The bear’s been poked. On a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday, U.S. President Joe Biden raised concerns about jailed dissident Alexei Navalny, extensive Moscow-linked cyberattacks and reports of Russian bounties on U.S. troops. Today Putin is slated to make his first World Economic Forum appearance since 2009 as he addresses the virtual Davos conference, and it comes at an especially awkward time: Huge protests in support of Navalny — jailed for violating probation because he went to Germany to recover from poisoning he blames on the Kremlin — rocked cities across Russia Saturday. His supporters have already announced more protests this weekend.
It’s too late. That’s the prevailing sentiment behind 45 senators voting to block former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial as unconstitutional. With just five Republicans joining Democrats on the procedural vote, a conviction — which would require 17 GOP votes — now seems impossible. Meanwhile, authorities have arrested 138 of 400 identified suspects who could face sedition charges over the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. And the commander of the Washington, D.C., National Guard said the Pentagon stripped him of emergency authority before the attack because of outcry over the aggressive response to civil rights protests last year.
It’s not going away — not yet, at least. COVID-19 cases worldwide have passed the troubling milestone, with well over 2 million deaths, as nations struggle to deliver vaccines to anxious citizens. In the U.S., which has a quarter of global cases, President Biden pledged to increase vaccine supplies, saying he was on the verge of securing enough doses for 300 million Americans by the end of summer. And as concerns spread about whether vaccines can fully protect against new virus variants, Pfizer yesterday joined Moderna in pledging to develop booster shots for such strains.
They claim he didn’t know. But the bank says an “institutional failure” let it help raise $6.5 billion in bonds for Malaysia’s national 1MDB fund, which was used to bribe politicians in Kuala Lumpur and the Middle East. Goldman Sachs agreed in October to pay $3 billion in settlements with four nations, and yesterday said it would chop CEO David Solomon’s 2020 compensation by 36 percent — a $10 million cut. While maintaining he wasn’t involved, the bank said its standards weren’t upheld. The scandal resulted in a 12-year prison term for former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, which he’s appealing.
Listen to This: Get through the week with OZY's hump day playlist, featuring your old favorites and your soon-to-be favorites!
We Heard You! In response to our question about vaccine risk concerns, Esther D. of New York responded: “I would love a one in a million chance of dying, compared to what it is for me now — about 1.4%.”
Our record-breaking YouTube talk show is turning 100! Since August, we've welcomed 100 public figures, thought leaders and celebrities to the small screen for meaningful, open, thoughtful conversation on everything from Black Lives Matter to love and back again. Today, to celebrate our hundredth episode, we're sharing some of the best moments and hot takes from seasons one and two so far with everyone from Gabrielle Union to Lloyd Blankfein. Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel now … and have a slice of birthday cake on us!
Try a yummy snack with a clean energy boost. Verb Energy’s caffeinated, 90-calorie energy bars will help you be more productive on sluggish days. These bars are packed with 65 milligrams of caffeine from green tea and are made with organic, natural, gluten-free ingredients. Unlike coffee, Verb Energy bars offer your body a smooth influx of energy without the dreaded jitters. Try the Pumpkin Spice Latte, Double Chocolate, Salted Peanut Butter and Vanilla Latte bars for free. Just pay shipping!
They weren't packing light. The U.S. Transportation Security Administration said it seized a record number of firearms per traveler in 2020 as officers found 3,257 guns on passengers or in carry-on luggage. That’s 10 weapons per 1 million passengers, double 2019’s rate, and all but 17 percent were loaded. While that’s alarming, the increase is skewed by the huge drop-off in air travel during the pandemic. Depending on local laws, passengers can take declared firearms in checked luggage — though airlines temporarily banned doing so on Washington, D.C.-bound flights following the Capitol riot.
It’s the sick man of Earth. While few around the world are content, European Union citizens aren’t just facing winter outbreaks and lockdowns: They’re watching other nations power ahead in vaccinations. That’s raising fears that the three nights of anti-curfew riots in the Netherlands might be repeated across a lockdown-weary continent. Other hard-hit places, like Britain and the U.S., at least have vaccination rates high enough to reach herd immunity by this summer, while the EU, with a 2 percent vaccination rate, won’t get there until October. That could mean more restrictions — and more angry mobs.
Go ahead: Fact-check this. Game developers are creating a new genre of video games where players compete against misinformation or promote it as social media trolls, OZY reports. The idea is to teach people to evaluate the information they get online and understand the consequences — like the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol attack — of falling for mass manipulation. Games like Harmony Square, Bad News and Fake It to Make It might not become best-sellers, but they’re valuable tools for teachers to send young people into the digital world armed with healthy skepticism.
Could melted butter also help? Scientists looking to improve the strength of concrete say they’ve found an amazing nature-inspired hack: lobster shells. It doesn’t involve grinding up the shells: The trick, discovered by researchers in Australia, is to emulate the shell’s architecture, 3D printing layers of reinforced concrete in similar overlapping patterns, rather than pouring it into molds. While new to humans, this is exoskeleton tech that’s “evolved into high-performance structures over millions of years,” notes lead researcher Dr. Jonathan Tran at RMIT University in Melbourne. “We can follow where nature has already innovated.”
It’s a shutout. The Baseball Hall of Fame yesterday failed to select anyone for the Cooperstown class of 2021. Pitchers Curt Schilling and Roger Clemens, along with home run king Barry Bonds, have just one more chance to get the 75 percent vote required from the jury of sportswriters. But Bonds and Clemens are shadowed by steroid accusations, and Schilling, who’s become known for bigoted and threatening statements (like endorsing the Capitol riot), is now asking to be removed from consideration next year. All three could still be inducted after their eligibility expires by a committee of veteran players.
We love you and we love these shoes — so we’re telling you about them. Cariuma is our favorite brand of sneakers. Their handmade shoes look good, feel good and even do good with their ethical and sustainable practices.
The shoes sell out quickly, so be sure to buy them nowand get $15 off when you use code OZY. But save some for us too!