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One Sentence News / Oct 20, 2021

Colin Wright
Colin Wright
The news simply summarized / October 20, 2021

Summary: Facebook has announced that it intends to hire 10,000 people in the European Union to focus on building a “metaverse"—a term often used to describe a virtual space in which users are able to connect and engage with all other types of content (movies, games, social networks, etc).
Context: The dream of the metaverse has been a driving force behind many tech companies’ efforts, because whomever is able to build it first (or build the most popular one) could make themselves the connective tissue between all other types of content in the future; that said, some analysts suspect this sudden refocusing on a bigger-picture, neat-sounding ambition could be part of Facebook’s PR strategy to distract from their ongoing legal and reputational woes, which have only gotten worse these past few months.
—BBC News
Summary: A large sit-in protest in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum is still growing, with protestors arriving from around the country to demand the nation’s military dissolve the nation’s transition government.
Context: There’s a widespread suspicion that this protest has been orchestrated by military leaders who hope to bloodlessly take over the country’s government (or, at the very least, to bloodily do so with seeming popular support)—but Sudan was run by a dictatorship for about two decades and only started transitioning to civilian leadership after a military ouster in mid-2019, so there’s a nonzero chance this is a legitimate, grassroots call for something like they had before, rather than some kind of obscured power play.
Summary: The Biden administration has announced a strategy to regulate toxic substances that are commonly used in the production of all sorts of products, and sometimes in the products themselves.
Context: Some of these chemicals, called PFAS or perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (dubbed “forever chemicals” because they stick around in the environment for a very long time after being dumped there), have been showing up in public drinking water around the US at a high rate, and will now be officially designated as “hazardous substances”; the Environmental Protection Agency will be also empowered to punish entities that release PFAS into water systems and force them to clean up spills and chemical dump sites.
—The Associated Press
The Biden administration has supported child-care safety net measures throughout the pandemic and is aiming to lock in something similar over a longer period with their proposed spending bill; the degree to which the US lags behind other wealthy countries in such spending goes part of the way to explaining why this has been such a key issue for Biden since stepping into office (the relative, cross-party popularity of such funding is likely another component of that support).
Approximate amount of money stolen (equal to about $1 billion) via online bank fraud in the UK the first six months of 2021, alone.
This is a record for a country that already had high bank fraud numbers, and is reportedly the consequence of the country’s fast payment infrastructure, relatively light policing of this sort of crime, and use of the English language (which makes it a prime location to try our new scams before unleashing them elsewhere in the English-speaking world).
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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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