President Joe Biden will make his first joint address to Congress today, the eve of his 100th day in office, with a small COVID-restricted audience of 200. He’s expected to speak about his pandemic recovery, infrastructure and economic plans and tout his success in delivering 200 million vaccinations. For the first time, both leaders seated behind the president will be women: Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. A week after the historic Derek Chauvin verdict, Biden is expected to address issues of policing, and Sen. Tim Scott, a Black Republican, will deliver the GOP’s rebuttal.
2. Fauci Slams Rich Nations for Inequality as India Deaths Surge
The world has failed India, Dr. Anthony Fauci said today, as deaths in the overwhelmed nation surpassed 200,000. “The only way that you’re going to adequately respond to a global pandemic is by having a global response,” the White House immunologist said, which “means equity throughout the world.” Fauci noted that the U.S. is sending India oxygen, medicine and vaccines. Experts say deaths in India are still going unreported and the new wave — which has hit New Delhi and Maharashtra hardest — is now impacting other states, with Punjab and Karnataka set to impose curfews.
What Do You Think? Should vaccine patents be suspended during the pandemic? Vote here or on Twitter.
3. Colorado Police Laugh After Injuring Woman With Dementia
“Hear the pop?” That’s what a Loveland police officer said after dislocating the shoulder of dementia sufferer Karen Garner, adding, “I can’t believe I threw a 73-year-old on the ground.” A newly released video shows officers laughing at bodycam footage of Garner’s arrest after she left a Walmart without paying $13.88. Her family is suing, claiming Officer Austin Hopp pushed her down and twisted her arm behind her back, breaking a bone and dislocating her shoulder. Police “laughed and fist-bumped while they were doing it,” they said. “They relished in stripping her of all dignity.” Hopp is on administrative leave while the department investigates.
4. Alphabet’s Business Is Booming After Pandemic Boost
Bullishness about the reopening of the economy has helped Google’s parent company break quarterly sales records. Q1 sales of $55.31 billion were boosted by digital ad spending — a 34 percent increase on the same period at the start of the pandemic last year, when advertising dropped. Total profit neared $18 billion as people live their lives almost entirely online in lockdown. But the tech giant was grilled by American lawmakers last week over alleged anti-competitive practices, and it’s facing a raft of antitrust lawsuits, including a landmark case by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Already under fire for alleged callous remarks on pandemic deaths, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is now in hot water over reportedly refurbishing his residence with an $80,000 loan from Conservative Party funds. Idaho has signed a “heartbeat” abortion ban into law, prohibiting most abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected. And Florida residents are buzzing about the release of up to 1 billion genetically engineered mosquitoes meant to eradicate a disease-carrying species.
Coronavirus Update: You can breathe easy again. The CDC has said fully vaccinated Americans can now go maskless in public as long as they are not in big crowds. The Burning Man festival has been canceled again this year due to the pandemic, organizers announced, but will return in 2022.
We Want Your Brains! Are you the next Steve Jobs, Billie Eilish or Amanda Gorman? Help us help you with the OZY Genius Awards. There are only three days left, so apply today for a prize worth up to $10K or nominate the brilliant college student in your life.
POV Playlist: Here’s a taste of 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: It's your virtual graduation party and no one's there to dance with you, so you dance like no one's watching.Listen here.
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There can only be one Josh. That’s what University of Arizona student Josh Swain posted on social media while bored in a Zoom lecture, urging other Joshs to meet and fight for the right to the name. Little did he know his josh would go viral. Hundreds of Joshs agreed to meet in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Saturday and Swain, who hadn’t planned to actually go through with the battle, had to take the reins, telling people to wear masks and bring pool noodles to joust with. The Joshs dueled until there was only one left standing: 4-year-old Joshua Vinson Jr.
2. Mother of All Rows: Publishers Squabble Over Pence Book
“We come to work each day to publish, not to cancel.” That’s what publishing house Simon & Schuster said in response to a petition by more than 200 employees and 3,500 others asking it not to publish former Vice President Mike Pence’s memoirs. Critics say the two-book, multimillion-dollar deal financially rewards members of the Trump administration and allows them to portray it as “a ‘normal’ chapter in American history.” Others, including the company, argue they should be able to publish a diversity of voices. The first volume of Pence’s autobiography is set for release in 2023.
3. Dumbo: NRA Head Proves Poor Shot on Elephant Hunting Trip
It’s the — dead — elephant in the room. The New Yorker has obtained footage of Wayne LaPierre’s hunting trip to Botswana, and it seems he’s not the fastest gun in the West. Filmed to impress the National Rifle Association's hunting base, the footage was never aired. Now we know why: It shows LaPierre shooting an elephant, but only wounding it, then failing three more times at point blank range to kill the immobilized beast. Eventually his guide does it for him. His wife proves a better marksman, cutting off her prey’s tail and whooping, “Way cool!”
4. Reluctant Russian Idol: Man Trapped on Chinese Reality Show
He’s been Russian to get away. Usually reality TV contestants try not to get voted off. Not so for Vladislav Ivanov, who tried for months to leave a Chinese boy band show. The 27-year-old model was working as a translator on the program when producers convinced him to compete. Ivanov immediately regretted the decision but was contractually stuck, so he performed halfheartedly each week, begging the public to vote him off. That only made fans love him more, reveling in his curmudgeonly persona. After three months of purgatory, he finally got his wish, losing in the weekend finale.
5. Mayweather to Fight Social Media Star Logan Paul
Thrilla in Manila? More like Whammy in Miami. Five-time world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. has announced he’ll return to the ring in Florida to face off against Paul in a fight rescheduled from February. The retired 44-year-old, who’s won titles as a junior lightweight, lightweight, junior welterweight, welterweight and junior middleweight, is a strange match for Paul, who shot to fame on YouTube doing weird stunts like covering himself in peanut butter and going to a dog park. Paul has boxed a couple of times, but the bookies will be betting on Mayweather come June 6.
If you missed them the last time around, the sneakers we can’t get enough of are back — and just in time for spring! These all-season low-tops are OZY’s favorite look for dressing up or down. But don’t wait around — these comfy kicks fly off the shelves and won’t be here for long.