Looking for the perfect gift for your favorite New York City-based coffee junkie? A new upstart called CUPS has one intriguing possibility: A subscription-based monthly service that allows for unlimited beverages from 40 independent coffee shops scattered around the city.
A basic CUPS membership, which provides unlimited coffee and tea, will be available for $45 a month; an "unlimited espresso subscription," which includes mixed drinks like lattes and iced coffees, will set you back $85 a month. Most of the participating coffee retailers are centered in downtown Manhattan, though CUPS' official website promises that "Midtown, Uptown, and Brooklyn are right around the corner."
How is CUPS going to work? Bloomberg Businessweek explains:
To use the app, subscribers pick a coffee shop from a list, choose a drink, and retrieve a code, which the barista then uses to record the transaction. CUPS later reimburses the coffee shop for each beverage, at a discount. If the customer buys more than $45 worth of coffee per month, he comes out ahead; if he spends less, CUPS keeps the change. The coffee shops don't pay anything to participate, so in their worst-case scenario, either no one comes in or they sell a lot of discounted drinks. [Bloomberg Businessweek]
The story also explains that the average American drinks 1.7 cups of coffee per day, which sounds ridiculously low — but maybe an unlimited coffee service is just the thing to help us get those weak numbers up. Scott Meslow
The president of the United Auto Workers endorsed Hillary Clinton on Wednesday, saying she "understands our issues on trade, understands the complexities of multinational economies, and supports American workers, their families, and communities."
In a statement, Dennis Williams cited Clinton's backing of paid family leave, equal pay for women, and expanding overtime rules as the reasons for his endorsement. He made his decision after surveying members, the Detroit Free Press reports, one week after he said he would not be throwing his support behind Trump. In an internal survey, 28 percent of UAW members said they plan to vote for the presumptive Republican nominee; last summer, Williams called Trump an "enemy of the middle class."
In his statement, Williams called Bernie Sanders a "great friend of the UAW," but added, "Hillary Clinton has shown under pressure her ability to lead and get elected in November." There are 412,000 active UAW members, and more than one million retirees. Catherine Garcia
If Donald Trump wants the endorsement of New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R), he has a funny way of showing it.
During a rally in Albuquerque Tuesday, Trump called out Martinez, the country's first female Hispanic governor and chairwoman of the Republican Governors Association. He told the crowd, "You've got to get your governor to do a better job, she's not doing her job," later adding, "Syrian refugees are being relocated in large numbers to New Mexico. If I was governor, that wouldn't be happening." He also slyly suggested that "maybe" he should run for governor to "get this place going."
Martinez's press secretary, Mike Lonergan, told ABC News the governor "doesn't care about what Donald Trump says about her. She cares about what he says he will do to help New Mexicans. She's disappointed that she didn't hear anything about that last night." Martinez, who did not attend Trump's Albuquerque rally, has not endorsed Trump, and Lonergan said "the governor will not be bullied into supporting a candidate until she is convinced that candidate will fight for New Mexicans." Catherine Garcia
Police in Anaheim, California, arrested several protesters outside of a Donald Trump rally Wednesday afternoon after they pelted officers with objects.
After Trump left, several demonstrators lingered in the area, setting at least one trash can on fire. Supporters of Trump faced off against the protesters, and an Anaheim Police spokesman said a group of five backers were escorted away "in the interest of public safety" after they used racially charged language against the demonstrators. Another group of supporters chanted anti-gay slurs, the Los Angeles Times reports, and two men held up a sign calling for the end of Islam and abortion. Dozens of police officers, including some on horseback, were on the scene, as well as sheriff's deputies in riot gear. Catherine Garcia
Akash Vukoti. Write it down, commit it to memory. You're likely going to be hearing a lot about this 6-year-old in the next 24 hours.
The youngest competitor by grade to ever to participate in the Scripps Spelling Bee, Vukoti was greeted by enthusiastic applause when he managed to spell the word "inviscate" Wednesday morning, and moved on to the next round.
Let's face it: "Inviscate" isn't even recognized by this computer's spell check (it means "to encase in a sticky substance," if you were wondering). This first-grader from San Angelo, Texas, may be pint-sized, but he's all brain. Just check out his favorite word — it's 45 letters long:
— Hannah Buehler (@HannahBuehler) May 24, 2016
Now try saying that three times fast. Jeva Lange
The makers of a new Katie Couric documentary on gun violence apparently deceptively edited an interview with gun rights activists to make them appear stumped by her question, The Washington Free Beacon reports. About 20 minutes into the documentary Under the Gun, Couric asks members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, "If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?"
The response? Dead silence, for about nine awkward seconds:
That's not how it really went down, though, according to activists who contacted the Free Beacon. In audio provided to the website, Couric's question is actually quickly met with answers, and the back and forth lasts about four minutes:
The gun rights activists have called the segment "unbelievable and extremely unprofessional." "[Couric] intentionally removed their answers and spliced in nine seconds of some prior video of our members sitting quietly and not responding. Viewers are left with the misunderstanding that the members had no answer to her question," Virginia Citizens Defense League president Philip Van Cleave said.
When asked about the edits, Nora Ryan, the chief of staff for EPIX, which is airing the documentary, said that the channel "stands behind Katie Couric, director Stephanie Soechtig, and their creative and editorial judgement." Jeva Lange
What Donald Trump's campaign likely thought was a brilliant plan to take down Hillary Clinton was quickly foiled Wednesday afternoon when a Trump spokeswoman did some errant emailing.
While Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks meant to respond to an email from Trump adviser Michael Caputo requesting that a researcher at the Republican National Committee "work up information on HRC/Whitewater as soon as possible" for "immediate use and for the afternoon talking points process," she ended up replying to Marc Caputo — a reporter at Politico. With the mistaken click of a button, the entire email thread — and, subsequently, the scoop on Trump's next plan of attack — was dropped into Politico's inbox.
RNC chief strategist Sean Spicer has defended the request for information on Whitewater — the Clinton scandal stemming from a failed real estate venture in the 1970s — as nothing more than "just another example of Republican campaigns up and down the ballot looking to us for the best information." Neither Spicer nor Hicks provided any further clues as to when or how Trump will be using that requested information, though it goes without saying his coming attack will involve the word "crooked." Becca Stanek
Eleven states are represented in a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday against the Obama administration, challenging federal guidelines that require schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms that match their gender identity.
The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Wichita Falls, Texas, is in response to a directive released earlier in May by the Obama administration, which critics say oversteps the government's bounds. The lawsuit accused the administration of trying to turn schools and workplaces into "laboratories for a massive social experiment."
On Tuesday, the Justice Department and North Carolina filed competing lawsuits concerning a law in the state that bans transgender people from using bathrooms that don't correspond to the gender identified on their birth certificate. Jeva Lange