The mistreatment of Indigenous children made headlines this year after mass graves were discovered at Canadian schools. Now Australia is also making efforts to atone, yesterday announcing it will allocate $280 million in reparations for some members of the “Stolen Generations.” The term refers to aboriginal children who were forcibly taken from their parents and placed in foster care with white families. In 2008 then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made a historic apology for the policy, which continued into the 1970s. Now Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the financial reparations will show “not just that we’re deeply sorry for what happened, but that we will take responsibility for it.” (Sources: Al Jazeera, Washington Post, Sydney Morning Herald)
Read more about the wrongs done to Indigenous children around the world on OZY.
2. Biden Pledges to Cut Pollution, Push Electric Cars
Half of all new U.S. vehicles should be electric by 2030, President Joe Biden said yesterday, in an attempt to cut vehicle emissions and curb climate change. The White House also announced new pollution rules for cars and trucks, which were weakened during the administration of former President Donald Trump. “There’s a vision of the future that is now beginning to happen, a future of the automobile industry that is electric,” Biden said. The president has pledged to cut emissions by 50% by the end of the decade and also wants to compete with the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles, China. (Sources: NYT, The Guardian)
Read more about why the future of vehicles is electric on OZY.
3. IOC Expels Belarusian Coaches After Sprinter Defects
The International Olympic Committee has stripped two Belarusian coaches of their credentials after they tried to force an athlete onto a plane. Sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, now in Poland after seeking asylum, said the order to send her home after she criticized the coaches on social media “came from high up.” Tsimanouskaya, 24, sought help from the Tokyo police at the airport on Sunday and defected, fearing for her safety back home. Belarus, ruled by President Alexander Lukashenko, has been in the spotlight amid anti-government protests and the forced landing of a Ryanair flight. IOC President Thomas Bach today called the incident “deplorable,” and investigations are underway (Sources: Reuters, BBC, NBC)
4. Biden Mulling Withholding Funds to Push Vaccines, Sources Say
It’s the carrot or the stick, or rather the vaccine or the stick. President Biden’s administration is considering withholding federal funds from cruise ships, universities and other institutions to encourage more Americans to get the vaccine, four anonymous sources told the Washington Post. About 90 million Americans who are eligible for shots have yet to get them. If the administration makes that decision in the face of rising delta variant cases, it would likely be slammed by Republicans. Recently, it said all federal workers must be vaccinated or wear masks, and the Pentagon is considering doing the same. (Sources: Washington Post)
Coronavirus Update: Japan is expanding coronavirus regulations to cover more than 70% of the population amid a surge in cases. And CNN has fired three staffers for coming to work unvaccinated, violating the company’s policy.
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As we cheer on our favorite teams and athletes in Tokyo, this week on The Carlos Watson Show we celebrate our guests who have participated in the Olympic games! Today, get inspired by four-time Olympian, survivor of cancer and COVID-19, and mom of three Chaunté Lowe. As the Tokyo 2020 Olympics finish off, discover what makes this high jumper tick — and how she came back from giving birth, a double mastectomy and chemo to return to world-beating physical condition. You don’t want to miss this — click here to watch now.
Whiskey-ed away? Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he doesn’t know where a $5,800 bottle of whiskey given to him by Japan is after the State Department said it was missing. Pompeo joked on Fox News that “It never got to me … had it been a can of Diet Coke, I’d have been all over it.” U.S. officials are not allowed to keep gifts from foreign counterparts worth more than $390. To avoid embarrassment, presents over that price are accepted and archived. The department says the whiskey wasn’t. It could have implications for Pompeo, who’s hinted at a presidential run in 2024. (Sources: CNN, Washington Post)
2. Apple to Scan iPhones for Child Abuse Images
Apple will scan American users’ photos as they are stored on iCloud in an attempt to root out child pornography. The company said if abusive material is found the user will be reported to authorities. Some worry the technology could be used by oppressive regimes to police free speech. The iPhone maker said the process is highly accurate with a one in a trillion chance of incorrectly flagging material, and any suspicious images found by the technology will be reviewed by humans. Many children’s rights advocates have praised the move, though online civil liberties groups say it sets a dangerous precedent. (Sources: BBC, AP)
What do you think? Do the benefits of Apple’s new policy to scan phones for images of child abuse outweigh the privacy concerns? Take our poll.
3. Rodento and Juliet: A Plague on Both Your Houses
We’ve been living through what many have referred to as “a plague” for over a year now with coronavirus, but chipmunk populations in California are suffering an outbreak of the actual bubonic plague. The furry critters in Lake Tahoe have tested positive, causing authorities to close a visitor center and beach. Human cases are rare and treatable, but not unheard of, with a Californian contracting it last year. The highly contagious plague, spread by fleas and often called the Black Death, ripped through Europe in the Middle Ages, killing millions. Authorities in Lake Tahoe are dusting rodent burrows with insecticide to kill the fleas. (Sources: The Oregonian, NYT)
“A huge mistake.” That’s how Bill Gates sees his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, who he met after Epstein had been convicted of sex crimes. The Microsoft founder said he met with the former financier, who died by suicide in prison, in an attempt to get billions of dollars in donations for global health. The men’s friendship was reportedly a reason behind Gates’ recent divorce, as ex-wife Melinda French Gates had warned him against it. Gates also told CNN’s Anderson Cooper in an interview that he would continue to work with French Gates at their philanthropic foundation. (Sources: The Daily Beast, The Verge, NYT)
5. Messi Parts Ways With Barca, Looks to PSG
It’s a Messi relationship. Soccer superstar Lionel Messi has announced he’s leaving Barcelona after failing to reach a deal with the club on his contract. The Argentinian famously first signed with Barcelona in 2000, when he was 13, on a napkin. The new five-year contract would have seen his salary reduced by 50% amid the club’s financial woes, but Barcelona said it was unable to fulfill even that offer. The COVID-19 pandemic has been detrimental to Barca’s budget. The 34-year-old is now in talks with Paris Saint-Germain about possibly moving to the French team, and there is also speculation he could join Manchester City. (Sources: Sky, AFP, ESPN)
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