U.S. tech giants Facebook, Google and Twitter are threatening to quit Hong Kong over proposed anti-doxxing laws that could see their staff prosecuted over malicious content individual users post online. Beijing has been chipping away at Hong Kong’s “one country, two systems” identity for years. The suggested amendments to the data protection laws come after a spike in doxxing during massive 2019 pro-democracy protests. A letter to city authorities from the Asia Internet Coalition, an industry group that includes the firms, warned the new laws could hamper freedom of expression. The amendments are expected to be passed by the end of this legislative year.
2. Group Responsible for Weekend Cyberattack Demands $70M
Hackers are demanding $70 million in Bitcoin after a weekend ransomware attack targeting Miami-based software company Kaseya, which provides IT services to thousands of businesses worldwide. A Swedish supermarket chain was among businesses badly hit, having to close 800 stores for several days. Russian-connected hackers REvil, who previously hacked meat supplier JBS, are believed to be responsible. JBS paid about $11 million in ransom. The Hackers claim their latest attack has compromised more than a million devices. President Joe Biden, who recently warned Russia about cyberattacks, has ordered an investigation.
3. Bolsonaro Under Pressure Amid Protests, Corruption Probe
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was already under pressure over his handling of the country’s coronavirus pandemic — as well as corruption claims. Now a Brazilian website has published allegations the populist president was involved in a racket when he was a federal deputy. The right-wing leader came to power in 2018 on an anti-corruption platform, but his popularity is waning as thousands of people across the country protested over the weekend demanding his resignation. COVID-19 has killed more than 524,000 Brazilians, among the worst death tolls in the world. He is currently facing a criminal investigation into his handling of vaccine procurements from India.
4. ‘Close to Social Explosion’: Lebanon Hit by Financial Crisis
Lebanon is in the midst of what the World Bank says could be one of the world’s worst three financial crises since the mid-19th century. The Middle Eastern country’s currency has lost 90% of its value since 2019 and it is suffering surging unemployment levels as well as shortages of essential items. The government’s deficit spending has left it badly in debt and banks have become largely insolvent. Pharmacies are empty of medicines, fuel supplies are low and there are frequent blackouts around the country. Prime Minister Hassan Diab today warned the country was close to “social explosion” and called for help from the international community.
A Russian passenger plane with 28 people on board has gone missing over the country’s Far Eastern Kamchatka Peninsula. Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett suffered a setback after parliament failed to renew a controversial law regarding Arab citizenship. And the search for bodies has resumed at the site of the condo collapse in Surfside after the remainder of the building was demolished.
Coronavirus Update: More than60 patients died in an Indonesian hospital after oxygen supplies ran out over the weekend amid a new wave of COVID-19 cases. Thousands of Indians who thought they were getting vaccines were in fact being injected with saltwater in a Mumbai scam.
Today on The Carlos Watson Show: Zola star Riley Keough joins Carlos for a behind-the-scenes look at transforming a viral Twitter thread into a must-see movie. Tune in to hear Elvis Presley’s granddaughter share the important roles family has played in her life, her unexpected love story, and the exciting projects she’s working on next. Plus, how her own family tragedy encouraged her to become a death doula. Watch now.
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“This is def the guy I want making decisions on disinformation that determine whether democracies fall.” So quipped one Twitter user after Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg posted a July Fourth video of himself riding a hydrofoil surfboard and waving an American flag to the soundtrack of Take me Home, Country Roads. The billionaire’s post has spurred dozens of memes, including one where Zuckerberg rides into the shark from Jaws. Facebook celebrated a major victory last week after a federal judge threw out several antitrust cases. However, more legal woes loom with a Dutch court scheduled to hear a privacy case against the company in October.
Forget vodka, it seems Champagne is what Russia’s known for. In a huge affront to France, the only country that can legally give the product that name, Russian President Vladimir Putin just introduced a new law saying only Russian bubbly can be called Champagne. That means French Champagne houses like Moët Hennessy will have to label their bottles “sparkling wine” in Russia. While Champagne is named after a region in France, Russia produces its own “shampanskoye.” French producer Moët was fizzing with anger over the insult and initially threatened to suspend exports, but walked back on that yesterday, agreeing to make the label changes.
3. Ukrainian Lawmakers Try to Bring Defense Ministry to Heel
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry is digging in its heels. Despite an outcry after news broke that female soldiers were being trained to march in high heels, the ministry has not walked back its plans to have female recruits don the impractical shoes for an independence parade next month. “It’s a little harder than in boots, but we try,” said cadet Ivanna Medvid. But some lawmakers are furious about the plans, saying heels are “incompatible with the combat capability of soldiers.” The lawmakers have called on the army to now appoint a gender adviser.
4. Lion King: Cambodia’s Premier Intervenes in Big Cat Case
Never mind Tiger King, Cambodia’s got a Lion King — and even the prime minister has weighed in. Wildlife authorities last week rescued Hima, a declawed, defanged 18-month-old male lion, that was being kept as a pet in a house in Phnom Penh, after he appeared on TikTok. But then the Southeast Asian nation’s long-ruling Prime Minister Hun Sen intervened, getting the big cat returned to his owner, a Chinese national. Hun Sen said Hima had always lived with people and should therefore be returned as long as his owner constructed a proper cage to keep the neighbors safe.
ESPN has been hit by a major controversy after The New York Times revealed that reporter Rachel Nichols, who is white, made disparaging comments about her Black colleague Maria Taylor. In a recorded conversation with other staff, Nichols said that Taylor had been chosen over her to cover the 2020 NBA finals due to her race and because ESPN was trying to rectify its “crappy longtime record on diversity.” The Times revelations have seen an outpouring of support for Taylor on social media, with the NBA’s Ja Morant tweeting “keep going queen.” Taylor’s contract with the network is set to expire in a few weeks and it’s not clear yet whether it will be renewed.
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