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Happy Wednesday! American secularism faces a test, as bishops take on President Joe Biden over abortion rights. Today, amid a fresh debate on the separation of church and state, take a look at an African powder keg of a nation where clerics are safeguarding democracy. Meet the next superstar of women’s soccer and a real-life Moira Rose, visit Russia’s “Alaska” and chew on the world’s most bizarre bubble gum. Read to the end for winners of last week’s caption contest.
Former police officer Eric Adams is building a wide lead over rivals in the Democratic primary for the New York City mayorship after Tuesday’s vote. But the result won’t be known until July because of the Democrats’ embrace of ranked-choice voting (read more on that on OZY). Adams has promised to use his background to bring police reforms while showing respect to officers in blue. (Sources: Politico, NBC)
2. Voting Rights Compromise
Senate Republicans blocked the passage of the For the People Act, a dramatic and far-reaching effort driven by Democrats to strengthen voting rights. But while President Biden said “this fight is far from over,” prominent Democrats such as Georgia’s Stacey Abrams are indicating a willingness to compromise on issues like voter IDs, previously a no-no for the party. Should Democrats seek a compromise? Vote here or on Twitter. (Sources: AP, WaPo)
3. Chinese Vax Test
Chile, Mongolia, Seychelles and Bahrain, which have relied on Chinese COVID-19 vaccines, now find themselves battling a surge in cases despite high inoculation rates, raising fresh questions over the efficacy of those shots. Meanwhile, Colombia and Thailand are also fighting new waves of the pandemic. (Sources: NYT, Guardian, Reuters)
4. Home, Costly Home
U.S. home prices touched a record high in May, slowing down purchases in the process. This, even as the federal moratorium on evictions and foreclosures ends on June 30. (Sources: WSJ, Forbes)
Real ‘Schitt’s Creek’:
“Ew, David.” Like the Roses in the award-winning cult classic show, Roxanne Lang is trying to sell her 25-resident, 80-acre town near Las Vegas, complete with a general store and a ghost — for $2.75 million. But like the Roses, Lang isn’t finding takers.
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Uruguay must defeat Bolivia today to guarantee its qualification for the Copa América quarterfinals. Central to its plans will be 22-year-old Real Madrid midfielderFederico Valverde who has shown poise and class beyond his years. Born in Montevideo, therangy, 6-foot tall box-to-box player is already a more expensive purchase for clubs than Argentine superstar Lionel Messi. Can he build a legacy like Messi’s on the field too?
2. Lauren James
She’sone half of soccer’s most stunning sibling stars. Her brother Reece represents England, and Lauren is on her way to a national jersey too. The 19-year-old Manchester United prodigy was recruited by fellow top club Arsenal to play against their boys and women’s team when she was in her early teens. NowChelsea, the club her brother Reece plays for, is eyeing the striker.
3. Youssoufa Moukoko
The Cameroon-born striker was12 years old when Germany summoned him to play for their national under-16 side. Four years later, still only 16, he’s a goal-scoring machine for top German side Borussia Dortmund and in December became theyoungest-ever player to score in the Bundesliga, the country’s top-tier soccer league. A ligament injury is the only reason you won’t see him in the senior German side at the Tokyo Olympics.
Real Talk, Real Change
What do former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, progressive Rep. Katie Porter, Trump campaign adviser Mica Mosbacher and Black Lives Matter activist Chi Ossé agree on? The need for a more just education system. Hear them — along with students, teachers and parents — on the next episode of Real Talk, Real Change from The Carlos Watson Show and Chevrolet, as they pitch a path to reset American education.Tune in now.
If the church is helping uphold democracy in Congo, it’saccused of backing entrenched systemic racism in this South American nation. The church has supported the release of former interim President Jeanine Anez, a conservative Christian who’s in pre-trial detention for her role in the 2019 ouster of former President Evo Morales, the country’s first Indigenous leader. Anez once asked Bolivia’s Indigenous people — who constitute 60% of its population — to go back to the countryside. “The city isn’t made for Indians,” she said.
The Greek Orthodox Church has long opposed abortion, legal in the country since 1986. But it’s now increasingly adopting aggressive American anti-abortion rhetoric and tactics to try and get that right rolled back. Since 2019, the church has marked a “day of the unborn child,” plastered posters on streets and in the Athens metro — and revived a debate that many Greeks thought was settled for good. A broader conservative shift and the 2019 win of the right-wing New Democracy are aiding this movement.Read more on OZY.
Exclaves: Other Alaskas
Like Alaska, they’re separated from the rest of their nation by at least one other country. Yet they’re much more than just oddities of geography.
Surrounded by Democratic Republic of Congo on three sides and the Atlantic Ocean on the fourth, this territory that’s smaller than Connecticut is a broken-away part of Angola. Cabinda has a robust independence movement but there’s a reason why Angola isn’t letting go: Theprovince of 400,000 people is responsible for 60% of the country’s crude oil production. Take Cabinda away, and Angola wouldn’t be Africa’s second-biggest oil generating country.
Oil is worth billions of dollars. A strategic location? Priceless. Ask Russia, which boasts a tiny butcritical perch on the Baltic Sea that’s separated from the rest of the vast fatherland by Lithuania and Poland, both NATO members. Kaliningrad looks andfeels like Europe ... which makes sense, since it was a part of Germany before it was annexed by the Soviet Union after World War II. Today it’s Moscow’s gun aimed at Europe.
3. Musandam Peninsula
If Dubai’s a futuristic city with its giant skyscrapers and ski slopes in the middle of a desert, let your car serve as a time machine as you drive a few hours to the Omani exclave of Musandam,cut off from the rest of the country by the United Arab Emirates. Here, life slows to a pace that hasn’t changed much in decades. And unlike the Emirates, the nature before you is real and bountiful. If you visit, don’t miss Musandam’s spectacular diving sites.
Bizarre Bubble Gums
The bubbles are great. The flavor? That depends on you.
The flowers are blooming and the world is slowly starting to reopen, so you’ll want to make sure you start the season in style. We have just the thing: our favorite sneakers from Cariuma. These colorful kicks are crazy-comfy and sustainably made. Get an OZY-exclusive $15 off with code OZY15 to step out in style this spring.
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