Quirky Olympic mascots, free medical school, the origins of fashion: Catch up on the day’s stories

👋 Welcome to 5 Things PM! After years of enjoying a red-hot labor market, Americans are suddenly finding it harder to land a job. The unemployment rate has been creeping up, and pay increases are leveling off — making job hopping less enticing.

Here’s what else you might have missed during your busy day:

5 things

Phryge, the Paris 2024 mascot. - Stephane De Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images
Phryge, the Paris 2024 mascot. - Stephane De Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images

1️⃣ Quirky caricatures: For decades, athletes competing in the Olympics have been cheered on by a furry or feathered creature. Some have even been a bit frightening. The mascot symbolizes the host city’s culture and history, but not all of them have been a hit.

2️⃣ Generous gift: Medical school is now free for most students at one of the top colleges in the US, thanks to a billion-dollar donation. The gift will cover the full cost of attendance, including tuition and living expenses, for many students.

3️⃣ Catching ’em all: Some Pokémon cards are worth hundreds of dollars. Ross “Coop” Cooper, a prolific collector, gives them away for free to fellow fans. Here’s why.

4️⃣ Fashion first: Eyed needles, a sewing tool usually made of bones or antlers, began appearing about 40,000 years ago. A new study found that they revealed clues about the origins of fashion for prehistoric humans.

5️⃣ Changing tastes: McDonald’s believes that most of its customers want a burger and fries — or maybe a $5 meal deal — so the fast-food giant dropped this item from its menu.

Watch this

🦈 Shark bait: In an effort to learn more about the “Queen Boss Theory,” scientists released 200 gallons of synthetic blood into the ocean to lure a female great white shark. See what happened.

Top headlines

• Millions are without power as Beryl slams Texas
Biden tells Democrats that he’s staying in the presidential race
• RNC panel approves new Trump-backed platform softening abortion and same-sex marriage language

3,220 miles

🌎 That’s about how deep the Earth’s rotating solid metal inner core is located below the ground. New research confirms its rotation has been slowing down, and now scientists are looking into how that might affect the planet.


📺 Weight debate: The fictional romance between Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) and Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) on Netflix’s “Bridgerton” has sparked discussion about “mixed weight” couples.

Quiz time

AlexPhotoStock/iStockphoto/Getty Images
AlexPhotoStock/iStockphoto/Getty Images

🥩 Barbecue grilling isn’t uniquely American. In fact, the term is believed to come from “barbacoa,” used by explorers from what country to describe indigenous cooking techniques?
A. Spain
B. Portugal
C. Italy
D. France
⬇️ Scroll down for the answer.

Your health

🥕 Carrot power: We all know about the health benefits of eating more veggies, but nutritionists say this one can be an easy way to get a boost of beneficial nutrients.

Looking ahead

🗓️ Tomorrow: Jury selection is set to begin in actor Alec Baldwin’s involuntary manslaughter trial over the fatal shooting on the “Rust” movie set in 2021.

Good vibes

😎 We like to wrap things up on a positive note:
At the age of 16, Quincy Wilson of Maryland will be the youngest male track athlete ever to compete for Team USA at the Olympics. “It’s every kid’s dream to be in the position that I am in right now,” Quincy said.

Thanks for reading

👋 We’ll see you tomorrow.
💬 What did you like about today’s 5 Things PM? Did we miss anything? Email us: 5ThingsPM@cnn.com
🧠 Quiz answer: A. Spanish explorers are believed to have used “barbacoa” to describe the cooking techniques of the Taino people in the Caribbean.
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5 Things PM is produced by CNN’s Tricia Escobedo, Meghan Pryce and Kimberly Richardson.

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