Top that. The global telecommunications giant has offered $65 billion to buy much of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment and international assets, beating out Disney’s previous bid of $52 billion. Observers believe the move — which comes a day after a federal court approved a merger of AT&T and Time Warner — will likely trigger a bidding war between the two media entities. Both cases illustrate the broader attempt by major telecoms and cable companies to gain a foothold against tech powerhouses like Netflix and Google.
The Presidential Daily Brief
“[Kim] wants to do the right thing.” That was President Donald Trump’s analysis of his short summit yesterday with Kim Jong Un — an unprecedented meeting. But while the two signed a statement committing to work toward North Korea’s denuclearization, Pyongyang has made the same pledge several times, and the U.S. set no timeline or goals for the process. Meanwhile, Trump promised to end U.S.-South Korean joint military drills, which former CIA Deputy Director John McLaughlin told OZY is an “absolutely stunning giveaway of U.S. leverage with no price asked.”
After Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels missed a midnight deadline to withdraw from the city of Hodeida, government troops — backed by both Saudi Arabia and the UAE — began shelling from air and sea. The 3-year-old civil war has already killed at least 10,000 people and left millions displaced, starving, and at the mercy of a cholera epidemic. Hodeida serves as the main entry for humanitarian aid, on which 22 million people depend, and aid agencies warn that further shelling in the city could deepen the country’s crisis.
Corey Stewart, who rose to prominence defending Confederate monuments, associating with white nationalists and railing against undocumented immigrants, secured the Republican nomination for the Senate on Tuesday ahead of midterms later this year. He’ll face off against Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential candidate, Sen. Tim Kaine, who’s expected to win re-election. Stewart, who told OZY last year that he “was Trump before Trump was Trump,” has attracted many of the president’s supporters — but his nomination has some mainstream Republicans worried that he’ll taint downticket races for many voters.
It was only a matter of time. A federal judge has ruled the multinational telecommunications conglomerate can move forward with its $80 billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc., a decision that could open the door for other pay-TV companies to buy content producers. District Judge Richard Leon rejected the Justice Department’s argument that the merger gives AT&T unfair leverage, upending President Trump’s campaign promise to block it. The deal is expected to go forward June 21 unless federal authorities request a stay — which Leon said would be “manifestly unjust.”
Know This: South Carolina Republican Mark Sanford lost his primary race yesterday after a last-minute attack from President Trump, who called him “nothing but trouble.” Seattle has repealed a per-employee tax on big companies that the city had hoped would fund low-income housing and aid for the homeless. The co-founder of Guess is stepping down after multiple people alleged that he’d improperly kissed and groped them. And today, OZY’s Around the World campaign takes you to Finland: Check out this Finnish startup that’s creating protein using only electricity and air.
Watch This: Yesterday, Minnesotans (and the internet at large) were captivated by an intrepid raccoon who was filmed free-climbing a 25-story building in St. Paul. As of last night, the raccoon had begun to climb down, while animal control debated how best to bring it to safety.
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The U.S., Canada and Mexico won their joint bid to host the 2026 World Cup today, as the world sets its sights on Russia for this year’s competition. Top U.S. counterintelligence officials are advising Americans attending the event to leave their phones at home because their devices could be vulnerable to hacking by both criminals and the Russian government, and England’s national team received similar warnings from intelligence services before heading to the tournament. The World Cup kicks off in Moscow tomorrow with a Russia-Saudi Arabia match.
Watch what you say. The country, which just agreed via referendum to change its restrictive abortion laws, will now vote on changing an article of Ireland’s Constitution that bans material considered “grossly insulting” to members of any religion. Blasphemy is currently a crime punishable by a $29,000 fine, though recent cases haven’t been prosecuted. The referendum is expected to coincide with a likely presidential election in October, potentially alongside another plebiscite on changing language in the Constitution that prioritizes a woman’s domestic role over any job she may hold outside the home.
Don’t drink and drive. But Uber’s not crazy about you drinking and riding either: The company’s filed for a patent on artificial intelligence technology that would analyze a passenger’s location, typos, phone angle and walking speed in order to determine if they’re drunk. The tech could warn potential drivers, direct the rider to a driver with special training, or ban drunk passengers from shared rides. But after more than 100 allegations of sexual assaults by Uber drivers, some worry that predators could use the tech to identify vulnerable targets.
It’s not your grandma’s rummaging. Once a wartime survival strategy, foraging has made a comeback as an urban food trend across Finland. Mushrooms, berries and other nutritious edible plants are ubiquitous in the country’s forests, as well as urban parks. And this organic cuisine won’t break the bank or the law: It’s supported by Finland’s “everyman’s right” that allows people to freely harvest food from green spaces. As urbanization increases, more Finns are digging this survivalist dining trend as a way to get back to nature.
In November, French photographer Jean-Claude Arnault was accused of sexual harassment or assault by 18 women, along with allegations that he groped Swedish Crown Princess Victoria. Stockholm prosecutors have now charged him with two counts of rape. After Arnault’s wife, Katarina Frostenson — a poet and former Swedish Academy member — initially refused to step down from the group that awards the Nobel Prize for literature, several members of the academy resigned and the 2018 award was postponed. Arnault, who could face six years in prison, has denied all allegations.