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Regional News • Asia • India
Russia's Sputnik V Coronavirus vaccine approved in India
Russia's Sputnik V Coronavirus vaccine approved in India
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler.

India's Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved use of Russia's Sputnik V Coronavirus vaccine. India is said to produce 750 million doses of the Russian vaccine.

"India, the world’s 2nd most populous nation, became the 60th country to register #SputnikV after positive results of local Phase 3 clinical study. Sputnik V is now authorized in 60 countries with a population of over 3 [billion] people," the Sputnik V official Twitter account wrote.

Science • Medicine
US health agencies recommend pausing Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine after blood clots
US health agencies recommend pausing Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine after blood clots
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler.

After six women developed a rare disorder involving blood clots after being administered the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, US health agencies have called for an immediate pause of the vaccine.

“Today FDA and @CDCgov issued a statement regarding the Johnson & Johnson #COVID19 vaccine. We are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution,” the Food and Drug Administration wrote on Twitter.

Business • Markets
Twitter said to have held acquisition talks with Clubhouse on potential $4B deal
Twitter said to have held acquisition talks with Clubhouse on potential $4B deal
Credit: unsplash.com / Adem AY

Twitter held talks with Clubhouse around a potential acquisition of the live drop-in audio networking platform, with a deal value somewhere around $4 billion, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Twitter has its own product very similar to Clubhouse - Spaces, a drop-in audio chatroom feature that it has been rolling out gradually to its user base over the past few months.

While we aren't privy to the specifics of these talks between Twitter and Clubhouse, it does seem like an awfully high price tag for the social network to pay for the audio app, especially given its own progress with Spaces.

Regional News • Europe • Austria
Austrian President Van der Bellen receives first dose of Covid-19 vaccine
Austrian President Van der Bellen receives first dose of Covid-19 vaccine
Credit: Screenshot via Twitter, @vanderbellen

Alexander Van der Bellen, the president of Austria, has received his first dose of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine on Friday, he announced on Twitter, adding it was "just a little prick".

"I hope there will soon be enough vaccine so that everyone who wants to can get vaccinated. Because every vaccination counts and is a contribution to normalization - so that we can hopefully soon meet again without worrying, sit together and chat," he added.

Technology • Internet & Web
LinkedIn is also working on a Clubhouse rival
LinkedIn is also working on a Clubhouse rival
Credit: unsplash.com/Greg Bulla

Unlike the Clubhouse rivals being built by Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn believes its audio networking feature will be differentiated because it will be connected with users' professional identity, not just a social profile. This focus on creators puts LinkedIn on a competitive footing in terms of expanding its own Clubhouse rival, compared with other efforts by Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, or Discord - all of which have their own audio-based networking features in various stages of development at this time.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Music
BTS takes stand against racism
BTS takes stand against racism
Credit: @BTS_twt, via Twitter (Screenshot)

The successful South Korean supergroup BTS has openly spoken out against racism towards people of Asian descent.

On their official Twitter they stated that "What is happening right now cannot be dissociated from our identity as Asians. It required considerable time for us to discuss this carefully and we contemplated deeply on how we should voice our message.

But what our voice must convey is clear.

We stand against racial discrimination:

We condemn violence.

You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together."

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Volkswagen is rebranding as "Voltswagen" in the US
Volkswagen is rebranding as "Voltswagen" in the US
Credit: VW

Automotive manufacturing Volkswagen has announced Tuesday that it is rebranding its US branch to Voltswagen.

"We know, 66 is an unusual age to change your name, but we’ve always been young at heart. Introducing Voltswagen. Similar to Volkswagen, but with a renewed focus on electric driving. Starting with our all-new, all-electric SUV the ID.4 - available today. #Voltswagen #ID4," the company wrote on Twitter.

The automotive company has since announced that they won't rebrand Volkswagen to Voltswagen.

Business • Markets
Elon Musk announces Tesla now accepts Bitcoin as payment
Elon Musk announces Tesla now accepts Bitcoin as payment
Credit: Steve Jurvetson (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Bitcoin jumped 5% after billionaire Elon Musk announced Tesla would accept the digital asset as payment. Musk published his tweet soon after Twitter users noticed the updated bitcoin support for all models of Tesla's cars across online US stores.

The carmaker disclosed last month it invested $1.5 billion in the digital asset and said it would soon begin accepting it as payment for its products.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Alexi McCammond resigns as editor of Teen Vogue after racists and homophobic tweet resurface
Alexi McCammond resigns as editor of Teen Vogue after racists and homophobic tweet resurface
Credit: Alexi McCammond, via Twitter

Alexi McCammond has resigned as editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue after anti-Asian and homophobic tweets she wrote a decade ago resurfaced. McCammond, whose hiring was announced on March 5th, had faced backlash over past tweets before in 2019 while working for Axios.

"I became a journalist to help lift up the stories and voices of our most vulnerable communities. As a young woman of color, that's part of the reason I was so excited to lead the Teen Vogue team in their next chapter," McCammond tweeted. "My past tweets have overshadowed the work I've done to highlight the people and issues that I care about — issues that Teen Vogue has worked tirelessly to share with the world — and so Condé Nast and I have decided to part ways."

Technology • Games
Epic Games teases Fortnite appearance by Brazilian soccer star Neymar
Epic Games teases Fortnite appearance by Brazilian soccer star Neymar
Credit: Vlad Gorshkov

Epic Games and Brazilian soccer player Neymar are teasing a likely appearance by the star athlete in Fortnite on March 16th, with clues coming via a couple of tweets. Eurogamer first reported the news, including a video tweeted from the Epic Games account showing Neymar's No.

