Paul Manafort, President Trump's former campaign managerJonathan Ernst / Reuters

What We’re Following

Is the Mueller investigation in its waning days? After nearly two years and dozens of indictments, some of the lawyers on the team are being reassigned to other positions in the Justice Department. If the investigation is indeed wrapping up, it’s still not quite clear what comes next and what it will portend for the president. The White House doesn’t yet seem to have a full plan on how to deal with the report once it drops, not including President Trump doing what Trump does best—tweeting up a storm.

It’s no shock that wherever you live could be significantly warmer in the coming years. But a new study tries to pinpoint what the conditions in various cities will look like relative to other places today—in other words, their “climate twins.” The effects are drastic, with the average American city moving more than 500 miles away from its current location, making Philadelphia resemble Memphis, New York City into Arkansas, and Minnesota into Kansas.

Last week, Apple delivered a warning that some apps might surreptitiously be recording users’ screens. The app developers in question had consulted with the analytics firm Glassbox to keep track of every button pressed and keyboard stroke entered while inside the app. The company claims that it uses machine learning to troubleshoot bugs and improve the user experience, though the technology could also be a tool to nudge customers into spending more time—and money—on the app.

— Saahil Desai


Evening Reads

How to get divorced without a lawyer

(Illustration: Matthew Shipley)

For all those who are getting divorced but can’t afford a divorce lawyer to help wade through the morass of division of assets and debt, child custody and support, and legal paperwork, Deborah Copaken documented her DIY divorce, for which she served as her own representation:

“Suddenly, what should have been an easy day in court became anything but. I quickly Googled 50/50 custody under the table. With precise, down-to-the hour 50/50 custody in New York State, I learned, the higher earner would be responsible for paying child support to the lower earner. Never mind that both of us knew precise 50/50 custody was impossible: I was, had been, and would always be our children’s primary caregiver. This was one of the many issues that tore us apart, the inequity in our domestic responsibilities. My smugness was gone. I longed for a lawyer.”

Read the rest

The inner mind of animals

(Illustration: Getty / Life on White)

Do animals have feelings? Scientists in the West have only recently started to consider that possibility, but in India, that idea is deeply ingrained in the ideology of one religion:

“The bird hospital is one of several built by devotees of Jainism, an ancient religion whose highest commandment forbids violence not only against humans, but also against animals. A series of paintings in the hospital’s lobby illustrates the extremes to which some Jains take this prohibition. In them, a medieval king in blue robes gazes through a palace window at an approaching pigeon, its wing bloodied by the talons of a brown hawk still in pursuit. The king pulls the smaller bird into the palace, infuriating the hawk, which demands replacement for its lost meal, so he slices off his own arm and foot to feed it.”

Read the rest


Urban Developments

Climate injustice

(Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP)

Our partner site CityLab explores the cities of the future and investigates the biggest ideas and issues facing urban dwellers around the world. Claire Tran shares today’s top stories:

The Green New Deal, CityLab’s Brentin Mock writes, must empower the people who face the most harm from climate change to help craft local solutions—all while challenging historical legacies of injustice.

The number of unsheltered homeless Americans living in their car is growing. Some cities have started Safe Parking programs to help them, offering bathrooms, security, and other social services.

Historic preservation is usually categorized in a binary way: Either buildings are historically significant, or they are not. That’s too limited, argues Patrice Frey.

Keep up with the most pressing, interesting, and important city stories of the day. Subscribe to the CityLab Daily newsletter.


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