I had never heard of kratom until reading my colleagues' reporting on the controversial substance linked to local deaths. But our latest report on how poisonings related to the unregulated herbal supplement are not being tracked certainly caught my attention. Another attention-grabber you'll see this morning is a message from the Inquirer Editorial Board on the need for a free press, joining hundreds of newsrooms around the country to call for its support. It's on the front page of our print edition, too.

— Aubrey Nagle (@aubsn, morningnewsletter@philly.com)

Kratom is an unregulated herbal product derived from the leaves of a Southeast Asian tree that's part of the coffee family.

Advocates say it can relieve pain and help with opioid withdrawal. The FDA claims it's a dangerous opioid.

Kratom has been linked to at least four deaths in our region and numbers could be rising — but authorities are struggling to track the poisonings.

On Tuesday, a long-awaited grand jury report revealed widespread and decades-long child sex abuse involving 300 priests and more than 1,000 victims across six Pennsylvania dioceses.

Reaction to the report was swift. Faith leaders around the country expressed their anguish over the report, while others questioned their faith. Will policy changes follow? In the past, lobbyists for the Catholic church and the insurance industry have fought loosening the statute of limitations for claims against the church.

This morning the Inquirer Editorial Board joined over 200 other news organizations around the country by publishing an editorial calling for an end to what it calls the war on a free press.

The coordinated effort was formed in response to President Trump's declaration that the American press is the "enemy of the people" and "dangerous and sick."

With its publication, the Editorial Board aims to "alert the American people to the dangers inherent in the president's actions, which are intended to undermine the ability of the press to question, examine, and investigate on behalf of all citizens." Read the full editorial.

What you need to know today

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

I mean the food is the main point of a baseball game, right @roland_gruszewski? (Kidding, kidding.)

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we'll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!

That’s Interesting

Opinions

Fires and Floods
Signe Wilkinson
Fires and Floods
"It's environmentally destructive, consuming huge amounts of energy and heating the atmosphere. And it doesn't actually deliver on the comfort it promises; instead, it makes us shiver in our offices on sizzling summer days. Meanwhile, the polar ice caps continue to melt."
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What we’re reading

Secluded Higbee Beach in West Cape May, at the end of New England Road, still draws the Jersey Shore's free spirits. Not officially a dog beach, not officially a nude beach, not officially a swimming beach, Higbee Beach thrives on being an unofficially anything goes beach.
Amy S. Rosenberg
Secluded Higbee Beach in West Cape May, at the end of New England Road, still draws the Jersey Shore's free spirits. Not officially a dog beach, not officially a nude beach, not officially a swimming beach, Higbee Beach thrives on being an unofficially anything goes beach.

Your Daily Dose of | Nudity (Maybe)

New Jersey's secluded Higbee Beach in Cape May used to be a nude beach. Today it's…still kind of a nude beach. And a dog beach. And a maybe haunted beach.

Correction: this story previously stated Eagle Lane Johnson previously played for the New England Patriots. He did not; he has always played for the Eagles.