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Happy Friday!!! I woke up craving an unapologetically loaded burger with juicy meat, fresh toppings and a bit of a crunch. But why try just one? Join me today in tasting lesser-known, lip-smacking sandwiches and get your weekend vibe going with the pandemic’s most surprising video game. Meet the Congolese activist spooking Europe’s museums and the genius Norwegian dog toying with researchers. Check the end for answers to Wednesday’s basketball quiz. The fun starts now.
It’s no longer a secret. Republican senators are beginning to break with President Donald Trump’s administration and ask that President-elect Joe Biden receive intelligence briefings. Trump continues to level unsubstantiated allegations of “fraud”. Will the cracks within the GOP widen? Vote on Twitter. (Sources: NPR, FT)
2. Smoke Up, Don’t Smoke
The grass is definitely greener on the other side of the Americas. Argentine President Alberto Fernández on Thursday issued a decree allowing citizens to grow weed at home and ordering insurers to cover marijuana products prescribed by doctors. In Turkey, meanwhile, the government has banned smoking in public to ensure better mask-wearing habits amid a COVID-19 surge. (Sources: NYT, Reuters)
3. East African Escalation
The fires from Ethiopia’s conflict with its Tigray region are spreading. Thousands of refugees are crossing over into Sudan and Tigray’s leaders are accusing neighboring Eritrea of supporting Addis Ababa. Amnesty International estimates hundreds of civilians have been killed. (Sources: Guardian, AP, BBC)
4. Money or Military: China’s Choice
It’s either one or the other, Beijing. The Trump administration has banned Americans from investing in Chinese firms that work with Chinese military, intelligence and security services. (Source: WSJ)
Bone of Contention
Think the U.S.-China contest for supremacy is tough? This one’s paw-ssibly tougher.
Hungarian researchers are searching for the world’s smartest dog by challenging canines to remember the names of new toys. Watch the Genius Dog Challenge live until Monday on YouTube and Facebook. Currently, 6-year-old Whisky from Norway leads the pack (he remembers more than 100 toy names!), with the local Max and the Brazilian Gaia (both age 2) hot in pursuit. Who’ll win? Watch and you sure will!
The Business Law for Leaders online program from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University equips business leaders with the tools to guide their organizations’ strategic direction within the complex U.S. legal landscape. Throughout the program, you’ll gain key insights into the fundamental principles of business law and learn to interpret various legal regulations. A background in law is not required nor expected. Learn more by signing up now.
He gives Europe’s museums nightmares. The Congolese activist with a trimmed beard livestreams his raids on museums in France and the Netherlands, where he demonstratively tries to carry away artifacts originally from Africa that were stolen by colonial powers. The idea? To be stopped by museum guards so he can shine a light on a lingering reminder of colonialism’s loot. He was convicted in October for the attempted “theft” of a Chadian funeral staff from the Quai Branly Museum in Paris and faces other charges too. But is it really Diyabanza who’s on trial?
2. Thomaz Viera Gomez
If the vaccine won’t come to the poor, he'll go get it. In 2018, Brazil was suffering from an outbreak of yellow fever and a shortage of vaccines. The poor were worst hit. So Gomez, a gang leader, abducted two male nurses, grabbed yellow fever vaccines and syringes from a healthcare center and had them inoculate the residents of his Rio de Janeiro favela, earning cult status locally. He then returned the nurses safely to their workplace.
There’s just one goal — can youfind the bathtub? There are no leaderboards or prizes. It wasn’t even intended as a game — just a smart gimmick with a house advertisement (8800 Blue Lick Road is the address). Take a 3D tour of this Kentucky house with weird twists and turns — described by some as “the year’s best survival horror game.” It’s a ton of fun, and yes, you won’t want to stop until you’ve found the bathtub.
2. 'Animal Crossing: New Horizons'
It has renewed my faith in humanity. At least during the pandemic, people have picked this cute building game over shooting fests. The most popular video game of the lockdown is also the first in the Animal Crossing franchise that allows players to meet and build social networks — a particularly useful addition when we’re all mostly stuck at home. Everyone from Elijah Wood to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez got hooked, with the politician even “visiting” fellow players who follow her on Twitter.
3. 'Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout'
Ready to get ridiculous? Really ridiculous? This 2020 hit is just for you.You’re one of the Fall Guys, competing in a series of silly games against other teams of bean-shaped characters. It might sound pointless but that's precisely the point: You shouldn’t need to save a civilization or murder indiscriminately to feel good.
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It’s China’s anti-Valentine’s Day. The idea? To get people to splurge on themselves — which makes sense in a country battling a loneliness epidemic. The world’s biggest shopping spree on Nov. 11 saw$74 billion in sales for e-commerce behemoth Alibaba, almost double the previous all-time high of $38 billion. A singular success.
2. Boxing Day
The day after Christmas is the big shopping occasion in theU.K.,Canada,Trinidad and Tobago and several other nations. That’s not surprising in some ways — the “boxing” refers to the post-Christmas practice of packing gifts.
3. African Black Friday
There’s no Thanksgiving on the continent. But there’s Black Friday all right — orWhite Friday in Egypt. Celebrated the same day as the U.S. version, it’s now the biggest shopping day in the continent’s largest economies,Nigeria and South Africa, with sales more than 1,000 percent higher than an average day. It’s driven by thecontinent’s Walmart and Amazon — the South African Shoprite and the Nigerian Jumia.
Unlike retailers, I’m salivating — as you know — at the thought of a great sandwich. They don’t get better than these.
It means “tiger bites pig” in Chinese. Don’t worry, you’re the tiger here. You can make your own fold-over buns (or buy them if you’re lazy like me). Fill them with braised pork, sweet peanuts, pepper, scallions and coriander. Take one bite of this popular Taiwanese snack, and you’ll want to be the tiger every day.
2. Tagine Burger
Lamb burgers are great. Lamb burgers with a topping of saffron, cinnamon and a slathering of … wait for it … fig jam? Now we’re talking heaven — Moroccan heaven.
Churrasco-style steak. Green beans. Chili pepper. A dash of mayo. This stuffed Chilean sandwich will leave you searching for the tiniest crumbs you’ve dropped on your shirt, just to savor them. When magic’s on the menu, manners can wait. Read more.
On Wednesday, I asked you which of three basketball statements was false. Cesar C., Carter H., Vicki S., Annette T., Alicia L., Indiana J., Gary S. — slam dunk!!! No Peruvian hoopster has ever played in the NBA.