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Curated top stories of the day
- Trump warns Russia – U.S. President Donald J. Trump tweeted that Russia should “get ready” for “nice and new and ‘smart'” missiles fired into Syria. Trump said he will act on Syria, whose President Bashar al-Assad is a close ally of Moscow, following an alleged poison gas attack on April 7. The attack on the rebel-held town of Douma reportedly killed at least 60 people. On Tuesday, Moscow and Washington blocked each other’s efforts at the United Nations Security Council intended to create an international investigation into the use of chemical weapons in Syria. The Security Council failed to approve three draft resolutions. Russia vetoed a U.S. request for an independent investigative mechanism, while two Russian-drafted counter proposals (The Guardian) failed to get the minimum nine votes. Read the United Nations’ press release on the failure to start an investigation.
- Moscow’s UN envoy Vasily Nebenzia warned Washington it would “bear responsibility” for any “illegal military adventure” by the United States. A Russian Defense Ministry advisor raised the prospect of “World War III.” (Washington Post, may be behind paywall.)
- UK ready to attack Syria – Prime Minister Theresa May will strike the Syrian government, alongside U.S. forces, and without the approval of Parliament, reports the BBC. The BBC report cites unnamed sources that are well-placed. May has described the use of chemical weapons as abhorrent.
- Air traffic control warns of Syrian air strikes – Air traffic control agency Eurocontrol, via its website, warned airlines about flying over the eastern Mediterranean Sea due to possible air strikes. Eurocontrol said that air-to-ground and cruise missiles might be used as soon as April 13. Radio navigation equipment could be disrupted when flying near Syria. Most carriers are avoiding the region altogether, Reuters reports.
- Zuckerberg is a victim of data collecting too – Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told members of the U.S. Senate that his own personal data was scrapped by the political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica. Either he or a friend had interacted with the app sometime before the 2016 election. Zuckerberg has defended Facebook as allowing users to control their data, and strengthening privacy policies when the need arose.
- Algerian military plane crashes – Algerian state TV reported that 257 people died in a military plane crash in Algeria. An Ilyushin Il-76 plane carrying troops crashed shortly after taking off from the Boufarik airbase 18 miles from the capital, Algiers. Images posted by local news outlet Algerie24 show plumes of smoke rising into the sky.
🔴#DIRECT 🔴 #Algérie L’avion militaire était à destination de Béchar et s’est écrasé quelques minutes après son décollage https://t.co/Uxe6HUFi4X
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- Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress in Washington D.C. on April 10 about the Cambridge Analytica data breach. He was asked to say how he plans to address concerns with the company’s business model. Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy group, reportedly harvested data from 87 million Facebook users without their consent. Help the WikiTribune community report on Zuckerberg’s testimony and its implications.
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- North Carolina’s Alexander County is a Southern Baptist stronghold. It’s also home to Mitchell Gold, an outspoken gay rights activist and the CEO of one of the region’s largest employers. Here, the Washington Post outlines the simmering situation in the county – a version of the debate which has been unfolding in recent years in towns across the country, where the gay rights laws have changed “but deeply held beliefs have not.” – Charles Anderson
- Hungarian newspaper Magyar Nemzet is closing April 11, as media freedom deteriorates rapidly in the country, reports Hungarian journalist Ivett Körösi for NewsMavens. It is one of the last Hungarian daily newspapers that don’t support Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Körösi writes that only two days since Orbán’s re-election, independent media is already suffering. – Lydia Morrish
- Reddit announced it had banned more than 900 accounts linked to the Russian Internet Research Agency, that is frequently called a “troll farm”. The New Yorker looked at the social network and discussion website and the struggle to “detoxify” the internet from trolls and propaganda. – Lydia Morrish
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