Bold start. Smooth finish. The newsletter that interesting people love.
Happy Monday! For the next eight days leading up to the Nov. 3 election, your first sip will be a politics update. But frankly, we could also use a laugh to break the tension. Today you’ll meet Russian pranksters who’ve tricked presidents (and Elton John), test your knowledge of celebrity reading habits and learn a unique Peruvian martial art. With Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation imminent, we dive into a new, global battle over abortion rights, from Uganda to Poland. Check answers to Friday’s quiz at the end.
Sixty million Americans have already cast their ballots. And Democrat Joe Biden has a commanding lead, expected to win 318 electoral votes according to the OZY-0ptimus predictive election model. But President Donald Trump has pulled off surprises before. Watch OZY CEO and veteran political journalist Carlos Watson break it all down tonight at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT on The 11th Hour With Brian Williams on MSNBC.
They’re not repeating their mistake. Chile on Sunday voted overwhelmingly to replace a constitution from dictator Augusto Pinochet’s reign in a landmark referendum. And the East African island nation of Seychelles elected the opposition candidate as president after 43 years of one-party rule.
In clinical trials, the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford has shown early signs of effectiveness in older, vulnerable patients. Meanwhile Italy and Spain imposed strict new restrictions to combat a sharp spike in cases.
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."
“Divvy is what employees want and what corporate needs." -Alivation
Unlike other disparate, expensive systems, Divvy’s all-in-one spend management platform makes expense management precise yet painless, so you can save time and get back to your business.
Liberals worry Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court — expected on Monday — could kill Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that defended pregnant women’s abortion rights. But battle lines are once again being drawn over abortion globally too.
South Korea is preparing to lift its 67-year-old blanket ban on abortions. But the government is facing criticism from pro-choice activists who say the government’s proposal — which will allow the abortion of a pregnancy up to 24 weeks under certain conditions — still doesn’t give women control over their bodies.
Sacha Baron Cohen is back as Borat, pulling pranks on President Trump’s closest aides, from Mike Pence to Rudy Giuliani. Meet the world’s other brilliant political pranksters — and their unlikely targets.
TheSouth African YouTuber wanted to become a professional cricket player. Instead the 27-year-old is today notorious for pulling elaborate political pranks. Pieters flew far-right British commentator Katie Hopkins to Prague in January to accept a fake award — the “Campaign to Unify the Nation Trophy” — whose abbreviated title is, of course, a swear word.
Combining acrobatics with sword fighting, gatka emerged as a form of Sikh warfare in the late 17th century against the Mughal Empire. But British colonizers feared Indian martial arts, and gatka was banned. So the Sikh community switched to stick-based gatka instead. Now, both the sword and stick versions are practiced in 30 countries. You can only target a specific weapon at a particular part of the opponent's body. If it strikes somewhere else, you're penalized. Watch and read on OZY.
Fighters tie a rope tightly around one hand, all the way up to the elbow, and use that arm as their weapon. There are three rounds of fighting, with no time limits. Each round typically ends only when a fighter is floored. Popular among the Hausa, one of West Africa's largest ethnic communities, dambe is nowfast emerging as a viewer sport, with 24 million people watching it online last year. It's a brutal show of strength and bravery.Up for it?
The creator of Dear White People joins Carlos to discuss his new horror film, Bad Hair, about a blood-sucking weave with surprising political relevance. Justin Simien, a Hollywood "overnight" success, talks about embracing his Blackness and queerness, while sharing advice for other young storytellers. Watch on YouTube.
Game: Celebrity Reads
They’re famous actors, activists and politicians. Can you match them to their favorite books?
a. Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron Lanier
b.Metu Neter by Ra Un Nefer Amen
c. Trauma and Recovery by Judith Herman
d. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
a. Gloria Steinem b. Ilhan Omar c. Joseph Gordon-Levitt d. Jamaal Bowman