Roe v. Wade faces its most serious challenge in 30 years
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Oct 21, 2021
President Joe Biden’s office has released ambitious plans to vaccinate all eligible children aged 5 to 11 once the Pfizer shot is officially approved for the age group at the start of November. Just weeks before the highly anticipated COP26 Climate Change Conference, leaked documents show attempts by wealthy countries to prevent climate scientists from blaming climate change on fossil fuels. The FDA announced that all vaccinated Americans are now entitled to receive any brand of booster shot regardless of their original vaccination. Former President Donald Trump has announced plans to create his own social media platform after months of lockout at Facebook and Twitter.
1 - Vaccine Approval for Children Imminent
White House plan hopes to vaccinate 28 million kids
After months of waiting, America’s youth may finally be vaccinated. The White House plans to send millions of doses across the country immediately after the FDA and CDC approve the Pfizer vaccine for juveniles, sometime around November 2nd. Teens over the age of 12 can have the vaccine, but this next round of approvals will finally give access to youngsters between the ages of 5 to 11. Unlike the initial rollout of the vaccine for adults earlier this year, this rollout assures ample doses for all of the country’s 28 million children. (Source: AP, WaPo)
2 - Climate Report Gets Politicized
Leaked documents show lobbying to fudge key climate report
Though evidence for human-induced climate change is overwhelmingly agreed upon in the scientific community, that has not stopped governments around the world from attempting to defang a report set to be issued by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The report recommends an international move away from fossil fuels and the elimination of all coal factories worldwide. Wealthier countries, like Saudi Arabia, Japan and Australia, which are dependent on fossil fuels as a large part of their economy, are furiously lobbying for the removal of any language critical of fossil fuel production. (Source: BBC)
3 - Trump Announces New “Non-Woke” Venture
Former president hopes to launch TRUTH Social by next year
After the capitol riot on January 6th, when Trump was banned from Facebook and Twitter, he and his team have yearned for a social network of their own to rival mainstream social media. On his personal blog, Trump declared that the new platform would “stand up to the tyranny of big tech.” Starting next month, TRUTH Social will open to invited guests only before a national rollout in early 2022. Trump’s platform will “feature ‘non-woke’ entertainment programming, news, podcasts and more.” (Source: BBC)
4 - Senate Republicans Block Voting Rights Bill
Leaving its fate in doubt
For the third time this year, Republicans blocked legislation to bolster voting rights on Wednesday. The action maintains a stalemate over the Freedom to Vote Act, which Democrats say is needed to counter efforts in Republican-controlled states to impose new restrictions on voting in the aftermath of the 2020 elections. “If there’s any issue that merits debate on this floor, it is protecting our democracy from the forces that are trying to unravel it from the inside out,” said majority leader Chuck Schumer. The tie left Democrats with few options to advance the bill outside of changing the Senate filibuster rule. (Source: NYT)
5 - Briefly
Here are other stories you should know about
Over 100 protestors, including employees, rallied outside Netflix headquarters on Wednesday in support of trans and LGBT rights, after the launch of Dave Chappelle’s controversial comedy special. (Source: BBC) FDA Says Mix Away! On Wednesday, the FDA offered COVID-19 booster shots to anyone who got the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine, allowing an extra dose irrespective of the initial brand of vaccine received. U.S. regulators had previously reserved boosters for those at highest risk. (Source: AP) Death toll rises to over 150 in Nepal and India floods. Heavy rainfall triggered flash floods in two Indian states and Nepal, killing more than 150 people. Experts blame climate change and excessive, often unchecked construction for the devastation. (Source:BBC)
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1 - Bitcoin Looking Bullish
The cryptocurrency topped $66,000 for the first time yesterday
Bitcoin has steadily gained in popularity over the years, and now seems poised for widespread acceptance in the financial world. After a lackluster summer, the cryptocurrency bounced back to its highest value yet since its April record of $64,889. Skeptics say Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are too volatile to offer any long-term promise, but supporters insist it’s only a matter of time before Bitcoin replaces paper money internationally. (Source: AP)
2 - Heart of the Matter
Can robots bring us closer to God?
Around the world, experiments are underway to test if artificial intelligence can improve the way we pray and commune with God: from Buddhist temples in Japan, where robots encourage people to pray, to Catholic robots in Poland offering grace and a RoboRabbi in Paris encouraging parishioners to do good. The experiment has met with mixed success. While some say anything that brings us closer to God is a good thing, others argue that engaging a soulless AI could be a dangerous thing. Robot “priests” can recite prayers, perform funerals and even comfort those in spiritual crisis. (Source: BBC)
3 - Columbia’s Solution to Toxic Masculinity
A new hotline in Bogotá helps men stay calm and rein in rage
Calm Line, which aims to protect women from violence, is putting men in the hot seat in an effort to teach emotional intelligence and how to control their actions. Nicolás Montero, the head of Bogotá’s culture office, which introduced Calm Line in early September, said the hotline seeks to prevent violence as well as inspire profound cultural change. Namely, to address the root causes of machismo, the ingrained belief that men are dominant. A major priority in Colombia, where a woman is sexually assaulted every 34 minutes. Calm Line was introduced by Claudia López, the first female and openly gay mayor of Bogotá, as just one part of an urgent plan to confront machismo. (Source: NYT)
4 - Bang! Bang!
Drug cartels in Mexico use video games to recruit youths
Drug cartels in Mexico have found a new and effective recruiting tool: multiplayer online video games. A report released Wednesday identified an apparent recruiter targeting three boys, aged 11 to 14. Officials say these violence-soaked online gaming platforms offer recruiters a much-targeted pool of youths: young males fascinated by weapons and desensitized to killing on a virtual level. The report found that social media is greatly increasing access to these kids: over 30,000 youths had been recruited by drug gangs by 2019 and officials fear numbers will only go up. (Source: AP)
5 - “Race-Norming” Removed from NFL Agreement
Former NFL players agree to remove discriminatory practice
Court documents made public on Wednesday confirm that the NFL and attorneys representing more than 20,000 former players have reached a tentative agreement on how to remove “race-norming” — a controversial practice in neuropsychology that assumes Black people perform worse on many tests of cognition — from the league’s class-action concussion settlement. The proposed agreement is also supported by Kevin Henry and Najeh Davenport, the former NFL players who first called attention to the use of race-norming in the settlement last year with a lawsuit alleging the practice discriminated against Black players.(Source: WaPo)
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