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Hard Numbers: Meet Bard, grim new climate report, Colombia’s Toro ban, Uganda’s anti-LGBTQ law, IMF approves Sri Lankan relief

Google's new chatbot, Bard.

Google's new chatbot, Bard.

4: Bard has entered the conversation! Alphabet shares were up 4% at midday trading Tuesday after Google announced the release of Bard, its new AI technology. Google had previously been criticized for rushing to release the new chatbot tech to compete with Microsoft's OpenAI and its ChatGPT.

1.5: A new UN report says the world has less than a decade to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels (the 2015 Paris Agreement’s target). Industrialized countries must halve greenhouse gasses by 2030 and halt carbon dioxide emissions by the 2050s to avoid cataclysmic flooding, droughts, heat waves, and species extinction.

8: Bullfighting remains legal in eight countries worldwide, but that may soon change. The majority of Colombians want to end the practice, which has been a tradition since colonial times. Colombia’s Senate recently voted to ban bullfighting, but the legislation now faces a tough challenge in the lower house, where an earlier proposed ban was shot down last year.

10: Uganda’s parliament passed a harsh new anti-LGBTQ bill on Tuesday that could lead to 10-year prison sentences for those who engage in “same-sex activity” or identify as LGBTQ. If President Yoweri Museveni signs the bill – he has suggested he supports it – Uganda will become the first African nation to criminalize simply identifying as LGBTQ.

2.9 billion: Sri Lanka has secured a $2.9 billion rescue package from the IMF to aid in its economic recovery. After defaulting on its sovereign debt last year, the island nation faced its worst economic disaster since independence. The package will likely boost international investment, but strict austerity measures will hurt Sri Lankan households already struggling with sky-high inflation.


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