In the space of about a year, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, like fellow Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, went from being hailed a reformist hero to being accused of war crimes. But his party is still set to dominate in parliamentary polls taking place today. Abiy was elected in 2018, ushering in an era of democratic reforms for the once-authoritarian nation in the Horn of Africa. But since getting involved in a conflict in the country’s northern Tigray region last year, his image as a peacemaker has been tarnished, with atrocities reported on both sides. Preliminary results are expected within five days, though voting in Tigray has been postponed.
2. Sullivan Talks Nuclear Diplomacy with Iran, North Korea
Stopping Iran from developing nuclear weapons is a top priority for the U.S. administration. That’s according to national security adviser Jake Sullivan, following the election of Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raisi. Diplomacy is the best way to achieve this, he added, and Raisi’s win is unlikely to derail ongoing negotiations in Vienna about restoring a nuclear deal. The ultimate decision on that, however, rests with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, not Raisi, he said. Sullivan also said the White House is waiting for North Korea to indicate whether it’s prepared to return to the negotiating table on its nuclear program.
Eight children from a home for neglected school-age youth, and a 9-month-old baby and her father traveling separately, were killed in a horrific multi-vehicle crash in Alabama Saturday. The crash happened amid bad weather caused by a tropical depression. Photos from the scene show incinerated vehicles in a pileup. A local sheriff said the accident was the worst he’d seen in 30 years. The van carrying the eight children from the home was returning from a beach excursion. Police are investigating the cause of the crash.
4. It’s the Economy, Stupid: American Workers Get Leverage
It’s counterintuitive. One would expect pandemic-related layoffs to see Americans desperate for jobs. In fact, job openings for blue-collar workers have increased, and pay for employees with high school diplomas is now rising faster than for college graduates. Industries that suffered huge job losses last year are trying to woo back workers with incentives like higher pay and bonuses. However, increased wages mean rising prices for consumers, which may be contributing to inflation. Amazon said in May it was looking to hire 75,000 workers, promising at least $15 an hour, while McDonald’s is also looking for 10,000 new staff.
Exit polls show both French President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist party and the far-right party of Marine Le Pen have failed to make gains in regional elections after low voter turnout. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani will meet Biden at the White House on Friday to discuss the U.S. troop withdrawal. And Jon Rahm became the first U.S. Open-winner from Spain beating South African Louis Oosthuizen by one shot on Sunday.
Coronavirus Update: China has now administered more than one billion vaccine doses in a huge inoculation drive, about 40% of the 2.5 billion shots administered globally so far. An Olympic coach for the Uganda team has tested positive after arriving in Tokyo, despite having been vaccinated and given a PCR test before departure.
You’ve probably found yourself charmed and chuckling over one of Tony Hale’s iconic characters. Known for quirky and anxious roles like Arrested Development’s Buster Bluth or Veep’s Gary Walsh, the acclaimed actor opens up about the bullying and anxiety he faced growing up that made acting a catharsis. Plus, hear him pull back the curtain on shooting The Mysterious Benedict Society during COVID, and his crazy new hobby. Don’t miss it today on The Carlos Watson Show.
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.
“Put your money where your mouth is,” as the old maxim goes. A bizarre internet petition for Amazon founder and one of the world’s richest men, Jeff Bezos, to buy and eat the Mona Lisa has garnered thousands of signatures. Yes, you read that right, Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous smiling lady. The brainchild of Maryland musician Kane Powell, the Change.org petition explains: “Nobody has eaten the Mona Lisa and we feel Jeff Bezos needs to take a stand and make this happen.” Asked why, Powell told a reporter: “I honestly don’t know.” Spoiler alert: The Louvre Museum is unlikely to sell Bezos the priceless painting to eat.
2. HK Press Freedom: An Apple a Day Keeps Beijing Away
It’s a dark time for media freedom in Hong Kong. For many years, one of the things that set the financial hub apart from mainland China was its vibrant free press. Like many cornerstones of the “one country, two systems” agreement, however, it is being chipped away as Beijing clamps down on dissent in the city. Pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily might now have to close within days after its editor and directors were arrested last week. A controversial new national security law has been used to freeze the paper’s $2.3 million in assets and those arrested now face charges of “collusion” with foreign forces.
3. You Really Can Die of a Broken Heart, New Research Finds
We all know that feeling after a breakup; You literally feel heartsick. While you may think the term “broken heart” is just an expression, scientists now say severe stress can indeed bring on “broken heart syndrome,” or what’s been known as takotsubo cardiomyopathy. The syndrome carries risks similar to a heart attack and takes place when sharp spikes in adrenaline from acute stress, like the loss of a loved one, cause movement in part of the heart wall which then spurs cardiac arrest. Scientists are now doing further research to determine who may be susceptible to developing the condition and how to treat it.
4. Bidens Bid Emotional Farewell to German Shepherd Champ
“A sweet, good boy.” Champ, one of President Joe Biden and wife Jill’s two German Shepherds, died over the weekend aged 13. The first family mourned him in a statement, remembering him as a “constant, cherished companion” and saying that “everything was instantly better when he was next to us.” The couple adopted Champ in 2008 and during the Obama administration he was taught how to handle official events, plane journeys and crowds. In 2018, they got Champ a friend, Major, adopted from a rescue center. Major has adapted less well to political life, nipping two people at the White House recently.
5. Controversy as First Trans Athlete Heads to Tokyo Olympics
A weightlifter from New Zealand has become the first transgender athlete to be picked to compete at the Olympic Games. Laurel Hubbard, 43, is on a five-member team headed to Tokyo. The head of New Zealand’s Olympic Committee, Kereyn Smith, said Hubbard had met all the criteria and acknowledged that “gender identity in sport is a highly sensitive and complex issue.” The International Olympic Committee allows transgender women to compete as long as their testosterone is below a certain level.Before she transitioned, Hubbard had competed in men’s weightlifting contests. Reactions to the news varied, with an advocacy group for women athletes criticizing her selection.
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As we paws to remember Champ Biden, here is OZY's “Dog of the Day.” We have been overwhelmed by the hundreds of emails we’ve received from readers since launching the “pupparazzi” contest, and are running one photo a day all week.