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Recent News

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
British House of Lords rejects Single Market Act by a large majority
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Credit: Annie Mole (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The British House of Lords rejected the Single Market Act by a large majority. It voted 395 to 169 against the draft. If the law passes at a later point Boris Johnson's government could use the law to cancel parts of the exit agreement between London and the EU.

Regional News • Europe • France
France reports more than 20,000 Covid-19 infections in a day
Paris during the Covid-19 lockdown
Paris during the Covid-19 lockdown Credit: ERIC SALARD (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

After a lower number on Monday, France again reported more than 20,000 new Covid-19 cases in a day: 20,468. The total number of cases is now at 930,745 and its expected to break the 1 million mark before Saturday.

Regional News • Americas • Brazil
US government offers Brazilian telecoms financing to buy 5G equipment from Huawei rivals
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and US National Security adviser Robert O’Brien
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and US National Security adviser Robert O’Brien Credit: Marcos Corrêa/PR (Public Domain)

The US government, via the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the U.S. EXIM bank and the National Security Council, offered financing to Brazilian telecoms to keep them from buying Huawei Technologies 5G equipment.

The Chinese Embassy in Brazil on Twitter accused the American government of seeking a networking "monopoly." Still, it said it believed most countries would remain independent and make their own decisions regarding 5G.

Regional News • Americas • South America
Global Covid-19 case measurement system removed Argentina from their registry due to lack of quality in the testing data
Global Covid-19 case measurement system removed Argentina from their registry due to lack of quality in the testing data
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

The "Our World in Data" tracker decided to drop Argentina from their tracker for possible bias in the "positivity rate".

Edouard Mathieu, from Our World in Data, posted on Twitter: "To ensure the quality and reliability of @OurWorldinData's COVID-19 testing data, we've decided to remove 🇦🇷 Argentina from our dataset for the time being. The official figures aggregated by the government are not of sufficient quality to correctly reflect the extent of testing."

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Filmmaker James Redford dies at the age of 58
James Redford
James Redford Credit: Anna Hanks (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The filmmaker and environmental activist James Redford has passed away at the age of 58, his wife Kyle has confirmed.

James, who was the son of actor Robert Redford, died of bile-duct cancer in his liver on October 16.

Kyle Redford posted on Twitter: "Jamie died today. We’re heartbroken. He lived a beautiful, impactful life & was loved by many. He will be deeply missed."

Business • Economy
U.S. sues Google for alleged abuse of market position
U.S. sues Google for alleged abuse of market position
Credit: unsplash.com / Paweł Czerwiński

The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday filed an antitrust suit against Alphabet Inc, Google's parent company, in which it accuses of violating the law by abusing its dominant market position over its competitors. This is the most important legal offensive against a technological giant in at least two decades, and represents the culmination of a year-long investigation that concludes that the company took advantage of its dominant position in the search and advertising market to the detriment of competitors and consumers.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Former Republican Chairman Michael Steele endorses Joe Biden
Former Republican Chairman Michael Steele endorses Joe Biden
Credit: Courtesy of Twitter

The former chairman of the Republican National Committee and former lieutenant governor of Maryland, Michael Steele, has endorsed Joe Biden for president.

In an advertisement for the conservative political group "The Lincoln Project" Steele has stated his endorsement for Joe Biden and said: "I'm a lifelong Republican and I'm still a Republican, but this ballot is how we restore the would of our nation, electing a good man, Joe Biden, and a trailblazer, Kamala Harris and ensure an orderly transfer of power or plunge our country into chaos".

Technology • Internet & Web
PayPal introduces annual fee for inactive users in some countries
PayPal introduces annual fee for inactive users in some countries
Credit: Courtesy of PayPal

With new usage guidelines coming into force on December 16 inactive users will be forced to pay a inactivity fee that will only be deducted from existing credit on the respective accounts.

If the available amount is not sufficient, then only the remaining credit is used up. Linked payment sources such as accounts or credit cards will not be accessed. The penalty will be twelve euros and it is not clear in which countries it will be introduced.

Regional News • Americas
Legislators from all parties highlighted the figure of José Mujica, on his last day in the Senate
José Mujica
José Mujica Credit: Frente a Aratiri (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

"There is a time to arrive and there is a time to go in life." Thus began his final speech in the Senate, and thanked all the legislators who in these years have "endured" and with whom he shared "hard hours and others even funny."

Known worldwide as "the poorest president in the world", and until today a senator of Uruguay, he left his place at 85 years old and haunted by an immunological disease, receiving praise from his colleagues from all parties.

Regional News • Europe
Sweden to ban China's Huawei and ZTE from upcoming 5G networks
Sweden to ban China's Huawei and ZTE from upcoming 5G networks
Credit: Kārlis Dambrāns (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) announced Tuesday a ban to telecom equipment from Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE in Sweden's 5G network. According to PTS, the ban is over a security assessment made by the Swedish Armed forces.

Sweden is the home of Ericsson, one of Europe's leading telecom equipment suppliers.

Regional News • Americas • South America
Argentina surpasses one million Covid-19 cases
Buenos Aires during the Covid-19 lockdown
Buenos Aires during the Covid-19 lockdown Credit: Rodrigo Paredes (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Argentina's Health Ministry announced Monday that the country surpassed the barrier of one million infections of Covid-19. The South American country has been in lockdown for the past 7 months.

