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Sep 03, 2021
Ida killed more people when it hit New Jersey and New York as a storm than it did making landfall in Louisiana as a hurricane, with the president blaming the climate crisis. Desperate Texan women are calling abortion centers asking for help after the state passed one of America’s most restrictive laws. And there’s a new boarwar taking place as Romans battle piggish behavior.
More Than 40 Dead, Mainly in New York and New Jersey
Hurricane Ida killed at least 43 people in the Northeast alone this week, making it the deadliest storm since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. After making landfall in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, where it killed 16, Ida moved north, bringing heavy rain to New York state and New Jersey, where it killed 15 and 23 people respectively, as well as causing deaths in Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Most of those who died in New York City drowned in their basement apartments. Officials said the storm shows the damage climate change can cause, with New York Gov. Kathy Hochul saying she wants to find out whether it could have been better anticipated. (Sources: NYT, Washington Post)
Desperate Women Calling Abortion Clinics After Law Passes
U.S. President Joe Biden called it an “unprecedented assault on constitutional rights.” Shortly after the Supreme Court upheld Texas’ near-total abortion ban, centers for abortion services were inundated by calls from crying women with some considering crossing state lines or trying to end their pregnancies themselves. Meanwhile, the fact the court didn’t intervene has spurred other states, like Florida, to consider similar legislation. In October the Supreme Court is set to rule on a restrictive Mississippi law. If the court, which former President Donald Trump packed with conservative justices, upholds it, it will mean the end of Roe versus Wade. (Sources: NYT, AP)
Fighting and Protests as Taliban to Form Government
From desperate women in America to desperate women in Afghanistan. About 80 women took to the streets of Herat yesterday demanding their rights to work and education, about two weeks after the Taliban retook the country. Last week the militants said women who work should stay at home until fighters get used to them and their safety can be guaranteed. Meanwhile, there was heavy fighting last night between the Taliban and opponents in the Panjshir Valley, one of the last holdouts against the group. There are indications the Taliban will unveil their new government today with Abdul Ghani Baradar expected to lead it. (Sources: Al Jazeera, CNN, Washington Post)
4 - Sino Stocks
Amid Canceled IPOs, Xi Announces Beijing Stock Exchange
Move over Wall Street? China has announced it’s establishing a new stock exchange in Beijing, in addition to the ones that already exist in Shanghai and Shenzhen. President Xi Jinping did not say when the new exchange would be set up, but the announcement comes as China’s tech giants face growing government crackdowns to curb their influence. The new stock exchange will list smaller companies that are “service-oriented” and “innovative,” Xi said. Analysts said China might be throwing a bone to entrepreneurs who have seen their opportunities to list in the U.S. dwindle, with IPOs like Jack Ma’s Ant Group blocked (Sources: WSJ (sub), CNN)
5 - Also Important …
Six people were injured today after being stabbed in a terrorist attack by an Islamic State group-adherent at a supermarket in Auckland, New Zealand. Japan’s unpopular Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga, has announced he is stepping down after less than a year in power. And an ex-prosecutor in Georgia has been indicted for allegedly protecting the men involved in the killing of Black runner Ahmaud Arbery.
Coronavirus Update:North Korea has turned away offers of vaccines from the Covax program, with leader Kim Jong Un vowing to fight the virus “our style.” And the EU is returning millions of J&J vaccines made in South Africa to the continent as Africa struggles with a lack of supply.
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It’s a new Boar war. The mayor of Rome is suing the regional government over the “massive and uncontrolled presence of wild boar” in her city’s urban areas. The wild pigs have been exhibiting some frankly boarish behavior of late, with six of them surrounding a woman outside a supermarket and stealing her shopping. Mayor Virginia Raggi says the Lazio regional government has failed to properly manage the creatures, which are reportedly causing some 10,000 car crashes a year and pigging out on trash. Italian farmers have protested against the “boar plague” and have even suggested deploying the army to control the situation. (Sources: EuroNews, The Guardian)
2 - TikTok Vs. Texas
Social Media Users Target Abortion-Reporting Website
Remember when the K-pop stans flooded Twitter amid last year’s Black Lives Matter protests to drown out racist voices? This week on TikTok pro-choice activists are inundating an online anti-abortion website set up for citizens to post tip-offs on who’s providing the procedures and violating a new repressive law in Texas. TikTok and Reddit users have since spammed the site with false reports, with one young woman saying she’d posted 742 fake notices of Gov. Greg Abbott getting abortions. Another activist is encouraging people to use a programmed script he created to submit thousands of reports at a time. (Sources: The Guardian, SCMP)
3 - Missing Michelin
Singapore Hawker Stall Left Out of New Guide
Despite the devastating effects of COVID-19 on restaurants worldwide, Singapore won its most Michelin stars ever in this year’s guide. But one establishment was missing from the list: Hawker Chan, home of the cheapest Michelin-starred meal in the world. The street food joint’s soy sauce chicken noodle dish, at $2.50, won one Michelin star in 2016. In this year’s edition, founder Chan Hong Meng, who has since expanded into a franchise with locations in Thailand and the Philippines, was noticeably absent. Singaporean food expert and longtime friend of Anthony Bourdain, KF Seetoh, said that could be due to the quality taking a hit.(Sources: Bloomberg, CNN)
4 - Pranksy and Banksy
Hacker Returns $300K Paid for Fake NFT Artwork
It’s a story worthy of the guerrilla art ethos. When a non-fungible token (NFT) appeared for sale on famed British artist Banksy’s website, an anonymous fan who goes by the name Pransky was quick to put in a bid of more than $300,000. After the work was sold, however, Banksy said he had not created an NFT and the page was taken down, leading to speculation the artist’s website had been hacked. Luckily for the buyer, the thief seemed to have second thoughts, and returned all the money — which was paid in the cryptocurrency Ethereum. The identity of the hacker remains unknown. (Sources: CNBC, BBC)
A Paralympian who showed up three minutes late for an event has been stripped of his gold medal. Malaysian shot putter Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli was allowed to compete, despite arriving late, because organizers thought he might have a good reason for the delay. The Malaysian competes in the category for athletes with intellectual disabilities. His team said he hadn’t understood the announcement due to a language barrier. Zolkefli won the event by a large margin, but had his medal revoked. International Paralympic Committee spokesman Craig Spence defended the decision, saying: “I’m sorry. Rules are rules ... Others get there five minutes early.” The Games end on Sunday. (Sources: Daily Beast, Sports Illustrated)
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