World AM News Briefs For Friday, 8 February 2019
Good Morning Australia!! - A Major Row opens between two NATO allies - Measles are spreading through Europe, and should have been avoidable - Facebook is ordered to change its ways - And more in your CareerSpot Global News Briefs:
France has recalled its ambassador to Italy in the worst row between the allies since the end of World War II. This is after Italian Deputy PM Luigi Di Maio of the ill-defined "populist" Five Star Movement met with French "yellow-vest" protesters near Paris on Tuesday; he even tweeted the photos. Italy's other Deputy PM - Matteo Salvini of the far-right The League - has spent a lot of time recently launching verbal attacks against Paris, blaming it for European immigration problems and of being a "neo-colonial" force in Africa.
Paris is not happy: "For several months France has been the subject of repeated accusations, unfounded attacks and outlandish claims," said the French Foreign Ministry, "The most recent interferences constitute an additional and unacceptable provocation. They violate the respect that is owed to democratic choices made by a nation which is a friend and an ally." Former Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni criticized the populist amateurs, "Sad to see a great country like Italy increasingly fragile and isolated."
Anti-vaxxers contributed to a surge in measles cases in Europe. The UN World Health Organization says (.pdf link) measles cases there tripled between 2017 and 2018 to 82,596 - the highest number recorded this decade. Part of the problem lies with uninformed conspiracy theorists such as Italy's Five Star Movement, which has baselessly questioned the safety of vaccines and condemned mandatory vaccination. This has created pockets of resistance to vaccination programs, which require a 95 percent rate across a population to be effective. Immigration doesn't appear to be a major factor, because nations that have not had any significant influxes of migrants are at the top of the list - especially Ukraine, which had more than 53,000 new measles infections in 2018.
A court in Germany is ordering the world's largest social network to redesign its data collection techniques, ruling that Facebook has abused its power. Specifically, the ruling says Facebook gathers data from third-party apps, allowing the tracking of people who tracking of people who aren't even members through Facebook "like" or "share" buttons. "In future, Facebook will no longer be allowed to force its users to agree to the practically unrestricted collection and assigning of non-Facebook data to their Facebook accounts," said Andreas Mundt of the German anti-monopoly office Bundeskartellamt (which totally I copied and pasted). Facebook plans to appeal the ruling.
At least six people died in a gas explosion in a mine in South Africa. They had gone into the shuttered Gloria coal mine in Middelburg, east of Pretoria allegedly to steal copper wire. Another 20 people are still trapped.
A UN expert says Saudi Arabia "seriously curtailed and undermined" Turkey's ability to investigate the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, last October in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard says the Saudis wouldn't allow Turkish investigators to access the murder scene for 13 days which impacts the integrity of the investigation. He agrees with most Western intelligence agencies that Saudi Prince Mohammad had thugs lure the dissident journalist into the building to sign some papers, but instead murdered and dismembered Khashoggi so that his body parts could be hidden. Saudi officials insist he was murdered by a "rogue" team of Saudi agents not acting on Prince Mohammed's orders.
Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro has pneumonia. He's hospitalized in Sao Paulo where doctors removed the colostomy bag he had to wear after being stabbed in the stomach during a campaign rally. Bolsonaro claims to be "relaxed" and "strong", but a spokesman was not clear if the pneumonia would prolong the president's stay in hospital.
Colombia's constitutional court banned hunting for sport: "It is not constitutionally allowable to kill or mistreat animals for the sole purpose of recreation," magistrate Antonio Jose Lizarazo told reporters. The ruling will come into force a year from now so that the authorities and individuals who currently have some kind of relationship with this practice can take the necessary measures to adapt to the ban.