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Good morning. Days after taking office earlier this year, President Joe Biden emphatically declared to the world that “America is back,” suggesting an end to his predecessor’s inward-looking global policies. To millions to Afghans and others around the world, those words might now ring hollow. In Kabul, it’s the Taliban who are back. Read today about what’s next for Afghanistan and why 2021 is different from the 1990s. Meet a pathbreaking Chilean cannabis sommelier and check out some of the coolest gaming podcasts out there.
Charu Sudan Kasturi, Senior Editor, and Liam Jamieson, Reporter
The Taliban are back in power in Afghanistan after grabbing control of Kabul’s presidential palace and much of the nation on Sunday. Elected Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has fled to Tajikistan and the U.S. has evacuated its embassy in scenes reminiscent of the fall of Saigon in 1975. At Kabul airport, America and other nations are frantically trying to fly out diplomats, citizens and Afghans who’ve helped them. The Biden administration continues to defend its decision to withdraw U.S. troops, a move that set in motion the Taliban sweep. Has the Biden administration botched America’s exit from Afghanistan? Vote here or on Twitter. (Sources: BBC, CBS, WaPo, The Hill)
2. The Democratic Way
The Taliban used brute force — and a legacy of violence — to win Kabul. But over in East Africa, Zambians are celebrating a democratic election result that has seen businessman-turned-politician Hakainde Hichilema defeat President Edgar Lungu. International observers have praised the way the poll was conducted, but Lungu has questioned the results. And in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called a snap election on Sept. 20 in hopes of winning a majority on the back of his government’s pandemic response. (Sources: Al Jazeera, FT)
3. Terror Temblor
Saturday’s devastating earthquake in Haiti measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale killed 1,300 people and injured thousands. Compounding the country’s struggles are a desperate shortage of doctors and an approaching tropical depression named Grace. Another massive earthquake, in 2010, killed hundreds of thousands of Haitians. (Sources: Reuters, NYT, CNN)
4. Beijing Blues
China’s economic indicators unveiled Monday reveal a GDP that’s growing more slowly than expected amid extreme weather conditions that have sparked floods and a surge in infections from the Delta variant of COVID-19. (Source: WSJ)
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When she saw the non-intoxicating cannabinoid CBD working wonders on her daughter Isabella, who suffers from seizures and other neurological problems from a genetic disorder, the Columbia-trained nutritionist/dietician knew she had stumbled upon something special. So special that she has since combined her clinical background with experience in public relations to emerge as one of America’s leading marketers of CBD as a dietary supplement through her Holistic Cannabis Academy. That’s when she’s not walking on the beach or writing screenplays. Read more on OZY.
2. Raphael Machoulam
Nicknamed the “godfather” of cannabis research, this Israeli OG was the first to isolate and synthesize cannabinoids like THC and CBD in 1963, driving medical research into the plant ever since. Nearly 60 years later, Machoulam isn’t slowing down. With new research on cannabis-derived acids, Machoulam’s work could be revolutionary as the acids are more cost-effective and have an increased potency over other cannabinoid forms. And a cannabis company he co-founded in 2017 is now set to go public on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange later this year.
3. Simon Espinosa
Lest we forget about the recreational side, few people have made a bigger impact on Latin America’s marijuana industry than the trilingual Chilean Simon Espinosa. Considered a cannabis sommelier, the entrepreneur is the founder and CEO of En Volá, a digital media company that helps educate and inform cannabis users in a country that has yet to officially legalize it.
What’s Next for Afghanistan?
The Taliban have grabbed power in Kabul and across the country, almost exactly 20 years after the U.S. unseated them following 9/11. What does this mean for Afghans and the world? Is it back to the 1990s?
The scenes you’re seeing from Kabul and elsewhere in Afghanistan — of clashes, bombed-out buildings, fluttering Taliban flags and militants racing through towns — could be from the 1990s. But there’s one big difference. The U.S., Russia, China, Iran and India — major powers that all treated the group as a pariah when it was last in power — now want to do business with it. That’s the Taliban’s biggest diplomatic strength. Read more on OZY.
We kick off our new episodes with a very special conversation with Oscar-winning writer, actor and producer Matt Damon. The Boston native talks about his new film Stillwater and shares how spending time with Oklahoma roughnecks opened his eyes to opposing political views. What does he have to say about his BFF Ben Affleck getting back into a relationship with Jennifer Lopez? Watch later today.
Great Gaming Podcasts
There are great video games out there and others you want to avoid. These podcasts are the fun guides you’ve been waiting for.
There are more video games than anyone could ever hope to play in their lifetime. Hosts Heather Anne Campbell and Nick Wiger play and review the weirdest and the worst so you don’t have to. From American Truck Simulator to Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion, these games beg the question: How did this get played?
This video game history podcast combo dives into, as the name suggests, retro games. Relating how games of the past impact the games of today, hosts Bob Mackey and Jeremy Parish explore video games’ relatively short but glorious history.
Future of Farming
Ever look down at your plate of food and wonder where the ingredients came from? 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 and the impact of Big Agriculture to possible ways of tackling food insecurity and climate change. Binge the series now onApple,Spotify,Stitcher orwherever you get your podcasts!
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