The Atlantic Daily: Tense Times

An anti-Muslim attack in London, what to do about North Korea, new rulings from the Supreme Court, and more

Men pray after a vehicle collided with pedestrians near a mosque in the Finsbury Park neighborhood of North London on June 19, 2017. (Neil Hall / Reuters)

What We’re Following

Another Attack in London: A man was arrested for terrorism and attempted murder after driving a van into a crowd of people who were leaving a nearby mosque early Monday morning, killing one person and wounding 10. According to reports, he shouted, “I want to kill all Muslims.” The tactics mirror those used by ISIS, and the attack feeds into the extremist group’s narrative of warfare—illustrating how violence can escalate as both Islamist terror attacks and hate crimes against Muslims in the West increase. Elsewhere, a young Muslim woman was murdered after leaving her mosque in Sterling, Virginia, and although her death is not currently being investigated as a hate crime, it’s added to Muslim Americans’ sense of fear.

Rogue State: Otto Warmbier, the American student who was imprisoned in North Korea for over a year, has died at age 22, a week after being released to his family in a coma. Three other U.S. citizens remain detained in the country. North Korea has been expanding its arsenal in recent decades, and these graphics show the growing threat it poses to East Asia—and soon, to the world. In our July/August 2017 cover story, Mark Bowden outlines what the U.S. should do about it.

Ruling Powers: The Supreme Court ruled 4-2 against the group of non-citizen prisoners who, in the case Ziglar v. Abbasi, sought damages for the abusive conditions they were held in after 9/11—a decision that may set a worrying precedent for holding government officials accountable. But free-speech advocates will be relieved by two other rulings handed down today. Looking ahead, the court has agreed to examine a question of partisan gerrymandering in Gill v. Whitford, a case out of Wisconsin related to the state’s assembly maps. Justice Anthony Kennedy is likely to hold the swing vote.


A tree stump continues to burn after a deadly wildfire near Castanheira de Pera, Portugal, on June 19, 2017. More photos here. (Pablo Blazquez Dominguez / Getty)

Who We’re Talking To

Lynsey Hanley, a journalist and author, explains the history of London social housing behind last week’s Grenfell Tower disaster. More on the lessons and legacy of the fire here.

Ro Khanna, the freshman congressman who represents Silicon Valley, explains why Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods may be cause for the government to reevaluate its approach to antitrust law.

Andrew Roberts, a bacterial scientist, describes his campaign to crowdsource bacteria samples from around the world in a new animated video. Watch here.

Evening Read

Helaine Olen on what happens when insurance won’t cover your medical bills:

“The families get to the point where it’s, ‘What do I do? Do I pay the doctor bill because I’m getting collection notices? But I gotta pay my mortgage, I gotta pay my electric bill, I’ve gotta pay the rent.’ That’s where we come in,” Tom Pendergast of the Heather Pendergast Fund told me. “They can pay their mortgage, their rent, their electric bills and not have to worry about the medical part of it.”

For many, the idea of charity to help those in need out … holds much in the way of appeal, speaking to both a sense of generosity and a can-do spirit. It somehow seems, well, American, to think individual donations can compensate for a broken, expensive system that views illness as a moneymaking opportunity. So there is crowdfunding, small foundations like the Pendergast Fund, hospital-charity programs for the needy, and disease-specific resources. These efforts are patchy, and often inadequate, but they’re what’s available. Their strengths and their failings reveal a lot about the broader American healthcare system—something that is all too easy to ignore till it is your life or the life of a loved one at stake.

Keep reading here, as Olen unpacks the role that charity plays in America’s health-care system. And head here for an update on the health-care debate in the Senate, where Democrats are protesting GOP secrecy by grinding business to a halt.

What Do You Know?

1. Chapopote, the name of an undersea volcano, is also the ____________ word for “tar.”*

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

2. Detroit has a total of ____________ Pre-K classrooms.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

3. During their annual migration across East Africa, blue wildebeest eat _____________ tons of grass per day.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

Answers: NAhuatl, 177, 4,500

Look Back

The nation’s first Father’s Day celebration was held in Spokane, Washington, on this day in 1910. In our November 1966 issue, then-Vice President Hubert Humphrey remembered his own father:

My father was a passionate believer in this country, in democracy, and in social justice, a man who was not ashamed to feel emotions deeply and openly, who was interested in ideas but related them to his love for human beings, a man to whom hard work was a way of life not for its own sake but because it was part of the action and passion of his time. ...

I was at my father’s elbow constantly, watching him, listening to him, debating with him. It was the luckiest legacy he could have left me. My life since he died has been fortunate, personally and politically. My happinesses have been more than any man should expect. I have sat in the councils of the great and been a part of the drama of our age. But all these things have had meaning and purpose because I had the priceless good fortune of spending almost every day of my childhood, and many nights, working at the side of a wise and sensitive man for whom idealism was not a cold creed but a way of life.

Read more here—and a happy belated Father’s Day to the dads among our readers. More on your impact here.

Reader Response

The TAD group is discussing Thomas Healy’s essay on what critics of campus protest forget about the mechanics of public debate. One reader writes:

I tend to be a person who believes in the marketplace of ideas. Let everyone say their bit and then let the dumb ideas get weeded out. I have benefited greatly from listening to views I find abhorrent at times.

Another replies:

I used to subscribe to that—“let everyone speak, the dumb ideas will get weeded out.” It’s simple, and it feels right. But increasingly over the last few years I’ve changed. The old advice from your mama to “just ignore it and it will go away” seems to have failed. Trolls win when you engage them, but they absolutely win when you ignore them too. Because ignoring means vacating your ground, whatever that might be—a real-life venue, an online space.

More discussion here.


Solar twin lost, faces swapped, Twin Peaks refocused, feline overlords welcomed.

Time of Your Life

Happy birthday to Janice, who turned 16 yesterday—the same age as the world’s first self-contained artificial heart.

Today, happy birthday to Rex (who turned 18 around the time of D-Day), Jack (born around the time of the Battle of Okinawa), Rosary (the same age as Rihanna), from Bill to his wife Ann (who turned 18 around the time of the first NASA spacewalk), from Jonathan to his wife Barbara, and Monika and her twin sister (twice the age of Macintosh computers). They share a birthday with Leslie, a novelist whose current project has her immersed in memories of the summer she was 17:

I thought the moon walk was a fake; I almost went to Woodstock with my stuffy Wall Street dad, who was single that summer and kind of hip; my best friend’s cousin was Abigail Folger, who was murdered by the Manson crew; and I was interviewed by The New York Times on why I and a few others were not going to “come out”as debutantes that summer. I said I was busy smoking pot and helping the “Movement.” Cringe.

Do you or a loved one have a birthday coming up? Sign up for a birthday shout-out here, and click here to explore the Timeline feature for yourself.

The Atlantic Daily is written by Rosa Inocencio Smith. To contact us, email

*This newsletter originally misspelled the word chapopote and described it as an Aztec word. In fact, the language of the Aztec people is Nahuatl. We regret the error.