Everything you need to read today
"Only 1 state with a worse press freedom score than N. Korea - @MatinaStevis' report from Eritrea worth your time," advises Business Insider's Michael Bird (another installment, under a byline shared with WSJ's Joe Parkinson, is capturing even more attention at 23,000+ shares). "Rare reporting trip to Eritrea shows why it may be world's fastest-emptying nation," tweets colleague Bruce Orwall. "Good on WSJ for getting into and reporting from Eritrea, a crucial part of the migrant crisis story," praises Amy Fiscus from the LA Times. "Eritrea is seeing its future walk away," co-author Parkinson explains. An especially chilling quote comes from the country's information minister: "Torture is not allowed. That does not mean it may not happen here and there." If you haven't read this series yet, you're doing yourself a disservice.
FIFA needs to change, but this democracy-crushing choice is grim, writes Marina Hyde for The Guardian. "I don't mean to be picky, but the FIFA presidential favourite is part of a regime that f**king TORTURES FOOTBALLERS," Hyde points out on Twitter. Well, when you put it that way ... Meanwhile, Syria's president Bashar al-Assad just made an unannounced visit to Russian president Vladimir Putin. "Endgame nearing or deepening morass?" wonders freelance journalist Richard Dunham. Also, a US Marine Corps pilot has been killed in a F-18 jet crash in England while a police officer was shot in East Harlem. And on that note, American police leaders have joined the call to reduce the country's incarceration rate. "Police leaders once champions/founders of tough-on-crime policies that led to mass incarceration: 'nah, nevermind,'" quips WaPo's Wesley Lowery.
In political moves that seem long overdue, Mayor Kevin Johnson won’t seek re-election, after all. "Impressive reporting by Deadspin's Dave McKenna apparently knocked Kevin Johnson from running again," deduces Aaron Mehta at Defense News. Also filed under politics, Donald Trump maintains lead in GOP presidential race but Carson is a close second. Still, WaPo's Dana Milbank observes a "Big lead for @realDonaldTrump in new WP/ABC News poll. Soliciting recipes for when I eat Trump-can't-win column." Simultaneously, Right to Rise's Mike Murphy calls out Rubio's campaign for being "cynical" while Kasich's plays close to the line.
Oh, and this just in: embattled Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes just went on stage at WSJDLive. This should get interesting.