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August 23, 2019 | Via AP News

Global Worry over Amazon Fires Escalates

Amid global concern about raging fires in the Amazon, Brazil’s government complained Thursday that it is being targeted in smear campaign by critics who contend President Jair Bolsonaro is not doing enough to curb widespread deforestation. French President Emmanuel Macron called the wildfires an international crisis and said the leaders of the Group of 7 nations should hold urgent discussions about them at their summit in France this weekend.

August 23, 2019 | Via Reuters

South Korea to Scrap Intelligence-Sharing Pact with Japan

South Korea said on Thursday it will scrap an intelligence-sharing pact with Japan, drawing a swift protest from Tokyo and deepening a decades-old dispute over history that has hit trade and undercut security cooperation over North Korea. Seoul’s decision not to extend the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) shows how the political and trade dispute between the Asian neighbors and U.S. allies has hit some of the region’s most sensitive security issues.

August 23, 2019 | Via CNN

YouTube Shuts Down 210 Channels Posting About Hong Kong

Google announced Thursday that it had disabled 210 YouTube channels that were uploading videos “in a coordinated manner” about the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. The announcement came three days after Twitter and Facebook announced they had shut down a network of hundreds of accounts that were posting content aimed at undermining pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, said he was “not aware” of specifics when asked about the YouTube channels.

August 23, 2019 | Via The Guardian

Lightning Strikes Kill Five and Injure 100 in Poland and Slovakia

At least five people, including two children, have died and more than 100 have been injured during a sudden thunderstorm in Poland and Slovakia’s Tatra mountains, according to rescuers. Most of the victims were in Poland, where lightning struck a metal cross atop Mount Giewont as well as a metal chain near the summit, according to local media.

August 23, 2019 | Via BBC

Hasbro to Buy Peppa Pig Owner Entertainment One for $4bn

US toy maker Hasbro will acquire Peppa Pig owner Entertainment One for around £3.3bn ($4bn), the firms said in a statement. Hasbro said the deal would expand its entertainment and “family-oriented storytelling” portfolio. UK-listed Entertainment One owns other preschool titles including PJ Masks. The American toy giant is behind a diverse range of titles including the My Little Pony and Transformers franchises, as well as the Monopoly board game and Play-Doh.

August 22, 2019 | Via Reuters

Sudan’s Hamdok Takes Office as New Prime Minister

Sudan’s new prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok, was sworn in on Wednesday as leader of a transitional government, and he vowed to make achieving peace and solving the country’s economic crisis a priority. The appointment of the renowned economist came as General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the outgoing head of the military council, was sworn in as leader of the new Sovereign Council that will run the country for three years until an election after decades of autocratic rule.

August 22, 2019 | Via AP News

Trump Moves to End Limits on Detention of Migrant Children

The Trump administration is moving to end an agreement limiting how long migrant children can be kept in detention, the president’s latest effort to curb immigration at the Mexican border. A current settlement overseen by the federal courts now requires the government to keep children in the least restrictive setting and to release them as quickly as possible, generally after 20 days in detention.

August 22, 2019 | Via BBC

Evidence Suggests Microplastics in Water Pose ‘Minimal Health Risk’

Microplastics in drinking water do not appear to pose a health risk at current levels, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In its first report on the issue, the WHO found that larger particles, and most smaller ones, pass through the body without being absorbed. But it said the findings were based on “limited information” as it called for greater research on the issue.

August 22, 2019 | Via The Guardian

Danish PM ‘Surprised and Disappointed’ over Cancelled Trump Visit

The Danish prime minister has said she is surprised and disappointed that Donald Trump has called off his planned visit to the country over Copenhagen’s refusal to sell Greenland to the US. Trump told reporters at the White House later: “I thought the prime minister’s statement that it was an absurd idea was nasty.” Villy Søvndal, a former foreign minister, said the decision “confirms that Donald Trump is a narcissistic fool”.

August 22, 2019 | Via Independent

Spain Issues International Alert over Biggest Ever Listeria Outbreak

An international alert has been issued by the Spanish government amid the country’s biggest ever outbreak of listeria, which has affected 150 people and killed a 90-year-old woman. The health ministry has said it is checking a further 523 suspected cases. Most of the confirmed cases are in the south of the country in Andalusia, the region where a packaged pork plant believed to be connected with the outbreak is located.

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