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Happy Wednesday Morning Brewers!

Good morning. Have we all been sleeping on Apple Maps? Apparently, you can no longer use it as an excuse for showing up late to a party because it’s…good now. Well, at least according to the WSJ, which reports that people are finally coming around to the much-bullied app after a bunch of improvements.

Cassandra says it’s about time Apple Maps gets recognition for being the brilliant navigational tool it has always been. (This does not reflect all of our positions.)


Record heat threatens to upend European tourism

Woman in fountain amid heat wave

Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

A stifling heat wave is sweeping across southern Europe just as Spain, Italy, and Greece host record crowds of international tourists finally letting loose after years of pandemic restrictions.

You won’t see it on their Instagram Stories, but your friends traipsing through Europe are probably spending their days in the shade and chugging water.

  • Yesterday, the high temp in Rome was 104 degrees Fahrenheit and 102 degrees in Madrid, and the Sunday forecast for Athens is 107 degrees. According to meteorologists, peak temperatures in Europe could break the Continent’s record of 119.8 degrees observed in Sicily two years ago.
  • Local authorities are telling folks to skip the daytime Old Town stroll and shelter inside since such heat can turn deadly.

The heat might cool travel interest

Sweltering summers aren’t just harmful to human health but also to the tourism-reliant Mediterranean economies. Euro travelers who watched their selfie sticks melt during similar heat waves last summer might be taking their next trip to a cooler climate.

  • There’s been a 10% annual decline in interest in Mediterranean travel among Europeans between June and November this year, according to the European Travel Commission.
  • This could benefit destinations further north, like Denmark and Ireland, which have seen increased travel interest.

More people might still travel to southern Europe during the cooler months, but it’s unclear whether that’ll be enough to make up for the loss of summer sightseeing traffic. Italy’s Environment Ministry expects heat to bring a net loss to tourism, a setback for a country that counted on visitors for 10.2% of its GDP last year, per the World Travel & Tourism Council.

Plot twist: In the Southwest US, some visitors are being drawn to the heat. People (some wearing fur coats!) have been flocking to Death Valley, CA, in recent days to take pictures with an Instagram-friendly thermometer showing otherworldly temperatures. On Sunday, the mercury in Furnace Creek in Death Valley hit 128 degrees, six degrees short of the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth.


Last chance for a money dance 


Ready to get your money matters in order?

Here’s some big news for you: July is your last chance to secure an annual Facet membership for as little as $2k a year. That’s right—prices are increasing August 1, so act fast.

What’s in a Facet membership? For a flat annual fee, you’ll get your very own finance expert supported by a team of specialists who can help with every financial decision you face, from buying a home to investing—all powered by industry-leading tech.

Think of it like a gym membership for your wallet, but one that could actually pay for itself. Oh, and Facet’s waiving the enrollment fee for new annual members.

Don’t wait! Get your finances in check today.


Tour de headlines

UNC soldiers and a South Korean soldier stand guard before North Korea's Panmon Hall and the military demarcation line separating North and South Korea

Anthony Wallace/Getty Images

 A US soldier was detained in North Korea. In a bizarre situation, an American soldier willingly strolled into Kim Jong Un’s territory yesterday and is believed to be in North Korean detention. The soldier was being sent back to the US from South Korea for disciplinary action when he weaseled his way onto a tour of the Joint Security Area, according to CBS News. Then, according to a witness, he “suddenly gives out a loud ‘ha ha ha,’ and just runs in between some buildings.” Tensions between the US and North Korea are already high after a nuclear-armed US sub arrived in a South Korean port yesterday in what North Korea called an American provocation.

 Trump likely to be charged in Jan. 6 investigation. Former President Donald Trump said he received a letter indicating he’s a target in special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. In Trump’s words on Truth Social, such a letter “almost always means an arrest and indictment.” If indicted over his role in the insurrection, it would be the third but by far the most consequential set of charges Trump has faced this year. But, despite his mounting legal woes, he remains the clear frontrunner to capture the GOP nomination for president.

 ​Meta is giving away its AI tech. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said his company will open-source the code underpinning its latest large language model, LLaMA 2, meaning developers can use it for research or commercial purposes…for free. While releasing tech you worked on for years might sound like a counterintuitive strategy, Meta believes open-sourcing will allow developers to discover problems with the software—ultimately leading to a better product and more influence for Meta. OpenAI, Microsoft, and Google, on the other hand, offer limited access to their AI tools.


Union says influencers are part of this strike, too

"SAG-AFTRA on Strike!" stickers all over iPhone.

Francis Scialabba

TikTok influencers will have to return to plank challenges or put down their tiny mics, because the actors strike also applies to them. On Monday, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), the Hollywood union that went on strike last week, released an FAQ detailing how union and nonunion creators can avoid crossing the digital picket line.

The guidelines explain that creators can fulfill any contracts that were agreed upon before the strike started and work on brand partnerships—but shouldn’t take on any new Barbie makeup tutorials. The guild also advises creators not to hype any struck work, even if they promote it as a fan.

The stakes are high: If a nonunion influencer decides to make some extra cash posting a three-hour “Easter eggs of Oppenheimer” YouTube video, they could risk never being allowed to become a member of SAG-AFTRA.

