U.S. Shutdown, China Censorship, Baby Shark: Your Friday Briefing

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U.S. Shutdown, China Censorship, Baby Shark: Your Friday Briefing


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Good morning.

President Trump makes another effort to press for a border wall, China’s censors look beyond domestic platforms and a Baby Shark version becomes a global hit. Here’s the latest:

One more thing: President Trump cancelled his trip to Davos, Switzerland, for the annual World Economic Forum, citing the “Democrats intransigence” on border security.


In a new analysis published Thursday, scientists found that the oceans are heating 40 percent faster than the U.N. estimated five years ago, a finding with dire implications for climate change. It also concluded that ocean temperatures have broken records for several straight years.

A few months ago, a version of a study also found that the world’s oceans were heating faster, which we reported here in the Briefing. But the study contained calculation errors that caused its authors to revise their estimates down. Now, the revision is much closer to the new consensus.

Why it matters: The oceans have always provided a critical buffer against the effects of climate change by absorbing most of the heat trapped by greenhouse gas emissions.


China: Beijing’s ambassador to Canada said, in an opinion piece for an Ottawa-based newspaper, that “white supremacy” was behind calls to release two Canadians detained in China, further straining relations between the two countries.

South Korea: President Moon Jae-in said that the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s recent visit to China signaled that a second summit meeting with President Trump was imminent.

Australia: A 48-year-old man was charged with sending 38 suspicious, potentially hazardous packages to foreign consulates in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. The authorities didn’t offer a motive for his actions but, if convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison.



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