Donald Trump has floated the idea of delaying November’s presidential election, repeating his false claim that widespread voting by mail from home would result in a “fraudulent” result. The suggestion prompted swift and fervent rejections from experts and critics, as well as high-profile members of his own party. The US constitution grants the power to set an election date to Congress, not the president.
Twitter provided an update about the unprecedented July 15th attack that allowed hackers to tweet from some of the most high-profile accounts on the service, in a blog post and a series of tweets published Thursday evening. Twitter now says that a few employees were targeted in a phone spear phishing attack. That presumably means hackers called up Twitter employees while posing as colleagues.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Friday postponed a Sept. 6 election for the city’s legislature for a year because of a spike in novel coronavirus cases, dealing a blow to the pro-democracy opposition hoping to make gains in the vote. The opposition had aimed to ride a wave of resentment of a new national security law, that Beijing imposed on the city on June 30, to win a majority in the Legislative Council.
A Russian court ruled Thursday against a 29-year-old former U.S. Marine who was detained last year on charges of assaulting a police officer after a night of heavy drinking in Moscow, sentencing him to nine years in a Russian prison. Trevor Reed’s nine-year sentence is close to the maximum punishment for these charges, which is 10 years.
Hong Kong police have arrested four people aged 16-21 for suspected offenses under the city’s new national security law, the first such detentions outside of street protests since the legislation took effect a month ago. A police spokesman said the three men and a woman, all students, were suspected of being involved in an online group that pledged to use every means to fight for an independent Hong Kong.
The US’s top tech bosses were told they have “too much power”, are censoring political speech, spreading fake news and “killing” the engines of the American economy, at a combative congressional hearing on Wednesday. The historic hearing in Washington saw Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Tim Cook of Apple, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Sundar Pichai of Google’s parent Alphabet appear before members of the House judiciary’s antitrust subcommittee.
The Perseverance rover is finally ready to launch on its journey to Mars. So far, reports from the US Air Force 45th Weather Squadron predict an 80% chance of favorable conditions for the Thursday morning launch. The biggest concern is thick clouds. After traveling through space for about seven months, Perseverance is scheduled to land at Jezero Crater on Mars on February 18, 2021.
The Trump administration announced plans Wednesday to withdraw almost 12,000 troops from Germany, a sweeping continentwide reorganization that has provoked bipartisan congressional opposition and widespread dismay in Europe. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told a Pentagon briefing that the move would benefit Washington’s strategic interests abroad, strengthening NATO and deterring Russia, and equipping the military for “a new era of great power competition.”
Israel’s prime minister has hit out at an art exhibition of him in Tel Aviv, branding it a “shameful threat of crucifixion”. It features a life-size statue of Benjamin Netanyahu enjoying a lavish meal by himself in a mock re-enactment of The Last Supper. Artist Itay Zalait said the exhibit in the city’s Rabin Square was meant to symbolize the “last supper of Israeli democracy”.
Turkey’s parliament has passed a law to control social media platforms, a move human rights groups say poses a severe threat to freedom of expression. The law requires social media firms with more than a million Turkish users to set up local offices and comply with requests to remove content. If companies refuse, they face fines and may have data speeds cut.