Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said his company would not allow new political advertisements to run on the platform in the week before the United States presidential election.
The company will, however, allow ads that began running before the final week to remain.
And Zuckerberg did not say that Facebook would stop allowing politicians to run misleading ads in the meantime, allowing political candidates to show ads with lies until Election Day on Nov. 3.
In justifying the decision, the tech executive noted that the ads published before the final week of election season will be published transparently in Facebook’s Ads Library so that anyone can scrutinize them, including journalists and fact-checkers.
“It’s important that campaigns can run get-out-the-vote campaigns, and I generally believe the best antidote to bad speech is more speech, but in the final days of an election there may not be enough time to contest new claims,” Zuckerberg said in a statement on Thursday.
Facebook has come under scrutiny for allowing misinformation to proliferate on its platform in the run-up to the 2016 United States presidential election.
Around 7 out of 10 adults in the United States use Facebook, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Centre in 2019, giving the company enormous ability to distribute political information.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)https://nnn.ng/facebook-to-ban-new-political-ads-in-week-before-united-states-elections/
‘Watchmen,’ ‘Schitt’s Creek’ rule at virtual Emmys with pandemic and political twists
Media family saga “Succession,” dystopian drama “Watchmen” and feel-good comedy “Schitt’s Creek” dominated the Emmy Awards on Sunday in a show sprinkled with jokes about the coronavirus pandemic, political jibes and appeals for racial justice.
“Hello, and welcome to the PandEmmys!,” said host Jimmy Kimmel, opening the show, where most celebrities took part remotely from their sofas and backyards dressed in a variety of gowns, hoodies and sleepwear.
“It seems frivolous and unnecessary to do this during a global pandemic,” Kimmel said as he opened the live show from Los Angeles.
“What’s happening tonight is not important. It’s not going to stop COVID. It’s not going to put out the fires, but it’s fun.
“And right now we need fun. … This has been a miserable year. It’s been a year of division, injustice (and) disease,” he added.
HBO’s “Succession,” the wickedly juicy tale of a fractious media family, was named best drama series, while Jeremy Strong won best actor for his role as a downtrodden son. “Succession’s seven-Emmy haul included writing and directing.
In one of the most pointed acceptance speeches of the night, “Succession” creator Jesse Armstrong made a series of what he called “un-thank yous.”
“Un-thank you to the virus for keeping us all apart this year. Un-thank you to President Trump for his crummy and uncoordinated response.
“Un-thank you to (British Prime Minister) Boris Johnson and his government for doing the same in my country.
“Un-thank you to all the nationalist and sort of quasi-nationalist governments in the world who are exactly the opposite of what we need right now,” said Armstrong.
HBO’s alternative-reality show “Watchmen,” infused with racial themes, won for best limited series, while actress Regina King won for her lead performance as the show’s kick-ass police detective.
“Watchmen” was the night’s biggest winner with a total of 11 Emmys, including technical awards handed out last week. HBO was the biggest overall winner, with 30 Emmys, followed by Netflix with 21.
“Watchmen” creator Damon Lindelof dedicated his Emmy to the victims and survivors of the 1921 massacre of the Black community in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which partly inspired the series.
Several celebrities, including King, presenter Sterling K. Brown, and “Mrs. America” supporting actress winner Uzo Aduba, wore Black Lives Matter-themed tee-shirts or urged viewers to vote in the Nov. 3 United States elections.
“Schitt’s Creek,” a sleeper hit on the small Pop TV network about a wealthy family forced to live in a rundown motel, won a total of nine Emmys.
“It also won best comedy series as well as acting awards for Canadian stars Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, his son Daniel Levy, and Annie Murphy.
The coronavirus pandemic meant no red carpet and no physical audience. Instead, producers sent camera kits and microphones to all the nominees, scattered in 125 places around the world, who chose how and where they wanted to be seen.
The “Schitt’s Creek” winners got their trophies delivered to them in a restaurant-style setup in Ontario, Canada, by a person dressed in a custom hazmat suit, designed to resemble a tuxedo.
The biggest shock of the night came when former Disney Channel actress Zendaya, 24, was named best drama actress for playing a teen drug addict in HBO’s “Euphoria,” beating presumed favourites Laura Linney (“Ozark”) and Jennifer Aniston (“The Morning Show.”)
