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The images of violent attackers inside Congress on Wednesday were a reminder of just how close to the precipice American democracy stands. OZY’s committed to working with you to Reset America. In today’s Whiskey in Your Coffee, we look at recent global precedents to yesterday’s siege, while bringing you a special episode of The Carlos Watson Show on Wednesday’s events. Also, read on for what’s next in tech and music. Life is not about what is done to you, but how you respond, and we’re glad you’re doing so with us.
Congress certified Joe Biden’s election as America’s next president, hours after hundreds of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol, forcing the temporary evacuation of lawmakers. At least four people were killed. The president issued a statement minutes later finally committing to an “orderly transition” on Jan. 20. Earlier, Vice President Mike Pence refused to try to overturn election results, breaking with Trump. Other supporters of the president like outgoing Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler also backed off from plans to challenge the certification after Wednesday’s siege. (Sources: CNN, Forbes, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
2. Double Standards?
Earlier, a mob of Trump supporters, egged on by him to contest the election results, roamed in the country’s top legislative chambers for hours before they were brought under control. The relatively mild law enforcement response drew instant comparisons with the harsh force used against anti-Trump protesters last year. Congress and its members have been attacked before but yesterday’s events are unprecedented. Should Congress move to impeach Trump for his role? Vote on Twitter. (Sources: WSJ, WaPo)
3. Back to the Start
China witnessed its biggest surge in COVID-19 cases since July and Japan appeared poised to introduce a state of emergency in the Greater Tokyo region as the pandemic returned to haunt East Asia’s giants. (Sources: Al Jazeera, Japan Times)
4. Juan or Lost?
For the moment, it appears that Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaidó has lost. The European Union has withdrawn recognition from Guaidó as Venezuela’s interim leader, as authoritarian President Nicolás Maduro strengthens his grip over the nation. (Source: Reuters)
Malaysian engineers have discovered a way of turning fibers found in discarded pineapple leaves into material to build drones that’ll be stronger — and more environmentally friendly — than the ones made using current technologies.
Hundreds of protesters angry about coronavirus lockdowns attempted to break into the country’s parliament in November, and some did manage to breach security and threaten ministers inside, while filming it all on their cellphones.
2. Brazil, 2016
Dozens of protesters broke into Parliament while it was in session and took over the podium. They demanded a return to military dictatorship (the country was ruled by the military from 1964 to 1985) as an antidote to corruption and fought with police before they were cleared.
3. Thailand, 2010
For the sheer drama, it’s hard to beat what Thailand witnessed a decade ago, when supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra — who had been ousted from power by a court decision — broke into Parliament. Helicopters were used to airlift legislators out of the building and martial law was imposed in Bangkok. Today, the country is on the boil again.
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If yesterday's events tell us anything, it’s that our existing forums for political discussion are broken — we need a new conversation. OZY went live last night with a town hall special of The Carlos Watson Show to discuss the state of American democracy. Watch now and join in the debate by letting us know what you think on YouTube, tweeting with the hashtag #ResetAmerica or simply responding to this email.
Breakout Music Stars
Riots aren’t the only thing breaking out these days — thankfully. Here are some stars shaking things up on the music scene.
Born Jean Carlos Santiago Pérez, Guaynaa’s provocative, brash lyrics and hypnotic sound have turned him into a surprising star on the Latin American club scene. The 28-year-old Puerto Rican rapper is a child of a sugarcane cutter and an immigrant mother who fled Cuba. But his difficult upbringing shaped the confidence that today defines Guaynaa, whose song "ReBoTa''reached the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart in April 2019. He’s just getting started.
3. JP The Wavy
This 24-year-old rapper from Shōnan, Japan, first tasted fame when his YouTube video clip “Cho Wavy de Gomenne” went viral in 2017. And Wavy has done this in a part of the world that is dominated by J-pop and rock. He is part of rap’s rising growth in Tokyo with fast, hard-hitting jams like “I Want One” that’s destined to cross the seas. His name should have told us: he’s meant to create waves.
Next in Tech
Even amid all the uncertainties of these times, we can count on tech to constantly evolve. These new innovations could change everything from how we live to how militaries spy.
1. Touch-Free Payment
We’realready able to make payments at the tap of a phone, or by touching our credit cards to machines. But the pandemic has reinforced the demand for touch-free transactions, and companies like Apple and Japan’s NTT are turning to what is known as “ultra-wideband technology” to propel a new payment model. All you’ll need to do is stand in front of the payment counter at a store, and the technology will detect your phone (in your pocket or bag) and make the transaction you authorize.
2. Eyes in the Seas
If you see something quietly swim by you and then disappear underwater, only to bob up again and then vanish, don’t scream. It isn’t the Loch Ness monster — but might be a maritime drone. Scientists are designing sailing drones that could allow researchers to monitor remote parts of the oceans for months without having to be there. These drones could also help in spying on rivals’ ships. Read more on OZY.
3. Digital Weight
There’s always that person in the gym who manages to occupy more than one station at a time or is just gross and won’t wipe down the apparatus after they’re done. How about a wall-mounted exercise machine where you don’t need to worry about physical weights — just tap a button on the screen and the weights you’re grabbing become heavier or lighter with precision you can control. Could so-called “digital weights” be the future of workouts?
I’ll be honest — it was hard getting some sleep last night after watching scenes in Congress that even Hollywood couldn’t have scripted. These calming drinks will get you ready for the work day ahead though.
A distinctive crimson color. A mildly pungent smell. And then ... heaven. This South African herbal tea will relax your nerves, and it’ll also work on your skin, making you look younger and fresher even if you’re attending Zoom meetings straight out of bed.
2. Valerian Root Tea
It doesn’t smell the greatest. But the valerian root — which is native to Europe and Asia — is just what you need if your mind is racing too fast. It increases the chemical that regulates our nerve cells, quelling anxiety. Fill that flask now!
3. Kashmiri Kahwa
Cardamom, cinnamon, saffron and rose petals make this antioxidant-rich Kashmiri drink the perfect antidote to anxiety. Premixed potions are available, but there’s nothing like brewing it at home. For a moment, allow your mind to drift to the snowy valleys of Kashmir ...