They say they weren’t poking the bear, but let’s be real. A Royal Navy destroyer steamed within the territorial limits of Crimea yesterday, prompting Russian claims that it had fired shots and dropped bombs in the warship’s path. It was an “innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters,” Britain claimed, tweaking Russia over its 2014 occupation of the peninsula British and Russian forces fought over in the 1850s. It also dismissed the “warning shots” as Russian naval exercises far from the vessel. With the nations’ relations at their lowest in decades, it, and a similar incident last year, may be precursors of bigger confrontations.
With homicides on the rise and Republicans anxious to exploit last summer’s “defund the police” movement, President Joe Biden yesterday unveiled an anti-crime strategy that would target illegal gun sales and yes, federally fund police. Meanwhile, preliminary results from Tuesday’s New York City Democratic mayoral primary indicate that the party’s newest star could be Eric Adams, who is both Black and a former police officer. He hates the “defund” idea but seeks to combat racism in law enforcement — a middle-ground moderate Democrats hope will help them in 2022 elections — but the Big Apple’s complicated new vote-counting process is far from over.
She admitted it was wrong. Anna Morgan-Lloyd, 49, of Indiana, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor trespassing during the Capitol riot, and was yesterday given probation and a $500 fine, making her the first of about 500 Jan. 6 defendants to be sentenced. But Judge Royce Lamberth called Republicans’ claims of election fraud that fomented the assault a “disgrace,” adding, “I don’t know what planet they were on.” Meanwhile, a Republican-dominated Michigan state Senate committee reported that people pushing “demonstrably false” claims that former President Donald Trump had won the 2020 election were seeking “their own personal gain.” Despite that finding, the committee urged that state voting access be restricted.
You can’t drive on it yet, but they’ve built a bridge. Amid roadblocks over partisan issues like voting rights, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators yesterday agreed on a five-year, $953 billion infrastructure “framework” they’ll discuss with President Biden today. It’s a step back from Biden’s $2.2 trillion proposal, narrowing its focus to transportation and utility projects, but it would be a long-sought win for efforts to get both parties to agree on infrastructure. While welcomed by Democratic Congressional leaders, there are misgivings on the left over its diminished ambitions and from conservatives, who fear bigger bills to follow.
Big Tech Battle: Hear OZY co-founder and CEO Carlos Watson on CNBC and get the scoop on bipartisan efforts to impose antitrust legislation on Silicon Valley behemoths like Apple and Google. While Americans “appreciate the innovation” they provide, “you also know that they’re having massive societal impact.”
You know John Stamos as the iconic star of General Hospital and Full House, but did you know he’s funny as can be? The actor joins Carlos to talk about his life-changing relationship with The Beach Boys, the mentors who shaped him and what he’s learned about love. Why does he credit his mom’s letter writing skills for his breakout role as Blackie Parrish? Watch now.
If you missed them the last time around, the sneakers we can’t get enough of are back — the perfect transitional sneaker as summer rolls around! 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.
Thinking he was rehearsing a high school commencement speech, former National Rifle Association President David Keene instead keynoted a chilling video featuring 3,044 empty chairs representing seniors, killed by firearms, who didn’t graduate this year. It was organized by gun control group Change the Ref, founded by the parents of Joaquin Oliver, who was killed in the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida — whose 911 calls punctuate Keene’s upbeat message. Had he done a thorough background check, a group spokesperson noted, he “would have seen that the school,” bearing Second Amendment author James Madison’s name, “is a fake.”
What do you think? Should there be universal federal background checks for gun purchases? Tell us here.
2. Digital Security Founder McAfee Dies in Spanish Cell
He couldn’t outrun the storm. John McAfee, who founded the eponymous antivirus software company, was found dead in his prison cell in Spain yesterday at the age of 75. Spanish authorities said evidence indicates suicide after a Madrid court approved a U.S. extradition request on tax evasion charges. The British-American entrepreneur founded McAfee in 1987, but left the company in 1994 and has since been associated with intrigue, including a mysterious shooting death in Belize and a yacht loaded with weapons in the Dominican Republic, in addition to publicly refusing to pay taxes and attempting Libertarian Party presidential bids.
They were hiding in Google Cloud. It’s widely known that information on COVID-19’s beginnings in Wuhan, China, has been elusive. Jesse Bloom, a Seattle-based investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, says he’s found 13 of 241 coronavirus gene sequences, collected from Wuhan hospitals early in the pandemic, that disappeared from a National Institutes of Health database a year ago. In a newly published report, Bloom writes that it “seems likely the sequences were deleted to obscure their existence.” While the recovered data doesn’t appear to unravel the virus-origin mystery, it definitely adds fodder to theories of a cover-up.
“I am in shock. I am traumatized.” Thus did Britney Spears, 39, seek to regain control of her fortune and fortunes in a live-streamed video statement to a Los Angeles probate judge Wednesday. It was a rare public appearance by Spears, whose 13-year conservatorship has inspired a fan movement to spring her. She charged that she was drugged and forced to work and use birth control under the arrangement, originally justified with claims of psychiatric issues and drug abuse. She asked the court to grant her freedom from her father's control without “having to be evaluated,” maintaining that if she’s capable of working, the conservatorship isn’t necessary. (Sources: NBC, Variety, NYT)
Even the Bronx cheer is constitutional. In the first decision guarding high schoolers’ freedom of expression in 50 years, the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday ruled that a Pennsylvania cheerleader couldn’t be booted from her squad for snapping profanity when she was 14. The court voted 8-1 that Brandi Levy had a protected right to post “F*** the school. ... F*** cheer, F*** everything” while off-campus on Snapchat after a varsity cheerleading and softball team rejection. Justice Stephen Breyer further wrote that schools are “nurseries of democracy,” and should foster an appreciation of free expression, but when it disrupts school, administrators may still clamp down.
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