Oxford University has paused a trial of its COVID-19 vaccine, developed in conjunction with AstraZeneca, and its effectiveness in children, while British regulators review rare blood clots afflicting adults who’ve had the inoculation. While authorities say there isn’t a safety concern for children, worries about clotting are growing. Though there have been dozens of clotting cases, they’ve been among tens of millions of vaccine recipients. Nonetheless, the U.K. reportedly may impose a ban for anyone under 30, while the European Medicines Agency believes the vaccine is causing the clots and plans to make a statement about it this week.
2. Chauvin Knelt on Floyd’s Neck After Pulse Stopped
To many who watched the gruesome video of George Floyd’s restraint by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, it seems obvious. But Lt. Johnny Mercil, the colleague who trained the officer charged with killing Floyd, affirmed that assumption yesterday, the seventh day of Chauvin’s trial. A knee to the neck, as Chauvin used for over nine minutes, is only for “active aggression,” not for a subdued, handcuffed suspect, testified Mercil. Two of those minutes were after a medic found Floyd had no pulse. A Los Angeles police use-of-force expert, who called Chauvin’s actions “excessive,” will continue testifying today.
3. Gaetz Reportedly Asked Trump for Preemptive Pardon
It was worth a try. Florida’s Rep. Matt Gaetz, under federal investigation amid sex trafficking allegations, sought pardons for himself and his associates from former President Donald Trump, The New York Times reports. While Gaetz, a staunch Trump ally, denies sexual relations with a 17-year-old girl or paying for sex, the paper reports that he approached the White House privately about pardons to protect himself and his allies from political opponents’ “bloodlust.” In a statement, Gaetz denied the report, saying his only pardon request was public, for “everyone from [Trump], to his administration, to Joe Exotic.”
It’s one big unhappy family. Two top executives resigned yesterday from Credit Suisse amid $4.7 billion in losses from the recent collapse of Archegos Capital Management. The Swiss bank is recouping losses by restricting dividends, share buybacks and executive bonuses. Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley reportedly sold some $5 billion in Archegos’ shaky portfolio that included Chinese tech and U.S. media investments ahead of the collapse. The failure has alarmed Wall Street critics, who say so-called family offices like Archegos, which managed troubled veteran investor Bill Hwang’s fortune by speculating with borrowed money, need tighter regulation.
COVID-19 deaths in Brazil have surpassed 4,000 in 24 hours, as patients die waiting for treatment in overburdened hospitals. Two New York City doormen who shut out a 65-year-old Asian woman while she was being brutally attacked have been fired. And Iran reports that one of its cargo ships, believed to be a base for its Revolutionary Guard units, has been attacked in the Red Sea.
Whiskey in Your Clubhouse:Join OZY editors and writers on Thursday at 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET for insights on the big news of the week, a chat about your favorite sections of Whiskey in Your Coffee and more. Write to OZY reporter Joshua Eferighe below so we can pull you into the room, and follow him @Eferighe
OZY's Vaccine POV Playlist: OZY's favorite songs from game-changing stars you love, and rising stars you'll soon love, curated for a specific POV. Today's vibe: you just got the vaccine and are heading home. Listen now!
Today on The Carlos Watson Show, meet the “Accidental Economist” fighting to save the world’s poor. IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath joins Carlos to explain why we won’t be able to move on from the COVID recession until we can combat the disease globally — including in developing countries. From the impact on extreme poverty rates, to education access in some of the poorest parts of the world, find out why she’s fighting to spread vaccine access more equitably across the globe. Watch now.
Join the coolest new streaming platform. With CuriosityStream you can dive into history and explore nonfiction films and series. Interested in other topics? They have thousands of documentaries on topics ranging from food to space exploration to animals.
It pays to be rich — and even during a pandemic, it seems, you get richer. Forbes released its annual billionaires list, with 493 newcomers — that’s one minted every 17 hours. Among the newbs are Kim Kardashian and producer Tyler Perry. Many of the nouveau ultra-riche are from China, speeding Beijing past New York as the world’s billionaire capital. On top? Jeff Bezos reprises his No.1 placing, with $177 billion. The newcomers have helped suppress one prominent member: Former President Trump has dropped 300 places to No. 1,299, as his hotels and resorts take a beating.
This week’s palace intrigue between King Abdullah II and former Crown Prince Hamzah might be blamed on outside agitators, OZY’s Butterfly Effect column reports. New BFFs Saudi Arabia and Israel may no longer need Jordan to be custodian of Jerusalem’s Muslim holy sites, which some have suggested Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might gift to Riyadh. Things deteriorated to the point that Israel reportedly withheld water from Jordan, while Jordan denied airspace to Israel. But Saudi and Israeli vows to support Abdullah, following Hamzah’s alleged coup attempt, indicate that both nations may again be taking Amman seriously.
Can grillable dairy products bring reconciliation? The European Union is thrilling Cypriot cheesemakers by designating them as halloumi’s only legitimate source as of later this month. The squeaky, curdled sheep’s and goat’s milk cheese dates back to the 15th century on the divided eastern Mediterranean isle, and will now enjoy protected status. While northern Turkish Cyprus, and southern EU member Greek Cyprus, fought a 1970s war and are separated by a U.N. buffer zone, the politically isolated northerners can still sell their halloumi across the line, offering a chance for some cheesy diplomacy.
Warning: Quickly shoving food into one’s mouth may cause choking. A Fresno, California, taco eating contest at a minor league baseball game is being sued after a contestant choked to death. His son argues that the Fresno Grizzlies, who organized the 2019 competition, should have warned Dana Hutchings of the risks, especially considering alcohol was available. While professional competitive eaters may be prepared for such frenzied consumption, the lawsuit argues, the 41-year-old first-time contestant “entered the competition with limited information,” and therefore the Grizzlies, who’ve yet to respond, owe unspecified damages to his survivors.
5. Japan Sees Earliest Cherry Blossoms Since 812 AD
Sakura, or cherry blossom season, is an annual event where people celebrate the coming spring by picnicking under the delicate pink blossoms in April. But this year on March 26 the city of Kyoto saw the earliest bloom in over 1,200 years, and scientists say climate change is to blame. “We can say it's most likely because of the impact of the global warming,” said Shunji Anbe of Japan’s Meteorological Agency. He explained that Kyoto’s average temperature has been climbing, with this March seeing 54.3 degrees Fahrenheit compared to just 47.5 degrees in 1953.
Our favorite shoes just got even better! Our friends at Cariuma have made news by announcing the world’s lowest carbon footprint sneaker. Be a part of history by purchasing your own pair of these cool, comfy, and game-changing shoes today. Made with bamboo and easy to slip right on, these will be your new favorites. OZY readers get $15 off with code OZY15!