The death toll from flash flooding in Henan, China, has exceeded 33 while displacing 200,000 people. And the crisis isn’t over as a typhoon brings more rain to the devastated area. Trying to prevent an even worse disaster, soldiers blasted a dam in Luoyang to release flood waters while a flooded tunnel in Guangdong doomed 13 construction workers. The crisis has prompted public criticism of authorities’ preparedness and decisions — like keeping the subway open amid such heavy rain, while stoking fears that such disasters, like similar deadly flooding in Germany last week and ongoing heat, drought and wildfires in the U.S., are the new normal. (Sources: The Guardian, NPR, Deccan Herald)
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2. Pandemic Helps Shorten American Life Expectancy
Let’s hope it’s just a statistical blip. Life expectancy in the U.S. dropped during the pandemic more than it has since World War II, shedding 1.5 years to 77.3, while Black and Hispanic Americans’ average lifespans were doubly shortened. The health agency primarily blamed COVID-19 deaths, as well as an epidemic of fatal drug overdoses. Scientists are now concerned this trend will worsen with new infection waves fueled by the delta variant of the virus. It’s caused experts to question the CDC’s advice that vaccinated schoolchildren don’t need masks and increased pressure for officials to combat vaccine skepticism. (Sources: NPR, Washington Post, USA Today)
3. GOP Quits Riot Panel After Trumpists Banned
They’re barring the doors again. Citing the process’ integrity, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday prohibited two of former President Donald Trump’s biggest boosters from serving on a select committee investigating the Capitol riot. Reps. Jim Banks’ and Jim Jordan’s rejections prompted Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to withdraw all GOP nominees and promise his own investigation to counter Pelosi’s “sham process.” The disagreement goes to the heart of Washington’s partisan chasm, with Democrats insisting that they can’t put the most ardent “stolen election” campaigners in the middle of an investigation of how that false claim led to insurrection. (Sources: NYT, The Hill, Yahoo)
4. US to Allow Russia-Germany Gas Pipeline
It’s about energy — and power. Overcoming its objections to a 764-mile pipeline slated to deliver Russian natural gas to Germany, the U.S. has reportedly agreed to lift sanctions and permit the completion of Nord Stream 2. Both the U.S. and Germany have agreed to contribute to a $1 billion fund, with Germany providing an initial $175 million, to help reduce Ukraine’s energy dependence on Russia. The construction of one of the world’s longest offshore energy pipelines was particularly thorny for allies in Berlin and Washington, where officials worried about increasing Russian clout from a project that only has 62 miles left to go. (Sources: CNBC, Reuters, AP)
Today on the Carlos Watson Show: Ready to walk into the room “purse first?” Then catch iconic performer and activist Bob the Drag Queen sharing the low-down with Carlos. The RuPaul’s Drag Race winner joins Carlos for a laugh-out-loud funny and deeply meaningful conversation on being raised by a drag club-owning mother in the Deep South, gender fluidity and polyamory, and reaching across the political aisle. Why does Bob say straight Black men need to get on board to truly deconstruct transphobia in the Black community? Watch the full episode now.
Imagine a new era in which all people have equal access to participate in the future. The ASU+GSV Summit — dubbed a “must attend” conference by The New York Times — is back, live and in person in San Diego, Aug. 9-11, connecting leading minds focused on transforming society and business around learning and work. As an OZY subscriber, you can use the exclusive code OZYFamily for a discount. See you in San Diego!
Hydration isn’t just about drinking water; it’s about water PLUS electrolytes. When we sweat, we lose water and sodium, so we need to replace both to prevent muscle cramps, headaches and energy dips. But drinking just plain H2O can dilute electrolyte levels. With LMNT, you get a flavorful electrolyte mixed into your water without the sugar or artificial junk found in many so-called sports drinks. Just electrolytes and great taste.
Do they really want this? The International Olympic Committee yesterday awarded Brisbane, Australia, the job of hosting the Summer Games in 2032. Meanwhile, it’s hardly a game in Tokyo. Tomorrow’s opening ceremonies were thrown into seeming chaos today when the event’s director, Kentaro Kobayashi, was ousted over a 1990s video showing the comedian joking about the Holocaust. It’s the latest embarrassing departure over character issues, but another obstacle looms even larger: With the host city reporting 1,832 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto refused to rule out canceling the Games entirely. (Sources: AP, BBC, CBS)
2. World’s Fastest Land Transport Unveiled — With a Caveat
It can go 373 mph (600 kph). That would make the bullet train introduced in Qingdao, China, this week the world’s fastest land transportation, running about 150 mph faster than current high-speed trains. It’s a new maglev (short for magnetic levitation), which uses a powerful magnetic field to lift the carriages off the ground, providing a virtually frictionless ride. But there’s a catch: This engineering marvel by the China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation won’t be able to take people the 750 miles from Beijing to Shanghai in 2.5 hours quite yet, as its tracks will take a few more years to build. (Sources: CNN, USA Today, News.com.au)
3. ‘Constant Harassment’ Sparks State Gaming Firm Suit
Was it a no-win scenario? Women are voicing new accusations against World of Warcraft creator Activision Blizzard after California sued the Santa Monica-based company over its workplace culture. Accusations in the suit, filed Tuesday after a two-year investigation, included supervisors — up to company President J. Allen Brack — nurturing a “frat boy” culture that included everything from groping at company events to rape jokes and unwanted advances. One harassed worker killed herself, the complaint says. The company said California’s suit contained “distorted” and “false” descriptions, and it had dealt with past misconduct and would continue to foster a “diverse and inclusive workplace.” (Sources: The Verge, Kotaku)
4. Opioid Sources Agree to Pay States $26 Billion
It may not dull the pain. Pharmaceutical distributors Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen and McKesson and drugmaker Johnson & Johnson, have agreed to settle thousands of opioid crisis lawsuits for $26 billion. The distributors are accused of sending suspiciously large shipments of the drugs, whose addictive potential J&J, which agreed to pay $5 billion, is said to have minimized. The money would fund treatment and prevention programs across the nation, where painkiller abuse is blamed for some 500,000 deaths in 20 years. But more than 40 states must agree to the deal, which Washington State’s attorney general has already rejected as “woefully insufficient.” (Sources: PBS, NBC)
5. Canadians Drop Timothy Hutton Rape Case
His lawyer says he’s “officially been cleared.” British Columbia prosecutors have reportedly decided against bringing rape charges against actor Timothy Hutton, 60. Canadian model Sera Johnston accused Hutton, in a 2019 criminal complaint, of raping her in a hotel room in 1983 while filming Iceman. A lawyer for the actor, who won an Oscar for the 1980 film Ordinary People, said there was a “glaring lack” of proof. Meanwhile, convicted rapist and former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, 69, pleaded not guilty in a Los Angeles courtroom to sexual assault charges stemming from incidents in two Beverly Hills hotel rooms nearly two decades ago. (Sources: THR, LA Times)
Cat Contest! Send a photo of your meow with their name and location to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll run the winners in our Cat-alogue.
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.