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Dream Island on opening day. Photo: Valery Sharifulin/TASS/Getty Images

Russia is opening its first theme park, Dream Island, on Saturday after two failed attempts, The New York Times reports.

Why now: Moscow now has a large enough group of middle-class consumers who can afford a trip to a theme park. The city has, as a result, already seen other new businesses spring up, such as shopping malls.

  • The park expects 5 million Moscow residents and 2.5 million tourists from elsewhere in Russia to visit annually, per the Times.
  • Dream Island cost $1.5 billion to complete.
  • Dream Island draws on elements of Disneyland, but opening a Disneyland theme park in Russia was out of the question given the tensions between the Russian and American governments, the Times notes.

What they're saying: Amiran Mustoev, the park's owner and director, said the purchasing power of the middle class will hold even as Western sanctions remain in place and oil prices stay low, according to the Times.

Background:

  • Former Soviet Union leader Nikita Khrushchev wanted a theme park "to mimic the soft power that America has to make people's lives more interesting and better," his granddaughter Nina Khrushcheva told the Times.
  • Former Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin attempted to build a theme park in the early post-Cold War years, but lacked the financing to do so.

Worth noting via the Times: "That the opening coincides with the coronavirus outbreak, when some people may want to avoid crowds, is another concern."

Go deeper

Using apps to prevent deadly police encounters

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Mobile phone apps are evolving in ways that can stop rather than simply document deadly police encounters with people of color — including notifying family and lawyers about potential violations in real time.

Why it matters: As states and cities face pressure to reform excessive force policies, apps that monitor police are becoming more interactive, gathering evidence against rogue officers as well as posting social media videos to shame the agencies.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
14 hours ago - Technology

TikTok gets more time (again)

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The White House is again giving TikTok's Chinese parent company more to satisfy national security concerns, rather than initiating legal action, a source familiar with the situation tells Axios.

The state of play: China's ByteDance had until Friday to resolve issues raised by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), which is chaired by Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin. This was the company's third deadline, with CFIUS having provided two earlier extensions.

Federal judge orders Trump administration to restore DACA

DACA recipients and their supporters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 18. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty

A federal judge on Friday ordered the Trump administration to fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, giving undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children a chance to petition for protection from deportation.

Why it matters: DACA was implemented under former President Obama, but President Trump has sought to undo the program since taking office. Friday’s ruling will require Department of Homeland Security officers to begin accepting applications starting Monday and guarantee that work permits are valid for two years.

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