NEWS DIGEST 01.05.2022: Latest American and world stories

Good morning and welcome to May! Our news today comes from Twitter.

McCarthy and the House GOP’s post-Gingrich history Shakespeare observed that “uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.” Something similar seems to apply to the title of Republican leader in the U.S. House of Representatives. The House GOP held a confab in the Capitol this week where they seemed in a mood to buy McCarthy’s characterization of his 180-degree course correction. So in theory at least, adopting this attitude keeps McCarthy in place and his party on track to take control of the House this fall. Until this month, McCarthy had also been widely expected to be the next Speaker of the House. It is hard to remember now what a skyrocket Gingrich had been just four years earlier, when he led the GOP to its first House majority in 40 years – McCarthy embodies House GOP’s post-Trump dilemma and post-Gingrich history (NPR ~ Politics)

NHL playoff fantasy competition is its own brand of compact, focused fun. We’re now wading into a fresh fantasy field in which the quantity of games played often rivals quality of individual performance. While punching out 30 goals and 30 assists in 51 healthy games, Landeskog still ranks lower than elite fantasy performers Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Nazem Kadri. RNH’s two points earned through four earlier games against the Kings don’t inspire much extra fantasy confidence either. Danault’s linemate Viktor Arvidsson, along with Adrian Kempe and Anze Kopitar, round out L.A.’s gaggle of solid forward commodities in most playoff fantasy pools – 2022 NHL playoff fantasy hockey pool guide: Favorites, sleepers and busts (ESPN ~ Fantasy Hockey)

As someone who is passionate about the transformative power of technology, it is fascinating to see intelligent computing – in all its various guises – bridge the schism between fantasy and reality. Organisations the world over are in the process of establishing where and how these advancements can add value and edge them closer to their goals. The excitement is palpable. However, it is important that this excitement does not blind us to the dangers, propelling us ahead without having taken the right preparatory steps or without understanding the challenges that will be encountered along the way. Preparing for an artificial intelligence (AI)-fueled future, one where we can enjoy the clear benefits the technology brings while also the mitigating risks, requires more than one article. This first article emphasizes data as the ‘foundation-stone’ of AI-based initiatives – Don’t Fear Artificial Intelligence; Embrace it Through Data Governance (CIO ~ Hot Topics)

Globally, an area of forest the size of Wyoming succumbed to fires, logging, or other destructive forces last year, according to new report from Global Forest Watch, a project backed by the World Resources Institute. Forests in Canada, Alaska, and, in particular, Russia accounted for the bulk of the loss, with hotter, drier conditions setting the stage for record-setting wildfires in Siberia last year. The world lost more than 14,000 square miles of old-growth tropical forests in 2021, or roughly 10 soccer fields every minute, with the bulk of the losses in Brazil. One bright spot is Indonesia, where the rate of old-growth forest loss declined for the fifth straight year. “Though forest loss will need to decline much faster to meet 2030 zero-deforestation targets, there are reasons for hope,” Global Forest Watch said in a blog post – World Lost an Area of Forest the Size of Wyoming Last Year, Report Finds (YaleEnvironment360 ~ E360 Digest)

Naomi Judd of the Judds is dead at 76. Naomi Judd recorded and performed with daughter Wynonna. As a member of The Judds with her daughter Wynonna, Naomi Judd recorded and performed as one of the most successful mother-daughter acts in country music before the group stopped performing in the early 1990s. Naomi Judd was born Diana Ellen Judd on January 11, 1946, in Ashland, Ky. and gave birth to Wynonna the week of her high school graduation. The Judds ceased performing in the 1990s after Naomi Judd was diagnosed with hepatitis C and Wynonna pursued a solo career. The duo continued to reunite and perform occasionally in the years after, including most recently at the 2022 CMT Awards where they performed “Love Can Build A Bridge.” In later years, when not reuniting with her daughter to perform, Naomi Judd began to write and publish self-help and children’s books, including her memoir River of Time: My Descent Into Depression and How I Emerged With HopeNaomi Judd, country music matriarch of The Judds, is dead at 76 (NPR ~ NPR Music – Music News)

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