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I remember crying to my mom how important it was I get a pair of Nike Air Force 1 sneakers in middle school. Now a father myself, I realize how ridiculous I was. But that’s what great shoes do. In today’s brew we introduce you to $4,000 sneakers containing holy water from the Jordan river, the NFL’s South Korean star and the king of Congolese rumba. Oh, and if my daughter ever asks me for those exorbitant shoes I'm cursing her out, respectfully.
That’s the term used by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and 48 states to describe Facebook’s alleged monopoly in a potentially landmark lawsuit that could force the social media giant to let go of its Instagram and WhatsApp acquisitions. Facebook officials argue that antitrust laws shouldn’t apply, as they’ve invested in growing the apps into what they are today. Do you agree with Facebook? Vote on Twitter. (Source: Guardian)
2. Hunter Becomes the Hunted
The U.S. attorney’s office in Delaware is investigating the taxes of Hunter Biden, son of President-elect Joe Biden, focusing on his business dealings in China. Also accused of foul play? Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo, who was Wednesday declared winner of the West African nation’s weekend election, even as opponent and former President John Mahama contested the result. (Sources: Reuters, CNN, DW)
3. Conspiracy Concern
Former Microsoft chief and leading public health evangelist Bill Gates told OZY CEO and co-founder Carlos Watson that he remains concerned about COVID-19 conspiracy theories, especially since the Food and Drug Administration appears set to approve a vaccine soon. Watch Gates on The Carlos Watson Show. Meanwhile British health regulators have warned against giving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to people with serious allergies, after adverse reactions in two healthcare workers who took the shots. Also on Wednesday, Canada approved the vaccine for use. (Sources: CBS, BBC)
4. Womb Rights
Argentina is poised to become the first major Latin American nation to legalize abortion. Its lower house of congress is expected today to approve a legal abortion bill that could also pass the senate next week. (Source: Guardian)
Whale of a Time
It’s a big deal. Scientists have discovered a new whale species off Mexico’s Pacific coast after investigating unidentified acoustic sounds emerging from the ocean. Each whale species has a unique acoustic signal.
As the largest bank in the U.S., JPMorgan Chase & Co. is stepping up to foster economic opportunity and inclusion for historically marginalized communities. “Systemic racism is a tragic part of America’s history,” writes Brian Lamb, global head of diversity & inclusion at JPMorgan Chase. "It’s our responsibility to do something about it, given the role of banks in the financial health of the communities we serve.” Learn more about JPMorgan Chase's $30 billion commitment to providing economic opportunities in underserved communities.
Booking a temporary work apartment in a new city is like dealing with a dinosaur in the age of Tesla. Dustin Figge’s German startup Homelike is yanking that segment of house rentals into the 21st century. The firm has already drawn $18 million in investments. It’s only just checking in. Read more on OZY.
2. Heritage Homes
India’s vast landscape is littered with once-grand resorts, medieval townhouses and colonial bungalows lying in disrepair, away from major tourist attractions. With her company V Resorts, Aditi Balbir is reviving those places for travelers looking for an offbeat experience in lesser-known locales. Read more on OZY.
3. Go Local
Limiting your market is a tricky business strategy. But Afristay’s model couldn’t be better suited for 2020 and the pandemic. This digital marketplace for tourism rentals caters specifically to South Africa. And that has meant it has been affected less than firms relying on international travel. Now as domestic tourism picks up, Afristay is poised for a boom.
The American Dream: Myth or Reality
It's time for #RealTalk and #RealChange. What does the American dream mean, and how can we positively reset it? OZY and Chevrolet are taking on today’s toughest questions. Hosted by OZY co-founder and Emmy-winning journalist Carlos Watson and joined by key leaders from across the country, this special episode of The Carlos Watson Show identifies problems and arms you with solutions. Join us for a real conversation.Watch now.
Biggest NFL Surprises
No one was really sure if the NFL was going to get off the ground this year but boy are we glad it did. Meet the breakout stars of the season so far.
“This aged well,” Emily Mayfield tweeted Sunday, about a video of ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith disparaging her husband, the Cleveland Browns’ often brash, loud-talking Baker Mayfield. Indeed, the Texas native who was the top draft pick in 2018 hasn’t quite lived up to his billing. Until now. The Browns are in the midst of their first non-losing season since 2007, led by Mayfield. Catch Baker Mayfield on The Carlos Watson Showhere.
2. Keeping It Koo
Younghoe Koo’s Atlanta Falcons aren’t swooping down on success. But the South Korean-born player whose first love was soccer is now the leading scorer of the NFL this season. And his 32/33 field goal attempts tie him for the second-most field goals ever made in the first 12 games of a season.
3. Rookie Getting It Right
A dislocated hip and posterior wall fracture during a game against Mississippi State ended Tua Tagovailoa’s season at Alabama back in 2019. He lost the Heisman Trophy and the faith of scouts. This year, the Samoan-American has grabbed an opportunity with the Miami Dolphins, driving their wins against the Los Angeles Rams, the Arizona Cardinals and the Los Angeles Chargers. He put up a career-high 296 yards this past Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. His next challenge: reigning NFL champions Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
Congo Powder Keg
The Democratic Republic of Congo faces renewed political instability after President Félix Tshisekedi ended an alliance with former authoritarian leader Joseph Kabila’s coalition. Meet the key players shaping the future of this giant nation and dive into its culture and beauty.
If there’s one force that could settle the country’s future, it’s the Roman Catholic Church. After years of playing a neutral referee in the nation’s political disputes, the church turned against Kabila’s dictatorial leadership and his refusal to adhere to a 2016 pact with the opposition in which he agreed to give up power. The church’s campaigns played a key role in Kabila’s ouster. Now Tshisekedi is seeking support from the bishops again. Will they answer his prayers?
2. Rumba in the Jungle
He played with Stevie Wonder and Peter Gabriel. And for several decades in the latter half of the 20th century, Papa Wemba was one of the big daddies of African music. He transformed Congolese rumba — a form of dance music inspired by Cuban bands — into a globally loved art form. When he died in Ivory Coast 2016, he was doing what he loved most: performing onstage.
3. Magical Waters
If you ever make it to Congo, don’t miss a ride on the ferries of Lake Kivu. It was once out of bounds amid the country’s civil war. Today it’s a delightful excursion ideal for everything from bridal showers to company retreats. Read more on OZY.
While Congolese rumba will make you want to dance, you might want to think twice before dancing in these shoes.
Ever wonder what it’s like to walk on water? Well, for a cool $4,000 you can get close to it. That’s how much the Nike and MSCHF Air Max 97 “Jesus Shoes” cost on StockX after immediately selling out at $1,425 on retail. Each sneaker contains 60 milliliters of holy water from the Jordan River.
2. Build a Shoe
If you’ve found yourself saying: “Well, if you want anything done right, you’ve got to do it yourself,” this shoe is for you. Based in Hungary, Pikkpack sends you a kit of flat-packed ready-to-assemble leather shoes to piece together yourself, IKEA style. Included inside is everything you need to make your pair: a black or brown shoe base; a sole, available in four colors; and two pairs of shoelaces. Read more on OZY.
3. Wheels for Shoes
Try the “yanqui” — the footwear of choice of the Quechua in the Peruvian Andes. Made out of recycled tires, these sandals are so durable and comfortable they’ve lasted as a concept for decades.