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November 24, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) - East County Magazine's World Watch helps you be an informed citizen on important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:



For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.


Biden releasing oil from strategic petroleum reserve to help lower gas prices (CBS)

President Biden on Tuesday announced a plan to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), in coordination with other countries, as part of efforts to tamp down high gas prices facing American consumers with the busy Thanksgiving holiday and travel season beginning.

Biden hopes fines on lingering cargo containers ease congestion at major U.S. ports (CNBC)

… The twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach announced Monday that containers moved by trucks will have nine days before fines start accruing and containers scheduled to move by rail will have three days…carriers will be charged $100 for each lingering container per day starting Nov. 1…. “Both ports are moving 19% more containers than at the same point in 2018, which was the previous record and the ports remain on target to outpace the previous record of 17.5 million containers processed in 2018,” explained Psaki. Earlier this month, the Biden administration unveiled a plan to run operations 24/7 at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which account for 40% of sea freight entering the United States, in order to address bottlenecks.

January 6 committee flexes its power as Bannon indictment serves as a warning to other reluctant witnesses (CNN)

The indictment of former President Donald Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon on charges of criminal contempt of Congress on Friday sent shock waves through Washington -- serving as a powerful warning to other potential witnesses that there will be consequences for defying the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.

US announces big hike in Medicare premiums (CNN)

The federal government announced a large hike in Medicare premiums Friday night, blaming the pandemic but also what it called uncertainty over how much it may have to be forced to pay for a pricey and controversial new Alzheimer's drug. The 14.5% increase in Part B premiums will take monthly payments for those in the lowest income bracket from $148.50 a month this year to $170.10 in 2022…The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services played down the spike, pointing out that most beneficiaries also collect Social Security benefits and will see a cost-of-living adjustment of 5.9% in their 2022 monthly payments, the agency said in a statement. That's the largest bump in 30 years.

Jury finds all 3 defendants guilty of murder in Ahmaud Arbery's death  (USA Today)

A jury found three white men guilty of murder and other charges in the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery (a black jogger) early last year.

Rittenhouse acquittal magnifies divisions in a polarized America (Washington Post)

Ever since the early-morning hours that day in August 2020, when video footage of a teenager opening fire on the streets of Kenosha first started to circulate, Kyle Rittenhouse has been a human canvas onto which the nation’s political divisions were mapped. To many on the right — including gun-rights groups, Trump loyalists and white supremacists — he was a folk hero, a vigilante for justice who had stood up to a rampaging mob. Americans on the left, including racial-justice activists, gun-control advocates and police reformers, saw something quite different: a trigger-happy youth who had recklessly used his AR-15 to escalate an already-chaotic situation into the realm of deadly violence.

This Colorado 'solar garden' is literally a farm under solar panels(NPR)

…Kominek's farm, rebranded as Jack's Solar Garden (Jack is his grandfather's name), is part of a burgeoning industry known as agrivoltaics. It's a relatively new field of research and Kominek's farm is one of only about a dozen in the United States known to be experimenting with it.


Indigenous voices stir debates at COP26 climate meeting (Indian Country Today

A round-up of discussions as the United Nations conference draws to a close.

French couple who said windfarm affected health win legal fight (The Guardian)

A French court has recognised “turbine syndrome” after a couple complained their health was damaged by living near a windfarm. In what is believed to be the first judgment of its kind in France, Belgians Christel and Luc Fockaert were awarded more than €100,000 in compensation by the judge in Toulouse. The couple claimed they experienced a range of health problems including headaches, insomnia, heart irregularities, depression, dizziness, tinnitus and nausea for more than two years, insisting these were caused by six wind turbines set up 700 metres from their home…

Austria brings back COVID-19 lockdown, this time for the unvaccinated (Reuters)

Austria is placing millions of people not fully vaccinated against the coronavirus in lockdown as of Monday to deal with a surge in infections to record levels and the growing strain on intensive-care units, the government said on Sunday. Europe is the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic again, prompting some governments to consider re-imposing unpopular lockdowns. Austria has one of the continent's highest infection rates…Roughly 65% of Austria's population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, one of the lowest rates in western Europe. Many Austrians are sceptical about vaccines, a view encouraged by the far-right Freedom Party….

Singapore’s Unvaccinated Will Have to Foot $18,000 Covid Bills Now (Bloomberg)

Covid patients in Singapore who choose not to get vaccinated could face high medical bills, as one of the most immunized societies in the world ramps up the pressure to get more shots in arms.  The government has so far shielded residents and citizens in the city-state from the cost of treatment for Covid-19 throughout the pandemic by fully covering everyone. But no longer. Amid the worst virus outbreak in the country, officials have opted to start charging Covid-19 patients who are unvaccinated by choice beginning Dec. 8. 



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