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One Sentence News / Nov 3, 2021

Colin Wright
Colin Wright
The news simply summarized / November 3, 2021

Summary: The Ethiopian government has declared a six-month state of emergency after the rebel Tigray People’s Liberation Front, or TPLF, announced that they had taken new territory and were thinking about marching on the capital city, Addis Ababa.
Context: The TPLF has been engaged in a civil war with the Ethiopian government since November of 2020, and they’re based in the northern Tigray region, but have seen some success in other, adjacent regions as well; both sides in this conflict have reportedly committed mass killings and other war crimes against each other and civilians who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and this conflict is contributing to and perpetuating a severe famine in the northern part of Ethiopia—this state of emergency declaration is an indication that this conflict’s center might move southward in the near-future, or at the very least that’s what the government fears.
—Reuters
Summary: The US and EU will cut their methane emissions 30% compared to 2020 levels by 2030, as part of the Global Methane Pledge they announced alongside their own commitments; a pledge to which more than 100 countries have signed on, so far.
Context: One of the unfortunate truisms of climate summits and other sorts of United Nations-ish global conferences is that it’s very easy to make commitments and bask in praise, but then not live up to those commitments, as none of them have any teeth beyond potential embarrassment on the international stage; that said, this particular commitment is considered to be low-hanging fruit in the struggle to reduce the potentially quite horrible impacts of global climate change, as it mostly necessitates the tightening of a few regulations and plugging of leaks in gas pipes—which is not easy or cheap, but seeing as how it could help the world prevent an increase of .3 degrees Celsius in warming all unto itself by 2040, it’s considered to be quite a bargain compared to the other options and efforts on the table right now.
—BBC News
Summary: Facebook has announced it will shut down its facial recognition system and delete its catalog of face images in the coming weeks due to concerns about the potential negative impacts of facial recognition technology on society.
Context: This pivot will reportedly involve the deletion of more than a billion people’s facial recognition templates—images and data attached to those images—the company has been collecting and labeling since late-2010; this would seem to be part of a larger brand recalibration the company is undertaking in the wake of a flurry of bad press and regulatory threats, but it’s also one more facet of a global conversation about facial recognition technologies, which are being used by some governments and corporate entities to track their citizens and customers, and which are increasingly unpopular even as they become more useful for some purposes.
—Axios
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Inflation is on a lot of minds right now, in part because it’s become the political cudgel of choice for parties around the world (generally those not in power) and in part because there are obvious price-increases popping up throughout the global economy; in the US, though, it’s thought that the metrics used to judge inflation aren’t ideal for this moment, as they are prone to underestimation in some cases (like earlier in the pandemic) and overestimate in others (which they’re thought to be doing right now) because of which “basket” of goods and services they use as a baseline.
——
Funding for an effort—to which 100 countries have committed—to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030.
Between them, these countries contain about 85% of the world’s forests, and this money will be spent on incentives and philanthropic investments meant to help scale tree-planting efforts and encourage the introduction of (for instance) soy and cattle production methods that don’t require deforestation.
About 38% of this money will come from companies and charities, and the rest from government coffers.
—Bloomberg
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Colin Wright
Colin Wright @colinismyname

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