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Happy Friday! Nothing quite captures our smartphone generation like our obsessive use of emojis. But what about those incredibly frustrating moments when you can’t find an emoji to communicate what you want, like a tearful hug? Today, check out emojis that would make the world a better place — after meeting the path-breaking trans model who’s already bringing a smile to our faces. Check out the latest Olympics rule that underscores the racism afflicting top-tier swimming, and sample a particularly suggestive seed. Don’t miss this week’s caption contest!
Isabelle Lee, Reporter, and Charu Sudan Kasturi, Senior Editor
Tensions between China and the West peaked Thursday with Beijing refusing to meet a senior State Department official whose visit was meant to set the stage for a meeting between the countries’ leaders. President Joe Biden in turn said the U.S. would warn American companies of the dangers of operating from Hong Kong. Meanwhile, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who’s previously been accused of being soft on China, demanded greater transparency from Beijing on the origins of COVID-19. Will U.S. companies flee Hong Kong? Vote here or on Twitter. (Sources: FT, SCMP, Bloomberg, BBC)
2. Water Wreck
Devastating floods have swept through Germany and Belgium, leaving more than 80 people dead and at least 1,300 missing. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, meeting with President Biden at the White House, described it as a “catastrophe.” (Sources: Guardian, AP, NYT)
3. Africa: COVID Capital
Deaths from COVID-19 have spiked by 43 percent over the past week in Africa as the continent rapidly emerges as one of the world’s most worrying hot spots amid a severe vaccine shortage and overwhelmed health facilities. (Source: Al Jazeera)
4. Haiti Inside Job?
Haitian officials have taken the security chief of the presidential palace into custody nine days after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse by gunmen who managed to enter his house seemingly without much resistance. (Sources: WaPo, CNN)
5. Press in Peril
Danish Siddiqui, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Indian photojournalist, was killed in Afghanistan Friday while covering a battle between government forces and the Taliban. Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, veteran Dutch crime reporter Peter R. de Vries died yesterday a week after he was shot in the street. (Sources: BBC, Reuters)
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The Filipina Chicago native is the first openly trans woman of color to appear in Vogue and the first Black and Asian American transgender model to appear in a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. She experienced homelessness growing up and was raised by a single dad who was her strongest supporter when she transitioned. Now she’s planning to step off the magazine pages and onto your screens as an actress. Watch her on The Carlos Watson Show.
The soccer star is as famous for her activism as she is for her prowess on the field. The 35-year old was recently recruited by embattled brand Victoria’s Secret to help with their reboot. The pink-haired winger will help form the “VS Collective” to replace the “Angels.” Can Rapinoe reverse the dominant “male gaze” of the brand?
Today on ‘The Carlos Watson Show’
Superstar model Heidi Klum and her Making the Cut co-star Tim Gunn reveal why they left Project Runway to start their own show on Amazon. Plus, Klum talks about her daughter following in her footsteps in the modeling industry — and why she and Tim have been effectively “married” for 17 years. Watch later today.
It’s the greatest sporting show on the planet. But as you prepare to celebrate the Tokyo Games, know that the latest edition of the Olympics hasn't been free from controversies over racial and gender discrimination.
The International Olympic Committee has long frowned upon mixing politics with sports. But in recognition of the growing activism that’s taken over the sporting world, especially in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, theIOC has made a concession for Tokyo: Activism will be allowed, just not during events or on podiums. It’s unclear if that will work, though. American Noah Lyles, the men’s 200-meter favorite,raised a gloved fist during trials in June. Will he do the same while receiving a medal in Tokyo?
3. Breastfeeding Mothers
As with the right to protest, organizers of the Tokyo Games initially landed themselves in hot water by banning family members of athletes from Japan during the Olympics as a part of pandemic restrictions. But multiple athletes who are breastfeeding mothers protested, pointing out that the ruleforced them to choose between their babies and the Olympics. The IOC finally buckled last month and allowed athletes to bring their babies.
So stunning it almost seems wrong to call them just seeds.
The Seychelles islands are home to the world’s largest, heaviest and arguably most suggestive seeds (see image above). But the coco de mer tree is endangered, with only 8,000 mature trees alive today, prompting the African island nation to launch a program allowing residents to apply to grow the palms on their property. They expected 50 or so applications but got double that with 104 residents requesting the seeds — and a chance to keep the species alive.
With pods that look like ornate wooden boxes with designs carved onto their tops, this plant has some of the most beautiful seeds you’ll ever see. It flowers between June and August before the fruits that inspire its name start appearing.
3. Lotus Pod
If you have trypophobia (a fear of clusters of closely packed holes), this seed might not be for you. The pods start bright green with tiny seeds nestled in the surface, then dry and turn into a woody, maraca-like vessel.
Emojis That Should Exist
It’s World Emoji Day tomorrow. Here’s our wish list of emojis that would make the world a better place.
Over the past year in particular, most of us have lost someone we knew. But how do you grieve via text when emojis of hugs either have a face that’s smiling or, at best, a heart? Can we have some tears, please?
3. Boiling Water
It’s like watching water boil. If you’re often waiting for someone to respond, it kind of feels like watching water boil. That cursed little typing bubble just isn’t enough. You need an emoji pot overflowing with boiling water.
Share your wittiest caption for the image above. We’ll pick three winners!
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