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Good morning!! In high school, few things gave the short teenager in me a bigger thrill than being underestimated at soccer because of my height, only to win the ball in the air against taller opponents. Today, you’ll meet a police officer who’s taking on similar stereotypes to inspire a quiet revolution in Sri Lanka. Check out 2021’s smartest, lesser-known stocks, decode how “vaccine passports” could redefine travel and bake yourself a delicious cake. Read to the end for the winner of last week’s caption contest.
The World Health Organization Tuesday said that while a lab leak in the Chinese city of Wuhan was unlikely to have triggered the COVID-19 crisis, more investigations were needed, feeding into unfounded conspiracy theories over the origins of the virus. Meanwhile, hospitals in Ecuador’s capital Quito are filled beyond capacity with coronavirus patients. And the leaders of Germany and France are mulling the import of Russia’s vaccine. (Sources: WaPo, Business Insider, Reuters, Deutsche Welle)
2. Reversing Reaganomics
President Joe Biden is expected to unveil plans to increase the corporate tax from 21 to 28 percent to fund his $2 trillion infrastructure spending plan in a speech on Wednesday, a move that would undo decades of distrust in the state’s economic efficiency. Do you think Biden’s right in raising corporate taxes? Vote on Twitter or here. (Source: NYT)
3. Mass Military Mess
The chiefs of Brazil’s army, navy and air force all quit Tuesday, a day after the defense minister resigned, protesting against the growing attempts by President Jair Bolsonaro to use the military for his political interests. (Sources: BBC, WSJ)
4. Dutch-Sized Green Hole
The world lost tropical forests covering an area the size of the Netherlands last year, with Brazil, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Bolivia, Indonesia and Peru the worst affected countries. (Source: Guardian)
Foronce, soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo’s famous tantrums could save a child’s life. An armband that the Portuguese player threw in frustration during a recent World Cup qualifier game against Serbia is now on sale, with a charity hoping to earn enough from it to fund a six-month-old’s surgery for spinal muscular atrophy.
You’re more likely to find her with a book in her hand than with a gun. The Brazilian officer is trying to kill deep-rooted gender-based violence in a country notorious for misogyny. She quit a 19-year career as an architect to join Brazil’s police force andcreated its first unit dedicated to fighting femicide. Villa is also the brain behind a government program to educate women about domestic violence. Can she help build a safer Brazil for women?
2. Doreen Malambo
Serving in volatile South Sudan is tough enough. Trying to change social and cultural mores in a foreign nation in the middle of a war? That’s what the Zambian officer is attempting as part of the U.N. peacekeeping force in South Sudan, where the bespectacled Malambo has set up an initiative, Stand Up for Rights of Women and Girls, to fight sexual and other gender-based violence. And the winner of the U.N.’s top award for female officers has convinced male colleagues to work with local men to try and change their thinking.
3. Bimshani Jasin Arachchi
She was once denied a promotion even though she met all qualifications … only because she wasdeemed too short. Now she’s touching new heights, as Sri Lanka’s first female deputy inspector general. Unsurprisingly, her appointment hasruffled feathers within a male-dominated police force. But Arachchi has drawn widespread support fromfemale parliamentarians,development agencies and thepolitical opposition. This is no longer about just her: It’s an inflection point for women in Sri Lanka.
Today on ‘The Carlos Watson Show’
Will.i.am’s mark on the music of the 2010s is undeniable. But why does the acclaimed artist say he’s more of a computer scientist than a musician? Today, futurist and tech whiz will.i.am gets real about friendship, love and why robots must learn that Black Lives Matter.
Beyond NYSE: Stocks to Track
South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang stunned observers with a mega IPO earlier in March. But these other global stocks might be even better bets for your money in a still uncertain 2021.
1. The9 Limited
The Chinese firm is at the unique intersection of three of the hottest industries of the past few months: gaming, electric vehicles and cryptocurrencies. So it’s hardly surprising that the company that dabbles in all three sectors has seen an unbelievable1,141 percent increase in stock value since the start of the year. And it recently announced plans tomine a fresh cryptocurrency, adding rocket fuel to its already unmatched rise.
Japan, China, the European Union, Canada and now the U.S. — multiple nations and blocs are moving toward “vaccine passports” that’ll allow those who have taken vaccine shots to travel more freely than others. What will that mean for global travel?
Vaccine passports won’t be available to large parts of Africa and other sections of the developing world, because rich nations are hoarding vials and pharma giants are refusing to lower costs. Could these documents create an inherently discriminatory travel system? Or could they help combat vaccine skepticism by incentivizing people to take shots, as Israel is attempting domestically?
2. Not a New Concept
Yet while the ethics of vaccine passports are questionable, the concept of allowing access to only those who've been vaccinated isn’t new at all. I still have my yellow fever vaccine certificate — it’s valid for a decade — from my travels to Kenya, Tanzania and other countries in East Africa. And Saudi Arabia requires haj travelers to be vaccinated formeningococcal meningitis.
3. Uncertain Passport Expiry
But the science is still unclear over just how long vaccines are effective and whether they work against all strains. So we don’t know when these “passports” expire. And different countries have approved diverse sets of vaccines, some counting on Russian and Chinese shots, others on Western jabs. How will their passports be harmonized?
Just how sweet is your sweet tooth? Let’s find out.
Soft and syrupy, thissemolina-based cake that’s encrusted with almonds ispopular across the Arab world. But there’s nothing like the Sudanese version, with desiccated coconut and date paste adding extra flavors that'll remind you of the desert and the sea at the same time.
2. Milhojas de Dulce de Leche
Milhojas translates to “a thousand layers.” And with the crème pâtissière, dulce de leche, puff pastry, Italian meringue, almond shavings and more, this decadent Argentinian dessert lives up to its name. But done smartly, it can be relatively easy to make in 30 minutes. Which is great — now I know what I’m making on Sunday.
3. Bánh Chuối Hấp
If you’re craving a sweet end to your Vietnamese meal, there’s nothing better than thissteamed banana cake. Tapioca flour, rice flour and ripe bananas are all you need. Drizzle some coconut sauce and sprinkle toasted sesame seeds for that added oomph.
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