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Why the US can’t just beam internet into authoritarian states like Cuba

After an eruption of historic, nationwide protests on July 11, the Cuban government is blocking its citizens’ access to major social media platforms to quash dissent. Now, the US government says it’s looking for ways to beam uncensored internet access into Cuba.On July 21, a State Department official confirmed that the Biden administration is “working...

How a spectator-free Olympics upended Tokyo’s big transit plans

Tokyo came with its game face ready. Soon after the city was confirmed as host of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games in 2013, officials began planning for how to move millions of visitors around on Tokyo’s roads and infamously complex train system.At one point, Tokyo was preparing for 10 million (link in Japanese) athletes, coaches, and spectators...

The origins of the Olympics’ obscure track and field events

The events of track and field exemplify the traditional Olympic motto of citius, altius, fortius, or “faster, higher, stronger.” Running fast, jumping high, and throwing objects a long way are elemental human pursuits at the core of many other sports like soccer, football, and basketball. Track and field strips these skills down and renders them in...

A new London exhibition aims to bring female African artists into the mainstream

A display of 32 artworks at the House of Fine Art (HOFA) Gallery in London, running through August, aims to showcase the range and power of young, up-and-coming female artists from Africa, or of African descent, in an effort to bring more of their work into the mainstream.“Mother of Mankind” features 16 artists and is curated by Ghanaian-British gallerist...

Weekend edition—Ben & Jerry’s politics, rethinking GMOs, Bezos in space

The founders of Ben & Jerry’s may be known as hippie throwbacks, but in many ways they were ahead of their time. From their earliest days making ice cream in Vermont, they cared passionately about supporting sustainable agriculture, paying a living wage, and speaking out on social issues that on the surface seemed unconnected to their product.Founders...

Sports, but make it fashion

Hi Quartz readers!The Games are underway, and we are following every minute of them to share the most exciting details with you. Although Quartz won’t be handing out any gold medals for reading this newsletter, we can offer 40% off a membership if you use the code QUARTZGOLD. And now, on to the main event. Highlight reelRead the rest of this story on...

The world has 193 countries, so why are there 205 teams in the Olympics?

Delegates from over two hundred regions will participate in this year’s olympics in Tokyo. There are 205 teams, to be precise, which is a curious number given there are only 193 officially recognized countries in the world.Why the discrepancy?In order to send delegates to the olympic games, a country must have a National Olympic Committee that is recognized...

Video game themes are the soundtrack to the Tokyo Olympics

At the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics, athletes from around the world entered the stadium to a particularly Japanese soundtrack: a medley of themes from popular video games.The first track was an overture from the game Dragon Quest, according to a list of songs in the medley published by Nikkei. It was followed by tracks including “Victory Fanfare”...

Naomi Osaka was a meaningful pick to light the Olympic cauldron

The Tokyo Olympics are officially open.A moving and somber opening ceremony ended with the traditional lighting of the Olympic cauldron—a prestigious honor that is typically given to a former athlete from the host country or a person who represents Olympic values. Famous examples include a shaking but determined Muhammad Ali at the 1996 Summer Games...

The Philippines’ first female Olympic boxer makes her debut in Tokyo

What must it do to the heart to come so close only to fall short 25 consecutive times? This has been the Olympic saga of the Philippines, a sports-obsessed nation that has never won a gold medal. And no, the gold medal from a demonstration bowling tournament at the 1988 Summer Games does not count.Boxing has yielded the most Olympic silver and bronze...

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