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October 31, 2019 | Via The Guardian

Twitter to Ban All Political Advertising

Twitter will ban all political advertising, the company’s CEO has announced, in a move that will increase pressure on Facebook over its controversial stance to allow politicians to advertise false statements. The new policy, announced via Jack Dorsey’s Twitter account on Wednesday, will come into effect on 22 November and will apply globally to all electioneering ads, as well as ads related to political issues.

October 31, 2019 | Via Sky News

US Releases New Images of Raid on IS Leader’s Compound

New footage has been released of the US raid on Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s compound, during which the IS leader blew himself up. Grainy black and white videos show American forces approaching the property in Syria. They also reveal a huge plume of smoke as the compound was destroyed when they had finished. The head of United States Central Command, general Frank McKenzie, said US forces “discovered Baghdadi hiding in a tunnel”.

October 31, 2019 | Via Reuters

CIA-Backed Afghan Units Carry out Illegal Killings

Afghan security units backed by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have carried out extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, indiscriminate air strikes and other rights abuses and should be disbanded, a rights group said on Thursday. Human Rights Watch said it investigated 14 cases in which CIA-backed Afghan counterinsurgency forces committed serious abuses in Afghanistan between late 2017 and mid-2019.

October 31, 2019 | Via Al Jazeera

Historic Shuri Castle in Japan’s Okinawa Ravaged by Fire

A fire at Shuri Castle on Japan’s southern island of Okinawa, has nearly destroyed the UNESCO World Heritage site. Firefighters were still battling the blaze a few hours after the fire started early on Thursday and nearby residents were evacuated to safer areas, Okinawa police spokesman Ryo Kochi said. The Shuri castle is a key part of a complex dating back to the Ryukyu Kingdom.

October 31, 2019 | Via BBC

Chile Cancels Climate and Apec Summits Amid Mass Protests

Chile has pulled out of hosting two major international summits, including a UN climate change conference, as anti-government protests continue. President Sebastián Piñera said the decision had caused him “pain” but his government needed “to prioritize re-establishing public order”. The COP25 climate summit was scheduled for 2 to 13 December, while the Apec trade forum was next month. The UN said it was now looking at alternative venues.

October 30, 2019 | Via BBC

Southern California Gets Extreme Red-Flag Warning

An “extreme red-flag warning” has been issued in California over the Getty Fire, the first such alert of its kind. Issued by the Los Angeles weather service, it covers Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino counties. Winds are expected to reach 80mph (128km/h) and there is concern they will fan the fire, which has already burned through 658 acres.

October 30, 2019 | Via The Guardian

Greta Thunberg Declines Environmental Prize

The Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has refused to accept an environmental award, saying the climate movement needed people in power to start to “listen” to “science” and not awards. The young climate activist, who has rallied millions to her “Fridays for Future” movement, was honored at a Stockholm ceremony held by the Nordic Council, a regional body for inter-parliamentary cooperation.

October 30, 2019 | Via Reuters

India Moves to Divide Jammu and Kashmir State Despite Protests

India will formally split up disputed Jammu and Kashmir state into two federal territories on Thursday, aiming to tighten its grip on the restive region that has been in the grip of a harsh security clampdown for nearly three months. Street protests against the measures have erupted sporadically, while militants have killed about a dozen people from outside the state in recent weeks.

October 30, 2019 | Via Al Jazeera

Koalas Burned to Death in Australia Bushfire

Hundreds of koalas are feared to have burned to death in an out-of-control bushfire on Australia’s east coast, wildlife authorities said on Wednesday. A bushfire believed to have been sparked by a lightning strike on Saturday near the town of Port Macquarie some 400km (249 miles) north of Sydney has ravaged an area of more than 2,000 hectares (4,942 acres) with authorities battling to bring it under control.

October 30, 2019 | Via Dutch Wells

Whatsapp Sues Israeli Company over Spyware Scandal

The social media platform Whatsapp has launched a lawsuit against the Israeli-based company NSO Group, accusing the firm of helping government spies hack into around 1,400 mobile phones in 20 countries and steal information. In the lawsuit, filed in federal court in California on Tuesday, the US-based tech firm claimed political dissidents, journalists, human rights activists, diplomats and senior government officials were targeted.

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