Start your day smarter with a dossier on the most important world news, rounded off with a shot of intriguing and offbeat stories. Like the president, you deserve no less.
Sep 02, 2021
The U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 to let Texas’ citizen-enforced near-ban on abortions stand last night, but left open further legal challenges. The Pentagon may work with the Taliban against Islamic State’s Afghan offshoot. And taser-happy French police may be taught a lesson.
They’re ok with it. The U.S. Supreme Court last night ruled 5-4 against blocking a Texas law that encourages citizens to sue anyone involved in abortion procedures after six weeks of pregnancy. That means the court’s majority is content to let the law, which went into effect yesterday, stand while legal challenges move slowly back to the high court. The decision was cheered by abortion foes, while supporters of women’s reproductive rights said the vote, while not the last word, shows that former President Donald Trump’s overhauled court appears on the verge of its key goal of overturning the abortion-legalizing 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. (Sources: NPR, Reuters, Washington Post)
As Taliban fighters paraded captured American military vehicles, officials in the Pentagon may turn their old foes into allies against a common enemy, America’s top general said yesterday. The Taliban, who last month prevailed in a 20-year struggle against American forces, also want to defeat the Islamic State group’s Afghan offshoot, ISK, which remains ideologically against them. Most recently, ISK killed 13 U.S. troops in an attack on Kabul’s airport. Longtime enemies, the Taliban and U.S. built some trust during two weeks of evacuations. But further actions will demonstrate whether the “ruthless” Taliban, who may announce their new government today, are changing. (Sources: Al Jazeera, Washington Post, CNBC)
3 - Colorado Justice
Officers, Paramedics Charged in McClain Death
But can they convict? A Colorado grand jury has leveled a 32-count homicide indictment against three Aurora police officers and two paramedics in a young Black man’s 2019 death. Elijah McClain, 23, was going to a convenience store when officers seeking a “suspicious person” choked him into unconsciousness. Paramedics then tranquilized him, which a forensic pathologist determined caused his death along with the chokehold. McClain’s father said he was thankful “his killers will finally be held accountable,” while a police union called the indictment a “hysterical overreaction.” State Attorney General Phil Weiser, who led the independent probe, is continuing to investigate the Aurora Police Department’s policies. (Sources: Denver Post, CBS)
4 - Deadly Dues
Court OKs Purdue Pharma’s $4.5B Settlement
Whom will it help? For one, it shields the Sackler family — owners of the company that marketed OxyContin while underplaying its fatally addictive qualities — from major lawsuits. A U.S. Bankruptcy Court has agreed to a $4.5 billion settlement and conversion of Purdue Pharma into a public benefit company. For governments and individuals affected by the opioid crisis, the deal would fund treatment and other programs meant to combat addiction. But there are still both federal and state agencies that rejected the settlement and can appeal its approval, likely seeking more of the $10 billion the company generated while selling opioids. (Sources: WSJ [sub], CNN)
5 - Also Important …
States of emergency have been declared in New York and New Jersey as what remains of Hurricane Ida caused flooding and tornadoes, killing at least eight people. Indian troops are enforcing restrictions across Kashmir in anticipation of unrest after the funeral of separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who died Wednesday at the age of 91. And Malaysian shot putter Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli has lost his Paralympic gold medal for being three minutes late to the event.
Coronavirus Update: A new study shows that vaccinated people who suffer breakthrough infections are 50% less likely to develop the long-term form of COVID-19. And New York has become the first state to impose its own eviction moratorium after a federal version was ruled unconstitutional.
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Cue the Pink Panther theme. It was bad enough that a police officer near Lille in northern France fired a taser this weekend. But it hit her fellow officer — who was driving. It gets worse: The vehicle allegedly hit a parked car and sped away. The lawyer for the trigger-heureuse gendarme told local media Tuesday that the firing was deliberate and that the officers were “having fun amongst themselves and [acted] like idiots.” It’s anyone’s guess how that story will hold up when she and two colleagues, taken into custody after a citizen reported them, must answer for their camaraderie under the Napoleonic Code. (Source: BBC)
2 - Troll Control
Twitter Testing ‘Safety Mode’ to Fight Abuse
In case of tweetstorm, break glass. Actually, enough things, from hearts to bones, have been broken, so Twitter yesterday announced a new Safety Mode. Being tested by 1,000 English-language users, it allows them to automatically block accounts sending abusive or “repetitive and uninvited replies or mentions” for seven days. The microblogging platform said it developed the feature with human rights and mental health experts, among others. The feature doesn’t block accounts that the protected user is following or regularly interacts with. It’s unclear when the algorithm, which will help a reported 1,500 human moderators police nearly 200 million daily users, will become widely available. (Sources: TechCrunch, Yahoo)
3 - New Blood
Some McDonald’s Hiring 14-Year-Olds
They’re not lovin’ it. It’s often a struggle to get people to work in fast food, “but this is unheard of,” complains the operator of an Oregon McDonald’s. A labor shortage, largely blamed on fear of contagion, has spurred such outlets, in states where it’s permitted, to aim help-wanted ads at young teenagers — one beginning with “Hey Parents.” Oregon’s labor laws permit the youngsters to work as long as it isn’t during school and hours are strictly limited. McDonald's wouldn’t comment on the teen appeal, but said its franchisees could use better pay and new benefits to attract adult workers. (Sources: Fox Business, Business Insider, BBC)
What do you think? Should employers be allowed to hire 14-year-olds? Answer our PDB Poll by clicking below.
He’s remaining positive. The host of the wildly popular Joe Rogan Experience says “I actually feel pretty f---ing good,” after being stricken with COVID-19 and dosing himself with treatments that include veterinary deworming medication ivermectin. While that comports with his dismissive attitude toward vaccines, he did admit to one night of “fevers and sweats” this weekend and has canceled upcoming public appearances. While there’s no evidence that ivermectin helps coronavirus sufferers, Rogan, 54, said he’s also used a “vitamin drip” and monoclonal antibody treatment. What he’s yet to reveal is whether he’s been inoculated himself, after arguing that “young healthy people” don’t need vaccinations. (Sources: Seattle Times, Deadline)
5 - Sticky Wicket
Afghan Cricket Trip Gets Taliban OK
Are the nervous ‘90s behind them? Afghanistan’s new leaders, departing from earlier sports bans and isolation, have agreed to let the national cricket team play a test match in Australia starting Nov. 27, the national Cricket Board chief says. The team ranks in the world's top 10 in two cricket formats and the International Cricket Council named its star, Rashid Khan, Player of the Decade. Many Taliban fighters are also fans. But women’s team members aren’t hopeful, with players like Roya Samim fleeing to Canada with her two sisters. She told the Guardian that teammates remaining behind “are afraid. They stay in their houses.” (Sources: AFP, The Guardian)
More on OZY
Today on ‘The Carlos Watson Show’: On another must-watch episode, Carlos is joined by rapper and music icon Big Sean for an important conversation on closing the racial wealth gap and the importance of financial education in the Black community. Tune in on Amazon or YouTube to hear how this artist-turned-activist is teaming up with Ally Financial to promote financial literacy, what breakthrough moments helped him become an internationally acclaimed artist and why his favorite song is not necessarily his best track.
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