African American winner makes Spelling Bee history
Zaila Avant-garde made history on July 8 when she became the first African American winner of the famed Scripps National Spelling Bee. The 14-year-old Louisiana native clinched the title after correctly spelling the word “Murraya”, which is a genus of tropical Asiatic and Australian trees.
Djokovic and Barty take home Wimbledon Cups
Novak Djokovic’s Wimbledon win over Matteo Berrettini on Sunday not only tied him at the world No. 1 rank with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, but it also brought him closer to winning all four majors in the same Grand Slam calendar year — Wimbledon, US Open, French Open, and Australian Open. A US Open victory is now in his ambitious pipeline. This feat has only been accomplished by Australian Rod Laver more than half a century ago. Ashleigh Barty also made history in the Wimbledon women’s singles where she beat Karolina Pliskova to be the first Australian women’s champion in 41 years.
Italy wins the Euros while England deals with racism
It was a busy weekend for the international sporting world. Italy defeated England in the UEFA Euro 2020 final to take home the coveted trophy. It is the first major championship win since they won the World Cup in 2006. But England’s loss made waves because this was the closest they had come to a major trophy since their 1966 World Cup win. Italy beat them in a 3-2 penalty win. Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka are Black Britons on the national team who immediately felt the wrath of racist attacks after their missed penalty shootouts. Coach Gareth Southgate has taken responsibility for putting the weight of the penalty on 19-year-old Saka’s shoulders.
Richard Branson becomes ‘space baron’ while Galactic stocks take a hit
Business mogul Richard Branson gained the title of ‘space baron’ when he became the first of the billionaires to reach the edge of space in his Virgin Galactic rocket plane. The Brit returned safely to Earth just over an hour after taking off the ground. But shares of Virgin Galactic fell more than 14% on Monday after the company filed to sell up to $500 million in common stock.
The strongest Cuban outrage since Maleconazo
Thousands of Cubans marched through southwest Havana last week, protesting food and medicine shortages. Their outrage proved to be significant in a region marked by strict authoritative crackdowns. Such anger against the Communist government had not been seen in almost 30 years during the so-called Maleconazo uprising, which exploded in the summer of 1994 into a huge wave of Cubans leaving the country by sea. Some activists even said this was the most popular demonstration since 1959 when Fidel Castro took power.
Top US Commander in Afghanistan steps down
Gen. Scott Miller, the top US commander in Afghanistan relinquished his post during a ceremony in Kabul on Monday. Miller’s move brings the United States a step closer to ending their 20-year war in Afghanistan, while the Taliban forces continue to gain more territories around the country. Another four-star general will take Miller’s place but from the US to conduct possible airstrikes in defense of Afghan government forces, at least until the U.S. withdrawal concludes by August 31.
The Naomi Osaka Barbie doll
Tennis legend Naomi Osaka was honored with her own Barbie doll ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. The Mattel creation is now up for purchase on Amazon. This isn’t Osaka’s first brush with Barbie. Her likeness was presented as a one-of-a-kind Barbie Shero for the brand’s 60th anniversary in 2019. Fans were disappointed that there was no mass production for purchase. But that has changed now with the creation of the new Naomi Osaka Barbie Role Model.
Pfizer booster shot not needed “right now”
With the worldwide pandemic death toll at 4 million amid the rise of the Delta variant, Pfizer has urged for booster shots to strengthen immunity. But there is a clash of authorities regarding this as the FDA and the CDC asked them to slow their roll. “Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time,” they said. Even Anthony Fauci expressed that a booster shot is not needed “right now” as no concrete data has emerged to prove that vaccinated people require it at the moment.