Are they striking while the iron is cold? Fast food workers in 15 American cities went on strike to demand a $15 hourly minimum wage, incorporating a racial equity twist by channeling Black History Month and allying with Black Lives Matter. Workers are even striking in Houston, Chicago and Atlanta, which have been hit hard by a deep freeze that’s already killed at least 26 people. Their push comes as Congress considers a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill that includes President Joe Biden’s proposed $15 federal minimum wage, which faces opposition from Republicans and even some Democrats.
Who’s in charge, anyway? Former President Donald Trump yesterday called the highest-ranking Republican, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, “a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack” who will bring his party defeat. The Kentucky senator infuriated Trump by saying he was clearly responsible for the Capitol attack, even after helping acquit him on the impeachment charge of inciting insurrection. And McConnell’s not alone: Other Republicans are being punished by state party committees for voting or speaking against their former leader. Trump also met Tuesday with former campaign manager Brad Parscale, boosting speculation about a 2024 run.
Myanmar’s military regime appeared to have started its case against deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi a day early, without her lawyer present — or even notified — shortly after levying a new charge of violating coronavirus restrictions against her, which could carry a maximum sentence of three years. Suu Kyi was already facing a charge of illegally importing walkie-talkies, an accusation experts say is simply a legal excuse for her house arrest. Recent changes to Myanmar’s penal code could allow the military government to hold her indefinitely anyway, prompting expectations of protests continuing nationwide Wednesday.
The U.S. could have trouble filling the skies with F-35s if Beijing goes through with a proposed export limit on 17 rare earth minerals that are crucial to building fighter jets. China controls about four-fifths of the global supply. Its choice comes as Sino-U.S. relations falter and a technology trade war brews between the world powers. Everything from smartphones to electric vehicles to wind turbines rely on those precious metals, meaning they aren’t just used to wage war — although China could get that, too, if it gets stingy.
Texas, America’s energy capital, saw several million customers go without power as the state endured a freakish deep freeze. Ro Sol Ju, the wife of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, has appeared in public for the first time in a year. And police have dropped charges against Amy Cooper — the notorious “Karen” who falsely accused a Black bird-watcher upset about her off-leash dog in Central Park of assaulting her — after she completed counseling.
Today on The Carlos Watson Show: We return to one of TV’s most successful franchises of the 21st century, with one of its most successful stars. Kenya Moore from Real Housewives of Atlanta shares intimate details of her journey as a mother — and whether she’s “brave enough” to think about a second child — and insights into how to build a multimillion-dollar business as a side hustle to her full-time job and parenting duties. Subscribe now for more.
It has always been in OZY's DNA to tell important but overlooked stories. So it’s an honor to team up with Lifetime for our first foray into film, sharing the true and chilling story of a mother and daughter separated at the U.S.-Mexico border in Torn From Her Arms. We’re thrilled to help bring the story of Cindy and Jimena Madrid, as reported by OZY's Nick Fouriezos, to the big screen.Read more.
Russia finds a way. In this case, to terrify humanity with its latest scientific announcement: The government laboratory that’s developing Russia’s second COVID-19 vaccine is also studying paleoviruses — which aren’t a new lifestyle trend, but ancient pathogens. A rapidly warming Arctic has freed long-extinct woolly mammoths, hairy rhinos and other prehistoric animals from permafrost, along with whatever viruses they carried. Researchers say they’re studying the evolution of microorganisms, but that’s not completely reassuring in the midst of a pandemic — and from a lab that used to make Soviet bioweapons and still keeps smallpox squirreled away.
Sources: AFP, Daily Mail Photo Credit: North-Eastern Federal University
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2. Can a Social Benefit Breed Startups?
You want to start a business, but like having children, it’s a hefty commitment. If your baby is a startup, though, you’ll want to work in Sweden, OZY reports. There, the government offers workers six months of “entrepreneur-nity leave” to explore business ideas and return to their old job if the venture fails. Now Stockholm is second only to Silicon Valley in billion-dollar startups, many of which couldn’t have been born had their founders been chained to desks. That’s a perk other nations covet — like Tunisia, which has followed suit and is climbing the Global Entrepreneurship Index.
But this isn’t Monopoly money. A federal judge yesterday told Citigroup, which wants to recoup $500 million it mistakenly sent investment companies, that it’s out of luck. The bank says the August payment was supposed to be a $7.8 million loan payment, but due to human error, it became a nearly $900 million payment of the entire loan balance owed by Citi client Revlon. Some lenders returned their portions, which totaled nearly $400 million. But others, miffed with Citi because they think it’s helping Revlon avoid paying its debt, refused. Citi has vowed to appeal.
She may live in a villa, but in secretly recorded videos shared with the BBC, Princess Latifa Al Maktoum, daughter of Dubai’s billionaire ruler, pleads dramatically for her release. “I’m a hostage and this villa has been converted into a jail,” she says, describing barred windows and a platoon of guards. She tried to flee the United Arab Emirates in 2018 but was forcibly returned. While the UAE said Latifa is safe with her family, the U.N. has agreed to step in after global calls for help when her secret video messages abruptly stopped.
It was a right fizzer. The tennis world No. 1 was knocked out of the Australian Open today, disappointing fans in her home country. An Australian last won the women’s title in 1978, and thanks to Czech Karolina Muchova, who shocked Barty 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, Aussie fans will have to wait at least another year. Meanwhile, Melbourne’s anticipating a titanic semifinal clash tomorrow between Serena Williams, with 23 Grand Slam titles, and Naomi Osaka, the young No. 3 who beat Williams in a fraught match at the 2018 U.S. Open — and who Williams described as an “incredible opponent.”
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