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Good morning! From your iPhone to your Nike sneakers, much of what you wear and use is likely made in China. And ruling that nation? A Communist Party that turns 100 today. Dive beyond the rhetoric to understand the party’s secret sauce, meet a Russian entrepreneur trying to build a fortune from flies, check out some surprisingly short giraffes and beat the summer with mezcal-flavored ice cream. Don’t miss this week’s spot the difference contest.
Charu Sudan Kasturi, Senior Editor, and Liam Jamieson, Reporter
A Manhattan grand jury has indicted the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer on charges related to tax evasion, marking an escalation in the legal challenges facing former President Donald Trump and his company. (Sources: NBC, CBS, Bloomberg)
2. Beijing’s Blunt Warning
Don’t bully China or you might get your head bashed against a “Great Wall of steel” represented by the nation’s 1.4 billion people, President Xi Jinping warned Thursday, as the ruling Chinese Communist Party celebrated the centenary of its founding. Read more about the reasons for the CCP’s success when other communist parties have fallen, only on OZY. Do you think the CCP will last another 100 years? Vote here or on Twitter. (Sources: Reuters, Deutsche Welle)
3. Cosby Freed … But Not Britney
A Pennsylvania court overturned actor Bill Cosby’s conviction for sexual assault, setting him free in a controversial verdict. Meanwhile, a Los Angeles judge rejected singer Britney Spears’ request to remove her father from a conservatorship that she alleges lets him dictate her career and life against her wishes. (Sources: NYT, NPR)
4. Grave Situation
A First Nations group in Canada has discovered 182 more unmarked graves at yet another former residential school, the latest in a spate of such findings that have cast a sharp light on the country’s treatment of its Indigenous communities. (Source: Guardian)
5. Rumsfeld No More
Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, one of the architects for the controversial invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq in the early 2000s, died yesterday at the age of 88. (Source: BBC)
Choose your friends wisely. Bull sharks believe that too. New research in the waters off Fiji shows that the predators are selective about the friends they make, but form long-term bonds with the fellow sharks they do pick as buddies.
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A lifestyle influencer and daughter of a telecommunications billionaire might seem like an unlikely hero for Thailand’s agriculture industry, a sector that employs 40% of the country’s workforce and is responsible for nearly 20% of global rice exports. But those are precisely the skills that Nina, as Bencharongkul is known, is employing to transform Thailand’s agriculture. She’s using Instagram to attract attention to her tech revolution — using drones, artificial intelligence, robotics and sensors to bring real-time, accurate data and monitoring systems to her country’s farmers.
2. Naum Babaev
The Russian entrepreneur is co-founder of Damaté, the country’s largest turkey producer. But the tycoon has now caught a new bug … for one specific bug: the black soldier fly. Babaev has launched Entoprotech, a Russian-Israeli company that is using the flies and their larvae as a sustainable alternative to the globally strained supply of animal feed. The insects consume organic food waste that would otherwise end up in landfills, slashing greenhouse gas emissions in the process.
3. Christopher Okeke
Serving as Nigeria’s ambassador in Brasília, the businessman saw how Brazil’s agricultural tycoons transformed the country into one of the world’s largest food exporters in just a few decades. Now, he wants to emulate the experience in his home country. Okeke owns some of Nigeria’s largest starch and rice mills and is now working with Brazilian experts and investors to transform the country’s savannah into a fertile farming breadbasket through seed adaptation.
Sneak Peek Into ... Namibia
It lives in the shadow of the more influential South Africa. But don’t make the mistake of ignoring Namibia.
In 2018, scientists discovered just the second instance of dwarfism in a giraffe. Nigel, an Angolan giraffe living on a farm in central Namibia, looked “like someone put a giraffe’s head and neck on a horse’s body.” How short? Nigel is just 8 feet, 6 inches tall, compared to an average giraffe height of 16 feet.
Simply “grilled beef” in the local Oshiwambo language, kapana is a cheap and delicious dish sold in townships that were created when the country was under the rule of apartheid-era South Africa. Kapana vendors use all parts of the cow for the thin meaty slices, letting nothing go to waste. Taste it, and you wouldn’t waste a morsel either. Read more on OZY.
CCP at 100: Moments That Made Communist China
The Communist Party of China is the world’s most influential political party, ruling the planet’s second-largest economy without challenge. The secret to its success? Winning key moments in history.
The Japanese had been defeated and pushed out of China at the end of World War II, sparking a civil war between the CCP and the nationalist Kuomintang. After a bloody four-year war in which millions perished, theCCP routed the Kuomintang, forcing them to decamp to Taiwan. On Oct. 1, 1949, the CCP declared the mainland as the People's Republic of China.
2. Dec. 18, 1978
Communist China's founder Mao Zedong had passed away two years earlier, and veteran leader Deng Xiaoping had taken charge after pushing aside Mao's chosen successor. But at a usually bureaucratic party meeting on Dec. 18, 1978,Deng dropped a bombshell: China was going to reform and open up its economy. Deng, who would later famously say, “to get rich is glorious,” unleashed a genie that would turn China into an economic powerhouse, pull800 million people out of poverty and cement the legitimacy of the CCP.
3. Nov. 15, 2002
Through its first several decades, communist China had been wracked by internal power struggles so intense that a leader had to be ousted for his successor to be sworn in. Deng insisted on breaking with the cult of the individual perpetuated by Mao to instead adopt collective leadership from the party's top body, the Politburo Standing Committee. When President Jiang Zemin peacefully ceded the party's leadership to successor Hu Jintao on Nov. 15, 2002, it marked the culmination of Deng's dream — one that the party is now discarding.
Breaking News From OZY Studios
OZY and Grammy-winning R&B superstar Jody Watley have signed a talent deal. An upcoming scripted feature will depict the highs and lows of the singer and songwriter’s incredible life. You can catch more of her on The Carlos Watson Show.
Whip up a taste of Mexico in your kitchen with this boozy ice cream. Condensed milk, cream cheese and blueberry sauce form the base, but it’s that perfect summer drink,mezcal, that’s the icing on the ice cream. You’re guaranteed more than a sugar rush.
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