Chaiwat Subprasom / Reuters

What We’re Following: Slavery in the 21st Century

A new report estimates 45.8 million people live in contemporary slavery in 167 countries. Nearly 60 percent of those live in just five nations: India, the country with the highest number of slaves, followed by China (3.4 million), Pakistan (2.1 million), Bangladesh (1.5 million), and Uzbekistan (1.2 million). North Korea has the most people enslaved in proportion to population, with 4.4 percent of the country’s people living in conditions of slavery. Slavery is illegal in every country, but it still exists and is common in some poor countries with oppressive governments or few human-rights protections.

Memorial Day Hangover: Recent news reports about Donald Trump have suggested the money the presumptive Republican nominee had claimed to raise for U.S. veterans’ groups hadn’t actually made it to those groups. Trump responded today by holding a news conference to defend himself. He said fundraising brought in $5.6 million—less than the $6 million he had claimed, $1 million of which was supposed to come from his own coffers. For Trump, the political risk of alienating veterans and their advocates seems too great after months of soliciting their support.

Booze Clues: Dogs should never be given beer, because their livers don’t metabolize alcohol in the same way humans’ do. Also, they’re dogs. But a new British company has created a brew specifically for dogs made with barley malt, dandelion, flax, and “chicken flavoring.” The beverage doesn’t contain alcohol or hops and isn’t carbonated, but is still meant to recreate the beer experience for canines.


Snapshot

A woman sunbathes next to a colorful assortment of inflatables at Brazil’s Gaibu beach. See more from photographer João Castellano here.

Quoted

“People get hung up on the genetics, but the truth is, the person who carries your child for nine months, you should have more than a passing interest in them.” —Hannah Giunta, who studies medical ethics, on surrogate pregnancies

“They created a version of the world that was supposedly real, that looked real, but in which women not only appeared to not have any choices, but appeared not to want to have choices.” —Jennifer L. Pozner, who studies reality TV, on The Bachelor

“They wanted me, they loved me, the people who did the hiring wanted me to start right away. And then the HR department did the background check.” —Neil Cardoso, whose job offer was rescinded after the company found out he’d served time in prison


Evening Read

Alana Semuels on Oregon’s generous welfare program:

That Oregon still maintains a safety net while other states have eradicated theirs is testament to the state’s progressivism. … But [some researchers] have also found a more troubling explanation for the differences between Oregon’s strong safety net and those in other states. … The demographics of Oregon, where the population is 86.6 percent white, may help explain why the state’s safety net is so strong. In 1995, the year before welfare reform passed, 79 percent of families receiving welfare were white in Oregon. In Arkansas, by contrast, which is 80 percent white, 55 percent of families receiving welfare in 1995 were black and 44 percent were white. People, it seems, are much less giving when it comes to helping out people who don’t look like them.

The case of Oregon highlights what can happen when federal programs are turned over to the states: They help some Americans more than others, depending on where people live, and, often, depending on the color of their skin.

Continue reading here.


News Quiz

1. A woman in __________ received prison time for posting a poem on Instagram that the government said insulted the country’s president.

(See answer or scroll to the bottom.)

2. Lawmakers in __________ decided their prime minister won’t face parliamentary sanctions for elbowing a legislator.

(See answer or scroll to the bottom.)

3. A village in __________ voted to face a $290,000 fine rather than accept 10 refugees.

(See answer or scroll to the bottom.)


Reader Response

A reader who voted for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary explains why he’s leaning toward supporting Donald Trump in the general election:

A left which is focused on issues of identity and excludes issues of class (it was class issues which drew me to the left years ago) is no friend of mine, and it is no friend of the working class. And if it is all going to be tribal politics, then well, I guess you have to go with your own tribe—if not for your sake, then for the sake of your kids.

Trump as a person seems despicable. But he also seems strong. And he listens to the popular will. He is against many things that I, as a leftist, have protested over the years, such as NATO, international trade agreements, and foreign wars. I feel like the corporate globalization of the 25+ years has just ripped a hole through this country, especially in the Midwest where I am from. Clinton will just continue this and Trump seems like someone who wants it to stop.

Just driving through so much of the Midwest now makes me so incredibly angry and depressed. It’s my home and they’ve wrecked it.

Read more here.


Verbs

Schrödinger’s cat doubled, hate speech deleted, Stephen Hawking stumped, tiger-filled temple emptied, 10 million pounds of flour recalled.

Answers: turkey, canada, switzerland


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