Category Archives: World News

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COP 26 Leads the Climate Concern Conversation

by Vivie Babbott

Are you concerned about our climate? Starting on October 31st and continuing through November 12th, over 100 world leaders are attending the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP 26. This year the conference is being held at the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow, Scotland. The purpose of this assembly is to assess the world’s progress towards the 2015 Paris Agreement, and for world leaders to agree upon coordinated action to combat climate change.

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(Photo courtesy of Reuters.com)

Though most countries will be represented in one way or another, Chinese president Xi Jinping, Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, and Russian president Vladmir Putin will not be attending the conference. Along with these three key absences, presidents of  Mexico, South Africa, and Iran will also be missing COP 26. Queen Elizabeth of Britain, who was originally attending, has pulled out of the meeting due to doctor’s orders to rest. She will continue to participate virtually.

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(Photo courtesy of The Washington Post)

COP 26 has already seen the start of climate successes so far. The European Commission President announced around 100 nations have signed a global pledge to cut methane emissions by 30% (as of 2020 levels) by 2030, which is expected to immediately slow climate change. In addition to this, the US, France, UK, Germany, and European Union have agreed to fund South Africa´s shift away from coal. This could pave the way for other developing countries, who contribute largely to pollution. The pledge to end deforestation by 2030 turned into solid budget commitments including the European Union, US, and UK. Their budgets are, respectively, $1.1 billion, $9 billion, and $2 billion (all in USD).

The Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) is a group which brings together the top 48 countries most at risk from climate change. CVF held a meeting at COP 26 on Tuesday, calling upon rich countries to assist in their transition to green economies. Ghana is one of the countries in CVF, and Ghana’s president Nana Akufo-Addo stated ¨The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows Africa is warming faster than any continent in the world even though we are the least emitters.¨ One of the CVF´s request was 500 billion in climate finance between 2020 and 2024. Half of this for mitigation through reducing carbon emissions, and half for adapting to climate impacts.

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(Photo courtesy of https://panafricanvisions.com/)

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Most Popular Social Media Platform, Facebook, to Rebrand

By: Harrison Young-Glatz

UPDATE: As of October 28th, 2021, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook stated that Facebook’s corporate name will be changed to “meta”. This is similar to how Google’s corporate name is “Alphabet Inc.”

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook revealed, in an interview to The Verge that took place July, 2021, that he was planning to rebrand Facebook to “play into the metaverse more.”

In the interview, Zuckerberg stated that, over the next few years, “we will effectively transition from people seeing us [facebook] as primarily a social media company to being a metaverse company.” 

Now what is metaverse? Mark Zuckerberg plans to morph facebook into a metaverse company, but what does this mean? 

The metaverse is a concept that digitally combines ingredients of social media, Augmented Reality, and Virtual Reality. It’s essentially a new world that you can see, hear, taste, smell, and feel.

If the new Facebook rebrand goes best-case, this could be the future of technology as we see it today. The implications and possibilities are endless. It could use something like google’s experimental new holographic glasses, or even facebook’s own Oculus brand that makes Virtual Reality headsets.

See related story on Vox:

https://www.vox.com/recode/2021/11/17/22787191/facebook-meta-haptic-glove-metaverse

 

 

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Cryptocurrency Rug Pull Scam Makes Owner Big Bucks

By: Harrison Young-Glatz

Recently, a cryptocurrency coin called “Squid Coin ” took a one-of-a-kind journey from 40$ a coin to 2,850$ a coin in 4 hours, then 5 minutes after its peak, plummeted to 0.0008$. But how did this happen?

On October 20th, 2021, a crypto coin SQUID, which was pitched as a pay-to-earn crypto coin for an upcoming Squid Game online game (inspired by Squid Game, a Netflix show released September 17th, 2021), Climbed 310,000% in its first 10 days from investors and crypto traders going all in. 

