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The CEO of tech giant Facebook issued a stark warning about the threat Russian intervention poses to global democracies

Anna Freeman

11 Abril 2018 12:43

Good afternoon, this is Anna getting you caught up on today's world news.

Zuckerberg’s moment of reckoning - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg issued a grave warning on Tuesday of an online propaganda ‘arms race’ with Russia and vowed that clamping down on outside interference in elections globally is now his top priority. The 33-year-old billionaire was speaking during a five-hour testimony in Congress in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal which resulted in the company sharing the personal information of up to 87 million users without their permission. ‘The most important thing I care about right now is making sure no one interferes in the various 2018 elections around the world,’ he said under questioning by Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico.

WHO demands Syria access - The World Health Organization estimates 500 people visited health facilities with ‘signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to toxic chemicals’ after a widely-condemned attack on the rebel-held town of Douma in Syria over the weekend. ‘WHO demands immediate unhindered access to the area to provide care to those affected, to assess the health impacts and to deliver a comprehensive public health response,’ Peter Salama, the WHO’s deputy director general for emergency preparedness and response, said in a statement issued in Geneva.

Antisemitism rears its ugly head, again - European Jewish communities are experiencing heightened feelings of insecurity as a result of the resurgence of the far-right, pronounced anti-Zionist rhetoric on the left and radical Islam, according to a global study of antisemitism. Last year the number of recorded violent antisemitic incidents fell by about 9% compared to 2016 – and by almost 50% compared with the 2006-14 average – but there was a notable increase in harassment and abuse, according to a survey published by the Kantor Center.

A buffer zone - A local council in London has taken the unprecedented decision of implementing a buffer zone outside a sexual health clinic as a way of protecting women who choose to have abortions from protesters accused of harassment and verbal abuse. Cabinet members in the West London borough of Ealing approved the introduction of the country's first Public Spaces Protection Order around a Marie Stopes facility.

Military tragedy - Dozens of people are feared dead after an Algerian military plane crashed near a base outside the capital, Algiers. Algerian state media reported that more than 100 people were killed, although this has not been confirmed by global media. The cause of the crash is currently unclear.

Myanmar journalist to face trial - Two Reuters journalists who were arrested while investigating a massacre of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar will face trial after a court rejected a motion to drop the case against them. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were detained in December and accused of violating the country’s Official Secrets Act for possessing material relating to security operations in Rakhine state. Myanmar has faced global condemnation and accusations of ethnic cleansing and genocide after roughly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims fled Rakhine for Bangladesh after a military crackdown on insurgents.

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