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Good morning! By now, at least one in four Americans in every state is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Yet as vaccinations slow down, there’s reason to learn from others. Check out some of the world’s most surprising vaccine success stories today, then read about a religious battle in Jerusalem that involves not Israelis and Palestinians … but Egyptians and Ethiopians. Meet the GOP’s next Black hope and take a ride along the world’s prettiest subway systems.
Charu Sudan Kasturi and Nick Fouriezos, Senior Editors
Israeli planes dropped bombs on Gaza Monday, killing at least 24 people including nine children, according to Palestinian authorities, after militant group Hamas fired rockets into Israel, injuring at least six Israelis, though no one was killed. Jerusalem is on the boil over the planned eviction of six Palestinian families in Jerusalem and the recent clashes between Israeli security forces and worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Was Israel’s response proportionate? Vote here or on Twitter. (Sources: WaPo, AP, CNN)
2. Juvenile Jabs
The Food and Drug Administration has approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds, a major step toward getting them access to shots. Meanwhile, in India doctors are battling a dangerous black fungus that’s invading the brains of COVID-19 patients. (Sources: NYT, CNBC, Reuters)
3. Childless China?
China is competing with America for more than global leadership. Days after the U.S. Census Bureau released data showing how America is aging rapidly, China’s latest population numbers reveal the country’s birth rate has slowed down to its lowest since the 1960s. (Sources: Deutsche Welle, WSJ)
4. Deadly Drought
More than 1 million people in Madagascar are at risk of starvation due to the island nation’s most severe drought in four decades. Meanwhile, another devastating drought threatens to rob Brazil of its much-needed hydroelectric power. (Sources: Guardian, Reuters)
5. School Shooting
Two gunmen opened fire in a Russian school Tuesday, killing at least eight children and a teacher. One of the gunmen is under arrest while the other has been killed. (Source: CNN)
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The Ohio House minority leader has criticized Democrats for blowing their money on wine parties for white women rather than wooing Black voters. Democrats could double down on that strategy of appealing to white “working-class” voters with potential 2022 Senate candidate Amy Acton. But if they want a new approach, they could turn to Sykes, 35, a former ballet dancer and the daughter of Black political royalty, who has nimbly challenged Republicans while in the statehouse. Read more on OZY.
2. Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson
He’s a Republican but, like Warnock, the 52-year-old has the chops to break through in a Southern state, North Carolina, which has never had a Black senator. Two years before winning his post as lieutenant governor last fall, he was a factory worker defending gun rights at a local town hall meeting. Now he’s well placed for either a Senate run in 2022 or a shot at governor in 2024.
3. US Rep. Val Demings
Florida may look lost to Democrats, given former President Donald Trump’s 2020 dominance in the state. But Demings, 64, impressed as a House manager in the Trump impeachment hearings and was seriously considered by President Joe Biden for the VP split eventually filled by Kamala Harris. The daughter of a maid and a janitor grew up the youngest of seven kids in a two-room Jacksonville home before becoming a police chief known for rocking her Harley Davidson motorcycle.
OZY Fest Is Back!
TED or Coachella? Why not both?! This May 15-16, join us for a virtual celebration of bold change and big ideas at OZY Fest, aka “the new SXSW.” Spend the weekend with game-changers, from Dr. Anthony Fauci and Condoleezza Rice to Sevyn Streeter and Mark Cuban. Register now.
Do you have a question for former U.S. Secretary of State Rice? Write below.
Unlike the West, the densely populated city-state was quick to pursue contact tracing in the early days of the pandemic, isolating patients each time there was an outbreak. But it’s aware that the virus needs just one error to wreak havoc. Which is why it isleading vaccination efforts in Asia despite havingfewer than 500 active cases. The island country is usingcomedy music videos to fight complacency — and get citizens to get their shots.
Lesser-Known Shrines of Dispute
Jerusalem’s Temple Mount is one of the world’s most contested locations. Here are some other disputed religious sites that don't make the news much but are just as divisive.
The tussle over Jerusalem isn’t just between Israelis and Palestinians. Far from it. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City is believed to house the tomb of Jesus. On the roof of the Church is a shrine that’s the crux of a centuries-old rivalry between the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and Egyptian Coptics. The Coptics control the rooftop monastery at the moment, butEthiopian monks raised a flag there as recently as two weeks ago.
2. Pochayiv Monastery
It’s a sought-after prize in the border battles between Russia and Ukraine. Among the world’s most sacred Orthodox churches, it has long been a part of what is known as the Moscow Patriarchate — governed from Russia even though the monastery physically sits in western Ukraine. But a 2018 decision by the head of the Orthodox Church in Istanbul to create an independent Kyiv Patriarchate has led to a movement within Ukraine to claim the shrine.Read more on OZY.
Cardiologist and TV personality Dr. Mehmet Oz shares what inspired him to get into medicine and the lessons he learned from Oprah. And he and Carlos get into it about who the real NBA GOAT is. Don’t miss it later today!
As travel slowly restarts, we look at some of the most unique urban train networks that you want to ride on.
The trains are so regular you don’t need a timetable. But our favorite part? The Octopus Card, which — like the creature it's named after — can multitask, letting you pay for everything from your metro ticket to groceries in the city.
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