5 minutes after SQUID’s peak of $2,856.64 USD, it sank all the way down to $0.0007926 USD. As Charlie Bilello, CEO of Capital Advisors, and an avid investor, pointed out in a tweet published on November 1st, 2021:

Squid Game Crypto Coin Today…

1:35am: $38.19

2:35am: $89.91

3:35am: $93.64

4:35am: $434.70

5:35am: $2,856.64

5:40am: $0.0007926”

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Why did nobody sell earlier? There were supposedly many red flags to deter people from buying into the coin in the first place, like the website for SQUID being filled with typos and spelling errors. CoinMarketCap, the world’s most referenced price tracking site for cryptocurrencies warned before the scandal that SQUID was a scam, and not to invest in it; yet the biggest red flag was the fact that you could never sell the token. You could only ever buy in, but never sell.

People invested regardless of all of these warning signs in hopes of earning profit from the game they were investing in, but because the founder and creator of SQUID coin set it up so that only they could sell, they banked out an estimated $2,100,000 USD on the backs of crypto investors.

AP Photo/Capt. Chris Herbert/U.S. Air Force

Did you know that Afghan refugees may come to CVU?

By Dau Dau

 Governor Phil Scott announced on September 16, 2021, that the US Department of State has approved the relocation of up to 100 Afghans to Vermont. Following the US decision to end its operations in Afghanistan, many Afghan refugees are expected to arrive in the US. They will be resettled from areas that were not previously considered safe for them.

“We have a moral obligation to help the people of Afghanistan, who did so much to help us in the War on Terror,” Said Governor Phil Scott. “In addition to this being the right thing to do, we know that welcoming more refugees also strengthens communities, schools, our workforce, culture and economy. I appreciate the federal government’s partnership in helping us welcome more families to Vermont.” 

U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants(USCRI) is a national resettlement agency that helps people who have migrated to the United States. The goal of this project is to accommodate those Afghans who are being targeted by the US due to their support for the American military and its allies in Afghanistan.  The State Department has approved the resettlement of Afghans who have assisted our service members in the Middle East. This move will benefit both the individuals and the communities in which they live.

Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont said, “Vermont has a long history of warmly welcoming refugees who have become an integral part of communities across our state. They have made Vermont stronger,”  The announcement that over a hundred Afghan refugees will be coming to the state is great news for the people of Vermont. The Chamber has been working with the State of Vt. to support refugee resettlement in the state.

20-1223 Voyager Station

Welcome to Space! 

Sawyer Thorpe  6/3/2021

By 2027 a space hotel will be opened for citizens from around the world. For a 3 and a half night stay at this hotel in orbit of our home, it will run you at $5 million USD. With accommodations for every customer, there will be portable habitats of land from around the world. With their most recent $1,000,000 USD donation goal reached, they announced that they would be able to construct the hotel that will be 200 meters in diameter with pools, trees, and portable habitats in it. 

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“Our planned orbit and elevation for Voyager Station is 97 deg and 500-500 km. This is a sun-synchronous polar orbit that will reduce thermal stress and allow the most continuous solar power generation. There, orbit degradation and space debris risk will be nominal.” Announced OAC’s official twitter account.

Orbital Assembly Corporation’s Twitter account continuously gives updates about their progress on the orbital hotel that spread from comedic posts to construction and even features for their part-time show that runs on Youtube and other platforms.

With the possibility of space debris shutting down the entire project, the space station has plotted a course to bring minimum danger to its passengers while bringing the best experience possible for a hefty price of $5 million USD a stay. 

With help coming in from the United States’ NASA program to a private company called SpaceX, prices for space travel have considerably lowered in terms of the broad look of things. 

With comments about the articles coming to light, many are beginning to suspect that all of this planning and construction is simply talk while they find a way to take the money for themselves. With it being in the realm of possibilities, investors must use their own sense of judgement in the project. 

