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4 blackouts in 2 months

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PG&E waffles on California blackouts, fueling confusion; six die as Bolivian protests continue.

 

Tonight’s Sentences was written by Hannah Brown.

TOP NEWS
The blackouts that never came
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  • A portion of the areas Pacific Gas and Electric Company scheduled for a wildfire-prevention blackout never had the lights go out on Wednesday. [San Francisco Chronicle / Carolyn Said]
  • In a fourth round of blackouts scheduled by PG&E, only around 48,000 customers of the notified 300,000 were without power beginning Wednesday morning. The majority of the power outages occur within Napa and Sonoma counties. [Wall Street Journal / Talal Ansari and Jim Carlton]
  • Many residents were angered by the blackouts, as well as cancellations. “Ultimately, PG&E is putting the responsibility for their infrastructure on their customers,” said Troy Steinbach, a parent who stayed home with his child as he was unable to find childcare with many temporary school closures during the planned blackout. [Sacramento Bee / Michael McGough and Ryan Sabalow]
  • Throughout the series of blackouts, around 1,600 cell towers shut down and one county alone suffered up to $70 million in economic losses during the October blackouts. [Mother Jones / Marisa Endicott]
  • The fire prevention techniques often didn’t work. New brushfires were still sparked, and older ones raged on in the darkness. [Vox / Umair Irfan]
  • PG&E isn’t the only player at fault for the bungled attempts to control the fires. AP reports that California’s wildfire management infrastructure has built a system that fails to address causes or create a safer power supply network. [AP News / Jonathan J. Cooper]
  • Other Western states might soon face similar problems as California looks to export its energy infrastructure to its neighbors. [Forbes / Chuck DeVore]
  • Vox’s David Roberts writes that a rapid and deep reworking of California’s energy network is needed, before it’s too late. [Vox / David Roberts]
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Unrest continues in Bolivia
  • Protesters are not satisfied by Bolivia’s interim president’s promises for a new election, amid deadly clashes with military forces. [BBC]
  • After protests initially broke out amid accusations of vote fixing in the most recent presidential election, President Evo Morales stepped down on November 10 and shortly thereafter fled to Mexico. [Vox / Riley Beggin]
  • Just a little over a week after Morales’s resignation, at least six people were killed in violence related to demonstrations. In the protests before Morales departed for Mexico, the death toll was thought to be around 30. [NPR / Laurel Wamsley]
  • Interim President Jeanine Áñez, a political rival to the right of Morales, is seen by many of his supporters as having deposed him in a coup. [NPR / Laurel Wamsley]
  • But it’s more complicated than that. The Washington Post published a piece focused on dispelling myths about the protests in Bolivia. [Washington Post / Carew Boulding, Raymond Foxworth, Calla Hummel, Jami Nelson Nuñez and V. Ximena Velasco-Guachalla]
  • In light of the most recent developments in Bolivia, Nicaragua is facing its own barrage of unrest. [Reuters / Drazen Jorgic]
MISCELLANEOUS
A wall might have saved Venice from the devastation of its recent floods, but lack of support led to the project not being finished in time.

[Wall Street Journal / Margherita Stancati and Eric Sylvers

  • NPR’s international podcast Rough Translation takes a look at what it’s like to be in Ukraine during the impeachment scandal and the global misunderstanding of corruption. [NPR]

  • Massachusetts passed a strict ban on the sale of flavored tobacco and vape products, as well as requiring insurance to cover treatments to stop smoking. [Boston Globe / Matt Stout and Victoria McGrane]

  • 2019 celebrated an abundance of incredible female rappers. Hardly any of them are up for Grammys. [Billboard / J’na Jefferson]

  • Israel’s Justice Ministry announced it will indict Prime Minister Netanyahu on fraud, breach of trust, and bribery. It’s an unprecedented move. [Vox / Zack Beauchamp]

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VERBATIM
“These aren’t debates. These are one-minute assertions. And I don’t think there’s anybody who hasn’t been taking shots at me, which is okay. I’m a big boy, don’t get me wrong.”

[Joe Biden on his lifelong battle with a speech impediment and how it’s impacted his run for president in 2020]

WATCH THIS

This year, international media outlets ran headlines about the imminent danger of the Amazon fires. That was only the beginning of it. [YouTube / Sam Ellis and Ana Terra Athayde]

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