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Whatever your thoughts on religion, most of us wouldn’t mind meeting a religious leader whose signature move is to hug her disciples (of course, not in these times of social distancing). Grab your remote hug, then embrace unseen facets of Somalia, check out Hollywood’s strangest Oscar outfits and get excited about the best festivals to look forward to in 2021. Read to the end for this week’s caption contest!
Eugene S. Robinson, Editor-at-Large, and Charu Sudan Kasturi, Senior Editor
The U.S. will halve its 2005 levels of carbon emissions by 2030, President Joe Biden announced yesterday at a virtual summit of global leaders on climate change. But climate activist Greta Thunberg isn’t convinced the U.S. is doing enough. The Swedish teen called America’s continuing subsidies to the fossil fuel industry a “disgrace.” Should the U.S. end all fossil fuel subsidies? Vote on Twitter or here. (Sources: NBC, Business Insider)
2. Eat the Rich
Guess what the Biden administration is not halving? Taxes on the rich. Just the opposite, in fact. It proposes to nearly double the capital gains tax for the wealthiest Americans to 43.4 percent. Reports of the plan spooked the markets, sending them crashing. (Sources: Bloomberg, WSJ, FT)
3. Bad to Worse
India broke its own tragic record for daily COVID-19 cases, registering 332,394 fresh infections Thursday as hospitals took to Twitter to plead with the government for oxygen. Meanwhile, South Africa resumed administering Johnson & Johnson vaccines after Europe cleared the shots for use despite rare cases of blood clotting in recipients. (Sources: HT, Guardian, NYT)
4. Also Out of Breath
Like India’s hospitals, a missing Indonesian submarine is also desperately close to running out of oxygen, even as rescuers pinpointed an unidentified object in the sea that might hold clues. Singapore and Malaysia are already helping in the search, and Australia and America are expected to join. (Source: AFP)
5. One Step Back
Russian President Vladimir Putin might have already moved two steps forward before Moscow ordered troops massed along its border with Ukraine to pull back on Thursday. The episode helped underscore Russia’s ability to militarily target its neighbors and won Putin a proposed meeting with Biden. (Sources: CNN, Deutsche Welle, The Telegraph)
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Ruiz’s calling card is marked “author” and that’s not the only place the Mexican spiritual leader departs from the standard script. The former surgeon who was brought up by a healer nearly died in a car crash, an experience that yanked him back to his family’s roots in Toltec spiritualism — which is the focus of his books that have sold more than 12 million copies. At its heart, his moral theory suggests simply that we should all be a little bit nicer to ourselves. That’s my kind of spiritual healer.
2. Mātā Amritānandamayī Devī
The 67-year-old Devī is effectively the patron saint of hugs. More commonly called Amma — “mother” in several Indian languages — she has hugged her way (an estimated 40 million times) not only to the U.N., but to a type of selfless service that sees her advocating for gender equality and against human trafficking, forced prostitution and child abuse.
On Wednesday, OZY CEO Carlos Watson wrote to you arguing why Derek Chauvin’s conviction for the murder of George Floyd must serve as a turning point for America. Thank you for your thoughtful replies. Here are some that stood out most for us.
We value ideas. That’s why we’re awarding 10 summer grants to students anywhere in the U.S. with the aim of backing genius ideas. What’s yours? Apply today to win an OZY Genius Award. #OZYGenius
Weekend With ‘The Carlos Watson Show’
From filmmaker Ava DuVernay to journalist Megyn Kelly, we bring you people breaking barriers and changing the game. Check out our latest episode featuring Nasdaq's first female CEO Adena Friedman later today.
Sneak Peek Into ... Somalia
The country is much, much more than just a staging ground for maritime piracy.
1. Giving Dignity Back
As Somalia’s capital Mogadishu burned amid its deadly civil war in 1991, Amina Hagi Elmi, a young businesswoman, sat under a tree. Her family had lost everything, but she was grappling with an additional immediate challenge: she was having her period. Today the sexagenarian’s nonprofit Save Somali Women and Children has helped provide sanitary pads, underwear, detergent and soap in “dignity kits” to 700,000 refugee girls and women. As Somalia battles terror threats and political uncertainty, Elmi’s offering a ray of hope. Read more on OZY.
2. Fashion Forward
However tough life might seem, you’ve got to dream. Learn that from Somalia’s nascent but booming fashion industry. A growing band of young fashion designers is stitching up local brilliance, inspired by peers in the Arab world and beyond. And fashion influencers like makeup artist Ayaan Dhalad are offering hints, tips and tricks to hundreds of thousands of devoted followers.
3. Musical Mogadishu
It’s probably not advisable to visit Somalia at the moment. But you can still dig into the music of a bygone era when Mogadishu was a cultural capital along the Horn of Africa, its female singers compared to “broken dates” because of the sweetness of their melodies. Check out Sweet as Broken Dates.
Bizarre Oscars Fashion Moments
It's often as much about the red carpet as it is about the awards themselves. Here are a few of the stranger moments from past ceremonies.
The co-creators of South Park showed up at the 2000 Academy Awards in Jennifer Lopez’s Grammys dress from the same year and Gwyneth Paltrow’s dress from the previous year’s ceremony. It was weird, but you’ve got to concede, semi-inspired. Even more so since they dropped acid right before.
2. Wesley Snipes
Showing up to the 2008 Oscars in a purple sharkskin suit? With a poorly folded black and white polka-dot pocket square? And a blue and silver bowtie? And square-toe shoes? It’s a symphony of sadness.
She showed up to the 2001 Oscars dressed like a swan, complete with eggs. Björk later claimed to have done the whole thing tongue-in-cheek, but it doesn’t really matter. It was bold, crazy and unforgettable.
Webby in Your Coffee
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We're back on May 15-16 ... and with a bigger bang than ever before. Sure, it's only online this summer, but where else would you get to hang out with everyone from epidemiologist Dr. Anthony Fauci to musician Sevyn Streeter, and from former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to writer Malcolm Gladwell?Register now.
The iconic British festival had to cancel for this year. But unless you're in the U.K., making it there might have been difficult in any case. That’s why the ticketed livestreamed concert that organizers are holding in May is worth checking out. Coldplay, Jorja Smith, Kano and Haim are among the stars who'll perform.
OZY is all about investigating the next trends and ideas to watch out for. These sneakers from Cariuma are shaking up the world of footwear with their classic, comfortable fit and sustainable practices. Get these on your feet now! And exclusively for OZY readers, get $15 off when you use code OZY15.