5 things to know for December 9: Coronavirus, Voting rights, Ukraine, Social networks, United Kingdom
By AJ Willingham, CNN
America is definitely recruiting. Jobs surged unexpectedly in October to around 11 million, the leisure and hospitality sectors – in particular in the hotel and catering industry – experiencing the greatest increase in open positions.
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Three states called on the National Guard to help alleviate health systems overwhelmed by rising Covid-19 cases. The New York National Guard has deployed 120 medics to help overworked long-term care facilities, and more may be sent to hospitals as well. Maine made a similar decision, yesterday reporting a record number of hospitalizations for Covid-19. In New Hampshire, Governor Christopher Sununu is calling on both FEMA and the National Guard to help the state prepare for a winter push. Even if states make plans, New study shows the world as a whole is unprepared for the next pandemic. No country has performed well on the Global Health Security Index – a measure of preparedness for various health emergencies and issues put in place by the Nuclear Threat Initiative and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.
2. Voting rights
Voting rights advocates are sounding the alarm bells over a series of recent redistribution plans across the country that they say could deny voters of color and under-represented communities the right to vote. North Carolina Supreme Court just delayed state primary elections – now due in May 2022 – due to lawsuits relating to maps of congressional and state legislative districts. The groups behind the lawsuits claim the cards are attempted gerrymandering that violate the state constitution. Earlier this week, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit alleging that the new Texas Congressional map illegally discriminates against Hispanic and black voters. Voting activists in Georgia prepare for a similar fight because a Republican-backed bill redrawing certain district lines could be presented to the Georgia General Assembly next year.
The final elements of a US $ 60 million security assistance program, including small arms, ammunition, missiles and non-lethal elements, will arrive in Ukraine this week. So far this year, the United States has provided roughly $ 450 million in security assistance to Ukraine, and the Pentagon has also sent troops overseas to help train the country’s military. . All of this comes as Ukraine and its allies prepare for possible aggression from Russia. New security assessment of Ukrainian defense officials says Russia increased the number of soldiers near the Ukrainian border to 120,000. The Biden administration is also preparing possible sanctions against Russia if it decides to invade Ukraine. However, energy sanctions are unlikely to be on the table because of the impact such a move would have on world markets.
4. Social networks
Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram testified at a Senate subcommittee hearing yesterday on the potentially harmful impact of the platform on young users. Mosseri is the most prominent Meta (formerly Facebook) figure to testify before Congress since a Facebook whistleblower leaked hundreds of internal documents earlier this year. Mosseri said that Instagram is plan to bring back a chronological flow next year, supplanting an algorithmic feed that some worry about may send users into content-damaging rabbitholes. He also acknowledged the need to update regulations to keep people safe online, but did not comment on the possibility of a regulator not led by Big Tech members. Meanwhile, a technology advocacy group claims Instagram is full of accounts promoting the sale of Xanax, ecstasy, opioids and other drugs, thus creating an easily accessible âdrug pipelineâ for young people.
5. United Kingdom
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and members of his administration embroiled in a thorny controversy regarding allegations that two social events took place inside 10 Downing Street in the days leading up to Christmas 2020 – in violation of the country’s strict pandemic restrictions at the time. The scandal came to a head when a video emerged this week that appeared to show officials joking about the holidays during a rehearsal for TV news briefs. In response, Johnson announced an internal investigation and one of those responsible for the video – former Prime Minister’s spokeswoman Allegra Stratton, resigned as government adviser yesterday. Besides the appearance of government hypocrisy, the video and other evidence of the rallies undermine the UK government’s current efforts to introduce stricter Covid-19 restrictions.
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THE NUMBER OF THE DAY
This is the number of journalists imprisoned in 2021, according to an annual census conducted by a nonprofit group Committee to Protect Journalists. This is the highest number CPJ has reported since it started tracking data in 1992. The CPJ report also found that at least 24 journalists had been killed for their work as of December 1.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
âWhen someone has a substance use disorder or overdoses, whether it’s fatal or not, they’re not Republicans, they’re not Democrats. They don’t live in red or blue states, or rich or poor, or black or whiteâ¦ they are human beings that we must help support.
Dr Rahul Gupta, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, who says drug addiction should be treated as a chronic disease.
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