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.
Nov 17, 2021
On the global stage, the United States and China’s relations continue to progress, as both countries begin to relax restrictions on their visiting journalists' requirements.Meanwhile, in a rare show of bipartisanship, the U.S. Congress is set to repeal an Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) enacted in 2002 under George W. Bush. The House also plans to formally censure a Republican lawmaker for posting a cartoon supposedly promoting violence against President Joe Biden and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. On the economy, the U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is beginning to sound the alarm for immediate action on the debt limit before a catastrophic government default is reached. All this and more in today’s PDB.
1 - Easy Does It
Tensions ease between U.S. and China, as reporter restrictions are lifted
The State Department has issued a statement signaling progress after the highly anticipated meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping. For over a year, the two have levied strict restrictions against journalists looking to work between the two countries. The U.S. limited the number of visas issued to Chinese state media workers, prompting China to expel journalists working for U.S. outlets, among other things. Now, the U.S. has committed to issuing one-year multiple-entry visas to Chinese state media workers, and in return, China will do the same after the U.S. policy takes effect. (Source: AP)
2 - Congress Readies Repeal
Congress eyes repeal of the president’s use-of-military-force authorization
In 2002, then-President George W. Bush issued an Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) to begin the Iraq War. Ever since, that 2002 AUMF has been used to justify various military acts, including the January 2020 assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad. Now, the Senate is expected to pass a resolution repealing it later this week in a rare show of bipartisanship, as part of passing the National Defense Authorization Act. Supporters of the repeal say that it will put a permanent end to America’s “forever wars,” while some Republicans fear repealing the AUMF could embolden Iranian-backed militias in Iraq. (Source: Axios)
3 - Workplace Drama
House of Representatives to punish Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar
Gosar, a Republican, will face a formal censure today in the Democrat-controlled House. This comes after he posted and deleted a cartoon video supposedly promoting violence against Joe Biden and his coworker, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The resolution for censure calls for Gosar to also be removed from the Committee on Oversight and the Natural Resources Committee. Gosar has drawn criticism in the past for spreading misinformation about the 2020 presidential election, as well as making an appearance at a rally where another speaker promoted white nationalism. (Source: BBC)
4 - Yellen May Soon be Yellin’
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warns of potential Dec. 15 default
In a letter to congressional leaders, Yellen cautioned that the Treasury may run out of resources to finance the government after Dec.15. Previously, she had set the default date at Dec. 3, but that was before Congress passed a last-minute $480 billion increase in the debt limit. “To ensure the full faith and credit of the United States, it is critical that Congress raise or suspend the debt limit as soon as possible,” Yellen wrote. She believes allowing a default could very easily send the country into another recession. Congress must also pass a budget before the current debt limit increase runs out on Dec. 3, or else a government shutdown will be triggered. (Source: AP)
5 - Briefly
Here are some things you should know about today:
Rittenhouse murder trial jury has not reached a verdict. After a full day of deliberation, the jury is still undecided. Outside the courthouse, protests heat up. (Source: Reuters) Jury selection begins for Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial. She stands accused of luring minors and young women into Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse ring, and occassionally participating herself. (Source: NPR) Storm headed for Midwest and Northeast during Thanksgiving travel week. Major hubs like Chicago and New York could get hit with a significant storm at the beginning of next week, one of the busiest times of the year to travel. (Source: CNN)
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1 - Pot During Pregnancy
Study links cannabis use during pregnancy to mental and behavioral issues
In a new study, researchers find that cannabis use during pregnancy is connected to increased levels of stress, anxiety, aggression and hyperactivity in young children. The study also identifies genetic changes in the placentas of pregnant cannabis users that directly correlate to the increased anxiety and stress. The findings are a part of a larger research project called the Stress in Pregnancy study. Research began in 2009 and examined how stress during pregnancy affects fetal growth and development. With less restrictions and the increasing number of people using cannabis, medical professionals are urging pregnant women to educate themselves about potential risks. (Source: CNN, ScientificAmerican)
2 - Hope for HIV Patients
Second HIV patient finds cure in her own immune system?
Aptly named “The Esperanza patient”, esperanza in English means hope, the Argentinian 30-year-old has become only the second documented person whose immune system may have cured her of HIV. Researchers say the case serves as evidence the virus can apparently be cured through natural immunity. Previously, scientists have only cured two other patients using high-risk and controversial stem cell transplants. The discovery could be life-altering news for the 38 million people all over the world who are fighting this disease. (Source: CNN, Time)
3 - Harvard Makes History
Harvard’s student newspaper elects first Latinx president in 148 years
Raquel Coronell Uribe, a history and literature major from Miami, made history when she was elected as the Harvard student newspaper's first Latinx president. The self-proclaimed longest running student newspaper in history, toting a nearly 150 year legacy, the Harvard Crimson has never had a Latinx president. "It's a huge honor," Coronell told NPR. "Even if it took 148 years, I'm thrilled that I get to be in the position to be that first person."The ambitious senior wears many hats at the newspaper, serving as social media manager, newsletter editor and she also heads the newspaper’s internal Latinx affinity group. Cornell aims to make Crimson more inclusive by making it an outlet where Hispanic and Latino coverage is abundant. (Source: NPR)
4 - Covert Affairs
British news company hacked, allowing access to visitors’ computers
Covert Israeli company, Candiru, allegedly helped hack a British news site and took over the devices of visitors of the site. Cybersecurity firm ESET said the company helped an unknown foreign government hack the London new site, Middle East EyeSource, with a maneuver that places malicious software on a website to infect and hack people who visit. Candiru, who has been blacklisted by the United States, denies any involvement. The latest attack adds to growing concern about lacking cybersecurity regulations and the vulnerability of protestors, journalists and governments alike to further hacking. (Source: Forbes)
5 - Olympics for All
Olympic Committee reconsiders participation of transgender athletes
The International Olympic Committee announced new recommendations and walked back its policy restricting the participation of transgender and intersex athletes in Olympic sports. The policy recommendation will allow each individual federation to develop its own eligibility criteria, rather than adhere to a blanket policy. Previous policy iterations governing transgender and intersex participation used testosterone levels to determine eligibility to participate in women’s sports; now, the IOC is calling for evidence to prove a performance advantage exists. The goal of the new framework is to better accommodate the spectrum of gender identities while still allowing flexibility for nations whose respective sports associations may want stricter standards. (Source: ESPN, TheGuardian)
Grace and Gratitude
As we enter the holiday season, we’d love to hear what you’re grateful for or what makes you smile. We’ll be sharing your thoughts in our Grace and Gratitude Corner.
“I am a fiscally conservative and socially libertarian voter who tries hard to find reliable sources for information. OZY is a step in that direction. While I do not always agree with your expressed direction, I do appreciate its presentation and the way there seems to be an effort to “get the story right” which I find lacking in much of our media today. Thank you for being that voice.
Finally, I am thankful for the provision of our Father above, His compassion and love for His children, the sacrifices of untold millions –so that we may live in relative freedom and have enough for our needs and to share with our neighbors, and for my family, friends, and neighbors who represent the roses along life’s path … and the health to enjoy it all.”- Bob
What do you think? Want to share your thoughts on what makes you grateful this season in a 15-20-second video? Please share your video or email with us at OzyCommunity@Ozy.com.
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