Speak softly and carry a big stick? That was President Theodore Roosevelt’s famous foreign policy line, which may be on display this week as Secretary of State Antony Blinken heads to Asia for talks likely to be dominated by China and North Korea. Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin start their Asia tour in Japan today, where the allies are expected to criticize China for its actions in the East and South China Seas. They’ll then go to Seoul, where Pyongyang will top the agenda. Blinken later heads to Anchorage, Alaska, to meet his Chinese counterparts on Thursday.
2. Myanmar Clashes Kill 38 Ahead of Suu Kyi Court Appearance
Detained civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi is due in court today, the day after 38 people were killed by Myanmar security forces in the bloodiest protest crackdown since last month’s coup. The Nobel laureate faces an array of charges including possessing illegal walkie-talkies. The military junta has also accused her of accepting $600,000 in illegal cash payments and large quantities of gold. Martial law was declared Sunday in parts of the country after protesters burned several Chinese-owned factories, and Beijing’s embassy in Myanmar urged authorities to protect Chinese businesses.
3. Head of London Police Slammed for Vigil Breakup
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he is “deeply concerned” and pressure is growing for London’s Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick to resign after police aggressively broke up a London vigil for a murdered woman on Saturday. Thousands of women protested the kidnapping and murder of 33-year-old Sarah Everard, allegedly by a police officer, but the vigil was broken up by authorities seen pinning protesters to the ground. Police said coronavirus restrictions were violated, but officials including Britain’s home secretary and the city’s mayor have criticized the response, which now faces an independent inquiry.
After a weekend leap, Bitcoin consolidated today at around $60,000 on reports that India is preparing a bill that would ban possession of cryptocurrencies, the first major economy to do so. Bitcoin hit a record high of $61,742 over the weekend, buoyed by the U.S. stimulus package and investors preparing for inflation, but dipped to $58,956 in early Asia trading Monday. The cryptocurrency has more than doubled in 2021 after high-profile endorsements by Tesla’s Elon Musk and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey. Learn more about the crypto craze on the latest When Katty Met Carlos podcast.
Coronavirus Update: Ireland and the Netherlands have joined a number of countries that have suspended use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, despite the company insisting there is no evidence it leads to increased risk of blood clots. And infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci told Fox News yesterday that he hopes former President Donald Trump will encourage his supporters to get vaccinated.
In anticipation of March Madness, OZY is putting The Carlos Watson Show guests up against each other for our own March Matchups.
Today, it's recess and you're team captain of the dodgeball team. On The Carlos Watson Show, we heard about Cleveland Browns quarterbackBaker Mayfield's intense work ethic and howCJ McCollum defied the odds to become a breakout star in the NBA. Who would be your first pick? Watch their episodes and vote here to tell us who you'd choose!
Leave it better than we found it: We all aspire to that goal in the great outdoors, and Parks Project lives it. To ensure national parks are around for generations to come, Parks Project has given back more than $1.2 million to America’s national parks thanks to products like The Shrooms Two Person Packable Hammock. It’s big enough for you and your adventure buddy, and a portion of the proceeds will go to preserving spaces we can all share.
Female performers and songs about America’s racial reckoning were the big winners at last night’s Grammys, with Beyoncé’s multiple awards making her the woman with the most Grammys ever and her song “Black Parade,” released on Juneteenth in the wake of George Floyd’s killing, garnering best R&B performance. Black Lives Matter anthem “I Can’t Breathe” by H.E.R. won song of the year, while Taylor Swift’s quarantine-produced Folklore took album of the year. The ceremony was held outside, with host Trevor Noah joking it was “the biggest outdoor event this year besides the storming of the Capitol.”
2. Facebook Studies Vaccine Hesitancy Among US Users
The social network is conducting research into Americans’ doubts about vaccines in an attempt to understand what contributes to vaccine hesitancy. In December, Facebook banned outright false statements on the topic, but it has since found that even content that doesn’t breach the rules can still cause harm, as well as overlap between coronavirus skeptics and QAnon conspiracy followers. Nearly 30 percent of Americans say they don’t intend to get COVID-19 shots, according to a recent poll. Facebook said it will now label all posts discussing vaccine safety with text about how vaccines undergo safety tests before approval.
3. ‘Charlie Hebdo’ Depicts Meghan Markle as George Floyd
Never scared of courting controversy, French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has drawn ire for its latest cover depicting Queen Elizabeth II kneeling on the Duchess of Sussex’s neck in a reference to Floyd’s killing. The Paris magazine, target of a 2015 terror attack over cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, showed Meghan saying “I can’t breathe” days after she accused the royal family of racism. Reaction to the cover was varied, with some defending the magazine’s right to offend, and others, including Halima Begum, CEO of race equality think tank the Runnymede Trust, calling it “wrong on every level.”
4. Japanese Students Fight Back Against Uniform Rules
“Hey, teacher! Leave them kids alone.” That’s a growing refrain from students challenging strict dress codes in Japanese schools, including that they must have straight black hair and wear white underwear, which some schools enforce with underwear checks. An Osaka court recently awarded one young woman $3,000 for emotional distress after her school banned her from classes because her hair wasn’t black enough, and nearly half of Tokyo’s public schools insist students with brown or curly hair carry certification to prove it’s natural. Critics say such stifling conformity kills creativity and holds the country back.
He led them out of the wilderness. The quarterback inherited a New Orleans Saints team that had sunk lower than the city’s relationship with sea level. But in four years, he earned a Super Bowl MVP along with the 2010 championship for the team. Yesterday Brees announced his retirement after 20 pro seasons — which had been expected since the 42-year-old lost the divisional championship to Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, despite the Saints beating them twice during the season. With NFL records for passing yards and completions, Brees is likely to win a spot in the Hall of Fame.
If you missed them the last time around, the sneakers we can’t get enough of are back — and just in time for spring! These all-season low-tops are OZY’s favorite look for dressing up or down. But don’t wait around — these comfy kicks fly off the shelves and won’t be here for long.