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Good morning. No one has a bigger haul of Olympic gold than Michael Phelps. But in Tokyo this month, the world will witness an even greater winner in the pool. Meet the Japanese champion swimmer who just defeated leukemia and is now preparing to beat her aquatic rivals. Learn about the Central Asian nation that’s a step ahead of America on the death penalty, visit Africa’s last absolute monarchy at a moment of crisis and get a politics dose … through fun video games. Don’t miss this week’s spot-the-difference contest.
Charu Sudan Kasturi and Kate Bartlett, Senior Editors
Rescue workers have given up hope of saving any more victims of the condo collapse near Miami, two weeks after the building’s fall stunned the nation. The official death toll stands at 54, but 86 others remain missing. Could this incident lead to tougher building norms and stricter implementation? Vote here or on Twitter. (Sources: USA Today, NBC)
2. Haitian Hunt
Police in Haiti have killed four suspects in the Wednesday assassination of President Jovenel Moïse and have arrested two others. But the motive and masterminds remain unknown as the Caribbean nation stumbles in a political vacuum. Interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph has indicated that the attackers were “foreigners who spoke English and Spanish.” (Sources: NYT, BBC)
3. Zuma in Jail
Former South African President Jacob Zuma surrendered to the police for a 15-month jail term for not cooperating with an enquiry into corruption. Zuma, who was in power for nearly a decade until 2018, faces multiple charges of graft and had earlier refused to turn himself in, setting up a potential confrontation with the law as supporters gathered around his home. (Sources: Guardian, CNN)
4. Tech’s Double Trouble
Big Tech’s getting it from both sides. Former President Donald Trump has filed class-action lawsuits against Google, Facebook and Twitter accusing them of violating his First Amendment rights by blocking his social media accounts. However, experts say he has little chance of success in the legal claims. Meanwhile, 36 states and the District of Columbia have sued Google, accusing the company of monopolizing the distribution of apps. (Sources: WaPo, WSJ)
If you missed them the last time around, the sneakers we can’t get enough of are back — the perfect transitional sneaker as summer rolls around! These all-season low-tops are OZY’s favorite look for dressing up or down. But don’t wait around — these comfy kicks fly off the shelves and won’t be here for long.
Japan’s top female swimmer, the 20-year-old spent more than a year battling leukemia. At the world championships last year, her fiercest rivals Sarah Sjöström, Maggie MacNeil and Emma McKeon sent her amessage of support: “Never give up.” She didn’t. Ikee returned to competitive swimming last September,breaking into tears as she emerged from the pool. And in April, she triumphed at national trials toqualify for the Tokyo Olympics. She's already won hearts. Now she’s looking to win gold.
When Phelps won six golds at the 2004 Athens Olympics, Pilato wasn’t even born. Today the 16-year-old Italian is the biggest teenage name in swimming, aftersmashing the 50-meter breaststroke world record in May. Italy hasn’t always been a powerhouse in swimming. Pilato could change that decisively in Tokyo.
Today on ‘The Carlos Watson Show’
From ‘Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In’ to ‘You Don’t Have to Be a Star,’ take a trip down memory lane with Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., the multi-Grammy-winning stars of The 5th Dimension. Discover why Marilyn nearly said “no” when Billy proposed to her, explore the connection between The Beatles and Black Lives Matter, and share in the couple’s reflections on Billy’s alcoholism. Watch now.
Killing the Death Penalty
The Biden administration last week suspended federal executions pending a review. But globally, momentum is growing to go a step further and abolish the death penalty altogether.
The tiny nation that’s surrounded on three sides by South Africa and by Mozambique on the fourth is witnessing its worst unrest since independence from Britain 53 years ago.
1. Teetering on the Edge
Last week, the nation’s impoverished citizens took to the streets to protest against King Mswati III. Africa’s last absolute monarch leads a glitzy lifestyle, has a penchant for luxury watches and owns a collection of Rolls Royces, though two-thirds of his citizens live in poverty and the nation of 1.1 million people has the highest HIV rate in the world. The King has hit back hard at the pro-democracy demonstrators with the army killing at least 40 people, and the internet has been cut.
2. BLM Moment?
The current protests follow an alleged police brutality case. In May, the body of 25-year-old Thabani Nkomonye, who was in the final year of his law degree, was found dumped in roadside bushes. Demonstrators have been defying a curfew to engage in street battles, some targeting businesses owned by the King.
3. Virgin Reed Dance
One of the reasons for King Mswati’s lavish spending is his enormous family. The King, 53, has 15 wives and more than 30 children. Every year, the monarch chooses a new wife from a parade of bare-breasted young virgins in a ceremony known as the Reed Dance.
Political Video Games
They’re fun, smart — and they’ll leave you thinking.
It’s talking about a revolution. Multiple revolutions, actually. The latest production from French video game company Ubisoft is clearly influenced by therevolutions in Cuba and the Caribbean in the 1950s and 1960s. Set on a fictional Caribbean island, Yara, the game lets players navigate the rise of fascism, forced labor, LGBTQ rights, free and fair elections and more. But those heavy subjects are balanced with enough humor to make this a fun, political gaming ride. Viva la Revolución!
2. Not Tonight
It’s arole-playing dig at a post-Brexit Britain, with chaos, confusion and oodles of comedy. A far-right government has taken over, and foreigners are being exiled. The only ones allowed to stay are designated specific roles meant to keep others out — likebouncers at a bar. Do you play along or play for the resistance?
3. Mayrig: Paths to Freedom
You’re transported back to 1915 and the Armenian genocide. You must find a way to escape. Accompanied by historical images, traditional Armenian music and the force of one of modern history’s worst crimes, this is an emotional roller coaster — yet educational in a way only the best video games are.Read more on OZY.
Spot the Difference
Can you spot the four differences between the images above? Check here for last week’s winners and answers.
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