These guidelines are the first of their kind, since the last time actors walked out on major studios was in 1980 when the biggest influencer was the Morton Salt girl. But the restrictions show how the walkout is impacting the incomes of a group of performers outside of Hollywood. Influencers already play an important role in promoting films and TV shows, especially now that actors are barred from doing Hot Ones.—MM



Ready for the perfect travel shoes? These B Corp-certified kicks from Cariuma (that have over 40k 5-star reviews, btw) got you covered. Loved by tastemakers like GQ and Vogue, these sustainably made sneaks will keep you lookin’ fresh—aaand they’re super comfy. For a limited time, use code BREWJULY for 20% off.


So you won the Powerball. Now what?

Powerball lottery GIF

Morning Brew

The Powerball will hold a drawing tonight for a jackpot worth an estimated $1 billion after no winning tickets were sold in the previous 38 drawings. If won at that amount, it’d be the third-largest Powerball prize in the lottery’s history.

Let’s get this out of the way first: You won’t win the jackpot. You just…won’t. The odds of winning are about 1-in-292 million, which means you’re far more likely to die from a meteorite strike or go to the ER because of a pogo stick injury than win the Powerball.

But let’s say you do win, because someone has to. You’ll be faced with a decision: Take a one-time lump sum of $516.8 million, or choose to be paid out in increments over 29 years in what’s called an “annuity.”

Which should you take?

Most people who win the lottery choose the lump sum, and that’s because you can make more money in the long run. Thanks to the magic of compound interest, you can invest your lottery winnings right away and, even with a conservative rate of return, make more over 30 years than you can with the smaller droplets of cash provided by the annuity.

That said, the lump sum may not be for everyone. Are you the type of person who bought a JPEG of a rock in 2021? If so, the annuity could offer some self-imposed fiscal discipline to prevent you from blowing all your winnings—which definitely happens. The internet is littered with stories of lottery winners who squandered their fortune or otherwise watched their lives fall apart after thinking they had made it.—NF


Key performance indicators

Sun sweltering on an image ofArizona

Francis Scialabba

Stat: Phoenix, AZ, just set a record with its 19th consecutive day of temperatures topping 110 degrees Fahrenheit. And residents aren’t getting any relief when the sun goes down either, with lows not dipping below 90 degrees for nine straight nights (the low on Tuesday was 94). Those steaming overnight temps present a critical health risk for Phoenix’s most vulnerable people because all but one of the city’s cooling centers and hydration stations close in the evening.

Quote: “I have been through a very difficult ordeal at sea.”

Yeah, no kidding. Australian sailor Tim Shaddock and his dog, Bella, were found and rescued in the Pacific Ocean over the weekend, two months after a storm wiped out their electronics and left them stranded on the high seas. The duo had been surviving on raw fish and rainwater but were found in remarkably good shape, according to 9News. Physiology professor Mike Tipton credited Bella’s companionship as key to Shaddock’s survival, saying that the dog “may have well made the difference” between life and death.

Read: The 103 official, unwritten rules of sports and games. (SB Nation)


What else is brewing

  • A lead in the Tupac Shakur killing? Nevada authorities served a search warrant this week in Henderson, NV, in connection with the rapper’s unsolved drive-by shooting death in 1996.
  • Evergrande, the Chinese real estate developer that fell into crisis in 2021, said it lost $81 billion across 2021 and 2022.
  • Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming service, raised its prices for the first time.
  • Chipotle is plotting an expansion into small US towns and in the Middle East.
  • Model Gigi Hadid was arrested in the Cayman Islands for marijuana possession. Finally, she does something relatable.


Wednesday to-do list

 Good tools: Summarize URLs, detect fonts, generate privacy policies, and more at this website.

 Sure, why not: The new Gen Z TikTok trend is ice cream shop employees throwing soft serve at each other.

 Down she goes: A supercut of the Titanic’s final plunge in TV and film.

 Apps you might want to check out: Way of Life for habit tracking and Roadie for planning road trips.

 Women’s World Cup: The FIFA Women’s World Cup starts tomorrow and our friends at The GIST—a women-founded, inclusive sports media brand—are hosting a free-to-enter bracket challenge with cash prizes on the line. Join now.


 The ultimate gaming experience: Virtuix’s omnidirectional treadmill lets players walk and run inside video games. Their 35k-person waitlist already represents a $100m opportunity. Join Mark Cuban and invest by August 10.*

*This is sponsored advertising content.


The puzzle section

Word Search: In today’s puzzle, you’ll have to identify one-word biopics, like the ones about a certain Mexican artist and a legendary boxer. Play it here.

Office building trivia

The Surat Diamond Bourse has opened in Surat, India, as a “one-stop destination” for 65,000+ diamond pros (~90% of the Earth’s diamonds are cut in Surat).

This building is massive and, at 7.1 million square feet of floor space, it’s now the world’s largest office building.

Our question: What office building was previously the world’s largest? You’ve heard of it.


Robots in retail?

 Interested in implementing AI at your company? Here’s how Sam’s Club pulled it off to improve its automation and customer experience.

 The Brew’s Strategic Planning course will help you prepare for the inevitable challenges ahead. Register now.

 Next Tuesday, Tech Brew will teach you how to turn a product idea into a reality. Learn more.


The Pentagon

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