1. Despite Evidence, Trump Predicts Vaccine Within Weeks
At a town hall event last night, President Donald Trump contradicted most scientific authorities when he predicted a COVID-19 inoculation could be ready within four weeks. He also said the virus would disappear even without a vaccine. An international poll found that 85 percent of nations surveyed think the U.S., which has the highest number of virus-related deaths, has done a poor job responding to the crisis — even worse than China, which is currently testing experimental vaccine candidates on tens of thousands of citizens. Despite the same safety concerns that apply to a potential early U.S. inoculation, Chinese officials say a shot will be ready for the public by November.
2. Louisville to Pay $12 Million to Breonna Taylor’s Family
It’s just “the first mile in the marathon.” That’s how Taylor family lawyer Lonita Baker described the settlement, which seeks to compensate the family of 26-year-old Taylor, who was shot and killed by police when they mistakenly raided her house in March. It’s the largest sum ever paid in a Louisville police misconduct case, and also includes promised reforms to the police force. Only one of the officers involved in the raid has been fired, but a grand jury was recently empaneled to investigate the shooting and determine whether the officers should be charged with a crime.
Though President Trump has sought for weeks to appeal to suburban voters with promises of safety from riots or violence, White House challenger Joe Biden has another angle: Protecting the suburbs from wildfires, like the deadly blazes currently sweeping the western United States. Polls have found that women are more concerned about climate change than men, which could prove key in the Nov. 3 election. Meanwhile, Trump retweeted a post falsely suggesting that Biden is a pedophile, which is likely to intrigue supporters of conspiracy theory QAnon — who believe, without evidence, that Trump is battling a secret horde of Democratic pedophiles.
4. Bahrain Follows UAE in Establishing Relations With Israel
Representatives of the two Arab nations met on the White House lawn yesterday to sign the Abraham Accords with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. A triumphant President Trump, who said it’s “the dawn of a new Middle East,” told reporters that Saudi Arabia was among the other nations that could follow suit. That would be a dramatic step in what’s widely seen as a realignment of the region toward Israel and against Iran. Palestinian leadership has denounced both Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates for what it sees as betrayal, and Palestinian militants fired rockets from Gaza into Israel during the ceremony.
Under its proposed deal, China’s ByteDance would keep a majority stake in TikTok but partner with U.S. firm Oracle. Yoshihide Suga has officially been voted Japan’s new prime minister. And a massive pro-Trump social media operation is reportedly paying real teenagers to spread disinformation about the coronavirus and election fraud.
Read This: LinkedIn series “Leading in the B-Suite” is making an effort to highlight Black CEOs — including OZY’s Carlos Watson.
Watch This:Top Chef head judge Tom Colicchio knows how to dish it up — and he’s bringing that to The Carlos Watson Show. Tune in to find out about Anthony Bourdain, Colicchio's unexpected restaurant success and the vast changes (positive and negative) COVID-19 can bring. 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!
Video calls, email, team workspace pings, texts — they’re flying at you at all hours these days as work/life has become one big worklife. With all that’s going on, now is the ideal time to rethink everything we know about work. So we’re passing along an exclusive invite to join Smartsheet's free, virtual Engage 2020 event, for the unveiling of the world’s first platform for dynamic work. Let’s build the future of work we actually want.
1. Barbados to Ditch Queen Elizabeth for Self-Rule
Don’t reign on their parade. As the Caribbean island nation approaches its 54th anniversary of independence from the U.K., its government says it wants “full sovereignty,” which means officially ditching Queen Elizabeth II as head of state by November 2021. It’s not the first time: Barbados previously planned to do this five years ago but called it off, keeping the monarch who hasn’t visited the island since 1989. She’s still technically the sovereign of nine Caribbean islands, though Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica and Guyana have already cut the cord.
2. Electric Truck Maker Nikola Under Fraud Investigation
The U.S. Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission are both investigating fraud claims against the automaker, just two days after General Motors took an 11 percent stake in the firm and announced plans to produce its electric pickup truck. Short seller Hindenburg Research accused Nikola’s founder of misrepresenting the technology to investors — a claim the company disputes, though it did admit that a 2017 video of its semi-truck technology didn’t show the truck operating under its own power, but simply rolling down a hill. Nikola’s shares dropped 8.3 percent yesterday amid the controversy.
As corporations build out their diversity and inclusion plans in the wake of America’s 2020 racial reckoning, they’re coming up against a sticking point: They’re having trouble finding sizable minority firms to work with. Maybe they should look in Cincinnati, which has the highest percentage of any U.S. city of minority-owned businesses making more than $500,000 annually, OZY reports. After mass protests and riots caused by the 2001 police shooting of an unarmed Black man, the city launched the Minority Business Accelerator to help build companies of color through both investment and acquisition.
4. Kim Kardashian, Katy Perry Join Instagram Boycott
Can you stop hate by stopping likes? Multiple high-profile Instagram users — including Kim Kardashian West, the seventh most-popular user on the platform — have joined an Anti-Defamation League campaign to force Facebook (and Instagram, which it owns) to crack down on hate speech. The celebrities will freeze their accounts for 24 hours today, save for a single message calling attention to Facebook’s role in allowing users to foment hate on the platform. Meanwhile, India’s government issued a warning to Facebook after executives of its operations there skipped a hearing on the company’s role in February riots.
5. Fearing Virus, Bobsled Championships Decamp to Germany
It’s all uphill from here. The World Bobsled and Skeleton Championships, scheduled for February in Lake Placid, New York, have been officially relocated to Altenberg, Germany, over worries about both COVID-19 and U.S. travel restrictions. Since most competitors are European, questions arose about flights during the pandemic, possible quarantine upon arrival and uncertainty about the presence of fans. It’s the second major sliding event to flee North America: The luge world championships were originally to be held in Whistler, Canada. Lake Placid will still get its bobsled moment in the sun, but it’ll be in 2025.