It’s the progressives versus the moderates. There’s been an outcry in the Democratic Party after the pandemic moratorium on evictions expired over the weekend. Progressives slammed President Joe Biden’s decision not to extend the eviction ban, while Biden’s camp argued its hands were tied by a Supreme Court ruling. Many think the president should issue an executive order to get around that, something he’s reportedly not keen on doing. One congresswoman, Rep. Cori Bush, even camped out on the Capitol steps for days in protest, to no avail. The discord in the party could now cost Biden support from the progressives on his massive infrastructure bill. (Sources: Washington Post, AP)
You’re never too old to face justice. Germany is preparing to try a 100-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard, in what will likely be one of the last trials of this kind. The unnamed suspect worked at Sachsenhausen camp near Berlin during the war, and is accused of complicity in 3,518 murders. Despite his age a medical assessment showed the man was fit to stand trial. Germany has been pursuing concentration camp workers for years. In September a 96-year-old woman who was a secretary at the Stutthof concentration camp is set to go on trial. (Sources: BBC, WSJ (sub), AFP)
3. Georgia Base Memorializes Lynched Black WWII-Era Soldier
A memorial plaque for a Black soldier who was lynched while training to serve in World War II is set to be unveiled today at Fort Benning in Georgia. Eighteen-year-old Felix Hall was abducted, bound and lynched on the base in the 1940s while preparing to fight in the Pacific with his all-Black regiment. His killers were never arrested. At least 28 African American soldiers were murdered in the U.S. during the World War II era, according to a study. Fort Benning itself is named after a Confederate soldier and is one of 10 Army posts around the country Congress has ordered renamed by 2024. (Sources: Washington Post)
4. Labor Official Says Amazon Should Hold New Union Vote
The results of the much-hyped union election at an Alabama Amazon warehouse should be thrown out, a hearing officer of the National Labor Relations Board has said. The poll saw workers vote against forming a union by a more than 2-to-1 ratio, according to results released in April. But the official suggested that a new vote be held because the company had tried to “intimidate” workers. Amazon responded by saying it would make sure the original results are upheld and rejected allegations of interference or coercion. The company said in a statement yesterday that it planned to appeal the NLRB’s recommendation. (Sources: NYT, WSJ (sub))
5. Also Important …
A Belarusian athlete who refused to return home from the Tokyo Olympics has been granted a humanitarian visa by Poland. The death toll in central China’s recent floods has tripled to 302, with dozens still missing. And dozens of corpses have been found floating in a river between Ethiopia’s war-torn Tigray region and neighboring Sudan.
Coronavirus Update: The U.S. has reached its target of at least partially vaccinating 70% of the adult population, a month after Biden’s goal. Germany will offer elderly and high-risk individuals a vaccine booster in September, the German Health Ministry has announced.
As we cheer on our favorite teams and athletes in Tokyo, this week on The Carlos Watson Show we celebrate our guests who have participated in the Olympic games! Today, share a smile — and a hearty belly laugh — with former figure skater and Olympic bronze medalist Adam Rippon. Find out how a tip from Beyoncé helped him perform at his best, the surprising connection he has to the new president — and why he’s now hanging up the skates to try his hand at writing a comedy TV series. Watch on YouTube.
If you missed them the last time around, the sneakers we can’t get enough of are back — the perfect transitional sneaker as summer rolls around! These all-season low-tops are OZY’s favorite look for dressing up or down. But don’t wait around — these comfy kicks fly off the shelves and won’t be here for long.
They say you have to get back on the horse, but Simone Biles got back on the balance beam today. It’s been a week since she pulled out of most of her Olympic events, citing mental health reasons. Biles, 24, said last week she got a case of the “twisties,” or disorientation when in the air, while doing a vault. The woman believed to be the world’s greatest gymnast successfully stuck her double-pike dismount and posted a score of 14.000 in her last competition. That was good enough to win her the bronze medal, behind Chinese gold and silver medalists Guan Chenchen and Tang Xijing. (Sources: AP, ABC, Tweet)
Read more about athletes’ struggles with mental health on OZY.
2. Hogs Pig Out in China’s New ‘Hotel’ Farms
You’ve heard about the trend in vertical urban farming? Well, pig farms in China are taking that to a whole new level. They’re housing their animals in high-rise “hog hotels” to better protect them from diseases, like swine flu. Thousands of pigs are monitored with security cameras and served carefully prepared meals. It sounds luxurious but is probably the piggy equivalent of being in hotel quarantine. The new approach to biosecurity comes after African swine fever wiped out half the nation’s pigs a few years ago. Eleven incidents of the virus have been recorded this year, with the government worried about new strains. (Sources: Bloomberg)
3. Thawing Siberian Permafrost Leading to Methane Emissions
Would you prefer catastrophe or apocalypse? Sounds like a tough choice, but a team of scientists examining what climate change is doing to Siberia says those might be the only options. Their study published yesterday using satellite mapping technology shows that thaws in the Arctic permafrost are causing a rise in methane emissions, exacerbated by last year’s heat wave. The rising temperatures caused the limestone rocks to crack, releasing trapped methane — a potent greenhouse gas — normally sealed in by the permafrost. Scientists now want to carry out studies to calculate the exact amount of methane in the rocks. (Sources: Inverse, Washington Post, The Guardian)
4. She’s the Boss: Female Macaque Takes Over Troop
She’s taking a stand against the patriarchy. A 9-year-old Japanese macaque known as Yakei just broke the monkey world’s glass ceiling. While male macaques on the island of Kyushu are usually the troop leaders, Yakei decided #Time’sUp and challenged the ruling male in June, roughing him up. Now she reigns supreme at the nature reserve where the 677-member troop lives. A guide says she’s “been walking around with her tail up” and even “climbing trees and shaking them, which is an expression of power and a very rare behavior in females.” You go, girl! (Sources: The Guardian)
5. Dolly Keeps Parton With Her Money for Good Causes
Not only did the queen of country Dolly Parton help fund the Moderna vaccine for coronavirus, she recently revealed that the royalties she received from Whitney Houston’s seminal cover of “I Will Always Love You” went to a good cause too. Parton’s song became a hit when Houston covered it for the 1992 film, The Bodyguard. It spent weeks at the top of the charts, earning Parton $10 million in royalties in the 1990s. The “Jolene” singer used that money to buy a building she used as an office complex in a largely Black Nashville neighborhood saying: “I think, ‘This is the house that Whitney built.’” (Sources: Buzzfeed, CNN)
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