Stacey Abrams has made history by being elected Georgia’s Democratic nominee for governor
Primary season has been on for a while, but still — primary stories rarely get as big and dramatic as this one.
Stacey Abrams is the daughter of a shipyard worker and a librarian from Mississippi. Her ancestors were born into slavery. Last night, she was elected as Georgia’s Democratic nominee, becoming the first black woman to win a major party’s nomination for governor in US history.
Abrams beat Stacey Evans, a successful attorney and legislator, to the nomination. As our reporter Darren Sands writes, “the symbolism of Abrams’ candidacy was the driving force behind the excitement among voters.”
Here’s the bigger picture:
As Sands writes, “the victory of a black candidate statewide would have almost certainly been unthinkable only a generation ago.”
Abrams’ victory is the strongest indicator of how demographic shifts in Georgia are shaping its political landscape: “A place where Jim Crow segregation once ruled the day ... is today among the most racially and ethnically diverse states in the country.”
By the way, we profiled Abrams back in August, and it’s an excellent read.
Literary icon Philip Roth has died at 85. He won most of literature’s top awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1998 for American Pastoral.
Instagram is finally adding a mute button, because all your friends are having so many babies and you just want to look at good dogs.
Cancer-related deaths are down in the US, probably because fewer people are smoking, treatments are improving, and cancer is being detected earlier with screening.
Last year, US fertility rates dropped to record lows. Researchers don’t yet know why — it’s unclear if this is just a temporary dip or the start of a long-term trend.
Trump says the planned summit with North Korea may not happen
During a meeting with South Korea's President Moon Jae-in, Trump said, “We’re moving along. We’ll see what happens.” What if it doesn’t happen, you ask? Well, Trump said, “If it doesn’t happen, maybe it will happen later.”
Trump also suggested China might have been involved in influencing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un: “There was a difference when [he] left China a second time.”
I’ll keep you updated. Or maybe I won’t. We’ll see what happens.
Authorities in Hawaii are scrambling to protect a power plant from lava
Lava from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano is still actively erupting from fissures. The flow of lava crept onto the property of Puna Geothermal Venture, burning a small structure and raising fears that the power plant could release clouds of toxic gas if it’s compromised.
Most of the lava flows near the plant are moving toward the ocean, but some is rolling toward the plant — and is as close as 656 feet away.
Authorities say they’re watching the flow with drones and are preparing for the worst-case scenario — the release of deadly hydrogen sulfide gas.
PSST: AI parenting
Are you worried about whether Alexa will replace parents? Is that even possible? Artificial intelligence is getting involved in parenting, and in the second episode of our new podcast The News, you can hear an intelligent discussion about the implications of this. Spoiler alert: They’re huge.
Trump revealed why he continues to attack the “fake news” media
Remember when Lesley Stahl nabbed the first interview with Donald Trump for 60 Minutes after the 2016 election? (God, we’ve aged decades since, haven’t we?)
Stahl revealed that the then-newly elected president explained to her — off camera — the reason behind his continued attacks on the press, and why he berates reporters: “I do it to discredit you all and demean you all so when you write negative stories about me, no one will believe you.”
Two stories about Amazon and technology overreach
First of all: Amazon is now kicking out chronic returners. The online retail giant might ban you if you send back too many purchases. Amazon has attracted customers in part because of its easy returns — but the company says it takes action when it feels a shopper is abusing the policy. Unfortunately, customers don't always feel they've been treated fairly.
The second story: Amazon’s facial recognition technology is being used by police, and people are worried. The technology is powerful — Amazon bragged about its ability to search in real time, recognize celebrities, and analyze movements to tell whether someone was exiting or entering a building.
The American Civil Liberties Union called on Amazon to stop pitching the image recognition tech to law enforcement agencies so they can better surveil citizens.
A minor note: I know, I know, the future is unpredictable and raises questions that must be answered, but the technology was used by Sky News to identify guests arriving for the royal wedding, which is weird but also...cool? I mean, look:
This student graduated summa cum laude, but Publix wouldn’t write “cum” on a cake because y’all are dirty
First of all, “cum” is Latin for “with.” “Summa cum laude” means “with the highest distinction.” Quit giggling. We’re all adults.
Bright young man Jacob Kocsinski, 18, graduated from a home-schooling program with an amazing 4.79 GPA, aka graduated summa cum laude, aka with the highest distinction.
When his mother went to order his graduation cake from Publix, the online system literally wouldn’t let her put the word “cum” on the cake, because we can’t have nice things. She wrote “Summa --- laude,” and then left a special note explaining the censorship.
This is the cake she got back. I think I laughed for five minutes straight. The internet certainly can’t stop laughing.