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Good morning! Last year around this time, I was planning a December trip to Egypt, a country with an unparalleled civilizational history. But my fondest memories of that trip involve a majestic modern library by the sea. I’ll take you there with me today, on a ride where you’ll also discover how friendship — not money — is the key to a long life (just ask monkeys), meet monarchs whose grip on power is slipping, and start wishing you were in Iceland.
Russia has approved a second COVID-19 vaccine just like the one it released in August — without completing clinical trials. Meanwhile, it’s (temporary) lights out for Paris’ famed nightlife, with France announcing nightly curfewsin the capital and other cities to control a surge in COVID-19 infections. Other European nations are also reimposing restrictions as cases reach record levels.
2. Thai Trick
What about daytime gatherings?Sorry, not in Thailand. An emergency decree has barred all public protests in a bid to crack down on the largest demonstrations the country has witnessed in decades against Thailand’s monarch. Meanwhile Chile’s government faces growing pressure to institute police reforms over allegations of abuses against protesters in recent weeks.
3. No Comment Barrett
Judge Amy Coney Barrett appeared poised for a Supreme Court confirmation from the Senate before Nov. 3, without committing to positions on subjects such as the Affordable Care Act and abortion rights. Republicans aren’t holding back on criticism of Facebook and Twitter, though, after the platforms restricted the distribution of an article claiming that then-Vice President Joe Biden met a controversial Ukrainian business partner of his son Hunter. Are social media giants censoring conservatives? Vote on Twitter.
You think vaccines are the only things that can help you live longer? Wrong!
Male baboons live longer if they have female friends — whether or not they mate — new research on monkeys found near Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro shows. That’s because the friends clean each other’s fur for bugs and dirt. While female baboons also do that with others of their sex, male baboons are useless at grooming each other. Ouch!
The leaves might not have changed, but pumpkin spice lattes are back — so fall is definitely here. Luckily, we found the perfect men’s sweater for the 2020 sweater weather season. Don’t look any further: Outerknown’s Nostalgic Sweater puts a modern twist on the iconic ‘70s style and perfectly combines comfort, style and warmth. The Nostalgic Sweater sold out fast last year, so don’t miss it while it lasts — and use code OKOZY for 20 percent off!
It takes more than our deeply unequal economies to make our lives better — as the baboons of Kilimanjaro show us. Check out these other measures that countries are using.
1. Gross National Happiness
Bhutan measures itself on seven parameters ranging from public health and education to living standards and emotional well-being. And it doesn’t come at the cost of the formal economy: Bhutan’s GDP per capita is 60 percent higher than neighboring giant India’s.
Famed comic Chelsea Handler keeps OZY founder and CEO Carlos Watson laughing as she encourages us to "get out of your own a--holes" and approach others with empathy. Need a laugh today? Check out The Carlos Watson Show on YouTube.
Monarchs in a Mess
OK, this is no laughing matter. Protesters in Thailand are braving the threat of 15-year jail terms to seek greater accountability from their king. But the winds of change are blowing elsewhere too.
The Thai monarch spends more time in Bavaria than in Bangkok, and controversially transferred $40 billion in royal assets to his personal control in 2018. Thailand’s government has banned public gatherings, signaling that it isn’t backing down. Nor are the country’s youth.
You're looking out at the blue Mediterranean Sea, sun filtering through a glass roof angled like eyelashes so the rays are never too sharp. Warm yellow light surrounds you as you sit at one of seven levels that can house 8 million books. If you need a break, take the elevator to check out a range of art galleries and museums in the gigantic building. Hungry? Cross the street for an open-air seafood meal by the water. This Alexandria, Egypt-based marvel is easily the most thrilling library I’ve ever visited.
2. Real Gabinete Português de Leitura
Some call it "library porn." This Rio de Janeiro institution will excite the book-lover in you like few places can. Bookshelves rising three stories high surround you in this historic Brazilian institution that's home to the largest Lusophone collection of books outside Portugal.
3. Tianyi Pavilion Library
Asia's oldest library was built more than 450 years ago in Ningbo in eastern China. At its peak, the library had 70,000 books before it was looted first by the British and then by local thieves. If you want to stretch your legs after reading at the library, take a stroll along the nearby Moon Lake.
You might know about Peru reopening Machu Picchu for a stranded Japanese tourist. But they’re not the only ones desperately trying to please — and woo back — tourists.
The Scandinavian island nation has set aside $9 million in free vouchers to encourage residents to travel within the country while it waits for international visitors to return.
Hotels often offer deals to compete against each other. In Cancún, they’re now offering a collective deal — book two nights and you get two nights free — at any of 200 hotels as the tourism-dependent city tries to bring visitors back. Tempted?
Yesterday we asked you to match colors to the things they come from. Adele K., Shirley H., Jon T., Share G., Cassandra T., Gordon K. and Alli L., you all got it right! Purple comes from sea snails, yellow from cow urine and black from peach nuts.