Ever since the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore last year, the Black Lives Matter movement has been growing exponentially, both in citizen participation and in media attention. The Black Lives Matter cause was even exported abroad, with similar protests in Paris, Rio de Janeiro and other cities around the globe. Right now, much of the focus in the U.S. is around the ongoing protest by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who refuses to stand for the National Anthem before games to raise attention around police violence aimed at African-Americans.
But digging further, we see that black lives continue to suffer, and not just in America, and not just around police violence. We're publishing today the translation of a disturbing report from Folha de S. Paulo revealing that eight out of ten babies affected by the Zika virus in Brazil were born of black or mixed-race mothers. The regions bearing the brunt of the virus are to be found in the northeast region of the country, where poverty is widespread. But even among the worse-off of all races, blacks are overrepresented in the number of babies born with microcephaly and other brain malformations caused by Zika. This, in turn, is only bound to widen the inequality gap between the black and pardo (mixed-race) communities on the one hand, and the predominantly white middle-class on the other.
The burgeoning Black Lives Matter movement has, until now, mainly focused on U.S. police brutality. But this example from Brazil shows that racial injustice, and the legacy of slavery throughout the Americas, is brutal in many ways and places.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY
- Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi visits the White House.
- Super Typhoon Meranti heads toward Taiwan and mainland China.
U.S. AND ISRAEL SIGN RECORD MILITARY AID DEAL
The Obama administration has reached an "unprecedented" military aid deal with Israel worth $38 billion over the next 10 years, The Washington Post reports. This is more than the U.S. has ever provided to any country, but it's significantly less than what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was asking for. For The Jerusalem Post Herb Keinon writes that the deal "sends a powerful message to Israel's enemies."
BRAZIL UNVEILS PLAN TO FIX THE ECONOMY
Brazil's new government has unveiled a sweeping plan to try and pull the economy out of recession, O Globo reports. Along with privatizations of state firms, the government will also cut its infrastructure investments (except in much-needed sanitization works) and will bring in simpler rules and incentives to boost private investment. According to Folha de S. Paulo, four airports and two port terminals will be auctioned within the next year to private-sector bidders.
— ON THIS DAY
From Pakistan to Monaco, here's your 57-second shot of history.
RUSSIAN HACKERS LEAK U.S. OLYMPIAN FILES
A group of Russian hackers has leaked files from the World Anti-Doping Agency about three U.S. Olympic athletes, the tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, and teenage gymnast phenomenon Simone Biles, The New York Times reports. The leaked documents show that they had "received medical exemptions to use banned drugs," but do not appear to point to any wrongdoing. Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin's spokesman, said the Kremlin was not behind the cyber attack.
EUROPEAN SOCCER BOARD PICKS NEW CHIEF
UEFA, European soccer's governing body, has elected Aleksander Ceferin, 48, of Slovenia, as its new chief to succeed France's Michel Platini, who resigned after being banned from the sport for ethics violations. More from the BBC
History mostly knows him as the disgraced architect of the Vietnam War, but he first made his mark in the corporate world with his mastery of numbers before it was as fashionable as it is today. For French financial daily Les Echos, Tristan Gaston-Breton draws a portrait of Robert McNamara and how he revolutionized the car industry: "Those who knew him well described the California native as cold and distant — and he was never taken by the pursuit of material things either. For this onetime top Ford Motors executive, cars were nothing more than a method of transport.
McNamara was drawn, instead, to numbers. He was able to maximize company profits because he knew markets intimately. He could build an efficient organization based on data alone."
Read the full article, How Robert McNamara And The Whiz Kids Invented Big Data.
"Killing in God's name is Satanic." Those sharp words punctuated a homily given this morning by Pope Francis, in honor of slain Father Jacques Hamel, the French priest whose throat was slit last July by a man who'd pledged his allegiance to the Islamic terror group ISIS.
SHIMON PERES STABLE AFTER STROKE
Shimon Peres is in stable but serious condition after suffering a massive stroke yesterday, Haaretz quotes his doctor as saying. The former Israeli president, aged 93, has had heart problems recently and reportedly received a pacemaker last week.
Could China and Japan's dispute over the Diaoyu (or Senkaku, for the Japanese) Islands lead to war? Eighty percent of Japanese seem to believe so, with 35% saying they were "very concerned." Read more from The Japan Times.
— MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD
Our Ladies Of The Snow — Zonza, 1969
JAPANESE VOLCANO WILL ERUPT WITHIN 30 YEARS
Scientists have warned that Sakurajima, one of Japan's most active volcanoes, is due for a large-scale eruption in the next 30 years. It's located on the Kyushu island, 30 miles from a nuclear power plant and close to Kagoshima, a city of 600,000 inhabitants.
MORE STORIES, BROUGHT TO YOU BY WORLDCRUNCH
- Epigenetics: Are Darwin's Theories About To Evolve? — Süddeutsche Zeitung
- This App Could Reduce Your Risk Of Cancer — Publico
- That Pure Marketing Scam We Call Detox — Le Temps
OF MICE AND MEN
Researchers in Britain have brought to life a litter of mice without fertilizing eggs with sperm, opening up the possibility that they might, one day, be able to create babies without an egg. With that method, a baby could theoretically be born of two fathers.