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Happy Monday! In a corner of one of New Delhi’s most elite members’ clubs is a quiet, almost secret garden named after Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. that’s perfect for a winter coffee. Hop on for a tour to surprising places that will celebrate King’s legacy today. Meet the stock trader who predicted the coronavirus crash, decode Tunisia’s stunning startup success and taste a buttery Iranian kebab made to melt in your mouth.
Charu Sudan Kasturi, Senior Editor, with Nick Fouriezos, Senior Reporter
President-elect Joe Biden will launch his term with a slew of executive decisions on his first day as commander in chief. Those will include rejoining the Paris climate accord and reversing the travel ban on multiple Muslim nations imposed by President Donald Trump. (Sources: CNN, NYT)
2. Uneasy Calm
Thankfully it wasn’t the bloody Sunday some had feared. Only small pro-Trump groups protested at state capitols over the weekend, under the watchful eye of security officials. Washington, D.C., was even quieter. But the national capital remains on high alert ahead of Wednesday’s presidential inauguration. (Sources: WaPo, CBS)
3. Unfollow That
Indonesia is prioritizing social media stars with large followings for COVID-19 vaccination, hoping they can serve as influencers to get more people to take the shot. Across the Pacific, Brazil has finally approved two vaccines against the virus. And the incoming Biden administration hopes to vaccinate 100 million Americans in its first month in office. Should America follow Indonesia and inoculate social media influencers first? Vote on Twitter or here. (Sources: FT, BBC, Business Insider)
4. Standing up to Goliaths
Ugandan opposition leader and musician Bobi Wine will challenge the controversial election of President Yoweri Museveni amid a climate of violence. Meanwhile, over in Russia, officials have detained Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny as he returned to the country five months after he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. Sources: Al Jazeera, Guardian)
The Devil Wears Light
An Ohio zoo has discovered that its Tasmanian Devilsglow in the dark, marking the first instance where they’ve been known to show biofluorescence. Call it the glow of cuteness.
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The Crescat Capital hedge fund manager bet against the longest bull run in history to execute the “big short” of the coronavirus crash. It was a painful position as the Trump economy defied expectations for years — until March, when the COVID-19 pandemic led to a 32 percent market collapse. Smith’s funds jumped by 40 percent. While his position has weakened by the subsequent market rally, he is now predicting a turn back to gold and silver for savvy investors. Read more on OZY.
3. Changpeng Zhao
His family had to flee Communist China’s harassment — his father was accused of “pro-bourgeois” sympathies. Now the world’s running toward him. The Chinese Canadian widely known as “CZ” is the founder and CEO of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, and went from next-to-nothing to billionaire in 2018. Bitcoin’s surge in 2020 has only burnished the 44-year-old’s credentials.
Today on ‘The Carlos Watson Show’
Music superstar Jason Derulo shares an anatomy of his viral success, and how the COVID-19 lockdown and the rise of TikTok — plus walking away from his former record label — helped reignite his career in 2020. As he embarks on new ventures in TV, film and entrepreneurship, will he follow in the footsteps of his heroes Michael Jackson and Will Smith? Watch later today.
King was a staunch critic of apartheid. By the late 1980s, the U.S. government — which had earlier worked closely with South Africa’s white rulers — was also a vocal opponent of that racist regime. In 1989, the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria smuggled a bust of King into the country using a diplomatic pouch and placed it in the embassy compound, where it enjoyed diplomatic immunity.
Tunisia: Quiet Giant
Long after MLK, Tunisia led another revolution — the Arab Spring of 2011 that reshaped the Middle East. A decade later, it’s a shining light of democracy, entrepreneurship and culture.
1. Startup Powerhouse
Tunisia bested giants like Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa by topping the 2018 Global Entrepreneurship Index in Africa. Plus, it is wooing even more startup energy by offering “entrepreneurial leave,” guaranteeing a year’s leave to public and private sector employees looking to pursue new business ventures. Read more on OZY.
2. Desert Bread
Food can be an adventure. Take baking taguella with Tunisia’s nomadic Tuareg community in the south, not far from the Matmata caves where Star Wars was filmed. Bury the dough, spiced with sesame and fennel, in sand bowls for half an hour. Eating the hot loaves in the shade of an ancient olive tree, you’ll feel like the Indiana Jones of gastronomy.
3. Arab Spring to #MeToo?
Tunisia is now at the forefront of creating a #MeToo reckoning across Africa. In 2017, it passed a historic law to combat violence against women and has elected the first female mayor of an Arab capital city. Thousands of Tunisian women are joining the social media movement #EnaZeda — translated as “me too” — that has spread to Morocco, Algeria, Jordan and Egypt. Read more on OZY.
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Eat your heart out. Well actually, a cow’s heart. This Peruvian beef skewer with pre-Columbian roots uses the animal’s heart, marinated in vinegar, chili , garlic and cumin. It’s arguably the most popular street food in Peru. You won’t stop at one.
2. Chelo Kebab
I’ve eaten this Iranian delicacy on the streets of Tehran and at the presidential palace ... and the street version, as always, is tastier than the fancy one. But either way, you’re talking about tender lamb kebab on a bed of buttered rice flavored with saffron, with a poached egg and tomato on the side. Pro tip: Allow for a post-meal nap.
3. Xinjiang Lamb Skewers
They’re a rare common love in Beijing and the distant province of Xinjiang. That’s where they originated, but they’re now so popular in the national capital that Beijingers often claim them as their own. The lamb is cooked in salt, chili powder, peppercorns and cumin until it starts caramelizing. Ready for a bite of heaven?