Good morning, Q-MHI readers!
WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY
Was your data used by Cambridge Analytica? Facebook will begin alerting users about how their data has been shared, including whether they were part of the scandal rocking the company.“Starting on Monday, April 9, we’ll show people a link at the top of their News Feed so they can see what apps they use—and the information they have shared with those apps,” Facebook’s chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer wrote.
“As part of this process we will also tell people if their information may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica.”“In total, we believe the Facebook information of up to 87 million people—mostly in the US—may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica.”
CEO Mark Zuckerberg will go before Congress this week to testify about how Facebook uses its data.His testimonies come in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which revealed that the British data firm and Trump presidential campaign consultant obtained the data of 50 million Facebook users without their permission.
“This hearing will be an important opportunity to shed light on critical consumer data privacy issues and help all Americans better understand what happens to their personal information online,” said House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Greg Walden, an Oregon Republican, and ranking Democrat Frank Pallone, Jr. of New Jersey, in a statement.
The world reacts to a suspected Syrian chemical attack. The UN Security Council is expected to discuss the attack, which reportedly killed “dozens” in the rebel-held town of Douma on Saturday.Both Syria and Russia deny a chemical attack took place and have reached an evacuation deal with the rebels.
Outrage at the alleged use of chemical weapons has been widespread with Pope Francis saying, “Nothing, nothing can justify the use of such devices of extermination against defenceless people and populations.”The European Union has called for an “immediate response by the international community”.
Donald Trump took a hard line against Vladimir Putin, mentioning him by name and tweeting:” Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price…” and “…to pay. Open area immediately for medical help and verification. Another humanitarian disaster for no reason whatsoever. SICK!”
Russia has backed the Assad regime since Civil War broke out in Syria in 2011, but has been more directly involved since 2015, when it began military operations in the country. The country has joined with Assad and Iran to encircle and bomb Eastern Ghouta, the site of Saturday’s attack, killing more than 1,600 people, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. But Russia denies that chemical weapons were used on Saturday, as does the Assad regime.
Trump launched an ineffectual cruise-missile attack in response to a similar chemical-weapons attack last year, but last week he advocated pulling U.S. troops out of Syria altogether, a move that would hand Russia even more control of the country’s fate.
Even though he broke new ground by admitting that Putin had actually done something wrong, Trump immediately returned to more familiar terrain. His next tweet attacked President Obama.“If President Obama had crossed his stated Red Line In The Sand, the Syrian disaster would have ended long ago! Animal Assad would have been history!”.
The latest projection for the US budget deficit. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office will release its economic and budget outlook, its first since last year’s big tax cut and this year’s spending deal. The report will spark conversations about just how big deficits will be in the years ahead.
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China has a plan to battle climate change. Working to become one of the global leaders in renewable energy development as part of its Belt and Road Initiative, China has reiterated its renewable energy goals in its 13th Five-Year Plan. Aiming to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, Beijing is pushing for a 60% reduction in coal usage by 2020.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
Deutsche Bank replaced John Cryan with a new CEO. Hammered by years of scandals and heavy losses, the bank appointed Christian Sewing as CEO, with immediate effect, less than three years after British-born Cryan took over. Sewing said on Monday that he planned to review Deutsche’s scandal-prone investment-banking arm.
Syrian state TV said Israel struck one of its airbases. After previously reporting that the attack on the airfield near Homs was likely “an American aggression,” the state news agency then said Israel carried out the airstrike. The Pentagon said it was not conducting airstrikes “at this time.” Mean while , A Syrian monitoring group says a missile strike on a Syrian air base killed 14 people including Iranians early Monday. Syrian state-run media says the missiles were likely American. The Pentagon denies launching airstrikes on Syria.
In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, soldiers and residents gathering near a bus carrying civilians who were released by the Army of Islam group that had been holding them since 2013, in Damascus, Syria, early Monday, April 9, 2018. Syrian state media is reporting that dozens of civilians who had been held for years by a rebel group near the capital Damascus have been freed.
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva handed himself in. The former president of Brazil had been in a standoff with the authorities, barricaded in a union building flanked by supporters. He will begin a 12-year prison sentence for corruption, although his cell will be nicer than most others.Protesters supporting Mr Lula clashed with police outside the walls of the building.Officers used stun grenades, tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.
In a fiery speech hours earlier to a crowd of supporters of his Workers Party outside the union building in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s first working-class president insisted on his innocence and called his bribery conviction a political crime, but said he would turn himself in.”I will comply with the order,” he told the cheering crowd.
Viktor Orbán was re-elected as Hungary’s prime minister. The anti-immigrant, populist leader won his third successive term by a landslide. He and his Fidesz party, projected to keep its two-thirds majority in parliament, have hobbled the media, judicial independence, and democratic checks and balances—and now have NGOs in their sights.Brussels now confronting a country at the heart of the continent that is making an exit from the bloc’s liberal values, but continuing to pick up the cheques
Germany suffered an attack on civilians—and prevented another. A German man rammed his van into a crowd in Muenster on Saturday, killing two people before shooting himself—a terror-linked motive was ruled out.
