The DOJ pledges to “protect” women – OZY


The Justice Department has pulled out all the stops against Texas’ restrictive new abortion laws, with U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland vowing to challenge them. Afghan university students have been separated by gender, and the pop-art murals are whitewashed like the glue of Taliban power. And Michael K. Williams, who played Omar in Thread, died at the age of 54.

Kate Bartlett, Editor-in-Chief


1 – Taliban announce government

One of the new Afghan ministers on the FBI wanted list

The Orwellian-sounding ministry of promoting virtue and preventing vice is back. The Taliban today announced the composition of Afghanistan’s new “interim” government, about three weeks after taking control of the country as US forces withdrew. Mohammad Hasan Akhund has been appointed Acting Prime Minister, co-founder of the group, Abdul Ghani Baradar, as his deputy and activist wanted by the FBI, Sirajuddin Haqqani, head of the Haqqani network, as Minister of the Interior. The Haqqani network is considered a terrorist organization by the United States. Earlier today, Taliban militants fired warning shots during a demonstration in Kabul. The group has pledged an “inclusive” government, but no women have yet been named. (Sources: Al Jazeera, BBC, CNN, Tweeter, Khaama press)

2 – Problem in Texas

The Ministry of Justice pledges to “protect” women against the law on abortion

Is there any hope for women in Texas who wish to have an abortion? US Attorney General Merrick Garland suggested it yesterday, promising the Justice Department would explore “all options” to challenge the state’s restrictive new law. His comments came after President Joe Biden urged the DOJ to find ways to challenge the law, which bans abortions after six weeks. It has been called a “vigilance” bill because it allows private citizens to file complaints against abortion providers. Republicans in seven states are now considering copy laws, while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls for a vote that would enshrine abortion rights into federal law later this month. (Sources: Washington post, NYT)

3 – Times are changing ‘

Old restrictions return as Taliban consolidates power

The students are back at university in Afghanistan, about three weeks after the Taliban took power. But there is one glaring difference: Classrooms have established gender divisions, with curtains separating male and female students. Other signs of the Islamist group’s agenda are evident on Kabul’s explosion-proof walls. Once housing colorful murals, they are slowly whitewashed and paintings of famous musicians are replaced with messages praising the Taliban. In the northern town of Mazar-e Sharif, women marched against the Taliban yesterday, as there is an internet blackout in the recently conquered rebel province of Panjshir, which is also said to be facing food shortages. (Sources: Washington post, Al Jazeera)

4 – Bolsonaro’s last fight?

Unpopular Brazilian leader calls supporters for mass rallies

Will it be a superspreader event? Perhaps, if Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s hoped-for millions show up at his Independence Day rallies today. The far-right leader wants to re-energize his base as his popularity plummets in the polls amid allegations of corruption and an economy hit by a pandemic. He is currently set to lose to former leftist president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the presidential election next year. With pro and anti-Bolsonaro rallies scheduled for today, some expect violence in the country’s largest cities. There are even fears it could lead to an attempted insurgency similar to the U.S. Capitol Riot. (Sources: Al Jazeera, The Guardian)

5 – It’s ‘B-Day’!

El Salvador adopts Bitcoin as legal tender

Today, El Salvador will become the first country to recognize Bitcoin cryptocurrency as legal tender. Millennial President Nayib Bukele’s government is installing 200 Bitcoin ATMs, and the controversial currency can now be used to pay for everything from a cup of coffee to home loans. What is dubbed “B-Day” will be watched closely by other governments and the International Monetary Fund, which has warned against using tokens as legal tender. But Salvadoran officials say adopting Bitcoin will help impoverished country, which operates on a largely cash economy. (Sources: WSJ (Sub), BBC, BI)

Learn more about some of the world’s most exciting economies on OZY.

6 – Important too …

Did you think that a coup d’état in West Africa had not affected the rest of the world? Think again. After the seizure of power by the military in Guinea, the second largest producer of aluminum ore bauxite, prices for the substance hit their highest level in 18 months. The Burmese army freed Wirathu, a anti-muslim buddhist monk, dismissing the charges of sedition brought against him. And a three year old boy with autism who was extinct in rural Australia for three days has been reunited with his family, who calls his survival a “miracle”.

Coronavirus Update: Vietnam has imprisoned a man for five years for breaking quarantine rules and spreading COVID-19. And India is preparing for a possible third wave during its festival season from September to November.

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1 – “Wire” actor dies

Michael K. Williams died of suspected drug overdose

“You come to the king’s house that you better not miss.” That was the slogan of Omar, the homosexual antihero of the scarred-faced drug dealer from a cult TV show. Thread. The actor who played it, five-time Emmy nominee Michael K. Williams, died yesterday at the age of 54. Williams got his scar during a bar fight and was discovered as an actor by rapper Tupac Shakur. Since Thread, a gritty crime drama set in Baltimore, Williams appeared in Ava DuVernay’s drama Central Park Five When they see us. The actor had spoken openly about his battles with drug addiction and his death is under investigation as a possible overdose. (Sources: NYT, THR)

2 – Christopher Columbus canceled?

Mexico replaces statue with indigenous woman

Old whites are being overthrown all over the world. Maybe not those in the current government, but certainly those who are on pedestals. After Mexico City removed an important 19th-century bronze statue of Christopher Columbus, it announced that a monument to an indigenous woman would take its place. Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said civilizations had existed in Mexico for centuries before Columbus’ “discovery of America”. Several statues of the Italian navigator have been removed from American cities since social justice protests prompted a reexamination of colonialism around the world. However, the statue of Christopher Columbus will not be completely destroyed and will be relocated elsewhere. (Sources: Reuters, CNN)

What do you think? What’s the best way to treat statues like this? Take our poll.

3 – The Chinese flop #MeToo

Alibaba manager accused of rape

What exactly is “forced indecency”? Not a crime, according to a Chinese court which dismissed the case against a former Alibaba director accused of rape. Her arrest made headlines last month after an employee said she was forced to drink excessively and then raped while on a work trip. The tech giant appeared to be facing a #MeToo account and fired the man involved, named only Wang. However, a court in Jinan City said yesterday that even though the man had committed “enforced indecency,” it was not a crime. Many on Weibo now denounce a lack of accountability. (Sources: BBC, The Guardian)

4 – Face to face

Siamese twins separated in Israel

Two twin sisters can finally look at each other. It was after the babies, who were born Siamese on the back of their heads, were successfully separated in a rare operation in Israel. Similar operations have only been carried out around twenty times. “Anytime you have two babies attached with their brains and the vessels that feed the brain, it makes things even more complex,” said Mickey Gideon, the doctor who led the operation. The 12-month-old babies are among the youngest Siamese twins to ever be separated, with their skulls and scalps reconstructed. The girls are now at home, although Gideon has said their cognitive abilities cannot yet be estimated. (Sources: NBC, The daily beast)

5 – Terrors of teenagers in tennis

Gen Z players dominate at US Open

At just 18 years old, Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz seems ready for the greatness of tennis. The teenager became the youngest tennis player to reach the men’s US Open quarter-finals on Sunday after his shock victory over No.3 Stefanos Tsitsipas. He’s not the only teenager to break it up at this year’s Open, with 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez not only beating tennis superstar Naomi Osaka, but also winning her match against the former champion of the ‘US Open Angelique Kerber. Brittany 18-year-old Emma Raducanu joined the revolutionary teenage cohort yesterday, beating American Shelby Rogers. Alcaraz plays another 21 year old Félix Auger-Aliassime, for a place in the semifinals today. (Sources: SuperSport, CNN,

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