Bold start. Smooth finish. The newsletter that interesting people love.
Good morning. It’s Friday! For some, spooky season is starting even though Halloween is nearly a month away. I’ve never gotten the idea of spending time and money to be stressed out. But if you do plan on spooking yourself all month, do so with some of the leading women in horror. Meet them, learn about New Zealand’s new embrace of its Māori culture, help plan post-pandemic weddings, check out answers to yesterday’s crossword and listen to a Barry White playlist you curated to kick off your weekend.
Lebanon and Israel have agreed to hold negotiations on a disputed maritime border, their first such talks in three decades. This breakthrough between nations that are formally enemies comes soon after the UAE and Bahrain signed peace deals with Israel.
Meanwhile, Belgium’s family might have moved a step closer to peace — with itself.
Artist Delphine Boël, the love child of Albert II, has won a hard-fought court battle to call herself a princess. The former Belgian king was forced to acknowledge Boël as his daughter in January after a court ordered a DNA test.
Office, gym, the special place where you can always wear sweatpants — now that all of these are at home, we know it can be difficult to concentrate. If three cups of coffee isn’t doing it for you anymore, join us in trying beam’s newest product: focus capsules. These THC-free CBD capsules are packed with natural ingredients like ginseng, CoQ10 and lion's mane to boost your memory and fuel your mind all day. Ready to get your edge back? Check it out now, with 20 percent off using code OZY!
Her movies are scary, her story inspiring. Laos’ first female filmmaker, Do was born in Los Angeles. But her Laotian roots — her parents are from the country — drew her back to Vientiane, where she’s now based, encouraging the region to accept that women and horror can mix. Her 2016 horror film Dearest Sister was Laos’ entry for the Academy Awards that year. It wasn’t nominated, but when your characters speak to the dead, an award loss doesn’t scare you.
2. Nikyatu Jusu
Black is powerful — even among vampires. In Jusu’s brilliant Sundance Film Festival-selected Suicide by Sunlight, Black vampires walk among humans during the day, the color of their skin protecting them from the sun. They’re the future of civilization, you see. Born to Sierra Leonean parents, Jusu marries West African culture with the experiences of Black Americans in her work.
Speaking of women in charge, don’t miss feminist icon Gloria Steinem in conversation with OZY CEO and co-founder Carlos Watson in today’s episode of The Carlos Watson Show. Subscribe for a chance to be invited to a Zoom recording with a celebrity guest!
While President Trump and Joe Biden were busy insulting each other on stage last Tuesday, New Zealand was holding a civil, issue-based election debate between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her principal opponent Judith Collins. Take a deeper dive into a fascinating country that deserves your attention.
Say it with respect. That’s New Zealand’s original Māori name, which a growing number of firms — from global giant Vodafone to telecommunications agency DBB — are now incorporating into their identities. It’s a nod to the country’s indigenous legacy that’s witnessing a resurgence after being whitewashed for generations, with te reo Māori language classes packed in major cities. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern — who gave her daughter a Māori middle name — hopes 1 million New Zealanders out of a population of 5 million will speak the language by 2040.
The country’s heavyweight boxing title wasn’t enough for Williams. So he decided to take his athletic skills to rugby, where he has since won two World Cups and is among New Zealand’s most popular sports stars. A convert to Islam, Williams was “very shy” as a teenager. That changed when it came to winning at rugby.
There’s been little in the way of wins for America’s $74 billion wedding industry since the start of the pandemic. Now it’s adapting in ways that may define the future, and no, we’re not talking about Zoom weddings.
Giant weddings had been gaining in popularity — but even in the years after COVID-19, people are going to be wary of large groups and travel, meaning that weddings are expected to get a whole lot smaller. We’re looking forward to the endless one-upping of pandemic-era brides and grooms, all insisting that their wedding was the smallest and most intimate.
Weddings can wait, the weekend won’t. It’s here — as is this playlist you helped us put together!
Barry White Playlist
Earlier this week, we asked you for your favorite Barry White numbers. Thank you! Here’s your playlist, including “Just the Way You Are,” “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe,” “The Secret Garden,” “I’ll Do for You Anything You Want Me To,” “I’ve Got So Much to Give” and “Practice What You Preach.”
Denver S., C.W. Coleman, Connie B., Beatrice W., F. Ingalls and all our other readers — enjoy! (Imagine I said that in White’s deep baritone.)
Michael C. — you got yesterday’s spicy crossword right!!!! Congratulations!