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Happy Monday! The past few months have seen both stock markets and pandemic deaths soar. It turns out, as you’ll read today, that death might be 2021’s safest investment. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of hope too in today’s lineup. Meet the banjo-playing Democrat trying to nudge America toward fiscal discipline, join a breakaway basketball league, watch some great music documentaries … and vote for Whiskey in Your Coffee in the prestigious Webby Awards!
It’s been brewing for a lot longer than two weeks. Apple will face off in court today against Epic Games, developer of the wildly popular video game Fortnite, which has accused the tech firm of using monopolistic practices to ensure that all app producers pay the iPhone manufacturer a chunk of their earnings. Who do you think is right? Vote here or on Twitter. (Sources: WSJ, WaPo)
2. Patently Obvious
The choice was always between patents and patients. Months after India and South Africa pressed the West to relax intellectual property laws so that COVID-19 vaccines could be manufactured at affordable prices, the U.S. is finally entering talks with the World Trade Organization on ways to distribute shots more equitably. (Sources: Al Jazeera, Lancet)
3. Paying a Political Price?
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party lost an election in the key state of West Bengal over the weekend as he comes under growing criticism for mishandling the country’s COVID-19 crisis. Meanwhile, thousands of supporters of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro hit the streets to protest a congressional probe into his mismanagement of the pandemic. (Sources: BBC, Al Jazeera)
4. Beijing Bully?
The Philippines warned China on Monday to steer clear of “dangerous maneuvers” within the Southeast Asian nation’s maritime territory, even as New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it was becoming tougher to work with Beijing amid differences over China’s human rights violations. (Sources: Bloomberg, Reuters)
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One of only five Republican women of color in Congress, Beutler found herself at the center of the recent impeachment trial after tweeting a conversation where she said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told her how then-President Donald Trump was unperturbed by the Capitol riot. This move, and her vote in favor of impeachment, might expose the Washington congresswoman to a conservative primary challenger. But she has taken on Trump. A primary is unlikely to scare her.
2. Jim Cooper
This Tennessee Democrat, a longtime member of the Blue Dog Coalition, which advocates for fiscal responsibility, might be the closest thing to a politician Ron Swanson could get behind. The banjo-playing, no-nonsense congressman is known to spend weekends with his chainsaw helping to remove fallen trees after storms. Can he cut through Congress’ partisan rancor to win bipartisan support for economic discipline?
TED or Coachella? Why not both?! This May 15-16, join us for a virtual celebration of big ideas at OZY Fest, aka “the new SXSW.” Spend a weekend with game-changers, from Dr. Anthony Fauci and Condoleezza Rice to Sevyn Streeter and Mark Cuban. Register now.
Upcoming IPOs to Watch
The first quarter of 2021 saw a record number of IPOs, as economies crawl their way out of last year’s setbacks. Here are some of the next big IPOs to track.
Grab a piece of Southeast Asia’s super-app when it goes public through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), as its stock price is only expected to shoot up. The Singapore-based company, which started out as the region’s Uber but has since expanded into payments, deliveries and much more,hopes for a valuation of $40 billion, the biggest SPAC launch ever.
Many of its users outsmarted the sheriffs of Wall Street earlier this year, when they inflated the stocks of the otherwise struggling firm GameStop, stunning the world of finance. Now the digital brokerage, which had 19 million users at the end of February, is turning toWall Street for funding, with an IPO that it hopes will bring it a valuation of $40 billion.
Breakaway Sports Leagues
Modern soccer’s greatest rebellion, the rebel European Super League, crumbled within days in April. It’s not alone. Rebellions in sports have a mixed record of success.
It was 2007 and India had just won the first World Cup in a shortened new-format cricket called Twenty20. Zee, a media company, launched the world’s first franchise-based cricket league. But the sport’s governing authorities banned theIndian Cricket League (ICL) and players were barred from national teams. The next year, cricket authorities launched their own version, called the Indian Premier League, which killed the ICL. It offers the sport’s largest cash pot.
2. Formula One
In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, the sport’s governing body, called the FIA, introduced a rule whereby teams thatintroduced a spending cap would be allowed greater technical and design flexibility. Several top teams, led by Ferrari, protested the creation of two sets of rules and threatened to form abreakaway racing league. But the FIA finally compromised, anew deal was signed and the screeching tires of elite car racing remained with Formula One.
3. EuroLeague Basketball
Top Spanish soccer clubs Real Madrid and Barcelona, among the drivers of the European Super League concept, have a history of rebellion that extends to basketball. In 2000, they were a part of theSpain-led breakaway EuroLeague Basketball, which sought to replace the dominance of the sport’s top global body, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), on the continent. It worked, and two decades later,multiple attempts by FIBA to compete for influence in Europe have largely failed.
Today on ‘The Carlos Watson Show’
Get to know the real Chelsea Handler. The famed comic keeps Carlos laughing while discussing how she fights injustice and encourages us to “get out of your own a**holes” and approach others with empathy. Watch now.
Great New Music Documentaries
You’ve never known these great artists the way you will now.
Its very existence was illegal. South African underground punk rock bandNational Wake was multiracial in apartheid-era South Africa. Yet it evaded the law, played across the country and gained cult status. This documentary is a tribute to the power of music as a force that’s at once unifying and revolutionary.
2. 'The Beatles: Get Back'
Imagine the scene: the four British geniuses, all on their drums, smiling even as we know they’re about to break up. Unlike the 1970 documentary Let it Be, there’s nothing melancholy aboutthis Peter Jackson film, where he pieces together previously unseen footage to re-create the final days of the Fab Four. It’s set for anAugust release.
She’s simply the best. ButTina Turner had to beat the odds in order to become better than all the rest. From the violence-filled relationship with her ex-husband Ike to her journey of rediscovery, Tina is a story of pain and glory that'll leave you even more in awe — if that’s possible — of one of rock music's greatest icons.
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