[Issue 064] The Summer Top 10


Hello beautiful people!

Oh how I missed you all while I was gone, but let 👏🏾 me 👏🏾 tell 👏🏾 you. I seriously needed that summer break.

Not only did I spend the past few weeks traveling a ton for work and weddings, but I also took some long overdue time to take care of myself and—most importantly—stay away from the news. 

But now I'm back!

While I was away ABL's intern Lora held down the fort beautifully, especially by keeping up with the headlines. So as I slowly got back into the groove over the past two weeks, she helped me get up to speed by synthesizing what I missed. (OMG SO MUCH!)


So without further ado, here are the top 10 headlines from this summer that we hope you didn't miss.

But if you did, I got you!  (My absolute favorite is #10!)

* Article with a paywall

* Article with a paywall

Companies like Starbucks, Hyatt Hotels, Disney, and Carnival Cruiselines have announced that they will be phasing out the use of plastic straws in the near future, in an effort to slow their production of plastic waste. While this is viewed as progress by many, some are questioning if people will continue to find ways to lessen their waste and starting discussions about how banning straws hurt disabled people who may need straws to drink. // WSJ*

During the Amazon Prime Day discounts in mid June, workers at Amazon fulfillment centers took advantage of one of Amazon’s most popular weeks to strike in Spain and Germany, asking for better working conditions, better pay, and better health benefits. The strike lasted up to three days at some facilities and is considered the largest strike against Amazon to date. In Spain, where the Prime Day strikes began, 98% of the 2000 Amazon workers reported being part of the strike. // WASHINGTON POST 

Starbucks is opening its first US based “Signing Store,” a Starbucks store where the workers are all proficient in sign language and thus able to help customers who are deaf or hard of hearing. The Signing Store will be next to Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C, which is a university designed specifically for the advancement and education of deaf and hard of hearing people. // FORTUNE

Due to a reported computer glitch on a software used at Wells Fargo, hundreds of customers’ homes were foreclosed on after the software incorrectly denied them changes to their mortgages. Wells Fargo has set aside 8 million dollars to pay back to the customers who lost their homes. // NBC

Two female ex-employees of Nike are in a federal lawsuit against the company, claiming that Nike does not treat their female workers the same as their male counterparts and has a hostile work environment. They claim that Nike hired women at lower salaries than men for years, promoted less women, gave women lower performance reviews, and ignored sexual harrassment complaints about other employees in the company. // NYTIMES

Amazon’s facial recognition software Rekognition incorrectly identified 28 members of Congress to mugshot photos of different people during an experiment conducted by the ACLU. Facial recognition software often has a harder time identifying faces of women and people of color than white males, Rekognition included. As a result, the ACLU is asking Congress to impose a moratorium on the use of all facial recognition software by law enforcement and has called on Amazon to stop offering it to law enforcement agencies. // FAST COMPANY

UK supermarket Morrisons has introduced a “quieter hour” every Sunday from 9-10AM that is aimed at making the shopping experience easier for customers on the autism spectrum. During the hour, the lights will be dimmed, the music will be turned off, and the check out beeps will be quieter in an attempt to lower sensory overload for the customers. Morrisons is one of the first supermarkets in the world to consistently provide a specific hour for customers on the autism spectrum to shop in a better environment. // NYTIMES

Among the many reasons why Facebook has been in the headlines this summer: the company has been taking steps to end the spread of misinformation, especially after posts with false statements or data have led to violence against certain ethnic groups in Sri Lanka, Maynmar, and India. The company is working with local civil groups to find sources of malicious misinformation and remove them. // NYTIMES 

The GDPR in the European Union was big news back in May when it became regulation, and since then California Governor Jerry Brown has signed law AB375, which mirrors the EU's GDPR in many ways. It allows CA residents to see the data companies hold on them, edit or delete it completely, and ensure it's not sold to third parties. The law goes into affect in 2020. // AD AGE << I liked their breakdown of the topic.



Monsanto, the agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology company that produces the weedkiller Roundup, has been found liable in a lawsuit filed by a Californian school grounds keeper Dewayne Johnson who claims that Roundup caused his non-hodgkin's lymphoma. Monsanto must pay $289 million in damages to Johnson. More cases are set to be taken to trial in the coming months. // NYTIMES

And while the story that led to this specific case had me in tears, I can't tell you how much joy I felt knowing that this man—and possibly others—will get some kind of justice. 

Now it's your turn: What topics and headlines caught your attention this summer? Hit reply and let me know because I'm curious, but more importantly I'VE MISSED YOU!

See you next week.


Nikita T. Mitchell