The Atlantic Daily: Health Care and Ransomware

What hackers got from a global cyberattack, what Senate holdouts want from the health-care bill, what communities lose when teachers commute, and more

An advertisement for the Microsoft Cybercrime Center plays behind a window reflecting a nearby building at the Microsoft office in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on May 15, 2017.  (Brian Snyder / Reuters)

What We’re Following

Cybercrime: Computers in at least 64 countries were affected yesterday by ransomware that—like last month’s “WannaCry” cyberattack—demanded money from victims in exchange for access to their files. This time, though, the malware that hackers used was more sophisticated, and it earned them less than $10,000—leading some analysts to suspect the demand was to disguise some other motive. The attack highlights the need for countries to improve their cybersecurity, but the blurry lines of online warfare can make it hard to distinguish between offensive and defensive measures.

Postponement Postmortem: Republicans’ failure to rally support for their health-care bill this week highlights divisions within the party, both in the Senate and in its voting base. As Ron Brownstein writes, the proposed bill would have helped the high-earning members of the GOP coalition at the expense of the older, working-class voters on whom the party also relies. Some moderate Republicans cited these voters’ interests when rejecting the draft. It also drew criticism from conservatives. Here’s what the holdouts want in exchange for their votes.

Teachers’ Troubles: As educators across the U.S. get priced out of living in the districts where they teach, a growing number of school districts are considering subsidized housing for teachers as a way to protect the community benefits of keeping them close to school. And graduate students who teach classes and work in labs at private universities won the right to unionize last year—but when President Trump fills the open seats on the National Labor Relations Board, that decision could be reversed.


A member of the Iraqi federal police takes aim with his assault rifle on June 28, 2017, in the Old City of Mosul, where Iraqi forces are in the final stage of their operation to retake the city from ISIS. More photos here. (Ahmad Al-Rubaye / AFP / Getty)

Who We’re Talking To

At the Aspen Ideas Festival, co-hosted by the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic:

Jeffrey Immelt, the chairman and CEO of GE, criticized Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accords.

Hiren Shukla, the director of the neurodiversity program at the consulting firm EY, explained the unique advantages that employees on the autism spectrum bring to the workplace.

Manoush Zomorodi, the host of the technology podcast Note to Self, described how ads that target search histories exploit people’s insecurities.

Evening Read

Mary H.K. Choi on the present and future of marijuana:

It’s incredible to think pot’s changed this much. It used to feel low-rent like Boone’s Farm or Whip-Its. But now it’s the recreational drug version of the kid who was a nothing in middle school who becomes god-hot over summer break. To a genetically—celestially—engineered degree that could irradiate you. Weed, frankly, had evolved past my enjoyment of it. Especially if I have a job where one of the requirements is that I show up.

It’s for these reasons that I understand when people aren’t into it. It seems somehow both sleazy and intimidating. On one hand it’s a drug that’s illegal in most parts of the country and on the other, you’ve got luxury brands that are touted as the “Hermès of Marijuana,” and the Beverly Hills Cannabis Club that sells buds that cost as much as their weight in white truffles.

Keep reading here, as Choi reviews a set of weed vaporizers formulated to produce different emotional effects. And go here for a reader discussion on using medical marijuana instead of opioids to treat pain.

What Do You Know?

1. The life and work of  ____________, the medieval scholar who authored a definitive commentary on Sunni Islam, was the inspiration for a recent Egyptian soap opera.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

2. Baby Driver, the new heist movie starring Ansel Elgort and Kevin Spacey, takes its name from a folk song by ____________.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

3. New research suggests that humpback whales use ____________ not only as a hunting tool, but also for communication, camouflage, and sexual stimulation.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

Look Back

In our January 1941 issue, Rebecca West described the momentous events of today’s date:

On June 28, 1914, the Austro-Hungarian Government allowed Franz Ferdinand to go to Bosnia in his capacity of Inspector-General of the Army to conduct manoeuvres on the Serbian frontier. It was strange that he should wish to do this, and that they should allow him, for it was St. Vitus’s Day, the anniversary of the Battle of Kossovo in 1389, the defeat of the Serb provinces by the Turks which meant five hundred years of enslavement. That defeat had been wiped out in the Balkan War by the recapture of Kossovo, and it was not tactful to remind the Serbs that some of their people were still enslaved by a foreign power. But Franz Ferdinand had his wish …  A Bosnian Serb named Princip, who deeply resented Austro-Hungarian misrule, was able without any difficulty to shoot him as he drove along the street, and accidentally killed his wife as well. The Austro-Hungarian Empire used this as a pretext to declare war on Serbia. Other powers took sides, and the Great War started.

Read more of West’s five-part series on the Balkans here.

Reader Response

As pro-life Democrats ask the DNC to change its pro-choice party platform and Republicans in Congress seek to defund Planned Parenthood, the organization’s president, Cecile Richards, is calling for women “to pull the curtains back and be open and honest about this procedure” of abortion. A reader who came across our series of personal stories about abortion shares her own:

At 20 weeks, the baby had no heartbeat. The doctor said it could have happened at 17 weeks or before. I had to get a surgical procedure done to remove the fetus. I was okay with that since there was nothing else that could’ve been done.

I also want to commend those telling their stories, whether it was a miscarriage or abortion. I don’t believe in judging anyone and those who had an abortion must have had their own reasons. We are free to decide what we want for ourselves and people should not take that right away from us.

Read more reader stories here.


Future mentors mentored, super-pig enhanced, compassion cultivated, federalism reformed.

Time of Your Life

Happy birthday to Dana (a year younger than NASA), John’s partner Shona (a year younger than Shark Week), Markelle’s daughter (born the same year as the Olympic gymnast Simone Biles), and Thabang (born the same year as the actor Vin Diesel).

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

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