A military coup has deposed Myanmar’s civilian government led by Suu Kyi, who won a Nobel Peace Prize as a democracy-campaigning dissident, but was more recently condemned for denying what’s widely considered the country’s genocide against the Rohingya people. The U.N. and human rights groups have decried her detention and that of other civilian officials. Citing allegations of voter fraud in November’s elections, in which Suu Kyi’s party defeated military-backed candidates in a landslide, the military placed Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing in charge and declared that new elections would be held after a yearlong state of emergency.
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2. New Protests, Mass Arrests Rock Russia
It was too big to ignore. When Russians swarmed icy streets yesterday to protest President Vladimir Putin and show support for his jailed rival, Alexei Navalny, police responded massively, detaining more than 5,100 demonstrators. From the Pacific to St. Petersburg, tens of thousands turned out in at least 85 cities despite shuttered public transit and expectations of brutal crackdowns. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned “harsh tactics against peaceful protesters,” while the Kremlin accused Washington of “crude interference” and fomenting instability. Navalny faces a court hearing Tuesday, when supporters plan new demonstrations.
For a winning case, it’s not so easy. Abandoned this weekend by his impeachment defense team, former President Donald Trump yesterday hired two new lawyers to represent him at next week’s Senate trial: Alabama-based David Schoen, who represented now-pardoned Trump ally Roger Stone, and former Pennsylvania District Attorney Bruce Castor Jr., who declined to prosecute Bill Cosby on sexual assault charges. Five lawyers quit Saturday, reportedly over Trump’s insistence that his defense focus on false claims of election fraud. Trump is all but certain to win anyway, since his opponents lack the supermajority of senators needed to convict.
Can they unite for less? President Joe Biden will meet with Republican leaders today to hear their answer to his $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package. While it is mathematically possible to pass his bill without GOP help, Biden has touted bipartisanship. The Republican bill would cost only $600 billion amid worries that the government’s already budgeted $4 trillion in pandemic aid. While Biden’s bill includes $1,400 payments to many Americans, the GOP version lowers payments to $1,000, limits eligibility for them and removes a proposed $15 federal minimum wage. It is unlikely to advance in Congress.
The northeastern U.S. is bracing for a major storm expected to dump a foot of snow in some areas. Silver prices have reached a five-month high as Reddit-organized investors are buying commodities en masse. And prominent attorney Alan Dershowitz has nominated former White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and aide Avi Berkowitz for the Nobel Peace Prize for their work convincing four Arab nations to make peace with Israel.
Jim Cramer, the larger-than-life host of Mad Money on CNBC, sits down with Carlos for a wide-ranging conversation that touches on sports, stock picks, his advice for Black entrepreneurs and his mental health struggles surrounding the temper he inherited from his father. What crazy connection does he have with Kobe Bryant? What insights does he have into the Robinhood boom? Find out on this very special episode. Subscribe now to check it out.
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America desperately needs a “moonshot” — but maybe not to the actual moon. Some doubt crisis-beset President Biden’s commitment to get there by 2024, as the Trump administration had planned. While NASA’s Artemis program aims to launch the first lunar visit by humans since 1972, last week it delayed awarding two Artemis-related contracts for two months. Maybe the project would get more traction if it used climate-friendly spacecraft: The world’s first biofuel rocket flew some 4,000 feet above Maine yesterday, calling attention to bluShift Aerospace, which aims to be “the Uber to space” for nanosatellites.
A small group of demonstrators calling the pandemic a “scam” blocked a drive-thru vaccination center at LA’s Dodger Stadium for about an hour Saturday — one of several coronavirus-related protests around the world this weekend. In Vienna, police in riot gear confronted thousands opposed to Austria’s monthlong lockdown after a planned far-right protest was banned, while Brussels, Amsterdam and Budapest saw smaller gatherings. Los Angeles is one of the world’s worst-hit cities, with 1.1 million cases and nearly 17,000 deaths, but it’s seen a spate of protests opposing efforts to fight the pandemic.
The planet’s financial health has been stricken by the pandemic, and last week’s revolt by day traders who upended Wall Street showed how money’s moving in unpredictable ways. OZY’s Sunday Magazine explores new ideas to make sense of it all. That could include teaching kids stock market fundamentals, discovering commercial hot spots via anonymized smartphone tracking or creating digital free trade zones. And how does China’s dominance and newfound belligerence play into this? As GameStop traders demonstrated, the old models are fragile, and reviving the world’s businesses and livelihoods needs strong — and innovative — medicine.
Too soon? Today India is letting theaters fill up, albeit with temperature checks, masks and hand sanitizer, after seeing an 88 percent decline in reported COVID-19 deaths since September. Most theaters reopened at 50 percent capacity in October, and some will continue to be restricted in areas where infection rates remain high. While new Hollywood movies like No Time to Die and Avatar 2 are still delayed, long-awaited Bollywood tentpoles like Radhe, a crime thriller starring Salman Khan, are expected to come out in the coming months — if crowded theaters don’t make things worse.
Patrick Mahomes is playing the wrong kind of football. Spanish newspaper El Mundo yesterday published details of soccer superstar Lionel Messi’s four-year contract with FC Barcelona, and at $167 million per year, it blew Kansas City QB Mahomes’ $50 million, basketball legend LeBron James’ $31.4 million and everyone else out of the water. What do the club and its prize asset have to say? They’ve vowed to sue the publication and whoever shared the confidential document. Barca suggested it was done to embarrass Messi, with, as manager Ronald Koeman put it, “malicious intent.”
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