Welcome back to a short week

We know it’s hard to believe, but while you honored America’s armed forces by eating, drinking, and parade-watching over the weekend, the world kept turning. Here’s some noteworthy news you may have missed: Investment in raspberry-picking robots finally bore fruit In the UK, where there’s a chronic shortage of seasonal ag workers due to Brexit, […]


May 28, 2019

We know it’s hard to believe, but while you honored America’s armed forces by eating, drinking, and parade-watching over the weekend, the world kept turning.

Here’s some noteworthy news you may have missed:

Investment in raspberry-picking robots finally bore fruit

In the UK, where there’s a chronic shortage of seasonal ag workers due to Brexit, researchers created a robot capable of picking 25k berries a day — far more than human pickers who can pluck 15k.

Sports Illustrated (the brand) got a new owner

The iconic magazine sold to Authentic Brands for $110m. SI’s previous owner Meredith will continue to run the magazine — while Authentic attempts to spin SI’s name off into a licensing empire.

Facebook announced a cryptocurrency

“GlobalCoin,” Facebook’s foray into the wild world Bitcoin built, will launch in a dozen countries by next year, according to the BBC. The ’Book is working with the Bank of England and the US Treasury to ensure compliance and will announce further details this summer.

Bangladeshi fishermen got some bad news

The central government in Bangladesh imposed a 65-day ban on commercial fishing, putting more than 10% of the country out of work for 2+ months. The move preserves fish in the long term — but screws over hundreds of thousands of fishermen in the short term.

People in rural areas struggled with the Huawei ban

Since Huawei provides the inexpensive telecom equipment used in rural wireless networks across the US, the recent executive order banning Huawei products from the US has left many communities without any wireless.

Fiat and Renault teased a merger

Fiat Chrysler announced plans to merge with rival automaker Renault in a deal that would make the combined entity the 3rd-largest carmaker after Toyota and Volkswagen. Post-announcement, Fiat stock rose more than 13% and Renault stock rose more than 11%.

Juul got desperate to recruit researchers

The headcount at the $38B vaping giant Juul grew from 225 employees in 2018 to more than 2.2k today. But now, as Juul struggles to convince the FDA its products do more good than harm, it’s desperately recruiting researchers from medical conferences to brush up its image.

America’s farmers felt a little bit older

Today, the amount of American soil owned by non-Americans is 30m acres — twice 20 years ago. With the median age of US farmers at 55 and few family members interested in farming, many older farmers are selling their land to foreign investors.

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