Meanwhile, authorities detained six people in connection with what police allege was a plan to stage an attack on Berlin’s half-marathon yesterday.
Q-MHI OBSESSION INTERLUDE
Georgia Frances King on how Islamic countries use gold-backed cryptocurrencies to get around Sharia law. “In the Islamic faith, it’s believed that economic activity should be based on real, physical assets, not speculation; observant Muslims also do not invest in banking products that offer returns via interest payments. Therefore, many people in the Gulf states and beyond don’t consider bitcoin, ethereum, and other cryptos to be compliant.”
MATTERS OF DEBATE
It’s harder to produce electric cars than reusable rockets. Tough competition and the challenges of mass production mean Elon Musk’s SpaceX is faring much better than Tesla.SpaceX debuted a powerful new rocket, the Falcon Heavy, and has successfully launched seven orbital missions.
Tesla has struggled to produce its Model 3 electric sedan at promised rates, raising questions about the company’s cash flow and encouraging short-sellers.
Analysis of both companies tends to focus on Musk’s social media antics and brash confidence, but both are run by professional teams and their business success is determined as much by market forces and global trends as Musk’s brand of strategic risk-taking.Indeed, the growing pains faced by Tesla are connected to a simple fact: It’s trying to do a much harder job than SpaceX.
Chimpanzees should be considered people. Many philosophers now agree (paywall) that they should be given legal rights.You might be aware that chimpanzees can recognize themselves in a mirror, communicate through sign language, pursue goals creatively and form long-lasting friendships. You might also think that these are the kinds of things that a person can do. However, you might not think of chimpanzees as persons.
Trump has brought the spirit of the 1970s into the Oval Office. His lack of trust in institutions is a worldview born from an era when the public lost faith in them.Distrust is the theme that animates Donald Trump, a man who spent his thirties in 1970s New York. Trump biographer Michael D’Antonio wrote that, “Although many felt unmoored by the events of the seventies, young Donald Trump would consider Watergate and the lies told to justify the Vietnam War evidence of the world as it was—dangerous, corrupt, and full of intrigue.”
As a presidential candidate, Trump railed against “the swamp” of Washington and the broken Republican establishment. He warned of “rigged” elections that undermined democracy and a “fake” news industry that would never cover the real story. The same distrust is at the core of his blasts against intelligence and law-enforcement agencies, where Trump keeps tapping into the ghosts of the Church and Pike Committees, but for his own political ends.
The number of foreigners running the Pyongyang marathon halved. Nuclear threats from North Korea have put off tourists and joggers alike this year.The annual race is part of celebrations marking North Korean founder Kim Il-sung’s birth in 1912.
A US travel ban and fears of nuclear war seem to have cut numbers – the marathon is usually the peak time for Western tourists to visit.There were 429 foreigners competing on Sunday, compared to more than 1,000 who raced in 2017.At its peak, over 5,000 Western tourists reportedly used to travel to North Korea annually, a fifth of whom were American.
Tesla is hiring a full-time barista. Elon Musk’s electric-car company is looking for a perky candidate to caffeinate its 500 employees in New York.The new Coffee Bar at one of the company’s New York locations demands a creative beverage artist with savoir faire. Successful candidates should pair an “extremely engaging personality” with “unparalleled customer service skills,” not to mention some experience making a mean cup of joe. “This is an outstanding opportunity to make your mark at the most progressive company in the world,” Tesla states.
The dots in your Gmail address matter to a scammer. Some websites have a loophole that cunning fraudsters could exploit.The Gmail team should combat this kind of phishing. They should officially acknowledge that dots-don’t-matter is a misfeature. Indeed, the Gmail team admitted that dots-don’t-matter is “confusing” way back when they announced the feature in 2008. Each Google account should have one variant configured as its standard address; I would set
firstname.lastname@example.org as standard, and maybe John would set
email@example.com as standard. If an email is sent to a non-standard address, it should be shown with a warning:
Finally, Gmail users should be able to opt out of dots-don’t-matter. I wish for any mail sent to
firstname.lastname@example.org to bounce instead of reaching my inbox. The dots-don’t-matter feature should be disabled by default for any new Google accounts, and eventually retired.
Whales are big because of a complex biological equation. Sea mammals need to big—but not too big—to accommodate losing heat in water.Most of the explanations for this trend treat the ocean as a kind of release. The water partly frees mammalian bodies from the yoke of gravity, allowing them to evolve heavy bodies that they couldn’t possibly support on land. The water unshackles them from the constraints of territory, giving them massive areas over which to forage. The water liberates them from the slim pickings of a land-based diet and offer them vast swarms of plankton, crustaceans, and fish to gorge upon.
Organizing your mobile apps by color makes you less stressed. Color-coordinated organization looks swish, and also makes you feel less anxious.In a world so enrapt with organization and self-optimization, the internet’s equally frequent pleas for self-care can seem trite and ultimately futile. But Tracy’s iPhone color-coding is the perfect example of how to incorporate an easy, purely aesthetic, personal indulgence in our digital lives.