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Healing the Scars of Notre Dame

Myleigh Kilbon 6/4/21

Two years ago flames threatened to completely destroy the internationally renowned Notre Dame Cathedral, nestled in the heart of Paris. While Notre Dame wasn’t completely burned down, scars remain not only on the cathedral, but in the hearts of French citizens. The flames that tore Notre Dame down also reached the hearts of many United States citizens who watched the travesty from across the sea. Champlain Valley’s own Magali Simon-Martin, a French teacher at CVU, who was born and raised in Paris, France, was deeply affected by the fire.

Earlier this year President Emmanuel Macron visited the beautiful Notre Dame cathedral with a team of ministers and architects to check on the progress of the restoration of the cathedral, also marking the two year anniversary of the fire. Restoring the cathedral to its former glory has been deemed a symbol of French resilience, a symbol needed now more than ever amidst this global pandemic.

April 16th, 2019, at approximately 6:20 p.m., billows of smoke were spotted rising from the roof of the famous cathedral before neon orange flames were seen ripping through the sky. The fire lasted for close to 15 hours, clouding the city of Paris with smoke and despair. After the fire, the Chicago Tribune reported “The spire of the cathedral collapsed in flames, but the church’s structure was saved after firefighters managed to stop the fire spreading to the northern belfry. No deaths were reported but one firefighter was injured.”

After an investigation, the Tribune asked Parisian police about the cause of the fire, who reported that, “the cause of the massive fire isn’t yet known. The peak of the 12th century cathedral was undergoing a $6.8 million renovation project on the church’s spire and its 250 tons of lead. Officials said the fire is ‘potentially linked’ to the renovation work. The Paris prosecutors’ office ruled out arson and possible terror-related motives, and said it was treating it as an accident.”

Madame Magali Simon-Martin, french teacher at CVU and Vermont’s Foreign Language Teacher of the year, born and raised in Paris, reported that she clearly remembers the fire. “I have these vivid memories of seeing videos of people in Paris and their reactions to the fire. I could see the tears, and I could see the fear in their eyes. Afraid of what this meant for Paris,” Simon-Martin described.  When asked about how the fire affected French citizens, Simon-Martin said, “A reminder that Notre Dame is for the French people, its history. Seeing that it could burn, reminding people that it was this real thing that couldn’t last forever was scary.”

The reason that the burning of Notre Dame was so fear-inducing for the world over is because of what Notre Dame means and what Notre Dame represents. Simon-Martin described Notre Dame and the meaning of Notre Dame in France. “ It is part of the culture, it is part of the landscape, part of the ancestry, something that will always be there. You can see it from everywhere in Paris, like a statement in the Parisian sky; the bells, the visuals and the sound of France.” Simon-Martin reported that the importance of Notre Dame lies in the unity it brings, “Whether or not you are a practicing Catholic, Notre Dame brings this sense of spirituality and when you enter, there is a sense of calm and unity, but also you are surrounded by beauty and it is stunning. It is the spirit of what makes us human when we believe in something higher than ourselves, whether that is God, or simply unworldly beauty.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit hard for the entire world, and Simon-Martin reported that the most difficult part of the pandemic for most Parisians is simply “Joi de vivire” or the joy of life. Living and enjoying life is a large part of French culture, and not being able to enjoy a coffee or just taking your time getting from one place to another has been a struggle. Simon-Martin stated, “The most difficult part of the pandemic is how it has impacted the resilience of people; it’s a struggle, and now when you see France opening outdoors, people are eager to socialize and talk and just sit and be surrounded by people and beauty and excitement.” The importance of the restoration of Notre Dame has only increased as the joy of life for many Parisians has decreased. Simon-Martin said, “Notre Dame is at the center of Paris, the center of the French people’s history. There is this amazing building that also represents the entire history of the country. You visualize Notre Dame as France. It holds the values. It is connected to places that are statements representing education, peace, and equality, all surrounding Notre Dame. Life surrounds Notre Dame, and you have a mix of people representing the world surrounding Notre Dame.” For many, Notre Dame represents the idea of joy of life.

