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Good morning! Historically Black colleges and universities are having their moment — whether it’s surging enrollments or stunning sporting successes. Today you’ll see another side to them that’s often ignored. Meet the Ghana-born Howard professor who’s using math to defeat pandemics, then get up to speed with a new race for the future of the internet that’s playing out at the bottom of the ocean. Take a trip to the Tokyo Olympic village and pick up the latest cool dance styles on TikTok.
The rapid global spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 drove down stocks, bonds and the price of crude as Wall Street saw its steepest decline since October. Meanwhile, a new U.S.-based study suggests India has suffered 4 million excess deaths since the start of the pandemic. Officially, India’s COVID-19 death toll stands at 414,000. Do you think the U.S. death toll is a significant undercount too? Vote here or on Twitter. (Sources: WSJ, CNN, BBC)
2. Pegasus Bites Apple
The revelations of mass surveillance of activists, journalists, politicians, lawyers and others around the world using the Israeli Pegasus spyware have sparked a political firestorm, with critics accusing governments in countries like India, Mexico, Rwanda and Hungary of violating basic rights of citizens. The spying has also exposed loopholes in the security of Apple’s iPhones, driving down the company’s stocks. (Sources: Guardian, FT, WaPo)
3. Change of Guard
Haiti on Monday announced a new government under Prime Minister Ariel Henry, a step toward ending the political chaos that’s engulfed the Caribbean nation since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse earlier this month. Moïse had handpicked Henry over interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph, who has now stepped down. And in Peru, election authorities finally declared rural teacher Pedro Castillo the country’s new president after a weekslong challenge to a June runoff by defeated candidate Keiko Fujimori. (Sources: NYT, NPR)
4. Facing the Music
The Japanese composer in charge of the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony has quit three days before the games start on Friday, admitting that he bullied children with disabilities when he was younger. It’s the latest controversy to hit the pandemic-battered Olympics. (Source: Japan Times)
Tibet’s first high-speed train is now running between capital Lhasa and the city of Nyingchi. The high altitude and superfast speeds mean the train needs additional oxygen supply systems to help passengers breathe.
Everyone deserves a confident smile — but for millions of people, their teeth stand in the way. Candid eliminates barriers to orthodontic treatment to provide the highest standard of care. Remote treatment might be a new concept, but Candid’s approach is pretty old-fashioned: Your health comes first, not their bottom line. Candid knows that great outcomes require great experience, which is why it has carefully curated a network of expert orthodontists and only takes on cases in which they can safely deliver the desired results. Get started at home or in a Candid studio near you!
Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones recently chose Howard over University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, sparking speculation over future luminaries flocking to historically Black colleges and universities. But HBCUs already have some great faculty you might not know.
Can math help us fight the next pandemic? That’s a key area of research for the Ghana-born professor at Howard University who’s a leading global expert in mathematical biology — the nascent science at the intersection of math and biology. But Yakubu is no ivory tower scientist. He’s acutely aware of the lack of diversity in the mathematical sciences, a problem he’s trying to fix in his own way — by choosing Ph.D. students from underrepresented communities to mentor and guide.
3. Clayton Yates
The biology professor at Alabama’s Tuskegee University has received more than $25 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense for his research on breast and prostate cancer health disparities. But his interests aren’t limited to America’s health. He’s also serving as research director for the Prostate Cancer Transatlantic Consortium, which is dedicated to analyzing and combating tumors in Nigerian men.
Today on ‘The Carlos Watson Show’
Carlos describes her as perhaps the most impressive person he’s ever met (and that’s including five presidents and countless CEOs and celebrities). Ursula Burns, the first Black female CEO of a Fortune 500 company, shares her journey from a New York City housing project to leading Xerox. How many other talk show interviews get interrupted by a phone call from former President Barack Obama? This one does. Watch later today.
Cable Connect: The Internet’s Future
Our Wi-Fi depends on undersea cables, mostly laid in the 1990s and early 2000s by telecom giants. Now there’s a new race to control internet bandwidth — and our access to information.
Last month the multinational tech company announced a new undersea cable, Firmina, named after Brazilian author and abolitionist Maria Firmina dos Reis, which will extend from the East Coast of the U.S. down to Las Toninas, Argentina. And earlier this year Google deployed its Dunant cable, named for activist Henry Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross, which carries 250 terabits per second from Virginia Beach to the Atlantic coast of France.
China’s Peace Cable will have the capability of transferring 90,000 hours of Netflix from China to countries throughout Europe and Africa in a single second. The cable travels on land through Pakistan and is then submerged underwater for 7,500 miles to its landing spot on the coast of Marseille, France. But given the involvement of controversial telecommunications giant Huawei, will user data be secure?
Tokyo Olympic Village: What to Expect
It won’t be anything like previous Olympic Villages. And that’s probably good — if boring.
The 18,000 beds across 3,600 rooms and 21 tower blocks at the Olympic Village in Tokyo Bay are made of cardboard and are recyclable. Athletes will need to wear masks inside the village, even if they’ve been vaccinated. Unlike in the past, athletes can’t avail of self-service dining.
2. Stick to Booze
A tradition that’s been around since Seoul in 1988 will now be broken. While authorities will allow alcohol — but only inside athletes’ rooms — they won’t hand out condoms except when athletes are departing. Organizers fear that if they encourage playing the field, Tokyo could end up being remembered less for athletic achievement and more as a superspreader event.
3. All Alone
Families of athletes are not allowed to travel to Tokyo because of the pandemic. Organizers have relaxed the rule slightly for breastfeeding mothers, who were initially denied the right to bring nursing children. But they haven’t allowed other attendants — even for Paralympic athletes — to travel to Tokyo, forcing some stars, like 2016 gold medalist Becca Myers, to pull out.
Cool TikTok Dances
These dance moves are rocking TikTok. Check them out and you’ll be doing them too.
Tired of the body rolling and smooth dance moves? Glitching, the latest dance trend created by 17-year-old Vanessa Clark, is about making rapid motions that make you appear to “glitch” with the increased speed filter in the app. The “Glitch Queen” has no formal dance training but her dance has seen her @glitchgirlmaster account go from 20,000 followers to 1.4 million in a week.
2. Perfume Dance
TikTok dances can sprout from anywhere. Even from a solo dance in an elevator by BTS singer V in the music video for “Butter.” It is called the Perfume Dance because V appears to be making sure a scent is applied to his wrist and throat. Fans are now doing the same.
3. Lock It Challenge
This dance craze has gone so viral that even the artist whose music is used has danced along. The Lock It challenge uses a remixed version of the 2017 song “Unlock It” by Charli XCX and involves satisfying hip-swaying and hand movements. It has amassed over 600 million views on the social media platform.
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.