👋 Away Message: So we had a little scheduling snafu here at WTF HQ, where both myself and Joe (voice of the pod) double-booked ourselves with personal and professional obligations next week. Oopsie! Not a very great job using a calendar on my part, I guess. On the other hand, it appears the government isn't going to be open for business anyway... Unless something truly WTF-y happens, I'll see you all again on Tuesday, October 10th, because Monday is a holiday (Indigenous Peoples' Day).
In the mean time, try our little news aggregator tool – currentstatus.io – to keep you up-to-date on the daily shock and awe. Thanks for understanding and for being here. I'm going to miss you.
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1/ Earth is on track to see its 5th or 6th warmest year on record in 2022, with global average temperatures currently running about 1.15°C above the preindustrial average. “We just had the 8 warmest years on record,” the World Meteorological Organization said, calling its latest State of the Global Climate report a “chronicle of climate chaos.” The agency noted that “the warming continues” with accelerating sea level rise, record-breaking glacier melting, and extreme weather. Temperatures in Europe have increased at an average rate of 0.5 degrees Celsius per decade over the past 30 years – more than twice the global average. (Bloomberg / Washington Post / Axios / CBS News)
2/ U.N. Secretary General António Guterres called for the creation of a “climate solidarity pact” between rich and poor nations to meet the Paris Agreement’s target and limit the severity of global warming. Earth is losing “the fight of our lives,” Guterres said in opening remarks at the annual U.N. climate conference, known as COP27. “We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator. Humanity has a choice: cooperate or perish.” The Guterres called for China and the U.S. – the world’s two biggest polluters – to cooperate, saying they have a “particular responsibility to join efforts to make this pact a reality. This is our only hope of meeting our climate goals.” (NPR / Axios / New York Times / Washington Post / CNN / Axios)
3/ More than 41 million pre-election ballots have been cast across 47 states, but Republicans in at least three battleground states have sued to disqualify thousands of mail ballots. In Pennsylvania, thousands of ballots have been set aside because the voter neglected to put a date on the outer envelope. While in Michigan, the Republican nominee for secretary of state filed a lawsuit seeking to toss absentee ballots not requested in person by Detroit voters. And in Wisconsin, some mail ballots won’t be counted if the required witness address is not complete. Pre-election voting, however, has been ahead of 2018 levels in states where data is available for the last three cycles. (CNN / Washington Post)
4/ A Russian oligarch known as “Vladimir Putin’s chef” admitted that Russia had interfered in U.S. elections and would continue to do so. “Gentlemen, we have interfered, are interfering and will interfere. Carefully, precisely, surgically and in our own way, as we know how to do,” Yevgeny Prigozhin said. In 2018, special counsel Robert Mueller charged Prigozhin with conspiracy to defraud the U.S. for his role in financing the Internet Research Agency, a “troll factory” in St. Petersburg that used social media to spread fake news during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. Researchers, meanwhile, have identified a series of new Russian information operations attempting to influence the U.S. election by criticizing Biden and other Democrats for supporting Ukraine’s resistance to the Russia. (Associated Press / New York Times / CNN)
5/ Trump is reportedly planning to announce his 2024 presidential campaign before Thanksgiving. Two people from Trump’s inner circle said he has specifically discussed a Nov. 14 announcement. The Justice Department, meanwhile, is weighing whether a Trump candidacy would create the need for a special counsel to oversee the investigation into Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election and his mishandling of national security documents he took to Mar-a-Lago. Some Republicans aides and strategists say they expect Attorney General Merrick Garland to indict Trump in the next 60 to 90 days. (Axios / CNN)
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