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Start your day smarter with a dossier on the most important world news, rounded off with a shot of intriguing and offbeat stories. Like the president, you deserve no less.
Nov 01, 2021
President Joe Biden departs this year’s G-20 Summit optimistic of progress yet urging China, Russia and Saudi Arabia to take resolute action to mitigate their effects on climate change. Meanwhile, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) recently released the State of the Climate report for 2021, calling for drastic efforts to curb climate change and to prevent the planet from entering into “uncharted territory.” Around the nation, school board meetings are erupting in heated debates to end Critical Race Theory (CRT), despite many schools not even offering the CRT curriculum. These meetings have become the latest hotbed of U.S. political debate.
1 - Goodbye, G-20
Biden bids farewell with harsh words for a select few
On Sunday, President Biden held a press conference summarizing this year’s G-20 summit. While optimistic about progress made, he singled out countries he says are not pulling their weight in the fight against climate change: Russia, China and Saudi Arabia. With the hope that this call out will bring these countries to the table, Biden encouraged a commitment to limiting carbon emissions and embracing renewable energy. While Biden could not point to any substantial efforts the U.S. has taken to address climate change yet in his term, he emphasized the $900 billion earmarked in his $1.75 trillion plan for funding renewable energy as proof the U.S. is serious about tackling climate change. Congress is set to vote on the bill this week. (Source: AP)
2 - Another Day, Another Disaster
Experts warn that extreme weather is our “new normal”
The WMO has released its State of the Climate report for 2021 and it is strikingly bleak. Record-breaking sea levels and temperatures have been recorded every year, along with ever-increasing extreme weather events. The report’s release was timed to coincide with the beginning of the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, where world leaders will coordinate efforts in the fight against climate change. The report urgently calls for drastic and immediate measures, as the planet enters“uncharted territory.” (Source: BBC)
3 - Prescription Prices Back on the Table
Democrats want prescription drug price controls in Biden package
Two congressional aides have confirmed that Democrats may succeed in adding provisions to Biden’s government overhaul bill to curb escalating prescription drug prices. In talks this weekend, Democrats considered allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prices for the many pharmaceutical drugs it provides to patients. Though the provisions would not include drugs the FDA has protected against competition, it would cap seniors’ out-of-pocket drug expenses under Medicare’s outpatient prescription drug benefit. Additionally, if drug makers’ prices rise above certain levels, they would be subject to rebates. Recent democratic proposals suggest that a plan like this could save hundreds of billions of dollars over the next 10 years. (Source: AP)
4 - School Boards Fed Up
Public meetings turn vitriolic as GOP stokes CRT fears
Critical race theory, or CRT, has whipped conservatives across the country into a frenzy. School board meetings have been flooded with demands to end teaching CRT in schools, nevermind that it is not taught in any public school K-12 curriculums. Serious threats to school boards and their members have necessitated a hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee. At that meeting, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland addressed a memo asking federal agents to consult with local law enforcement to assess any threats made at these school board meetings. This was the same meeting where Sen. Ted Cruz defended a parent who made a Nazi salute to school board officials. (Source: CNN)
5 - Briefly
Here are some things you should know about today:
Majid Khan receives unlikely support from U.S. military panel. The Guantanamo detainee is hoping for clemency, which the panel recommended, saying in a letter that Khan’s treatment has been an “affront to American values and concept of justice.” (Source: CNN) Supply Chain Game. On the last day of the G-20 summit, Biden and world leaders discussed how to remedy supply chain issues that have plagued the globe for months. A fix will involve the coordination of many countries’ efforts. (Source: Axios) Election Day Nears. This Tuesday, Virginia and New Jersey will elect new governors. These are the only two statewide elections held this year, and their results will be an indicator of President Biden’s popularity. (Source: NPR)
WATCH Trailer for Torn From Her Arms
OZY Media’s 12th Primetime TV show, Aired on Lifetime
1 - Rockin’ and Rollin’
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame welcome new faces on Sunday
It was stars galore yesterday in Cleveland, Ohio. Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney, Jennifer Hudson, and Christina Aguilera were just some of the headlining performers to pay tribute to this year’s inductees. Carole King, The Foo Fighters, and Jay-Z were just a few of the acts inducted this year. Jay-Z was honored with a compilation video of various celebrities praising his work, which included a few words from ex-President Barack Obama: "Today Jay-Z is one of the most renowned artists in history and an embodiment of the American dream, a dream he has helped make real for other young people like him.” (Sources: NPR, Rolling Stone)
2 - A Spidery Surprise
North Georgians face off against spooky new guests
The Joro spider, native to East Asia, has set up shop in Georgia and shows no signs of leaving. The first invader was spotted in 2014, 80 miles northeast of Atlanta, and ever since their numbers have grown steadily. This year, residents say the population has ballooned uncontrollably. The Joro is about three inches long and spins webs up to 10 feet long in an organized, wheel-shaped design. Scientists say there is little evidence that the spiders are causing any imbalances in Georgia’s ecosystem right now, and in fact they may be helping. Joro’s catch mosquitoes, and their webs are used by other spiders to catch food as well. But residents are unhappy with the unwanted guests: “Nobody wants to come out of the door in the morning, walk down the steps and get a face full of spider webs,” said Will Hudson, an entomologist at the University of Georgia. (Sources: AP, Independent)
3 - Students or Sardines?
Billionaire pushes bizarre dorm design at UC Santa Barbara
Billionaire Charles Munger made a $200 million donation to the construction of a new dorm at the University of California at Santa Barbara, contingent on his architectural vision being followed exactly. A consulting architect on the project, Dennis McFadden, quit his post in protest of Munger's demands, calling it “unsupportable from my perspective as an architect, a parent, and a human being.” Munger proposed a huge new dorm to house 4,500 students, and it includes barely any windows. Ninety-four percent of students would have no windows in their rooms, which are all single-occupancy. Munger, a 97-year-old amateur architect, imagines that the lack of light in private spaces will encourage students to spend time in communal spaces. (Source: Independent)
4 - White House COVID Scare
Press Secretary Jen Psaki has COVID
Psaki has tested positive for COVID-19 after members of her family tested positive. Several physicians have said it is unlikely that Psaki could have passed the virus on to Biden, even though she recently sent Biden off to the G20 summit herself. Luckily, Psaki tested negative multiple days before the send-off, which is why no emergency procedures have been put in place. Psaki will no longer join Biden on his international agenda, out of an abundance of caution. (Source: CNN)
5 - Torn from Her Arms
Gripping scripted drama debuts on Lifetime from OZY Media
On Saturday, Lifetime premiered a heartbreaking drama featuring the harrowing tale of the separation of a mother and daughter at the Mexico/US border. The story follows the courageous reporting of Pulitzer Prize winner Ginger Thompson and the legal work of Thelma Garcia. "Torn From Her Mother's Arms," is OZY Media’s 12th primetime TV show, and is co-produced by OZY Media and Motion Picture Corporation of America. Designed to shine the light on an important immigration reality unfolding before us, its repercussions are far-reaching. It is estimated that over 3,000 children were forcibly separated from their parents during the Trump administration. The Biden administration is said to be in negotiations with immigrant families who were affected and could offer around $450,000 a person in compensation, given the lasting psychological trauma allegedly inflicted by the government. (Sources: Lifetime, WSJ, CNN)
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