Net neutrality showdown; Disney buys 21st Century Fox

  1. Doctors Without Borders (MSF), says more than 6,700 Rohingya Muslims were killed in Myanmar
  2. Actress Salma Hayek latest to accuse Harvey Weinstein

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Curated top stories

  • Net neutrality rules, implemented under the Obama administration, were repealed by federal regulators today.  The decision empowers internet service providers to treat web traffic differently, possibly slow down certain online services. (Read more about the decision).
    • Net neutrality advocates say they are gearing up for a legal fight to keep the Obama-era regulations in place.
    • The vote was brought by Ajit Pai, chairman of the Republican-dominated Federal Communications Commission board. (WikiTribune will be tracking this story. Please sign up or sign in to collaborate and read more of our analysis on the issue here.)
  • Vladimir Putin said that the U.S. is being gripped by “spymania” and an obsession with fabricated stories about Russian influence on the 2016 election. Speaking at his annual press conference (where most questions are agreed in advance, though journalists are allowed to try to attract Putin’s attention, according to the Guardian) he said that the stories were being created by Trump’s political opponents.


  • In one of the most seismic business stories of the year, The Walt Disney Company has bought 21st Century Fox in a deal worth $52.4bn in stock. (Read the WikiTribune story, Mickey buys Homer: Disney to take over 21st Century Fox, here.) The transaction will include 21st Century Fox’s film and television studios, cable entertainment networks, and international TV businesses. So popular entertainment names such as X-Men, Avatar, The Simpsons, FX Networks and National Geographic will all join Disney’s portfolio. The Financial Times’ Matthew Garrahan reported earlier (may be behind a paywall) that the move frees Rupert Murdoch to invest in Fox News and his newspaper assets worldwide. The Guardian (not behind a paywall) also carries coverage of the deal.
  • New figures by Doctors Without Borders (MSF), an international humanitarian NGO, found that more than 6,700 Rohingya Muslims were killed in Myanmar in the month after violence broke out in August. That toll is significantly higher than the figure of 400 reported by Myanmar military officials. Western countries have condemned the violence against the Rohingya as ethnic cleansing. Two Reuters journalists investigating the events were arrested this week in Myanmar. They had been working on stories about the military violence in the Rakhine state that caused 650,000 people to flee to neighboring Bangladesh. (Read more: Rohingya crisis a replay of 40 years ago.)

What we’re reading

  • Actor Salma Hayek is the latest high-profile figure to come out against Harvey Weinstein, calling him a “monster with a Machiavellian streak.” In an op-ed for the New York Times, Hayek chronicled her painful period working with Weinstein on the Oscar-winning movie Frida, and how she spent years turning down the producer after multiple requests for sexual favors. – Linh Nguyen
  • In a searing commentary on the implications of the vote for a Democratic senator in Alabama, Financial Times U.S. opinion writer Edward Luce calls it a moment when the #metoo campaign against sexual assault crept closer to its ultimate target: President Trump … Nor is genius required to imagine where it goes. The #MeToo road leads to the White House. – Peter Bale [story may be behind a paywall].

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