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Cramm for 10/22/20
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THE HIGHLIGHTS

Russia and Iran have already interfered with the US presidential election. 

 

THE BACKGROUND. 

Years ago, it was discovered that Russia got involved with the 2016 US presidential election by attempting to hack it and by buying thousands of “politically controversial” ads on Facebook. So there’s been lots of talk about whether that could happen again this election. 

 

THE HAPPENINGS. 

Yesterday, the FBI said ‘it’s happened, and it’s bad’ and revealed that both Russia and Iran have meddled with the upcoming election. Think: the two countries obtained US voter registration deets. Big deal, since that means they could pose as, well, not Russia or Iran, and send false info to voters in an attempt to create confusion and undermine confidence in American democracy. Oh, wait - they did. The FBI also announced that Iran sent out emails made to look like they came from the Proud Boys warning voters to “Vote for Trump or else!” 

 

THE REACTION. 

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe says these efforts were intended to harm Prez Trump, but lots of people disagree. Case in point: the Homeland Security Committee tweeted that “these election interference operations are clearly not meant to harm President Trump.” In a deleted tweet, the committee called Ratcliffe a “partisan hack.” All of this comes as the final prez debate is tonight. 

 

THE TAKE. 

We’ve seen reports of foreign countries trying to meddle via social media, but this marks the most direct and threatening attempt to meddle yet. TBD, TBD, TBD. 


THE ACTION

CORONAVIRUS: Yesterday, a court ruled that at least half of the inmates at San Quentin prison in California need to be transferred. Because, safety concerns. You read that right. We’ll remind you: over the summer, thousands of inmates at San Quentin, which houses some of California’s most dangerous prisoners, were infected with coronavirus. At least 28 people have died. Now, it looks like a California court is ordering the prison to do more to protect its inmates from the virus. Meanwhile, Spain just became the first European nation to top 1 million coronavirus cases - nearly eight months after the country’s outbreak first hit. And on that note: Boston public schools are set to stop in-person learning as cases spike. 

 

WORLD: All eyes are on Pope Francis. Back it up: we probably don’t need to tell you that the Catholic Church is overwhelmingly not in support of LGBTQ+ rights. So you can imagine people’s shock when Pope Francis just voiced his support for same-sex civil unions in a new documentary - making him the first pope to do so. Meanwhile, at least 15 people were killed in a stampede after thousands of Afghans showed up in Jalalabad to apply for visas for neighboring Pakistan. Pakistan’s prime minister said he’s “deeply saddened by the tragic deaths and casualties.” In other news, Thailand’s prime minister just withdrew the country’s emergency decree - and is now calling for mediation by Parliament. To which protesters said ‘please resign.’ 

 

USA: Everyone’s talking about Purdue Pharma. Reminder: Purdue is a drugmaker that’s being largely blamed for the opioid crisis. Hint: they make OxyContin. As a result, the biz is facing thousands of lawsuits. So yesterday, Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty to criminal charges for opioid sales. More specifically, the charges relate to how the biz promoted the super addictive drug to Americans. Purdue’s expected to cough up more than $8 billion in penalties - while the biz’s owners will unzip their personal wallets and pay $225 million. Stay tuned. In other news, early votes in the US presidential election already top 40 million. Not a typo. 


WHAT TO KNOW

Cheapfakes:” cheaply edited videos. You’ve been seeing these all over the internet lately. Oh joy. 


SAY WHAT?

“Don't Cry for Quibi” - an actual headline after the biz shut down. Don’t think that’s going to be a problem. 

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