Bold start. Smooth finish. The newsletter that interesting people love.
Our planet exists on the carefully constructed calculus of no one rocking the boat too much. Humans never got the memo. Except conservationists. Meet the former Gucci executive who’s now reintroducing captive tigers to the wild. Decode less-understood side effects of COVID-19. And as Eurovision brings singing talent from across Europe together this week, check out some of its most fascinating copycat competitions, then get your juices flowing with some stunning sausages. Read to the end for this week’s caption contest!
Eugene S. Robinson, Editor-at-Large, and Charu Sudan Kasturi, Senior Editor
Israel and Hamas have agreed to an Egypt-mediated cease-fire, bringing to a halt an 11-day war that claimed hundreds of casualties and presented President Joe Biden with his first major global challenge. But Israel has kept its planes and drones on standby, signaling the tenuous nature of the “peace.” And while Biden said the cease-fire represented an “opportunity” for progress in the decades-old conflict, many experts fear an even more ferocious storm in the coming future. (Sources: WaPo, Jerusalem Post, AP, Foreign Affairs, Brookings Institute)
2. Frail Peace
Already, fresh tensions are rising farther east of Israel. Biden is expected to press South Korean President Moon Jae-in to take a tougher posture against North Korea during a summit at the White House today, amid growing evidence that Pyongyang isn’t planning to dismantle its nuclear arsenal. And a Chinese Communist Party-influenced think tank has warned that war with Taiwan might be imminent. Should Biden hold talks with North Korea? Vote here or on Twitter. (Sources: NYT, South China Morning Post)
3. Circuit Breaker
Argentina has announced strict “circuit breaker” lockdown measures starting Saturday as it battles a devastating COVID-19 surge. Meanwhile, new research shows that critically ill virus patients are significantly more likely to die if they’re in Africa. (Sources: Reuters, Lancet)
4. Hug Beats Hate
Spanish aid volunteer Luna Reyes was abused online by right-wing activists after she was photographed hugging a crying Senegalese man among 8,000 migrants who’ve flooded Spain’s North African enclave of Ceuta. But a backlash against the hatemongers followed, turning 20-year-old Reyes into an unlikely hero. (Source: Guardian)
A Japanese bullet train driver faces disciplinary action after he temporarily left his seat to rush for a toilet break. The train was racing at over 90 mph at the time. The driver was caught because the train ended up a minute late at its destination — enough to spark a probe in a country notorious for its obsession with punctuality.
Atlas Coffee Club takes its name seriously. This startup takes you on a coffee world tour — and right now, you get50% off your first shipment. For that first stop on your coffee journey, you’ll get to enjoy an exclusive (and delicious!) coffee from Ecuador. Up next, you’ll discover coffees from India, Nicaragua, Kenya, and beyond. Each shipment comes with a picturesque postcard and info on the history of coffee in the region, and each bag even has its own vibrant design inspired by local textiles and landscapes. Ready to sip the world?
A former executive at Gucci, Benetton and Fila, the Beijing-born Li decided that a career in fashion wasn’t a match for the wild charm of helping caged tigers. Moved by the pitiful conditions of captive South China tiger cubs, she convinced the government to let her relocate them to Africa, where they were successfully reintroduced to the wild. To be sure, the queen of re-wilding has had her share of controversy too, in the form of a messy divorce and charges of financial irregularities. But the tigers she helped set free wouldn’t mind.
Today on ‘The Carlos Watson Show’
You might know Topher Grace from That ’70s Show or BlacKkKlansman. Now hear him share his learnings from those experiences, his thoughts on the Derek Chauvin trial, lessons about love, and the experience that changed his career.
We have vaccines for COVID-19. But what about the worrying or less-understood side effects of the infection and its medication?
1. Black Fungus
Usually it affects only one in a million people. The problem? The fatality rate among those who get mucormycosis, as the condition is formally called, is 50%. COVID-19 patients with diabetes who receive steroids as treatment are particularly vulnerable to the deadly fungal infection that spreads through the body and is ravaging India at the moment.
2. Death After Recovery
You get COVID-19, the symptoms are mild, you get treated at home and recover after a few painful weeks. Phew. Except Washington University researchers have shown that COVID-19 survivors have nearly a 60% higher risk than others of dying in the subsequent six months due to often-ignored long-term complications.
3. Male Infertility
It turns out that some men are turning down the COVID-19 vaccine fearing it will leave them infertile. The truth? Yes, taking the vaccine might leave you temporarily less fertile. But that’s because of the fever that sometimes follows vaccination, which — like all fevers — suppresses your ability to produce sperm.
Not Just Eurovision
It’s Eurovision week and Europe is feverishly following the iconic singing competition that brings the continent’s TV-watching public together on one platform. Check out some of Eurovision’s intriguing copycats.
Held since 1971, it’s a vehicle to promote Celtic languages, with competing singers from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Isle of Man and Cornwall. Wales has won the contest 15 times but currently the luck’s with the Irish, who’ve won the last three.
Don’t expect the shows of sexuality that are common on Eurovision — this is a “clean” Pan-Turkic version. But it’s spicy nonetheless, with itsshare of controversies. And it’s a smart way for Turkey — which walked out of Eurovision in 2012 — to build its cultural influence over the two dozen Turkish-speaking countries and regions that participate, from Azerbaijan toRussia’s Republic of Tatarstan.
Sai ouais sausage stuffed with pork shoulder and Laotian and Thai spices along with chiles, garlic, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, padaek for the fish sauce lovers among us, and shallots. We’re not sure you can stuff a sausage any more.
2. From Lebanon With Love
The Lebanese Makanek is a sausage made with beef or lamb mixed with cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, pine nuts, vinegar and white wine. And if that’s not enough, try adding some pomegranate molasses, as is the tradition.
3. Kenya Believe How Good It Is?
Let’s stray off the beaten sausage path. Because Kenya’s Mutura sausage is made of goat meat, with coriander, ginger, garlic, piri-piri chiles … and a healthy heaping of blood.
Send us your most creative caption for the above image.
A great question can ignite innovative thinking that is essential in our globalized, digitized and disruptive world. The six-week Inquiry-Driven Leadership online short course from the MIT Sloan School of Management teaches you to adopt a questioning approach to effectively identify and solve organizational problems. Are you ready to unlock the power of catalytic questioning? Find out more about the program here.