- Twitter misses revenues, admits “Over-Stating” millions of users. Having disappointed on the top line ($1.20 billion vs $1.23 billion expected), seen advertising revenue below expectations, apparently slashed capex, and somewhat expectedly cut all previously provided outlooks and goals; Twitter’s earnings’ revelations offer a glimpse into why the Board flip-flopped so fast and grabbed Musk’s ‘apartheid-unleashing’ offer so quickly. However, buried deep in the filings was another little surprise for the billionaire who just bought the company.
- Conservative Twitter users have noticed a massive uptick in followers and engagement following Elon Musk’s Twitter buy, while leftists on the platform are experiencing the inverse, prompting some to wonder if the company is undoing evidence that it rigged the reach of people it deemed to be undesirable. The trend is so extreme that it prompted Twitter to address it, claiming that it is all organic owing to new accounts being created and existing accounts being deactivated. “We’ve been looking into recent fluctuations in follower counts. While we continue to take action on accounts that violate our spam policy which can affect follower counts, these fluctuations appear to largely have been a result of an increase in new account creation and deactivation,” the company said in a statement.
- In a blow to Democrats’ chances of maintaining a majority in the U.S. Congress, New York’s highest court ruled the state’s new congressional map was unconstitutionally designed to favor Democrats and ordered the lines redrawn.
- After throughout the whole month consistently rejecting a proposed European Union ban on Russian oil, but while also walking a delicate tightrope of opposing Putin’s demand of payments in rubles for Russian energy, Germany is now ready to pull the trigger on an embargo. It’s another major Berlin U-turn happening in tandem with the decision to send heavy weapons to Ukraine. The Wall Street Journal is citing Berlin government officials who say “Germany is now ready to stop buying Russian oil.” The WSJ underscores that this “clears the way” for a wider EU ban on Russian oil imports, given that Germany’s resistance was the chief holdout to imposing an embargo before this point.
- President Joe Biden said American teachers are being unfairly targeted in “the culture wars,” and warned against book banning in an event at the White House. Across the United States, more than 1,000 titles, mostly addressing racism and LGBTQ issues, have been removed from school libraries in recent months.
- President Biden will deliver remarks to explain why US taxpayers need to send another $33 billion of “aid” to Ukraine to “Support Ukrainians Defending Their Country and Their Freedom Against Russia’s Brutal War.” As AP reports, Biden’s latest proposal – which the officials said was expected to last for five months – has more than $20 billion in military assistance for Ukraine and for bolstering defenses in nearby countries.
- Facebook’s parent company Meta Platforms has reported a 21% drop in profits for the first quarter of this year, the company’s slowest revenue growth since going public a decade ago. Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg remained upbeat, however, saying that “We made progress this quarter across a number of key company priorities and we remain confident in the long-term opportunities and growth that our product roadmap will unlock.”
- Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan will travel to Saudi Arabia today, marking the culmination of a months-long effort to repair ties with Riyadh that included Ankara dropping a legal case on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.
- India’s northwestern Rajasthan state scheduled four hours of power cuts for factories, making it at least the third state to disrupt industrial activity to manage surging power demand.
- Nigeria’s Senate passed a bill imposing jail terms of at least 15 years for paying a ransom to free someone who has been kidnapped, and made abduction punishable by death in cases where victims die. Armed gangs operating mostly in northeastern and north-central states have for more than a decade spread terror through kidnappings.
- Iran sees its relations with China as part of an effort by like-minded powers to confront US unilateralism and create stability and order, President Ebrahim Raisi told Beijing’s visiting Defense Minister Wei Fenghe on Wednesday. Raisi said that the successful implementation of the 25-year strategic cooperation agreement between the two countries, signed in 2021, was a priority for Tehran, according to state media.
- Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said on Thursday that the Swedish authorities, including Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Moderate Party Leader Ulf Kristersson, rejected the Left Party’s proposal for a referendum on NATO membership. “It was a really bad suggestion,” Radio Sweden quoted Linde as saying. Linde added that the referendum would polarize the population and provide Russia with the opportunity for disinformation.
- “The Standard Model as it stands cannot possibly be right because it cannot predict why the universe exists,” said Gerald Gabrielse, the Board of Trustees Professor of Physics at Northwestern University. The Standard Model describes the seventeen known fundamental particles and their interactions, and provides us with a detailed set of predictions for how each of them should behave and interact. The model is a mathematical picture of reality, and no laboratory experiments yet performed have contradicted it. “We should be very careful about making assumptions that we’re getting closer to solving the mystery, but I do have considerable hope that we’re getting closer at this level of precision,” Gabrielse added. We know the Standard Model is wrong, but we can’t seem to find where it’s wrong. It’s like a huge mystery novel.
- Saturn’s moon Titan, shrouded in a golden haze of gaseous nitrogen, is a world of mystery. From Kraken Mare, an immense 1000-foot-deep body of methane nearly the size of all five Great Lakes combined, to vast hydrocarbon sand dunes swept up by nitrogen winds and covering more than 13 percent of Titan’s surface, equivalent to the area of the United States. Beyond the dunes, a strange ice object wraps nearly halfway Saturn’s giant moon –the only moon in the solar system known to have a dense atmosphere. “Titan is a giant factory of organic chemicals,” observed University of Arizona’s Ralph Lorenz, author of Titan Unveiled. “We are carbon-based life, and understanding how far along the chain of complexity towards life that chemistry can go in an environment like Titan will be important in understanding the origins of life throughout the universe.”
News Burst 29 April 2022