A boon to Big Tech. U.S. federal Judge James E. Boasberg yesterday threw out two antitrust cases against Facebook in a blow to regulators’ efforts to break up the giant. He ruled that the lawsuits, one brought by the Federal Trade Commission and the other by more than 40 states, didn’t prove a monopoly — and the latter was filed too late as Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 and Whatsapp in 2014. Facebook’s stock was up 4.2% on the news, with its market capitalization passing 1 trillion dollars for the first time. The government agency has 30 days to refile with more details.
2. Ethiopian Troops Flee as Tigray Rebels Retake City
War, what is it good for? Some eight months after the Ethiopian government went to war with rebels in the Northern Tigray region, it suffered setbacks leading to a ceasefire yesterday. Rebels from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front retook the regional capital Mekele, forcing government soldiers to flee, prompting celebrations. It’s a blow for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, a Nobel laureate whose image has been tarnished by reports of atrocities. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said Monday that he hoped “an effective cessation of hostilities will take place.” That remains to be seen as the TPLF has not yet commented on the ceasefire.
As rescue efforts enter a sixth day, with the confirmed death toll of 11 people and some 150 still missing, hard questions are being asked about what caused the Surfside condo collapse. Experts say years of reported leaks and flooding in Champlain Towers South could have contributed, and witnesses said they saw the garage was flooded before Thursday’s collapse. The Washington Post reported that an engineer called in to inspect the building had warned as far back as 2018 that there was “major structural damage to the concrete slab below the pool deck.” The official investigation is expected to take months. Read more on OZY.
4. Scientists: More Heat Waves if Climate Change Not Combated
It’s the environment, stupid. Scientists say an unprecedented heat wave in parts of the Pacific Northwest and Canada is due to climate change. Portland had record high temperatures for three days, as did Seattle at the weekend. In Canada, Lytton recorded temperatures 48 degrees above normal. Aid groups are setting up cooling stations and giving out frozen water bottles, while Washington and Oregon states are experiencing rolling blackouts. Kristina Dahl, a senior climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, told CNN:“If we fail to reduce our heat-trapping emissions, we are poised to see a staggering expansion of dangerous heat across the U.S.”
Former South African President Jacob Zuma was today sentenced to 15 months in prison after he refused to attend a corruption inquiry. The United Nations’ human rights chief has called for reparations “in various forms” for victims of racism. And pro-democracy protests have broken out in the small southern African kingdom of eSwatini, an absolute monarchy.
Coronavirus Update:Australia is struggling with fresh coronavirus outbreaks across the country, after initially keeping numbers low by closing its borders. Indonesia’s healthcare system is near collapse as the country battles a surge in cases of the delta variant.
What better way to start The Carlos Watson Show’s L.A. Week than with a touchdown episode featuring Rams’ Head Coach Sean McVay? The prodigy became the youngest head coach in the NFL when he was hired, and within two seasons led the Rams to a Super Bowl. He joins Carlos to shed light on the mentors and mentality that have led to his success, plus insight into the Rams’ plans with Matthew Stafford as quarterback. Then, don’t miss an exclusive tour of the new SoFi Stadium! Watch now.
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.
Ever browsed your friend’s photos on social media and thought “this is so fake”? Well, if your friend happened to be in China, you might be right. Xiapu County, near the East China Sea, has become a hot spot for tourists looking for bucolic scenes replete with buffalo and “farmers” — but even the morning “mist” is just smoke created for photos. Xiapu might have truly once been like this, but now it’s thoroughly ensconced in our modern technological age with the county’s economy reliant on visitors who pay for a dose of nostalgia, and hundreds of locals working as actors or tour guides.
Some of TikTok’s Black creators are on strike. Tired of white TikTokers stealing their moves, they’ve refused to create dances for Megan Thee Stallion’s new song “Thot Shit.” So far, only 165,000 videos for the song have been made, compared to some 4 million for the singer’s “WAP” hit. The idea behind the movement is that white dancers copy a lot of Black choreography, then monetize it. TikTok has commented on the strike, saying: “We care deeply about the experience of Black creators … instilling a culture where honoring and crediting creators for their creative contributions is the norm.”
Every day there’s another headline about the right’s new boogeyman: critical race theory. Yesterday it was Meena Harris, Vice President Kamala Harris’ niece, tweeting her support of its inclusion in school curriculums — and Sen. Ted Cruz warning against the dangers of it. Simply put, critical race theory is an academic movement that recognizes that systemic racism is part of everyday American society and not something confined to the history books. But opponents say this unfairly makes white children feel guilty for the sins of their forefathers. Laws to ban its teaching have already been enacted in several states, with six more still debating it.
It was a daring art heist straight out of The Thomas Crown Affair, or if you want a more recent reference, hit Netflix series Lupin. Nine years ago thieves stole a Pablo Picasso and a Piet Mondrian from the National Gallery in Athens in a matter of minutes, after fooling security guards into disabling the alarm system. Now the artworks, Woman’s Head from Picasso’s cubist period and Stammer Windmill by the Dutch artist, have been found after a tip off — still in Greece. Police recovered the artworks hidden in a crypt and have arrested a suspect and are interrogating him.
South African two-time Olympic champion Caster Semenya has one last chance to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. The 30-year-old will race 5,000 meters on Wednesday, although she is unlikely to secure a place. Semenya, an 800-meter runner, was banned from competing in that category by World Athletics in 2018 due to her naturally high testosterone levels. The athlete has refused to take medication to lower her hormone levels and has been left with the 5,000 meters as her only option to compete. So far she has not been able to finish within the qualifying time of 15:10.00.