Good Tuesday morning.
Hope everyone had a great long weekend.
You don’t often hear “US infrastructure” and “shockingly good news” paired together in the same sentence, but Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro said on Saturday that the recently collapsed section of I-95 in Philly will reopen within two weeks—way ahead of schedule.
The lesson: It may take the US 30 years to build a new train line, but never get between Americans and their cars.
—Sam Klebanov, Molly Liebergall, Neal Freyman, Cassandra Cassidy, Abby Rubenstein
Canada’s people-to-maple-tree ratio is growing, as its population recently became 40 million strong.
The land of making New England winters look like a tropical paradise reached the demographic milestone mostly by politely telling foreign workers, students, and refugees to come on in.
The government has set an ambitious goal of adding 500,000 new permanent residents a year by 2025 to bolster Canada’s economy by keeping it young. While many other high-income economies are struggling with an aging native-born population and a shrinking workforce, Canada hopes that newcomers will care for its elderly, invent new tech, and cook up Timbits.
- Around 96% of the 1+ million people Canada added to its headcount last year came from foreign arrivals, according to Statistics Canada.
- That puts its population growth rate at 2.7%, the fastest rate among the world’s high-income economies, per Bloomberg.
The country seeks to admit the most employable folks by considering potential immigrants’ age, language skills, and education. But some say adapting to the influx of people is not as simple as laying out a giant “welcome/bienvenue” mat.
There are concerns that Canada’s housing supply and infrastructure will have trouble accommodating so many new residents, especially in its urban areas. Skeptics point to surging home prices in large cities as evidence that the immigration ramp-up is straining resources.
Meanwhile, some proud Francophones in Quebec worry that the arrival of more English speakers from all over the world might dilute the province’s unique cultural identity.
But Canadian society is not apologizing for welcoming immigrants…69% of Canadians disagree with the idea that there is too much immigration to the country, according to a recent survey by the Environics Institute for Survey Research.—SK
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Albie Awards
Some of Reddit’s most popular communities have interrupted their regularly scheduled programming to bring you nothing but pictures of John Oliver, in a continued protest of controversial platform changes.
The uprising stems from Reddit’s plan to start charging popular third-party apps millions of dollars per year, effectively shutting down those services.
Site moderators who volunteer to run the communities involved in the hijinx implied that the clowning around is a response to “threats” the company made to replace them after days of user-led boycotts. The original protests shuttered public access to more than 8,000 subreddits, forced marketers to pause on-site ad spending, and made Google search results—which frequently feature Reddit links—worse.
Not wanting to get ousted, the mods of r/pics, r/aww, and r/gifs reopened the subreddits—with a twist. They held votes in which the majority of their 20+ million members each decided to keep the protest going by ditching their community’s typical entertainment for “sexy” photos, “adorable” photos, and GIFs, respectively, of the British late-night host (who approves).
Others are playing hardball: A ransomware group, BlackCat, is currently threatening to release confidential Reddit data unless the company gives them $4.5 million and withdraws the proposal to make third-party platforms pay.—ML
X Games/ESPN via Giphy
The best thing about long weekends? Short weeks. Here’s a preview of what to expect over the next four days…
Summer officially arrives: The summer solstice is on Wednesday, marking the astronomical beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s also the longest “day” of the year above the equator. Soak in those 9pm sunsets, because they won’t last forever…
Modi to visit the White House: President Biden will wine and dine India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a fancy state dinner when Modi travels to Washington, DC, later this week. Expect several big business deals to be announced as the US and India look to build on their strategic friendship.
Jerome Powell to testify before Congress: The Fed chair will make the short trip from his office to Capitol Hill on Wednesday for a routine visit to share his POV on the economy with Congress. Last week, Powell did not hike interest rates for the first time in 15 months, but said rate increases could resume later this year.
- The NBA draft is on Thursday. The Spurs are expected to take Victor Wembanyama as the first overall pick.
- The Bear and its way-too-stressful kitchen scenes return to Hulu with Season 2 on Thursday.
- The College World Series takes over Omaha.
Stat: Runaway inflation is now threatening one of the UK’s most sacred national spaces: the pub. British brewers have been cutting back on the alcohol in their beers without charging consumers less for their product. Greene King has lowered the potency of its Old Speckled Hen pale ale from 5% to 4.8%, and Shepherd Neame has slashed the amount of alcohol in two of its ales, per CNN. According to the Mail on Sunday, lower ABV means lower taxes—savings the brewers aren’t passing along to drinkers.
Quote: “When you have RFK Jr. and Joe Rogan, and Elon Musk, all tag-teaming, those tres hombres at the same time, that probably includes just about every follower on Twitter. So, it’s pretty overwhelming.”
Vaccine scientist Peter Hotez found himself swept up in a Twitter tempest this weekend after he posted a Motherboard article about vaccine misinformation on Joe Rogan’s podcast. Rogan himself responded, offering to donate $100,000 to the charity of Hotez’s choosing if he would come on the show and debate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a Democratic presidential candidate and longtime vaccine skeptic. Billionaires Elon Musk and Bill Ackman were among the many Twitter users who then tweeted in support of the challenge. Hotez said he won’t debate science but is willing to come on the show alone. Still, he claimed the online attention caused a pair of anti-vaccine activists to show up at his house.
Read: Can you actually make money betting against Jim Cramer? (Intelligencer)
- Intel plans to invest ~$33 billion in Germany as part of a European expansion. It’s the biggest foreign investment in Germany’s history.
- Amazon, Starbucks, and other multinational companies pledged to hire thousands of refugees ahead of World Refugee Day today.
- Twitch streamer xQc has inked a deal worth $100 million to move over to rival platform Kick, in case you needed further proof that your parents were wrong that you can’t make a career out of playing video games.
- Bebe Rexha was taken to the hospital after a concertgoer threw a cellphone at her face while she was performing Sunday night.