She smashed through the glass ceiling, but didn’t get a chair. In what’s been dubbed “Sofagate,” EU Commission head Ursula von der Leyen was left standing by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and EU Council President Charles Michel, as they sat in two chairs in prime position for a photo op at a summit in Turkey. She eventually had to find herself a seat on the sofa. “Would this have happened if I had worn a suit and a tie?” the EU chief asked. The EU is looking to revise a deal with Turkey regarding migrant arrivals.
What do you think? Was what happened in Ankara sexism or just an oversight? Vote here.
2. Lawyers: The Hague Should Investigate US Police Brutality
The systemic killing of African Americans by police is a “crime against humanity,” an inquiry into U.S. police brutality has found. The report, written by leading human rights lawyers worldwide, calls for the International Criminal Court to investigate with a view to prosecutions. Meanwhile, the family of North Carolina man Andrew Brown Jr. was shown just a 20-second video of his fatal shooting by police. Brown, 42, was in his car with his hands “firmly on the wheel,” the family’s lawyer said. A motion is now pending for the bodycam footage to be released, which requires judicial approval.
3. Israel Slams HRW Report Accusing It of Apartheid
Israel is guilty of apartheid, Human Rights Watch said today in a damning new report. The rights watchdog said, “The oppression of Palestinians there has reached a threshold and a permanence that meets the definitions of the crimes of apartheid and persecution.” Israel has slammed the report, calling it propaganda. But HRW said Palestinians have been “dispossessed, confined, forcibly separated and subjugated.” And there are concerns Israeli politics could shift even further right, with inconclusive elections earlier this year meaning a far-right party could join the ruling coalition.
4. Tesla Reports Higher Profits Amid Electric Car Trend
Increasing demand for electric vehicles has seen Q1 revenue surge 74 percent at Elon Musk’s car company, reaching $10.4 billion compared to the same period last year. Tesla sold 184,877 vehicles in the first three months of the year, more than double its 2020 quarterly figures. However, Musk noted that despite the successes, Tesla has faced challenges this year — namely the global semiconductor shortage and delayed Chinese production due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Federal auto safety officials are also currently investigating a deadly Tesla crash in Texas earlier this month.
Tragic footage has emerged of the Indonesian Navy singing a farewell song just a few weeks before their submarine sank, killing all 53 onboard. Jailed Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell is woken up by her prison guards every 15 minutes to prevent her from also committing suicide ahead of her trial, her lawyer said. And Turkish President Erdoğan has slammed U.S. President Joe Biden’s recognition of the Armenian genocide, calling it “groundless.”
Coronavirus Update: The first emergency medical supplies arrived in pandemic-stricken India today, after the country recorded another 2,800 deaths. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under fire after sources alleged he said he’d rather “let the bodies pile high in their thousands” than order another lockdown.
Today on The Carlos Watson Show: An unforgettable conversation with a former drug-gang boss, convicted murderer, undercover agent and born-again Christian. Meet “Mundo.” He must cover his face to hide his identity under witness protection, but he sheds light on his transition from murder and prison gangs to helping authorities put fellow Mafia men behind bars. Watch later today.
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Imelda Marcos would be proud. A pair of sneakers worn by West just became the most expensive shoes ever sold. The Nike Air Yeezy 1 prototypes, worn by the rapper at the 2008 Grammys, sold for $1.8 million to RARES, a sneaker investment company. It was the first recorded sale to top $1 million, according to Sotheby’s auction house. West’s Yeezy line has contributed to him becoming a billionaire, and investors can now buy shares in “the world’s most valuable shoes” from RARES for around $25 starting June 16.
Who would you bet on in a fight between Bezos and Musk? The two tech billionaires aren’t facing off any time soon, but Bezos is fighting NASA’s decision to award Musk’s company, SpaceX, a $2.9 billion contract. NASA cited cost and cargo capacity as among the reasons for its choice. The Amazon founder’s space company, Blue Origin, has now filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office after SpaceX was chosen for the 2024 moon landing, the first since Apollo. Musk made a crude swipe at Blue Origin on Twitter, saying, “Can’t get it up (to orbit) lol.”
Japan has long been worried about falling birthrates, and China recently expressed concern too. Now it seems the U.S. is part of the trend. The population stands at some 331.5 million people, an increase of just 7.4 percent between 2010 and 2020 — the slowest growth rate since the 1930s. Experts believe that’s partly the trend of an aging white population, dropping immigration and decreased fertility rates. However, some parts of the country are booming, including the South and West, which will affect the country’s political map.
4. Unreturned VHS Tape Haunts Woman 20 Years Later
When Oklahoman Caron McBride, 52, went to update her driver’s license after getting married, she got a nasty shock — she was a wanted felon! Her crime? Not returning a $58.59 VHS tape of Sabrina the Teenage Witch rented in 1999. A warrant for her arrest was filed in March 2000 on felony embezzlement charges, but she never knew about it. Last week prosecutors in Cleveland County dropped the charge and said they were expunging McBride’s record. McBride says she was living with a man who had two young daughters at the time who probably borrowed the tape.
5. UFC’s Weidman on the Mend After Horrific Injury
“This is not fun.” That’s how master of understatement and UFC fighter Chris Weidman described snapping his leg while throwing a kick in a fight over the weekend. Weidman was speaking from the hospital after undergoing surgery, which involved putting a metal rod through his tibia. After suffering one of the most horrific injuries in UFC history in his fight with Uriah Hall, the American middleweight, 36, gamely gave the shocked crowd a thumbs up as he was being stretchered out. Weidman says he expects to be back in the ring in the next six to 12 months.
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