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Cramm for 8/28/19
 
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THE HIGHLIGHTS

The Amazon is on everyone’s minds. 

 

THE BACKGROUND. 

For the past month, the Amazon rainforest has been on fire. ICYDK, that’s very very very bad. Hint: the Amazon produces about 20% of the world’s oxygen - giving it the nickname “Earth’s lungs.” Problem, since deforestation is up 80% from last year. And it’s common for farmers and ranchers to use fires to clear land and make it ready for use. This has led to the Amazon burning at the highest rate since 2013. (For context, one and a half soccer fields of rainforest are being destroyed...every minute...every day.) Scene, set. 

 

THE HAPPENINGS. 

Last weekend was the G7 summit. A big talking point: the Amazon. As in world leaders nodded their heads to handing Brazil $22 million to help fight fires. Money Brazil...denied. Back it up: earlier this week, Brazil’s prez - Jair Bolsonaro - made comments about French Prez Emmanuel Macron’s wife. Something Macron wasn’t too happy about. He responded by calling Bolsonaro “extraordinarily rude” - and added that he hopes Brazil gets a better prez. Ouch. 

 

THE HAPPENINGS PT 2. 

Fast forward to yesterday, and Bolsonaro says he’s ready to accept the $22 million in aid - iffffff Macron apologizes for insulting him. Yes, these are adults. Not yet clear if Macron’s prepped to say ‘pardon.’ 

 

SO…?

These fires are a huge environmental issue. TBD on whether Brazil accepts the aid. 


THE ACTION

WORLD: Yesterday, Anthony Levandowski was indicted for stealing trade secrets. Quick refresher: last year, Waymo - Google’s self-driving tech division - sued Uber after a former Waymo engineer (cough, Levandowski, cough) left the biz to go work at Uber’s self-driving division. And allegedly brought 14,000 confidential docs with him. The lawsuit’s been settled, but now, it looks like Levandowski’s being indicted on more than 30 criminal counts. Self-driving to jail. In other news, the Trump team’s pulling $271 million from the Dept of Homeland Security to give to the US-Mexico border to help deal with migrants. This comes as Trump reportedly told aides that he’d pardon them if they needed to break the law in order to get a border wall built. 

 

USA: The Johnson & Johnson vs Oklahoma case is already having a huge effect. See: recently, it came out that the Sacklers (the family that owns Purdue Pharma) are willing to give up ownership of the biz - plus $3 billion of their own money - as part of a settlement deal. This comes as Purdue Pharma is facing thousands of lawsuits over the opioid crisis. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Dorian is quickly approaching Puerto Rico - an island still dealing with the devastating impacts of Hurricane Maria in 2017. Dorian’s reportedly on track to become a hurricane - and could even hit Florida this coming weekend. Stay tuned.  

 

POLITICS: All eyes are on Missouri. Reminder: over the past year, multiple states have imposed near-total abortion bans that’d prevent people from getting an abortion after six or eight weeks...with no exceptions for rape or incest. The bans are apparently an attempt to get the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. Yesterday, a federal judge ruled in on Missouri’s new abortion law. Aaaand said it was unconstitutional and went directly against the Supreme Court’s past rulings. Now, it looks like the law won’t be going into effect - at least for now. Speaking of which, Native American tribes are reminding the US that they were promised a seat at Congress way back in the 18th and 19th centuries. 


WHAT TO KNOW

Emergency clothing kits:” what Barcelona police have started carrying around in case beachgoers lose their clothes. One of the world’s greatest problems, solved. 


SAY WHAT?

“Please don’t come” - Costco on its first-ever store in China. It got so busy that they were forced to shut down early. (Costc)oh no. 

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