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Cramm for 12/9/21
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THE HIGHLIGHTS

Everyone is talking about redistricting. 

 

THE BACKGROUND.

Every 10 years, the gov conducts a census to keep track of the US population. The census is super important for a lot of reasons, including that it determines how many representatives each state gets in the House of Reps and whether congressional maps need to be redrawn to better reflect the population (aka redistricting).

 

THE HAPPENINGS. 

Earlier this year, the 2020 census results came out. So some states have drawn up (very controversial) new district maps. See: the other day, the Justice Dept sued Texas over its new maps, saying the plans discriminate against marginalized voters. The lawsuit argues that most of the new population growth in Texas came from Black, Latinx, and Asian people, but the new maps pretty much chop up those voters across oddly-shaped districts (with one apparently resembling a “seahorse”) to dilute their votes. Whiiiiiich would violate the Voting Rights Act. 

 

THE HAPPENINGS PT 2. 

Redistricting is also a hot topic in North Carolina, where the state’s Supreme Court is delaying its primary elections to May 2022. The why: a slew of lawsuits claiming that new district maps are gerrymandered (or when a state unfairly draws district lines to favor a certain political party). 

 

THE TAKE. 

These maps will shape the next decade of American politics. TBD on whether they’ll be blocked in court. 


THE ACTION

HEALTH: Recently, New Zealand announced it will ban smoking for the next generation - meaning anyone who is 14 or under will never be legally able to buy tobacco. The legislation basically causes the legal smoking age to increase every year, with the goal of creating a smoke-free generation. In some coronavirus news, US infections are once again surging - fueled by the delta variant and slowing vaccine progress. Three Northeast states (New York, Maine, and New Hampshire) have deployed the National Guard as health systems become overwhelmed by rising cases. Over in the UK, it recently came out that Prime Minister Boris Johnson let a gov Christmas party take place at 10 Downing Street last year - violating a strict lockdown. Cue widespread backlash and the resignation of Johnson’s press sec. 

 

WORLD: For years, China has held between one and three million Uyghur Muslims in internment camps in Xinjiang, where they face forced labor, sexual assault, and torture. Enter: this independent Uyghur Tribunal, which just ruled that China’s actions constitute genocide against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. In other news, India’s farmers have officially ended their protests after the gov agreed to ditch controversial farm laws. Thousands of farmers had camped at the borders of Delhi, with dozens dying from unsafe conditions. Now, it looks like they’ll be heading home to celebrate a victory. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s commanders have bad news for anyone who’s not Russia: if Russia decides to invade, Ukraine would have no hopes of fighting back without major military help from the West. Tensions, high. 

 

BIZ: Meet China Evergrande, a real estate biz that’s dealing with lots and lots and lots of debt. We’re talking at least $300 billion. Even worse: the biz has been struggling to make its payments for months, leading to fears that it will collapse. Well, it looks like those fears have been confirmed, because Evergrande has officially defaulted on its debt. So far, it doesn’t seem like the biz has entered into any kind of bankruptcy filing or liquidation, but whatever happens, it has the potential to do a hit to China’s economy (not to mention the countless homeowners who paid for Evergrande apartments that have yet to be built). Stay tuned. In other news, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri just testified before a US Senate panel. The topic of discussion? The negative impact of the app on kids. 


WHAT TO KNOW

Very Peri:” Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2022. 


SAY WHAT?

“Dozens of camels barred from Saudi beauty pageant for using Botox” - an actual headline. Read that again




ICYMI, Cramm This Book is coming on February 15, 2022! Cramm This Book is a dive into the history that’s shaped the world as it is today, looking at the wars, the movements, the disasters, and more. Pre-order your copy today!
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The Cramm · The Cramm · Santa Barbara, CA 93101 · USA