Politics

Supreme Court Strips the EPA

June 30, 2022
AP NEWS, TechCrunch, WSJ
The context
The Supreme Court gutted the EPA's ability to regulate carbon pollution under the Clean Air Act, which was signed into law in 1970 by Richard Nixon.
Supreme Court Strips the EPA

Severely limits

  • The Court delivered a blow to the effort to fight climate change by regulating carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.
  • The 6-3 vote saw Justice Roberts join conservatives to cut away at the Clean Air Act.
  • The case was brought to the Court by nineteen Republican-led states and coal companies that balked at the EPA's efforts to regulate carbon emissions to get the U.S.'s emissions to zero eventually.
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Long term impact

  • The decision means that Congress must take up the charge and create codified regulations to reign in emissions from coal-powered power plants.
  • The Trump administration began pushing to gut the Clean Air Act in favor of coal companies that supported his campaign.
  • In her dissent, Justice Kagan reminded readers of the already pervasive impacts of climate change and those to come in the future, "If the current rate of emissions continues, children born this year could live to see parts of the Eastern seaboard swallowed by the ocean."
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Impact on the Biden administration

  • The case was brought to the court by West Virginia, which desired to increase coal production despite the EPA's efforts to curb output.
  • The decision says that the EPA overstepped its authority when it began to regulate emissions from coal-fired plants in 2015.
  • The ruling will complicate Biden's ambitious climate change policy and his administration's ability to curb carbon emissions.
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Politics

Student Loan Reversal

September 29, 2022
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The context
Today, the Department of Education quietly ended a program that allowed borrowers with privately held FFEL or Perkins loans to consolidate their debt with the Department and qualify for student loan forgiveness.
Politics
Thursday, September 29, 2022

Student Loan Reversal

The context
Today, the Department of Education quietly ended a program that allowed borrowers with privately held FFEL or Perkins loans to consolidate their debt with the Department and qualify for student loan forgiveness.
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Scaling back

  • The Biden administration quietly repealed student loan forgiveness for millions of Americans whose federal student loans are owned by private companies.
  • The decision was made over fears that private companies would legally challenge the program.
  • The Education Department said in August that borrowers with loans held by private lenders would be able to consolidate their debt into a new loan made by the Education Department, allowing them to qualify for loan forgiveness. Today was the deadline for borrowers to do so.
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Forward looking

  • As of the end of today, borrowers with FFEL and Perkins loans will no longer be able to consolidate their under a loan with the Education Department, disqualifying them from student loan forgiveness.
  • Limiting the number of FFELs borrowers who qualify for loan forgiveness may make them less likely to legally oppose debt relief.
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Politics

Harris in South Korea

September 29, 2022
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The context
Vice President Kamala Harris visited the Demilitarized zone between South Korea and North Korea today and slammed North Korea for escalating missile testing.
Politics
Thursday, September 29, 2022

Harris in South Korea

The context
Vice President Kamala Harris visited the Demilitarized zone between South Korea and North Korea today and slammed North Korea for escalating missile testing.
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Condemned tests

  • Harris condemned North Korea's weapon tests from Seoul today. The tests are the second since Sunday, and the U.S. and South Korea responded by conducting a military drill off South Korea's shoreline.
  • This is Harris's first trip to the Demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.
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DMZ visit

  • North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles on Wednesday and one on Sunday. Harris was in Japan on Wednesday.
  • North Korea has launched a record number of missiles this year.
  • The alliance between South Korea and the U.S. has been strained recently, thanks to the increased military show from North Korea and a provision in the Inflation Reduction Act that will make it harder for the Korean automaker Hyundai to sell electric vehicles in America.
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The context
The White House convened experts on hunger in the U.S. today for a conference to discuss how to approach the administration's effort to end hunger in the country in the next decade.
Politics
Wednesday, September 28, 2022

White House Aims to End Hunger

The context
The White House convened experts on hunger in the U.S. today for a conference to discuss how to approach the administration's effort to end hunger in the country in the next decade.
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Focused on partnerships

  • The Biden administration has partnered with a variety of members of the private sector to help end hunger in America by 2030.
  • Some of the partners include Novo Nordisk, Publix, Danone, and Meijer. The partners have made multimillion-dollar commitments to expanding food access for Americans through food distribution programs or discounts.
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McGovern's role

  • The Biden administration is leaning heavily on legislation modeled and proposed by Representative Jim McGovern. McGovern lobbied and pushed the administration to host the conference.
  • Some of the policies discussed at the conference will require Congress to pass legislation, which could complicate the administration's goal if the Republicans take the House in the midterms.
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June 8, 2022

This Week In Technology June 2nd

This week, the COO of Meta, Sheryl Sandberg, is stepping down, Elon Musk demanded employees return to the office, and Clearview AI got some bad news.
 This Week In Technology June 2nd
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Sources: 

COO No More

Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Meta (Facebook), announced she would be stepping down after 14 years.

