President Donald Trump said Wednesday that officials would announce next week that “100 percent” of the ISIS caliphate had been liberated. ISIS currently holds only about 1 percent of land in Iraq and Syria, the global coalition to counter ISIS announced late last year. However, the caliphate continues to hold territory in Afghanistan, Libya, the Sinai and West Africa.
Authorities in the Philippines have declared an outbreak of the highly contagious measles virus in several areas including the capital, Manila. As of 26 January there have been 1,813 measles cases and 26 deaths, according to the Department of Health Epidemiology Bureau. That is a 74% increase from 2018. Parents have been reluctant to have their children immunized at government health centers, after complications related to a dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia. There is now increasing concern for the 2.4 million unvaccinated children.
Germany is moving to break up Facebook’s dominant position in gathering data about social media users. The country’s antitrust office ruled Thursday that Facebook is abusing its virtual monopoly in social media by combining data from Instagram, WhatsApp and third party websites. The office said Facebook (FB) used the data to build a unique profile about each user to gain more market power. In future, Facebook will have to seek German users’ explicit consent to collect and combine such data. The Bundeskartellamt ordered Facebook to come up with proposals for how to do this.
The West needs to stop supplying weapons to fighters in the Yemen conflict, Amnesty International urged, after reports that arms are ending up with extremists. “The proliferation of unaccountable” militias in Yemen, which is backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is “worsening the humanitarian crisis and posing a growing threat to the civilian population,” Amnesty research Patrick Wilcken said. The Saudi-led coalition, including the UAE, has been at war in Yemen with Iran-aligned Houthi rebels since 2015.
A body found inside the wreckage of the plane carrying Premier league footballer Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson has been recovered. It is not yet publicly known whether it is the pilot or the footballer, whose body has been found, but it is understood that the families of both men have been told. At around 8:15pm on 21 January, just an hour into the journey, Mr Ibbotson asked air traffic control to reduce altitude from 5,000 ft to 2,300 feet. A short time later, the aircraft disappeared from radar screens.