Jul 13 2019

Six In The Morning Saturday 13 July 2019



Facebook ‘to be fined $5bn over Cambridge Analytica scandal’

US regulators have approved a record $5bn (£4bn) fine on Facebook to settle an investigation into data privacy violations, reports in US media say.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been investigating allegations that political consultancy Cambridge Analytica improperly obtained the data of up to 87 million Facebook users.

The settlement was approved by the FTC in a 3-2 vote, sources told US media.

Facebook and the FTC told the BBC they had no comment on the reports.

How was the settlement reached?

The consumer protection agency the FTC began investigating Facebook in March 2018 following reports that Cambridge Analytica had accessed the data of tens of millions of its users.

New Zealand begins first round of gun buybacks after Christchurch attack

Government has set aside more than NZ$200m to remove military-style firearms from circulation

Dozens of Christchurch gun owners have handed over their weapons in exchange for cash in the first of more than 250 planned buyback events around New Zealand after the government outlawed many types of semi-automatics.

Police said they paid more than $NZ200,000 in total to 68 gun owners in the first few hours of the event held on Saturday.

In April, New Zealand lawmakers rushed through new legislation to ban military-style weapons after 51 people were killed at two Christchurch mosques on 15 March.

The story of ‘Mariam’, held captive as a sex slave in Tripoli

On February 13, InfoMigrants received a distress call from a 16-year-old Ivorian girl being kept as a sex slave in Tripoli. For several weeks, journalists at InfoMigrants communicated with her on WhatsApp. They have called her Mariam.

She said she was locked in a house in a residential area of the Libyan capital. She called her captor, “Monsieur.”

“Almost every day, he summons me to his room and forces me to have sex with him. Sometimes he hits me on the face or on the stomach. When I don’t want him to touch me, he hits me. I’m afraid to die.”

Mariam said that at first he wanted money in exchange for her freedom. “But since I have nothing, he abuses me.”

“He said if I tried to run away, he would kill my little sister. My 6-year-old sister was with me.”

Australia leads the Western world on media restrictions: UN rapporteur

By Nick Miller

It’s getting to be quite the list.

Federal police raids at the offices of the ABC and the home of a News Corp reporter. Police trawling metadata from journalists’ phone and internet records 58 times in a year. Police scouring the Qantas flight records of an ABC reporter who had published top-secret government materialthat revealed allegations of serious misconduct by Australian troops in Afghanistan.

Police – and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton – refusing to rule out laying charges over the act of publishing leaked information, the latter insisting on Friday that possession of top-secret documents by journalists is a crime that must be investigated.


WHEN NEWS BROKE that thousands of current and former Border Patrol agents were members of a secret Facebook group filled with racist, vulgar, and sexist content, Carla Provost, chief of the agency, was quick to respond. “These posts are completely inappropriate and contrary to the honor and integrity I see — and expect — from our agents day in and day out,” Provost said in a statement. “Any employees found to have violated our standards of conduct will be held accountable.”

For Provost, a veteran of the Border Patrol who was named head of the agency in August 2018, the group’s existence and content should have come as no surprise. Three months after her appointment to chief, Provost herself had posted in the group, then known as “I’m 10-15,” now archived as “America First X 2.” Provost’s comment was innocuous — a friendly clapback against a group member who questioned her rise to the top of the Border Patrol — but her participation in the group, which she has since left, raises serious questions.

Turkey: S-400 purchase ‘not a preference but a necessity’

Defence minister tells US counterpart Ankara needs the Russian defence system because it faces a ‘serious threat’.

Turkey‘s purchase of the Russian S-400 missile system was “not a choice but a necessity” because it is under serious threat, its defence minister has told the United States.

The comments came after a second shipment of equipment needed to make the S-400s operational was delivered to Turkey on Saturday.

The US has strongly urged Turkey to pull back from the deal – the first such move between a NATO member and Russia – warning Ankara it will face economic sanctions, reportedly costing more than $2bn.