All your news in a single email. We scour 100+ sources so you don't have to. Culture, science, sports, politics, business, and more - all packaged in a 5-minute read below.
Need To Know.
World Cup 2018.
The 2018 World Cup kicks off today in Russia, with the opening ceremony being held in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium just ahead of the opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia. The playoff format for the Cup involves an initial round robin with 8 groups of 4 teams each (see groupings) - teams get 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, and no points for a loss. The top 2 teams from each group then advance to a 16-team, single elimination bracket. Of the 32 teams in the field, oddsmakers give the edge to Brazil (4/1 odds), Germany (5/1), Spain (6/1), and France (13/2) - though Spain may see their odds drop after firing their coach, Julen Lopetegui, just days before their first match. Lopetegui reportedly accepted the open Real Madrid head coaching job without informing Spain's National Team. Spain still finds itself in a much better position than the US, who was bounced from even making the field after a humiliating loss to Trinidad and Tobago last fall. For more, check out this deep dive with top storylines, players to watch, and more.

Not pumped up yet? Better listen to Will Smith sing the official Cup anthem.

Feds Raise Rates (Again).
The Federal Reserve increased its benchmark interest rate yesterday by 0.25% (25 basis points in finance speak) - to a range of 1.75-2.0%, reflecting ongoing confidence in the durability of the US economy. Chairman Jerome Powell also signaled that the country's central bank would consider at least two more rate hikes before the end of the year. Because higher interest rates mean consumers and businesses spend more on things like buying a car or starting a new plant, the decision reflects the Fed's confidence that the economy can weather higher costs without slowing down. The move parallels strong economic numbers like low unemployment, expanding household spending and business investment, and stock markets near all-time highs. 

Sort of understand what the Fed is - but sort of don't? Here is a solid primer on its history and how it works. 

Clinton Report Out Today.
A long-anticipated report looking at how the FBI handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while serving as Secretary of State is expected to be released today. The probe was led by the Justice Department's inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, a federal official who has served in the role since 2012. The report is not about the Clinton controversy itself, but rather is expected to examine how former FBI director James Comey handled the resulting investigation, particularly in the run-up to the 2016 election. 

See an interesting look at the inspector general's background here (paywall).
In The Know.

Business & Markets.

Homeowner foreclosure rates match lowest in 11 years (More)
Comcast offers $65B for Twenty-First Century Fox in effort to lure business away from Disney bid (More)
Volkswagen fined 1B euros for emissions scandal (More)

Sports, Entertainment & Culture.

US Open Golf Championship begins today at Shinnecock Hills, NY; see preview, odds, and predictions (More
Sylvester Stallone under investigation for 1990's sexual assault (More)
49th annual Art Basel international art fair opens in Switzerland (More) | See top booths and artists showcasing their art (More)

Politics & World Affairs.

Judge allows lawsuit to proceed that challenges the use of a kill list with potential drone strike targets; suit argues that if list contains US citizens, then it violates due process (More)
President Trump nominated by Norwegian lawmakers for Nobel Peace Prize for North Korea talks (More)
Saudi forces backing Yemeni government in country's civil war lead assault on port city of Hodeida, the entry point for nearly 70% of Yemen's food supplies and the bulk of international aid (More)

Science & Technology.

Melting of Antarctic accelerating, rate of melt has increased by 3x over 25 years; has lost 3 trillion tons of ice over same time frame (More)
Apple closes loophole that allowed law enforcement to break into locked devices by communicating with device via the USB port (More)
AI-powered network of wireless sensors able to detect and model people's movements through walls and other obstacles; applications include smart home systems for the elderly (More)
In Depth.

Inside the Binge Factory. 

Vulture | Josef Adalian. In its quest to overturn the traditional television model, Netflix has hired everyone else's top talent. Combined with their big data approach that precisely knows who watches what, the streaming giant is poised to churn out a historic amount of original content.

Americans Are Unprepared for a Nuclear Attack. 

Politico Magazine | Gordon F. Sander. Members of the political community are suggesting the return of civil defense, the Cold War program that helped Americans prepare and respond to a nuclear attack. There are more ways now a nuclear attack could be carried out, and Americans have forgotten what to do in the event of a crisis - here is why we need to remember.
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Please support our sponsors - they help us keep the lights on! 
How liberals and conservatives differ on the moral acceptability of key social issues (via Gallup). 

The TED reading list - 88 books to enjoy this summer

Apparently, IQ scores have been falling for decades

A 95-year-old Stanford study links goal-setting with long lives

Mapping the price of beer around the world

Ready to get away from the city? See the best bed-and-breakfasts across the US.

Adam Sandler (nearly) bookends this ranking of all the Netflix original movies ever made

Country Time Lemonade will cover fees for kids getting busted running lemonade stands without permits

See stats of the current state of student loan debt

Clickbait: Woman gets head stuck in tailpipe at Minnesota music festival

Historybook: Stars and Stripes officially adopted as flag of US (1777); HBD Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811); Che Guevara born (1928); HBD Donald Trump (1946); High-rise fire in London kills 80 (2017).
"The truth is the kindest thing we can give folks in the end."
- Harriet Beecher Stowe

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