There was a definite chill in the air in Anchorage at the first meeting between top officials from Beijing and the new U.S. administration Thursday. Icy jabs flew as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called out China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims and its crackdown in Hong Kong, and Yang Jiechi, China’s top diplomat, warned the U.S. not to “condescend” over human rights while Black people are being “slaughtered” in America. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin engaged in a tit-for-tat after President Joe Biden called him a “killer,” responding, “It takes one to know one.”
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2. Biden Visits Atlanta as Details Emerge About Sex-Obsessed Killer
President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are due to meet Asian American leaders in Atlanta today to discuss Tuesday’s murder of six Asian women. More details emerged about the 21-year-old who confessed to the mass killing, painting a picture of a pornography addict whose sex obsession was at odds with his strict Baptist upbringing. Robert Aaron Long had sought treatment at addiction centers, friends revealed, and was a regular customer at massage parlors. Police said Long bought a gun the day of the shooting spree and was heading to Florida to continue his massacre when he was arrested.
3. ‘Time to Bury the Past’ With India, Says Pakistan Army Chief
In extraordinary remarks, Pakistan’s military chief has said it’s “time to bury the past” with longtime foe India, calling for a peaceful resolution of their dispute over Kashmir. Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa said the conflict is “dragging this region back to the swamp of poverty and underdevelopment,” adding that he hopes the new U.S. administration could help bring peace. U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin lands in India today as part of his Asia tour, with Afghanistan also likely on the agenda. Bajwa’s remarks come after last month’s cease-fire agreement with India.
4. Lamborghini a Roaring Success in US, China Despite Pandemic
While many have tightened their budgets amid the pandemic, one luxury car brand saw its most profitable year ever. Lamborghini had a turnover of $1.93 billion in 2020 thanks to “an ideal model mix” and increased customization options. “It’s a bit like with the stock markets,” CEO Stephan Winklemann said. “The buyer’s spirits are up, they can’t wait to the moment to get out again and to enjoy life.” Most buyers were in the U.S., followed by Germany and China — with the latter expected to move to the number two spot this year.
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As America grapples with the aftermath of the shootings in Atlanta and the rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans, OZY looks at the myriad ways in which racism plays out. Watch policymakers, medical professionals and patients talk about racism in health care and how we can fix it, with OZY’s #RealTalkRealChange.
There’s something fishy going on. Taiwan’s government has pleaded with citizens to stop changing their names to “salmon” in order to get free sushi after about 100 people registered to do so. Restaurant chain Sushiro launched a promotion that people whose names include the Chinese characters for salmon could get an all-you-can-eat meal with five friends. Taiwan’s interior minister was not amused, complaining Thursday that the rush for official name changes created “unnecessary paperwork.” But one college student now named “Explosive Good Looking Salmon” said it was worth it because he’d eaten sushi to the tuna $245.
2. Goldman Sachs to Tackle ‘Inhumane’ Working Hours
First-year analysts’ complaints of “inhumane” 100-hour work weeks that take a toll on their physical and mental health have pushed the Wall Street firm to enact new measures. “There was a point where I was not eating, showering or doing anything else other than working from morning until after midnight,” one employee said. The analysts want their work capped at 80 hours per week, and Goldman Sachs says it’s taking steps to address their concerns. Meanwhile, the bank is doubling a commitment to invest in companies run by women and people of color to $1 billion.
3. Scientists Find Ancient Shark That’s Wider Than It Is Long
Paleontologists have discovered a nearly complete shark fossil in Mexico with a fin span of 6 feet, 3 inches, notably longer than its 5-foot-6 body. Aquilolamna milarcae, whose name means “eagle shark,” lived during the Cretaceous Period 93 million years ago, more than 30 million years before the first manta rays. Scientists think the long fins acted as stabilizers for the plankton-eating creature. “Many adjectives can be used to describe this shark: unusual, unique, extraordinary, bizarre, weird,” said Romain Vullo, lead author of the study. “Yes, it is the only shark that is wider than long.”
4. Hong Kong’s Art Scene Under Threat After ‘Red Line’ Remarks
Artists in Hong Kong worry that China’s controversial national security law could limit freedom of expression after a pro-Beijing legislator suggested some artworks at a new museum risk “inciting hatred.” City leader Carrie Lam acknowledged concerns that exhibitions could cross “a red line,” while adding that her government respects artistic freedom. The financial hub has a thriving art scene, hosting big annual events like Art Basel, and a major new museum M+ is set to open this year, with works by Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei and pieces referencing the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre among its collection.
5. Tokyo Official Quits After ‘Olympig’ Joke About Plus-Size Actress
How many faux pas can one Olympic Games take? Just weeks after the president of the Tokyo Organizing Committee resigned over his sexist comments, the creative director of the opening and closing ceremonies has followed suit. Hiroshi Sasaki’s fall from grace came after he suggested Naomi Watanabe, a plus-size comedian known in Japan for encouraging body positivity, could don pig ears for the opening ceremony as “Olympig.” She expressed disappointment at the remarks saying, “I hope for a fun, more harmonious world in which we can all respect each other and our unique ways of thinking.”
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