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Tesla's Back In the Office

Elon Musk declared that Tesla workers should return to the office full time or get lost.

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Facial Technology Clampdown

Privacy watchdogs and AI innovators disagree on the way forward for facial recognition technology.

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Entertainment
May 19, 2022

This Week in Entertainment

The defamation trial of actress Amber Heard and actor Johnny Depp raged on and singer Eric Clapton’s European tour is on hold.

This Week in Entertainment
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Sources: 
ABC, Newsweek, Fox News, Billboard, The Hill, CNN

Ongoing: Amber Heard V. Johnny Depp

May 20th, 2022 

Actor Johnny Depp is suing his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard, for defamation over an op-ed penned by Heard about her experience with domestic abuse. The op-ed is allegedly about her marriage to Depp. 

Clapton on Hold

May 18th, 2022

Guitarist and singer Eric Clapton announced that he would cancel two shows on his European tour after testing positive for Covid-19. 

Try something new

Go back in time

Technology

FCC Tackles Space Debris

September 29, 2022
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The context
The FCC ruled today that satellites must stop orbiting within five years of ending their mission.
Technology
Thursday, September 29, 2022

FCC Tackles Space Debris

The context
The FCC ruled today that satellites must stop orbiting within five years of ending their mission.
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Off to the ether

  • Satellites in low Earth orbit will have to exit their Earth orbit five years after their mission end date.
  • The FCCs ruling aims to prevent space debris from clogging up the skies.
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Unanimous decision

  • The FCC unanimously voted to adopt the new rules.
  • More than half of the 10,000 satellites launched since 1957 no longer work, and they clog the skies, which makes space exploration challenging. It is expensive and difficult to avoid space debris, so the new regulations will make space exploration easier.
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Technology

Meta Enters a Freeze

September 29, 2022
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The context
Meta announced that Meta is entering a hiring freeze and warned employees that the company intends to restructure and cut costs, prompting fears of impending layoffs.
Technology
Thursday, September 29, 2022

Meta Enters a Freeze

The context
Meta announced that Meta is entering a hiring freeze and warned employees that the company intends to restructure and cut costs, prompting fears of impending layoffs.
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Zuckerberg's thoughts

  • Mark Zuckerberg announced the freeze, the beginning of a new era for Meta.
  • Meta intends to slash the budgets of various teams.
  • In July, he cautioned Meta employees that the company was restructuring to cut costs.
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Lean and mean

  • Zuckerberg made the announcement during a weekly all-hands Q&A session.
  • He said the decision was made to keep teams lean in order to make it through the anticipated economic downturn.
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Technology

Stadia to Shut Down

September 29, 2022
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The context
Google announced it will shut down its cloud gaming service, Stadia, on January 18th, 2023.
Technology
Thursday, September 29, 2022

Stadia to Shut Down

The context
Google announced it will shut down its cloud gaming service, Stadia, on January 18th, 2023.
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No more Stadia

  • Stadia struggled to take off after it launched only a few years ago.
  • Rumors circulated that Google would be taking the service down after the number of games released on the platform began to slow, and Google shut down the game development studio that fed games to the platform.
  • Google denied the rumors but announced today that they are shutting down the platform.
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Poor takeoff

  • Google will refund users who purchased games or hardware from Stadia through mid-January.
  • The company said it decided to end the service because it failed to take off with users.
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Politics
May 19, 2022

This Week in Politics

The national formula shortage is finally starting to look up; a racially-motivated shooting in Buffalo left ten dead, and a Supreme Court leak shook the foundations of the court. 

This Week in Politics
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Sources: 
CNN, Fox News, The Atlantic, New York Times, The Washington Post, The Washington Examiner, The Guardian

Ongoing: Formula Shortage

May 19th, 2022

The U.S. has been hit by an infant formula shortage, causing many parents and caregivers to panic as store shelves continue to thin. The formula shortage is due to a combination of factors, and federal help is on the way. 

Shooting in Buffalo Leaves Ten Dead

May 18th, 2022

Ten people were shot and killed at a supermarket in Buffalo, NY, on Saturday, May 14th, 2022. The shooter, a white 18-year-old, targeted a predominantly black community and used a legally purchased semi-automatic rifle. 

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