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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 18, 2021
The men who spent decades in prison for the murder of Malcolm X more than 50 years ago will be exonerated today. The 36-year-old rapper Young Dolph was killed yesterday in a drive-by shooting in Memphis, prompting an outpouring of grief from other big-name rappers and fans. Meanwhile, the jury in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial has yet to reach a verdict as the defense once again pins its hopes on a mistrial. And a crypto-collective has raised an unprecedented amount to purchase a rare copy of the U.S. Constitution. All this and more in today’s Presidential Daily Brief.
1 - Accused Killers to be Exonerated
Two men convicted in the 1965 assassination of Malcolm X to be cleared
Mujahid Aziz, now 83, and Khalil Islam, now deceased, have been exhonerated of the murder of Malcolm X after a nearly two-year investigation revealed that the FBI and the NYPD hid evidence favorable to the two men. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. announced on Twitter that his office would join the men’s lawyers in asking a judge to overturn the convictions today. Aziz, Islam and a third man, Mujahid Abdul Halim, were convicted of the murder in 1966 and sentenced to life in prison. Halim admitted to being one of three gunmen who shot Malcolm X, but he testified that the other two men were not involved. No physical evidence linked the men to the crime. (Source: AP, NYT)
2 - Drive-By Claims Life
Rapper Young Dolph killed in drive-by shooting in Memphis
According to his cousin, the 36-year-old artist Young Dolph was in Memphis, TN, visiting his sick aunt when he was fatally shot at a cookie shop on Wednesday. Adolph Robert Thornton Jr, who performed under the name Young Dolph, rocketed to fame in 2016 after the release of his debut album, King of Memphis. Megan Thee Stallion, Chance The Rapper and Rick Ross are among the celebrities who have publicly mourned his death. “Rest in Peace to my friend, a true legend dolph,” Megan tweeted. “The tragic shooting death of rap artist Young Dolph serves as another reminder of the pain that violent crime brings with it,” said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. (Source: BBC, NYT)
3 - Rittenhouse Trial Thickens
The jury has yet to reach a verdict as the defense asks, again, for a mistrial
Jurors in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial have asked to review several videos, including an aerial shot of the crime filmed from a drone on the night of the deadly confrontation. The defense asserts that the video, viewed by the jury in its compressed form, was lacking in detail. The original uncompressed video was released halfway through the trial, when an anonymous person presented it to the prosecutor's office. Defense attorney Corey Chirafisi called for a mistrial, “We would have done this case in a little bit different manner if that was the situation … where we didn’t have the quality of evidence the state had until the case had been closed.” (Source: NPR)
4 - Crypto-Coalition for Freedom
Crypto group raises $20 million to obtain rare copy of U.S. Constitution
This week, a random group of strangers will unite to buy one of the last privately held copies of the U.S. Constitution. The initiative, started in jest by crypto-collectiveConstitutionDAO, quickly turned serious after $4.5 million was raised in 24 hours. Now, at the eve of Thursday's auction at Sotheby’s, that figure has risen to a whopping $27 million. Though the issues around DAOs — often compared to chat rooms with bank accounts — remain unresolved, a successful bid for the Constitution would be the largest purchase by a DAO ever, signalling a reach beyond digital goods into more traditional markets. (Sources: NYT, Coindesk)
5 - Briefly
Here are some things you should know about today:
Torrential Destruction in Canada. A violent storm in British Columbia has caused unprecedented flooding and further concerns over the violent weather effects of climate change (Source: BBC) GOP House Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona is officially censured by House vote. The Republican congressman, who posted an anime video of himself killing Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacking President Joe Biden, is the first House member to be censured in over a decade. (Source: CNN) Henry Montgomery has been granted parole. Montgomery’s case led to the landmark 2012 Supreme Court ruling that a life sentence without parole for convicted juveniles constitutes “cruel and unusual punishment.” (Source: Axios)
Life, Interrupted: The Concierge
1 - Where is Peng Shuai?
Chinese tennis star disappears after allegation of sexual assault
A world uproar has erupted following the recent disappearance of two-time Grand Slam doubles champion Peng Shuai. Shuai has not been seen since she accused a former top government official in China of sexual assault on Twitter last week. Naomi Osaka, Novak Djokovic and other star players from around the globe have expressed alarm, calling for a full investigation into the player’s disappearance. China's state-owned television broadcaster CGTN released an email allegedly from Peng yesterday morning amid growing international concern. The head of the Women’s Tennis Association said the email only raises further concern over Shuai’s whereabouts. (Sources: Axios, BBC)
2 - NFT for An Icon
Never-released Whitney Houston song to be auctioned in December
A never-before-heard song recorded by 17-year-old Whitney Houston will be auctioned off in December. The song, part of the exclusive OneOf NFT collection, is the first in a series backed by producer Quincy Jones that will eventually include thousands of other affordable fixed-price NFTs. The winning bidder will claim the previously unheard song along with a digital video of rare archival footage of the iconic singer created by 17-year-old artist Diana Sinclair. The auction date will be announced on Dec. 1 during Miami Art Week. (Source: RollingStone)
3 - Crushing Weight of Student Loans
A full 89% of borrowers with full-time jobs aren't ready for payments
After five rounds of student-loan forgiveness, the day borrowers have been dreading is about to arrive. On February 1, 2022, the student-loan relief granted by the Biden administration at the start of the pandemic will come to an end. Despite the impending deadline, many borrowers are unprepared. According to recent reports, 89% of fully employed borrowers say they do not feel financially secure enough to resume payments at the start of the year. Despite promises of debt cancellation from the Biden administration, most borrowers shouldn’t expect relief to come anytime soon, as only a limited demographic is eligible. (Sources: Fortune, BusinessInsider)
4 - A Tragic Reality
US drug-overdose deaths hit record high during pandemic
According to new data released by the CDC, more than 100,000 Americans died from drug overdoses between April 2020 and April 2021. The “tragic milestone” represents a 28.5% increase from the previous year. President Biden announced he would encourage states to enact laws to help people gain access to naloxone, a drug that can reverse opioid overdose. The surge in overdose deaths reflects the impact pandemic disruptions have had on stress levels, and also points to signs the illegal drug supply has become even deadlier. (Sources: NYTimes, BBC)
5 - Holiday Wellness
Schools across the country giving time off for mental-health days
More than 20 public school districts across the nation will extend Thanksgiving break this year to allow for “wellness days.” Districts in at least six states, including Missouri, Kansas, Virginia, Florida and North Carolina have modified school schedules this semester to include days off to help kids and teachers relieve stress. Detroit public schools Superintendent Nikolai P. Vitti said the decision was made, "after listening and reflecting on the concerns of school-based leaders, teachers, support staff, students and families regarding the need for mental health relief, rising COVID cases and time to more thoroughly clean schools.” (Source: CNN)
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.
“Gratitude for aging parents and the ability to spend another Thanksgiving with them. Gratitude for a job that allows me to pay most of my bills. Gratitude that during this never-ending pandemic my family and friends have suffered almost no illness or loss. That's quite a bit of gratitude. Prayer for those in need or pain.” — Debbie
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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