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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.
Aug 17, 2022
Republican Liz Cheney has lost her primary in Wyoming, thanks to the power of former President Trump. Brazil’s election isn’t until October but two old foes are facing off already. Australia’s former Prime Minister Scott Morrison is refusing to resign after revelations he secretly took on ministerial positions. And U.S. President Joe Biden is celebrating the signing of his hallmark Inflation Reduction Act. All this and more in today’s PDB.
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Republicans in Liz Cheney’s home state have dropped the longtime representative for Harriet Hageman, who is around 30% ahead with almost all votes counted. Cheney, one of the most high-profile Republican combatants against former President Donald Trump, was widely expected to lose. Trump’s fingerprints are all over the win. Hageman was encouraged to run by his former chief of staff Mark Meadows, funded by Trump donors, and made use of his advisors. “Everyone correctly understood that, symbolically speaking, no midterm race was more important for the future of the America First movement than this one,” Andy Surabian, a Hageman backer, said. (Sources: Politico, NYT)
Lula Takes the Lead Over ‘Possessed’ Bolsonaro
Brazil’s former President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva is gunning for the presidency again. It could spell disaster for far-right incumbent, Jair Bolsonaro, who is polling 12 points behind. Bolsonaro is characterizing the race as a fight between “good” and “evil” in comments widely seen as a dog whistle to the powerful evangelical voting bloc. “If there’s anyone who is possessed by the devil it’s this Bolsonaro,” the former president said at a campaign event. These fighting words are a sign of what’s to come. The pair will face off in October, leaving weeks of divisive campaigning ahead. (Sources: Al Jazeera, The Guardian)
Cabinet of Curiosities
Australian Former PM, Apparent Minister for Everything, Isn’t Done
So says Scott Morrison, who lost his job as prime minister in May but remains an opposition member of parliament. He’s played down revelations of appointing himself to a string of ministerial positions without the knowledge of his cabinet throughout the pandemic, defying calls from within his own Liberal Party to resign. “As prime minister, only I could really understand the weight of responsibility that was on my shoulders and on no one else,” Morrison said Wednesday. Current Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has called on Morrison to apologize to the country, saying there had been a “clear misleading of parliament.” (Sources: The Guardian, ABC)
It’s Official! Biden Signs Off on Inflation Reduction Act
President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law Tuesday — and handed off the historic pen he used to longtime holdout, Sen. Joe Manchin. “With this law, the American people won and the special interests lost,” Biden said. It’s a relief for Biden, who said he had been looking forward to the moment for 18 months while it was bogged down in revisions before passing the Senate on a very thin party-line vote. The Act will unleash $375 billion in spending, targeting energy and healthcare. Corporations will foot most of the bill with a fresh tax rate. (Sources: WaPo, AP)
Here are some things you should know about today:
Spotlight. Vatican Cardinal Marc Ouellet is one of 88 clergy members accused of sexual crimes in a civil case against the archdiocese of Quebec. Ouellet had been seen as a possible successor to the pope. (Source: CBC) Crackdown. Authorities have arrested 50,000 suspected gang members since El Salvador launched its “war” in March. President Nayib Bukele ordered a new prison to house up to 40,000 gang members, who will face increased jail terms. (Source: France24) Sick. An outbreak of measles in Zimbabwe has left 157 children dead. Local authorities warn most reported cases were not vaccinated, partly due to opposition from religious sects. (Source: DW)
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What Peru’s Fire Prevention Approach Can Teach the World
In the COVID lockdown, Peruvians left Lima in droves to return to ancestral farms. Much of the land needed to be cleared to resume farming, and that means one thing — fires. Lots of them. “It’s completely normal to pay people to put fires out. So why shouldn’t we pay people to stop them from happening in the first place?” reforestation worker and NGO boss Joaquín Randall said. His plan switched the focus from responding to fires to preventing them from happening. Through education programs with farmers and monitoring services, fires in Randall’s area have all but disappeared. (Source: The Guardian)
Meta Is Planning More of the Same for November Vote
Meta, which owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, will renew policies used during the 2020 general election, global affairs executive Nick Clegg said. No new ads will be run a week prior to polls, and marketers will not be able to change any design features, while fact-checkers will be ready to label user-generated content. More drastic ideas — like fact-checking ads or banning them entirely — were discussed but eventually ditched due to the “particular status” of paid speech in U.S. elections compared to those elsewhere, Clegg said. Meta has previously disclosed blocking or removing 265,000 posts during the 2020 election season. (Source: Bloomberg)
Report: Angelina Jolie Was ‘Jane Doe’ in FBI 2016 Lawsuit
Jolie told an FBI agent in 2016 that then-husband Brad Pitt had “physically and verbally assaulted” her and their children on their private plane. The agent and the assistant U.S. attorney declined to lay criminal charges against Pitt. In response, Jolie anonymously filed a Freedom of Information Act suit against the agency to probe why a case was not built. It was speculated at the time that the suit was from Jolie, given how closely the facts tracked with tabloid reporting. Pitt was also investigated by Californian authorities following child abuse allegations in 2016. He has long denied any abuse. (Sources: Variety, Puck)
Dried-Out Lake Mead Is Revealing Its Secrets — and Bodies
Nevada’s megadrought is drying out Lake Mead and as the water drops, revelations are surfacing. Swim Beach has become a hotspot for recovering bodies, with three instances of human remains uncovered. Las Vegas police have attended two other sites. The Clark County coroner’s office is working to see if the Swim Beach remains are from one person, while another find has launched a homicide investigation. Police say they’ve found the remains of a person who was shot and killed sometime between the mid-1970s and early ’80s. Water in the lake has dropped to just 27% of its full capacity. (Source: CNN)
Tiger Woods Takes the Lead in PGA-LIV War
Woods swung by the first PGA Tour held in Delaware this week — but with no intention of hitting the links. Instead, one of the most famous golfers in history lent his star power to the PGA in its war against the Saudi-backed LIV Golf upstarts, attending a secret meeting of top players that reportedly hatched plans to reinvigorate the Tour. “There is a player meeting, but that’s all I can tell you,” said tour commissioner Jay Monahan.Woods has been a vocal critic of defectors to LIV, defending the PGA against challenges from other huge names such as Greg Norman. (Source: AP)
“The OZY Genius Award was the first grant that we ever applied to, and [winning one] was a huge boost of confidence for the project,” says the rising senior at New College of Florida. “It gave us momentum; we were like, ‘people find this fascinating and an insanely cool idea that’s also life-changing,’ so we decided to start applying for as many grants as possible.”
That was a good decision. Ginsberg-Klemmt, known as “Toni” to her friends, has since raised an additional $437,000 in development grants as she works with engineers to fine-tune her blueprint prototypes with early adopters in North Carolina and California — two states she’s been focusing on due to an abundance of red tape on solar technology in her native Florida, “The Sunshine State.”
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“Even though we all have different projects on very different levels, we’re all trying to make our communities a better place,” she said. “OZY Media sees potential in these students that they select. For me it’s very exciting to make these connections with different winners.”
OZY is a diverse, global and forward-looking media and entertainment company focused on “the New and the Next.” OZY creates space for fresh perspectives, and offers new takes on everything from news and culture to technology, business, learning and entertainment.