What are we reading? July 4, 2019


Each week, BIV staff will share with you some of the interesting stories we have found from around the web.


Kirk LaPointe, editor-in-chief:

Historian Jill Lepore writes this exceptional piece on digging through a late, best friend’s laptop two decades later. There are spoilers too numerous to mention. – The New Yorker



A U.S. government report from the independent watchdog of the Department of Homeland Security chronicles shameful conditions in border patrol facilities. – US Government



Lee Iacocca, if you are old enough to remember, changed our perception of the American auto industry. He made it to the top of two of the three giant automakers and became the face of the business. – The New York Times



Hayley Woodin, reporter:

Pulitzer-prize winning reporter Lois Lane takes on the Kremlin in her own spin-off comic book series. – The New York Times



How to have the worst summer vacation ever: travel through the busiest airports and arrive late, go to Disney World, hit up the world’s most iconic attractions and escape into wilderness along with everybody else. – Washington Post



ProPublica dives deep into a Facebook group where U.S. border patrol agents “joked about the deaths of migrants, discussed throwing burritos at Latino members of Congress … and posted a vulgar illustration depicting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.” – ProPublica



Timothy Renshaw, managing editor:

Fourth of July numbers to ponder while Donald Trump does his best to undermine Canada's relationship with the U.S. and other major trading partners. – United States Census Bureau


Renewable energy idea of the week: turn today's oil supertankers into tomorrow's floating  power stations. – BBC



Nelson Bennett, reporter:

Try to build a new nuclear power plant, hydro electric dam or even a wind farm, and you are almost guaranteed to get public pushback. But who doesn’t like trees? According to a new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, planting 1 billion hectares of new forests worldwide could reduce the 300 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide that humans have added to the atmosphere since the 1800s by two-thirds. – ScienceMag 



Earlier this week, several Canadian and American mainstream media outlets ran stories about natural gas being neither cheaper nor more beneficial for the environment than coal. All were based on a report by the Global Energy Monitor. While its name might suggest it is a legitimate energy intelligence think-tank, it is in fact an anti-fossil fuel organization, originally called Coalswarm, and its authors have no credentials in energy, economics or greenhouse gas life cycle analysis. There have been several rebuttals to the Global Energy Monitor report. This one, by Energy In Depth (a research arm of the Independent Petroleum Association of America) is one of the more comprehensive. – Energy In Depth



Mark Falkenberg, deputy managing editor:

B.C. will move to switch more than 20,000 patients in the province from expensive biologic drugs to close copies called biosimilars. – Reuters



Huawei boss Ren Zhengfei understandably isn’t crazy about the arrest and detention of his daughter, Meng Wanzhou, in Canada, but that doesn’t mean he has stopped envisioning this country as the tech giant’s “global centre for theoretical research.” – Globe and Mail



Tyler Orton, reporter: 

“Scientists are searching for a mirror universe. It could be sitting right in front of you.”

Don’t expect to find your doppleganger on the other side but this experiment here has the potential to introduce us to a world where the laws of physics operate in an entirely different way. – NBC News



“What Just Happened Also Occurred Before The Last 7 U.S. Recessions. Reason To Worry?”

While recent StatsCan data points to (some) signs of a strengthening Canadian economy, we may not wish to get too excited just yet. – NPR