Notre Dame is a symbol for life and beauty. Simon-Martin stated that Notre Dame is this symbol of unity that illustrates how people can be so creative and so strong. That building shows the strength of human beings and the ability to reflect on history. Simon-Martin reccounted the experience of Notre Dame specifically speaking about the incredible music coming from the famous organ of Notre Dame. “Notre Dame shines all over the world, it is the most visited monument in the world by tourists, and French people, and even Parisians who get to see it every day. The organist of Notre Dame, on a very personal level, played the organ when I got married in Paris. The music and the organ was saved, saving the music of Notre Dame. The organ is visually stunning, and when the organ is played there is a special sound that resonates, in Notre Dame the sound is specific. Even if you aren’t religious, you can be religious at Notre Dame. It is at its core.”

 

The restoration of Notre Dame has greatly impacted mainly the lives of local Parisians, specifically those living in the neighborhood. “All around Notre Dame is closed right now too, so you can’t cross to the park the way you used to. But there is hope. At the same time, with the pandemic, people are not traveling much, it has affected mostly the Parisians that live in the neighborhood, because that neighborhood is dead. After the fire people were unhappy because they found some led; people were concerned for their children’s health, because the fire caused those led fumes to get into the air and there was some controversy around that,” Simon-Martin said. But the importance of Notre Dame outweighed any controversy or concerns. Simon-Martin reported that, “Everybody said it has to be rebuilt. Right away rich people gave a lot of money, so it’s going to be funded by the French government, but also with private funds. And it was immediate; the day after the fire, money started to arrive. Rich people started pledging their money to Notre Dame, to save the cathedral, and the culture it brings to France.”

Notre Dame is more than a cathedral, it acts as the heart of a city, the heart of a country. “Every person that knows Notre Dame has a memory, whether it is a feeling, or an impression, the  building itself is almost a person,” said Simon-Martin. And the most important piece of it is how one building could bring the world together. “It’s like what we call the French heritage. It goes across social status and classes, genders, ages.” The restoration of Notre Dame will help to restore the hearts of French people, and global citizens because, as said by Simon-Martin, “Notre Dame is part of the culture, it is part of the landscape, a statement in the Parisian sky.”

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Wacky Ways to Encourage Vaccination

Jagger Lehouiller  5/20/21

WILLISTON VT– With vaccines rapidly rolling out around the world, hospitals and communities are finding ways to make the vaccine fun, a little more interesting, and more enticing for those who are reluctant.  

Many US states are getting involved. Connecticut is offering a free fountain  drink at select restaurants and stores for those who can provide a vaccination record; Connecticut is now also leading 4th in vaccination rates as of 5/21/21 in the US. 

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Not only is the US finding ways to draw in the community; it’s global. Even Romania is offering vaccines at Dracula’s Castle! According to the BBC, “Medics with fang stickers on their scrubs are offering Pfizer shots to everyone who visits the 14th-century Bran Castle in central Romania.”

Also in Washington and Wisconsin,  select tap houses they are offering a free beer with proof of vaccination referred to as a “shot and chaser”.

Vermonters are getting coupons for a free ice cream with vaccination record.  According to the Vermont Department of Agriculture,  “All the participating creemee vendors have joined in this effort to help protect the public from the coronavirus by covering part of the cost of each creemee,” the agency wrote on its website. “The coupons are limited to the first 10,000 people who receive a vaccine dose on a first-come, first serve basis, until all coupons have been claimed.”

With vaccination rates on the rise, and new incentives getting people vaccinated, things are looking up for our communities.

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Bye-Bye Bitcoin…Hello Again?

Bitcoin Stocks Plummeting

Hailey Chase

NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE— On April 17, 2021, people involved with the Bitcoin stock market were sent to a frenzy when the market experienced an immense drop, as the Treasury Department was honing in on cryptocurrency as an outlet for money laundering, and a $16 billion change of ownership of Dogecoin occurred via RobinHood. 

