Climate activist Greta Thunberg said Wednesday she’s applied to trademark her name and that of the international school strike movement she inspired, a move meant to protect the movement from misuse for commercial purposes. In an Instagram post, the 17-year-old Swede said that she and fellow activists have “absolutely no interests” in trademarks “but unfortunately it needs to be done.”
The coronavirus outbreak, which started in China, has now been officially declared a global public health emergency. The decision by the World Health Organisation (WHO) comes as the number of people who have died from the virus reached 170. So far, they have all occurred in China, where the virus originated in an illegal wildlife market in the city of Wuhan.
Australian authorities warned on Friday of severe fire danger in densely populated areas this weekend, declaring a state of emergency in the capital, Canberra, as soaring temperatures and strong winds whipped up huge, unpredictable blazes. With temperatures above 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), emergency officials urged people to prepare for fires in parts of the southeast including hundreds of miles of coast south of Sydney.
A suspected Hindu nationalist went live on Facebook to warn he was taking his “final journey”, minutes before opening fire on university students protesting against India’s new citizenship law. One student was reportedly shot in the hand before police arrested the alleged gunman, who timed his attack on Thursday to coincide with the anniversary of the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi in 1948 by a Hindu radical.
Amazon sales soared over the Christmas season, rising 21% from the previous year, in sharp contrast to weakness reported by other retailers. The e-commerce juggernaut said it earned $87bn in sales in the last three months of 2019, well ahead of analyst expectations. The news sent the firm’s share price up more than 10% in after-hours trade. If prices hold it would return Amazon’s market valuation to above $1tn, joining Microsoft, Apple and Google.
Two satellites hurtling across the sky at nearly 33,000 mph (53,000 km/h) narrowly missed a collision over the US state of Pennsylvania on Wednesday. The two objects “crossed paths without incident,” a spokesman for US Space Command told the AFP news agency. US Space Command said the two inactive satellites passed each other at 18:39 EST (23:39 GMT) some 550 miles (900km) above Pittsburgh. The last time a major satellite collision occurred was in 2009.
Russia freed a U.S.-Israeli woman on Thursday who had been jailed on drugs charges, after President Vladimir Putin granted her a pardon. Naama Issachar’s release came ahead of talks in Moscow on Thursday between Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who flew in from Washington to pass on details of a U.S. peace plan, which Israel supports and Palestinians reject.
A section of Donald Trump’s much-vaunted border wall between the United States and Mexico has blown over in high winds, US border patrol officers have been reported as saying. The steel panels, more than nine metres (30ft) high, began to lean at a sharp angle on the border between the Californian town of Calexico and Mexicali in Mexico amid gusts on Wednesday.
Apple and the wifi chip company it uses for iPhones have been ordered to pay $1.1bn (£840.5m) to a university for infringing patents. A jury handed down the verdict in favor of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) which claims the Broadcom wifi chips used in hundreds of millions of Apple iPhones infringed four of its data transmission patents.
Leaders from around the world are reacting to US President Donald Trump’s long-awaited Middle East plan, with some denouncing it as “aggressive” and “one-sided” and others saying the proposal initiative “could prove a positive step forward”. Palestinian leaders, who cut off all ties with Washington in late 2017 after Trump controversially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, immediately rejected the plan.