“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” was named best variety talk series for the fifth successive year, and the British comedian accepted wearing a red Liverpool soccer shirt in honour of his favourite British team.
Edited By: Emmanuel Okara)
UN to mark 75th anniversary with largely online event
The UN is to mark the 75th anniversary of its founding amid the ruins of World War II with a largely online event on Monday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, has said.
Guterres is expected to deliver in-person, remarks in the gilded General Assembly Hall, while world leaders, including United States President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, will deliver pre-recorded video speeches.
“It’s very unfortunate but its going to be a pretty gloomy birthday celebration for the UN,” UN expert Richard Gowan from the think tank Crisis Group said.
Leaders are set to adopt a declaration agreed on in July, committing to a reinvigorated multilateralism.
Gowan described the declaration as a “perfectly fine but pretty anodyne statement of support for UN principles, weakened by the fact that the United States did not want strong language on climate change.”
The commemoration comes at a time when the world body faces questions over whether it is still fit for purpose in a more multipolar world, and whether it can muster consensus to deal with current conflicts and challenges, including the coronavirus pandemic.
“In this 75th anniversary year, we face our own 1945 moment. We must meet that moment; we must show unity like never before to overcome today’s emergency,” Guterres told a news conference last week.
A day after the event, the UN’s annual general debate kicks off, with leaders also sending in video speeches due to the pandemic.
Trump, who had expressed interest in being the only head of state to address the General Assembly live, is now said not to be heading to the UN’s New York headquarters.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Ejike Obeta
Oil prices slip on potential return of Libyan output; Gulf storm supports
Oil prices fell on Monday on the potential return of output from Libya as rising coronavirus cases also added to worries about global demand, although a tropical storm heading for the United States Gulf of Mexico limited losses.
Brent crude was down 33 cents or 0.8 per cent at $42.82 a barrel by 0645 GMT, while United States crude was down 38 cents or 0.9 per cent to $40.73 a barrel.
Workers at Libya’s major Sharara field have restarted operations, two engineers working there said, after National Oil Corporation announced a partial lifting of force majeure.
But it was still unclear when production might restart.
“The market can ill afford more crude hitting the market,’’ ANZ analysts said in a note on Monday, at a time when coronavirus-related curbs have eroded demand.
More than 30.78 million people have been infected by the novel coronavirus and 954,843 have died globally, a Reuters tally shows, paralysing travel and business activity.
“It is hard to get excited about a pickup in crude demand as the virus is surging in France, Spain and the UK, along with concerns that the United States appears poised for at least one more cycle in the fall and winter,’’ said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.
“Even if energy markets don’t see Libyan production return or if hurricane season eases, oil prices can’t shake off the dwindling demand outlook.’’
Meanwhile, Royal Dutch Shell Plc halted some oil production and began evacuating workers from a United States Gulf of Mexico platform, the company said on Saturday.
Tropical Storm Beta was predicted to bring one foot (30 centimetres) of rain to parts of coastal Texas and Louisiana as the 23rd named storm of this year’s Atlantic hurricane season moves ashore on Monday night, the National Hurricane Centre said.
Oil and gas producers had been restarting their offshore operations over the weekend after being disrupted by Hurricane Sally.
Some 17 per cent of United States Gulf of Mexico offshore oil production and nearly 13 per cent of natural gas output went offline on Saturday in the face of Sally’s waves and winds.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde
BHP in talks with three firms for LNG bunker supply contract – Executive
A contract is expected to be awarded next month after an initial eight to 10 firms vied for delivery of the super-chilled fuel to the miner over 2022 to 2027, Rashpal Bhatti, BHP’s Vice-President for maritime and supply chain excellence told Reuters.
BHP earlier this month awarded a tender to charter five LNG-fuelled Newcastlemax bulk carriers to Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping, aiming to cut greenhouse gas emissions on voyages to biggest customer China by more than 30 per cent.
The five vessels will be able to carry about 10 million tonnes per year (tpy) of iron ore or about 3.6 per cent of BHP’s 280 million tpy in exports.
“Our five vessels will make up 10 per cent of all Asian (LNG) bunkering volumes.
Miners are under pressure to reduce pollution to meet concerns about the environment, while investors increasingly demand that companies offer a compelling sustainability strategy.
“When it comes to cost, the build of the vessel is more expensive than a conventional vessel … but the gas supply is the one that really allows us to take a like for like view.’’
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde