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Happy Tuesday! America, China and Russia are racing to Mars and beyond, but the future of the space race might be decided in unlikely capitals. Discover the surprising new challengers to NASA’s supremacy, meet a central banker giving up his powers for fintech innovation, get excited about upcoming video game-based films and pick up some tips to turn your kitchen leftovers into delicious treats. Don’t miss our Spot the Difference brain teaser — and check to see if you got last week’s right.
Charu Sudan Kasturi, Senior Editor, and Isabelle Lee, Reporter
A gunman killed 10 people, including a police officer, in a Boulder, Colorado, supermarket Monday afternoon. Authorities have arrested a shirtless suspect, who was carrying a rifle and was injured, but haven’t said anything about a motive for America’s seventh mass shooting in a week. (Sources: WaPo, Denver Post, CNN)
2. Beijing Tit-for-Tat
China has imposed travel bans on European officials in response to a blitz of sanctions from the European Union, U.S., U.K. and Canada over Beijing’s human rights record in the Xinjiang region. (Sources: FT, Voice of America)
3. For a Few Dollars More
A stunning $3 trillion, actually. That’s the price tag on a massive new funding program that President Joe Biden’s team is drumming up to fund infrastructure and school projects while also combating climate change. Republicans in Congress are almost certain to oppose the initiative, coming on the heels of a $1.9 trillion stimulus package. (Sources: NYT, WSJ)
4. ‘New Pandemic‘
That’s how German Chancellor Angela Merkel described fast-spreading variants of COVID-19 as the country extended its restrictions until April 18. Meanwhile in Brazil, hundreds of top business leaders and economists, many of whom have supported President Jair Bolsonaro, signed a letter blasting his handling of the crisis, including “flirting with the anti-vaccine movement” — all while Brazil suffers the world’s second-highest death toll. (Sources: Deutsche Welle, Al Jazeera)
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While most central bankers are focused on battling immediate crises and yanking their economies out of recession, Singapore’sMenon has his eyes firmly on the future. The island finance hub wants to stay at the cutting edge of fintech. So Menon is doing the opposite of what most regulators do: He’s deregulating. One of his creations is a fintech “sandbox” — allowing innovators in the sector to develop solutions unfettered by many of the rules that would otherwise apply.
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The Next NASAs
The U.S. and China have kicked off a new space race in recent months. But away from the headlines, new rivals are emerging too.
1. Latin America Unites
The region's countries know they don't individually possess the resources to emerge as a major space power. So in October, they banded together to launch theLatin American and Caribbean Space Agency (ALCE in Spanish). Mexico and Argentina are driving the initiative. Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru and El Salvador are on board too.
2. Africa Comes Together Too
It's not just Latin America. African nations last year declaredEgypt as the hub for a continentalAfrican Space Agency approved by the African Union in 2017. The move comes at a time when African nations are increasingly planning satellites of their own. Experts estimate that by 2024, at least 19 of them will have sent an orbiter into space, up from 11 in 2020.
3. Atlantic Outpost
When Hurricane Dorian hit South Carolina last summer, help came from Portugal, where a startup used satellite imagery to help American counties understand how to prepare better for the future. Portugal launched its space agency in 2019 and is building a spaceport on the Azores Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, racing to tap into a growing market for small satellite launches.Read more on OZY.
Join OZY editors Thursday at 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET for an exclusive look at our editorial planning and insights into the news of the day. Download Clubhouse, write to OZY reporter Joshua Eferighe below for an onboarding invite or follow him (@eferighe) and search for the “Whiskey In Your Coffee” club. You might win a surprise prize.
The much-loved game is being turned into a tv show this year. Chilean American actor Pedro Pascal from the Mandalorian and Game of Thrones will play the protagonist, Joel, who must transport a teenage girl, Ellie (played by Bella Ramsey, also a GOT alumnus), amid a zombie apocalypse. Will Pascal and Ramsey fare better against the undead this time?
2. Metal Gear Solid
Guatemalan-American star Oscar Isaac will play Snake, a soldier who fights to prevent rogue special forces operatives from starting a nuclear war, in the adaptation of the Japanese game Metal Gear Solid. Jordan Vogt-Roberts, director of the film, has promised to go “balls to the wall.” Ready?
Director Eli Roth is at the helm of this adaptation starring Cate Blanchet, Jamie Curtis, Kevin Hart, and Jack Black. With that stellar list of actors, the adaptation is sparking feverish expectations. The film is expected to be a combo of Suicide Squad and Mad Max: Fury Road, fitting for one of the wackiest games out there.
Simple to Succulent
Add some pizzazz to simple food items ... with just a few adjustments.
If you have the ingredients for a grilled cheese sandwich, a few extra steps could turn it into a croque madame. Just add a fried egg and béchamel sauce. Use whatever cheese you have kicking around.
2. Try Tortillas
Up your taco-night game making your own tortillas. All you need is oil, water, flour, baking powder and 30 minutes. Making these soft, pillowy alternatives to the store-bought options is a fun activity for the family and an easy way to impress even the snootiest taco connoisseurs.
3. Pickled Red Onions
Tacos, rice bowls, sandwiches ... they’ll all benefit from the crunch and hit of vinegary onions. Super simple to make, they’re also a great way to decrease food waste. Just chuck leftover onion or jalapeno into vinegar brine for an easy, delicious way to spice up your everyday meals.
Spot the Difference
Can you see the four differences between the images above?