The Parisian Lockdown
In the first story of the Daily Briefing today, we head to France to discuss their latest lockdown. While much of the world currently in full on lockdown, France has been attempting to avoid a third lockdown. Unfortunately, this position became seemingly untenable in the last few days, with daily new cases skyrocketing into the 30,000s – potentially signalling the beginnings of a third wave. Like the UK, it is believed that the UK/Kent variant is behind the new rise in cases.
As part of this new lockdown, 16 regions of France will be subject to new restrictions. In total, this will mean that 21 million people will be legally required to abide by the new rules.
Luckily, though, it has been made clear that the restrictions for this upcoming lockdown will be less restrictive than the restrictions imposed during the first and second wave. Schools will remain open and outdoor activities will be allowed, provided the individual remains within a 10km radius of their house. Non-essential retail, except for book shops, will need to close, though.
Citizens will not be allowed to travel between regions, and the nationwide curfew will be moved forward an hour to 7pm local time.
The lockdown will be in place for at least 4 weeks – let’s all just hope that it only has to be in place for 4 weeks.
A Frosty China-US Exchange
In the second story today, we move to Alaska to discuss an exchange between US and Chinese officials at a high level discussion between the regimes. As Secretary of State Antony Blinken made clear that the US would “discuss our deep concerns with actions by China, including in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, cyber attacks on the United States, economic coercion of our allies”.
The first three of these examples raised by Mr. Blinken relates to human rights abuse claims levied against the Chinese regime – all of which we’ve explained in videos on the TLDR Global channel.
China’s most senior foreign policy official, Yang Jiechi, replied to these comments by claiming that human rights in the US were at an all time low – as demonstrated by the fact that black Americans were being “slaughtered”.
Despite the very public attempts to shame one-another, it was claimed that discussions behind closed doors were “substantive, serious and direct”. Let’s just hope that the two can continue to have productive meetings.
In the third story of the Daily Briefing today, we discuss misinformation. It’s fair to say that misinformation has become a serious problem in the last few years. Whether it be in elections, the coronavirus vaccine, or even simply day-to-day politics, misinformation is having a truly negative effect in the world.
That’s why the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) produced a report, looking at how and why misinformation spread. They found that around 50% of it’s participants unintentionally spread misinformation simply because they didn’t actually know what they were sharing. Additionally ⅓ of the participants shared the misinformation because they mistakenly believed it to be true.
Professor David Rand claimed that the careless sharing of fake news was down to the design of social media platforms. He claims that social media prompts people to care more about engagements, instead of whether or not the information being shared is accurate.
Let this serve as a lesson to everyone watching/reading/listening today – always check that what you’re sharing online is true!
Super Nintendo World
In our final story today, we discuss something a bit more lighthearted. After all, it’s the end of the week and we’re all excited for the weekend. So, we’re going to discuss the newly opened Super Nintendo World in Japan.
It was expected to open last year, but due to the pandemic, the opening had to be delayed. The new world within Universal Studios Japan cost $0.5bn (£0.36bn) and is currently only open to Japanese visitors (due to travel restrictions to Japan). Additionally, the intended capacity has been halved, in order to allow for social distancing.
The world’s main features, though, remain open and functioning. The main attraction (the Mario Kart augmented reality ride) is still welcoming visitors. Additionally, the unique system whereby visitors can collect keys and coins using an armband purchased upon entry will be functioning too. This armband can even allow visitors to play mini-games and team up with (or play against) other visitors using the app.
Three more of these worlds are already under construction in Universal Parks in LA, Orlando and Singapore.
For those of you who think the news is too long, be sure to check out Monday’s Daily Briefing.