Headlines Edition

Thursday Headlines: That gum you like is going to come back in style

The UK blocks Microsoft's $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, citing concerns it would harm competition in cloud gaming. / Reuters

How British American Tobacco circumvented sanctions in order to sell cigarettes to North Korea—a scheme that ended in a $635 million fine. / Financial Times

Why the demise of BuzzFeed News is such a loss: Because who brings you the news, and how, matters. / The Nation

Ending a digital news subscription can be an excruciating process. Here are the worst of the worst, as seen in a bloodbath of 22 cancellations. / The Lenfest Institute

Tim Hecker does not love what ambient music has become: "It's this superficial form of panacea weaponized by digital platforms." / The New York Times

"The Hot 100 right now feels as recursive, all-encompassing, and allergic to new input as the Marvel Cinematic Universe." / Pitchfork

See also: the next new (old) thing on TikTok is vintage candy. / Eater

"The fabric seemed to weave my dog's hair into itself." Leah Finnegan buys an Instagram couch. / Dwell

Paul Ford: "My son and I were out for a walk when he told me he wanted to be a streamer when he grows up. He's 11. I instantly grew a long and bushy beard." / WIRED

On the rise and fall of profile pics, from anthropomorphic tennis balls to real faces and back again. / Arkive

Why climate change makes your allergies worse: More carbon dioxide grows bigger plants, which means more pollen. / The Week

John Mulaney's return once again highlights the warm welcome that famous men—but not women—enjoy after emerging from addiction. / The Daily Beast

Watch: AI Will Smith eating spaghetti and an AI-made commercial for everyone's favorite nonexistent pizza place, Pepperoni Hug Spot. / YouTube