The Atlantic Daily: On the Spot

Boris Johnson, a key proponent of Brexit, resigns from his cabinet post. Plus Trump prepares to announce his Supreme Court pick, the battle over a vaccine to stop a deadly virus, and more

Then–British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in London on June 26 (Toby Melville / Reuters)

What We’re Following

Brexiter’s Exit: U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Brexit Secretary David Davis have resigned over what they see as weakness in Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposal for Britain’s departure from the European Union. While Johnson’s tenure was marked by diplomatic gaffes and friction with May, his position as one of the key proponents of Brexit may have helped to protect him from dismissal. Now though, he’s being confronted with the difficult technicalities of withdrawal, which could make the promises he once campaigned for impossible to carry out.

Judgment Day: President Donald Trump will announce his nominee for the next Supreme Court justice Monday at 9 p.m. Check our Politics page for the latest news. As a replacement for the swing-voting Justice Anthony Kennedy, the president’s pick stands to reshape the Court’s interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment on issues of racial equality and individual rights. Senator Susan Collins, a Republican, has vowed not to support a nominee who would overturn the precedent of Roe v. Wade. Yet history suggests she’s unlikely to vote no on Trump’s pick. What’s more, a conservative majority on the Court has been long in the making.

Immigrant Families: The Trump administration announced it is conducting DNA tests to identify family members who were separated at the U.S. border, raising ethical and practical concerns about how the data will be used. As a court-ordered deadline to reunite families approaches, some undocumented parents say they’ve been pressured by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to agree to deportation in order to see their children.


Can you spot the sleeping screech owl in this photo by Joe Galkowski? See more winners of the 2018 Audubon Photography Awards.

Evening Read

Brendan Borrell on Hendra, a deadly virus endemic to Australia that can spread from horses to humans:

Hendra was once just the name of a suburb of Brisbane, tucked between the international airport and the horse racetrack. Then, on September 7, 1994, Vic Rail, a 49-year-old horse trainer, brought a pregnant mare named Drama Series back to his stable. She wasn’t looking good, and Rail suspected she might abort her foal. He called his vet, Peter Reid, to examine her. Reid found that she had a high temperature, swelling around her lips and jaws, and a partially paralyzed tongue. “I wasn’t sure what the diagnosis was,” he says.

The next morning before dawn, Rail checked on Drama Series. When he opened the stable door, she staggered out, collapsed onto the ground, and died on the spot. Twelve days later, Reid got a call from Rail’s fiancé, Lisa. [Twelve] more of the stable’s horses had fallen ill.

Keep reading, as Borrell tells the story of how scientists developed a Hendra vaccine—and how an anti-vaccination movement is now pitting vets and horse owners against one other.

What Do You Know … About Education?

1. There are approximately ____________ public-school districts in the U.S.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

2.  New York’s public-school system spends ____________ times as much per student as Utah’s does.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

3. The word education appears ____________ times in the U.S. Constitution.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

Answers: 13,000 / three / zero

Look Back

In our December 1866 issue, Frederick Douglass called on Congress to protect the citizenship rights of black Americans:

The plain, common-sense way of doing this work … is simply to establish in the South one law, one government, one administration of justice, one condition to the exercise of the elective franchise, for men of all races and colors alike. This great measure is sought as earnestly by loyal white men as by loyal blacks, and is needed alike by both. Let sound political prescience but take the place of an unreasoning prejudice, and this will be done …

Fortunately, the Constitution of the United States knows no distinction between citizens on account of color. Neither does it know any difference between a citizen of a State and a citizen of the United States. Citizenship evidently includes all the rights of citizens, whether State or national.

The Constitution explicitly guarantees these rights, and prohibits states from restricting them, in the Fourteenth Amendment, which was ratified 150 years ago today. Read more about its history, and what its future might bring.

Reader Response

Alana Semuels recently wrote about what driving for Amazon Flex for a day taught her about the working conditions of the gig economy. Luke Gardner of Chicago writes:

I did GrubHub deliveries for several months last year while trying to make a career change. It was easily the most depressing experience I’ve had, because of several things:

1. You are not your own boss. You are controlled via algorithm for maximum profit extraction, taking on all of the risk with what is typically your largest asset (your vehicle). You have to be where they want, when they want, doing what they want.

2. You are exposed to stunning class disparity. While you’re hustling for $18 an hour (before taxes and expenses, of course), you’re delivering to people in million-dollar condos that won’t tip more than 10 percent.

3. You’re providing a luxury service at a bottom-wage price.

Read more responses, and write to us at


Moon morphed, town probed, sperm donated, musicals complicated.

Time of Your Life

Happy birthday to Doug’s wife, Mary (the same age as the Corvette). And from yesterday, happy birthday to Diane (the same age as ZIP codes).

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