Above the Fold
News, on Medium

1 // New data shows that banning Trump from Twitter had no impact at all on Twitter usage. (OneZero)

2 // The Biden administration has been starting the difficult work of reuniting parents and children split up as part of Trump’s family separation policy — but it’s a complicated process that is sure to take a long time. (Business Insider)

3 // That $1,400 relief check? There’s a long road ahead, and Congress may not be able to pass the stimulus bill until March. (Slate)

4 // An analysis of the past decade of Academy Awards shows a clear pattern…


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Welcome to The Briefing, a compilation of news stories to help orient you for the day, delivered via email Monday through Friday. We’d love your feedback, thoughts, or hot 🔥 news 🔥 tips: reach us at morningbriefing@medium.com.

1 // Women — especially Black and Latina women — are suffering disproportionately during the pandemic.

Two recent studies show women are more impacted by recent job losses than men, both in the U.S. and globally. (Insider)

Women have also been facing the hard choice to leave their jobs, as COVID-19 makes it increasingly hard to ignore difficult truths about…


The “first daughter” spent years rigorously cultivating her image. But she wasn’t prepared for scrutiny.

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Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

By Elaina Plott

You could tell by his eyes, the way they popped and gleamed and fixed on someone behind me. Only one person gets that kind of look from Donald Trump. “Oh!” the president said. “Ivanka!”

Ivanka Trump lifted her hands, astonished. “I forgot you guys were meeting — I was just coming by!” she said. “Uh-oh!”

The first daughter (though not the only daughter), wearing a fitted black mockneck and black pants, her golden hair fastened in a low twist, glided across the Oval Office. It was a Tuesday afternoon, and it was apparently vital to inform Trump…


No other matchup would be as riveting — or as revealing — as Harris versus Trump. But first she has to get through the primaries.

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Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) speaks at the National Action Network’s annual convention, April 5, 2019 in New York City. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

By Elizabeth Weil

So here’s the plan:

Kamala is going to walk up to Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ from the left. At 12:50 p.m., Rodney Scott will greet her. She’ll enter through the side door and order at the second register, from the woman in the red shirt. Kamala, Scott, and Maya Harris — that’s Kamala’s sister and campaign chair — will sit and eat. Kamala will then exit through the front door and walk around back to look at the smoker. …


Thea Hunter was a promising, brilliant scholar. And then she got trapped in academia’s permanent underclass.

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Photo: Sanna Stanley/Rykoff Collection/Imran kadir photography/Getty/Frank Fiedler/Shutterstock/Arsh Raziuddin/The Atlantic

A bald eagle in flight is elegance to behold. The sudden, violent flaps of its wings are broken by sublime extension as it locks onto a breeze and glides. Occasionally, 10 blocks north of the George Washington Bridge in Manhattan, you can spot a bald eagle overhead in Fort Tryon Park. There, Thea Hunter could often be counted among the bird’s admirers — typically while walking her dog, Cooper, a black Labrador retriever.

Thea loved the park, a bastion of calm amid the city’s constant hum, and she reveled in the chance encounters she had with eagles there. Often, even…


A look back through the decades shows the successes and challenges of a divisive social policy

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The commencement for the Class of 1973 at Columbia University. The number of black students admitted to Columbia rose sharply in 1969. About half of those who enrolled graduated four years later. Photo: University Archives, Rare Books & Manuscript Library, Columbia University in the City of New York

By Anemona Hartocollis

On cold mornings, Les Goodson shows up early outside the University Club, on a wealthy stretch of Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, and races two panhandlers he has nicknamed Catman and Pimp-the-Baby for a warm spot in front of a steam vent. He launches into “Take Five” on his saxophone, leaving his case open for bills and coins.

In a good week, it’s a living — enough to pay the rent on his railroad flat in Harlem and put food on the table. …


The tech giant’s ‘growth team’ brought it over a billion users — but did it also sow the seeds for current troubles?

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Photo: Hiroshi Watanabe/Getty Images

By Hannah Kuchler

If you joined Facebook at any time over the past decade, Alex Schultz probably had something to do with it. The 36-year-old from south London, a Cambridge physics graduate and self-taught specialist in online marketing, moved to Silicon Valley in 2004. After three years at eBay, he was appointed to Facebook’s newly formed “growth team” in 2007.

Schultz’s mission — along with seven others — was to pioneer innovative techniques to lure in new users and keep them coming back for more. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and chief executive, would later describe the growth team as the…


The number of female solo travelers has skyrocketed, but amid Instagram-worthy escapades are tales of violence and death, raising questions about how the world is greeting women who travel alone.

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Hannah Gavios in Queens, N.Y. Photo: George Etheredge

By Megan Specia and Tariro Mzezewa

Carla Stefaniak did everything “right,” her best friend said.

On a five-day vacation to Costa Rica in November to celebrate her 36th birthday, Stefaniak, a dual Venezuelan-American citizen, chose a gated Airbnb villa near the airport. It had a security guard. It was in a safe neighborhood. And she made sure to get home before dark.

The night before she was to fly to Florida, she contacted her best friend, Laura Jaime, on the FaceTime app. She showed off the crocheted earrings she had bought in a local market and gave a video tour…


Success in forensics is about making yourself vulnerable. Several former competitors accuse a prominent coach of exploiting that vulnerability to sexually harass students.

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Photo: Emily Jan/Zieusin/Rangizzz/MirasWonderland/The Atlantic

By Caroline Kitchener

In the lobby of a deserted student-union building in Peoria, Illinois, the George Mason University speech team falls into formation. Following their coach, a petite, white-haired man in a silk designer tie, they walk single file down an empty hallway and into an empty classroom, where someone plugs in a speaker, turns up the music, and announces that it’s time to dance.

On this rainy Saturday morning in April 2017, no one really wants to dance. It’s 6:30 a.m., and most team members are running on four hours’ sleep and a granola bar for breakfast. Everyone is…

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