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 22, 2021
An SUV plowed through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, WI, last night killing five people and injuring 40. In Haiti, two of the 17 missionaries kidnapped in October have been released, though it is unclear whether the $1 million-per-person ransom was paid. Protests against anti-Covid measures erupted across Europe yesterday as national governments imposed new lockdowns and vaccine mandates in response to an explosion in Covid cases. Meanwhile, covid numbers in the U.S. have risen 20% in the last two weeks, giving health officials reason for concern. All this and more in today’s Presidential Daily Brief.
1 - Tragedy in Wisconsin
Christmas Parade in Waukesha, WI, turns deadly as SUV plows into crowd
Five people are dead and at least 40 wounded, three critically, after the incident on Sunday night. Though no motive has been found for the crime, Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson told reporters that the vehicle was recovered and the scene is safe. Mayor Shawn Reilly said this was a “traumatic” night for the city, and Angelito Tenorio, a local resident who marched in the parade, recalled seeing the SUV “put the pedal to the metal and just zooming full speed along the parade route … And then we heard a loud bang, and just deafening cries and screams from people who are struck by the vehicle,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. (Source: BBC)
2 - Hope for Hopeless
Two missionaries have been released after Haiti kidnapping
Christian Aid Ministries has confirmed that two of the 17 U.S. and Canadian missionaries kidnapped in Haiti last month have been released. “While we rejoice at this release, our hearts are with the 15 people who are still being held.” The 17 missionaries, five of whom are children, and their Haitian driver were kidnapped by the 400 Mawozo gang in Haiti on October 16. The gang has demanded $1 million for each person’s release. The kidnapping comes amid Haiti’s worsening political situation, severe fuel shortages and general national instability. (Source: AP)
3 - Protests in Europe Escalate
Europeans take to the streets to protest new anti-Covid measures
Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Brussels, Belgium, this weekend and across Europe to protest new anti-Covid measures. Protesters lobbed fireworks at police who used tear gas and water cannons to disperse crowds. In Rotterdam, Netherlands, anti-lockdown protests turned violent as police fired gunshots to warn off protestors. Similar scenes played out in Austria, Croatia and Italy after governments there also announced new lockdown measures. The WHO has warned that the current coronavirus surge in Europe could lead to thousands more fatalities. (Source: BBC)
4 - Is it Safe to Gobble Gobble?
Coronavirus once again on the rise in the US, just in time for the holidays
A sharp increase in coronavirus cases is causing concern for the holiday season. Cases have risen by 20% in the Upper Midwest and in New England, and while daily deaths dropped by 13%, an average of 1,000 Americans are dying every day. “As we head into the holiday and winter season, now is the time to think about protection for ourselves and our families,” said CDC director Rochelle Walenksy. The CDC recommends booster shots for those who are at higher risk for COVID-19, and emphasized that unvaccinated people should get the shot as soon as possible to be fully protected before the winter holidays. (Source: Axios)
5 - Briefly
Here are some things you should know about today:
Class of 2022 US Rhodes scholars announced. The roster includes a record number of women selected for the prestigious scholarship. (Source: AP) Chinese tennis star who disappeared from the public eye for three weeks surfaces. In a video call with the International Olympic Committee, Peng Shuai said she is safe and would like “her privacy to be respected at this time.” (Source: BBC) After dramatic coup, Sudan military reinstates Prime Minister Abdala Hamdok on Sunday. Pro-democracy protesters took to the streets vowing to reject any deal established by the military. (Source: Reuters) The US lags behind China in the race for clean energy. Despite decades of U.S. investment in Congo’s cobalt mines, China tightens its grip on the raw material, essential to the production of electric vehicles (Source: NYT)
Watch Jody Watley:
The Most Down-to-Earth Musical Superstar on the Planet?
1 - Gaming Publisher Melts Down
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick still has the backing of the board
According to a Wall Street Journal investigation, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick took no action despite years of allegations of sexual misconduct at the company. Kotick said he will consider stepping down after multiple staff walkouts and calls for his resignation by shareholders. Activision Blizzard, behind such lucrative games as Overwatch and Diablo, has been rocked by scandal after being sued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing last July, when a two-year investigation ended in formal accusations of harassment, discrimination and creating a toxic work environment. (Sources: The Verge, WSJ)
2 - Adele Reigns Supreme
The British singer-songwriter persuades Spotify to leave her work untouched
After the long-awaited release of her new album 30, Adele has convinced music-streaming giant Spotify to remove the shuffle button from all album pages so tracks play in the artists' intended order. The feature has been hotly contested by artists for years. “We don’t create albums with so much care and thought into our track listing for no reason. Our art tells a story and our stories should be listened to as we intended. Thank you Spotify for listening,” the singer said on Twitter. Though users can still choose the shuffle option, the system will default to the albums' original order. (Source: BBC)
3 - Kyle “Not a Racist” Rittenhouse
The teenager, acquitted of murder last week, opens up to Tucker Carlson
Kyle Rittenhouse told Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Sunday, “I’m not a racist person. I support the BLM movement.” Rittenhouse, who lives in Illinois and drove to Kenosha, WI, on the night of the BLM protests to help defend businesses, shot three people, killing two. Rittenhouse explained to Carlson, “I said I had to do it. I was just attacked. I was dizzy. I was vomiting. I couldn’t breathe.” Even after the acquittal, Rittenhouse remains dubious that justice can be served, “I believe there’s a lot of prosecutorial misconduct, not just in my case but in other cases.” (Source: TheHill)
4 - Tesla Hits Snag
Server error leaves Tesla owners worldwide unable to unlock their cars
Tesla owners, accustomed to unlocking and starting their vehicles with a touch of their smartphones, were left stranded last week after the app malfunctioned. Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk, who was notified of the issue through Twitter, responded to frustrated users via the social media platform five hours later: “Looks like we may have accidentally increased verbosity of network traffic,” and promised users he'd “take measures to ensure this doesn’t happen again.” Tesla has not responded to requests for comment. (Source: NPR)
5 - Tiger Out of the Woods
Controversial golfer Tiger Woods is doing better after his car crash
Tiger Woods sent a message to his fans via a short Twitter video of himself practicing his golf swing. “Making progress,” the caption read. The star golfer has not been seen on the green since rolling his SUV several times after hitting the median on a curving road in Southern California last February. Woods suffered multiple serious injuries in the crash, including open fractures to his right leg that required the insertion of a rod into his tibia. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, tasked with investigating the crash, said Woods was driving at almost twice the 45 mph speed limit. (Source: NPR)
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.
“Reflecting on gratitude after the worst (hopefully) of the pandemic essentially has deepened appreciation for the good things: nature, having a home & neighbors, our daughter’s work, being vaccinated & receiving a booster, staying healthy, being able to work in a library, volunteer in two hospitals & being with friends & family. The pandemic reinforced gratefulness & beckoned us to enjoy the things we take for granted. Honor people, especially those in medicine, science, public service & education. Thank you for this opportunity.” — Patricia
What do you think? Want to share your thoughts on what makes you grateful this season? Please share your email (and photo) with us at OzyCommunity@Ozy.com.
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