Jun 7, 2019

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon. Today's PM is 471 words.

Situational awareness: FedEx declines to renew U.S. Express contract with Amazon, which could hit the retailer during the holiday rush. [WashPost]

1 big thing: The scooter carnage in America's cities

Photo: Jodi Robertson/AP

Scooter use is soaring in America's cities, with many riders finding out the hard way that cars are not good at sharing the road.

Why it matters: "[A] rough count by [AP] of media reports turned up at least 11 electric scooter rider deaths in the U.S. since the beginning of 2018. Nine were on rented scooters and two on ones the victims owned," the AP reports.

Between the lines: People aren't wearing helmets on these rented scooters, and the head injuries are piling up.

  • "Riders don’t want exposure to lice or germs that could be found in shared helmets, and many make a spontaneous decision to scoot while they’re already out and about."
  • "In Austin, Texas, public health officials ... counted 192 scooter-related injuries in three months in 2018. Nearly half were head injuries."
  • In Los Angeles, ER doctors "counted 249 scooter injuries [in 2018], and more than 40% were head injuries."

What's next: The scooter companies are taking actions to reduce risk.

  • "Bird ceased operations after midnight. Lime halts rentals overnight in some markets but in most its scooters are available all night."
  • "Lime has also been updating the design of its scooters, with a broader wheel base and better suspension and braking; Bird is including more durable brakes and reinforced hardware to prevent failures."

The bottom line: America's streets remain especially dangerous for people who aren't in a vehicle, and that's usually because of the vehicles.

Go deeper: Scooter companies' meteoric rise in one chart

Bonus: Pic du jour
Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

The Women's World Cup kicked off today in France, with South Korea facing off against the host nation.

  • Follow the games this summer in our daily Axios Sports newsletter. Sign up here.
2. What you missed
  1. NASA is moving to expand its privatization of the International Space Station and bring more commercial activities to low-Earth orbit. Go deeper. (How much it will cost you for a trip to the Space Station)
  2. And Trump signaled he may be souring on his administration's stated plan to return humans to the Moon by 2024 —4 years earlier than NASA had previously planned. Between the lines.
  3. The U.S. will block Turkey from purchasing F-35 aircraft and halt the training of Turkish military pilots. The move comes in response to Turkey's plan to buy an advanced Russian S-400 missile defense system. Go deeper.
  4. The U.S. economy added just 75,000 jobs in May, fewer than the 175,000 economists were expecting. Unemployment held at 3.6%, a 50-year low. Chart.
3. 1 TV thing

"As HBO's 'Chernobyl' series comes to an end, a Russian TV network is creating its own take on the 1986 nuclear disaster," writes the Hollywood Reporter's Vladimir Kozlov.

  • It "was commissioned by NTV, a top free-to-air network, owned by Gazprom Media, the media arm of the natural gas giant Gazprom, ... [and] partially financed by the culture ministry, which provided 30 million rubles ($460,000)."
  • "[T]he series will follow a group of Soviet KGB officers tasked with uncovering a CIA agent stationed at the Chernobyl nuclear plant and involved in espionage."

"NTV is known for pro-Kremlin programming."

Mike Allen