Will Trump Pardon His Kids Next? – OZY

I’m not handy. In fact, I’m not sure what being handy even means. All I know is that electrical wiring gives me anxiety. But I’m inspired by Nigeria’s first female mechanic who also teaches human trafficking survivors to become mechanics. You’ll meet her and other technicians making waves today, get ideas for crazy prison escapes and find out where to taste some of the best fries out there.

Joshua Eferighe, Reporter

1. Papa Pardon

Promise not to be naughty? President Donald Trump is considering preemptive pardons for his eldest children Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka, and son-in-law Jared Kushner before he leaves office. Trump continues to allege foul play in the election, but Attorney General William Barr has now said the Department of Justice has found no widespread voter fraud — though the department is reportedly probing into allegations of bribes-for-pardons against the White House. (Sources: NYT, Fox News, WaPo)

2. First at Vac

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has decided that health care workers and nursing home residents will receive the first batch of COVID-19 vaccine shots, expected to become available this month. The U.K. on Wednesday approved the Pfizer vaccine for use, while Mexico is expected to sign a deal for the supply of the pharma firm’s vaccine shots. Meanwhile, coronavirus stimulus talks have restarted in the U.S. over a new roughly $900 billion compromise proposal. (Sources: BBC, Reuters, Guardian, WSJ)

3. Billions to Slack

Cloud computing giant Salesforce is paying over $27 billion to buy workplace messaging app Slack, aiming to boost its competitiveness in an era of remote working. But while it’s great to be Slack, cutting corners isn’t okay, as Ivory Coast and Ghana — which produce 60 percent of the world’s cocoa — have told chocolate majors like Mars and Hershey, accusing them of trying to avoid paying a premium meant to help farmers. Should these companies have to pay the premium? Vote on Twitter. (Sources: FT, CNBC)

4. Bond Prop Drops

You remember the epic scene in GoldenEye when James Bond and villain Alec Trevelyan fight atop this gigantic satellite dish? Well, the dish itself has given up now. Puerto Rico’s Arecibo telescope — one the world’s largest — collapsed yesterday after 57 years of astronomical discoveries. On a brighter note, China’s Chang’e-5 mission touched down successfully on the moon yesterday. (Sources: Guardian, BBC)

Master Mechanics

As you’ve probably figured out by now, we at OZY like offering solutions. But some of the smartest people at finding fixes are mechanics. And they do it for a living. Meet some of the best. 

1. Sandra Aguebor

She’s been drawn to gears, bolts and grease from childhood. So much so that her father tried to steer her away — in their home country of Nigeria, traditional gender roles are respected fairly rigidly. He failed. By age 13, Aguebor was fielding customers in a local garage, even though her formal engineering education was some years away. Now the country’s  first female mechanic, Aguebor is the founder of Lady Mechanic Initiative and trains survivors of human trafficking and underprivilidged women to become mechanics.

2. Dajae Williams

The 26-year-old quality engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory fixes rockets in gold chains and basketball jerseys. That’s when she’s not rapping. The St. Louis native initially went to college on a basketball scholarship. Now she’s playing a whole new game: using her position at NASA and her hip-hop music (her band is called Listen Up!) to get underprivileged children interested in STEM.

Art of the Escape

In November, a North Korean former gymnast hopped over a 10-foot barrier separating the nation from South Korea, in his bid for freedom. But if this is the Olympics of great escapes, he has tough competition.  

1. Heli-Hijack

Lucy Dudko hijacked a helicopter and used it to bust her boyfriend out of prison in Australia in 1999. He was in for armed robbery and shooting at an off-duty police officer. They were out for 45 days before they were captured again. Heli-uva love story. Read more on OZY.

2. The Naked Escape

The easy part was plotting and overpowering the warden on duty. What was not so easy was grabbing all of the weapons; two escapees and a soldier died in armed combat. The hardest part? Shedding their distinctive yellow uniforms and making off, naked into the wilderness. That’s the astonishing story of Uganda’s 219-person prison break earlier this year.

3. Drugs to Drag

One got American Dwight Worker in, the other helped him escape from Mexico’s notorious high-security Lecumberri prison in 1973. Worker was serving a five-year sentence for smuggling cocaine through the airport. But he found love while in jail and married a woman who was visiting another inmate. She then helped him evade security personnel, by dressing him as a woman.

Here’s a quiz. This French murderer of Vietnamese-Indian origin used a cat to escape from a high-security prison once. Who am I talking about?

Today on ‘The Carlos Watson Show’

Online education has never been more important. And no one knows the sector better than Khan Academy founder Sal Khan. Watch him later today, as he talks to Carlos about his push for accessible world-class education, plans for working with the Biden administration and how virtual education can improve political representation.

And on site, don’t miss former CIA Deputy Director John McLaughlin’s latest column for OZY on how the intelligence community is back in a position of prominence with the election of Joe Biden.  

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Getting By

It’s tough for millions of people this year, amid job losses, a public health crisis and the loss of loved ones. These fixes aren’t long-term solutions — but they’re helping people survive. 

 

2. Tracks from Scratch

Artists who mainly make money from touring have been forced to put on virtual concerts and perform at drive-in venues due to low streaming percentages. They’re making less money and so can’t afford to spend like they used to. Enter Tracks From Scratch. Using live instruments, the small music business produces affordable instrumentals from scratch for singers who aren’t able to use or pay for expensive beats from YouTube.

3. Coupons

Hard times have made us pivot back to vouchers — just digitally. Inmar Intelligence, a retail data company, found that 90 percent of shoppers are looking for a deal and one Denver-based coupon site saw a 93 percent increase in loyalty sign-ups.

Fries to Die for

Or live for, rather. Because even when all is wrong with the world, great fries can bring a smile to your face.

1. KFC Secret Recipe Fries

KFC shot up the French fry’s power rankings — at least in my book — the moment they decided to douse their fritters with a delectable 11-herb-and-spice blend. They’re not for everyone though: these ones are soft. But they’re also fresh, seasoned and juicy. Ready for a bite?

2. BonChon K Fries

If you like Korean fried chicken, you’re going to love Korean fried fries even more. Yes, I’m emphasizing “fried” for a reason: Like the poultry, they’re double dipped in greases, giving them a crunch you can’t resist.

3. Yuca Fries With Garlic Mojo

Yuca fries are popular across Latin America but this Caribbean version is particularly special because of the accompanying mojo or sauce, made of finely chopped garlic, red onion and lemon juice. Get your starch and vitamin C in one go.

FIND YOUR PET’S ZEN

Green juices, lemon-cayenne water, vinegar shots: there’s no limit to what we’ll drink in the name of self-care. But our pets need high-quality meals to be happy and healthy too. Spot & Tango’s cooked-to-order fresh recipes are personalized to suit your dog’s exact needs and are made from locally sourced ingredients. What are you waiting for? Start your dog’s wellness journey now!

We’ve got you covered with 30 percent off, using the code: OZY30.

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