First it was illegally importing walkie-talkies, now it’s disrupting “public tranquility.” Myanmar’s ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi was slapped with new charges today, one month after being detained in a military coup. If convicted, the charges could see her barred from running for reelection. Suu Kyi’s court appearance followed a bloody weekend during which hundreds were arrested and the U.N. said at least 18 people were killed when security forces fired on peaceful protesters. But demonstrators were undeterred, turning out in force again Monday and setting up makeshift barricades using sofas and bamboo.
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2. Iran Nixes Meeting to Revive Nuclear Talks
Now’s not the time. That’s Tehran’s message to the U.S. and European powers anxious to get the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement — discarded by former President Donald Trump — back on the table. An Iranian spokesperson said that “considering the recent actions” by the U.S., an informal meeting proposed by the European Union with American officials won’t happen. It’s likely Iran was referring to last week’s U.S. airstrikes on Iran-backed militias in Syria, retaliating for attacks on American personnel in Iraq. American officials said they’re disappointed but ready to “re-engage in meaningful diplomacy.”
He says he was being “playful.” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday he was “truly sorry” for saying things that were “misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation” after two women accused him of sexual harassment. A former aide claimed last week that the Democrat asked her if she’d had sex with older men, after a state official accused Cuomo of misconduct including an unwanted kiss on the lips. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the nation’s top Democrat, called the allegations “credible,” and Cuomo’s office has asked the state attorney general and a top judge to investigate the claims.
Can an obscure limo-hailing service challenge a behemoth like Uber? That’s exactly what Blacklane intends as it launches a new chauffeur-driven service in New York City today, The Wall Street Journal reports. It’s targeting business-oriented users of Uber’s black car service, but with the help of investment from German carmaker Daimler, it aims to expand to nine cities, including Los Angeles, London, Dubai and Singapore. CEO Jens Wohltorf says Blacklane planned the shift after pandemic airport rides cratered because there’s “good recovery of inner-city mobility.” The company hopes to go public in 2023.
Hundreds of pro-democracy supporters gathered outside a Hong Kong court ahead of a hearing for 47 detained opposition figures on Monday. Iran denied allegations by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that it was responsible for an attack on an Israeli ship in the Gulf of Oman last week. And former President Trump told the Conservative Political Action Committee yesterday that he would not start a third party that would siphon off Republican support.
Coronavirus update: The U.S. will begin rolling out the newly approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week after it received Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization. The single-dose vaccine is already being used in South Africa, where a more contagious variant of the virus was found.
At the height of the pandemic, Native Americans were dying of COVID-19 at twice the rate of white Americans. Huge inequalities have increased in health, housing, education and wealth, 1 in 3 Native Americans are living in poverty, and they are 19 times more likely to live in homes without running water. But there’s some good news too. If confirmed, Rep. Deb Haaland will make history as the first Native American in a Cabinet secretary role as the Secretary of the Interior, which oversees the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Could this historic appointment change the fate of Native Americans?
The global music industry has taken a hit from the impact of COVID-19, but according to Goldman Sachs Research, that slump is likely to be short-lived. With new habits formed by almost everyone during lockdown — from a greater reliance on social media to rediscovering old tracks — the online shift is set to accelerate and propel global music revenues higher than ever before.
Nomadland’s Chloé Zhao became the first Asian woman to win a directing award at last night’s 78th Golden Globes. Streamers scored big, with Netflix’s The Crown winning its second best TV drama award, while it also nabbed honors for The Queen’s Gambit and its star, Anya Taylor-Joy. But the distance between hosts Tina Fey (in New York City) and Amy Poehler (in Los Angeles) didn’t dull their edge as they skewered the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for having no Black members. Director Ava DuVernay joined a barrage of #TimesUpGlobes tweets with an impassioned argument for inclusion.
Maybe it was a creepy coincidence. But the design of the Conservative Political Action Committee’s stage sparked a backlash after this weekend’s convention where former President Trump pledged to unite the Republican Party. Critics compared the stage’s shape to the othala rune used by a Nazi SS unit and worn by white supremacists as a badge of “Aryan” heritage. Hyatt, which owns the Florida hotel that hosted the event, called such symbols “abhorrent.” Conference organizer the American Conservative Union said the suggestion was “outrageous and slanderous,” noting the organization’s “long standing commitment to the Jewish community.”
Hopefully the patient was fully anesthetized. California medical regulators are investigating a Sacramento plastic surgeon who attended virtual traffic court — while performing surgery. After last month’s incident with a Texas lawyer stuck in a Zoom kitten filter during a court proceeding, this digital drama raises concerns of another manner of malpractice. “I’m in an operating room,'' affirmed Dr. Scott Green to the court commissioner Thursday. “I’m available for trial. Go right ahead.” But watching Green proceed with surgery as a nurse filmed, the court commissioner stopped the session, saying, “I don’t think that’s appropriate.”
We should have the best of everything. At least that’s what today’s habitation innovations indicate. So forget today’s viral and climate ravages and consider what OZY’s Sunday Magazine has found. Imagine a world where jellyfish purify water for coastal cities, where parking garages become farms, where cities aren’t sinking under the weight of their architecture and we telecommute from idyllic green spaces. Of course there are downsides, like smart cities invading our privacy with high-tech surveillance, but if we look in the right places, like eco-cities in India and China, we may yet find our Shangri-Las.
With athletes from around the world preparing for the postponed Olympics in July, nations are divided on whether to let competitors jump to the front of their vaccine lines. Mexico, Denmark and the Philippines say yes, while the U.S., Britain and Italy say no. Japan hasn’t made it compulsory for athletes to be vaccinated, so countries are weighing bioethical concerns against the possibility of the Olympics becoming a superspreader event. Meanwhile, Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake says he wouldn’t take a vaccine anyway. “I'd rather miss the Olympics,” he said, without elaborating on his reasons.