Bold start. Smooth finish. The newsletter that interesting people love.
Happy Monday! Banks are all about safety and security. But increasingly, they’re also about bold innovation. Today you’ll meet the Brazilian mother who has nurtured one of the world’s largest digital banks. Read about why special ops in coming years won’t need soldiers rappelling down from helicopters in the dead of night. Savor the fascinating history of the king of mangoes. And enjoy the outdoors in the world’s greatest rooftop gardens.
Charu Sudan Kasturi, Senior Editor, and Sohini Das Gupta, Reporter
The U.S. and U.K. have joined Israel in blaming Iran for a drone strike on a British tanker off the coast of Oman that killed two people — a British national and a Romanian — and has injected fresh uncertainty into efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers. Iran has denied the allegation. Should the agreement be revived? Vote here or on Twitter. (Sources: AP, BBC)
2. Will Get Worse
Top immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday warned that “things are going to get worse” with COVID-19 infections, though America is unlikely to return to lockdowns. Amid rising cases among the unvaccinated, a growing number of companies — big and small — are requiring employees to get shots. Meanwhile, the White House has hired an army of social media influencers to counter fake news about vaccines. (Sources: ABC, CNN, NYT)
3. Jair vs. ‘Liars’
A flood of supporters of Brazil’s embattled President Jair Bolsonaro descended on the streets of major cities Sunday, echoing his calls for the use of recountable printed receipts with electronic voting in next year’s presidential election. Bolsonaro has alleged the current system is rigged against him (sound familiar?) and has called his opponents “liars”. (Sources: Al Jazeera, Deutsche Welle)
Arguably the greatest gymnast of all time, Simone Biles will compete in Tuesday’s beam final, her team announced today. Biles had withdrawn from the team final last week and subsequently skipped a series of other medal events amid mental health concerns.
Become a financial thriver and survivor with a brand new world from Minecraft. “Fintropolis” shows players how to take their money game to the next level. They’ll learn everything from responsible spending and saving to taxes and making big purchases. All in a super fun way that’s easy to understand. The goal? Increase players’ financial literacy and set them up to lead financially healthy lives. The game was created by Blockworks in collaboration with Ally and was inspired by four interns from Moguls in the Making, a pitch competition that challenges young, up-and-coming entrepreneurs from HBCUs to create impactful business solutions. Their goal with Fintropolis was to help parents and teachers empower players from all backgrounds to build the blocks of financial literacy and practice good money habits. These skills will help them become good financial citizens in the game — and the real world too.
The daughter of a Xerox warehouse worker whose house was burned down twice by the Ku Klux Klan, the 48-year-old CEO of JP Morgan Chase’s commercial banking arm is the highest ranking Black woman at America’s biggest bank. Duckett wants to transform Chase from a traditional bank to a customer-facing platform as easily accessible as Sephora, Apple or Netflix. As she says, she is her “ancestors’ wildest dreams.”Read more on OZY.
3. Chinwe Esimai
Nigeria-born Esimai is at the forefront of the banking sector’s reform efforts. The Harvard-trained lawyer is Citigroup’s first chief anti-bribery and corruption officer, and among the most powerful women of color in the white- and male-dominated world of banking.Read more OZY.
Today on ‘The Carlos Watson Show’
Olympic gold medalist and reality star Caitlyn Jenner talks parenting, politics and mental health. As one of the country’s most visible trans women, Caitlyn reveals what she thinks were her failures as an activist and spills secrets about the Kardashian/Jenner clan. Watch now.
Future of Special Forces
The recent drone strike on an oil tanker near Oman is only an indication of a future where special ops will be a lot more complex and sophisticated than what you’ve seen in Zero Dark Thirty.
1. Keypad Killers
Four months after Indian and Chinese troops faced off in their worst border crisis in years last summer, the lights went off in Mumbai. Trains stopped, and India’s financial capital came to a grinding halt for two hours. An independent investigation now suggests it was awarning shot fired by China. Instead of men with night vision goggles and laser-sighted assault rifles rappelling down from helicopters, a new breed of special ops teams will disable enemy defenses by simply hacking them. TheU.S. andRussia are recruiting military hackers. AndIsrael’s identifying and bombing enemy hackers.
2. Drones as Sidekicks
The special ops soldier needs to enter a building but it might be booby-trapped with explosives. She also needs cover in real time. Enter the future sidekick, a fully automated, intelligent drone that doesn’t need to be controlled remotely, can use its scans to inform its human partner if there’s a bomb inside the building, and can shoot at any threat while the soldier’s entering. Now we just need a rank:Drone Lieutenant, perhaps?
As summer slides off the peak in many parts of the world, it kicks off the scramble for the season’s last Alphonsos — the sun-kissed Indian mango with an international appeal. We serve you three slices of its centuries-old stardom.
Alphonso, alias Hapus, is thought to have emerged after the arrival of the Portuguese in India in the 15th century, possibly when they introduced grafting on mango trees to produce the “cut and serve” variety. And its colonial kinship continued well into the British Raj era.
But is there a hint of something rotten in the Alphonso’s supremacy? Sure, it’s delectable, but it also has qualities that have helped obscure other varieties. “Because of its thick skin, it travels well for longer distances,” says food writer Vikram Doctor, a vocal champion of the yellow-green Imam Pasand, a sweet-and-citrus treat grown in southern India. There’s also the full-bodied texture of Langda and the Himsagar’s musky sweetness — yet these rich mango varieties pale before the prominence of the mango monarch.
On a High: Great Rooftop Gardens
New York has the High Line, Chicago its City Hall and San Francisco has too many to list. But for the best elevated gardens, you’ll need to step outside America.
It rises from the ground like an Aztec pyramid. But the lush green building in Fukuoka, Japan, is a 15-story stepped garden with a music hall, convention center and art gallery in its belly. The location was once Fukuoka’s last undeveloped plot of land. Today it’s an iconic home to 50,000 plants — some imported by visiting birds.
The apartment building in Darmstadt, Germany, with 105 homes has as many trees as it has occupants, the greenery on its roof a spiral climb much like the building itself. Sip beer on the roof while admiring the extraordinary architecture around you.