The Angle

The Angle: Up in the Air Edition

Slate’s daily newsletter on Pete Buttigieg, the death penalty, Russian internet, and Wow Air.

Another one? The recent favorable press for Pete Buttigieg has some wondering if Democrats are trying to play it safe in 2020, snubbing the well-qualified female and black candidates in the race to field another white man. On the other hand, Mayor Pete has his own “structural disadvantage”: He’s gay. Christina Cauterucci asks, “Is Buttigieg a run-of-the-mill white male candidate, or does his sexuality set him apart?”

A “quiet revolution”: Earlier this month, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a moratorium on executions in California, granting temporary reprieves to 737 inmates on death row. It was just the latest in a string of state-level actions chipping away at the death penalty in America. Jeremy Stahl talks with Cassy Stubbs, director of the ACLU’s Capital Punishment Project, about the state of abolition in the states.

Cyber borders: Over the past few years, the Kremlin has taken steps to isolate Russia’s internet from the rest of the world, pushing strict data storage laws and banning VPNs. But recent actions taken by the government would create the infrastructure for a complete alternate internet, keeping access strictly local and mandating control over everything citizens do and see online. Robert Morgus and Justin Sherman dive into the latest strike against global digital freedom.

Grounded: Iceland-based discount airline Wow Air abruptly imploded today, canceling all of its flights and leaving passengers stranded on both sides of the Atlantic—and one of Slate’s own, project manager Anna Hovland, was among them. She spoke with Heather Schwedel about how she found out she’s stuck in Europe.

For fun: What to do when your cats wake you up by rubbing their butts on you.

No buts about it,