Australia has passed a world-first law aimed at making Google and Facebook pay for news content on their platforms. The legislation had been fiercely opposed by the US tech giants, with Facebook blocking all news content to Australians over the row. Facebook agreed to reverse its decision after robust negotiations with the government, which led to changes to the law to address some of their concerns.
The US government is expected to release a declassified intelligence report that finds the Saudi crown prince responsible for approving the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The release of the report, expected later on Thursday, is expected to mark a significant shift in US-Saudi relations, which under Donald Trump’s administration saw the major oil producer given a relaxed ride on human rights issues, its role in the Yemen war, and more.
A real-world study of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine involving more than half a million inoculated people has demonstrated its overwhelming effectiveness after two doses were given, marking a major milestone for the shot. According to the independently reviewed study out of Israel’s Clalit Research Institute, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech shot were 94% effective at cutting symptomatic COVID-19 cases across all age groups.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan warned of an attempted military coup against him on Thursday, and thousands took to the streets of the capital to support him after the army demanded he and his government resign. Pashinyan, 45, has faced calls to quit since November after what critics said was his disastrous handling of a six-week conflict between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces.
Facebook on Thursday said it had banned the Myanmar military from using its platforms with immediate effect, as weeks of mass demonstrations continue in the Southeast Asian country after the military seized power. “Events since the February 1 coup, including deadly violence, have precipitated a need for this ban,” Facebook said in a blog post. At least three protesters and one policeman have been killed in violence at rallies.