Your Daily Brief

July 7th, 2023

Good morning, and happy Friday! You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t enjoy roasting marshmallows and making s’mores around a campfire…but did you know that there is a science behind crafting the perfect s’more? Try following this method to make one this weekend and let us know what you think!

In Today’s Brief

  • Brazil: Amazon deforestation falls over 33%
  • FDA: Approves Alzheimer’s drug lecanemab
  • The Eagles: Final farewell tour is announced
  • Meta: 30M users sign up for Threads overnight

...and more

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Top Tips

Forever chemicals in tap water

A new federal study estimates that “forever chemicals” could contaminate around 45% of the tap water in the United States.

The study released by the U.S. Geological Survey used modeling based on samples collected from 716 locations across the country over several years. The results showed that urban areas are more at risk than rural ones when it comes to PFAS contamination and builds on previous scientific findings that the chemicals are widespread, showing up in consumer products such as nonstick pans, food packaging, and water-resistant clothing in addition to making their way into water supplies.

Since the USGS is a scientific research agency, the report makes no policy recommendations. In March, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed the first federal drinking water limits on six forms of PFAS, which remain in the human body for years and don’t break down in the environment. A final decision is expected later this year or in 2024.

OceanGate suspends operations

Nearly three weeks after its submersible vessel Titan imploded, causing all five passengers aboard to lose their lives, OceanGate is suspending all exploration and commercial operations.

OceanGate became the subject of scrutiny last month when one of its submersible vessels went missing hours after beginning its descent to the Titanic wreckage site. The U.S. Coast Guard later confirmed that the submersible suffered a “catastrophic implosion” during its descent and that everyone on board died, including OceanGate’s CEO Stockton Rush. Outside of Rush, those who lost their lives were British adventurer Hamish Harding, 58; French Titanic explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet, 77; British-Pakistani magnate Shahzada Dawood, 48, and his 19-year-old son Suleman.

Last week, the presumed human remains of those lost were recovered from within the wreckage. The organization posted on its website yesterday that it would no longer be sending individuals down to the wreckage of the Titanic or elsewhere.

Latest Taliban crackdown

The Taliban has ordered beauty salons to close in Afghanistan, according to a government spokesperson.

The closure of salons was ordered in a ministry-issued letter that reportedly conveys a verbal order from the country’s supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada. Per the letter, salons in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul and all provinces have one month’s notice to wind down. After that period, they must cease operations and submit a report about their closure.

Despite promising a more moderate rule than during their stint in power in the 1990s, the Taliban have placed growing restrictions on women since seizing control of Afghanistan in August 2021. Women are barred from attending school beyond the sixth grade and are prohibited from most forms of employment. Women must wear a hijab that covers their face at all times and can’t leave home without a reason–and even then, not without a male guardian.

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Quick Tips

Around the Globe

  • The Netherlands will return hundreds of artifacts taken from Indonesia and Sri Lanka during its colonial period, according to a statement from Dutch Culture Minister Gunay Uslu (More)
  • Wager Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin is back in Russia less than two weeks after leading a rebellion against Russian military officials which resulted in his exile to Belarus, according to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko (More)
  • Amazon deforestation in Brazil dropped by 33.6% during the first six months of President Lula da Silva’s term, according to government satellite data released yesterday (More)

On the Homefront

  • The U.S. Army said it will finish destroying its chemical weapons stockpile as soon as today; the U.S. and most other nations agreed to eliminate their arsenals within 10 years after the Chemical Weapons Convention took effect in 1997 (More)
  • The FDA approved the drug lecanemab for people with early Alzheimer’s disease; Eisai and Biogen's drug, sold under the brand name Leqembi, is the first beta amyloid-targeting medication to pass the FDA’s full review (More)
  • California air regulators and truck and engine manufacturers reached an agreement on state emissions rules called the Clean Truck Partnership that will give companies more flexibility to meet requirements (More)

Glitz & Games

In partnership with Remi

  • Journey founding member George Tickner, who left the band in the mid-1970s to pursue a career in medicine, passed away at age 76, according to his former bandmate Neal Schon (More)
  • NBA Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant will appear on the cover of NBA 2K24, 2K Games announced; Bryant will be featured on two separate editions of the game, the Kobe Bryant Edition and the Black Mamba Edition (More)
  • The Eagles announced the first 13 dates of their final farewell tour, beginning on September 7th in New York with more dates to be announced (More)

From our partners: Stop grinding your teeth at night — Getting a custom professional night guard from your dentist used to mean a huge hit to your wallet, but Remi has reinvented the night guard to be far more comfortable, convenient, and affordable. Save your teeth from stress. Use code TIP25 for 25% off your own custom night guard.

Business & Markets

  • Major indexes in the stock market closed lower, with the Dow leading losses (Dow -1.07%, Nasdaq -0.82%, S&P 500 -0.79%)
  • Private sector jobs in the U.S. increased by 497K in June, per the ADP jobs report; the leisure and hospitality sector led with 230K new hires, followed by construction with 97K, and trade, transportation, and utilities at 90K (More)
  • Twitter threatened to file a lawsuit against Meta over its new text-based platform Instagram Threads, accusing the company of poaching former employees to create a “copycat” application; 30M users reportedly signed up for the app overnight (More)

Tips & Tricks

  • Feel Good: Meet Jeeth Milan Roche, an Indian man who left his job in tech to start pursuing his passion for greening city parks, growing food forests, and saving trees destined for the chop - he now plants over 12K trees in his hometown each year
  • Sneak Peek: We jumped out of our seats when we watched the official trailer for The Nun II, the latest horror film from The Conjuring universe set to hit theaters on September 8th
  • Bump This: Nashville up-and-comers The Band CAMINO go full-on electro-pop in their new single “See You Later” - listen on Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube
  • Chow Down: Making your own ice cream is quite enjoyable and easier than you think - if you’ve got some time this weekend, try out this recipe for homemade blackberry vanilla ice cream that may just be the ultimate dairy-free dessert
  • Go Deep: What if someone told you an entrance to the underworld really exists? Apparently, Mexican researchers claimed that they have recently uncovered evidence of caves and passageways underneath a church which the ancient Zapotecs considered to be an entrance to the underworld, or Lyobaa
  • Hot Goss: Britney Spears has reportedly filed a police report after getting into a physical confrontation with a member of the San Antonio Spurs’ security team during a night out in Las Vegas
  • Life Hack: If you’ve considered reaching out to a friend or loved one who’s going through a tough time but you couldn’t figure out what to say, you’re not alone - here are five tips for checking in with loved ones struggling with their mental health in a sensitive and meaningful way


Ranking America’s most expensive housing markets.

See the top weather-related killer during summer.

…and what happens when you totally cut out salt.

Learn why good WiFi on airplanes is so unreliable.

An under-90-second trick to get rid of neck stiffness.

Watch the new Las Vegas MSG arena sphere in action.

Stallone explains how hard it was to get Rocky made.

How you’ll know if an asteroid will actually strike Earth.

Looking Back…

On July 7th: U.S. Congress annexes Hawaii through a joint resolution signed by President William McKinley (1898); Chinese and Japanese troops clash near the Marco Polo Bridge outside Beijing, launching the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937); the Solomon Islands become an independent nation (1978); artist Marc Chagall is born (1887).

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Question of the Day

Would you like to see the Eagles on their farewell tour?



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