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Aug 27, 2021
Good morning. Just when you think Afghanistan can’t get bloodier, it does. But long after American troops finally leave the country, its new rulers — the Taliban — will impact our lives in ways you’ve never thought of. Check out today how the Islamist group could determine the price of your electric vehicle in the future. Meet a 28-year-old Cuban who could be the future face of baseball. And smile at the health benefits of your favorite junk food. Read to the end for this week’s caption contest.
President Joe Biden promised retribution for twin suicide bomb attacks in Kabul yesterday that left 13 U.S. service members and 90 Afghans dead, plus scores injured. “We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay,” Biden said. The attacks, claimed by Islamic State Khorasan, the local branch of the extremist group, sparked fresh questions about America’s chaotic exit from Afghanistan after a two-decade war. Biden said he would stick to his Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline but that the U.S. would use other “means” to extract Americans and Afghan allies left behind. (Sources: WSJ, WaPo, NYT)
2 - Housing Shield Thrown Out
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against a Biden administration moratorium on evictions that was aimed at helping vulnerable families find shelter during a surge of delta variant COVID-19 cases. Only a congressionally approved moratorium would be legal, the court decided in a judgment that could impact 3.5 million Americans facing the risk of eviction. Do you agree with the Supreme Court verdict? Vote here or on Twitter. (Sources: BBC, NPR)
3 - Free at Last
Gunmen have released all of the remaining Nigerian students abducted in May from an Islamic seminary. More than 1,000 students have been kidnapped in a spate of such attacks on schools across Africa’s most populous nation since December. (Sources: France24, AP)
4 - Party Problem
Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández has offered to pay two months of his salary as punishment for holding a secret birthday party for his wife in the presidential palace last year during a strict lockdown. Recently leaked images from the party have embarrassed Fernández weeks before midterm elections, and the president’s looking for damage control. But what if money can’t buy you love? (Sources: FT, Bloomberg)
When it comes to taking photos, listening to music and staying connected, you want a phone that’s super-fast, durable and sleek on America’s leading 5G network. And how does “free” sound? Right now at T-Mobile, new and existing customers get the new cutting-edge Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G FREE when they trade in a qualifying device and switch to the Magenta MAX plan, T-Mobile’s best plan for 5G. With Magenta Max, you get unlimited premium data that can’t slow down based on how much smartphone data you use. Paired with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G, you can see, do and connect more than ever. There’s never been a better time to make a statement with your smartphone.
When he pitched a 101 mph fastball while still in high school, the comparisons with Ohtani were bound to come. But the Japanese phenom nicknamed “The Monster of the Reiwa” isn’t some one-throw wonder. Pitching in a 14-0 victory that ended after just five innings because of a mercy rule, Sasaki’s performance was the top story the following day in nearly every sports newspaper in his high school’s baseball-crazed country. Now 19, Sasaki made his pro debut this spring for the Chiba Lotte Marines, part of Japan’s Pacific League. Is Major League Baseball next?
2 - Adolis García
Hailing from Ciego de Ávila, Cuba, 28-year-old García has had a breakthrough season with the Texas Rangers, earning a top-10 ranking among MLB rookies and being named as a finalist for the All-Star Game. The powerful home-run hitter is a favorite for the coveted Rookie of the Year crown.
3 - Julio Rodríguez
Just out of his teens, Rodríguez is playing under the Seattle Mariners in the AA league, yet to make his MLB debut. But the No. 2 prospect in 2021 got to showcase his skills playing at the Olympic Games for his home country, the Dominican Republic. Is this the summer when the outfielder proves he’s ready for the big leagues?
Taliban’s Treasures: How They’ll Affect Your Life
Terrorism of the horrific kind we saw on Thursday isn't the only threat emerging from Afghanistan. The Taliban, now in power there, will also wield an unlikely sway over our lives in economic ways.
The Taliban might appear medieval in their approach, but they could influence the future of transportation. The Pentagon has described Afghanistan as the Saudi Arabia of lithium, the mineral that’s a central ingredient of batteries used in electric cars. Afghanistan’s total untapped mineral wealth could amount to $3 trillion, its lithium reserves potentially as large as Bolivia’s. What the Taliban does with this lithium could determine how much your EV costs in the future.
2 - Trade Corridors
Since 2015, India and Iran have plotted a trade corridor through Afghanistan that would eventually connect to the landlocked Central Asian republics, dramatically cutting transit time — and so, potentially, the cost of goods. Independent of New Delhi and Tehran, Central Asia — Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan — has dreams of routes cutting through Afghanistan toward Iran, Pakistan, India ... and the sea. Now all those plans are hostage to the Taliban’s intentions.
3 - Dry Fruits
Every fall ahead of the festival season, Afghan raisins, almonds and other nuts and dry fruits flood India’s markets. They’re a coveted Diwali gift, but the raisins in particular are also popular in the U.S., U.K., Russia and beyond. This year promises to be different — potentially dry of dry fruits. Already since the Taliban takeover in Kabul, dry fruit prices have soared in India. Afghanistan’s crisis will echo around the world.
Healthy Junk Food
No, it doesn’t have to be an oxymoron — you can enjoy your guilty pleasures guilt-free this weekend.
Yes, it can be healthy. With a whole-wheat crust, calcium and lycopene-rich cheese and tomato sauce, and veggie toppings over pepperoni and sausage, you can enjoy a lower calorie, guilt-free slice of pizza pie.
2 - Chocolate
Ditch the milk chocolate and opt instead for some of its darker counterpart. Studies show that a daily ounce of dark chocolate reduces risk for heart disease, while an ounce and a half reduces stress. Comfort food at its finest! Moderation is key, though, as dark chocolate is still calorie-dense.
3 - Popcorn
Whole grain, fibrous and filling, popcorn can be a healthy treat when prepared properly. Skip the salty and buttery movie theater popcorn. Insead, snack on air popped and lightly seasoned kernels instead.
More on OZY
1 - Caption Contest
Send us your wittiest caption for the above image. We’ll pick three winners!
Hollywood megastar Scarlett Johansson takes us behind the scenes of Black Widow and reveals how she physically prepares for demanding action scenes, how she overcomes burnout and whom she would love to invite to dinner. Watch now on Amazon Prime Video.
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