Forget trade and tech, China and the U.S. — the world’s two worst polluters — have a new unusual area of rivalry: the environment. At President Joe Biden’s Earth Day summit yesterday, attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, both presented ambitious targets to cut emissions. Biden pledged to cut U.S. emissions by up to 52 percent by 2030, while Xi reiterated his promise of carbon neutrality by 2060. Xi stressed that China is doing more on climate change than many developed countries and made a veiled reference to former President Donald Trump withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement. The summit continues today.
2. Russian Troops Withdraw, Doctors Concerned About Navalny
Did U.S. pressure work? Russia has announced it will begin pulling back from its Ukranian border after a recent military buildup there raised tensions. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy welcomed the news, thanking international partners for their support. But Moscow said troops were leaving because an “inspection” of the border had been completed. The soldiers are scheduled to start withdrawing today. Meanwhile, doctors for jailed Russian dissident Alexei Navalny have urged him to end his hunger strike, saying he will die if he doesn’t. The doctors, who haven’t been allowed to see their patient, are demanding they be given access.
3. India at Breaking Point as Hospitals Run Out of Oxygen
SOS. Doctors at Indian hospitals issued emergency alerts today, warning they had only hours of oxygen supplies left as COVID-19 rages throughout the country. Meanwhile, 13 COVID-19 patients were killed in a fire at a hospital near Mumbai early Friday morning. The country also reported another global daily record in cases, with 332,730 recorded. Some areas have been accused of blocking oxygen tankers from reaching neighboring states. A more infectious variant as well as political failings are being blamed for the crisis. The government is planning to make vaccines available to all adults from May 1.
4. Snapchat Is Snapping Up More Users — and Revenue
Snap Inc., which owns the Snapchat app, saw revenue surge 66 percent this quarter compared to a year earlier. Revenue reached $769.6 million, with North America still the company’s largest market. Social media platforms in general have done well during the pandemic as most people are isolated from friends and colleagues and rely on virtual communication. The app has 280 million average daily users and CEO Evan Spiegel says he is “optimistic about the engagement trends we are seeing as the world is beginning to open up.”
The Rev. Al Sharpton delivered the eulogy at Daunte Wright’s funeral yesterday, after the 20-year-old Black Minneapolis man was killed by police last week. The U.S. Senate has passed an anti-Asian hate crime bill, which received widespread bipartisan support. And the U.S. military has joined Indonesia’s search for a missing submarine with 53 crew who have only hours left until their oxygen runs out.
Coronavirus Update: Several cases of COVID-19 have been identified at Everest base camp after Nepal’s controversial decision to open it to climbers. The WHO has urged Malawi and South Sudan not to destroy tens of thousands of vaccines that have expired, with the Africa CDC saying they are safe to use.
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Your Weekend Binge with ‘The Carlos Watson Show’: Meet The Barrier-Breakers. From filmmaker Ava DuVernay to journalist Megyn Kelly, The Carlos Watson Show brings you people breaking barriers and changing the game. Be sure to subscribe to our channel to be the first to know when our episode featuring Nasdaq's first female CEO Adena Friedman drops. She joins Carlos to talk cryptocurrency, GameStop and getting sh*t done.
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Talk about haute cuisine! Chefs are taking space menus to new heights, literally. If you’ve ever longed for space travel but not the toothpaste-tube foods, don’t worry. Space delicacies now include lobster, beef bourguignon and almond tarts. The new menu for astronauts heading to the International Space Station today has been cooked up by renowned French chefs Alain Ducasse and Michelin-starred Thierry Marx. But cooking techniques have to be adapted so food survives in space, which means cooking it at very high temperatures. And, quelle horreur, the crew will not be allowed even one glass of wine with their feast.
What do you think? What one food would you take to sustain you on your flight to the ISS? Write and tell us at email@example.com.
2. Neither Shaken Nor Stirred: MI5 Joins Instagram
“Bond. James Bond. Please follow me on Instagram.” Ok, so the fictional spy actually worked for MI6, but its sister organization MI5 has joined the popular social media app, which might seem counterintuitive for a spy agency. MI5 says it wants to dispel “martini-drinking stereotypes … so that people don't rule themselves out based on perceived barriers such as socio-economic background, ethnicity, sexuality, gender.” Its first post showed the secure “pods” used by MI5 staff to enter its London headquarters. Obviously the account, @mi5official, won’t be giving away state secrets, but it will promote career opportunities.
3. US High Schools Are Still Holding ‘Slave Auctions’
Canceled. A high school “slave/branding auction” in South Dakota has been called off after complaints. The annual fundraising event was set for next Monday night in the small town of Faith, with members of the school’s rodeo club to be auctioned off to work for a rancher in exchange for donations. “I even got a call from a local cowboy who said: ‘How’s this going down? It’s not right,’” said Glenda McGinnis, one of the organizers. Meanwhile, students from a school in Aledo, Texas, are facing disciplinary action after pretending to auction off their Black peers on social media.
4. Four Weddings, No Funeral: Taiwan Couple’s Holiday Scam
Move over Elizabeth Taylor. A Taiwanese couple didn’t quite match the Hollywood legend’s eight marriages, but they came close. A bank employee wed his partner last year but divorced her a day later, then remarried her four times — and divorced her three times — in one month. Why? All as a means to get extra paid marriage leave, which on the island amounts to eight days vacation. “I’m stunned,” said Taipei Deputy Mayor Huang Shan-shan. “The law exists for the people and not for exploitation, profit or harm.”
5. LeBron James Explains Removing Police Shooting Tweet
The basketball superstar caused a furore after he posted, then deleted, a tweet about the fatal police shooting of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant in Ohio this week. The Lakers star had tweeted a photo of the police officer next to an hourglass emoji with the caption: “YOU'RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY.” He quickly came under fire from Republican lawmakers, with Sen. Tom Cotton calling it “dangerous and disgraceful.” LeBron removed the tweet, explaining, “I’m so damn tired of seeing Black people killed by police. I took the tweet down because it’s being used to create more hate.” The Bureau of Criminal Investigation is looking into Bryant’s killing.
After Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts related to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, OZY co-founder Carlos Watson asked our readers what needs to happen next. Readsome of the best responses he received.
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