July, 28 2022

⚡️ Flash Flooding in Kentucky

Heavy rain has prompted a flash flood emergency and closed roads in eastern Kentucky.

🍿 John Stewart Reacts to Blocked Veteran's Bill

Former late-night host and comedian John Stewart has long been a vocal advocate for veterans. So, today when GOP senators in the Senate blocked a veterans health bill that provided funding for medical care for veterans harmed by poisonous gas, John Stewart lashed out against the GOP.

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🍿 Netflix Goes for NC-17

The newest trailer for the Marilyn Monroe biopic, Blonde, starring Ana de Armas dropped today. The film will be the first title on Netflix with an NC-17 rating.

⚡️ jetBlue Will Acquire Spirit

jetBlue will soon merge with Spirit Airlines to the tune of $3.8 billion to create the fifth largest airline in the U.S. after a previous deal between Spirit and Frontier Airlines fell through.

🍿 RIP Bernard Cribbins

Bernard Cribbins, who is famous for playing Wilfred Mott on Doctor Who and starred in the Wombles, passed away at 93. He will be remembered for his impactful and inspiring turn on Doctor Who.

💻 CHIPS Act Heads to Biden

The CHIPS Act, which was passed by the Senate yesterday and bolsters domestic production of semiconductor chips through a series of subsidies, passed in the House and is on its way to President Biden's desk.

⚖️ DOJ Pursues Jan 6th Committee Findings

The Department of Justice is now actively investigating former President Donald Trump's involvement in the Capitol riots and is collaborating with the Jan 6th committee to access their findings.

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💻 Amazon's Q2 Results Exceed Expectations

Despite a $2 billion net loss from 2021, Amazon performed better than Wall Street expected as sales from Q2 were up 7% to 12.2 billion compared to the same time last year. Amazon's stock rose 11% this afternoon in response to the news.

💻 Apple Takes a Bite from the Third Quarter

Apple released its third-quarter earnings today, and they reported a $12.6 billion services revenue and subscriber growth that has landed them with 860 million paid subscribers. The number of subscribers has grown by more than 160 million since last year.

💻 Judge Makes a Ruling On Uber Accessibility

A California judge ruled that Uber doesn't have to offer wheelchair-accessible rides in every market.

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💻 We Want the Old Instagram Back

Instagram has been the talk of the tech-town this week after Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian posted a photo to their stories telling Instagram to stop trying to be Tik Tok. The flack caused Instagram's CEO to take to the internet to say that Instagram is doubling down on showing users recommended content instead of content from the people they follow, but they have now walked back on that declaration.

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⚖️ Thanks Matt Gaetz Takes Off

Representative Matt Gaetz tweeted the photo of a political strategist with Gen-Z for Change, Olivia Juliana, poking fun at her weight after she responded to comments he made saying women who support abortion are too \"fat\" and \"ugly\" to get pregnant. Then, Juliana took to Twitter to call out the congressman. She has since raised $1 million in donations under the #ThanksMattGaetz to support abortion services in the U.S.

⚖️ Pelosi Inflames Tensions Over Taiwan

Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, wants to visit Taiwan with a congressional delegation, but it's causing a diplomatic relations nightmare for the Biden Administration. Biden met with the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, for two hours tonight to discuss rising tensions between the two nations. Xi Jinping warned Biden not to play with fire regarding Taiwan.

⚖️ Alito Takes a Lap

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito delivered his first remarks since the court overturned Roe v. Wade today in Rome, Italy, at a summit sponsored by Notre Dame Law School. In the remarks, he pokes at world leaders like Boris Johnson and Justin Trudeau, who decried the overturning of the constitutional right to reproductive care. He also spoke about upholding religious liberty for Christians.

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The context
Hurricane Ian made landfall in South Carolina this afternoon, causing a massive power outage, high flooding and extensive damage to homes and infrastructure. The updated death toll from Florida is at least a dozen residents.
Politics
Friday, September 30, 2022

Hurricane Ian Hits South Carolina

Hurricane Ian made landfall in South Carolina this afternoon, causing a massive power outage, high flooding and extensive damage to homes and infrastructure. The updated death toll from Florida is at least a dozen residents.
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Power outages

  • Most of the power outages were in Charleston, Berkeley, Georgetown, Dorchester, and Williamsburg counties.
  • About 1.8 million customers are still without power in Florida, and about 277,000 are without power in South and North Carolina.
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Impact on Florida

  • The flooding in central Florida is expected to get worse as the record downpours reach main waterways.
  • More than 700 rescues have been confirmed in Lee and Charlotte counties.
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South Carolina

  • Hurricane Ian caused flooding and power outages in South Carolina.
  • Part of three famous piers in Myrtle Beach washed away.
  • Early reporting suggests the impact on South Carolina is less severe than the devastation it caused in Florida.
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Technology

Ex-NSA Employee Charged

September 30, 2022
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The context
The FBI charged an ex-NSA employee with espionage for trying to sell top-secret intelligence documents.
Technology
Friday, September 30, 2022

Ex-NSA Employee Charged

The FBI charged an ex-NSA employee with espionage for trying to sell top-secret intelligence documents.
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FBI catches on

  • Jareh Sebastian Dalke worked for the NSA from June 6th to July 1st, 2022.
  • During his employment with NSA, he used an encrypted email account to send photos to an undercover FBI agent he believed was working for a foreign government.
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Charged with espionage

  • Dalke was charged with violating the Espionage Act; if convicted, he could spend life in prison or face the death penalty.
  • He worked as an information systems security designer with top-secret clearance at the NSA.
  • He offered up documents in exchange for cryptocurrency and sent three classified documents to the undercover agent investigating him.
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Technology

Molly Russell Ruling

September 30, 2022
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The context
The U.K. coroner ruled that social media content viewed by teen Molly Russell contributed to her suicide death. She viewed thousands of pieces of content relating to self harm or suicide on platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.
Technology
Friday, September 30, 2022

Molly Russell Ruling

The U.K. coroner ruled that social media content viewed by teen Molly Russell contributed to her suicide death. She viewed thousands of pieces of content relating to self harm or suicide on platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.
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Negative impact of social media

  • 14-year-old Molly Russell committed suicide in November 2017.
  • Russell viewed large amounts of content about suicide and self-harm on social media.
  • The coroner said that the content she viewed greatly impacted her mental health. He said he would make recommendations to Meta, Pinterest, and the British government to help prevent future cases like Molly's.
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The inquest

  • Executives from Meta and Pinterest both testified at the inquest into Russell's death.
  • In the inquest, the coroner testified that content on Instagram and Pinterest impacted Russell's mental health and contributed to her death.
  • Meta's representative pushed back on the inquest, saying that the posts Russell had seen on Instagram had been deemed safe by the platform.
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