Global Review – 11th November

76% of Americans feel Facebook has made society worse

A new CNN poll has revealed that for about three-quarters of Americans – or 76% – Facebook has made society worse. Only 11% think that it has improved it. Even 70% of frequent users of Mark Zuckerberg’s social network – those who report using the site at least several times a week – are convinced that Facebook harms the US company while only 14% believe it helps them. In general, 49% said they personally know someone who was persuaded to believe in a conspiracy theory because of the content they saw on the social network. This latter percentage rises to 61% among young adults under the age of 35.

China and US agree on climate co-operation

China and the US have agreed to boost climate co-operation over the next decade. In a surprise announcement at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, the two countries released a rare joint declaration promising action, saying both sides will “recall their firm commitment to work together” to achieve the 1.5oC temperature goal set out in the Paris Agreement. They called for stepped-up efforts to close the “significant gap” that remains to achieve that target. Meanwhile, the virtual face-off between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping is expected to take place next Monday.

Boeing admits responsiblity for 737 Max disaster

Wall Street Journal reports Boeing has accepted responsibility for the Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max plane crash, which occurred in March 2019 and claimed the lives of 157 people. The paper speaks of an agreement reached by the aircraft manufacturer with the families of the victims, under which the latter agreed not to pursue punitive damages or compensation. However, families will still be able to ask for a trial to seek compensation or reach agreements through mediation with Boeing.

‘Allow UN access to stranded migrants’

Meanwhile, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen says that a solution for migrants stranded at the border between the EU and Belarus, “must be found with UN agencies”. She was writing on Twitter following a telephone conversation with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, whom she defines as “good”. Earlier, a Commission spokeman re-confirmed von Leyen’s position regarding the construction of walls on the Belarus-Polish border with EU funds, a possibility voiced by the president of the EU Council, Charles Michel. However, he said the commission financially supports “the management of external borders, including infrastructure for border monitoring”.

Sanctions for Belarus migrant traffickers

EU member states have reached an agreement in principle to extend the legal framework of sanctions against Belarus to those who favour the illegal smuggling of migrants to the European Union. ANSAquotes European diplomatic sources sayng the framework will now have to be filled with a new list of names and entities, discussed at the meeting of the ambassadors of the 27. The starting point for the discussion is the blacklisting of 29 individuals and the Belavia airline. Estonia, France and Ireland have called a UN Security Council emergency meeting, which is expected to be held this afternoon.

COVID: red alert in Germany, 40,000 cases in 24 hours

The Robert Koch Institut reports 39,676 new cases of contagion from COVID registered in Germany in the 24 hours and 236 victims. A week ago there were 20,676. The weekly incidence per 100,000 inhabitants rose to 232.1, the third consecutive record value in three days (a week ago it was 146.6). The virologist of the Charité of Berlin, Christian Drosten, fears that if action is not taken, there could be another 100,000 dead.

Crew Dragon 3 launched towards ISS

The Crew Dragon 3 was launched at 3.03 am (Malta Times) from Cape Canaveral base in Florida. The Space X shuttle with four astronauts on board is headed for the International Space Station. Crew3 mission astronauts are Raja Chari, in command, pilot Tom Marshburn and mission specialist Kayla Barron, all three of NASA, plus mission specialist Matthias Maurer of the European Space Agency (ESA). The docking with the Space Station is expected at 13.10 today and the hatch will open about two hours later.

Man threatens to rape cricket captain’s newborn

An electronics engineer has been arrested in Mumbai for threatening to rape the newborn daughter of Virat Kholi, the captain of India’s national cricket team. The threats from Akubathini Ramnagesh, 23, came after the sensational defeat of the Indian team by the Pakistani national team in the T20 world championship on October 24. The outcome of the match unleashed on social networks a flurry of insults and posts of unprecedented violence towards the Indian players defeated by the historical enemy. Ramnagesh tweeted that he would take revenge on the child, daughter of Kholi and Bollywood star Anuska Sharma, born last January. The police charged him with sexual threats, intimidation, defamation and posting obscene content.

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