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Good morning! The women in our lives deserve to be celebrated all the time, but if there’s one day that captures both the struggle and the leadership of women, it’s International Women’s Day. Drink today to female scientists who‘re saving the world while we catch you up on unlikely champions of women’s rights. Travel with us to some of the planet’s most intriguing Chinatowns and sip on bizarre soups. But start with the woman of the moment — Meghan Markle — and a remarkable interview.
Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle said British royal family members worried about the skin color of her son with Prince Harry, in a powerful interview with Oprah Winfrey likely to deepen the couple’s rift with Buckingham Palace. Markle also accused the “firm” — referring to those running the palace — of driving her to having suicidal thoughts. Will Markle’s allegations make the British monarchy reflect and change? Vote on Twitter or here. (Sources: Sydney Morning Herald, BBC)
2. Strike for Democracy
Myanmartrade unions have called for a nationwide strike today in protest against the military coup in the country. A different protest action, an International Women’s Day march in Mexico City has spooked President Andrés Manuel López Obrador into installing 10-feet-high barricades outside the presidential palace, amid growing anger over violence against women. (Sources: Al Jazeera, Guardian)
3. Deal With the Devil
The U.S. is urging the democratically elected government of Afghanistan to agree to an interim power-sharing arrangement with the Taliban, the very group America has fought for two decades. The Joe Biden administration has indicated it might withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan by May 1. (Sources: WaPo, Reuters)
4. ‘Daily Distraction’
New York’s top Democratic lawmaker has called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign amid growing allegations of sexual harassment and bullying, arguing that his staying in office is a “daily distraction” at a time when the state is battling multiple challenges. But Cuomo has refused to quit. (Sources: NPR, NYT)
Canada’s spy agency, the CSIS, quoted from John le Carre’s A Perfect Spyin a recent Twitter ad for recruits. The problem? The quote, “You could be the perfect spy. All you need is a cause,” belongs to … a double agent who was disloyal to his nation. Russian spies, you know where to apply!
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Growing up in a small Ethiopian village, Kelemu saw swarms of locusts destroy her community’s crops. Now the 63-year-old U.S.-educated scientist is at the forefront of global efforts to better understand the symbiotic relationship between plants and insects in a bid to save African farmers from devastation. Among her biggest fans? Bill Gates, who considers her a hero.
2. Mariola Fotin-Mleczek
She was studying to become a psychologist when she first moved from her homeland, Poland, to Germany — but eventually switched to biology. And we’re all the better off thanks to her decision. Fotin-Mleczek is leading efforts to develop a single vaccine that can prove effective against all strains of COVID-19 and other viruses too. If she succeeds, you could check off your flu shot and coronavirus vaccine in one go. Read more on OZY.
3. Susana López Charretón
The Mexican scientist is among the world’s top researchers of rotaviruses — which infect almost every child and are the biggest cause of diarrhoea. Her team identified the mechanism by which the virus enters the body and how it reproduces in the intestines. Outside her lab, you’re likely to find her devouring a Gabriel García Márquez novel, cooking, spending time with her two children or doing pilates. Juggling a lot? Yep, that’s the story of most successful women.
Amid allegations of sexual harassment against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, we look at where MeToo stands today — and the movement’s unlikely successes.
1. Aussie Horror
It’s Australia’s moment of reckoning. Allegations by former political staffer Brittany Higgins that she was raped by a male colleague inside Parliament House in 2019 have snowballed into Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s biggest political crisis. Multiple other women have made similar allegations in recent days. A new Equal Opportunity Commissioner report found that more than a quarter of respondents had experienced sexual harassment within Parliament premises.
2. Peruvian Pioneers
The South American nation has long been plagued by brutal gender-based violence — with 166 femicide cases in 2019. But a new gender rights movement is challenging that systemic violence. Using smart social media networking, Peruvian feminists are now emerging as flag-bearers for women’s rights across the continent. Read more on OZY.
3. The Next Arab Spring?
A decade ago, events in Tunisia sparked the Arab Spring. Now it’s at the forefront of a MeToo movement across North 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. The Tunisian social media campaign EnaZeda — translated as “me too” — has now spread to Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, as well as to the Middle East in Jordan. Read more on OZY.
No, the most interesting Chinatowns are not in New York or San Francisco. They’re in places you’d least expect.
At OZY, we know a good newsletter when we see one. Morning Brew’s clever, witty tone and easy-to-read format gets you the top news stories in a five-minute read, Monday through Saturday, with a healthy dose of humor — for free. Check it out.
So your prospective father-in-law has rejected your bid for his daughter's hand in marriage. If you're Polish, you might react by drowning your sorrows in a bowl of duck blood soup. Known locally as czernina, the soup contains dumplings, and the blood means you’re getting an iron dose to help with the sting of rejection!
2. Bird's Nest Soup
Eating birds is one thing, but their nests? This Chinese delicacy is made from nests of the tiny swiftlet, which uses its own saliva to form the structures. The nests dissolve into a gelatinous substance when served in a warm broth. The soup is seen as a potion to prolong your youth because of the high collagen concentration in the bird saliva.
3. Shirako Soup
Want to improve your stamina in bed? How about some cod sperm soup? The Japanese delicacy contains a cod's sperm sac, which takes on a custardy consistency when cooked.