Bold start. Smooth finish. A spicy, daily cocktail of emerging changemakers, trends and delicious recommendations. Sip on the newsletter that interesting people love.
Sep 07, 2021
Good morning! Missing traveling lately? We do too, but maybe not as much as some of the world’s most innovative hoteliers, whom you’ll meet today. Yet they’ve managed to find opportunity in a crisis by, for example, trying to turn Machu Picchu carbon neutral. Read on to learn why the U.S.-Mexico border is as busy as ever, but not in the way you think. Finally, join us on a sensorial journey to the views, sounds and flavors of Afghanistan, because there’s much more to that fascinating country than what you see in the news headlines.
Women’s bodies have become a battlefield in Texas. Less than a week after a law imposing a near-total ban on abortions came into effect, U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said the Justice Department would protect all those seeking or providing abortions, including by deploying federal law enforcement officials to defend reproductive health clinics from possible attacks. (Source:NYT, CBS)
2 - Coup-Ida Mess
It is quite a (coup-Ida, get it?) mess. More than 80% of oil production in the Gulf of Mexico remains shut due to structural damage caused by Hurricane Ida, leading to ongoing power outages affecting millions across America. On the other side of the world, leaders of the weekend’s coup in Guinea, the world’s second-largest bauxite exporter, have asked mining companies to continue operating as the price of aluminum continues to rise. (Sources:Reuters,FT)
3 - No Exit
The founder of an American organization working with young women in Afghanistan has said that between 600 to 1,300 people, including several U.S. citizens, are waiting to evacuate from the airport of the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif but have been stuck there for days. The revelation has sparked fresh criticism of the Biden administration’s handling of America’s exit from the South Asian country. (Sources:Guardian, Al Jazeera)
4 - Keep Them Up
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has issued a decree demanding tech giants to provide “just cause and motivation” before removing online content. In July, YouTube took down 15 videos from Bolsonaro’s channel for containing misleading information about the COVID-19 pandemic. Do you think Big Tech should be allowed to ban content deemed fake? Answer here or on Twitter (Source:BBC)
5 - Take Them Down
On Wednesday, authorities in the state of Virginia will take down a statue of Confederate Civil War General Robert E. Lee. Meanwhile in Mexico City, an iconic statue of Christopher Columbus, who opened the door for the European colonization of the Americas, will be replaced by one of an Indigenous woman. (Sources:Reuters,Al Jazeera)
From crimes of the past to those of the present: We asked you yesterday if you could name the country that has witnessed the biggest crypto scam of 2021 so far, worth $3.6 billion. The answer? South Africa. Congratulations Linda A. — you got it right!
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The 74-year-old Peruvian hotelier has made it his business to ensure that the hordes of tourists who descend on his nation to see Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail actually bring wealth to rural communities, while leaving the country’s sensitive ecology unharmed. A pioneering ecotourism expert, his Inkaterra group of resorts welcomed 220,000 visitors a year before the pandemic. But while COVID-19 has hurt tourism, neither the virus nor age have blunted his spirit of innovation — whether it’s turning Machu Picchu carbon neutral or restoring a marine forest.
From old forts to abandoned villas, India’s landscape is a kaleidoscope of architectural influences drawn from its unmatched history. Balbir, an obsessive travel lover herself, is turning that rich tapestry of dilapidated buildings into a new Airbnb-style bouquet of offerings designed specifically for those willing to tread off the beaten path. Her company, V Resorts, takes over old bungalows and buildings in small-town and rural India and turns them into tourist-friendly homes, bringing visitors to often-ignored parts of the country.
The small Eastern European nation of Georgia likely doesn’t figure in your planned post-pandemic itinerary. Chekheria is on a mission to change that, using the nimbleness that comes naturally to entrepreneurs who’ve survived and thrived in the churn that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. Chekheria built a group of resorts that marketed Georgia as a cool new destination. Now, amid the pandemic, he has pivoted to offer health and wellness along the Black Sea. Will you bite?
The number of migrants detained trying to cross the U.S. southern border was the highest in 21 years in July. The 212,000 people apprehended included 19,000 unaccompanied minors and represented a sharp jump from the 188,000 arrested in June and the 180,000 in May, already some of the highest numbers in recent years. This despite border crossings traditionally dipping during summer.
2 - Home, Bitter Home
Guess who all are leaving their homes to try and cross America’s southern border? Mexicans? Guatemalans? Yes, but in recent months they’re being accompanied by a growing number of people from Ecuador, Brazil, Venezuela, Haiti … and thousands from as far as Romania. With South America’s economy expected to struggle in 2021, the factors driving migrants from beyond just Central America to make the dangerous journey to the U.S. border will only intensify.
There are few more serene and mystical musical melodies than those produced by the rubab, a string instrument that’s Afghanistan’s pride and that’ll transport you to the heart of Central Asia and its rich heritage. And there’s no greater modern master of the rubab than Ustad Ghulam Hussain. Hear him.
2 - Watch
Parvana’s just 11 years old, but when her father gets arrested by the Taliban, she chooses to dress up as a boy to go looking for him. The Breadwinner, an Angelina Jolie-produced animated film, is a tale of rare bravery, love, tragedy and hope in the face of the harsh realities of life under the Taliban that millions in Afghanistan will now have to deal with once again.
3 - Taste
There’s more to the menu of Afghan delicacies than juicy kebabs and crusty bread. Try aushak: leek and scallion dumplings topped with a meat sauce. They take time to make but oh, are they worth it.
The odds for monetary success have long been stacked against the Black community. Master P, D.L. Hughley, Michelle Singletary and Hill Harper join us to discuss how to tackle the racial wealth gap. Tune in to this Real Talk, Real Change special, brought to you with our friends at Chevrolet.
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