Just a Moment News - 2023-12-16


Hello and welcome to ‘Just a Moment News’, I’m your host Erika and today is the 16th of December, 2023. Let’s dive right into the headlines.

First up, exciting news from the energy sector. TotalEnergies is gearing up to commence construction on a 216 megawatt solar plant with a 500 megawatt hour battery storage system in South Africa’s Northern Cape. The ambitious project, which aims to be operational by 2025, is a joint venture between TotalEnergies, Hydra Storage Holding, and Reatile Renewables. The facility could potentially supply power to about 140,000 households and is expected to play a crucial role in South Africa’s energy transition.

In entertainment news, we sadly report the passing of actor Matthew Perry, best known for his role as Chandler in the iconic sitcom “Friends”. Perry was found deceased in his hot tub, and the cause of death has been attributed to the acute effects of ketamine, according to an autopsy report. Perry had been self-medicating with ketamine between treatments for depression and anxiety. His death has been ruled an accident.

Moving on to education, South African schools are experiencing a fee hike, with increases ranging from six to seventeen percent. The American International School, with campuses in Johannesburg and Pretoria, holds the record for the highest tuition fee in the country. Despite these increases, many of these institutions, like the Hilton College, are full for 2024 and have waiting lists for admission.

In tech news, a New Hampshire-based company named MindSift is making waves with its advertising technology that allegedly listens to conversations through smart device microphones to target ads. The company’s co-founders discussed this technology on a podcast, raising questions about privacy and data usage.

Next, we have an interesting development in the world of AI. Channel 1 has showcased realistic AI avatars reading news, marking a significant leap in AI-generated human videos. Despite minor anomalies, these AI-generated avatars exhibit highly convincing human-like features.

In sports, former Wallabies prop Ben Alexander has endorsed Jake White for the position of Wallabies coach. White, who has a World Cup and Tri-Nations win with the Springboks under his belt, is being considered as a potential successor to Eddie Jones, who recently stepped down from the role.

In film news, Apple TV+’s latest offering, “The Family Plan”, starring Mark Wahlberg, is a comedic action film about a former covert assassin trying to lead a normal life. The film has been criticized for being predictable, but it does offer some entertainment, notably in the action sequences.

Finally, in chess news, FIDE’s ethics commission has found U.S. Grandmaster Hans Moke Niemann guilty of past online cheating but cleared him of cheating in live games. The decision comes after a high-profile saga involving accusations from Magnus Carlsen and a subsequent lawsuit by Niemann.

And that’s all for today’s news. Thank you for tuning into ‘Just a Moment News’. I’m Erika, wishing you a great day ahead.

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