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 25, 2021
President Joe Biden promises “consequences” for immigration officers on horseback who rounded up refugees. China and Canada appear to have traded high-profile prisoners. And do you feel safer with Big Bezos watching?
“There will be consequences.” That’s what U.S. President Joe Biden said of immigration officers on horseback seen on video bearing down on Haitian refugees on Texas’ southern border this week. “I promise you, those people will pay,” Biden said Friday, vowing an investigation. But the handling of the crisis is being compared to the last administration’s harsh policies. The Department of Homeland Security deported about 2,000 refugees to politically riven and earthquake-shattered Haiti, prompting America’s special envoy, Daniel Foote, to resign over their “inhumane” treatment. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said yesterday that about 12,400 others will get a chance to seek asylum before an immigration judge. (Sources: NBC, The Hill, AP)
2 - Quid Pro Quo
Deal Repatriates Huawei Exec, Canadian ‘Hostages’
A tidy transaction. That’s how it seems after three years of wrangling over the fates of Meng Wanzhou, Chinese communications giant Huawei’s chief finance officer, and two Canadians locked up in China. On Friday, Meng, held in Canada per Washington’s request, reached a deal with the U.S. Justice Department in which she took responsibility for misrepresenting Huawei’s Iran business interactions, which prosecutors say violated sanctions. As she departed Canada, Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor left China, where they were arrested on spying charges soon after Meng's 2018 detention. China maintains they were not hostages, as many observers believe, and yesterday’s timing isn’t likely to alter those conclusions. (Sources: AP, NYT)
And there's more intrigue: OZY columnist John McLaughlin, a former CIA deputy director, explains how the “hostage” charge works both ways.
They’re cursing the darkness. It would seem not much will come of the European Commission’s Friday statement accusing Russia of orchestrating “malicious cyber activities” aimed at disrupting Sunday’s German national elections. They charge that the Kremlin-linked Ghostwriter group is using emails to try to hack European officials in an attempt to obtain compromising information. Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign affairs representative, said the moves aim to “undermine our democratic institutions and processes.” If Russia fails to “adhere to the norms of responsible state behavior,” Borrell said “further steps” may be taken, which could include sanctions against individuals linked to the hacks. (Sources: Politico, CNN)
4 - Flashing Red
New China Ban Sparks Bitcoin Sell-off
And this time they mean it. In its latest move against digital money, the People’s Bank of China early on Friday declared all dealings with cryptocurrency illegal, prompting a crypto sell-off. Bitcoin and Ethereum initially dropped 9% and 12%, respectively, but rebounded as U.S. investors woke up hearing analysts downplaying China’s announcement. “We’ve heard this time in and time out,” said Piper Sandler’s Craig Johnson, who mines bitcoin. Meanwhile, gloomy news about a possible U.S. government shutdown and a Chinese property giant on the brink of collapse didn’t deter Wall Street investors, who bought into a third day of market gains, recouping last week’s losses. (Sources: Motley Fool, CNBC)
5 - Also Important …
Britain’s Prince Andrew has officially acknowledged receiving papers from a lawsuit alleging sexual assault, which he strongly denies. A company hired by pro-Trump Republicans to audit 2020 Arizona presidential election ballots says it found irregularities in the official count, even though its own tallies gave a stronger lead to President Biden than the certified tally. And scientists have discovered North America’s oldest-known human footprints, dating back some 23,000 years.
Ford Motor Company has helped Americans hit the open road for 118 years, creating some of the most iconic vehicles ever made. Next up? Electrification! Whether it’s the adrenaline-charged Mustang Mach-E or America’s workhorse, the F-150 Lightning, Ford is taking electric vehicles mainstream.
From the wilds of Australia to the Canadian tundra, KoBold Metals is drilling cores, flying giant magnets around from helicopters and chipping away at countless rocks across its mining claims. It’s hoping to find elusive cobalt, the element most sought after in a race to find $10 trillion worth of “missing metals” needed to make batteries to electrify the planet's vehicles. Meanwhile, a chemist in Texas is creating batteries that need almost no cobalt — part of a revolution expected to make electric cars as cheap as their gasoline forebears. Luckily for KoBold investors, who include billionaires like Jeff Bezos, the new design involves nickel, normally found alongside cobalt. (Source: Bloomberg Businessweek)
2 - Familiar Ring
Big Bezos Is Watching. Feel Safer?
It seems simple enough. Victims of domestic abusers get Ring cameras, their tormentors are caught on video, and they go to jail. But looking at it another way, some 1,800 U.S. police agencies use Amazon’s Neighbors app, allowing them to tap in (with permission) to cameras that show what’s on thousands of thresholds. And while independent research can’t replicate Amazon’s impressive crime-reduction claims, they’re sounding alarms for civil liberties advocates over privacy concerns, particularly for unwitting passersby. And some police departments compel women to cooperate in investigations if they join the program. Domestic violence experts worry that the programs necessitate police involvement that can ultimately escalate intimate partner disputes. (Source: TypeInvestigations)
What do you think? Would a doorbell camera make you feel safer? Tell us by clicking below.
It started 30 years ago this month with a single settler. That’s how Civilization games begin — before players develop towns, cities and empires. So too did the iconic game’s creator, Sid Meier, create dozens of games by his own hand like so many of his fellow pioneers, writes Neima Jahromi in The New Yorker. Bristling when a partner hired creative help, he eventually had to admit that the games got better. Now his Civilization VI, like all successful modern games, is produced by a harried hive of coders and artists, his empire mirroring the fantasy worlds his fans continue to lovingly create. (Source: The New Yorker)
4 - Skin Game
YSL Parent Company Bans Fur Clothing
Fur is dead. At least to Kering, the corporation that owns some of the top names in luxury clothes and accessories, like Gucci, Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent. It announced Friday that none of its brands will put their name on any fur product starting with its fall 2022 lines. Citing the conglomerate’s concern for animal welfare, Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault said: “The world has changed, along with our clients, and luxury naturally needs to adapt to that.” It’s not the first clothing giant to do this; retail chain Neiman Marcus pledged in June to join numerous competitors in gradually eliminating fur fashion. (Sources: Fortune, Robb Report)
5 - Exceptionalism
US Team Grabs Surprising Ryder Cup Lead
Maybe it’s the coffee. Whatever it is, U.S. golfers need to keep it up, because after the first day on Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan shore, they lead their European rivals 6-2 in the biennial Ryder Cup. Dustin Johnson and Xander Schauffele led the American team to its best opening day since 1975, when only Britain and Ireland opposed them. The play was so lopsided that Europe, which has captured seven of the last nine cups, won only one match on Friday without having to face U.S. legends Phil Mickelson or Tiger Woods. As the multi-modal competition resumes today, the Yanks will need only 8 ½ more points to win before it ends tomorrow. (Sources: ESPN, SI)
More on OZY
Today on ‘The Carlos Watson Show’: We chat with actor Corey Stoll. You’ve seen him in Billions, Ant-Man, and he'll soon star as Junior Soprano in The Many Saints of Newark. The dedicated actor gives us an inside look into how he found his fame, continues to hone his craft and seek inspiration. What surprising role does he reveal was his favorite ever? Click below to find out.
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