A woman’s right to choose may be under threat. The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday agreed to hear a case that could jeopardize Roe v. Wade. With a conservative majority in the court following Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s death last year and former President Donald Trump’s appointment of Amy Coney Barrett, many are concerned abortion rights could suffer. The case concerns a Mississippi law that seeks to ban abortion from 15 weeks, much earlier than is currently allowed. The justices will hear the case in their next term, starting in October, along with another major case on whether the Second Amendment protects a constitutional right to carry guns outside the home.
U.S. President Joe Biden has told his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu that he supports a cease-fire, but stopped short of demanding an end to the worst violence since 2014 as the U.S. again blocked a UN Security Council statement. The carnage showed no sign of abating, with news of Israeli airstrikes targeting Gaza this morning as well as shelling Lebanon after the neighboring country made six failed attempts to launch rockets. At least 212 Palestinians and 10 Israelis have been killed since the conflict started last week. The Biden administration is under pressure from liberal Democrats who want Washington to do more to stop the Israeli airstrikes.
3. Bamboo-zled: Maricopa Republicans Slam Vote Recount
Even Republicans are calling it the “big lie.” The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in Arizona has slammed the ongoing audit of the 2020 elections vote saying it’s a “sham” and demanding the GOP-led state Senate end the recount. “We stand united together to defend the Constitution and the Republic in our opposition to the Big Lie,” the five-person board, which includes four Repulblicans, said in a letter. “Our state has become a laughingstock.” The recount, which is supported by former President Trump, began in April. The companies conducting the audit have even suggested they’re looking for traces of bamboo on the ballots as proof of Chinese interference.
4. Discovery, WarnerMedia Merger Takes On Streaming Giants
As the media industry continues to grow its streaming services, Telecom company AT&T and Discovery, Inc. announced on Monday they are merging to form a new operation. AT&T's WarnerMedia is the parent company of CNN and HBO, and the deal could see a media powerhouse that rivals Netflix and Disney, as many cable users end their subscriptions in favor of streaming platforms. Netflix doesn’t offer news or sports, so that will be a plus for the new standalone company as it looks to compete. The deal will take effect around mid next year.
Joel Greenberg, an associate of embattled Republican Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz, plead guilty to sex trafficking a 17-year-old girl on Monday. The corruption trial of former South African President Jacob Zuma was adjourned just after it opened, with Zuma’s lawyers calling for the lead state prosecutor to step down. And the wife of the Belgian ambassador in South Korea has claimed diplomatic immunity to avoid charges after she slapped a Seoul store assistant.
Coronavirus Update: President Biden has pledged to send an extra 20 million vaccine doses to other countries to step up the global fight against the pandemic. Regulators say the Pfizer vaccine can now be stored in an ordinary fridge for up to a month.
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They invest in art. From the founder of Citadel throwing down $300 million on a de Kooning to the Mets owner’s $91 million purchase of a Jeff Koons steel bunny, the titans of industry play to win and they don’t pull punches.
And it’s not just a hobby: Contemporary art has been one of the best-performing asset classes of the last 25 years, outperforming the S&P by 174% since 1995. The art market is expected to grow by $1 trillion over the next six years. Masterworks is a revolutionary new startup disrupting this centuries-old asset class by making art investing available to all. Get in on the action today: OZY Presidential Daily Brief subscribers can skip their 21,700-person waitlist to start investing in art by using this special link.*
Low-income students bear the brunt of structural bias, including the fact that non-white school districts receive up to $23 billion dollars less funding than white districts. It’s no wonder then that their college admittance rates are lower. Dyllen Nellis aims to change that. The Stanford University student is one of ten OZY Genius Award winners announced over the weekend and will get $10,000 towards providing a new college prep structure that helps low-income students bridge the gap. Starting from her own YouTube channel, she has since created a whole methodology that she hopes to provide to Title 1 schools. Read more about Nellis’ genius project here.
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2. Poisoned Apple: China Has Access to Local User Data
Big Brother really is watching you. Well, in China at least. A New York Times investigation has revealed that concessions made by Apple to the Communist Party make it easier for the government to obtain users’ data. The iPhone maker stores its Chinese customers’ data in servers belonging to a state-owned company, which critics argue could put human rights activists and others at risk. Apple already censors content in China, as a concession to be able to do business there. Many of Apple’s products are assembled in China, and President Xi Jingping is increasing his demands on Western companies doing business there.
3. Close to a Cure: Scientists Make COVID Breakthrough
A seek and destroy mission. That’s what U.S. and Australian researchers have termed a new antiviral therapy that kills off the COVID-19 genome and prevents it from replicating. Testing on mice showed it killed off 99.9% of the viral load. Professor Nigel McMillan from Australia’s Griffith University explained: “We inject the nanoparticles and they go and find the virus and destroy it just like a heat-seeking missile.” While not a cure, the new science will help people for whom vaccines are too late, like those already in ICU, and stop deaths. The next step is for the therapy to be used in clinical trials in humans.
4. H.E.R Was Almost in a Band With Kehlani and Zendaya
It’s the supergroup that wasn’t. Fans are buzzing over the news that H.E.R. once nearly formed a musical group with R&B artist Kehlani and Euphoria star Zendaya when they were teenagers growing up in California. The singer made the revelation in an interview with Carlos Watson at OZY Fest over the weekend, saying: “We all used to sing together. Zendaya was going to be in it at one point. But yeah, they all grew up together. I came into the picture in Oakland and we used to perform together.” H.E.R. is set to perform at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards on May 23. Watch the interview with H.E.R. at OZY Fest here.
5. Japanese Think Holding Games is an Olympic-Sized Mistake
Snuff out the torch. That’s the message some 80% of Japanese people have for their government ahead of the controversial July Olympics in Tokyo. A new poll found the vast majority of citizens want the games to be canceled, as the country battles a fourth wave of infections and new lockdown measures are put in force. Only 14% support holding the games as scheduled, according to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper poll. Japan has had a smaller toll from COVID than many other nations, but has come under criticism for its slow vaccine rollout. Despite protests in Tokyo yesterday, organizers are insisting tough measures will make the event safe.
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