Live events in Fortnite have proven hugely popular, with a 2019 concert by Marshmello drawing 10 million people, which was a record event for the game at the time, and performance last year by Travis Scott, which also took place inside of Fortnite, drew more than 12 million people.

Technology • Internet & Web
Twitter Spaces to launch publicly next month
Twitter Spaces to launch publicly next month
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler. (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Twitter Spaces, the social network’s Clubhouse rival, is working towards a public launch in April, the company announced in comments made in a public Twitter Space audio room on Wednesday.

While anyone can join an existing Spaces room right now on Twitter, only a small group of users have been able to host one. So, if you don't know or follow anyone who has access to Spaces, you might be completely missing out on the feature for now.

Regional News • Africa
Côte d'Ivoire: PM Hamed Bakayoko has died at the age of 56
Côte d'Ivoire: PM Hamed Bakayoko has died at the age of 56
Credit: @AOuattara_PRCI, via Twitter

Prime Minister of Côte d'Ivoire Hamed Bakayoko died of cancer on Wednesday in a hospital in Freiburg (Germany). He had just turned 56 on March 8th.

President Alassane Ouattara wrote on Twitter: "Our country is in mourning. I am deeply saddened to announce the death of Prime Minister Hamed Bakayoko, Head of Government, Minister of Defense, this Wednesday March 10, 2021, in Germany, as a result of cancer.

Technology • Internet & Web
Twitter is testing an improved image preview on its feeds
Twitter is testing an improved image preview on its feeds
Credit: Twitter Reproduction

Twitter is testing a new way to crop images in the timeline. The new tool will give users a preview of what an image will look like before publishing it.

Twitter also plans to show more full images. The company has been criticized for having a racial bias in the way it crops images.

Regional News • Europe • Russia
Russia restricts Twitter access over 'illegal' content
Russia restricts Twitter access over 'illegal' content
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler.

Russia's media regulator says it will block Twitter if it does not remove 'illegal' content. The measures will only apply to images and video, not text. The regulator cites 2,569 cases of users inciting minors to commit suicide and 149 cases of child pornography.

In December, the Russian Parliament's lower house passed two bills that would give the state greater power to punish Facebook and Twitter companies.

Technology • Internet & Web
Apple iCloud bug locks user with last name "True"
Apple iCloud bug locks user with last name "True"
Credit: Apple

Actress Rachel True has been unable to access her Apple iCloud account for over six months due to her last name being interpreted as a boolean flag. "Type error: cannot set value ‘true’ to property ‘lastName‘," the error message reads. True said that she has been in contact with Apple support and should expect to hear from them early this week.

"Can get your coders to free my last name from icloud jail? Been locked out for 6+ months because of an uncapitalized t in TRUE, my surname but also a computer command," True wrote on Twitter.

Regional News • Europe • France
French billionaire Olivier Dassault killed in a helicopter crash
Olivier Dassault
Olivier Dassault Credit: Sebastian Mittermeier (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

French billionaire Olivier Dassault was killed on Sunday in a helicopter crash, a police source said, with President Emmanuel Macron paying tribute to the 69-year old conservative politician.

Olivier, seen as the favourite of founder Marcel, was once considered favoured to succeed Serge at the head of the family holding, but that role went to former Dassault Aviation CEO Charles Edelstenne.

"Great sadness at the news of the sudden passing of Olivier Dassault," Valerie Pecresse, a conservative politician who is president of the Paris region, said on Twitter.

Technology • Internet & Web
Jack Dorsey to sell his first tweet as an NFT
Jack Dorsey to sell his first tweet as an NFT
Credit: Screenshot via v.cent.co

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is selling his first tweet as an NFT – a nonfungible cryptographic token. As of Saturday, 3 am PT, the highest bid stands at $500000.

Technology • Internet & Web
Twitter is testing an 'Undo Send' button for tweets
Animation of the new Twitter feature
Animation of the new Twitter feature Credit: Jane Manchun Wong

Social media maven Jane Manchun Wong has shared the first look at an "Undo Send" timer for tweets that lets you take back your hot take or erroneous comment before it's out in the wild.

The interface shows Twitter’s familiar “Your Tweet was sent” dialogue above a new “Undo” button. The undo button doubles as a progress bar, which appears to show you how long you have to undo a tweet before it gets sent.

Last year, Twitter told investors it was considering a subscription service, and one of its exclusive options would be an "undo send" feature.

Business • Markets
Square acquires the majority stake of TIDAL in a $297 million deal
Square Logo
Square Logo Credit: Square Inc.

Square, Jack Dorsey’s digital payments company, is acquiring a majority ownership stake in the music streaming service TIDAL. Jay-Z, who bought Tidal in 2015 for $56 million, will join Square’s board of directors.

Jack Dorsey tweeted: "Square is acquiring a majority ownership stake in TIDAL through a new joint venture, with the original artists becoming the second largest group of shareholders, and JAY-Z joining the Square board. Why would a music streaming company and a financial services company join forces?!"

"I said from the beginning that TIDAL was about more than just streaming music, and six years later, it has remained a platform that supports artists at every point in their careers," said Jay-Z.

Technology • Internet & Web
Twitter Spaces lands on Android ahead of Clubhouse
Twitter Spaces lands on Android ahead of Clubhouse

Twitter Spaces, the company's answer to Clubhouse, is now available on Android. Until now, the audio chat rooms were iOS-only. Other Spaces features are being shared in public as they're designed and prototyped, including things like titles and descriptions, scheduling options, support for co-hosts and moderators, guest lists, and more.

This fast pace has now led Twitter to beat its rival Clubhouse - the app currently leading the "social audio" market - to offer Android support. But now, a separate beta app won't be required - when live Spaces are available, they'll appear at the top of the Twitter timeline for Android users to join.