futures. For many, fear of market turbulence has chipped away at their confidence.

Here’s the letter rescinding the Obama-era policy on sexual assault on campus


The US Department of Education is rescinding Obama-era guidance on how colleges should approach sexual assault on campus.

Everyone needs to chill out about Uber losing its license in London—for now, it changes nothing


Uber is in hot water in London, where it will lose its license to operate at the end of the month. The local transport authority rejected Uber’s application for license renewal today (Sept.

Scientists finally discovered why languages don’t have the same number of terms for colors


People with standard vision can see millions of distinct colors. But human language categorizes these into a small set of words.

The busiest land border crossing in the world is closed this weekend


This weekend, the San Ysidro border crossing—which connects San Diego in California to Tijuana in Mexico—is shutting down.

To understand the end of the world, it helps to run Microsoft Windows 7 or 8


If you’re going out of town this weekend, be sure to pack for the apocalypse. According to David Meade, a research scientist and Christian conspiracy theorist, Planet X—a red dwarf star the size of 3.34 Jupiters—is currently hurtling towards the sun.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky on the most important trait for entrepreneurs


In 2008, Brian Chesky was so broke that he handcrafted US presidential candidate-themed cereals (Obama O’s and Cap’n McCain’s) to sell at that year’s Democratic and Republican national conventions.

Favorite Books, Supplements, Simple Technologies, and More


In this episode, I answer the most up-voted questions from subscribers to 5-Bullet Friday, the free newsletter I send out every week.

The crisis in Cameroon’s English-speaking regions has turned violent with bombings


The long-simmering crisis in Cameroon’s English-speaking regions has taken a dangerous turn with small explosions targeting local security officials, even as ongoing protests become increasingly vociferous.

A British rock legend can’t afford people to make his tea because no one buys albums anymore


Pity the modern musician. In a viral video posted by BBC Backstage Music Pass this week, Liam Gallagher—former lead of iconic rock band Oasis and then Beady Eye, generally regarded as one of the greatest frontmen of all time—can be seen brewing his own cup of tea and railing against the dismal state of recording profits in the music-streaming era.

Angela Merkel is a “ball of contradictions,” not a liberal hero


Germany’s Christian Democratic Union pulled out its big guns this week in the run up to Sunday’s election: a black-and-white picture of Angela Merkel as a child, and the caption “For a Germany in which everyone can become anything.” Considering the girl in the photo grew up in Communist East Germany and went on to become one of the most powerful leaders in the world, it’s a poignant message.

This small European country has made €4 billion by selling citizenship


Cyprus has made at least €4 billion ($4.7 billion) by selling Cypriot (and European) citizenship to foreigners over a four-year period, according to documents leaked to the Guardian.

Stephen King’s horror novels make a lot more sense when you realize they’re YA


When I was in junior high, I read a lot of Stephen King novels. If that sounds vaguely age-inappropriate, you have to remember that the late 1980s and early 1990s were a real fallow period for young adult literature.

If Trump pulls out of the Iran deal, Airbus and Boeing could lose $32 billion in sales


Airbus and Boeing are selling $32 billion worth in aircrafts to Iran. But those deals are now under threat.


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