Facebook Australia row: A dose of realism on tech regulation

image captionFacebook has blocked all news content to Australians The enormous beef between Australia’s government and Facebook has persuaded a lot of people that we are entering a new era of technology regulation. In policy and news conferences from Palo Alto to Perth, mostly conducted on Zoom of course, heavy chat about regulation and chin-stroking reliably go together. But as is often the way with complex areas of policy, the word “regulation” has now been so used and abused as to have lost all precision in meaning. A dose of…

Read More

John Geddert: Ex-US Olympics coach found dead after sex assault charges

    image captionJohn Geddert coached the US women’s gymnastics team for the 2012 Olympics A former US Olympics gymnastics coach has killed himself hours after he was charged with sexual assault and human trafficking, officials say. The office of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel confirmed the death of John Geddert on Thursday afternoon. In the morning, Ms Nessel had outlined 24 felony charges facing Geddert. Geddert was head of the women’s gymnastics team in 2012 and worked closely with team doctor Larry Nassar who abused hundreds of athletes. Nassar…

Read More

‘Op Silent Viper’: How an Indian rape suspect was caught after 22 years

  image captionBibekananda Biswal was produced in court and remanded in custody Police in the eastern Indian state of Orissa (also called Odisha) have arrested a man wanted in a notorious 1999 gang rape. The accused hid in plain sight for more than two decades – until a few days ago when his luck ran out. When police approached Bibekananda Biswal’s home last week in Pune district in the western state of Maharashtra, they say he tried to run away. “He saw the team coming and tried to escape. When…

Read More

Biden approves US air strike on Iran-backed militias in Syria

  image captionAmericans were injured when rockets hit Irbil on 15 February The US military has carried out an air strike targeting Iran-backed militias in Syria, the Pentagon says. The attack destroyed “multiple facilities located at a border control point used by a number of Iranian-backed militant groups”, it said. It was the first military action ordered by the Biden administration and came in response to attacks against US and coalition personnel in Iraq. A civilian contractor was killed in a rocket attack on US targets this month. A US service…

Read More

Amazon rainforest plots sold via Facebook Marketplace ads

Parts of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest are being illegally sold on Facebook, the BBC has discovered. The protected areas include national forests and land reserved for indigenous peoples. Some of the plots listed via Facebook’s classified ads service are as large as 1,000 football pitches. Facebook said it was “ready to work with local authorities”, but indicated it would not take independent action of its own to halt the trade. “Our commerce policies require buyers and sellers to comply with laws and regulations,” the Californian tech firm added. image captionThe Amazon…

Read More

Analysis: Can Asia help Myanmar find a way out of coup crisis?

image captionMyanmar has seen almost-daily mass protests since the 1 Feb coup The arrival of the Myanmar junta-appointed foreign minister, Wunna Maung Lwin, in Bangkok on Wednesday for an unannounced meeting with his Thai and Indonesian counterparts marked the start of a of a daunting diplomatic undertaking for South East Asia. No details were released of what was discussed. This first official contact with a senior member of the junta was so delicate that, when asked about it, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha was unwilling to confirm that it had…

Read More

K-pop superstars Blackpink in climate change message

  K-pop superstars Blackpink in climate change message. K-pop superstars Blackpink have emerged as the latest force in the global fight against climate change. The all-female group, who have billions of fans around the world, have decided to speak out just months before a major conference on climate change will be held in Britain. The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has written to thank them for supporting the UN Climate Summit known as COP26. Blackpink were speaking to the BBC’s Laura Bicker.

Read More

Covid: Ethnic communities urged to get vaccine in south of England

                  Covid: Ethnic communities urged to get vaccine in south of England.   Community leaders across the south have come together to urge people from ethnic minorities to get the vaccine against Covid-19. It comes after concerns people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority groups (BAME) are being deterred from taking the vaccine because of fake news. Now, with data suggesting the Covid death rate has been disproportionately higher in this group, the government and the NHS are keen to see vaccine uptake improve.…

Read More

Johnson and Johnson vaccine: FDA finds the single-shot jab safe

US regulators have found the single-shot Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine is safe and effective. It paves the way for it to become the third Covid-19 vaccine to be authorised in the US, possibly within days. The vaccine would be a cost-effective alternative to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and can be stored in a refrigerator instead of a freezer. Trials found it prevented serious illness but was 66% effective overall when moderate cases were included. The company has agreed to provide the US with 100 million doses by the…

Read More

Jamal Khashoggi: Biden raises human rights in call with Saudi king

US President Joe Biden has talked by phone with King Salman of Saudi Arabia as he seeks to put relations with America’s old ally on a new footing. He “affirmed the importance” the US “places on universal human rights and the rule of law”, the White House says. Mr Biden made the call after reading a forthcoming US report into the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The report, due to be released shortly, is expected to implicate the king’s son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Mr Biden’s predecessor, Donald…

Read More