With more than 1,000 Americans per day now dying of COVID-19, Washington state and Michigan, where cases have recently doubled, have nixed indoor restaurant dining as well as other risky activities. One difficulty, according to U.S. and European authorities, is that they’re unable to trace the source of the vast majority of infections, making it hard to know which rule changes could truly make a difference. Meanwhile, Asian stocks hit record heights as optimistic investors look forward to a possible vaccine and potentially less volatile global political landscape in 2021.
2. Trump Tweets ‘He Won’ Without Conceding Election
Without naming President-elect Joe Biden or providing evidence of fraud, President Donald Trump tweeted yesterday, “He won because the Election was Rigged” — the closest he’s come to acknowledging his defeat — though he later followed up with "I WON THE ELECTION!" He did not win the election: Security and election officials have said there’s no evidence of widespread fraud, and the Trump campaign yesterday abandoned a major part of its lawsuit to invalidate some votes in Pennsylvania, which isn’t expected to affect the state’s results. Over the next few years, without the protection the presidency provides, the Trump family empire may face enormous financial and legal challenges as more than $400 million in debt comes due.
3. Peru’s Interim President Resigns After Five Days
Less than a week ago, Peru’s legislature voted to remove President Martín Vizcarra over allegations of corruption, and Manuel Merino, the former speaker of Congress, replaced him until new elections could be held. Now Merino has also departed after some of the largest protests Peru has seen in years. Police fired tear gas at demonstrators calling Vizcarra’s removal a coup and two students were killed in the protests. Merino’s entire Cabinet resigned over the weekend, but now he says they’ll stay in place to guide the country until they can determine who the next president will be.
4. Asia-Pacific States Form Huge Trade Partnership
Fifteen countries signed on to the China-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership yesterday, making it the first deal to unite China, Japan and South Korea. The agreement covers 2.2 billion people — it would have been 3.6 billion if India hadn’t pulled out over concerns about China’s influence — and its regulations are considered loose: They don’t commit countries to new standards for labor relations or environmental impact, and they won’t restrict cross-border data transmission. It also leaves the U.S. and EU out in the cold when it comes to having a say on Asian trade.
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You Said It: We asked for your opinion on widespread lockdowns to stem COVID-19. Melaine R. in Portland says: “I don't support ‘widespread lockdowns’ to stem disease but I do support modifying or locking down businesses that have high potential for spreading illness.” Meanwhile, Emily A. from Michigan thinks people need to return to lockdown: “This is totally out of control and people have too much disregard for humanity to be trusted to self regulate.”
Help OZY Reset America: 2020 has shown that the issues we need to solve as a nation are bigger than ever. As we move beyond the election, OZY will continue to lead the conversation, bringing a wide variety of voices to the table to find the path forward. We want to kick this off at SXSW in 2021 — and could use your help to make sure that happens. Please click here to visit the SXSW website, create an account and vote up our panel. And in the meantime, join us on social media to continue the conversation.
After all that’s happened this year, it’s time to do your holiday shopping with a purpose. Join Facebook to make every Friday #BuyBlack Friday, a day to support, celebrate and shop from Black-owned businesses. Dive into the stellar #BuyBlack Friday Gift Guide — including everything from moisturizer or golf gloves for your parents, to posters for siblings and salted caramel pretzels to treat yourself. Plus, Facebook is gathering Black business owners, comedians, musicians and more each Friday for an exciting live show. Check it out.
He’s never gonna stop talking about this. The kākāpō, a flightless, nocturnal parrot, has been named New Zealand’s Bird of the Year in its annual online competition. It’s the first bird in the contest’s 15-year history to win twice, beloved as the heaviest and longest-lived parrot species on Earth. The competition was marred by vote rigging in favor of the little spotted kiwi, but authorities spotted the fraud and disqualified the suspect votes. While the win doesn’t carry a cash prize, it’s hoped it will raise awareness and affection for the critically endangered bright green birds.
2. Elon Musk Reports Coronavirus as SpaceX Launches
The Tesla CEO admitted Saturday that he “most likely” has COVID-19 after describing two positive and two negative tests on the same day. Meanwhile, Musk’s rocket company, SpaceX, shot four astronauts into orbit yesterday for a six-month stay on the International Space Station. It was the Crew Dragon spacecraft’s second crewed flight but first official operational mission with NASA after nearly a decade of U.S. astronauts having to hitch rides to the ISS on Russian shuttles. Boeing is currently developing its own space taxi capsule to compete with Musk for NASA’s business.
3. Despite COVID-19 Risk, Many Still Plan for Thanksgiving
Experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci have warned for weeks that Thanksgiving could become a superspreader holiday. But even though virus cases are already swamping some states’ health care systems, 38 percent of Americans say they’ll attend a gathering of more than 10 people this year. Experts predict travel to drop about 10 percent over Thanksgiving weekend, the biggest year-on-year decrease in more than a decade, while air travel alone is expected to fall by 47 percent. To determine the risk of someone at a gathering in your area having COVID-19, you can use this mapping tool.
4. Fans Petition for LeVar Burton to Fill Trebek’s Shoes
Set your phasers to the form of a question. After the death of beloved longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek last week, many have speculated about who could take his place. Now more than 85,000 people have signed a Change.org petition in favor of LeVar Burton, famous for his role on Star Trek and as the host of Reading Rainbow. Burton tweeted that he’s flattered “even if nothing comes from it.” Before his death, Trebek recommended sports announcer Alex Faust or CNN legal analyst Laura Coates as potential replacements.
This tech is on the fast track. Electric car technology is getting a boost from Formula E — think Formula 1 but for electric vehicles — and the racing industry. Innovations developed on the track, like using more efficient high voltage systems, have trickled down to the regular auto industry, OZY reports. “Nothing tests car technology better than motorsport,” one Formula E team director noted. It’s a reflection of the way gas-powered race cars have long been used to test new tech, including features like disc brakes, which have eventually made it to the consumer market.
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