Is another revolution brewing in Tunisia, the country where the Arab Spring kicked off in 2010? After massive weekend protests, the North African country’s President Kais Saied sacked the prime minister and suspended parliament. Though celebrations broke out on the streets, his opponents accused him of staging a coup. Sunday’s demonstrations demanding Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi quit came amid a bungled vaccination rollout, surging coronavirus cases and economic problems. The health minister was sacked last week. President Saied says he is taking executive control with parliament suspended for 30 days. (Sources: Al Jazeera, BBC, The Guardian)
2. Don’t Lecture Us, China Warns Washington
The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden is trying to “contain and suppress” China, a senior Chinese diplomat warned today on meeting with visiting Deputy Secretary of State, Wendy R. Sherman. China’s Vice Foreign Minister, Xie Feng, also said the U.S. was waging a battle “to bring China down” and was in “no position to lecture China on democracy and human rights.” Sherman’s frosty reception on her trip to the northern city of Tianjin comes after a similar icy meeting between the world’s two superpowers in Alaska in March. Sherman is set to meet later today with Foreign Minister Wang Yi.(Sources: CNN, NYT, Al Jazeera)
3. Flash Floods Cause Havoc in London
Notice a pattern recently? Flooding in Germany, Belgium and China, heatwaves in the U.S. and Canada and now severe flooding in London. There’s no doubt climate change is real. Homes, streets and subway stations were inundated after unseasonal torrential rains. One Londoner, Eddie Elliott, told the Associated Press: “Having been born and raised in London, I have never seen anything quite like it.” Two hospitals asked people not to come to the emergency department as they battled the floods. Monday in London has been drier, but there are still flood warnings in place for southeast England. (Sources: AP, The Evening Standard, Washington Post)
4. Indian Unicorn’s Successful IPO Paves Way for Others
You say Tomato and I say Zomato? Indian unicorn Zomato isn’t going anywhere after a triumphant IPO on Friday that saw a 66% stock jump in the food delivery app and pushed founder Deepinder Goyal’s worth to almost $1 billion. From its conception when Goyal was a computer science student, to becoming India’s first billion-dollar tech startup to go public, Zomato is now in about 20 countries globally, underscoring the importance of India in the world of venture capital. Now other Indian unicorns are considering listing, with digital payments company Paytm planning to raise $2.2 billion in Mumbai. (Sources: Bloomberg, The Economic Times, CNN)
5. Also Important …
At least seven people were killed in a 20-vehicle pile-up in Utah caused by a sandstorm. The United Nations says Afghan civilian deaths are up 47% this year, with the most fatalities of women and children recorded since 2009. And New Zealand will allow a citizen suspected of being an Islamic State group member to repatriate from Turkey.
Coronavirus Update: Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci says the U.S. is going in the “wrong direction” as COVID-19 cases soar. A snow leopard at the San Diego Zoo has caught coronavirus and has a cough and a runny nose.
Today on ‘The Carlos Watson Show’ get ready to laugh out loud with internet sensation Flula Borg. The German comedian and musician shares how being true to himself and keeping it “loosey goosey” helped him breakthrough online and land roles in Pitch Perfect 2 and the star-studded Suicide Squad, plus he shares the importance of Conan O’Brien’s mentorship to his career. Join Flula and Carlos as they bond over 90’s hip hop and basketball in this one-of-a-kind episode.
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.
But is it a sport? Nevermind, because 22-year-old Yuto Horigome just became the first Olympic skateboarding champion, and brought some joy to a Games-skeptical Japanese public at the same time. The Tokyo native grew up in a country that saw skate counter-culture as dangerous, but with Horigome’s gold medal in the men’s event, and a Japanese teen also winning top prize in the women’s competition, that might be changing. Momiji Nishiya, a 13-year-old from Osaka, took the gold, prompting U.S. skater Mariah Duran to say she wouldn’t be surprised if there are now “500 girls getting a board today.” (Sources: AP, NPR, The Guardian)
What do you think? Skateboarding is one of the new sports at the Tokyo Games. Do you think it should be included in the Olympics? Tell us here.
2. Korean TV Slammed for Representing Ukraine With Chernobyl
It’s one thing to represent Italy with a picture of pizza and Norway with a salmon, but to represent Ukraine with Chernobyl and Haiti with riots, seriously? That’s what a South Korean broadcaster did to depict those nations at the Olympic Games’ opening ceremony on Friday, much to people’s chagrin. MBC has apologized for the gaffe, which also included captions like “a civil war that has been going on for 10 years” over images of the Syrian team. The channel says it’s going to investigate who came up with the captions and images and the head of MBC is expected to make a public apology today.(Sources: BBC, ESPN, NYT)
3. Virtual Contact Made Over-60s More Depressed in Lockdown
Did you feel during the pandemic that despite all the apps to keep in touch with loved ones, it just wasn't the same? A new study shows that people over 60 felt lonelier with virtual contact than with none at all. “These people were more depressed, more isolated and felt more unhappy as a direct result of their use of virtual contact,” said Dr. Yang Hu of Lancaster University in the U.K. who co-authored the study. One reason was the stress of using new technology, Hu said, which shows the digital capacity of older people needs to be bolstered. (Sources: The Guardian, Frontiers in Sociology)
4. Israel Announces Plan to Cut Emissions by 85% by 2050
Israel yesterday approved a “revolutionary and historic” plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 85% by mid-century, including its carbon footprint from transport by a whopping 96%. While those goals are set for 2050, in the shorter term the country plans to reduce emissions by 27% by 2030. And, in the next five years, all new city buses will run on clean energy. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett says the plan, which also includes an 85% reduction of emissions in the electricity sector, places Israel at the forefront of the fight against climate change. However, critics say there should be more economic incentives for change. (Sources: BBC, AFP, The Algemeiner)
Read more on OZY about how countries around the world are turning to solar energy.
Civil rights leader Bob Moses, who endured police beatings and was jailed during the 1960s for registering Black voters, died yesterday aged 86. The son of a janitor who went on to a master’s degree in philosophy from Harvard, Moses went from fighting for voting rights to tackling racial inequality in education, particularly mathematics. He founded the Algebra Project in the 1980s, aimed at improving math literacy which he said was vital to lifting minority students out of poverty. Former President Barack Obama tweeted his condolences saying: “Bob Moses was a hero of mine ... he inspired generations of young people looking to make a difference.” (Sources: Washington Post, NPR, Twitter)
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.
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