They’re in rebellion. That’s what U.S. Attorney General William Barr was suggesting when, The New York Times reports, he recently told federal prosecutors they should consider charging violent protesters with sedition. Barr has also asked subordinates to consider prosecuting Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, herself a former U.S. attorney, in a move she called “chilling” and an “abuse of power” by the Trump administration. The president has often spoken of jailing political enemies. Barr said Wednesday that he has complete discretion over prosecutions, while blasting some of his own prosecutors for politically motivated “headhunting.”
Killing at least one person, Hurricane Sally made landfall on the Alabama coast Wednesday, sending damaging floodwaters washing down streets while blowing off roofs and cutting power to more than 500,000 people. The storm, which also destroyed part of the Pensacola Bay Bridge on Florida’s Panhandle, weakened to a tropical depression as it continued inland, churning through Georgia, where heavy rains and tornadoes were forecast. Meanwhile, scientists warn that warming temperatures will slow down storms like Sally, allowing them to wreak more havoc. Warm air also holds additional water vapor, helping deliver greater rainfall, research indicates.
They have to do something. India’s coronavirus cases climbed past 5 million Wednesday as it added another 90,123 cases over 24 hours. As the worst-hit nation after the U.S., India is desperate for solutions, which may explain why Hyderabad-based Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories has agreed to buy 100 million doses of Russia’s controversial Sputnik V inoculation to prevent COVID-19. That comes on the heels of the Russian Direct Investment Fund securing arrangements with Indian manufacturers to produce 300 million doses. The vaccine has raised eyebrows over its lack of large-scale Phase III testing, which Dr. Reddy’s plans to carry out.
How low can they go? In a decision aimed at helping the pandemic-sickened economy win back lost jobs, the U.S. Federal Reserve yesterday said it won’t raise its benchmark interest rates — already hovering near zero — until inflation tops 2 percent. That probably means low borrowing rates through 2023, even if inflation spikes above the ceiling for short stretches. Investors reacted cautiously amid mixed global trading, while the Bank of Japan similarly decided to keep its monetary policy unchanged, something the Bank of England is also expected to do today.
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Meet the Muhammad Ali of politics. Kentucky Rep. Charles Booker joins Carlos to talk about how the murder of Breonna Taylor in his hometown of Louisville lit a fire under his campaign, making him one of the rising stars of the Democratic Party. How does he find commonality across racial lines and what choice words does he have for Sen. Mitch McConnell? Be sure to subscribe to the OZY YouTube channel to be notified when it's live, and remember — new subscribers will be entered for a chance to win an invitation to a Zoom taping with a celebrity guest!
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In an email obtained by NPR, the Pentagon’s head of Washington-area military police sought a “heat ray” weapon to use on protesters in June. The request to the D.C. National Guard came hours before the U.S. Park Police cleared peaceful protesters near the White House for a presidential photo op. Technically known as ADS for Active Denial System, the microwave-like beam purportedly creates a burning sensation on victims’ skin, but it remains unused over ethical and effectiveness issues — the former reportedly cited by then-Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in rejecting its use on migrants in 2018.
The head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contradicted his boss twice yesterday. President Trump, who has been touting a preelection COVID-19 inoculation, called Dr. Robert Redfield “confused” after the doctor told a Senate committee that a vaccine wouldn’t be widely available until next year and might be no better than wearing a mask. Redfield cited “clear scientific evidence” that covering one’s mouth and nose is the “best defense” against the virus — and more effective than a vaccine that may only provide 70 percent protection.
You may not have heard of Mike Speiser, or even of Snowflake, the data storage company he helped create. But after yesterday’s blockbuster debut on the New York Stock Exchange, you will: It more than doubled its initial public offering price of $120 a share, closing at $253.93 with a valuation of $70.4 billion, making it the most valuable software company ever at the time of an IPO. As for Speiser, the venture capitalist is no longer running Snowflake, but his Sutter Hill Ventures owns a 20.3 percent stake, which cost less than $200 million in 2012 and is now worth $12.6 billion.
Before Jared Kushner started wooing the United Arab Emirates to recognize Israel, Elli Kriel was making Dubai the land of saffron and honey — at least for Jewish visitors who keep kosher, OZY reports. But the South African isn’t just following dietary laws at Elli’s Kosher Kitchen, the UAE’s only kosher caterer. She’s merging the Gulf’s favorite flavors with traditional Jewish recipes like her signature balaleet kugel, combining classic kugel with local cardamom-infused balaleet. And after this week’s historic peacemaking with Israel, she’s expecting lots more business, especially with a new Emirati rule obligating hotels to provide kosher cuisine.
Which kind of Hail Mary are we talking about? After citing compelling reasons for not playing during a pandemic, the Big Ten has reversed itself. The oldest and richest college football conference, which includes perennial contenders like Ohio State and Michigan, will begin next month, with each team playing eight games. What changed, aside from much of the rest of football resuming? Big Ten officials cited increased COVID-19 testing and a better understanding of myocarditis, a heart condition that could strike infected athletes. But critics assailed the decision to play amid campus outbreaks — beginning during a probable autumn infection surge.