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Thank goodness it's Friday after a week of epic highs and lows. You don't feel as guilty indulging in all your small pleasures heading into a weekend as you do at the start of the week, and so that's what we're doing: brutal boxers, car craziness, tempting tacos and surprise story endings. You'd really expect no less from Friday, now would you?
After a year of Washington largely leaving pandemic policy to states, President Joe Biden yesterday said he was taking a wartime approach to fighting the coronavirus. That includes an arguably modest goal of administering 100 million vaccinations in 100 days against a virus that’s killed more than 400,000 Americans. He will also be requiring that everyone masks up on interstate transportation, as well as quarantining international arrivals. Dr. Anthony Fauci approves. (Sources: (NYT, PBS)
2. Holding Fire
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to delay former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial by two weeks so he can prepare a defense. But after five years in charge, the Republican senator must ask Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who’s considering the request. The two have failed to negotiate power-sharing for the chamber, split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats, who enjoy a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris. (Sources: CNN, The Hill)
3. Disarmed for Bear
President Biden has proposed extending a nuclear weapons treaty with Russia. Previously, Moscow sought to extend the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), which limits nuclear ordinance, but rejected conditions set by the Trump administration. At the same time, Biden is asking intelligence agencies to delve into Russian cyberattacks, such as the SolarWinds spy campaign, and other incidents blamed on the Kremlin. (Sources: AP, Politico, TechCrunch)
4. Return to Burn
Shoppers on both sides of the English Channel are getting a nasty shock: Delivery staff are demanding hefty customs charges at the door for merchandise crossing the British border. That’s in the “small print” of the Britain-EU trade deal, says a fashion industry trade group in the U.K., where retailers are finding that when customers return items, it may be cheaper to burn them rather than accept them back. (Sources: The Guardian, BBC)
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Let’s just say you don’t want to face them in the ring.
1. Floats Like an F-14
It's crazy to consider what it must be like to have never lost a single boxing match when even on a good day just about anything can happen. But there's a reason that something as sweaty and heavy as boxing gets called a science, and a sweet one at that. The reason is embodied by 23-year-old Philadelphia boxer Jaron Ennis, who's undefeated in 27 fights. Oh, and a note for those taking note: 24 of those fights were knockouts. Ennis is edging to fistic greatness. Fast.
The U.S. used to have a great tradition of badass Irish-American fighters. Used to. But back in Ireland, Irish fighters have kept their eyes on the prize. Lightweight boxer Katie Taylor, the undisputed champion of the sport, holds the WBA, WBC, WBO and IBF belts — at the same time. And for those wondering what that means in real numbers, that’s 17 wins, zero losses, thank you very much.
Today on ‘The Carlos Watson Show’
Remember the couple from St. Louis who went viral for holding guns as Black Lives Matter protesters marched past their home? Half of the country praised them as heroes; the other half vilified them as symbols of the law-and-order resistance. Today, Mark and Patricia McCloskey join Carlos for a candid, respectful but difficult discussion about a divided America. Would they change anything about that day in hindsight? How would they #ResetAmerica? Don’t miss this powerful episode — watch later today.
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What if you didn’t need to charge your electric car? U.S. startup Aptera’s launched a solar-powered EV, so you might soon be able to say goodbye to the electric grid. Solar cells on the roof and hood will fuel your car instead. As long as there's a sun, you can escape Skynet.
3. Yeah, Great: Screw All That
Saving the planet with EVs and vegan interiors is great and all, but if you’re looking for old-fashioned muscle cars, check out the fastest one on the block, the 2021 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. The delightfully named powerhouse comes with an 807-horsepower supercharged V8. Top speed 203 mph. Which will let you get to the next gas station that much quicker.
True Story: Surprise Happy Endings
We all love them. Here are some of my favorites from OZY.
1. A Story of Urine and Revenge
Your idea of a happy ending may vary wildly from my idea of a happy ending. But when you have someone weaponizing 30 days of urine to get back at a rude garbage collection worker, only to get into even deeper sh*t, I can’t stop laughing. And you thought all Canadians were polite. Read more on OZY.
2. Jews, HBCUs and the KKK
It shouldn't be that shocking, but in this day and age of tribalism, it is rare to hear of a Jewish kid, a New Yorker no less, who decided to attend a historically Black college or university. Mix in an inadvertent run-in with the Ku Klux Klan and the fact that he lived to tell the story? That's a reason to be cheerful for sure. Read more on OZY.
3. Laugh — Laugh, I Tell You
Laughing at other people? Easy. Laughing at yourself? Well, for some of us, it's a lot easier than others. But envision me strolling through the gates of New York's notorious Sing Sing prison for dinner at the warden's house nearly naked, and you're in for a hell of a laugh riot. If you have a short attention span, here's a teaser: The warden didn't seem to mind much. Read more on OZY.
If you aren’t already salivating, you soon will.
1. French Taco … in Morocco?
It might sound about as appropriate as a Turkish pizza, but the so-called “French taco” at a snack bar on a Rabat street corner is a must-try when you travel again and find your way to Morocco. A panini-pressed tortilla stuffed with beef, cheese, fries and a sweet dressing mysteriously dubbed “Algerian sauce,” it is to die for. Read more on OZY.
2. Nothing Like Home
It doesn't always follow that the originators of something will be the best at it. But they do have a head start in authenticity. And so it is that you’ll find one of Mexico City’s best meat-filled tacos in a shop that serves as a garage during the day. Read more on OZY.
3. Canadian Cocinas
Back bacon, brews, politeness and Tim Hortons all might come to mind when you're thinking of teasing the palate in the Great White North. But Canadian tacos? You better believe it. Like I came to after eating at Toronto's Seven Lives.