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Trump unveils his new immigration plan to a lukewarm crowd; African swine fever has led to a national pork supply crisis in China.
Trump’s very vague immigration plan
- Trump has revealed his newest immigration plan, which would favor young, educated immigrants over those with family ties. [Politico / Jordyn Hermani]
- The new “merit-based” system, which was spearheaded by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, wouldn’t change the number of green cards allocated but prioritizes those who gain more “points” based on age, education, job offers, and English proficiency. [CNBC / Ylan Mui and Eamon Javers]
- One thing that the new plan fails to address: legal status for DREAMers. Despite Democrats’ push for new protections for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the plan didn’t include it because it is too “divisive.” [Washington Post / John Wagner, Seung Min Kim, Josh Dawsey and David Nakamura]
- Unfortunately for Trump, it seems like his newest plan will be a hard sell, especially for Democrats who want to secure DACA protections and prioritize keeping together immigrant families. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized the merit system for being “condescending.” [The Hill / Jordan Fabian]
- Republicans, too, seem wary of the vague nature of the plan. Not only does it leave out legal status for DREAMers, but it also fails to address the “broken” asylum system and the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants. [USA Today / John Fritze, Alan Gomez and David Jackson]
- If anything, Trump’s new plan is an attempt to unite Republicans behind a unified message on immigration — an issue that has long caused so much controversy. So far, however, the reaction seems to be lukewarm at best. [CNN / Maegan Vazquez and Kevin Liptak]
Swine fever could kill a third of China’s pigs
- China’s pig livestock industry, the largest in the world, is dwindling at a rapid rate due to the African swine fever. [NYT / Mike Ives and Katherine Li]
- Experts estimate that the pig population will shrink by a third in 2019 — which would be like eliminating all the pigs in Europe and the US combined. Swine fever is so deadly for pigs because it is highly contagious, but the disease does not harm humans. [CNN / Andrew Stevens and Lily Lee]
- The disease has already spread to Vietnam, Cambodia, Mongolia, Hong Kong, and possibly North Korea. Experts worry that the swine fever will spread even further to countries that aren’t prepared to deal with the disease. [Science Magazine / Dennis Normile]
- The people of China are already feeling the effects of the soaring prices of pork, which is the staple meat for most of the country’s 1.4 billion people. Last week, China’s inflation rate jumped to its highest in six months for this very reason, and experts are concerned that the situation will only worsen. [South Morning China Post / Karen Yeung]
- The spread of swine fever also points to a larger problem: many Chinese farms have low biosecurity, partially because they cannot afford it. Diseases will continue to threaten the stability of the country’s food supply if this issue isn’t addressed. [South Morning China Post / Danny Lee]
- The impact of China’s struggling pork industry will likely affect US farmers with a sharp drop in demand for feed exports such as soybeans. [Financial Times / Emiko Terazono]
- Pop art icon Jeff Koons sold a sculpture of a rabbit at a record price for a living artist: $91 million. [Reuters]
- This German startup plans to get flying taxis up and running in six years. [CNN / Rishi Iyengar]
- Against all odds, China’s biggest import may be TikTok, the viral video sharing app. Fans say you’d have to see it for yourself to understand the user experience. [BuzzFeed News / Ryan Broderick]
- A couple snatched the deal of the night when they were accidentally served a bottle of wine that’s nearly $6,000. [USA Today / Ryan W. Miller]
- The College Board recognizes that the playing field for college preparation isn’t always even. That’s why they’re introducing “adversity scores” to capture students’ economic and social background. [The Wall Street Journal / Douglas Belkin]
“Democrats are proposing open borders, lower wages and, frankly, lawless chaos. We are proposing an immigration plan that puts the jobs, wages and safety of American workers first. Our proposal is pro-American, pro-immigrant and pro-worker. It’s just common sense.” [Trump during his speech announcing his new immigration plan]
Listen to this:
Brian Stelter is the host of CNN’s Reliable Sources, as well as the network’s chief media correspondent. Ezra Klein sat down to interview him about the future of cable news and its effect on the political system in a new episode of The Ezra Klein Show. [Spotify | Apple Podcasts]
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Lil Nas X and Wrangler’s “Old Town Road” clothing line inspires country music fan backlash
“Old Town Road” star Lil Nas X’s latest move is into fashion, courtesy of a collaboration with Wrangler, the legacy denim and apparel brand that’s become a signature element of the Western aesthetic.
The chart-topping rapper has partnered with the company to launch a capsule clothing collection inspired by his hit song and featuring graphic T-shirts, jeans, and other denim apparel. The collaboration is essentially an extension of one of the most memorable lyrics in “Old Town Road,” which shouts out Wrangler by name: “Cowboy hat from Gucci / Wrangler on my booty.”
Wrangler describes the capsule collection, which launched May 20, as “fresh remixes of classic Wrangler styles for the kind of modern cowboy that can’t be put in a box.”
That’s a cheeky reference to “Old Town Road” itself, which sparked an intense debate over whether the song counts as country music when it debuted on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart in March, and was subsequently removed. Despite its references to established Western themes and imagery — the song’s lyrics revolve around a lone cowboy riding his horse into the sunset, after all — Billboard said the song “does not embrace enough elements of today’s country music to chart in its current version.”
