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Good morning! One of my favorite summer drinks is prosecco. The Italian wine, chilled enough, is a soothing evening beverage on hot Indian days. But now, it turns out, the drink is also a call to arms. Sip on some emerging wine wars, meet yogis revolutionizing the ancient practice, check out why cryptocurrencies are finding communist takers and lose yourself in the intrigue of spy thrillers that are appropriately hard to find.
California’s Dixie fire is now the second-biggest in the state’s history. It’s already burned through more than 720 square miles. Meanwhile, thousands of people have been evacuated — and many more are lining up to leave via ferries — from Evia, Greece’s second-largest island after wildfires ravaged the region in apocalyptic scenes. Should we be prepared for worsening wildfires each year? Vote here or on Twitter. (Sources: LA Times, NPR)
2. Taliban’s Triumphs
The Taliban grabbed control of Kunduz and two other provincial capitals in northern Afghanistan Sunday, dramatically escalating their expansion with the U.S. having withdrawn its forces from the country. In the south, the Islamist group is on the verge of capturing Helmand’s provincial seat. (Sources: WaPo, Al Jazeera, AP)
3. Alibaba Assault
A sexual assault charge against a manager at Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has sparked a national backlash against the company’s failure to address the complainant’s concerns. The company has now fired the accused manager. (Sources: SCMP, WSJ)
4. Messy Messi Move
One of modern soccer’s most formidable partnerships fell apart Sunday as a tearful Lionel Messi confirmed his departure from Barcelona, a club the Argentine superstar has been with for two decades, amid an expected signing with Paris Saint-Germain. New Spanish league rules on salary caps are said to have contributed to Barcelona’s decision to let Messi go. (Sources: Guardian, Deutsche Welle)
Meet the cool, cushiony ease of Cariuma’s IBI Slip-On: featherweight sneakers that allow you to wander for miles or just grab the mail. The IBI Slip-On is made with three times less carbon than the industry-average sneaker. Knitted from sustainably harvested bamboo and recycled plastics, the eco-friendly IBI is more than just a cool kick: It’s a step into the future of footwear. Get an exclusive $15 off with code OZY15.
It might sound crazy for an Indian to learn yoga from an American, yet there’s simply no betterYouTube yogi thanTexas-based Adriene Mishler. I’ve been practicing with her for five years now. She’s kind, fun and will make you smile with her terrible jokes. But her secret sauce, for me at least, is Benji, her scraggly dog who goes into sleep asana when Mishler and you are holding a warrior pose.
2. Baba Ramdev
As a child in northern India, he wouldwin wrestling bouts against his brother by tickling him. Now he’s accused of using similar trickery to build amulti-billion dollar empire that sells everything from toothpaste and cereal to purported “cures” for HIV and COVID-19 — even homosexuality. Starting in the mid-1990s, he used the power of a dedicated TV channel to reintroduce India to an easily digestible form of yoga that many in its birthplace had forgotten. But he often courts controversy: Ignoring their pandemic heroism, he recentlycriticized doctors who practice modern medicine, sparking nationwide protests. He enjoys the support of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But like all smart moguls, he has a back-up plan: aScottish island he bought in 2013.
3. Christina M. Rice
When she started yoga in 2015, she discovered she was the only Black woman in nearly every class she attended. Today she’s leading a yoga revolution among people of color in America, Africa and the Caribbean through her academyOMNoire. Along with her team, Rice — now a trained yoga teacher — has held workshops across the U.S., Grenada, Barbados and Ghana. She’s part of a growing tide of women of color who are redefining how the wellness industry looks.Read more on OZY.
Unlikely Impacts of Crypto
From communists to climate enthusiasts to crooks, new players are taking up cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrencies have long been associated with the agenda of the libertarian right. But a growing number of left-leaning cryptocurrency enthusiasts are shaking things up. They see digital money’s potential in a socialist society to help achieve anything from equitable housing assignments to the demise of autocrats. Socialist governments like Venezuela’s believe blockchain-secured funds can thwart sanctions from the West. Read more on OZY.
2. Dirty to Clean?
Cryptocurrency mining is estimated to consume as much energy as the whole of the Netherlands, generating tons of greenhouse gases and contributing to climate change. But a growing number of crypto firms are now turning to natural gas, a wasted byproduct of oil drilling, to fuel their cryptocurrency mining. Others are using renewable energy. And Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak recently started Efforce, a marketplace where people can use blockchain to fund environmental projects. Read more on OZY.
3. Tax Evasion
From the U.S. to China, governments are strengthening regulations on cryptocurrencies, worried about their use to avoid paying taxes because of the greater anonymity in transactions allowed by digital currencies. Hackers have sought ransom payments in bitcoin, amplifying those worries.
Future of Farming
OZY’s hit podcast franchise The Future of X is back, and this season we’re investigating The Future of Farming with our friends at Vital Farms, from how data will revolutionize farming to the impact of Big Agriculture, along with solutions to food insecurity and climate change. Binge now onApple,Spotify,Stitcher orwherever you get your podcasts!
New Wine Wars
Bar brawls aren’t the only fights that occur under the influence of alcohol.
1. Champagne vs Shampanskoye
Champagne enjoys geographic exclusivity — an intellectual property status that in the European Union means only sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France can legally carry that name. But when you’re Russian President Vladimir Putin, such distinctions don’t mean much. In July, Putin signed a new law under which only Russian sparkling wine can carry thelocal name Shampanskoye, while all imported versions, including from Champagne, must be labeled as generic sparkling wine. Global champagne giants protested, but have ultimately decided that they don’t want to lose the Russian market.
2. Prosecco vs Prošek
It’s the season for bubbling battles to boil over. Italy has protested an attempt by Croatia to gain European Union recognition for itsdessert wine prošek, arguing that the name is too similar to its famed prosecco. The Croats are pointing out that the two traditional drinks are very different. But when it’s about protecting your market, sometimes it’s all in the name.
A rule-defying veteran CIA operative. His young protege. A popular mayor who’s too good to be true. Can they join forces to take down Mexico City’s most dangerous drug lord? Carefully etched characters and a plot full of twists and turns make El Candidato a treat for crime and espionage lovers.