7.8.2023

 

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Good morning. It's Saturday, July 8, and in this weekend edition, we're covering the slowest growth in US jobs in over two years, sentencing in the 2019 mass shooting at a Texas Walmart, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

You share. We listen. As always, send us feedback at [email protected].

One Big Headline
 

Hiring Cools, Wages Rise

The US economy added 209,000 jobs in June, below economist estimates of 240,000 and below the downward revised 306,000 jobs in May, according to government data released yesterday. The figure is the fewest number of jobs added in two-and-a-half years. 

 

The unemployment rate dropped to 3.6%, from 3.7% in May, and is in line with economist expectations. The unemployment rate has hovered between 3.4% to 3.7% since March 2022. Most of the jobs were added in government (+60,000), healthcare (+41,000), social assistance (+24,000), and construction (+23,000), while the largest declines were in retail (-11,000) and transportation and warehousing (-7,000). See a breakdown here.

 

Average hourly earnings—a key inflation indicator—grew 0.4% month-over-month and 4.4% year-over-year, both up from May's 0.3% monthly growth and 4.3% annual growth. See all data here.

 

Analysts say the overall report suggests economic activity hasn't slowed as much as the Federal Reserve would like, keeping policymakers likely on track to raise interest rates at their upcoming meeting July 25-26, following a temporary pause last month. The benchmark rate is currently in a range between 5% and 5.25%, a 16-year high.

Quick Hits
 

Texas gunman in 2019 Walmart mass shooting sentenced to life.

The 24-year-old gunman, who is white, pleaded guilty in February to about 50 federal hate charges for killing 23 Hispanic shoppers at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart using a semi-automatic rifle. Police have said he drove 700 miles from his home near Dallas to the El Paso Walmart and had posted racist comments on social media. He was sentenced Friday to 90 consecutive life sentences. He still faces a state trial.

 

Biden administration to send cluster munitions to Ukraine. 

Cluster munitions, which the US last used in Iraq in 2003, is a method of dispersing a large number of unguided tiny bombs over a wide area. The weapons will be part of a new $800M military package to aid Ukraine in its counteroffensive. Human rights groups say cluster munitions pose a risk to civilians. A number of countries have banned such weapons.  

 

The US destroys its last stockpile of chemical weapons.

Workers at an army depot in eastern Kentucky destroyed rockets—filled with a toxic nerve agent known as sarin—which are considered the last of the United States' publicly declared chemical weapons. The effort is part of a decadeslong mission to eliminate the US' Cold War-era stockpile of over 30,000 tons of chemical weapons. 

 

Indian authorities arrest three railway officials over train crash.

Two signal engineers and one technician have been charged with culpable homicide and destruction of evidence for their roles in a train collision last month in India's eastern Odisha state. More than 290 people were killed in the crash and nearly 1,000 people were injured. An investigation of the incident is still ongoing. 

 

Olympic gold-medalist Nikki McCray-Penson dies at 51.

The 2012 Women's Basketball Hall of Famer played for the Lady Volunteers at the University of Tennessee in the 1990s, before moving on to the American Basketball League and WNBA. She won gold medals with the US women's basketball team in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics and later became a college basketball head coach. McCray-Penson was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013.

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Humankind
 

Doctor proposes to high school sweetheart nearly 60 years later at Tampa International Airport. (More, w/video)

 

Teen who walked 6 miles to eighth grade graduation receives college scholarship on the spot. (More

 

A 71-year-old mom and her daughter celebrate their college graduations together. (More)

 

Chicago mentoring program helps young people find purpose through restoring classic cars. (More

 

Texas mom launches Girl Scout troop for LGBTQ youth, dubbed the "Pride Crew." (More)

 

Army veteran celebrates 107th birthday with neighborhood block party. (More

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Humankind(ness)
 

Today, we're sharing a story from reader Glenn K. in Louisville, Kentucky.

 

"On a recent bicycle trip on the Katy trail in Rocheport, Missouri, my anti-theft GPS tracking device fell off my bike without my knowledge. I did not realize it was missing until retuning home to Louisville, Kentucky. The GPS tracker was still transmitting its position but battery life was decreasing .... It was a long shot but I emailed the Meriwether Cafe and Bike Shop in Rocheport. I received a response from Max C., the kitchen manager for the cafe, who was willing to look for it. The beacon signal was 9 miles away from the cafe and Max was able to locate the device. I offered him a $50 reward plus the cost of postage. He refused and mailed it back to me out of his own pocket. The GPS unit arrived and I want to thank Max C. and the Meriwether Cafe and Bike Shop for selflessly helping out."

 

What act(s) of kindness did you experience this week? Tell us here.

Etcetera
 

Bookkeeping

> The world's richest people have become $852B wealthier in 2023 so far.

> TSA sees record number of travelers screened in one day, with 2,883,595 people entering checkpoints across the US June 30, breaking a previous high set in 2019.

 

Browse 

> Rare pink grasshopper spotted in a UK garden.

> The most relaxing rides at Disney World

> Upcoming food and drink festivals around the US.

> IHOP debuts pancake tacos for a limited time.

A mayor in Mexico marries a crocodile

 

Listen 

> The ethical costs of upward mobility

> If Blink-182 sang a version of Beyoncé's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)." 


Watch 

> The world's greatest rock skipper

Why does Coke taste different at McDonald's

> The most dangerous weapon: biotechnology

> How a production designer creates the worlds of Wes Anderson.

 

Long Read 

> Why our voices change with age

> The untold history of "Barbie Fashion Designer," one of the first commercially successful video games marketed to young girls

 

Best of the Week: Stunning shot of an aurora over an Icelandic waterfall

 

Historybook: Businessman and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller born (1839); "Gone with the Wind" actress Vivien Leigh dies (1967); Atlantis is launched on final mission of US Space Shuttle program (2011); Former first lady and social activist Betty Ford dies (2011); Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assassinated (2022).

"I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance."

- John D. Rockefeller

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