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Vox Sentences: North Korea’s worst drought in decades



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San Francisco becomes the first US city to ban surveillance using facial recognition technology; a severe drought in North Korea threatens the country’s already limited food supply.

San Francisco bans facial recognition technology

Steffi Loos/Getty Images

  • San Francisco is now the first US city to ban the use of facial recognition surveillance technology by law enforcement or other government departments. [San Francisco Chronicle / Trisha Thadani]
  • There are some exceptions; airports, for instance, will not be affected, and the ban does not apply to businesses or individuals using the tech. The ban is part of a larger surveillance oversight ordinance that will also require the city to disclose the surveillance technology it currently uses or plans to implement in the future. [AP / Janie Har]
  • Facial surveillance is becoming a more popular tool among government agencies and is backed by big tech companies. Amazon sells the technology to US police departments and Microsoft to a US prison. [Recode / Shirin Ghaffary]
  • While supporters of the technology say it helps law enforcement effectively identify and arrest criminal suspects, critics have raised concerns about civil liberties and racial bias. [NPR / Shannon Van Sant and Richard Gonzales]
  • Studies have shown that facial analysis software was less likely to correctly identify dark-skinned or female faces. This means that, for instance, African Americans and women are more likely to be misidentified as suspects and wrongly arrested. [NYT / Kate Conger, Richard Fausset, and Serge F. Kovaleski]
  • This might be a sign that lawmakers are finally catching up with rapidly developing technology. Even now, there are no federal laws that regulate artificial intelligence technology. [CNN / Rachel Metz]
  • San Francisco might be setting a trend for other cities that are recognizing the need for more oversight of surveillance technology. Oakland, California, and Somerville, Massachusetts, are both set to vote on similar bans. [Wired / Gregory Barber]

Threat of starvation looms in North Korea

  • North Korea is experiencing its worst drought since 1982, and the UN predicts the country’s food crisis will only worsen with time. [Yonhap]
  • The country has only received 2.1 inches of rain for the past five months, which is about 42 percent of the level in recent years. Just a year ago, food production fell to its lowest in a decade. [Guardian / Daniel Hurst]
  • While there have been no reports of mass starvation yet, UN agencies said that the government is already cutting back on rations. Just two weeks ago, two UN relief agencies — the World Food Program and the Food and Agriculture Organization — said that 40 percent of North Korea’s population risked “severe food shortages” because of the country’s disastrous harvest last fall. [NYT / Choe Sang-Hun]
  • Rodong Sinmun, North Korea’s leading newspaper, urged citizens to mobilize to prevent damage to crops. In February, citizens were also encouraged to secure water supplies as the drought dragged on. [North Korea News / Oliver Hotham]
  • This drought is particularly serious because sanctions, which were implemented because of the country’s weapons development program, have led to a drastic drop in bilateral food aid in recent years. [BBC]
  • South Korea is planning to provide aid to North Korea, despite recent threats from North Korea’s weapon tests. The country’s one goal: get North Korea back to the negotiating table. [NYT / Choe Sang-Hun]


  • Stan Lee’s manager and caretaker has been charged with allegedly abusing the late Marvel Comics icon. [CNN / Chloe Melas]
  • Say hello to Swiss ruby chocolate, the first new natural shade of the sweet stuff introduced in the US since white chocolate in the 1930s. [Washington Post / Hamza Shaban]
  • Commuters found themselves in a sticky situation when a semi-trailer filled with honey overturned on an Indiana highway. [AP]
  • An 11-year-old girl wrote to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern asking her to launch a dragon research program so she could grow up to be a dragon trainer. Her “bribe” for the PM: $5. [NPR / Vanessa Romo]
  • There’s a petition to remake season eight of Game of Thrones with 16,000 signatures. [A.V. Club / Dan Neilan]


“Even before this drought, one in five children under five years old was stunted because of poor nutrition. We are concerned that these children will not be able to cope with further stress on their bodies.” [Mohamed Babiker, head of the North Korea office of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, on the drought’s impact]

Watch this: Why drugs cost more in America

Why an EpiPen can cost $300 in the US and $38 in the UK. [YouTube / Madeline Marshall and Sarah Kliff]

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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.”

Lil Nas X, for his part, seemed mildly surprised by the response.

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.

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Viral News

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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Viral News

#ELLEFashionCupboard : The Team Show You How To Wear Camel




The trend is Camel. Camel is back, and it’s spearheading this season’s Seventies revival. Wear it your way with denim, tailoring and texture.

View at DailyMotion

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