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One Sentence News / Oct 27, 2021

Colin Wright
Colin Wright
The news simply summarized / October 27, 2021

Summary: An international team of law enforcement groups around the US and Europe have arrested about 150 people and seized more than $31.5 million in cash and digital assets, alongside 45 firearms, 515 pounds (234 kilograms) of illegal drugs, and a stockpile of counterfeit medications.
Context: The DarkNet, or dark web, is basically just portions of the internet that aren’t accessible by traditional browsers, and this operation targeted people selling illegal things via this moderately more tricky to access and map portion of the internet—and based on the wording of the announcement of this illegal goods haul, they intend, or at least want criminals to think they intend, to shut down a lot more of these dark web-based marketplaces in the near-future.
Summary: The United Nations has released a report indicating the commitments made by governments worldwide will fail to achieve the collective aims of the Paris climate accord.
Context: This isn’t great news, because the goals committed to under the Paris accord, which was signed by 190 nations in 2015, have been shown, in the years since, to themselves be insufficient to prevent some of the worst outcomes of global climate change, so we actually, ideally, go much further than that; this report also says many nations’ plans, including the aggressive ones, have little in the way of substance backing them, amounting to nice sentiments but quite possibly little action.
—The Wall Street Journal
Summary: After three years of development, Nigeria has launched a pilot for their central bank digital currency, or CBDC, making it the first African government and only the 14th government in the world to do so—a mere five countries, all of them relatively small, have moved beyond the pilot stage and fully launched government-backed digital currencies.
Context: Crypto-assets like bitcoin and ethereum are very popular in Nigeria—they’re the second-largest market for crypto trading after the US in the world—so this CBDC, called the eNaira, is expected to be popular if it’s ever fully implemented; though the usual concerns related to surveillance and government tracking of citizens via such digital currencies applies here as much as anywhere else on the planet.
The Economist has been tracking levels of various activities (in 50 of the world’s largest economies, accounting for 90% of global GDP and 76% of the global population) relative to their pre-pandemic levels to develop a “Normalcy Index,” and this index is showing that the average activity level is back up to 79 (out of 100) from an April 2020 low of 35—still far from that previous normal, in other words, but much closer than we’ve been for a long time.
US-based iPhone users only opt-in to tracking about 16% of the time when prompted by their phones, according to data from mobile app analytics provider Flurry.
These prompts are a recent addition to the iOS operating system, but have already caused headaches for ad-reliant companies like Facebook (which brought in $84 billion in ad revenue in 2020) that have been forced to update their revenue estimates based on substantial decreases in data they’re able to collect about users (which in turn allows those purchasing ads from them to target customers more efficiently).
—The Wall Street Journal
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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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