What are we reading? June 17, 2021

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


Mark Falkenberg, deputy managing editor:

For many years, Big Tobacco waged a lavishly funded PR campaign that pushed back against a tide of medical evidence that smoking causes cancer and other diseases. This excerpt from Cigarette Nation: Business, Health, and Canadian Smokers, 1930–1975 by Daniel J. Robinson observes how decades of corporate denial and gaslighting helped build a template for modern disinformation campaigns. – The Walrus



U.S. President Joe Biden has moved to stop fighting on one front of a Trump-era trade war, agreeing to end a tariff squabble over alleged unfair subsidies to aircraft makers Boeing and Airbus. – Reuters



Timothy Renshaw, managing editor:

Believe it or not, some other beings now populating planet Earth would miss humans if we all went extinct, which, if you drink daily at the fountain of social media, appears to be increasingly likely. – Grunge



Interesting insights into the mental costs of being employed in jobs with no social value or other purpose. Better known in scientific circles as  the "bullshit jobs theory."  – University of Cambridge 



Breaking up is hard to do and other space debris complications courtesy of the European Space Agency



Welcome to Canada: home to the world's oldest water. – Science Alert



Nelson Bennett, reporter: 

China is playing a dangerous game of chicken near Taiwan. China has for some time now been testing and straining Taiwan’s air defences by flying sorties near Taiwan’s air space, forcing Taiwan to continually scramble fighter jets in response. On Tuesday, it dramatically upped the ante, with a sortie of 28 warplanes just outside Taiwan’s air defence identification zone. As Forbes points out, this is part of China’s strategy to test and strain the air and naval strengths of Taiwan, Japan and the U.S. This is a game chicken that could turn out very badly for all sides. – Forbes



At the risk of being disowned by my son, who is a golf addict, here is a story that asks the question: Should golf exist? – Refinery 29