These shoes are a big deal y’all.

Happening in the World: The Director-General of WHO, Tedros Adhaom Ghebreyesus, publicly admitted that data was withheld from WHO officials when they visited China to research the origins of the pandemic. Regarding this initial investigation, Tedros added, that although the research team concluded that the COVID-19 virus emerged from a leak from a Wuhan laboratory—this was a very unlikely hypothesis and “not extensive enough.” The research team’s leader Peter Ben Embarek, also announced that it was “perfectly possible” that the virus had been circulating in the Wuhan area around November or October 2019. (Reuters)

Happening in the US: Nike is suing MSCHF over their recently launched, ‘Satan Shoes’ in collaboration with Lil Nas X. The shoes’ release coincided with the release of the rapper’s latest song, Montero (Call Me By Your Name)— that was a celebration of their sexuality. Since both the shoe and the video include heavily provocative images, several conservative sources came out to critique the shoe and threatened to boycott Nike in retaliation. Since this was a mistaken belief and Nike had never approved the product, the ensuing confusion compelled Nike to sue. (BBC)

Happening in NYC: Yesterday, the New York State Senate and Assembly passed the Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act, thereby permitting all adults over 21 to purchase and grow marijuana for recreational purposes. While Governor Cuomo has stated that he will sign the legislation, the law will only take effect after he signs it—and the first legal sales of marijuana will likely take a few months after that to allow licenses to be issued. During discussions, policymakers frequently cited the main reason for legalizing marijuana as a way of alleviating racial disparities in drug enforcement. Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes, who sponsored the Act said that unlike other states in the US, New York’s legislation is “intentionally about equity.” (Gothamist)

Happening in the Columbia Community: This evening, from 4 to 5pm, The Forum and the Lehmann Center for American History will be holding a panel discussion on the 2020 History Pullitzer Prize-winning book, “Sweet Taste of Liberty: True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America”. The panel will feature the book’s author, Professor Caleb McDaniel and two professors from Columbia’s history department. You can learn more about the event here.

Marijuana plant via Bwog Archives