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When a community lacks adequate representation in our lives, it becomes easier to other them … allowing for the kind of anti-Asian violence we’ve seen of late. Not on our watch though. Meet lesser-known Asian American heroes today and take stock of how a country Henry Kissinger once derided as a “basket case” is doing 50 years later. Dream of a world where the weekend starts before Friday, celebrate that thought with some great fight movies you’ve missed and check out our latest caption contest (plus winners from last week).
Georgia enacted tough new voting restrictions on Thursday, the first among similar moves planned by Republicans across the country. President Joe Biden described the planned bills as “sick” and “un-American” in his first media briefing in office, where he defended his record on the border crisis and said he hoped to run again in 2024. (Sources: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, CNN, NPR, USA Today)
2. May Be Too Soon
At the same press conference, Biden conceded it would be “hard” for America to withdraw all its troops from Afghanistan by a May deadline it had agreed to with the Taliban. But he was bullish about another timeline, doubling his 100-day target for COVID-19 vaccine shots to 200 million. Meanwhile, a divided European Union decided to curb the export of vaccines, accusing AstraZeneca of failing to honor its EU commitment. Are countries right to ban vaccine exports? Vote here or on Twitter. (Sources: Voice of America, Politico, France 24)
3. Meat of the Matter
Brazilian meat giant JBS has promised to be carbon neutral by 2040 amid growing pressure in recent years over the greenhouse emissions of the meat industry and fires consuming the Amazon rainforest. (Sources: Guardian, OZY)
4. Maritime Mess
Experts fear it might take weeks to clear a ship stuck in the Suez Canal that’s blocking nearly 200 vessels. If an especially high weekend tide doesn’t dislodge the Ever Given from the sand, helicopters may have to start removing its cargo containers. (Source: WSJ)
No Itsy Bitsy Spider
This one was a god, no less. Archaeologists have discovered a 3,200-year-old mural of a knife-wielding spider in an ancient Peruvian temple, suggesting that the arachnid was a water deity revered for its relationship to rain and fertility.
Let your taste buds travel to new destinations from the comfort of your couch! Taste delicious wines from the world’s best wine regions — all handpicked by our in-house sommeliers and delivered straight to your doorstep. Passport not required.
How do you serve an 11-year sentence in New York’s notorious Sing Sing prison, build a career in hip-hop and then lead a campaign against racism? Just ask China Mac, aka Raymond Yu. After an 89-year-old Chinese woman was set on fire in Brooklyn last summer, China Mac organized protests titled They Can’t Burn Us All across the nation. The former gang member doesn’t consider himself a political activist. “But I am built to fight for my people,” he says.
2. Catherine Ceniza Choy
When a situation becomeshard to take, those with hard takes move to the forefront. So it is that Choy, a University of California, Berkeley, professor of ethnic studies, has become a go-to expert on anti-Asian violence. From her work on the COVID-19 deaths of Filipino health care workers to the mass shooting in Atlanta, Choy has been there … sharp, insightful and decidedly on point.
3. Hannah Dehradunwala
America wastes between 30-40 percent of its food, even while millions stay hungry. Dehradunwala is resolving that paradox by collecting leftovers from restaurants and delivering them to homeless shelters and food pantries. The Maryland-born Pakistani American was already seeing significant demand for her startup, Transfernation, before the pandemic. The COVID-19 crisis has made her work even more vital for Americans' food security. Read more on OZY.
The world’s second-largest exporter of garments after China, Bangladesh is now teaming up with 30 major fashion brands to reduce waste in the industry. Can a nation often seen through the prism of its dangerous sweatshops reinvent its image as a driver of green fashion?
2. Re-Commerce King
Imaginebeing brave — or stupid — enough to tell your parents that you were dropping out of college after watching videos of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Naim Ahamed did. Right before he asked his father, a police officer, for a loan. It worked and his 4-year-old company Zingo is now a pioneering startup reselling used smartphones in a country where people can’t afford to just trash old ones when they upgrade.
3. Neverending Beach
If you’re craving the outdoors after months of being shut in, and happen to find yourself in South Asia, don’t miss a trip to Cox’s Bazar Beach, named after an 18th century British diplomat. Walk on the longest continuous stretch of natural beach in the world while gazing out at the vast expanse of the Bay of Bengal.
What are weekends like in different parts of the world? Workers of the world want to know …
1. Is Cuatro the Lucky Number
Spain plans to experiment with a four-day work week. During trials, work absenteeism dropped significantly. But while it might offer people a healthier work-life balance and be better for the environment, business leaders remain concerned.
2. We’ll Tell You What a Weekend Is
The Soviet Union, back in 1929, did something very Stalinesque: It tried to alter the very perception of time. Instead of seven days in a week, workers could enjoy the “continuous working week”, which was five days long. You worked seven hours a day for four of those days in a row, and your free fifth day was floating. Got it, Comrade? Yeah, neither did anyone else, and the idea was scrapped after a few years.
3. Why Even Four?
Billionaire British businessman Richard Branson has long touted the mantra: “Work hard; play hard.” As he’s grown older, the play part seems to have taken over. In 2018, Branson proposed a three-day work week, arguing that technology makes it possible to accomplish 40 hours of work much faster than was previously possible.
Fight Movies We Know You’ve Missed
Because there’s something about canned chaos that’s so much more relaxing than real chaos.
Japan’s answer to China’s martial arts movie success in the 1970s, it features 6’6” Sonny Chiba playing a mean, bone-crushing Chinese Japanese giant. It was X-rated when first released … because of the violence. Years later it seems less hardcore, but Chiba is still a deadly killer. Read more on OZY.
2. ‘The Transporter’
A former competitive diver, Jason Statham outdoes himself when he tips over a barrel of crude oil, straps on a pair of bicycle pedals and kicks ass. It’s as ridiculous as it sounds. And great.
3. ‘Five Fingers of Death’
Before Bruce Lee, before Sonny Chiba … there was the Indonesian Lo Lieh. Crazy high-flying kicking and punching are just the starters in this 1972 flick. The cherry on the top of a chop-socky cake of genius kung fu arrives when at least two of those fingers of death are used to poke out an assailant’s eyes. Quentin Tarantino lists Five Fingers of Death as one of the 10 greatest films of all time, but I didn’t need him to tell me that: I was at its premiere!
Send us your captions and we’ll pick three winners.