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Happy Wednesday!! If, like me, you find investment talk boring, I’ve got some news for you. It turns out the year’s most stunning IPO is in … music. Join me today in uncovering the secret sauce of a Korean band redefining the music industry. Meet the scientist who's so busy fighting vaccine skepticism that royals need to take appointments to meet her and see if you can score a three-pointer on our basketball quiz.
Multiple conservative U.S. Supreme Court judges have questioned Republican efforts to bring down the Affordable Care Act over one contentious provision, portending a potential setback for President Donald Trump as he refuses to concede defeat in the presidential election. The high court is hearing the case amid record COVID-19 hospitalizations in America. Also riding high? U.S. pharma firm Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech, whose frontrunner COVID-19 vaccine candidate could fetch them $13 billion in sales. (Sources: WSJ, NYT, Guardian)
2. Papal Blot
They knew. Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI were aware of sexual abuse allegations against former U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick — defrocked by Pope Francis in 2019 — but largely overlooked them, according to an internal report made public by the Vatican. Should the sainthood conferred upon Pope John Paul II in 2014 be reviewed? Vote on Twitter. (Sources: AP, Deutsche Welle)
3. Dissent Under Fire
Sun. Sand. Piña coladas … and bullets? Mexican police in the beach town of Cancún fired on protestors demonstrating against the killing of women, sparking calls for a probe. Meanwhile Tanzanian opposition leader Tundu Lissu has left the country for Belgium amid a crackdown following last month’s presidential election that critics say was rigged. (Sources: BBC, Bloomberg)
4. McCar-Xi Era
Hong Kong’s government might soon be able to sack legislators deemed not “patriotic” enough. Think of it as China's McCarthy era in reverse.China’s Big Tech is on President Xi Jinping’s radar too. New antitrust regulations have triggered a sharp stock drop for giants like Alibaba and Tencent. (Sources: Japan Times, FT)
You've Got Mail ... After 41 Years
Want to slow down? Take a deep breath … or take tips from the U.S. Postal Service.
Stop complaining about delayed postal ballots. Ron Sargent's package took four decades to arrive. Last month, the leather repair shop owner received a box postmarked Aug. 22, 1979, containing fancy boots mailed by a customer. Clearly the boots aren’t the only things that need to be fixed.
The year’s almost over. Don’t look back on this year wishing you hadn’t missed out on the best styles of 2020.
Cariuma’s premium, handmade CATIBA Pros are breathing life back into the golden age of skating. Get ready to look back on 2020 knowing you own the weather-resistant, high-grip sneakers that are the most comfortable shoes out there.
OZY readers get an exclusive $15 off for a limited time with code OZY. Check it out now!
As we edge closer toward finding a successful COVID-19 vaccine, science is preparing for its next battle: combating misleading anti-vax claims. These leading experts could determine how many people actually take the shot.
She needs to check her schedule before confirming lunch with the king of Belgium. The63-year-old London-based anthropologist is the founder of the Vaccine Confidence Project, the scientific community's most prominent initiative to track and battle anti-vaccine sentiments around the world. And in 2020, she has her hands full. Larson’s team carries out the largest global surveys of confidence levels in vaccines. Yet Larson's message to Big Pharma and world leaders — multiple governments, from India to Rwanda, seek advice — is simple. Social media misinformation only feeds off a lack of trust in traditional institutions, she argues. Fix that first, she says.
2. Catherine Kyobutungi
When South Africa launched clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine candidate in July, activists hit the streets arguing thatAfricans were being used as guinea pigs. Pharma giants do have a troubled history on the continent. Butinadequate data on how treatments work on Africans could be worse. Kyobutungi compares it to the “ears of a hippo in water” — you’re unable to get the whole picture. That’s why the Ugandan epidemiologist is leading efforts to convince Africans to participate in vaccine trials. The head of the African Population and Health Research Center is soft spoken but firm, and with a message for the West: Learn from Africa’s relative success against COVID-19 before it’s too late.
3. Roberto Burioni
With just a few seconds left in a TV debate against popular anti-vaxxers, the Italian virologist with a salt-and-pepper mane was blunt. "The Earth is round, gasoline is flammable and vaccines are safe and effective," Burioni said, in that 2016 debate. "All the rest are dangerous lies." That moment turned Burioni, who only got onto social media in 2015, into a leading public figure contesting vaccine skepticism. Today, he's followed by more than720,000 people on Facebook, where he debunks myths about vaccines with a cocktail of wit and science.
The coolest new streaming platform is finally here. With CuriosityStream you can dive into history and explore nonfiction films and series. Interested in something else? They have thousands of documentaries on topics ranging from food to space exploration to animals.
Best of all, for a limited time, OZY readers can spark their curiosity and get a full year of access for only $1.25 per month with an annual plan using code OZY.
BTS: Musical Millionaires
It’s not just vaccine firms that are rising on the stock market. South Korean boy band BTS has been compared to the Beatles. But they’re also fundamentally redefining the economics of the music industry.
Big Hit Entertainment, the record label that relies on BTS for 88 percent of its revenue, went public October in one of the most stunning IPOs of 2020, its market cap skyrocketing to $7.6 billion on the first day. BTS members own a fraction of the shares — few top music groups in the West own shares in their record labels — so the boy band earned $108 million in a day.
2. Own the Audience
Not just the music. On Oct. 10, BTS performed fornearly a million paying fans live, breaking their ownworld record for a livestream audience. And they — through Big Hit — earned from every single one of the tickets, the price of whichstarted at $43. How? By making the concert accessible only onWeverse, a bespoke Big Hit-owned music streaming platform. Who needs Madison Square Garden to perform?
Model and activist Christy Turlington tells Carlos how she broke through with kindness. Learn about the eye-opening personal experience that caused her to become a pioneering maternal health advocate, in this special episode.
It’s Veteran’s Day. Take a moment to look back at those we’ve vowed to remember and what they need now. And meet the world’s most powerful vet.
Thousands of Black American soldiers fought alongside Senegalese and Algerian fighters in France to win World War I. Yet when they got home, several of them were lynched — some in their uniforms. Read more.
2. Brazil’s No. 2
When President Jair Bolsonaro was knifed during Brazil’s 2018 election campaign, Hamilton Mourão, his running mate, was sharp with his threat to attackers. “It is we who are the violence professionals,” he said. He should know. Now Brazil’s vice president, Mourão is a controversial retired four-star general and face of Bolsonaro’s government, making him arguably the most influential vet in the world. Read more.
3. Fixing Homelessness
America has nearly 38,000 homeless veterans, many of whom struggle to adjust in traditional shelters as they suffer from post-traumatic stress. Now communities of tiny houses specifically built for veterans are emerging as an inventive fix, giving them a roof among people they can relate to. Read more.
Hoop Truths … and a Lie
Which one of the following from the basketball world is false?
a. Only one Peruvian hoopster has ever played in the NBA.
b. The Philippines has more NBA fans on Facebook than any country outside the U.S.
c. Male and female basketball coaches have equal success rates.
On Monday we asked you which country — other than Azerbaijan — has a female vice president who’s also first lady. Julia S. and Ellery B., you were spot on! It’s Nicaragua, where the vice president is Rosario Murillo.