Here’s what you need to know on this national watermelon day.
First, here is your business brief
Here’s your business brief — We start with the latest on the fight against COVID-19 as mask mandates are making a comeback.
McDonald's customers and patrons will now have to mask up— at least in locations in high transmission areas. Big box retailers Home Depot, Target, and Walmart are reinstating mask mandates for their employees and highly recommending them for customers. Facebook is now requiring them for employees at their U.S. offices. This comes as a growing number of cities have implemented mandates. Those include New Orleans and San Francisco. New York didn’t go that far. Mayor Bill De Blasio highly encouraged residents to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status. This comes as the nation’s largest city touts a high vaccination rate. More than 70% of residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Public health experts say the best defense against COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. By doing so, your also limiting the chance that a new variant will appear that will evade the vaccines currently on the market.
Meanwhile, more companies have announced proof of vaccination requirements for patrons. Gym chains Equinox and SoulCycle being the latest. As for employers requiring vaccinations, Tyson Foods is joining the list. The food giant will require vaccinations for all of its U.S. employees.
Twitter is making moves to take on misinformation. The social media giant is teaming up with both the AP and Reuters as part of an initiative to crack down on the growing issue. The news organizations will help Twitter’s curation team provide more context to news events and trends they push on the platform. The publishers will also help with their PSAs during big news events.
A juicy deal — PepsiCo has agreed to sell Tropicana.
The food giant is selling the brand alongside Naked and several other juice products in its portfolio to a French Private Equity firm. Pepsi will rake in $3.3 billion as part of the deal. That’s a little bit less than what juice brands brought in revenue last year. That was at $3 billion. The deal is expected to close later this year. This comes amid a tough year for the industry more broadly. Competitor Coca-Cola also recently trimmed it’s portfolio of products.
Meeting an agreement — Zoom has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit in California.
This is over what have been called ‘Zoombombings’. That’s when random users pop into uninvited meetings. The video conferencing app will pay $85 million to consumers. This is available to anyone who has used zoom over the last five years. Users with paid subscriptions can get up to 15%.Meanwhile, free users can make a claim for $15.
FIVE STORIES THAT SHOULD BE ON YOUR RADAR
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, state attorney general report says (CNN)
Trump raised millions but spent none of it on audits and GOP candidates (Politico)
The Gymnast Who Won’t Let Her Daughters Do Gymnastics (The Atlantic)
The anti-American right (Vox)
Bionic arms and blue-eyed bots: How Russia aims to nurture a tech hub in its Far East (Washington Post)
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Job training programs are surging since the pandemic. I sat down with Caren Marrick CEO of Virginia Ready, one of the most successful programs in the country now on (Business Brief)
Businesses across the country are in the process of developing their plans to return to the office but not everyone is excited about it. I sat down with one executive coach, Naz Baheshti who has advice for employers on (Business Brief)
America’s longest war is almost over. At least on paper. President Joe Biden has announced that the U.S. will complete the pullout of its troops from Afghanistan by August 31, days before the 20th anniversary of 9/11 — the cataclysmic terrorist attack on America that prompted the country’s military invasion more than 6,500 miles away. But for the thousands of U.S. soldiers who have served in Afghanistan, many of whom have returned home in recent months, a different conflict is very much alive. From hunger to homelessness, the battle for survival is real for America’s vets. Here’s my latest for (OZY)
For the Observer I wrote about What Is the Environmental Impact of the Billionaire Space Race? Experts Weigh In (Observer)
I sat down with Olivia Holt, the star of ‘Cruel Summer’ to discuss her approach to the nuances of trauma (Observer)
For TYT I wrote about How Massive Companies Sidestepped Their Vows To Uphold Democracy (TYT)
Every edition we will share a movie, clip, song, GIF, antidote or something that we’re into right now to help distract you from all the noise in the world. Here’s what we got for today:
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By Andy Hirschfeld
Andy Hirschfeld is a multimedia journalist based in New York City. He’s a contributing writer to numerous publications including TYT, Al Jazeera English, Observer, The Daily Dot, BBC, CNBC, Bloomberg, CS Monitor, OZY, Fortune, and Mic among others. He’s the anchor of Business Brief, a nationally syndicated business news update and interview program. Previously he produced for CBS and CNN.