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Sep 15, 2021
California Gov. Gavin Newsom survived yesterday’s recall election, dashing GOP dreams of governing the state. North Korea today fired two ballistic missiles into the sea off Japan, prompting a strong response from Seoul and Tokyo. And Afghan women are posting photos of themselves in colorful traditional dress after the Taliban told female students to wear niqabs.
The Golden State has spoken and Gov. Gavin Newsom has survived to govern another day. Early results show the incumbent with an insurmountable lead over his main opponent, Republican Larry Elder, shattering GOP dreams of holding statewide office for the first time in over a decade. Opponents demanded the recall over Newsom’s coronavirus lockdowns and vaccine and mask mandates. Meanwhile, Elder made allegations of voter fraud on Monday. “Claiming that the election is rigged before the election has even happened has taken things to a new low in California,” OZY Washington Editor Katty Kay said Tuesday on Morning Joe. (Sources: NYT, NBC)
2 - North Korea Goes Ballistic
Japan, South Korea Furious After New Missile Test
They’ve upped the missile ante. Just days after North Korea tested several long-range cruise missiles — which irked the U.S. and Japan but aren’t subject to U.N. sanctions — Pyongyang today launched a pair of banned ballistic missiles into the sea off the country’s east coast. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga called the tests “outrageous,” while South Korea responded by testing a new submarine-launched ballistic missile. Seoul has been ramping up weapons development in response to its volatile neighbor. Suga and South Korean President Moon Jae-in have convened their national security councils to discuss the launches. (Sources: CNN, Al Jazeera)
3 - Taliban Brawl
Militant Factions Reportedly Argue Over New Government
They’ve said they want peace for Afghanistan, but members of the Taliban government can’t even keep peace between themselves. Two of the militant group’s rival factions recently fought at Kabul’s presidential palace over the division of power in the new cabinet and who should take credit for their victory. A Taliban source told the BBC that deputy prime minister and Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar had a vicious argument with refugees minister Khalil ur-Rahman Haqqani while their supporters brawled. Baradar then disappeared for several days. The Taliban officially deny there was an argument, but Baradar’s whereabouts are still unclear. (Sources: BBC, Fox News)
4 - China’s Covid-Hit Economy
Retail Sales and Property Sector Suffer in August
China’s economy slowed last month amid delta variant worries and Beijing’s tightening of property controls. Retail sales rose just 2.5% compared to this time last year, rather than the 6.3% increase expected by economists, while new COVID-19 restrictions knocked the restaurant sector back 4.5%. Construction investment was down 3.2% in the first eight months of the year and steel output plunged to a 17-month low, according to data released today by China’s National Bureau of Statistics. The numbers will raise concerns about the world’s second-biggest economy’s ability to recover from the effects of the pandemic. (Sources: Bloomberg, WSJ (sub))
5 - Also Important …
The U.S. Department of Justice has asked a federal judge to issue a temporary injunction to stop Texas enacting it’s restrictive new abortion law. Haitian Prime MinisterAriel Henry has emerged as a suspect in President Jovenel Moïse’s assassination. And a new book by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa details how the Joint Chiefs of Staff twice called China in the final months of former President Donald Trump’sadministration to reassure Beijing it would not be attacked.
Coronavirus Update: Singapore has recorded its worst daily COVID-19 caseload in over a year, with 837 cases reported yesterday. Britain says it plans to start offering booster vaccine shots to some 30 million citizens starting next week.
It’s time for #RealTalkRealChange. OZY and Chevrolet are teaming up for a thought-provoking discussion on the generational wealth gap. The growing income divide, shaped by centuries of policies, has systematically disadvantaged Black Americans when it comes to wealth. How do we close the gap? OZY co-founder and Emmy Award–winning journalist Carlos Watson joins key leaders from across the country in pointed conversations to identify problems and equip you with solutions. Put aside the shouting matches and talking heads and be an ally: Join us now on YouTube for a real conversation you won’t want to miss.
#DoNotTouchMyClothes. That’s the hashtag trending right now as Afghan women take to social media to protest the Taliban’s announcement that female university students must wear head-to-toe black niqabs. Far from being traditional Islamic dress, as the militants would have people believe, Afghan women’s fashion is in fact a kaleidoscope of colors, patterns and styles. “No woman has ever dressed like this in the history of Afghanistan. This is utterly foreign and alien to Afghan culture,” said Bahar Jalali, a former history professor at the American University of Afghanistan, alongside a photo of herself in colorful traditional clothes. (Sources: The Guardian, SBS)
2 - China’s #MeToo Moment
Blow to Women’s Movement as Court Dismisses Harassment Case
“Exhausted.” That’s how Zhou Xiaoxuan said she felt after a court today threw out her case claiming her former boss, prominent state TV anchor Zhu Jun, kissed and groped her while she was an intern. The lawsuit sparked a #MeToo reckoning in the country, which has recently been gripped by an Alibaba employee’s allegations that her boss sexually assaulted her, as well as Chinese Canadian celebrity Kris Wu’s arrest on rape charges. While the court’s ruling that there was insufficient evidence against Zhu is a blow to the burgeoning #MeToo movement, Zhou said she will appeal. (Sources: BBC, Variety)
3 - Dolphin Massacre
Shock After Nearly 1,500 Dolphins Killed in Faroe Islands Hunt
Animal rights activists are furious at the record number of animals slaughtered in the annual hunt known as Grindadrap, which has been taking place since the ninth century in the North Atlantic archipelago. Graphic video uploaded by Sea Shepherd activists shows dolphins thrashing in the shallows as hunters prevented them from swimming away and the water turned red with blood. Although the Faroese defend the hunt as a sustainable food source and cultural tradition, even islanders were shocked by how many animals were killed this year. The attention is expected to spur a backlash against the hunt. (Sources: Sky News, BBC)
South Korean Leader Appoints BTS as Special Envoys
The K-pop superstars are arguably South Korea’s most successful export, so it makes sense to give them diplomat status. That’s exactly what President Moon did yesterday, designating BTS’s seven members his “special presidential envoys for future generations and culture” and giving them diplomatic passports. The group has been invited to accompany Moon to the U.N. General Assembly next week. “That itself shows the enhanced global stature of South Korea,” he said, adding, “You have been of great help diplomatically.” BTS will speak and perform at Monday’s U.N. meeting on sustainable development goals. (Sources: Yonhap, The Korea Herald)
5 - Dope or Doping?
International Sporting Body to Review Marijuana Use by Athletes
Is it the Sha’Carri Richardson effect? The World Anti-Doping Agency said yesterday it would review the inclusion of cannabis in its list of banned drugs. The announcement comes after U.S. sprinter Richardson was barred from the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for marijuana. Her 30-day suspension angered many who questioned how weed could ever be considered a “performance enhancing drug.” The flame-haired runner, 21, said she’d taken the drug to cope with emotional pain and loss. WADA said it would start a scientific study next year but noted that in the meantime the substance remains banned. (Sources: USA Today, AFP, WSJ (sub))
More on OZY
Today on The Carlos Watson Showan OZY favorite is back in the house. Carlos is joined by Malcolm Gladwell for a riveting conversation about being an intellectual trouble maker and thinking outside the box. Gladwell talks about his new book, Bomber Mafia, (and why you should really listen to it), why HBCUs are overlooked in traditional rankings and his love of Rep. Maxine Waters. What cities does he say are the cities of the future?
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