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“I can’t breathe.” Those words from George Floyd echoed like a gunshot around the world after he died, a policeman’s knee on his neck, on May 25, 2020. A year later, we look at the ways Floyd’s legacy continues to reverberate globally, meet the Monet-loving CEO in charge of delivering the world’s largest chunk of COVID-19 vaccines, visit a Malawian prison turning poop into energy and sip on some of the planet’s most unique — and audacious — coffees.
Charu Sudan Kasturi, Senior Editor, and Pallabi Munsi, Reporter
The European Union has ordered its airlines to skirt Belarus and sever direct connections with the former Soviet nation as a part of sanctions against the country’s authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko, who forced a Ryanair plane carrying a dissident to land in Minsk on Sunday. The dissident, Roman Protasevich, was then arrested. (Sources: AP, NYT)
2. Zoom Schooling Over
New York City will require all public school students to attend physical classes from September, ending all remote learning. Are you anxious, relieved or conflicted about the end of remote learning in America’s largest public school system? Vote here or on Twitter. (Sources: WSJ, NPR)
3. Bubble Bursts
New Zealand has paused its travel bubble with the Australian state of Victoria after a fresh COVID-19 outbreak in Melbourne. The U.S. has advised American citizens not to travel to Japan, which is hosting the Olympics in two months, because of fresh cases there. And doctors in Afghanistan are worried about the war-torn nation’s ability to handle the spread of the dangerous Indian variant of the virus. (Sources: NZ Herald, CNN, Guardian)
4. Mali’s Going Coup-Coup
One coup wasn’t enough. Mali’s military has arrested the country’s interim president, prime minister and defense minister nine months after an earlier coup deposed previous leader Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta. The United Nations, African Union and the EU have condemned the arrests. (Sources: Al Jazeera, BBC)
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Adevout Catholic, Covas heads São Paulo’s Instituto Butantan,Latin America’s largest vaccine manufacturer, at a time when Brazil, and the region, are among thebiggest battlegrounds against a rampaging COVID-19 pandemic. In December, he struck a deal with China’s Sinovac for the manufacture of their COVID-19 vaccines in Brazil, a game-changing move that also pulled him into the country’s heated politics between a dismissive President Jair Bolsonaro and an opposing local governor. Covas hasn’t slept much this past year and lost 22 pounds between the start of the pandemic and December. But in March, Butantan developed a Brazilian vaccine against the virus. Can Covas — and Latin America — finally breathe easy?
3. Aurélia Nguyen
For all the vaccines that Poonawalla and Covas churn out, the world won’t be successful unless Nguyen wins. A rare woman at the top of a male-dominated vaccine industry,she heads COVAX, the World Health Organization’s initiative to get COVID-19 vaccines to poorer countries at affordable rates. She’s in charge of a $6 billion war chest to deliver shots, but must compete with wealthy nations with far larger budgets also trying to buy up the world’s vaccine doses.
Today on ‘The Carlos Watson Show’
Acclaimed chef Marcus Samuelsson gives a cooking demonstration (Cuban-coffee tuna tataki, anyone?), plus talks about elevating the voices of Black chefs and his struggles with identity. Watch now.
A Year After George Floyd: How the World Has Changed
The impact of Floyd’s killing — and other police attacks on Black Americans — is also playing out in the hallowed halls of global diplomacy. Long pilloried by the U.S. for their problematic human rights record, China andRussia have returned the favor over the past year, citing America’s terrible history on race to question its credibility as a moral force.
Chances are you haven’t thought much about this East African nation. It’s time to change that.
1. Fearless and Fair
The outcome of Malawi’s national elections in February 2020 was in keeping with a pan-African trend: Incumbent President Peter Mutharika was declared the winner amidserious allegations of fraud. But what followed was a distinct break with the norm. Under Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda, the country’s Supreme Court ordered a fresh election. A furious Mutharika tried to forcibly retire Nyirenda, ostensibly so he could “write his biography.” But the nation’s judicial community stood up against that move. Mutharika lost the reelection, Malawian democracy won and Nyirenda is still chief justice. The biography will have to wait.
2. Waste No More
For years, Mulanje Prison in southern Malawi has made inmates chop trees from forests for fuel. Now it is turning to prisoners’ poop instead, feeding into a biogas plant that produces energy needed for cooking that’s clean and cheaper. Malawi suffers from one of the highest deforestation rates in sub-Saharan Africa. Mulanje Prison is showing an alternative.
3. Fish and … Porridge?
It’s not the most obvious of combinations. But nsima, a sticky and stiff porridge made from corn, goes brilliantly with chambo, a local tilapia-like fish found in Lake Malawi, for a wholesome, healthy and tasty meal.
Brewed in traditional clay pots,this Mexican coffee has an earthy taste that’s amplified by a cocktail of spices — cinnamon, star anise and cloves — and the unique sweetness of piloncillo or unrefined cane sugar.
2. Kopi Joss
This one’s only for the adventurous. The Indonesian city of Yogyakarta has a specialty coffee that involves dunking a lump of hot charcoal into your black brew. Apparently, it kills the coffee’s acidity. Just wait until the charcoal cools down before sipping, though — or it might kill you.
Crushing your goals is as easy as pressing “start” on the microwave with nutritious heat-and-eat meals from Factor. Eat smart with 23 dietitian-approved, chef-made options — including keto, paleo, plant-based and more — delivered each week. Factor meals are fully prepared but never frozen, so every bite tastes as good as it makes you feel.