Demonstrators may soon be banned from wearing facemasks in the Chinese territory of Hong Kong. Library picture: Protestors in Hong Kong, 29 September 2019. Photo credit: PaulWong/Shutterstock.com
The latest on Trump & Brexit, EU court rulings and Facebook’s cryptocurrency. Delano’s breakfast briefing for Friday.
HK to forbid face coverings
Hong Kong is set to use colonial-era emergency powers to ban wearing masks during protests. Demonstrators cover their faces to shield their identities and protect against tear gas. The law could come into effect as early as midnight on Friday. Hong Kong’s government has already loosened police rules on the use of force. Sources: Financial Times, the Guardian, Hong Kong Free Press, South China Morning Post and Reuters. Separately, Apple banned an app that live tracks police activity in Hong Kong (similar to the Waze driving app). Sources: BBC, the Register and Sky News.
Trump wants China to target Biden
Donald Trump said China and Ukraine should investigate Joe Biden, a rival in the 2020 US presidential election, and his son. Trump currently faces an impeachment inquiry for allegedly extorting Ukraine into investigating Biden’s son. There has been no evidence of wrongdoing by either Biden. Sources: BBC, CNBC and the Guardian.
Drone stops football match in Luxembourg
A drone temporarily halted a Europa League match between F91 Dudelange and FK Qarabag at Josy Barthel stadium. The drone carried the flag of Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian ethnic majority breakaway region in Azerbaijan. Play resumed after about 15 minutes. Qarabag won 4-1. Sources: Associated Press, BBC, Goal.com, Independent, Reuters.
The European Court of Justice ruled that Polish consumers who took out home loans in Swiss francs instead of the zloty can ask Polish courts to change the terms of their contract. Sources: BBC, Bloomberg and Reuters.
EU top court: Illegal comment orders apply worldwide
The European Court of Justice ruled that national courts can order Facebook to remove defamatory content beyond their jurisdiction. Sources: New York Times, Politico and Reuters. Last week, the ECJ had ruled that the “right to be forgotten” does not apply outside member states. Sources: Deutsche Welle and The Register.
US health authorities confirmed 18 deaths and 1,080 illnesses linked to e-cigarettes and warned people against vaping. Sources: BBC and NPR. A separate report found the vaping-related deaths were not caused by a type of pneumonia, the previous theory. Doctors found damage similar to people suffering from chemical weapons attacks. Sources: Ars Technica and New York Times.
Monday 7 October, 6:30pm: Pete Wordon, former direction of the Nasa Ames Research Centre, speaks at the Luxembourg Space Café event in Kirchberg. Monday 7 October, 6:30pm: The American and British chambers of commerce a Brexit update event in Hamm. Thursday 10 October, 8am-2:30pm: Clearstream hosts its annual funds summit in the Grund. Wednesday 16 October, 7pm: The International Bazaar’s Irish stand hosts a table quiz. Thursday 17 October, 9am-12:45am:Cyber Day 2019 tackles cybercrime, fake news and internet safety, in Esch-Belval.
Here are 10 science & technology stories you may have missed
Health: A recent meta-analysis suggests that cutting back on red meat provides minimal reduction to cancer and heart disease risks, although critics called the conclusions misleading and “reckless”, per NBC News. Health: Why eating in front of a screen isn’t a good idea, per Cnet. Planetary defence: Nasa was not happy with press coverage of an asteroid that (in space terms) came pretty close to earth in June, per Buzzfeed News. Planetary defence: Humanity will likely survive climate change and even a nuclear war, but an asteroid strike or gamma ray burst would probably wipe us out, per Quartz. Green energy: The world’s first tidal powered data centre is expected to open in Scotland in 2024, per Data Economy. Digital media: Security researchers conducted an experiment they said proved technology firms are not secretly listening to users’ conversations, per the BBC. Online safety: Cybersecurity outfit Malwarebytes has warned that scammers are exploiting Brexit fears to target Chinese students in the UK, per The Register. Social media: A study found that WhatsApp’s move in January to limit messaging forwarding has reduced the spread of disinformation, per MIT Technology Review. Social media: Facebook may stop showing how many “likes” a post has; it’s already tested the change on Instagram in several countries, per Techcrunch. Fashion app:GQ gave a thumbs up to the Wishi app, designed by the stylist who works with Justin Bieber and Megan Rapinoe, which is not affiliated with any fashion brands or e-commerce sites.
A 2009 Banksy painting that showed primates debating in the British parliament sold for £9.88m (roughly €11.1m) at a Sotheby’s auction. Sources: Artnews, CNBC and the Guardian.