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Good morning! Each of us has personal mementos that we consider priceless. Yet if they were to be sold, they likely wouldn’t fetch much — unlike the truly bizarre auctions you’ll read about today. Also meet the Rwandan cyclist breaking barriers in one of the world’s whitest sports, check out a rare case of reverse economic colonization, visit Argentina’s oldest café and go singing with Dr. Anthony Fauci! Read to the end for the winners of last week’s caption contest.
Pallabi Munsi, Reporter, and Nick Fouriezos, Senior Editor
Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, America’s first federal lawmaker of Palestinian descent, confronted President Joe Biden at Detroit airport Tuesday over the administration’s reluctance to criticize Israel despite its continuing bombardment of Gaza. Biden had arrived in Motown to visit a Ford facility. The exchange underscores the growing pressure on Biden from within the Democratic Party at a time when Israel has rejected calls for a cease-fire. At least 234 Palestinians and 12 Israelis have died in the country’s war with Hamas. (Sources: NPR, WaPo)
2. Stop Hate
The House of Representatives Tuesday passed a bill aimed at curbing a surge in hate crimes against Asian Americans. The Senate has already approved the legislation, which Biden is now expected to sign into law. But on the very same day, a North Carolina district attorney justified the shooting last month of a Black man, Andrew Brown Jr., by three police officers. Will the proposed new law reduce hate crimes against minorities? Vote here or on Twitter. (Sources: WSJ, CNN)
3. Vax Race
Mexico plans to ensure its entire population receives at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine by October, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said. Meanwhile, India registered more than 4,500 fatalities Tuesday, a global record, even as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott banned local mask mandates in the state. (Sources: Reuters, Hindustan Times, NYT)
4. Beijing Boycott?
Citing human rights violations in China, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called for a boycott of the Winter Olympics scheduled for 2022 in Beijing by world leaders, even if athletes participate. (Sources: BBC)
Is it a reptile? A grumpy old uncle? The frogmouth, native to Southeast Asia and Australia, is the surprising winner of a scientific study to find the most popular bird on Instagram.
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The Rwandan traversed Hell. In 2019, the then 23-year-old became the first Black African rider to start and finish the Paris-Roubaix, a one-day road race in France known as the “Hell of the North.” That year Areruya was named African Cyclist of the Year, thanks to victorious races in Gabon, Cameroon and his native Rwanda. His country has in recent years emerged as an unlikely hub for champion racers. Areruya is the tip of Rwanda’s cycling spear.
2. Ayesha McGowan
She will become the first female African American pro cyclist at the elite level after Liv Racing announced she would be a trainee on their UCI Women’s World Tour team starting in August — fulfilling a dream the 34-year-old has chased for years, while also raising the names of others as an activist for greater equity in the sport. Her team, A Quick Brown Fox, which hosted “Thee Abundance Summit” for Black and brown cyclists in March, continues to pave the way for others following in her treadmarks.
3. Josh Hartman
The American son of Guyanese immigrants fell short of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics, but his time in the saddle has already been inspirational for many. Growing up next to Brownsville, the same gritty New York neighborhood that birthed Mike Tyson, Hartman almost died in a 2013 crash that left him in a coma for two weeks and later became the focus of an ESPN documentary. He still bears the scars of that fall on his face, yet has overcome obstacles both visible and invisible to become one of America’s best track sprinters.
Sneak Peak Into ... Angola
An oil-generating giant that’s also a cultural hub, Angola is southern Africa’s quiet star. Lift the veil on what makes it special.
1. Reverse Colonialism?
When Portugal faced an economic crisis a decade ago, its prime minister went bowl in hand to an unlikely savior: Angola, its former colony. Africa’s second-largest oil producer, 55 years after gaining independence, is today a major investor in Portugal. From its banks to soccer clubs, Portugal depends on Angolan money. But a new government in Luanda threatens to disrupt that relationship. Read more on OZY.
2. Accidental Star
Kuduro,a fast-moving dance music form, has been a dominant cultural force in Angola since the 1990s. But it took 30-year-old Cabo Snoop with his slick moves and catchy tracks to propel the form to a global audience. The father of two grew up during the country’s civil war in a Luanda slum. Now he’s one of Angola’s biggest cultural exports. Read more on OZY.
3. Unusual Food
Ready for an unlikely crunch? Try Catatos, an Angolan specialitythat involves fried caterpillars seasoned with garlic, pepper, tomatoes and onions and eaten with rice. Caterpillars have a higher concentration of proteins than other meat, which makes this a nutritional adventure.
OZY Fest: Tony’s Tune
Here’s a quiz. What’s Dr. Fauci’s favorite karaoke song? (Hint: If you’ve seen Day two of OZY Fest on Sunday, you’ll know.) Tell us!
Former federal prosecutor Sunny Hostin discussed criminal justice reform at OZY Fest. But she’s also a novelist. Summer on the Bluffs, the first of her upcoming three-book fiction series, chronicles the escapades of a talented Afro-Latina lawyer. Get a copy for free (available on a first come, first served basis)! Submit your informationhere.
In April, a pair of Kanye West sneakers fetched $1.8 million in an auction. Check out some other weird auction purchases.
1. Queen Victoria’s Undies
The British monarchy continues to fascinate people around the world. Perhaps that is why cotton knickers owned by Queen Victoria sold in 2015 for $16,300. Embroidered with her royal initials, “VR” for Victoria Regina, the undies boast a 45-inch drawstring waist. Clearly, it’s Victoria’s secret no more.
You might wonder why Nazi memorabilia would find any takers. Then again, given the world we live in, maybe that’s not surprising. Handwritten speech notes by Adolf Hitler sold for $40,300 at an auction in Munich in 2020, despite concerns from Jewish groups that they could encourage neo-Nazis.
As the world opens up, there’s no better place to reacquaint yourself with friends and strangers than at some of the most unique cafés around the world.
This hip dim sum café in Bangkok’s Chinatown reminds you how small spaces can be turned into architectural magic. With dark green walls, paintings of proud peacocks and pink blossoms and countless mirrors, this café is a raging hit because of its cool features such as the double-decked bunk seats.
2. Disaster Café
No, the food here is not a disaster. But you need a strong stomach — and heart — to keep your coffee down at this café in Lloret de Mar, Spain. As you sip from your cup, you’ll experience a simulated 7.8 magnitude earthquake.
3. Cafe Tortoni
There’s no faking it at this iconic Buenos Aires café, Argentina’s oldest, which has seen more than 160 years of political and social churn, yet retains its classic look and its loyal clientele of artists and intellectuals. Or maybe it’s just the chocolate con churros that bring people back?
According to a study by the National Conference of State Legislators, 18-to-24-year-olds are among the most vulnerable to homelessness. Shu’s genius idea helps these youths find stable housing, while also providing career training and mentorship. If you’d like to help, let us know HERE.
This six-week MIT Sloan Digital Marketing Analytics online course unpacks how to leverage measurement and analysis in your digital marketing strategy. With a focus on analytics-based marketing, you will learn the latest applications of AI and machine learning to help your marketing campaigns. Find out more here.
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