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Cramm for 11/20/20
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THE HIGHLIGHTS

A new Australian military report is shedding light on war crimes in Afghanistan. 

 

THE BACKGROUND. 

Back in the early 2010s, some stories broke about Australian, British, and American troops who were in Afghanistan as part of the Afghan war. It wasn’t good news. As in some of these troops did things like mutilate corpses, urinate on the bodies of dead insurgents, and pose for pictures with the dismembered bodies of insurgent bombers. Enter: investigations. 

 

THE HAPPENINGS. 

Yesterday, Australia released a report of its findings from its four-year investigation. We’ll fill you in. The report says Australian troops unlawfully killed 39 Afghan prisoners, farmers, and civilians between 2009 and 2013. Plus that there was a “self-centered, warrior culture” in which troops would shoot prisoners to get their first kills. That’s known as “blooding,” and it also involves soldiers planting weapons and radios to make it look like those prisoners were enemies killed in action. 

 

THE REACTION. 

Outrage. Horror. And shame, on the part of Australian Defence Force Chief General Angus Campbell. Campbell says that he “sincerely and unreservedly” apologizes for any “wrongdoing” by Australian soldiers. Then added that he’s already talked to his Afghan military counterpart about the report. This comes as the guy in charge of the investigation is rec’ing new police investigations into 19 soldiers for possible charges. 

 

THE TAKE. 

The report gives a clearer picture of the atrocities that took place during the Afghan war, years after it came to an end. 


THE ACTION

CORONAVIRUS: A new expert forecast predicts that at least 470,000 Americans will die from coronavirus by March 2021. But the forecast also says that if 95 percent of Americans wore masks, we could save more than 60,000 lives. On that note: a new analysis shows that the states that’ve imposed the least amount of restrictions during the pandemic have the worst coronavirus outbreaks. You read that right. Over in Europe, new case rates are dropping for the first time in months - indicating that all those new restrictions are paying off. Meanwhile, ICYMI, Thanksgiving is coming up - and the CDC is pleading with Americans to avoid travel. And lastly, the Trump team is pulling about $500 billion in emergency economic support. Cue backlash. 

 

ELECTION: Recently, Georgia finished up its recount and revealed the results. Spoiler alert: Joe Biden won by 12,284 votes. Big deal, since Georgia needs to certify its vote today. When they do, it’ll mark Georgia as officially officially flipping from red to blue this election. That’s not the only reason Trump’s not having a good day. See: judges tossed out even more lawsuits in Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Georgia in another round of defeats for the Trump team. One of these judges was even appointed by Trump. Meanwhile, guess where Michigan GOP leaders are heading? The White House, thanks to an invite by Trump. Intro concerns that Trump’s trying to convince these leaders to appoint electors who’d throw Michigan’s electoral votes his way. 

 

BIZ: Two of the biggest media bizes are getting hitched. See: BuzzFeed Inc just nodded its head to acquiring HuffPost as part of a larger deal with Verizon Media, which owns HuffPost. This comes as these kinds of bizes are looking to compete with Google and Facebook when it comes to ad dollars. In other news, Apple is unzipping its wallet. Quick refresher: a few years ago, it came out that the biz was deliberately slowing down old iPhones - apparently to help extend their battery life. That sparked a lot of outrage, with some people speculating that Apple was actually trying to encourage users to buy new iPhones. Now, it looks like Apple is agreeing to cough up $113 million to dozens of states. 


WHAT TO KNOW

Caterpillars:” what head-butt each other for milkweed. 


SAY WHAT?

“Vatican asks Instagram how pope's account liked photo of Brazilian model” - an actual headline. You can’t make this up. 

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