The Government reported that in the last day, 12,982 people tested positive, and the total number of infected reached 1,002,662. Also, 451 deaths were entered into the National Health Surveillance System (SNVS) and the total number of deaths recorded nationwide reached 26,716.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Final Presidential debate will have rules to mute microphones
Final Presidential debate will have rules to mute microphones
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler. Images The White House (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) on Monday have announced the rules and format for the final televised presidential debate. Each candidate will have their microphones cut off while the other is answering questions.

The CPD stated that "in order to enforce this agreed upon rule, the only candidate whose microphone will be open during these two-minute periods is the candidate who has the floor under the rules."

It was also announced that the 90-minute debate is divided into 15-minute segments into the six topics. Each candidate would be granted two minutes to deliver uninterrupted remarks before proceeding to an open debate for nine minutes of each segment.

Technology • Internet & Web
Pakistan to reverse TikTok block after the company vows to moderate content
Pakistan to reverse TikTok block after the company vows to moderate content
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, LogoTikTok (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Pakistani government decided to lift the ban on TikTok after the Chinese company agreed to moderate content and block all accounts involved in spreading "obscenity and immorality".

The spokesman for the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) announced on Monday: "TikTok has agreed to moderate accounts in accordance with local laws."

TikTok was the third-most-popular app in the country over the past 12 months, just behind WhatsApp and Facebook, with some 20 million monthly accounts users.

Climate & Environment
Most key habitats in Europe are in poor or bad condition
Most key habitats in Europe are in poor or bad condition
Credit: R Boed (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

80% of Europe's key habitats are found to be in bad or poor condition according to the State of Nature in the EU 2013-2018 report by the European Environment Agency (EEA). About one-third of the 233 listed habitats is in an unfavourable condition and getting worse, while the condition is unfavourable but stable in about the same number of habitats.

At the same time, only a quarter of Europe's species are found to have good conservation status. Reptiles and vascular plants are faring best among species types. The situation is improving for mammals, while it's getting worse for birds and fish.

Urbanisation, pollution and lack of water are playing a role in the loss of habitats and biodiversity. But the biggest reason is intensive farming, which tends to be favoured by the EU's common agricultural policy (CAP). An upcoming CAP reform will be voted on in the European Parliament and EU council. But groupings on the political right are expected to reject most measures that would prioritise the environment. According to WWF's Jabier Ruiz, "the future of the CAP looks grim".

Regional News • Americas • United States
Rolling Stone magazine endorses Joe Biden for president
Rolling Stone magazine endorses Joe Biden for president
Credit: Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee for president, picked up the endorsement of the Rolling Stone magazine.

The magazine announced the endorsement on October 19 with an editorial that starts with: "We’ve lived for the past four years under a man categorically unfit to be president. Fortunately for America, Joe Biden is Donald Trump’s opposite in nearly every category."

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Channing Dungey to become chairwoman of Warner Bros. TV
Channing Dungey
Channing Dungey Credit: Walt Disney Television (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Channing Dungey, former President of ABC Entertainment, will take over as chairwoman of Warner Bros. Television Group. Dungey will replace the veteran television executive Peter Roth, who will step down next year.

Ten days ago it was announced Channing Dungey had stepped down as VP Original Content and head of drama at Netflix after 20 months at the streamer.

Dungey will start her tenure early next year and will report to Ann Sarnoff, chief executive of Warner Media Studios and Networks Group.

Sports • Soccer
Santos and Robinho part ways over repercussion of his conviction of sexual assault in Italy
Robinho
Robinho Credit: Ivan Storti/Santos FC

Santos and striker Robinho announced on Friday the suspension of the contract between the club and the player, who had agreed his return on October 10.

The decision comes after pressure from advisers, sponsors and the disclosure by the Brazilian media of excerpts from the Italian court sentence that sentenced Robinho and a friend to nine years in prison for group sexual violence against a young woman of Albanian origin.

Former Brazilian International, Robinho also played for Real Madrid, Manchester City, Milan and, most recently, İstanbul Başakşehir.

Science • Space
Nokia will establish mobile network on moon by 2022
Nokia will establish mobile network on moon by 2022
Credit: unsplash.com / NASA

The Finnish company Nokia has announced that they have been awarded a contract by Nasa to build a mobile network on the moon. Initially it will be based on the 4G/LTE technology and later upgraded to 5G.

The network will serve as a foundation for astronauts to make phone calls and send data. Ground stations on Earth will also be able to control devices and vehicles remotely.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
EU to restrict spyware exports
EU to restrict spyware exports
Credit: unsplash.com / Rob Sarmiento

The European Union wants to introduce restrictions on the sale abroad of technologies used for espionage and surveillance. This is reported by "Politico" with reference to informed persons. In the future, facial recognition systems and hacking programs will require a license to be sold outside of the Union. Governments would also have to publish details of the exact nature of the licenses granted to individual companies.

Climate & Environment
European Parliament about to decide over EU's Common Agricultural Policy
European Parliament about to decide over EU's Common Agricultural Policy
Credit: Tobias Nordhausen (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

The European Parliament and the council of member states are about to decide over the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for the years 2021-2027. With the animal farming industry in Europe emitting more CO2 than all EU cars and vans combined, this will be an important decision for the environment, biodiversity and small farms.

Until now, the CAP has mostly benefitted large agribusinesses while failing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or the loss of biodiversity. Between 2005 and 2013, almost 3 million small to medium-sized had to close down. Existing ecologic measures implemented in the CAP have not proven to be effective.

In the current negotiations, a coalition of political groups in the European Parliament led by the right-wing EPP is trying to keep the CAP this way, while environmentalist groups are calling for a "greener" CAP that serves the environment, farmers and rural communities.