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After George Floyd’s death last year, I reached out to my fourth grade teacher to ask him why we weren’t taught much about Black history. He didn’t have much to say. But it’s a shame we didn’t learn more about events like the Ku Klux Klan meeting with the Black Panther Party — that would have made for a fascinating discussion. So today’s brew aims to make us feel a bit smarter. We’ll share some history your school books might have skipped, offer a deep dive into Tajikistan, discover innovators in online education and dish on some chili recipes to take your home cooking to the next level.
President Joe Biden intends to “recalibrate” relations in his first call with Saudi King Salman, the White House said yesterday. It coincides with today's release of American intel blaming Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's grisly murder. The implications are enormous, from billion-dollar arms deals to renegotiating a nuclear agreement with Iran, to improved relations between the Arab world and Israel. (Sources: NYT, NBC)
2. Spread the Health
Ghana became the first nation to participate in the COVAX vaccine-sharing initiative to reduce global health disparities. It was boosted by U.S. regulators announcing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is “safe and effective.” Its single-shot mechanism and ability to be kept at ordinary refrigeration temperatures are a boon to impoverished countries. Meanwhile, members of the European Union will meet today to debate over creating “vaccine passports.” (Sources: BBC, CNBC, Reuters)
3. Amnesty Withdrawn
Amnesty International no longer considers Russian dissident Alexei Navalny a “prisoner of conscience,” citing his previous hateful comments. As a nationalist politician in the 2000s, the imprisoned opposition leader made bigoted statements, once comparing Chechen rebels to cockroaches. While he’s cast off that brand of politics, he hasn’t denounced those statements. Some suspect the recent focus on his past remarks was orchestrated by the Kremlin. (Sources: Moscow Times, DW, Al Jazeera)
4. Disrupted High
The Dow closed at record highs Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell signaled continued stimulus measures for the still-suffering pandemic economy. While his testimony lifted all boats, the Federal Reserve itself was sinking from technological failures that crippled its ability to facilitate money transfers for banks, businesses and other government agencies for hours. Stable for now, the official culprit remains an “operational error.” (Sources: Business Insider, Fox Business)
A Beijing divorce court ruled that a Chinese man must pay compensation to his wife for raising their child and doing housework during their five-year marriage. While the landmark case breaks new ground in valuing spouses’ unpaid work, the $7,700 bill seems quite the bargain for dodging diapers and taming tantrums.
Don’t hit refresh on your style every time winter rolls around. OZY’s favorite Cariuma sneakers will keep you looking fresh year-round. These all-season sneakers are the perfect footwear, whether winter or spring is around the corner. The super-comfy fit and fashionable colors will put you ahead of the curve in any season.
Today is the 10th anniversary of Digital Learning Day, and while you may have not marked the first nine years, this one caps a year in which attending classes on Zoom has become ubiquitous. Look at who’s leading the world of online education.
When Disale arrived in 2009, the Zilla Parishad Primary School was a catastrophe sandwiched between a cattle shed and a storeroom. Attendance was dismal and teenage marriage common. He translated textbooks into local languages — then went further by creating QR-code textbooks to tailor courses to individual students. Now 85 percent of those kids earn A grades, and teenage marriage in the village is all but eradicated. The 2020 Global Teacher Prize winner has expanded his QR-code education throughout Maharashtra, India, while streaming science experiments from his home to more than 85,000 students in 83 countries.
2. Sal Khan
He was making it work long before the pandemic. The Khan Academy founder is the leading expert on remote learning, and he’s working to make free world-class education universal. This know-how, he says, can impact politics too. Khan shared on The Carlos Watson Show how he plans to work with the Biden administration and hopes to see innovation in virtual education help improve political representation.
3. Hiba Ballout
She is part of the “Class of COVID-19” fact-finding commission, investigating the pandemic’s effects on young people while asking them how education must change going forward. The 2017 Best Teacher prize winner in Lebanon has a history of international collaboration, from advising students in Model United Nations to organizing a climate change conference in Sweden that hosted students from around the world, from Switzerland and Russia to Iran and Egypt. Her classroom methods are creative as well: While teaching lessons on hormones, Ballout helped students create a Monopoly-style game called Endocrinopoly.
4. Steven Wolfe Pereira
The pandemic has affected everyone, but it has been particularly tough on American students of color and those who don’t speak English as their first language. Pereira combats that with Encantos, a bilingual ed tech company that has taken fun learning methods into homes while addressing the difficulties of the moment: pandemic-challenged learning environments and the racial injustices still plaguing America. Read more on OZY.
