Watching and Ignoring

WHAT WE’RE WATCHING

Ebola in the DRC — According to the Health Ministry of the Democratic Republic of Congo, “Our country is facing another epidemic of the Ebola virus, which constitutes an international public health emergency.” At least 17 people have died following the latest outbreak, the ninth documented in the DRC. The virus, discovered in the DRC in the 1970s, takes its name from the country’s Ebola river.


Brazil after Barbosa — Former Supreme Court President Joaquim Barbosaannounced this week he won’t run for president. With less than five months to go, Brazil’s election remains wide open, if now a little less interesting.

Clown protest — In April, 100 people were murdered in the Mexican resort town of Acapulco. Residents are angry, but not surprised. This week, a group of professional clowns dressed in white made international news by marching to protest the violent crime that has become common in many Mexican cities and towns. Love them or fear them, clowns command attention.

WHAT WE’RE IGNORING

Mr. Sandman — In Rio, there are three kinds of people: those rich enough to afford a home with an ocean view, those who can’t afford such luxury, and Marcio Mizael Matolias. This third category consists of one man who lives on Barra da Tijuca beach while avoiding the high cost of housing by living in a (literal) sandcastle. Hold off on jokes about “unsustainable development,” because he says he has lived there for 22 years. So far so good. But his commitment isn’t total: When the sand gets too hot, he stays at a friend’s house.

The Robert Mueller Rumor Mill — Again this week we saw “bombshell” media reports on various allegations against President Trump followed quickly by news that Robert Mueller was investigating the same issues months ago. The Special Counsel is obviously 187 steps ahead of everyone talking and writing about his investigation. #Wait for Mueller

Ferrera Erbognone, a small town in the northern Italian province of Pavia, is home to one of the most cutting-edge computing centers in the world: Eni's Green Data Center. All of the geophysical and seismic prospecting data Eni produces from all over the world ends up here. Now, the Green Data Center is welcoming a new supercomputing system: HPC5, an advanced version of the already powerful HPC4. Due to be completed by early 2020, HPC5 will triple the Green Data Center's computing power, from 18.6 to 52 petaflops, equivalent to 52 million billion mathematical operations per second.

Learn more at Eniday: Energy Is A Good Story

Why is Instagram going to hide likes?

Well, one explanation is that they want to encourage healthy behavior and a like can make us addicted. Second explanation is that they get rid of the likes, they can get more of the cut in the market for influencers, who get money from advertisers, sometimes based on likes.

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This week, the process of impeaching President Trump entered the critical phase as the House of Representatives held its first public hearings. The battle lines are now drawn.

The Democrats say that there is compelling evidence that Trump withheld badly needed military to aid to an ally at war to pressure that country's government to provide him with personal political benefit by helping him discredit a political rival.

The Republicans say that the evidence comes mainly from witnesses with little or no direct contact with the president, and that the military aid was delivered to Ukraine without the Ukrainian president taking the actions Trump is alleged to have demanded.

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The fight for the Nile: In recent days, the Trump administration has tried to mediate three-way talks between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia on their long-running dispute to access the waters of the Nile. In short, a 1929 treaty gave Egypt and Sudan rights to nearly all Nile waters and the right to veto any attempt by upstream countries to claim a greater share. But in 2011, Ethiopia began work on the so-called Grand Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile tributary from where 85 percent of the Nile's waters flow. The project, due for completion next year, will be Africa's largest hydroelectric power plant. Egypt, which draws 85 percent of its water from the Nile, has made threats that raised fears of military action. We're watching as this conflict finally comes to a head early next year.

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