cat napping isn’t just for cats

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This is our 100th edition of Below the Fold! 🤯 We can hardly believe that we began (digitally) penning this newsletter 100 emails ago. At Edition 0, we were writing short summaries on 5-8 stories, once a week. We’ve since evolved to what you see today: three stories, twice a week, researched in depth with additional context to help provide a clear picture of what’s happening.

Our favorite voice in this evolution? All of you. If you can spare five minutes, please share some feedback in this survey. We hope to continue learning alongside you as we work together to get through the next hundred editions.


Canada may be holding a U.S. gun maker responsible for shootings
Fri Feb 12

Is a gun maker responsible for gun safety? A Canadian court believes so. Two years ago in Toronto, a shooter killed two people (a teen and a child) and injured 11 with a stolen semi-automatic pistol made by Smith & Wesson, a firearms manufacturer based in Massachusetts.

Now, victims want to hold the company liable for inadequate safeguards. The judge ruled in favor, saying the handgun didn’t include available smart gun technology that would restrict use to only authorized owners. The ruling comes two decades after Smith & Wesson had agreed to make government-sponsored “smart” guns to prevent accidental shootings. However, by 2018, they told shareholders they had no plans to invest in smart gun technology after a boycott from gun owners that nearly drove them out of business.

Canada also just introduced a bill with a number of restrictions for gun owners. The legislation, if passed, would allow police to seize firearms for up to 30 days without warrant, search the home of any gun owner subject to a legal complaint, and potentially outlaw the transport of handguns all together. The bill is already concerning some legal experts who worry it could lead to search and seizures based on fake claims.

Meanwhile in the U.S., legislation passed in 2005 makes it nearly impossible for gun makers to be responsible for what happens with the use of their products. That said, there are six exceptions to the rule, when a gun maker violates any laws in marketing their product.

Want to learn more?

For more on the recent rulings, turn to Wall Street Journal, WeBull, or National Post.
For more on Canada’s history with gun regulation, turn to Foreign Policy.
For more on smart guns rollercoaster history, visit BuzzFeed News.

To dig into the U.S. legislation, see the full document here

Curious about the economic implications of gun violence? There’s a report for that too.


The Indian government is under fire for arrests based on planted evidence
Sun Feb 14

Over a dozen Indian activists have been in jail for two years, without trial, on the basis of false evidence. The 16 activists, who had been campaigning for the rights of low-caste Hindus, minority Muslims, and other vulnerable Indians, were accused of plotting to overthrow the government in 2018. Among the arrested individuals is an 81-year-old professor of linguistics and an 83-year-old Jesuit priest.

Now a new report shows the evidence held against them in court was planted. How?
  • Well before any arrests were made, activists' devices (such as laptops seized by police) were being attacked and compromised through phishing to deliver commercially available spyware.
  • Those phishing emails uniquely targeted the activists, pretending to be from individuals like friends or journalists, and repeatedly asked them to open an email attachment.
  • Opening the attached file then installed the spyware (NetWire or Pegasus) that not only planted false documents, but also monitored the activists.
  • Currently, the source of the attack is not known. Some suspect government involvement given Pegasus is an Israeli spyware sold directly to authorized governments.
Planted evidence isn’t anything new to the country, though. A 2015 report found 3,000+ members of the Adivasi community (another religious minority in India) were falsely accused of being Maoists, an Indian communist party that the country has designated as a terrorist group. In fact, the fabricated documents that led to the 16 aforementioned activists being imprisoned included “evidence” of their being in cahoots with the Maoists.

Some additional resources...

To dig deeper into this story and the history of Maoist fighters, visit Coda Story.

For the full report on the recently discovered planted evidence, turn to the Washington Post here and here


Napping just might be in your DNA
Wed Feb 10

Can’t help but feel sleepy in the middle of the day? It may be genetic, at least according to a recent study from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). This same team previously identified genes responsible for sleep disorders and even tendencies to being an early riser or night owl. Some of these same genes, in fact, overlap with the 123 regions they found in the human genome associated with daytime napping.

And that means daytime napping may be biologically driven, not just a behavioral choice, according to the researchers leading the study. They found three potential drivers of these naps:
  • First, sleep propensity. Some people just need more sleep than others. 😴
  • Second, disrupted sleep. If someone has poor sleep the night before, daytime naps can make up for it.
  • And finally, early risers. For some people who wake up early, a daytime nap helps catch up on that sleep later.
So how long should you nap?
The Sleep Foundation finds that 10-20 minutes is the sweet spot, often called a power nap. Five minutes is too short to deliver any results while napping beyond 30 minutes could cause you to wake up in the middle of a “deep” slumber, which can leave you feeling groggy for up to an hour. But if you do catch yourself falling prey to a lengthy nap (haven’t we all), we have the perfect solution for escaping the groggy feeling afterwards: Explorer Cold Brew.

Explorer Cold Brew lets you customize your caffeine level, giving you just the right amount of energy to pick you right back up. And if naps aren’t in your DNA, their cold brew 'super concentrate' in four caffeine levels might just be the nap alternative you need for a productive day. And with the code BELOWTHEFOLD15, you can get 15% off your order.

To learn more about this story...

Dig into the full MGH study over at Science Daily.

For more on the ideal length of a nap, refer to the Sleep Foundation


We're hosting our first event! A conversation with's General Manager, Matt Karolian. Matt will be taking time next Wednesday (12 PM ET / 9 AM PT) to chat with Below the Fold readers about how his team makes national news relevant to a local audience. 

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                   / _(c\   .-.     __
                  | / /  '-;   \'-'`  `\______
                  \_\/'/ __/ )  /  )   |      \--,
                  | \`""`__-/ .'--/   /--------\  \
                   \\`  ///-\/   /   /---;-.    '-'
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I have extra ZzzZZz’s in my Z-DNA! 
ASCII Art Credit: jgs


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