When a Minnesota jury convicted ex-police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd Tuesday, the nation exhaled. But word quickly emerged of more violence: A knife-wielding Black teenager was killed by police gunfire in Columbus, Ohio. A day later, a deputy killed a Black man in North Carolina while attempting an arrest. Both incidents sparked protests, although Columbus police were quick to release body cam footage. As OZY co-founder Carlos Watson observes, while 98.3 percent of fatal shootings by police don’t result in charges, the Chauvin verdict could be the starting point of a conversation to mitigate and stop such tragedies.
Of eight million Americans who’ve received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, three have died from blood clots. That amounts to a risk, mainly affecting young women, that’s too small to outweigh the benefits of vaccinating, the Food and Drug Administration decided Friday. The lifting of the shot’s moratorium was also helped by its ease of shipment and its single-dose regimen, aiding remote distribution. The agency required warnings about blood clots with each shot, but rejected age limits imposed by European regulators. Meanwhile, Indian health officials reported the third straight record daily infection tally: 346,786 cases, the world’s highest, with overwhelmed hospitals, desperate for oxygen, reporting another national record of 2,624 deaths.
On Thursday, President Joe Biden will mark 100 days since his tumultuous inauguration. This week he’ll also stand before Congress to press for infrastructure spending, along with groundbreaking curbs on the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. But even now, the Democrat can look back on passing a $2.9 trillion pandemic relief package with the slimmest of party majorities and a successful vaccination rollout. But his agenda, even after dismantling much of his predecessor’s policies, has much left to do, including a risky withdrawal from Afghanistan and a migration crisis at America’s southern border that could prove even more agonizing.
It may be a war-weary nation’s best hope. Beijing is already knee-deep in Afghanistan’s business, opening coal mines and enlisting its most brutal factions for help crushing China’s own Muslim separatists. But with the U.S. and its allies pulling out before Sept. 11, will it be enough of a superpower to play peacemaker, asks OZY’s Butterfly Effect column. It’s already made friends with all the remaining players, including the Taliban, Pakistan and Iran, and wields considerable influence. But in its risk-reward calculations, is there more to be gained than lost in this “graveyard of empires”?
President Biden has told his Turkish counterpart that he’ll recognize the World War I-era killing of Armenians as genocide, further souring relations between the U.S. and Turkey. Russian dissident Alexei Navalny has ended his hunger strike after his jailors permitted civilian doctors to examine him. And Olympian and transgender Republican Caitlyn Jenner, 71, has announced her candidacy for governor in California’s recall election.
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It’s a new way of swiping right. Court documents indicate that Robert Chapman, 50, told a prospective date on Bumble, “I did storm the Capitol” and got “all the way into Statuary Hall.” After responding, “We are not a match,” the unnamed app user reported the chat to law enforcement a week after the storming, prompting a probe and culminating in Chapman’s Carmel, New York, arrest on Thursday. Court documents also featured Facebook posts putting him at the scene, but the dating app evidence is probably making some of the attack’s perps rethink the places they look for love.
Who’s the weirdest character you’ve encountered via dating apps? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and include your city or state.
2. We’re Loving Our Frenchies to Death
They’re the “It” breed these days, with their expressive faces and oversize ears. The French bulldog, recently rising to the second most popular U.S. breed, is nonetheless following the sad path of Dalmatians and other trendy canines, writes Tove Danovich in Vox. Of 500 Frenchies found in Canada on a flight from Ukraine last year, 38 had died. Modern Family’s pooch, Stella, was a rescue, but her fame preceded a boom in French bulldog breeding and even dognappings, like the one that recently wounded Lady Gaga’s dog walker, raising the question: Is it the animal or the Instagramming that we love?
It’s called anosmia, and it’s a well-known COVID-19 symptom. While most quickly regain their sense of smell as they recover from the disease, about a fifth suffer persistent loss. Researchers now say commonly prescribed steroids remain unproven, with potential harmful side-effects. Instead, they recommend regularly sniffing something pungent like spices to kickstart the system. And aside from dulling our ability to enjoy food, anosmia can be dangerous: Our noses warn us of hazards like fire and spoiled food. But it’s difficult to prove what works, so “smell therapy” will remain somewhat fishy pending further research.
Must the show go on? The mother of all statuette soirees has been sinking since Titanic won best picture. And the sharks are smelling blood with a pandemic-stricken industry and evaporating awards show audience, the Wall Street Journal observes. But on Sunday night, advertisers will still shell out $2 million a spot to ABC, and the 366 eligible movies are the most since 1970 thanks to adding two months to the year’s deadline and allowing non-theater releases. But haters shouldn’t despair: Some 35 percent of the public didn’t recognize any of the best-picture nominees in a recent poll, so you can justifiably shrug it all off.
She’s taking control. In a sport that’s been wracked by an abuse scandal in the U.S., a German gymnast’s move this week must have resonated. Sarah Voss broke with tradition and competed in a full-body suit at a competition in Switzerland instead of the usual leg-exposing leotard. She said she hoped her fellow competitors would feel “emboldened” to join her, as two teammates did. Voss said the change, which emulates competitors who cover up for religious reasons, grew out of her feeling “increasingly uncomfortable” in the conventional outfit after puberty. The change, which is allowed under international rules, is so far meeting with official approval.
If you’ve turned on CNN in the past year, it's likely you’ve seen Dr. Sanjay Gupta. The CNN health reporter and famed neurosurgeon has been a leading voice on the fight against COVID and shares with Carlos what surprised him about the disease. Watch the full episode to hear his tips for keeping your brain sharp and hear how he feels about a future in politics.