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One Sentence News / Dec 29 2021

Colin Wright
Colin Wright
The news simply summarized / December 29, 2021
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Summary: Representatives for password manager app LastPass have said there doesn’t seem to be any evidence they’ve been hacked, but LastPass users have received recurring security messages saying attempts have been made to log in to their accounts using their correct master password.
Context: Password managers aim to simplify logging in to things by storing login credentials behind a hard-to-crack master password; LastPass is saying these alerts appear to be the consequence of normal bot activity, where login credentials from earlier hacks against other services are thrown at new ones to see if someone might have reused hacked credentials—but some anecdotal evidence suggests something else is going on, as many people use complex, non-reused passwords for their master password, which would mean this is something else (possibly related to a recent wave of vulnerabilities recently discovered in a widely used utility called Log4j, but that’s pure speculation at this point).
—Bleeping Computer
Summary: The world’s first-ever study on how effective, or not, a fourth COVID booster shot might be has begun in Israel, with 6,000 individuals (including 150 medical staff) receiving these shots, their vitals then tracked to see what additional protections might be offered by another jab, and what the downsides might be.
Context: It’s thought likely we’ll need periodic immunity-boosting shots against COVID for a while, until and unless something changes the nature of the battle entirely—like a vaccine that counters all possible coronaviruses, which would theoretically maintain its effectiveness against future COVID mutations—but in the meantime, researchers are trying to determine whether it makes sense to rapidly create new strain-specific boosters, or to set up a consistent booster regimen that would keep folks generally safe from anything that’s likely to come along (and in either case, to determine how regularly such boosters should be administered to achieve optimal immunological outcomes).
—The Times of Israel
Summary: On Monday, Somalian President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed suspended the powers of the country’s Prime Minister, Mohamed Hussein Roble, escalating existing tensions between the two men and their supporters.
Context: Somalia is in the midst of a constitutional crisis that’s been going on for nearly a year, and a local affiliate of al-Qaeda called al-Shabab regularly attacks southern Somalian cities, so there are issues to be addressed, but political tensions seem unlikely to ease between these rival factions to the point where they can turn their attention and weapons outward; President Mohamed said in a public statement that the Prime Minister had his powers suspended because he’d fraudulently acquired land and an investigation needed to be undertaken, while the Prime Minister’s office has called this accusation “outrageous” and has called the President-ordered deployment of soldiers to his office a “failed attempt to militarily take over.”
—The Washington Post
After a brief dip, civil service exam applications are back up in China, apparently due to resurgent regulatory efforts that make a position within the government seem more prudent (even if you have to take tests to qualify for such jobs) than a comparably unstable-seeming career elsewhere in the economy.
Approximate number of online purchases that are returned, according to a report from CBRE Supply Chain.
Such returns can be costly to sellers even in normal times, but return-associated costs are elevated because of supply chain issues, and a returned $50 item is currently expected to cost the seller an average of $33 (which is up 59% from 2020) according to returns processing company, Optoro.
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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.

Each issue features three curated news stories with a one sentence summary and one sentence of context apiece.

There's also a visual (usually some kind of chart or map) with a brief explanation, a news-relevant number with the same, and a "trust click" link with something unrelated to the news (but interesting) from around the web.

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