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Happy Monday! Remember the opening sequence of GoldenEye, where James Bond bungee jumps 720 feet to the base of a dam? That scene’s been on my mind since I watched the film again this weekend. Today’s cocktail is shaken, not stirred: You’ll meet the women and men behind the most awe-inspiring stunts in modern movies, and the hidden deciders of the 2020 election. Find the year’s most provocative books, and soak in brilliant blues — all while playing a game. Read to the end for answers to Friday’s quiz.
Was it foretold? Oracle has won the bid to run the U.S. operations of viral Chinese social media app TikTok after Microsoft dropped out of the race. But it’ll take more than a crystal ball to make the deal work, after TikTok’s parent firm ByteDance told the U.S. the platform’s algorithm isn’t up for sale, ahead of a Sept. 15 deadline set by President Donald Trump. Will the president agree? Vote on Twitter.
2. Climate Clash
President Trump will visit California today amid record fires spanning the West Coast that have claimed at least 24 lives and scorched nearly 5 million acres — almost the size of New Jersey. Trump has blamed poor forest management, but his critics blame his administration’s efforts to water down environmental regulations. That political fire won’t be extinguished soon.
It’s on. In Mali, the opposition has rejected a plan by the military to stay in power for 18 months after August’s coup against President Ibrahim Keita. Some 5,000 miles away in Minsk, 100,000 protesters demanded Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko resign, while he prepared to fly to Moscow for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. And in Tokyo, Yoshihide Suga emerged as Japan’s new prime minister-in-waiting after winning his party’s vote.
5. Vigils Against Violence
Some NFL players knelt during the national anthem while others stayed indoors on the first Sunday of the season, protesting police brutality and racism. Over in Colombia’s capital Bogotá, the city held a public memorial for 14 protesters killed in clashes with police after the death of a 42-year-old man tasered by officers last week.
A village in India, meanwhile, decided that the best way to draw the attention of authorities — and earn some money — was by taking an unlikely hostage.
At first, they were scared. Then they sensed opportunity. Villagers in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh tied up a crocodile that had strayed from a wildlife reserve to their local pond and demanded $700 as ransom from the government in order to release it. The villagers eventually set the reptile free — for free — after they were threatened with seven-year jail terms.
If you’re like us, you’ve gotten used to working from the comfort of home wrapped in cozy blankets, and might dread the idea of putting on “real clothes.” With Outerknown’s Blanket Shirt, your problem is solved: It’s rugged and sustainable and, we promise, the coziest shirt ever made. Don’t let its stylishness fool you: The Blanket Shirt can also stand up to the natural elements and function as an extra layer on chilly nights.
A beauty queen at age 20, the Malaysia-born Yeohgave up mascara for scars afterthis television commercial with Jackie Chan. She's played a Bond girl in Tomorrow Never Dies, a martial artist in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi in The Lady and a domineering matriarch in Crazy Rich Asians. But over her four-decade career and across diverse roles, she has always performed her own stunts — a quick knife-like movement with the hand, a scorpion kick, a deadly stare ... fight over.
2. Reon Van Der Watt
He was six years old when he decided he wanted to get into the movies — performing stunts. So when it was time to go to college, he left his hometown, Knysna, for Cape Town, telling his family he wanted to pursue civil engineering. Instead, he enrolled with a stunt company. Today the South African is one of the most sought-after action doubles, with Mad Max: Fury Road, TheMaze Runner and Homeland among his credits.
3. Crystal Michelle
She played Jabari Woman and was the stunt double for Letitia Wright's character Shuri in Black Panther. An athlete in college, theScreen Actors Guild Award winner has doubled for Halle Berry and Lupita Nyong'o among others. And — you probably get the drift by now — she has a double career: She designs slim pads and bodysuits for actresses and stuntwomen that protect them if they fall during action sequences.
Speaking of stunts, expect every trick in the book to be pulled out this election season. Meet some of those who could determine the outcome of an unclear vote.
Follow the new OZY and 0ptimus prediction model that uses past data, present demographics, funding and more to tell you which way the electorate is swinging. For now, Joe Biden has an 81 percent chance of winning, but Trump could catch up. See more.
2. Spy Wars
Igor Kostyukov, the heavyset, 59-year-old head of Moscow’s military intelligence — whose two predecessors died mysteriously — could determine how much the Kremlin swings the 2020 vote. Read more.
3. Florida Key
President Trump has gained support among Latino voters in Florida since 2016, giving him a shot in the state. Among his biggest influencers is 41-year-old Alex Otaola, a Cuban immigrant and YouTube star. Read more.
It’s infinitely more fun to woo your life partner than it is to lure voters.
wanted: single men
OZY’s new TV show, The Science of Dating, uses science to match compatible couples. If you live in the Chicago area and are ready to get serious about settling down and finding your perfect match, fill out the application here.
If 2020’s taught us anything, it’s that many of our old assumptions just don’t hold. These powerful new books go one step further — challenging ideas we’ve held for generations. Ready to confront some uncomfortable arguments?
1. A Girl Is a Body of Water
What would women have been like had they not suffered centuries of oppression at the hands of men? Kirabo, a Ugandan woman who embodies the “original state” of women, might have the answer, in this powerful new feminist tale by Ugandan author Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi.
2. Grieving: Dispatches From a Wounded Country
What’s it like living along a border where neither side truly values your life or dreams? Mexican author Cristina Rivera Garza’s latest book captures the trauma of life along the country’s border with America in vivid, poetic language that’ll make you angry and hopeful at the same time.