Get Smart on Tajikistan
This Central Asian nation is known for rugged, snow-capped peaks that mirror its toughness, rising from the Soviet Bloc into a fraught independence.
While many tourists come for the hiking and stunning mountainscapes, full immersion requires tasting some delicious Tajik food. Mastoba is made from chunks of meat browned and steamed with tomatoes, onions, carrots, potatoes, rice and spice. Once this hot concoction is served in an oval bowl called a tavak, drizzle it with katyk, Tajik sour milk and enjoy. Another essential experience: the exchange of the basmati rice-and-beef dish plov, usually the day before the end of Ramadan, given to symbolize peace between those who partake in the Muslim fasting period.
2. Boss Women
“Talaq, talaq, talaq.” These three words signaling a husband’s demand for divorce are dreaded by Tajik wives. It’s especially common with Tajik men who become migrant workers in Russia, annulling their marriages in favor of setting up families abroad after years away from home. Such divorces historically leave women in Tajikistan disgraced and impoverished. But now these ex-wives and mothers are finding entrepreneurial ways to survive, launching small-scale businesses in catering, farming, tourism and textiles. As of 2019, 75,000 of the 326,000 registered entrepreneurs in this Central Asian country were women.
3. Carry On, Wayward Son
Rustam Emomali, the 33-year-old son of five-time President Emomali Rahmon, is currently mayor of the capital city Dushanbe and speaker of the upper house of Parliament, jobs he surely got on merit. But as the normally low-profile scion revealed in an underwhelming interview with state newspaper Jumhuriyat, Rustam has little to show for his prime posts other than overspending on bus stops and hotels. Perhaps that's why he didn't seek the presidency last year, as was expected after Tajikistan changed its Constitution to allow someone younger than 35 to run. The kid might need some more seasoning.
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Pop culture portrayed Black Panthers as hyper-masculine, gun-toting agitators. But by the ‘70s, women made up the majority of the party, leading community breakfasts, and literacy and voter outreach programs that often went unheralded. More than the mere lovers of revolutionary men, they were revolutionaries themselves, working within an often sexist organization in favor of Black liberation — a heritage honored in an Oakland mural located just yards from where BPP co-founder Huey P. Newton was killed. Read more on OZY.
2. A Botched Jailbreak and Two Dead Brothers
After receiving a life sentence as a teenager in the theft of $70 worth of gas, George Jackson educated himself and led strikes behind bars. But when his brother Jonathan struggled to cope with the fallout of his family tragedy, what emerged was one of the most explosive chapters in America’s racial reckoning in August 1970. Read more on OZY.
3. ‘What Do You Mean We Can’t Join the Klan?’
That’s what Malcolm X said, according to Nation of Islam minister Jeremiah Shabazz. The context? A clandestine meeting between Malcolm X and the Ku Klux Klan to discuss a possible partnership, one partially orchestrated by J. Edgar Hoover. If that seems wild, consider that the organizations, despite their clear animosity for one another, had one shared goal: discussing racial segregation.
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Based on the HISTORY channel documentary series, OZY and HISTORY are proud to bring you your new podcast obsession: The Food That Built America. Hear about the bold visionaries behind some of the most recognizable brands on the planet. Today, Dick and Mac McDonald created an innovative restaurant in San Bernardino, California. But it took an ambitious salesman named Ray Kroc to turn McDonald’s into a fast food empire. Listen now onApple Podcasts,Spotify,Stitcher, or wherever else you get your podcasts.
Bomb Chili Takes
Today is also National Chili Day, so why not try some fresh takes on the classic hearty meal?
1. Firewater Chili
Bison. It’s what’s for dinner … at least in this Southwest Native American chili recipe, which also features firewater — a delicious culmination of poblano chiles in adobo sauce, black pepper, jalapeños and gin. Whip this up only if you’re ready to have the hardest-hitting chili in town.
2. Spanish Style Chili
Chorizo, potatoes and oh-so-addictive chimichurri are typically found in Latin cuisines, not Tex-Mex. But this recipe successfully fuses those two traditions, using ground Aleppo or ancho pepper to add some kick to a chili that’s pitch-perfect for even the staunchest of taco lovers.
3. Sichuan Style Chili
This Chinese take on chili uses umami spices for flavor, including Sichuan peppercorn, a fermented spicy bean paste called doubanjiang and dried Facing Heaven and Red Lantern chile peppers. Packing major heat, this distinctive-smelling chili gives a tingling sensation that puts an Asian spin on the traditional hearty entrée.