The “inevitable” decline, beginning at 7:00pm on Saturday, April 17, was Bitcoin’s largest monetary drop in history—yet it was not the highest percentage drop. In the month of April, the highest recorded price per Bitcoin was over $64,000, and in a short nine days, that price had dropped to under $48,000 by April 25th. The $16,000 drop in price per Bitcoin brought the entire market to a panic and many people sold their shares in fear of an even further decline.

On May 10, 2021, the price per Bitcoin continued to fluctuate by the second, yet the market was steadily recovering. From mid-April to early May, the decay had leveled to only about a 4.5% decrease, and the prices for the past week have only declined .60%.

However, on May 12, Tesla Co-founder and CEO, Elon Musk announced that Tesla will no longer accept Bicoin as a viable form of currency to pay for any Tesla products. At the time of the announcement, Bitcoin was around $56,000, then it took a steep decline of nearly 25% and is hovering around $43,000 as of May 17, 2021.

What does this mean for the future of Bitcoin? Like any cryptocurrency, the market is fast-paced and has the potential to change significantly every day. However, Tesla pulling out of Bitcoin is a major change that the market may not be able to sustain. While some say this crash was to be expected, others say that an even larger price per Bitcoin can be expected in the future. 

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Covering Up More Than Your Camera

Myleigh Kilbon 5/3/21

CANADA– “Getting caught with your pants down” took on a whole new meaning when a Canadian Parliament member was seen stark naked during a meeting of the House of Commons. Covering up your camera has become crucial now that we are more dependent on technology for meetings.

Representative William Amos of the Quebec district, Pontiac, joined a virtual meeting of the House of Commons Wednesday April 15th where, after going for a jog, Amos came back to his office to change into his work clothes. As he began to disrobe, unaware that his camera was turned on, Amos was as surprised as everyone else in the meeting when one of his colleagues allerted him that he was undressed in front of the camera. 

Amos later sent out in an email issuing an apology, “I sincerely apologize to my colleagues in the House of Commons for this unintentional distraction. Obviously, it was an honest mistake and it won’t happen again.”

Amos was visible only to parliament members and staffers on an internal video conference feed and because he was not speaking his image did not show up in the public feed. 

A liberal party colleague, Mark Holland, said, “I don’t think there was any ill intent. It’s certainly an unfortunate circumstance,” as previously reported.

I think this mishap should act as a cautionary tale to all of us as we continue to rely on virtual meetings to take the place of regular meetings during the pandemic. As advised by Holland, “You’ve got to really always assume that the camera is on and be very careful anytime you wander near it.”

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India’s COVID-19 Second Volley

Sawyer Thorpe

INDIA– In the beginning of the pandemic the Indian government downplayed the critical situation that COVID-19 would put them in, and now instead of the government suffering, it’s the people. 

As of this report, casualties continue to climb: the current death toll in India is at about 700 per day. Although, that is currently thought to be 20% less than the actual number due to under-reporting. As the pandemic continues, the Indian government continues to spend money on things such as state houses and government buildings. Instead of spending this money on the citizens of India. Doctors and nurses in India are beginning to fall ill which is complicating the pandemic crisis.

Throughout the pandemic, Indian politicians had publicly posted on twitter their thoughts on the reaction of their government to soon later have that same government take their post down off of the website. 

“India will never forgive PM @narendramodi for underplaying the corona situation in the country and letting so many people die due to mismanagement.” Said Moloy Ghatak, an Indian government official publicly stated on Twitter.

As Indian residents continue to call out their government about how ill prepared they were and still are to face a pandemic, their words are partially silenced and hidden away by their government.

As international efforts to give aid to nations in poverty are underway, Indian government officials continue to ignore the safety boundaries that was announced by the World Health Organization. It was reported that the prime minister of India had a political rally with it’s home minister as well.

As India once exported COVAX vaccines in large numbers, they have more recently halted all exports in order to vaccinate the citizens of India instead of those of the entire world due to the inability to prepare for the unknown waves to come.