Pledging to tackle COVID-19’s economic fallout — and prevent the next pandemic — while fighting climate change and other global calamities, the leaders of the seven wealthiest democracies met on England’s Cornish coast yesterday. Unlike the acrimonious 2018 confab with then-U.S. President Donald Trump, it was a smiling, chummy gathering that President Joe Biden compared to a wedding. So convivial was Biden that he walked arm-in-arm with French President Emmanuel Macron in flagrant violation of distancing protocols. Biden will continue his international diplomacy on Monday in Brussels, where NATO leaders will seek to repair their fraying defense pact and stand firm against China.
Was it autocratic overreach? That’s what the U.S. Justice Department’s independent inspector general aims to discover in a new investigation, announced Friday, of the department under the Trump administration. Of immediate concern are federal prosecutors’ highly unorthodox seizure of two Democratic House members’ phone records while trying to uncover information leaks. Meanwhile, Apple says it didn’t know the data it turned over was aimed at Rep. Adam Schiff of the House Intelligence Committee. Senate Democrats also want to compel Trump’s attorneys general, Jeff Sessions and William Barr, to testify about subpoenas for data issued to tech companies..
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3. Oregon Lawmaker Ousted for Helping Intruders
Apparently, he took an oath not to do things like this. Republicans joined Democrats in Oregon’s House of Representatives late Thursday to expel Rep. Mike Nearman, who was the lone vote against the state’s first such ouster. Several weeks before the U.S. Capitol was stormed, Nearman allowed armed protesters clad in body armor and others into Oregon’s Capitol building. And on Friday, federal authorities nabbed Chicago policeman Karol J. Chwiesiuk on misdemeanor charges, including unlawful entry and disorderly conduct, stemming from his appearance in online videos of the storming in Washington.
This is something they can agree on. House Republicans joined Democratic colleagues in introducing legislation Friday seeking to rein in the power wielded by tech conglomerates like Amazon, which one bill could force to split apart. The bills update antitrust laws that go back a century, when railroads and steel companies were seen as stifling competition. One especially groundbreaking bill, the Ending Platform Monopolies Act, would prohibit major web platforms from selling items that compete with users of its platform, as Amazon does, or being able to rank search results in a way that favors its own offerings, like Google does for YouTube videos.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has told Johnson & Johnson that 60 million of its COVID-19 vaccine doses can’t be used because of contamination concerns. Pulitzer Prize judges have awarded a special citation to Minneapolis teenager Darnella Frazier for recording the May 2020 killing of George Floyd when she was 17. And Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II lightened the mood of a G-7 summit photo session by asking, “are you supposed to be looking as if you’re enjoying yourself?”
You may have heard the great news that Katty Kay is joining OZY, but how well do you know the iconic journalist? On The Carlos Watson Show, the former BBC World News America presenter shares stories from her nomadic childhood that took her everywhere from Saudi Arabia to Japan, and reveals why her “nosiness” has helped her become the journalist she is today. But perhaps most important to her is her work helping women recognize their ability and shifting gender dynamics of the home. Watch now for tips from this essential voice in journalism and newest member of the OZY family.
Black stories are often portrayed in extremes — as struggles or triumphs — but these stories do not represent the full richness of the Black experience. What about the inside jokes, hard conversations, honest gestures, family struggles and celebrations? To understand the Black experience, we need to see the whole truth. By enabling Black creators, P&G aims to widen the screen to widen our view to combat systemic bias in advertising and media. Our “Widen the Screen” initiative is an expansive content creation, talent development and partnership platform that enables and advocates for increased inclusion of Black creators across the advertising, film and television industries.
So that’s what Jonah was going on about. A Massachusetts lobster diver reportedly made cetacean history on Friday after being gobbled up by a humpback whale. “This is it. I’m gonna die,” thought Cape Cod diver Michael Packard, 56, after he felt a bump and “everything went dark.” He at first thought he might have been wolfed down by a great white shark, but feeling no teeth, he realized it was a krill-eating whale. As he thought about his oxygen supply, the mammoth mammal surfaced, shook and spit him out — something experts couldn’t remember happening before.
Their voices were heard. Google employees made a big noise in November 2019 by protesting the company’s work for U.S. immigration authorities. The search giant fired some of them, alleging they’d violated data security policies, and the National Labor Relations Board during the Trump administration dismissed employees’ complaint of wrongful termination. But last month, the new administration’s acting general counsel got the case revived. That, experts say, could impact all U.S. workplaces by expanding protected speech, currently limited to workplace issues, when an administrative judge takes up the case in August.
The U.S. border is in some Americans’ hearts, but it can also divide wombs. A same-sex American and Israeli couple became the married dads of twin boys in 2016. But they were in Canada, and only one child was conceived with American sperm, so the State Department denied the other citizenship. Last month the department changed its interpretation of a 1952 law to preclude such situations, but it’s exposed a thorny immigration issue, one affecting couples who go to Mexico to find surrogate birth mothers. And even the new policy only applies to married couples, leaving those in informal partnerships out in the cold.
4. The Battle for Dumba the Disappearing Circus Elephant
How do you hide a pachyderm? You’ll have to ask the human relations of Dumba, a female Asian elephant. They secreted her from her Spanish home as animal rights activists closed in last September. Such campaigners have won numerous national bans on circus acts and say the performers belong in sanctuaries where they can befriend each other. Dumba’s since surfaced in France, eventually settling in a German animal park where she’ll kick soccer balls for visitors. Meanwhile, in southwestern France, there’s a spacious habitat for her or any of the 100 or so out-of-work tuskers on the Continent — sitting empty.
Tennis nerds, this is for you. Today’s two women’s finalists at the French Open are as improbable as they come: Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 29, whos been trying for a Grand Slam final longer than anyone, and Czech Barbora Krejcikova, an accomplished doubles player who’s seeking solo success. It’s both women’s debut Grand Slam final, and to get there, Krejcikova had to battle Greece’s Maria Sakkari for 3 hours, 18 minutes in the longest women’s French Open semifinal. For Pavlyuchenkova, a top youth player who went pro 15 years ago, “it’s been a long road” — and the exit ramp is up ahead.