Bold start. Smooth finish. The newsletter that interesting people love.
Happy Friday! Everyone has their favorite Olympic sports. I practice jiu jitsu and today I’ll introduce you to an ultralight Mongolian who’s a heavyweight in the world of wrestling and is aiming for gold in Tokyo. As the G-7 endorses a global minimum corporate tax, find out which countries are smiling and who’s crying. Revisit the most bizarre UFO “sightings” in history, plan a visit to amusing amusement parks and try this week’s caption contest!
The Trump administration secretly — and repeatedly — subpoenaed Apple for data from the accounts of two Democratic lawmakers, Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, as well as their families and aides, to find the source of leaks. The revelation sparked condemnation from Democrats. (Sources: WaPo, NYT)
2. Bridge Over Troubled Waters
President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson inked an updated version of the historic 1941 Atlantic Charter on Thursday, recommitting their nations to a bond that’s a bedrock of the West’s security. But Biden communicated concerns over tensions between Britain and the European Union on the future of Northern Ireland. Are the best days of U.S-U.K. relations over? Vote here or on Twitter. (Sources: Al Jazeera, WaPo)
3. A Billion Shots
G-7 nations will collectively donate 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to poorer countries at a time when the access gap between wealthy and developing nations is widening. South Africa has entered a third wave of the pandemic, while globally, this year has already seen more deaths from the virus than all of 2020. (Sources: FT, Reuters, WSJ)
4. Twinkle, Twinkle, Giant Star
Astronomers have discovered a previously unknown star near the center of the Milky Way that’s 100 times the size of the sun and appears to be blinking. It’s not the first remote, twinkling star that scientists have found, but this one is literally a big deal. (Source: Guardian)
Be Egg-stra Careful
Thieves in Mexico City have mastered a new way to steal cars: Throw eggs at the windscreen of a moving vehicle. The driver instinctively turns on the wipers, making a mess of the screen, then stops the car and gets out — only to be accosted by robbers. Bizarre? Egg-xactly.
This 19-year-old Indian wrestler could kick your ass … even if she’s injured. Ask Kazakhstan's Ayaulym Kassymova, who took a massive lead in their final qualifier for Tokyo, leaving the Indian with an injured leg — before Malik pounced back like a wounded tigress to secure a win from nowhere. And to think that just a year ago, wrestling officials thought she was too inexperienced to fight in the big league. Malik grew up watching former Indian wrestlers win at the Olympics on TV. Now it’s her turn to wrestle for glory — and millions of young Indian women will be watching her.
Today on ‘The Carlos Watson Show’
Rob McElhenney, the quick-witted creator and star of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Apple+’s new hit Mythic Quest talks about his love of Philly and how his diverse writers rooms have opened his eyes to racial privilege. Watch later today.
Biden’s Global Tax: Will It Work?
Leaders of the G-7 are today expected to formally endorse President Biden’s proposal for a global minimum corporate tax. Who will that help and who will it hurt?
1. Irish Eyes, Not Smiling
The idea behind a universal corporate tax of at least 15% is to avoid an endless race where countries competitively lower their tax rates to lure foreign investors. But while that’s great for the G-7 and giant economies like China that are always attractive to investors, it’s bad news for those that rely on tax incentives to draw foreign companies. Ireland, which has a corporate tax rate of 12.5%, could lose $2.4 billion each year. Others with low corporate tax rates — from Barbados and Paraguay to Hong Kong and Kyrgyzstan — will suffer too.
2. The Fine Print
But a major loophole could help Amazon, one of the world’s wealthiest companies, avoid paying higher taxes, experts say. A leaked draft of the deal the G-7 will discuss suggests it will apply only if profits exceed 10%. Amazon’s model is based on high volume and low margins, so it could escape.
3. Singapore Model
Countries might be able to get around a global minimum tax too. They just need to learn from Singapore, which has a fixed 17% corporate tax — but then offers a series of exemptions and rebates that effectively reduce the rate of taxation, making the city-state attractive for investors.
A fighter jet from the aircraft carrier captured images of a saucer-shaped object and a Tic Tac-like flying vessel off the coast of San Diego in 2004. On the radar, these UFOs appeared to descend from 60,000 feet to just 50 feet in seconds. But some experts believe the footage shows optical illusions consistent with the glare of fighter jets flying away from a fast-moving camera.
2. When Aliens Came to School
Was it just a particularly fiery meteor shower? Not if the students of a school outside Harare, Zimbabwe, are to be believed. It was 1994, and the kids insisted they had seen disc-like objects land among the trees where they’d been playing. Some claimed they saw aliens disembark.
3. The Belgian Connection
This was a series of sightings between November 1989 and April 1990, when thousands of people claimed they saw large triangles hovering before zipping out of range of military jets. Was it all a hoax?
Unique Amusement Parks
Life’s a roller coaster. You need more at great amusement parks.
Is it because the United Arab Emirates is obsessed with Indian films? Or because Indian tourists are an important market? Whatever the reason, Dubai has an amusement park that features rides, restaurants and shows based on Bollywood blockbusters.
2. Suoi Tien
Right outside of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, there’s a Buddhist-themed water park called Suoi Tien that, among great adventures, includes a pond infested with 1,500 crocodiles you can feed raw meat from fishing poles. Just don’t get dragged into the water or you’ll be the meat.
If you’re visiting Brussels, find the time to go to Mini-Europe, a theme park that is, as the name suggests, a miniaturized version of Europe. Here’s my question: After going there, would you bother with seeing the rest of full-sized Europe?
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. Find out more here.