The Atlantic Daily: Clouds Had Burst

Trump’s June 12 summit with Kim Jong Un is back on. Plus new tariffs on steel and aluminum, the challenges of raising grandkids, and more.

A steel plant in Ghent, Belgium, on May 22 (Yves Herman / Reuters)

What We’re Following

Trading Troubles: A tweet from President Trump foreshadowing a positive U.S. jobs report went against the usual protocol for the monthly release of data, alarming economists and investors. Here’s why they saw this breach of norms as a big deal. And a steep set of tariffs on U.S. allies went into effect. James Fallows weighs the costs and benefits, and comes to a blunt conclusion: “Donald Trump’s new steel and aluminum tariffs against Mexico, Canada, and the European Union are both pointless and bad.

On Again: Trump announced that his meeting with Kim Jong Un is scheduled once again for June 12 in Singapore, after the North Korean leader sent him what the president described as “a very interesting letter.” Even so, the letter is reportedly short on details, particularly with respect to whether North Korea is willing to give up its nuclear weapons. As Trump’s North Korea policy continues to evolve, behavioral economics can help make sense of what he’s betting on.

A Heavy Toll: A new study finds that in 2016, opioids caused a fifth of all deaths among young American adults ages 24 to 35. The drug epidemic is one of the likely factors contributing to another trend: a significant increase in the number of kids in the U.S. being raised by their grandparents. In many cases, the circumstances that create these “grandfamilies” are tragic ones, and the situation can be challenging for everyone involved.


Markus Schreiber photographed this police dog drinking from a sprinkler in Berlin on May 30. See more of the week’s best photos.

Evening Read

Thomas Fox Parry on Pablo Avendano, who earned extra money as a bike courier in Philadelphia through the food-ordering app Caviar:

He got a bump during peak hours: meal times and some other periods, as determined by the app. Rain, according to online postings from people identifying themselves as Caviar couriers, raises pay. Of course, rain also makes the work more dangerous. Avendano signed the 11-page Courier Agreement, which says in capital letters, in three separate provisions, that it disclaims liability for all work injuries, including death.

The evening of Saturday, May 12, the clouds had burst, pouring down rain, so people were ordering in. Avendano decided to deliver some food through Caviar to make some extra cash. He was riding his bike down Spring Garden Street, which divides Center City and the northern neighborhoods, when a Mitsubishi SUV struck and killed him.

Keep reading, as Parry asks: In the gig economy, who is responsible for workers’ safety?

What Do You Know … About Culture?

In the era of peak TV, it’s not unusual for shows that fail to capture viewers’ attention to go off the air. This week, however, brought the cancellation of one of the most watched shows on network TV, Roseanne, after its star sent a racist tweet. The sitcom, which depicted a Trump supporter mostly confused by cultural shifts rather than wholly dismissive of them, suggested that national unity could be attainable through art—a hope that Roseanne Barr’s real-world behavior now throws into question. The end of the show allows for more time to watch other series, such as the recent Gothic-inspired adaptation of Picnic at Hanging Rock and the current-events-filled final season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. And yet to come: 18 new series to spend time with this summer.

Can you remember the other key facts from this week’s culture coverage? Test your knowledge below:

1. The British character actor ____________ starred as Mario in the 1993 film Super Mario Bros.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

2. A new book about classic rock dates the start of the genre to the Beatles’ album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, from ____________.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

3. Kanye West held a listening party for his new album in the town of ____________.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

Poem of the Week

From our August 1914 issue, “A Tulip Garden,” by Amy Lowell:

Guarded within the old red wall’s embrace,
   Marshaled like soldiers in gay company,
   The tulips stand arrayed. Here infantry
Wheels out into the sunlight. What bold grace
Sets off their tunics, white with crimson lace!

Read more.

Reader Response

In our May issue, Derek Thompson made the case for fair-weather fandom, noting that sports fans in cities with losing teams might benefit from more local options. Sabrina Nicacio Gomes of Hutchinson, Kansas, disagrees:

As mentioned in the article, London has several professional soccer teams. I was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, where sports are organized the same way as in London. One problem with having many opposing teams in the same city is that it can create conflict. I have witnessed multiple fights due to rivalry. I grew up as a soccer fan, but my parents didn’t let me attend games until I turned 15 because of how dangerous it can get. Confrontations like this can destroy the whole purpose of sports, just like they destroyed my passion for soccer; I started associating soccer with violence.

After living in the United States and experiencing sports here, I believe that having one team per city can really bring people together.

Read more replies, and write to us at


Marshmallows munched, DNA detected, porn disrupted, presidency broken.

Time of Your Life

Happy birthday to Suzie (the same age as kidney transplants).

Tomorrow, happy birthday to Michael’s wife, Christine (one-fourth the age of The Atlantic); Brittany’s soul mate, Michael (a year younger than Star Trek); and to Vickie’s husband, Del (twice the age of Macintosh computers), and their friend Mike (a year younger than credit cards).

Meet The Atlantic Daily’s team, and contact us.

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