One Sentence News / Dec 15, 2021

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Colin Wright
Colin Wright
The news simply summarized / December 15, 2021
OSN is also a podcast / Buy me a coffee

Summary: A United Nations Security Council resolution that would have categorized climate change as a threat to international peace and security was vetoed by Russia, though India also voted “no” and China abstained from the vote.
Context: This resolution was proposed and guided by Ireland and Niger, and 113 of the UN’s 193 member countries were in favor of it, including 12 of the Security Council’s 15 members, but Russia’s ambassador to the UN said tying climate change to security would politicize a scientific and economic issue and distract from actual conflicts requiring the Council’s attention and resources.
—The Associated Press
Summary: US President Biden has signed an executive order that encourages 17 federal agencies to modernize and improve upon the experience citizens have when attempting to access and engage with the services they provide.
Context: Many of the proposed improvements revolve around better use of technology and streamlining currently cumbersome processes, including the ability to renew passports online, making Social Security benefits easier to access and manage online, better resources for understanding and receiving health insurance, and a more intelligible process for submitting an application for, and then receiving, a farm loan.
—The Washington Post
Summary: Thousands of hacked documents and testimonies about a mafia-like gang, sometimes described as a cult, working out of Nigeria but operating globally, were leaked to the BBC, and they suggest this gang is larger and wider-reaching than was previously assumed.
Context: Among other revelations from these documents is that a prominent Nigerian businessman and political candidate, Augustus Bemigho, was a senior member of Black Axe and orchestrated efforts to scam millions, potentially billions of dollars from victims, online, and in Nigeria the gang got their people into government jobs, committed acts of violence and fraud, and have reportedly attempted to assassinate political leaders who have spoken out against them.
—BBC News
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Researchers are still being careful to say this data is preliminary and doesn’t indicate anything about the potential long-term impact of Omicron and health outcomes resulting from it, but some newly available research suggests this variant is far more infectious than earlier named variants, but it generally causes less significant health consequences—it partially escapes previous immunity in people with vaccines and who have been infected with other variants (and some data already suggest you can catch Omicron over and over again) but the share of overall cases that become severe are way down in South Africa, where the biggest Omicron spread has occurred so far and from where the best data is currently emerging.
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Reduction in risk of hospitalization and death in high-risk COVID patients if a new pill regimen by Pfizer—Paxlovid—is started within three days of the onset of symptoms. That risk is reduced by 88% if the pill regimen begins within five days of symptoms.
Data released before the completion of a recent clinical trial showed similar numbers, but now Pfizer can also say with a decent degree of confidence—after further testing the drug in lab experiments—that it performs just as effectively against Omicron as it does other variants.
They also said the drug reduced the risk of hospitalization and death in low-risk patients by 70% if taken within three days of symptoms emerging.
—The New York Times
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Colin Wright
Colin Wright @colinismyname

One Sentence News is concise, politically unbiased, and focused on delivering information and understanding in a non-frantic, stress-free way.

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