The Atlantic Daily: A Logjam

These businesses are happy Britain is (someday) leaving the EU. Plus: What to make of Joe Biden’s “affectionate” behavior, Millennials and drinking, and more

Outside 10 Downing Street (Hannah Mckay / Reuters)

What We’re Following

The U.K. has about a week to go before it’s supposed to depart the EU, and yet the terms of Brexit are, well … who knows. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Theresa May took the unconventional step of indicating that she’ll negotiate an exit plan with her Labour Party archrival, Jeremy Corbyn. As Brexit devolves into a Shakespearean tragicomedy that has Brits fearing what comes next, some businesses are looking forward to the withdrawal. Though a divorce from the EU would of course create a host of economic losers, some business owners who find EU regulations especially onerous—such as the owner of Britain’s oldest salmon curer—are betting that they could emerge from the post-Brexit rubble as winners. But the economic reality of Brexit isn’t as cut-and-dried as it seems.

Millennials are ruining … drinking? For many fledgling American adults, slamming back shots at a bar or nursing a beer after work were once go-to social activities. But some Millennials are starting to turn away from drinking—even if they’re not totally giving up booze. They’re still drinking some, but now less than before, as “self-care” comes into fashion, financial stability eludes many, and marrying and having children get delayed. But Millennials aren’t giving up all substances cold turkey: Marijuana consumption is on the rise as it’s become legal for recreational use in parts of the country.

+ Millennials have been held responsible for a lot of things: the death of department stories, the sidelining of the McDonald’s McWrap, the decline of divorce. Derek Thompson sees it differently.


'The Matrix' turns 20

(Katie Martin / The Atlantic)

The Matrix is 20 years old this year, and we might never get a movie like it again, David Sims writes:

The film came out exactly 20 years ago, before 1999’s summer action-movie season had even begun; The Matrix’s big competitors at the theater were comedies such as 10 Things I Hate About You and Analyze This. As an R-rated sci-fi epic about hackers who know kung fu and do battle with machines in a postapocalyptic wasteland, The Matrix was difficult to describe. Yet it somehow became a word-of-mouth hit, the rare blockbuster that opens at No. 1 at the box office, falls to No. 2, and then climbs back to the top position (which it did in its fourth week). It’s the kind of dazzling, original film that inspires a generation of fans and imitators—and the kind of movie Hollywood wouldn’t make in today’s franchise-heavy media landscape.

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Evening Read

Joe Biden’s ‘Affectionate’ Behavior Was an Open Secret

(Kevin Lamarque / Reuters)

Joe Biden, the longtime U.S. senator and vice president to Barack Obama, has come under recent scrutiny for a behavior already acknowledged and well known in many circles. Megan Garber writes:

Many Democrats have a vested interest in seeing Biden in epic terms, as a savior and fighter and Trump-slayer; his non-apology apology—one that echoes uncomfortably the similar one he offered-not-offered to Anita Hill—allows for the mythology to live on. Biden the champion; Biden the harmless flirt; Biden, who suffered so much and means so well; Biden, who is somehow powerless against the forceful enthusiasms of his own affections. The framings allow the believers to look at all the evidence—the videos and the photos and the ear-whispers and the too-close conversations and the young girl who strains mightily to avoid the vice president’s incoming forehead kiss—and, in spite of it all, toss up their hands: Who’s to know what’s in his heart?

The affection defense is extremely familiar in its contours and related to many other common tropes ...

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Urban Developments

How American Recycling Is Changing After China’s National Sword

(Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty)

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:

About 40 percent of U.S. recyclables used to go to China, but early last year, the country tightened its standards. Now, local agencies are struggling to keep up with the waste they can’t ship away.

Tiny homes, co-housing, and shipping containers—in the midst of California’s housing crisis, San Jose is investing in a smorgasbord of potential solutions.

Amsterdam plans to eliminate more than 11,000 urban parking spaces by 2025, replacing them with trees, bike parking, and wider sidewalks. Here’s how the city is pulling it off, without actually stripping drivers of their right to park.

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

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