Bold start. Smooth finish. The newsletter that interesting people love.
Good morning! Or if you’re not sleeping well these days, you might want to bite on a Japanese slug … and then take a short nap. Read about that before meeting some of the world’s most dangerous conspiracy theorists who are sure to wake you up. Check out after-school education innovations and the African fintech firms that could redefine how you transact online. Read to the end for the winners of last week’s caption contest!
Charu Sudan Kasturi, Senior Editor and Isabelle Lee, Reporter
For years, Israel has relied on its sophisticated missile defense shield against rockets from Gaza. Militant group Hamas appears to have found a way to pierce through the so-called Iron Dome amid the latest clashes that have claimed 35 Palestinian and five Israeli lives, as both sides pound each other with rockets and bombs. (Sources: Jerusalem Post, Reuters)
2. Grand New Party?
More than 100 former Republican officials are threatening to break away and form a third party because of former President Donald Trump’s stranglehold over the GOP. On Wednesday, the party is expected to oust Trump critic Rep. Liz Cheney from a senior leadership position. Will the threat make the Republican Party rethink its allegiance to Trump? Vote here or on Twitter. (Sources: NYT, CNN)
3. 44 and Counting
The Indian variant of COVID-19 that’s been blamed in part for the surge in cases and deaths in that country has now spread to 44 nations, the World Health Organization has said. Brazil has inked a deal for 100 million additional Pfizer vaccines as it battles the pandemic. Meanwhile, a fresh outbreak in Taiwan has sent the self-governing region’s markets crashing. (Sources: Al Jazeera, Reuters, Bloomberg)
4. Gunning for Bankruptcy
A Texas court shot down a bankruptcy plea by the National Rifle Association that could have enabled it to relocate to that state from New York, after prosecutors argued that the gun group was merely trying to dodge a bullet by evading allegations of corruption. (Sources: WSJ, NBC).
Sicilian Home for 1 Euro
It’s a molten-hot offer. A Sicilian town on the volcanic slopes of Mount Etna is putting some of its oldest houses on sale for as little as 1 Euro ($1.2) in a bid to draw in fresh people and revive a dying community.
Know how to get the best available deals and bargain for a better price? If so, you’re probably using Capital One Shopping, the free browser add-on that instantly searches for discounts on your purchase and automatically applies them to your cart.
He has Tucker Carlson’s ear, which means he has former U.S. President Donald Trump’s ear. His mission? To save white South African farmers from what he claims is an oppressive, Black-majority government. Never mind apartheid or the colonialism that enabled white land grab in the country in the first place. As South Africa moves toward a policy of land appropriation when needed, Roets, a lawyer, is traveling globally, amplifying white replacement conspiracy theories. And in Trump, who in 2018 tweeted against South Africa’s policy, Roets has found the ideal megaphone to be heard among the far-right in the U.S.Read more on OZY.
2. Naomi Seibt
The 20-year-old from Germany has been called the anti-Greta Thunberg. She’s fast emerging as the youthful face of the global climate change denial movement. She doesn’t question the fact that carbon emissions heat the planet, but insists that estimates of an impending crisis are overblown. She has previously worked with the conservativeU.S.-based Heartland Institute and has backed white nationalists. But question her, and she won’t shy from using Thunberg’s own famous words against you, like when she thundered “how dare you?” at probing journalists.
The one-of-a-kind festival of great entertainment, experiences and conversations is coming to a screen near you. Hang out with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Sevyn Streeter, Tig Notaro, Condoleezza Rice, Mark Cuban, Malcolm Gladwell and more, in a virtual celebration of bold change and big ideas on May 15-16.Register now.
And if you have a question for Dr. Fauci, a pitch for Mark Cuban or a joke for Tig Notaro, record it here!
African Fintech Giants
You might not have heard of them. But chances are, you’ll be hearing a lot about them in the future.
If there’s one company that can claim even bigger recent success than Paystack or Flutterwave, it’sKenya’s DPO Group. Neither its uncool name nor the pandemic stopped it from winning a mammoth $288 million price tag when Dubai-based Network International came calling last summer. Now it’s looking for African acquisitions of its own, while plotting expansions into the Middle East.
School After School
At a time when the world looks nothing like it did 15 months ago, after-school programs are changing too.
If you feel a screen hangover from Zoom meetings, imagine how your kid feels! One way to combat that feeling is getting outside and exploring. Programs like Trackers Earth offer online classes to safely equip kids with the know-how and the skills to explore the great outdoors.
2. Exploring Economics
At a time of economic strife for millions of Americans, more and more parents are trying to teach their kids the value of money early through a growing number of financial literacy programs and apps that are emerging from Denver to Detroit. Maybe the secret to making the economy more equitable lies in educating kids about what it all means. Read more on OZY.
3. Take a Chill Pill
Asking squirrely kids to sit down and meditate might sound crazy, but it’s an increasingly popular after-school activity. Take it from the students of Holistic Me after-school programs in Baltimore: Meditation and yoga really do work.
Normally, we’d hope that what we write doesn’t make you sleepy. What’s below though is intended for just that.
Don’t unleash your downward dog. Instead, incorporate breathing and mindfulness into a sedentary session of Yoga Nidra (which literally means “sleep yoga” in Sanskrit), a growing practice that you do lying on your back. Read more on OZY.
2. Sea Slugs
Yes, you read that right. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try eating sea slug entrails, a Japanese delicacy lauded for its sleep-inducing properties. It’s healthier than a sleeping pill.
3. Bed is for Sex and Sleep
Stop spending all day in bed! Experts recommend limiting the time you spend snuggling under the covers to when you’re actually sleeping. That’s so you can strengthen the association between your bed and sleep time.
From Cleopatra to Elizabeth I and Catherine the Great — powerful and helpless, popular and scorned, determined and desperate — they are some of the most influential women in history. This dramatized series about remarkable women in history is something you won’t want to miss — available now on CuriosityStream, the coolest new streaming platform.