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- Facing accusations of failing to protect children, Facebook wants to introduce more restrictions and coercion on the platform. It also wants reform of Section 230 so its protections apply only to well-moderated platforms. Facebook has been subjected to an onslaught of criticism after its former employee Frances Haugen leaked internal company documents to the press, and accused the tech giant of putting profits before the wellbeing of its users. One of the specific charges was that using Facebook-owned Instagram could be harmful to some vulnerable teenagers, affecting their self-esteem or even causing suicidal thoughts as a result of browsing too-good-to-be-real photos on the network. “We can’t change human nature,” Facebook Vice President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg said, commenting on the allegations on CNN’s State of the Union program. You always compare yourself to others, particularly those who are more fortunate than yourself. But what we can do is change our product, which is exactly what we’re doing.”
- Three US Marines stationed at the country’s embassy in Moscow will be sent home to avoid criminal charges after allegedly making off with a punter’s rucksack at the end of a big night out in a bar, Russian officials have revealed. “As part of this, the American side was given the option to lift the immunity of the suspects, or have them leave Russia immediately,” she said. “As far as I understand, they took the second option.” The bag has since been returned.
- A US Navy engineer by the name of Jonathan Toebbe was arrested for allegedly wanting to sell nuclear submarine secrets. He was trying to pass information about the design of American nuclear-powered submarines to someone he thought was a representative of a foreign government. It turned out that the individual was an undercover FBI agent. In a criminal complaint detailing espionage-related charges, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) said Jonathan Toebbe sold information for nearly a year to a contact he believed represented a foreign power. The country he was allegedly sending secrets to was not named. Toebbe, 42, was arrested in West Virginia with his 45-year-old wife, Diana Toebbe, after he placed a removable memory card at a prearranged “dead drop” in the state, according to the DoJ. The FBI claims the scheme began in April 2020 when Jonathan Toebbe sent a package of navy documents to a foreign government and said he was interested in selling operations manuals, performance reports and other sensitive information.
- President Emmanuel Macron has said that France will use its EU presidency, which begins in January, to push for the international abolition of capital punishment. France was the last western European country to abolish capital punishment. West Germany abolished it in 1949, the UK in 1965, yet it took France until 1981. Amazingly, the last person to be guillotined in France was as recently as 1977.
- Scotland Yard announced that they would be abandoning their inquiry into various charges that the Duke of York groomed or abused young women on UK soil after doing two investigations and evaluating current material, received in August. “As a matter of procedure MPS officers reviewed a document released in August 2021 as part of a US civil action. This review has concluded and we are taking no further action,” the Met spokesperson said, as reported by The Sun. A New York judge gave Prince Andrew’s lawyers access to a sealed agreement struck between Epstein and Guiffre in 2009. The prince’s legal team insisted the deal prohibited Guiffre from suing anyone connected to Epstein, relieving the royal of “any and all potential liability.”
- An investigation by Channel 4 and analysis by The Times have uncovered cases of misconduct within the Metropolitan Police, prompting calls for more transparency. Nearly 2,000 officers, special constables, and community support officers at 39 forces have faced accusations of sexual wrongdoing since 2017, the paper reported. More than half of the allegations failed to result in disciplinary action, while 8% were dismissed. Nearly 300 officers had previously been reported for misconduct when facing fresh allegations. The Times reported that in the past 30 days there were more than 40 misconduct outcome notices published concerning officers and staff in England and Wales, with nearly 50% of them anonymised.
- As we noted on Sunday, Southwest airlines canceled nearly 2,000 flights over the weekend – blaming the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and inclement weather. Oddly, no other major airlines had the same issues, while rumors swirled that airline employees had staged coordinated walk-outs (which their unions deny).
- A miracle apparently occurred when a woman in British Columbia, Canada, woke up to a meteorite lying next to her after it crashed the roof and landed on a pillow on her bed. Ruth Hamilton from Golden thought she was being attacked by gunmen (or something like that) the first second she heard the ”boom”, before realizing it came from the sky, local media reported. ”I was shaking and scared when it happened, I thought someone had jumped in or it was a gun or something. It’s almost a relief when we realized it could only have fallen out of the sky,” Hamilton told Victoria News.
- German magazine Der Spiegel reports the inventor of the rapid-fire 3D-printed gun that could be entirely printed at home has passed away. JStark, a 28-year-old German citizen, was one of the biggest innovators of this decade when printing weapons and gun parts at home. He helped create Deterrence Dispensed – an online group that promotes and distributes open-source 3D printed firearms, gun parts, and cartridges. The group strongly supports freedom of speech applied to computer code and blueprints. Der Spiegel says JStark passed away on Friday of an apparent heart attack. Foul play was ruled out, and it “appears” his death was natural without any involvement of a third party. Along with this, the German magazine also reported police raided his home days before.
News Burst 12 October 2021