The enemy is inside the gates. After a year of Washington largely leaving pandemic policy to states, President Joe Biden yesterday said he was taking a wartime approach to fighting the virus. That includes a goal of administering 100 million vaccinations in 100 days — a goal already criticized as insufficient — against a virus that’s killed more than 400,000 Americans so far. He also signed orders requiring masks on interstate transportation and quarantining international arrivals while vowing to use the Defense Production Act to compel private industry to help. And one of the few Trump administration holdovers, Dr. Anthony Fauci, was in synch, saying letting “the science speak” is “somewhat of a liberating feeling.”
He’ll need time to prepare. That’s why new Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wants the chamber to begin former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in two weeks. But after five years in charge, the Republican senator can only ask Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who’s considering the request after the breakdown of power-sharing talks for the body, split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats advantaged by Vice President Kamala Harris' tie-breaking vote. They’ll need unity to approve the new president’s Cabinet picks, only one of whom can start work. And that’s not a fantasy: Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines won senators’ OK Wednesday with an overwhelmingly bipartisan 84-10 vote.
Step away from the brink. President Biden has proposed extending a nuclear weapons treaty with Russia. Moscow has sought to extend the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), which limits strategic nuclear ordinance, but rejected conditions set by the Trump administration. At the same time, Biden is asking intelligence agencies to delve into Russian cyberattacks, such as the long-undetected SolarWinds hacking campaign believed to have been run by the Kremlin. A Pentagon spokesman said the extension would give the rival powers “space” to “explore new verifiable arms control arrangements” which is something that NATO’s chief has urged Washington to do.
This wasn’t supposed to be “hard.”Shoppers on both sides of the English Channel are getting a nasty shock: Delivery staff are demanding hefty customs charges at the door for merchandise crossing the British border. That’s in the “small print” of the Britain-EU trade deal, says a fashion industry trade group in the U.K., where retailers are finding that it may be cheaper to burn returned items rather than take them back. This follows declarations that the end-of-year agreement would allow tariff-free trade, but now many retailers are stopping such sales rather than “appoint a specialist,” as the U.K. government recommends, to calculate the extra charges.
Remember the couple from St. Louis who went viral for holding guns as Black Lives Matter protesters marched past their home? Half of the country praised them as heroes; the other half vilified them as symbols of the law-and-order resistance. Today, Mark and Patricia McCloskey join Carlos for a candid, respectful but difficult discussion about a divided America. Would they change anything about that day? How would they #ResetAmerica? Don’t miss this powerful episode — click here to watch now.
We love the ones from Cariuma because they’re not just stylish, but crazy comfy and ethically made. Get ahead of the curve and buy your pair now! And as a gift, we have a discount exclusively for OZY readers — use code OZY to get $15 off today.
“We are defeating corona.” That sign greets arrivals at a Jerusalem vaccination center in a nation where more than 20 percent of the population, or 2 million people, has been vaccinated against COVID-19. That’s thanks to an agreement with Pfizer to share efficacy data in exchange for generous supplies. While other countries save shots for the elderly, Israel’s cutoff is 40. But West Bank and Gaza Palestinians aren’t included, and await shipments of a less-tested Russian inoculation. Results so far? A top Israeli health official has lamented no decline in serious hospitalizations but others say it’ll take time for immune responses to kick in.
Call them the “Skokie 10.” They’re the latest casualties in the battle between organized labor and Silicon Valley. After unionizing, the Instacart employees were included in a round of layoffs by the grocery delivery platform while still negotiating their first contract. The Chicago-area workers joined the United Food and Commercial Workers union early last year, prompting other workers to organize at Instacart, which has expanded due to the rise in deliveries during the pandemic and is preparing for an IPO estimated at around $30 billion. Meanwhile Australia’s flag carrier Qantas plans to contract out 2,000 cleaning and baggage handling jobs despite recent layoffs, which Australia’s Transport Workers Union is suing to prevent.
He knows representative government is a fragile thing. President Biden campaigned in part on strengthening global democracy, but as argued in OZY’s Butterfly Effect, that could be daunting in Africa. U.S. officials have long backed autocrats in places like Cameroon, Gabon and Egypt when it suited them, then preached democratic values when those leaders cozied up to China. But just as a youthful electorate helped propel Biden into office, he may find similar demographic shifts could foster a new Arab Spring-style ferment, making what’s good for democratic movements good for America.
Whose finest hour is it? British tabloids have blasted President Biden’s Oval Office remake snubbing a bust of legendary wartime leader Winston Churchill — something then-Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson decried when President Barack Obama did it in 2016, blaming anti-colonial Kenyan roots. It seems there’s simply no room now for the sculpture, on loan from the British government, among recently added busts of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks and labor organizer César Chávez. And as prime minister, Johnson’s more diplomatic, his spokesperson saying it’s “up to the president to decorate it as he wishes,” while the PM anticipates a “close relationship” with Biden.
If we can’t have you, neither can your nation. That’s the edict from FIFA, which runs both the richest private soccer leagues and the sport’s premiere event, the World Cup, and continental tournaments. Players whose teams become part of the new Super League, which would reportedly include 20 of the world’s top private clubs like Real Madrid and Manchester United, could potentially rake in $5 billion. Aleksander Čeferin, president of FIFA’s European arm, UEFA, whose Champions League could suffer from the competition, called the new league a “selfish and egotistical scheme,” while the Super League’s organizers aren’t responding.
Join the coolest new streaming platform. With CuriosityStream you can dive into history and explore nonfiction films and series. Interested in other topics? They have thousands of documentaries on topics ranging from food to space exploration to animals.
Best of all, for a limited time OZY readers can spark their curiosity and get a full year of access for only $1.25/month with an annual plan using code OZY.