Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: December 3, 2022

Protests in China continue as Beijing and Shenzhen loosen more COVID restrictions, Biden says there are currently no plans to talk to Putin in regard to ending war, and more


Protests in China continue as Beijing, Shenzhen loosen more COVID restrictions

Protests continued across China this weekend as government officials clashed with angry dissenters regarding the country's "zero COVID" policy. In Shanghai, protesters were heard continuing the calls for Chinese President Xi Jinping to step down, as Chinese officials reportedly implemented an "emergency level" of censorship amidst ongoing riots in the streets. This includes a crackdown on censorship regarding protest information on the internet, as well as the availability of information relating to COVID-19. With the protests continuing, though, officials in Beijing and Shenzhen announced they would be ending mandatory COVID tests for public transport, as the strict requirements regarding the virus continue to be slowly mitigated. 


White House says there are currently no plans for Biden to talk to Putin in regard to ending war

The White House said Friday there are currently no plans in place for President Biden to talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin in regard to ending the war in Ukraine, because conditions for those talks have not emerged. While Biden had previously said he would be willing to hold discussions with Putin regarding a potential conclusion to the war, national security spokesperson John Kirby told reporters, "We're just not at a point now where talks seem to be a fruitful avenue to approach." This sentiment seemed to be relayed by the Kremlin, which said that, while Putin, like Biden, would be open to discussions, coming to mutual terms at this point would be unlikely. 


G7 countries and Australia agree to price cap on Russian oil

The G7 coalition and Australia agreed Friday to cap the price of Russian crude oil at $60 per barrel, in an effort to try and further limit the country's profitability from its top natural resource. In addition, the price cap will be accompanied by an embargo on Russian oil imports to the European Union. While Russia has warned its Western counterparts that these actions will cause gas prices to rise, diplomats from the E.U. agreed to monitor the situation and review the price cap at least every two months — or more if necessary. The embargo itself will begin on Monday. 


Macron tells Elon Musk that Twitter must follow rules of E.U.

French President Emmanuel Macron told Twitter CEO Elon Musk that his company must follow the rules of the European Union regarding content moderation. In a conversation on Friday in the United States, held while Macron was in town for a state dinner, the French president told Musk that "efforts have to be made by Twitter to comply with European regulations." Macron said Twitter had to offer transparent user policies in addition to reinforcing content moderation and freedom of speech. Macron went on to describe the meeting with Musk as a "clear and honest discussion" about the steps he felt Twitter needed to take, and has previously called Twitter's recent policy changes a "big issue."


Mauna Loa eruption could cause main highway on Big Island to be cut off

The eruption of Mauna Loa, the world's largest active volcano, continued on Hawaii's Big Island, prompting worries from officials on Friday that lava flows could block off the island's main highway. This could prove to be a significant hindrance to locals given that the Big Island has few major thoroughfares. The U.S. Geological Survey concluded that lava flows were traveling toward the Daniel K. Inouye Highway, but had slowed significantly upon reaching flatter ground. The highway connects the east and west sides of the island, and while the lava had slowed, officials said it could still reach the road within the next week. This could cause numerous problems for commuters across the Big Island. 


AT&T settles $6 million lawsuit regarding alleged data leaks to Wall Street

Communications giant AT&T has agreed to pay $6.25 million to settle a lawsuit from the Securities and Exchange Commission, which alleged that the company had selectively leaked financial information to Wall Street analysts, court filings revealed Friday. While AT&T has not confirmed or denied the veracity of the SEC allegations, a trio of executives named in the lawsuit also agreed to pay a $25,000 penalty each. These executives, however, similarly did not admit to the charges brought by the SEC. According to the lawsuit, senior AT&T officials had made calls to about 20 Wall Street data firms and disclosed information regarding the company's profits, sales, and other key financial indicators. 


Magnitude 5.7 earthquake strikes Indonesian province of West Java

An earthquake registering a magnitude of at least 5.7 struck the Indonesian province of West Java on Saturday, causing damage to an area of the country that was struck by a similarly strong earthquake last month. The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake registered at a depth of 70 miles, and was located near the city of Banjar. While the previous earthquake had left at least 330 people dead, officials said there were no initial reports of any deaths from this most recent event. According to the Indonesian meteorological agency, the earthquake was actually significantly stronger that the USGS estimate, calling it a magnitude 6.4 quake that shook buildings as far away as the Indonesia capital of Jakarta. 


Pentagon unveils new stealth bomber, 1st in more than 30 years

The U.S. military's newest stealth bomber was shown to the world on Friday, with Pentagon officials lauding the reveal as a major step in the craft's years-long development. The B-21 Raider is the first new American bomber airplane in more than three decades, and while the program remains highly classified, military officials finally allowed reporters to get an initial glimpse of the plane at a secretive ceremony. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said during the reveal, "This isn't just another airplane. It's the embodiment of America's determination to defend the republic that we all love." There are currently six Raiders in production, with more expected to be on the way. 


Round of 16 set in World Cup as matches get underway Saturday

The round of 16 is set to get underway in the 2022 FIFA World Cup, with the knockout stage signifying the beginning of the tournament's latter stages. The 16 qualifying teams will compete in two daily games over the next four days. The winners of each of these matches will then set up the quarterfinals round. The complete list of matchups is Argentina vs. Australia and the Netherlands vs. the United States on Saturday; France vs. Poland and England vs. Senegal on Sunday; Japan vs. Croatia and Brazil vs. South Korea on Monday; and Morocco vs. Spain and Portugal vs. Switzerland on Tuesday. 


Suspect arrested in connection with shooting of Migos rapper Takeoff

Houston Police authorities announced Friday that an arrest had been made in connection with the fatal shooting of Migos rapper Takeoff in November. Patrick Xavier Clark, 33, was arrested and charged with murder for the death of Takeoff, who was shot and killed on Nov. 1 after a business meeting at the age of 28. Takeoff had made up a third of the world-renowned rap trio Migos, along with his cousin Offset and uncle Quavo. In addition to Clark, Houston Police had also arrested another man last month, Cameron Joshua, 22, for unlawful carrying of a weapon. Joshua was reportedly at the scene of the shooting, though it is unknown if or how he was connected. 


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