It’s reached a new low. While exchanges of Palestinian Hamas’ rockets and Israeli airstrikes on Gaza have happened before, this week’s deadly warfare has been joined by a new specter: Inter-Israeli violence. In towns where they normally coexist, Jewish and Arab Israelis attacked each other yesterday, leading Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to grant police emergency powers. “Nothing justifies the lynching of Jews by Arabs and … Arabs by Jews.” The Palestinian death toll from Israeli airstrikes has now reached at least 69, including 16 children, since fighting started Monday, while six Israelis, including a 5-year-old boy, have been killed by more than 1,000 rockets launched from Gaza.
2. Colonial Pipeline Gurgles to Life Amid Fuel Rush
Fuel shortages caused by the cyberattack on a major U.S. pipeline left Southeastern gas stations empty and some customers fighting over a space at the pump. But there’s a glimmer of hope now that the Colonial Pipeline gradually began pumping fuel again Wednesday. Shut down Friday after a ransomware attack by the shadowy DarkSide hacking group, the pipeline supplying gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel will take several days to return to its normal daily shipment of 2.5 million barrels. The company says that rather than paying the ransom to unlock its data, it’s implementing additional security measures to allow the restart.
3. Was Riot 'Organized Conspiracy’ or ‘Tourist Visit’?
There were “assault elements in place,” during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, former President Donald Trump’s acting defense secretary told House lawmakers Wednesday. Christopher C. Miller said it was part of an “organized conspiracy” — an assessment that prompted Democratic representatives to blast him for being “AWOL” as rioters ran amok. But to Republicans who disagreed that it was an “insurrection,” such as Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde, it looked more like “a normal tourist visit.” That morning, House Republicans voted to oust from their leadership Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, who said that to “spread (Trump’s) destructive lies, I’m not your person.”
Is that a light we see? Stocks have generally fallen for the last three days, yesterday registering some of the worst declines since February on Wall Street. U.S. consumer prices jumped 4.2 percent year-on-year, the highest increase since 2008. This sent indexes at least 2 percentage points lower, led by the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropping 2.67 percent. That reflected fears that unexpected inflation would cause the U.S. Federal Reserve to hike interest rates, but those concerns seem to have been allayed, with overnight stock futures rising slightly even as Asian markets continued the U.S. declines.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has approved Boeing’s repairs for electrical problems affecting 109 of its troubled 737 MAX jets, possibly clearing them for service in time for Memorial Day travel. An Uyghur rights group reports that China has locked up at least 630 Muslim clerics since its crackdown on religious minorities began in 2014. And the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a report, delayed for three years by the Trump administration, partially blaming climate change on human activity.
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Whiskey in Your Clubhouse: Join OZY editors and writers today at 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET for insights into the week’s top news, your favorite Whiskey in Your Coffee sections — and a sneak peek of this weekend’sOZY Fest. Write to OZY reporter Joshua Eferighe at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can pull you into the room, and follow him @Eferighe.
OZY Fest is back! The one-of-a-kind festival of great entertainment, interactive experiences and the biggest conversations is coming to a screen near you. Where else could you hang out with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Sevyn Streeter, Tig Notaro, Condoleezza Rice, Mark Cuban, Malcolm Gladwell and more? Join us for a virtual celebration of bold change and big ideas May 15-16.Register now.
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Consider the odds. While concerns about vaccine side-effects have been compared to lottery odds, Ohio’s starting an actual inoculation lottery, paid out of federal relief funds: Five lucky adult Ohioans will get $1 million — if they’re immunized. “I know that some may say, ‘DeWine, you’re crazy!’” admitted GOP Gov. Mike DeWine in yesterday’s announcement, but the “real waste” is a preventable pandemic death. Residents must get their first vaccine dose before their name is drawn from state voter registration rolls each Wednesday starting May 26. And teenagers? They can win one of five full-ride scholarships at one of Ohio’s state institutions.
They find her modesty embarrassing. Candidate Sara Zemmahi wore a white headscarf in a campaign poster with fellow candidates for local elections in Montpellier, France. Criticized by the far right, Zemmahi was disowned by her own LREM, President Emmanuel Macron’s party. The poster’s slogan, “Different but united for you,” once matched Macron’s own appeals for diversity, but lately he’s pushed policies aimed at fighting “separatism” by French Muslims and party leader Stanislas Guerini says it won’t allow “ostentatious religious signs.” But LREM legislator Caroline Janvier calls it “running after (far-right) votes” that will “allow their ideas to prevail.”
They’ve gone to the doges. Investors unloaded Bitcoin, Ether and the once-whimsical Dogecoin overnight after crypto cheerleader and Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter that his company would pause accepting Bitcoin from electric vehicle purchasers. Why? He’s been under fire for boosting the digital denomination despite environmental impacts of energy-intensive Bitcoin mining. Bitcoin dropped more than 12 percent, falling below $50,000 for the first time in several weeks. Less than three hours after Musk tweeted, more than $360 billion in overall cryptocurrency market capitalization evaporated. Still, major institutions are increasingly turning to digital currency as a hedge against inflation.
Do we need another hero? Of course we do. To that end, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame yesterday named musical icons Tina Turner, Carole King and the Go-Go’s among its class of 2021 inductees. It will be Turner’s second time, having first been inducted as part of Ike and Tina Turner in 1991. In his first year of eligibility (along with the Foo Fighters), Jay-Z became the first living solo rapper inducted, prompting some to suggest that hall be renamed to something less genre-specific. The induction ceremony in the hall’s home of Cleveland, Ohio, is set for October 30.
It’s the wrong kind of breakthrough. The New York Yankees announced Wednesday that seven traveling staff members had tested positive for COVID-19 — after the team had Major League Baseball pandemic restrictions lifted per its 85 percent vaccination rate. Those cases included first and third-base coaches and another employee who’d been vaccinated, known as “breakthrough” cases. One COVID-surviving and inoculated player, shortstop Gleyber Torres, will sit out tonight’s game against Tampa Bay pending test results. Meanwhile, an International Olympics Committee announcement that the delayed 2020 games are “moving fully ahead” was Zoom-bombed by a heckler who shouted, “F*** the Olympics!”
Vote for an OZY Genius!! We’re pleased to congratulate the 25 finalists for this year’s OZY Genius Awards! Ten winners will each receive a grant of $10,000. Meet the finalists and vote for your favorite OZY Genius until Sunday, May 16, 2021 at 6 p.m. EST. A jury will select the awardees, but we’ll separately unveil the People’s Vote winners — your voice counts!
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