Christina Animashaun/Vox

PG&E plans massive California energy blackouts; Ecuador moved the seat of government following protests.

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California goes dark to prevent wildfires

  • California’s largest electricity provider, Pacific Gas & Electric, started shutting off power early Wednesday, eventually planning to throw about 800,000 customers in the Bay Area into darkness in an attempt to prevent more wildfires. [LA Times / Joseph Serna, Jaclyn Cosgrove, and Patrick McGreevy]
  • Forecasts for the week predicted strong, dry winds (known colloquially as a diablo), drawing concerns about power lines sparking wildfires. The two deadliest wildfires in recent years occurred under similar conditions. [The Mercury News / George Avalos, Fiona Kelliher, and Ethan Baron]
  • The power outages will impact at least 34 counties across California in areas across the state. [San Francisco Chronicle]
  • Despite plans to keep the power off for two to three days, PG&E stated it could take up to a week to restore power. [NYT / Thomas Fuller]
  • PG&E was found liable in last year’s deadly blaze across Paradise, California, killing 85 and causing billions of dollars in damage. The company filed bankruptcy after being swamped with liability claims. [Washington Post / Scoot Wilson]
  • Wildfire simulators predict the worst, prompting preventative measures like the PG&E blackout. [Vox / Eliza Barclay]
  • The Atlantic’s Kendra Atleework cites human innovation as the main reason the West Coast seems to be continually catching on fire. [The Atlantic / Kendra Atleework]

State of emergency moves Ecuador capital

  • For the first time in Ecuador’s history, President Lenín Moreno moved the national capital away from Quito, an effort to escape widespread protests over cuts to public benefits. [NYT / José María León Cabrera]
  • Ecuadorian indigenous-led groups are calling for Moreno’s resignation and reinstatement of government subsidies that were removed at the direction of the International Monetary Fund. [Miami Herald / Gonzalo Solano]
  • Workers’ United Front union leader Mesias Tatamuez said that government removal of subsidies serves to “reward the big banks, the capitalists, and punish poor Ecuadoreans.” [Reuters / Alexandra Valencia]
  • The austerity measures, a stipulation of the IMF $4.2 billion loan, included the rescinding of fuel subsidies and caused a 100 percent rise in gas prices in Ecuador. [BBC]

Miscellaneous

  • Apple removes a Taiwanese flag emoji from Hong Kong iPhones, riding the line between maintaining their relationship with China and supporting free speech. [Bloomberg / Mark Gurman]
  • An Alaska school received 10 expensive guitars after they were seized by federal agents. [Anchorage Daily News / Tegan Hanlon]
  • A new NASA plane runs on electricity, the first step towards zero-emissions aviation. [Vox / Umair Irfan]
  • Simone Biles won a historic 15th gold medal, and Team USA took home gold. [AP / James Ellingworth]

Verbatim

“This is probably worth $100 at the junkyard.” [Write-in 2020 independent presidential candidate Kasey Wells on his 11-foot-tall scrap metal elephant campaign marketing tool]


Watch this: Are you supposed to tip in an Uber?

Why is tipping etiquette on ride-sharing apps so murky? [YouTube / Danush Parvaneh]


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