Some country music fans and industry observers agreed, arguing that “Old Town Road” qualifies more as hip-hop than country. Others criticized Billboard for feeding rigid ideas about who or what qualifies as country enough, and suggested that Lil Nas X’s race played a part in the song’s reclassification; the fact that Lil Nas X is a black teenager from Atlanta and country is a predominantly white genre did not go unnoticed.
The song quickly became the catalyst for an industry-wide discussion about the definition of country music and racially tinged gatekeeping within the genre. It also became the top song in the country, and has now been No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks straight.
Just like the song itself riled some country music fans amid an outpouring of support for Lil Nas X from his own expansive fanbase, the rapper’s collaboration with Wrangler has met with a polarized response.
The Lil Nas X capsule collection is clearly intended to celebrate and capitalize on the success of “Old Town Road.” Although many Lil Nas X fans have expressed interest in buying the collection, Wrangler is also facing criticism from some consumers, many of whom are threatening to boycott.
Much of the backlash is playing out on social media, where Wrangler has received thousands of comments from customers expressing anger and “disappointment.” (It is unclear if customers have also been contacting the company via other, less public methods; Vox has reached out to Wrangler for comment.) And much of the current conversation revolves around how Wrangler seems to be promoting inclusivity by branching out from its reputation as a brand worn by cowboys and farmers.
Two recent Instagram posts from Wrangler showcasing items from its Lil Nas X collection have received more than 1,000 comments each. While plenty of people have commented on how awesome it looks or asking questions about where to buy, several have declared that the “Old Town Road” items are “ruining the cowboy name that y’all have.”
“Wranglers are to be worn by cowboys and farmers not rappers this is very disappointing,” reads one representative Instagram comment.
Some commenters have more explicitly mentioned race — or called out others’ racism.
“This is the dumbest thing i have seen all day,” one user wrote. “Wtf @wrangler? Why is it about diversity and equality ? There jeans. Quit playin politics.”
WRANGLER JUST PARTNERED WITH LIL NAS X AND THE RACIST ARE MAD GO BUY UP ALL THE WRANGLER LIL NAS X COLLAB JEANS YOU CAN PEOPLE SUPPORT DIVERSITY pic.twitter.com/gwH2G7dULj
— tyler (@tylerujhazy) May 21, 2019
Lil Nas X, for his part, seemed mildly surprised by the response.
i mean honestly white people act like they are the only ones who are cowboys. come to my town in louisiana, we pull up to mcdonalds on horses and have rodeos every weekend.
— Blair Waldorf (@teonnyspears) May 21, 2019
These comments are in the same vein as those used by some country music fans to describe “Old Town Road” when the song made its chart debut, arguing that rappers have no place in the genre (often while neglecting to acknowledge modern country’s own hip-hop influences). Lingering over this debate is race, which many Instagram users have called out in the comments on Wrangler’s posts. Country music is perceived as an insular, predominantly white genre, while Lil Nas X is a black rapper who draws influences from black artists and musical styles.
But Wrangler’s continued support of Lil Nas X is clear; the brand has been actively responding to its detractors on social media, simply repeating on that is devoted to creating high-quality products for all of its customers.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the drama over the Lil Nas X collection has only served to draw more attention to it. Some pieces have already sold out, like a pair of shorts that say “Wrangler” on the booty, in keeping with the lyrics of “Old Town Road.” Considering that items in the collection cost between $39 for a graphic T-shirt and $129 for a pair of jeans, the outcry, at least from Wrangler’s perspective, seems to have paid off.
20 Times People Snapped Something Truly Exceptional and Shared the Pics With the World
We are living in the world that is full of surprises where every single day is a new chance to see something so unusual that it makes you doubt your own vision. A treble clef in a bag of fries, a cat whose fur went gray only on his ears, or a person with 6 fingers — these are just a few extraordinary sights that made people reach for their phones and take a pic.
Here at Bright Side we can’t wait to share our list with you of pics showing the standout things people snapped on their ordinary days.
20. Someone found a treble clef in their fries.
19. The pattern on this dog’s chest resembles a cat’s silhouette.
18. Someone saw a landscape on the bottom of their coffee mug.
17. This stone looks like a pile of mini chocolate bars.
16. This cloud looks like a shark.
15. “This stick I found looks like a burning torch, flame included!”
14. “My sweater sort of matches my pillowcase.”
13. “This truck is carrying nothing but a toy dump truck.”
12. “My empanadas have the filling stamped into them.”
11. “I randomly found the tiniest snail I’ve ever seen! (standard bobby pin for scale)”
10. “My cat has double fangs on both sides.”
9. “This tree near my school track has absorbed a fence and shows the pattern on its bark.”
8. “This is an X-ray of my hedgehog.”
7. “My 12-year-old sister made this perfect cake on her first ever try making one.”
6. “I won every single prize on this lottery ticket.”
5. “I made a giant cardboard statue of my face.”
4. “My cousin’s wedding dress from last night has its own pockets.”
3. This is one million dollars in $10 bills.
2. “A customer came in and let me take a picture of her hands that had 6 fingers on each.”
1. “My aunt’s cat’s ears grayed to here a couple years ago and haven’t changed since.”
Have you ever spotted something truly rare? Did you manage to take a picture of the unusual sight?
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