Bold start. Smooth finish. The newsletter that interesting people love.
Good morning! We’re all waiting to leave COVID-19 and its devastation behind. Yet as you’ll read today, there are some products that emerged during the pandemic that we definitely want to take with us into the future. Check out one such cool education tool and plan your travel to Africa’s unlikeliest party town. As journalists come under greater scrutiny from different regimes, meet one of Mexico’s boldest reporters. And start planning your weekend with stunning sauces that’ll spice up any dish. Don’t forget this week’s spot the difference contest!
HouseDemocrats and Republicans will now hold two largely meaningless but independent investigations into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Speaker Nancy Pelosi barred Reps. Jim Jordan and Jim Banks — who had tried to overturn the November election in favor of former President Donald Trump — from a bipartisan investigation panel, sparking a boycott of that effort from the GOP. Who’s to blame for this mess? Vote here or on Twitter. (Sources: NYT, AP)
2. Drug Deal
Seven U.S. states have reached a $26 billion deal with pharma giant Johnson & Johnson and three drug distribution companies to resolve thousands of lawsuits related to America’s opioid crisis, which these firms are accused of having fanned. The money is designated for programs aimed at mitigating the opioid epidemic that’s only gotten worse during the pandemic. (Sources: WSJ, CNBC)
3. Horror in Henan
The central Chinese province of Henan is preparing for more rain after furious floods triggered by a historic downpour — the worst in 1,000 years by some estimates — displaced 1.2 million people and left at least 33 dead. The deceased include some who drowned in submerged subway cars. (Sources: Bloomberg, South China Morning Post, NBC)
4. Tokyo Trouble
Organizers of the Tokyo Olympics have fired the director of Friday’s opening ceremony a day before the event over past comments where he joked about the Holocaust in a comedy script. (Source: Japan Times)
5. Princess Diaries
Two Dubai princesses — one who has escaped and another who alleges she’s being held in captivity — are among those targeted for spying using the Israeli Pegasus spyware. (Sources: BBC, Guardian)
Japanese calendar makers are sending desperate clarifications to customers to not take their products too seriously this year. Two national holidays have had to be moved because of the Olympics, injecting confusion into the plans of those who rely on physical calendars.
Know how to get the best available deals and bargain for a better price? If so, you’re probably using Capital One Shopping, the free browser add-on that instantly searches for discounts on your purchase and automatically applies them to your cart.
As new revelations emerge of governments around the world using Israel’s Pegasus spyware to snoop on journalists, meet some of the planet’s boldest reporters who are risking it all to bring us the truth.
In the Philippines, criticizing President Rodrigo Duterte and his brutal ways of curbing crime can prove deadly. Salem, editor of the independent online publication Manila Today, knows this all too well. She spent four months in jail during the pandemic before she was released in March. She was accused of hiding weapons at home — but the lack of evidence against her suggests the Philippine government was most scared of her words.
3. Lina Attalah
When Attalah’s newspaper folded in 2013, she rallied colleagues to form a digital alternative. Eight years later, Mada Masr is Egypt’s only independent media outlet, fearless in the face of the authoritarian regime of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.Attalah has been arrested for doing her job. Yet with198,000 Twitter followers, Mada Masr has carved out a unique identity that won’t be easy to take away.Read more on OZY.
Be in the Room Where It Happens
Imagine a new era in which all people have equal access to participate in the future. The ASU+GSV Summit — dubbed a “must attend” conference by The New York Times — is back, live and in person in San Diego, Aug. 9-11, connecting leading minds focused on transforming society and business around learning and work. As an OZY subscriber, you can use the exclusive code OZYFamily for a discount. See you in San Diego!
The pandemic birthed them. But they’ll stay with us long after the war against the virus is over.
1. The Corona-Warn App
Developed in Germany and downloaded by nearly 30 million people, this open-source technology app uses Bluetooth to warn users when they are near or have come in contact with somebody who has tested positive for the virus. With other coronavirus variants expected to continue emerging over the next decade, a replicable mobile warning device could help stave off future illnesses.
2. Kisomo SmartLearn
When the pandemic hit, 12 million secondary school students across East Africa had few specialized online courses. That led George Akilimali to build Kisomo SmartLearn, interactive and locally relevant lessons taught over HD videos, animations and illustrations — even without reliable internet. More than 108,000 Tanzanian students and teachers accessed his content through USB drives and DVDs in 2020, with the Android app built to reach millions with its 2,000-plus videos in 2021.
3. An Ultraviolet Sanitation Tunnel
Amid the pandemic, Minnesota-based component distributor Digi-Key Electronics had to quickly invent a way to disinfect thousands of totes used to carry products through the company’s 1 million-square-foot warehouse. In three days, its engineers devised a 15-foot-long UV tunnel capable of quickly killing 99.9% of organisms, including coronavirus.
Today on ‘The Carlos Watson Show’
Performer and activist Bob the Drag Queen joins Carlos for a fun yet deep conversation on being raised by a drag-club-owning mother in the South, gender fluidity and polyamory. Watch later today.
Unlikely Party Towns
As the world opens up and we dream of traveling again, plan a trip to some surprising party destinations.
It’s one of the best cities in the U.S. for beer, but it also boasts a thriving bar scene. So you can feast on oysters, down brews and take in the gorgeous landscape to your heart’s content.
2. La Paz, Bolivia
Those who really know about these things swear that the capital of Bolivia has one of the world’s best nightlife scenes. Our recommendation? The hostel bars that primarily cater to backpackers but are boisterous and thrilling enough for everyone else too.
3. Djibouti, Djibouti
The capital of the tiny state on the Horn of Africa is a surprising melting pot where you’ll find Chinese, French, American, Japanese, Italian and other cultural influences seamlessly blending into each other on any night out. It’s packed with strategic ports of these nations, so the smooth stranger you meet at a bar might just be a super spy. Who needs more excitement? Read more on OZY.
And if you’re staying at home and looking to cook up a storm, these stunning global sauces will turn the most bland of preparations into something special.
We’re not monkeying around. There’s some speculation about how this South African barbecue sauce got its name, but one theory is that a disgruntled chef made it to serve some patrons that he referred to as “monkeys” for dousing their fancy cuisine in condiments.
2. Banana Ketchup
If you belong to that rare breed that hates tomatoes but loves ketchup, this one’s for you. The Philippine sauce uses locally abundant bananas instead of tomatoes as a base.
3. Black Tucupi
Brazil's “fifth flavor” takes the form of a dark sauce made from manioc, also known as cassava. Its raw juice is poisonous, so trust the sauce’s Indigenous producers instead of trying to make it on your own. Black tucupi has been made in the Amazon for about 4,000 years but is now hitting the fine-dining world.
Spot the Difference
Can you identify the four differences between the two images above? Please share your names so we’re able to applaud you! Check here for last week’s answers and winners.
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.