Roblox Back After 70 Hour Outage Affects Over 40 Million Players

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After over 70 hours of a server outage, 43 million Roblox players are back online. “On Thursday afternoon, October 28th, users began having trouble connecting with our platform. This immediately became our highest priority,” said CEO David Baszucki. On a typical day, Roblox  serves over 40 million players. However, this was not the cause of the outage. Neither was the rumour about the newly added Chipotle promotion. “We know that this outage was not related to any specific experiences or partnerships on the platform,” said Roblox on its Twitter account. The main cause of this large outage was an overwhelmed server, leading to a bug in the backend communication system. Baszucki said that Roblox will be releasing a ‘post-mortem’ with ‘specific details’ on this. Currently, the issue has been resolved and Roblox is back up and running. [Roblox Blog][By Grace Pu]

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U.K. 1st country to authorize Merck’s antiviral pill

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The first pill shown to successfully treat COVID-19, it was given a conditional authorization by the British government on 14 November. “This prevents it from multiplying, keeping virus levels low in the body and therefore reducing the severity of the disease,” the U.K.’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, or MHRA, said, commenting on how the antiviral worked. The drug, known as molnupiravir, interferes with the replication of the virus and is intended to be taken twice a day for five days by adults, 18 or older at home with mild to moderate coronavirus. However, the drug carries risk factors for developing severe diseases such as obesity and heart disease and isn’t recommended for adults 60 or over. It is currently pending approval in the U.S., Canada, Europe and many other countries. [CBC][Michael Yang]

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US Special Envoy arrives in Ethiopia to stop a conflict that forced more than 2,000, 000 out of their homes

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The United States special envoy for the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, arrived in Addis Ababa to start ceasefire talks between rival political parties. This year-long conflict has been devastating and caused a humanitarian disaster in the region. According to some residents in the capital, there was an “uneasy feeling about the ceasefire.” This conflict stems from an ethnic divide between the people in Ethiopia but there are doubts as to whether or not the US, European Union, and United Nations can stop the fighting as there were many attempts before, which all failed as the country fell into violence again [CBC][By James Zhang]. 

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Elon Musk Will Donate 6 Billion Dollars If UN Can Provide A Spending Plan

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In a tweet on Halloween, Elon Musk says that he will sell Tesla stocks to donate 6 billion dollars to end world hunger-but the UN will have to describe how they would spend the money. This comes in response after World Food Program executive, director David Beasley, asks billionaires like Elon Musk for a ‘one-time basis” donation to help more than 760 million people classified as chronically undernourished, or simply, starving people. This motion has led to discussion about if just this money can solve the problem–or any amount of money at all. Herbert Kronzucker, founder and director of the Canadian Centre for World Hunger, says that “…we would be lucky” if 6 billion was enough to solve world hunger. While this money would be enough to stop death and other long-term consequences for the year, it still isn’t enough to address other, less extreme cases. Jennifer Clapp offers a solution: “If Musk wants to help the cause of ending world hunger, he can publicly support those types of policies in addition to donating funds to the World Food Programme.” [CBC][Gavin Xue]

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Iqaluit’s Water Crisis Costing City $1.5 Million So Far

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The water crisis in Iqaluit has cost the municipality more than 1.5 million dollars. Evidence of fuel contamination was found in the city’s water supply, and residents have been told that the water is not safe even if it is filtered or boiled. However, Mayor Kenny Bell says this is just the beginning of solving this crisis. City councillors will hold a meeting on 5 November to request assistance from the government. The breakdown of costs is as follows; $198,000 to engineering firm WSP for its investigation, planning and administrative support; $43,495 in City of Iqaluit staff overtime, $36,000 in water jugs, pails and lids; $59,000 in equipment rental; and $40,000 in Inuktitut and English translation services. The city has applied for the Municipal Request for Assistance Program and has received $3800 from the federal government so far. This has put the city into a state of emergency since 12 October. [CBC news][Yolanda Zhou]