Welcome to the weekend. A winter storm is making its way across the country meaning a wet weekend ahead for many.
Perfect weather to stay inside and catch up on some of the best pieces of journalism from our premium international syndicators this week.
How two lives collided in Central Park, rattling the US
Christian Cooper began his Memorial Day like most of his May mornings, searching for Blackburnian warblers, scarlet tanagers and other songbirds that wing their way into Central Park.
Around the same time, Amy Cooper left her apartment on the Upper West Side at the edge of the Hudson River with her dog, Henry.
It was in the Ramble that the two Coopers' lives collided, an encounter that was brief but would reverberate in New York City and beyond.
The woman who helped Michelle Obama 'turn fashion into a tool'
Meredith Koop was serving in a Chicago boutique when she met the future first lady. Then she moved to the White House.
The woman Obama chose to guide her through this sartorial minefield and help – as she puts it – "turn fashion into a tool" was not at all the kind of person you might imagine.
The long road to a Covid-19 vaccine
A post-coronavirus world depends on a Covid-19 vaccine. Without it, a return to normality carries the peril of more deaths from a novel respiratory virus to which humans carry no prior immunity and for which there are no life-saving treatments.
But a shadow looms over the global race to develop a pandemic vaccine: a little-known phenomenon called antibody-dependent enhancement.
The return of the platypuses
In late December the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve was parched from extreme heat and drought and menaced by an approaching bush fire. The Sanctuary no longer resembled its name and animals were in danger.
As a result the platypus population were moved to Taronga Zoo to shelter for four months.
Has Warren Buffett lost his touch?
When the Financial Times interviewed Warren Buffett last year, he predicted that future returns from his company Berkshire Hathaway and from the US stock market as a whole would be "very close to the same".
Berkshire shareholders could be forgiven for thinking: if only.
The famed stockpicker had his worst performance versus the S&P 500 in a decade in 2019, and 2020 is shaping up to be nearly as bad.
A warning from South Korea: The 'fantasy' of returning to normal life
It is more than three months since South Korea's coronavirus infection rate peaked. In that time political leaders and health experts around the world have credited the government of President Moon Jae-in for teaching important lessons in the swift deployment of mass testing and aggressive contact tracing to counter what was for a time the worst Covid-19 outbreak outside of China.
Yet Seoul's continued difficulty in controlling new outbreaks demonstrates that governments need a persistent state of vigilance and a willingness to change tack as they attempt to reopen their societies — a state of affairs that many people could find every bit as difficult as the lockdown itself.
Who's a bot? Who's not?
One weekend recently a Twitter storm blew in about bots, those little automatic programs that talk to us in the digital dimension as if they were human.
There are major unknowns about bots: How pervasive are nefarious bots, really? What is their real effect? Don't they mostly tweet at each other? And, fundamentally, what is a bot?
It sometimes seems that automated bots are taking over social media and driving human discourse.
The Trump factor: Asian allies question America's reliability
The Black Lives Matter supporters who descended on the US embassy in Seoul over the past two weeks found another demonstration already taking place: scores of hardy activists who for months have protested over Donald Trump's demand that South Korea quintuple the amount it pays for hosting American troops.
In a country whose alliance with the US is often dubbed a "relationship forged in blood" for its roots in the Korean war, there has always been a strain of anti-American sentiment, particularly among younger, leftwing groups. But the anger over the current US president has boiled over in the past year.
Bob Dylan has a lot on his mind
A few years ago New York Times reports Douglas Brinkley had a two-hour discussion with Bob Dylan that touched on Malcolm X, the French Revolution, Franklin Roosevelt and World War II.
Given the nature of their relationship, Brinkley felt comfortable reaching out to him in April after, in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, he unexpectedly released his epic, 17-minute song Murder Most Foul, about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Brinkley touched base with Dylan again one day after George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis. Clearly shaken by the horror that had occurred in his home state, he sounded depressed.
They live alone in ghost towns
There are some 3,800 ghost towns in the United States, most abandoned in the 19th and early 20th centuries in favour of bigger cities, or casualties of changing industry. Some languish as ruins, others are designated as national parks. And a rare handful are in the midst of being developed into luxury vacation spots.
In March, one of the entrepreneurs, Brent Underwood, left for a trip to the lonely location that was only meant to last a week or two. Instead, a pandemic and then an unseasonable snowstorm hit, making it close to impossible for him to leave
The shows must go on: Inside Netflix's race to restart filming
Set by set, shot by shot, the global entertainment factory that is Netflix is reawakening from its pandemic slumber. Few big broadcasters or studios shut down faster than the streaming company after the risks of coronavirus became clear. Now, as the industry figures out how to operate in this strange new era, few can match its deep pockets and continent-spanning footprint to restart at scale