Bold start. Smooth finish. The newsletter that interesting people love.
Good morning! You know Michael Jordan’s air walk, Pele’s bicycle kick and Steffi Graf’s power-packed forehand. Now check out the modern signature sporting moves we’ll be talking about decades from now. Meet a Kenyan filmmaker so good that her government feels threatened. Decode the cryptocurrency industry’s creeping fears and visit secret deserts on Earth Day. Don’t miss this week’s spot-the-difference quiz!
Joshua Eferighe, Reporter, and Charu Sudan Kasturi, Senior Editor
The West will face an “asymmetrical, quick and tough” response if it crosses Russia’s “red line,” President Vladimir Putin chillingly warned Wednesday, amid growing diplomatic tensions and mounting street protests over the worsening health of imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. How should the West respond? Vote on Twitter or here. (Sources: Deutsche Welle, CBS)
2. Was It Just Chauvin?
Or was the murder of George Floyd last May the result of a Minneapolis police system that trains its officers to use excessive force, especially against people of color? That’s the question the Justice Department will probe in a federal investigation. (Sources: NYT, NBC)
3. Real Crisis, Fake Shots
Pfizer has found fake versions of its vaccine being used in Mexico and Poland. Meanwhile, India registered a global record of 315,000 new infections yesterday as the crisis there deepens amid shortages in hospital beds and oxygen. (Sources: Hindu, NYT, WSJ)
4. Bomb for Beijing
A terrorist bomb explosion at a southwest Pakistan hotel killed four people. The apparent target, the Chinese ambassador, wasn’t at the venue at the time. The region is home to a separatist movement that opposes Beijing’s investments there. (Sources: WaPo, BBC)
5. Missing Submarine
Indonesia is hunting for a submarine that went missing yesterday with 53 people on board during a torpedo drill. Australia and Singapore are assisting in the search. (Source: CNN, Al Jazeera)
All Play, No Work
His bosses are worked up. An Italian hospital employee skipped work for 15 years but earned around $647,000 as his salary over the period, setting a record for absenteeism even in a country notorious for workers playing hookie.
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She secured multiple wins at the African Academy Awards for her 2008 feature film debut,From a Whisper, and had already worked on The Italian Job and Catch A Fire. But to her dismissive aunts, she was “still doing that thing.” Today, the 40-year-old Kenyan is one of the world’s leading filmmakers, her movies screened at more than 100 festivals. Her latest feature Rafiki is a lesbian love story so powerful that Kenya’s government banned it (homosexuality is illegal in the country). But a court temporarily overturned the curbs, sparking secret movie nights across Nairobi.
2. Leticia Tonos
She’ll keep knocking on the door. The Dominican Republic has thrice nominated the filmmaker’s movies as the country’s official entries for the Oscars, including her latest period drama A State of Madness / Mis 500 Locos. But while it wasn’t third-time-lucky for the London Film School graduate, we’re convinced she’ll make it to the Academy’s final nominees soon. In the meantime, soak in the powerful true story of a psychiatrist under a dictatorial regime who must grapple with a fundamental question: Is the world madder outside his institution’s walls or inside them?
3. Jiayan “Jenny” Shi
She’s broken all the rules of filmmaking with her debut documentary, Finding Yingying, emotionally bonding with her subjects instead of keeping her distance. The result? A heartbreaking but stunningly compelling film about the disappearance and murder of a young Chinese student in America that’s even more poignant at a time when violence against Asians in the U.S. is on the rise. Make no mistake: Shi is here to stay as a moviemaker.
Webby in Your Coffee
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Today on ‘The Carlos Watson Show’
Rising music superstar Saweetie reveals to Carlos her dream to build a billion-dollar multi-industry global brand. She shares the story behind her relationship with fellow rapper Quavo, her grandmother’s influence on her career — and politics — and why sports is her first love.
Crypto Party Poopers
Coinbase’s mega-IPO debut last week was a coming-out party for the cryptocurrency world. But a few key nations are threatening to dampen that mood and send the sector crashing.
But the biggest blow might be yet to come. The world’s second-most populous nation is mulling a law banning not just trading in cryptocurrencies but even just holding digital tokens. It could be one of the world’s strictest laws against private digital currencies, though supporters of cryptocurrencies are hoping its bark is worse than its bite.
It’s one of at leastsix moves in gymnastics that have already been named after 24-year-old Simone Biles. But it’s our favorite. After some artistic stretches, she races, takes off in the air and does a double flip with a triple twist before landing to breathless exclamations from commentators.Watch.
3. Flick of Greatness
Chinese badminton legend Lin Dan — the only player to winall nine of the sport’s major titles — retired last year. But memories of his unique back-of-court move aren’t going anywhere. He would pretend to let the shuttlecock fall, then with his back to the court flick it powerfully across the net to catch his opponent by surprise.Watch.
Whiskey in Your Clubhouse
Join OZY editors and writers today at 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET to dive into what’s next for America after the Derek Chauvin conviction. Write to OZY reporter Joshua Eferighe below so we can pull you into the room, and follow him @Eferighe.
At the Great Kobuk Sand Dunes in Alaska, pine trees edge a splash of golden sand and footprints of bears, moose and wolves, reminding you that you’re not in Egypt.
3. Colorado Provençal
Don’t go by the name. You’re in the south of France, not far from the Riviera. But if you’re from Colorado, you’d feel right at home amid the limestone rocks and desert sand of one of the world’s largest ocher quarries.
Our friends at Cheddar are celebrating Earth Day and discussing clean-energy solutions, ocean conservation and so much more. Tune into Cheddar News today at 1 p.m. ET to learn how you can make an impact.
Spot the Difference
Can you find the four differences between the above images?
Last week’s answers: The castle, the book, the laptop logo and the cow.
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