Trump to Ban TikTok


1. Story of the Week: Viral Learning Curve

This week researchers said face masks do protect people against infection by the coronavirus. But in the U.S., the masks are being treated as an emblem of the left by conservatives like Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas. The Republican failed a White House screening test right after he exchanged pleasantries with Attorney General William Barr and right before he was to hang with President Donald Trump. It also appears likely that recently deceased Republican former presidential hopeful Herman Cain contracted COVID-19 at Trump’s Oklahoma political rally, where he proudly bared his face, leaving epidemiologists to wonder, is this the freedom you seek?

Sources: CBS LAPoliticoNYT

2. Trump Goes Nuclear on TikTok

Maybe he’s afraid they’ll ‘Tok the vote. President Trump has promised to ban the popular Chinese video app over concerns about data collection and national security, though it’s not clear what legal challenges that might face. Some things, though, Trump and China seem to agree on. Hong Kong, increasingly under the thumb of Beijing despite China’s promises to uphold democratic freedoms in the semiautonomous territory, has had its September elections postponed for a year, allegedly out of pandemic caution. And in Washington, President Trump floated an election postponement — not for the pandemic he’s been downplaying but for a debunked claim of widespread fraud in a contest that polls say he’s losing.

Sources: The HillSCMPBBC

3. Is Trump’s New Postmaster Already Messing With the Election?

Sorting through millions of ballots is a massive feat already. Despite the president’s opposition to mail-in ballots, millions of Americans will be sending them in November. Normally, the U.S. Postal Service would jump at the chance to prove its worth to a skeptical public. But two presidents have dampened that resolve: A frugal Obama administration’s cost-cutting saw first-class deliveries extended to as long as five days. Now, Trump-appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is cutting employees’ overtime and reducing other expenses in ways that some fear could keep significant numbers of ballots from reaching election officials in November.

Source: New Yorker

4. It’s Not Just Big Tech: There Are Plenty of Trusts

Congress and the media may be gunning for tech titans like Amazon, Apple and Facebook, with their propensity to crush or assimilate competition while raking in pandemic-era revenue. But with an economic crisis looming, there are plenty of other hulking monopolies to aim for. Many sectors, from agriculture to dollar stores, are increasingly dominated by a handful of giants that crowd out smaller concerns. A massive, decadeslong consolidation of banks, allegedly allowing the industry to better serve consumers, has left rural consumers unserved — a trend to which many anxious to receive stimulus checks can attest.

Source: The Atlantic

5. Also Important …

Dr. Anthony Fauci says he’s «cautiously optimistic» about having a vaccine by the end of 2020. Rupert Murdoch’s younger son James has resigned from the family company, News Corp. And a Tampa teenager has been charged with masterminding the recent Twitter hack that saw prominent accounts hijacked to tweet about bitcoin.

In the week ahead: On Sunday, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon space capsule is due to return two NASA astronauts to Earth from the International Space Station. On Tuesday, the three-day Aspen Security Forum, conducted online, will begin. And Thursday is the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima atomic bomb blast — the first military use of a nuclear weapon.

Live Curiously: Display your curiosity about history’s disastrous turning points, dangerous ideas and crazy coincidences with this bold Flashback poster. Or if your walls are already full, check out the OZY store for more great swag.

6. And Introducing … The Carlos Watson Show

Bold. Smart. Curious. The Carlos Watson Show is your newest «can’t miss» show from OZY. Host Carlos Watson brings a new breed of talk, getting real and deep with the voices you need to know to make sense of this important moment. What does Sean Spicer think of Black Lives Matter? Will Terry Crews apologize for his recent tweets? What’s the shared experience that brings one particular vice presidential sleeper pick close to Joe Biden? Find out this and more when you watch the #CarlosWatsonShow, airing this Monday. Subscribe for free on OZY’s YouTube channel.

optimize your integrated digital marketing efforts, with guidance from MIT Sloan

Sponsored by the MIT Sloan School of Management, Delivered in Collaboration With GetSmarter

New digital technologies have fundamentally changed the quality and quantity of information we can store, access, and analyze. This proliferation of data has reshaped marketing, creating an increasing business need for professionals who can understand and react to consumer patterns, ensure optimal return on investment (ROI) for marketing spend, and deliver valuable insights that drive better customer service.

The six-week MIT Sloan Digital Marketing Analytics online short course unpacks how to leverage measurement and analysis in your digital marketing strategy. With a focus on analytics-based marketing, you will assess the latest applications of artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive modeling that will help drive ROI for campaigns. Gain up-to-date insights under the expert instruction of Sinan Aral, David Austin Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Find out more about the program here.


1. The Pandemic Marriage Decline

During the Great Depression, 20 percent fewer couples tied the knot. After the 2008 financial crisis, weddings took a modest 4 percent dip. Some experts believe the current recession — at a time when people are already marrying a lot less — could deal a massive blow to the institution of matrimony, holy and otherwise, OZY reports. While social distancing is already affecting how people form relationships, experts expect to see further drops in nuptials, especially with financial setbacks curtailing couples’ ability to plunk down half of a 2019 income on a 2020 ceremony.

Source: OZY

2. Lockdown Hajj Is Wiping Out Somali Livestock Business

They’re “extending their hands to Allah.” That was one Somali herdsman’s assessment of the plight the country’s livestock keepers find themselves in. Some 70 percent of the cows, sheep and goats the country sells each year are exported to Saudi Arabia for the more than 2 million Muslim pilgrims who would normally be making the hajj this time of year. But the pandemic has led Saudi authorities to limit the Mecca-centered event to just 10,000 residents of the kingdom — meaning Somalia can expect its livestock exports to decline by half this year.

Sources: Washington PostForeign Policy

3. Dissecting America’s Caste System

Before his movement changed U.S. civil rights laws, Martin Luther King Jr. visited India and saw a profound similarity with America. As in India, a human hierarchy had evolved in the United States – a caste system. What people look like or the race others attribute to them, writes Isabel Wilkerson in The Guardian, is the “visible cue to their caste.” And it is not possible to understand the upheaval that has engulfed the country following the killing of George Floyd without understanding the silent power of the human hierarchy pyramid

Source: The Guardian

4. China Could Become the Box-Office King

Have you seen Dolittle yet? If you’re in the U.S., you probably didn’t see it in a theater. But more than 4 million people in China turned out last week, making the Universal flick a chart-topper with $5.1 million in ticket sales. While it’s still a long shot, the pandemic continues to rage in America — meaning the Middle Kingdom’s movie complexes, only half of which are now open, have a fighting chance of dominance. But there’s a long way to go, and still enough time for a Hollywood ending.

Source: Variety

5. The MLB Is Running Out of Options — and Teams

And then there were six. It started when a few Miami Marlins were infected with the coronavirus, as well as one of the Washington Nationals who just missed opening day when he tested positive. Now 20 Marlins are infected, their team sidelined with Washington, Philadelphia, Toronto, Milwaukee and St. Louis — the latest team showing infections. Friday’s 15th cancellation, Milwaukee vs. St. Louis, was the first with no connection to Miami, indicating what in civilian circles would be known as community spread. That raises the question: How long until the season is called?

Sources: ESPNWSJ (sub)