tech, internet, disinformation, global study, UNESCO, elections, hate speech
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85% of People Worry About Online Disinformation: Global Study (Maria)

The author writes, “More than 85% of people are worried about the impact of online disinformation and 87% believe it has already harmed their country’s politics, according to a global survey, as the United Nations announced a plan to tackle the phenomenon. Audrey Azoulay, director general of the UN’s culture body, UNESCO, told reporters on Monday that false information and hate speech online – accelerated and amplified by social media platforms – posed ‘major risks to social cohesion, peace and stability.’ Regulation was urgently needed ‘to protect access to information … while at the same time protecting freedom of expression and human rights,’ Azoulay said.” 

The Emerging Working-Class Republican Majority (Al)

From Politico: “On the surface, it’s a party in chaos. Riven by internal factions, the GOP struggled for weeks to elect a House speaker. State parties are fractured between MAGA forces and a more mainstream conservative wing. The Republican frontrunner for the presidential nomination, Donald Trump, has been charged in four criminal cases. And none of it may end up mattering.”

A Pediatrician’s View on Child Poverty Rates: ‘I Need Policymakers to Do Their Job’ (Reader Jim)

The author writes, “Child poverty in the U.S. has more than doubled in a year, and we have a pretty clear idea what drove it: Congress let the expanded child tax credit expire. It’s rare for a government policy to have an immediate and measurable impact on an individual or large portion of the population. But experts say the monthly payments to low-income families with children were doing just that. After the expanded credit took effect, child poverty hit a historic low of 5.2% a year ago. New Census data shows it has since rocketed to 12.4%. Doctors are seeing this play out in real time.”

FROM OCTOBER: Gaza Strip’s Size Compared to US Cities in Series of Maps (Sean)

From Newsweek: “A series of maps shows how the Gaza Strip compares in size to some of the major U.S. cities, often being dwarfed by American metropolises. The Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated regions in the world, with an estimated population of over 2.2 million in an area measuring just 141 square miles in total, meaning buildings in its urban areas are tightly grouped together. By that U.N. population approximation, there are on average around 15,600 people in every square mile of the territory. Compared to many sprawling cities in the U.S., the area it occupies is relatively minute.”

The Slow Death of a Desert Giant (Laura)

The author writes, “On a 105-degree afternoon in Phoenix, Arizona, Dr. Kimberlie McCue stands at the base of an 18-foot-tall saguaro cactus and looks up. She pushes back the brim of her sun hat and squints into the blindingly bright desert sky. ‘There!’ she says triumphantly, pointing to a spot about seven feet up the trunk of the multi-armed cactus that is an icon of the Sonoran Desert and the American Southwest as a whole. ‘That is where it was.’ … The spot marks the place where one of the arms detached from the saguaro trunk and crashed to the ground a few weeks earlier. Six other saguaros in the Desert Botanical Garden lost arms this summer, too.”

Killer Whales Sink Yacht After 45-Minute Attack, Polish Tour Company Says (Mili)

From CBS News: “A group of orcas managed to sink a yacht off the coast of Morocco last week, after its 45-minute attack on the vessel caused irreparable damage, a Polish tour company said. The incident happened Tuesday, Oct. 31, as a crew with the boat touring group sailed through the Strait of Gibraltar. … Although its captain and crew were assisted by a search-and-rescue team as well as the Moroccan Navy, the yacht could not be salvaged. It sank near the entrance to the port of Tanger-Med, a major complex of ports some 30 miles northeast of Tangier along the Strait of Gibraltar. None of the crew members were harmed.”

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