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One Sentence News / Jan 19, 2022

Colin Wright
Colin Wright
The news simply summarized / January 19, 2022
OSN is also a podcast / Buy me a coffee
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Summary: Microsoft, which owns the Xbox platform and numerous video game-world intellectual properties, is planning to acquire Activism Blizzard—the company behind video games like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush—for about $68.7 billion.
Context: If this deal goes through (and the regulatory environment being what it is, approval isn’t a sure thing) this’ll be a bigger purchase than LinkedIn (which Microsoft acquired for $26 billion in 2016) and almost as much as Disney paid for Fox back in 2019 (the price tag on that deal was about $71.3 billion); this acquisition is being pitched by Microsoft’s CEO as a fleshing-out of their video game studio offerings, which’ll give them more exclusives to better compete with rival Sony’s Playstation, but also as a portfolio of intellectual property they can leverage throughout theoretical “metaverse” offerings as new virtual platforms arise; that said, this potential acquisition is happening in the midst of numerous workplace misconduct scandals within Activision Blizzard, and so far about three dozen employees have been fired or pushed out of the company for their behavior, and 40 others have been disciplined—all of which could muck up the deal, or at the very least make it a more complicated public relations gauntlet than it may have otherwise been.
—The New York Times
Summary: DirecTV, a satellite TV company co-owned by a private equity firm called TPG and communications company AT&T, has announced it will no longer distribute the far-right One America News Network station after the current contract, which reportedly ends in April of 2022, expires.
Context: This is an interesting story because OANN got popular when former President Trump started promoting their shows, and he seemed to promote them because they more or less repeated everything he said unquestioningly, and gave (and continue to give) special attention to debunked conspiracy theories he favored; that said, this is also a story about how whole political demographics can have their megaphones taken away by corporate entities that decide to cut them off—this expiring deal with DirecTV (alongside deals with a few other AT&T affiliated networks) reportedly account for about 90% of OANN’s total revenue.
—Axios
Summary: The US government has launched a website through which Americans can order free at-home COVID-19 tests, four per household, scheduled to be shipped out about 7-12 days after the order is placed.(Here’s the website: Covidtests.gov)
Context: This is newsworthy because although the US has had a few pandemic-related victories (especially related to the development and aspects of the distribution of vaccines), it’s been consistently underperforming when it comes to testing, with at-home tests in some cases disappearing from shelves entirely, only available at hospitals or clinics; if this service works (and it did for me, yesterday, as the site actually opened up a day early to make sure everything was operating as planned) and if the tests go out at a decent clip, this could help fill in some of the US’s current pandemic tracking and treating gaps—though this effort may turn out to be too little too late, as the tests being sent out haven’t been great at detecting Omicron, and there’s a chance that by the time they start arriving (probably in late-January), the current wave will already be subsiding.
—Reuters
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The Chinese government announced on Monday that the country’s birthrate again plummeted in 2021, marking a fifth continuous year of decreases—which is alarming for a government hoping to stabilize those numbers, but which lines up with most other wealthy and upwardly mobile nations, which tend to see lower birthrates as the quality of life for their citizens improve.
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Percentage of people in the 2022 edition of Edelman’s Trust Barometer survey (which uses data from 35,000 respondents across 28 countries) who believe government leaders are “purposely trying to mislead people by saying things they know are false or gross exaggerations.”
Mistrust levels were similar in this survey for journalists and business executives, which had 67% and 63% of respondents, respectively, agreeing with the same statement about them.
—Axios
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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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