Thursday, July 18, 2019 View this email in your browser
 

Sound bites: The Ebola crisis in the Congo is officially a public health emergency • charges against Kevin Spacey were dropped • El Chapo was sentenced to life in prison • FaceApp might be collecting your data for no good.
 

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CONGO EMERGENCY

The Ebola crisis in the Congo is getting worse. The WHO (World Health Organization) just declared the outbreak a public health emergency that the world should be worried about. Since August 2018, more than 1,600 people have died from the disease, and about 12 new cases are being reported every day.
 
What exactly is Ebola?
Ebola is transmitted from wild animals and spread through human bodily fluids – cuts, mouth, nose, etc. Symptoms of the virus include fever, muscle pain, vomiting, and internal and external bleeding. And the death rate for someone with the disease is high, at about 80%. A vaccine was developed after an Ebola outbreak killed more than 11,000 in West Africa between 2013 and 2016, and it’s 99% effective. The problem is, not everyone has it, and issues within the Congo, like ongoing violence and distrust of healthcare workers, means many people aren’t seeking treatment and are potentially spreading the disease to family members and neighbours.
 
What’s the WHO got to do with it?
They’re hoping the emergency announcement will escalate the issue and bring more international attention and help. For now, officials say there’s no need to restrict travel or trade for people outside the affected area.


SPACED OUT

Charges against actor Kevin Spacey were dropped yesterday after his accuser pleaded the fifth on the witness stand.
 
OK, I’m going to need some background.
A man, whose name is being protected, accused Spacey of groping him in a bar in Nantucket back in July 2016 when he was 18 and Spacey was 56. Spacey pled not guilty. Fast forward to a pre-trial for the case held last week: while on the witness stand, the man was questioned about text messages and a video – but now, the phone is M.I.A.
 
So?
When further pressed about whether he deleted important info from the phone, the accuser said he did not, and that he didn’t know it was illegal to do so. He then chatted with his lawyers and pleaded the fifth – which protects an individual from being forced to testify against themselves in case they say something incriminating. With no phone and a witness who won’t talk, the prosecution had no choice but to drop the criminal case yesterday. If convicted, Spacey could’ve spent up to five years in jail.


EL SLAMMER

Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán was sentenced to life in jail, effectively ending his career as one of Mexico’s most notorious drug lords. Guzman, 61, has avoided prison before. He broke out of his jail cell in Mexico twice before being extradited to the U.S. in 2017. In February, Guzman was found guilty of drug trafficking, murder, and money laundering after a three-month trial in New York. Guzman ran the Sinaloa drug cartel and was at the centre of bloodshed and corruption in Mexico. His deep drug network smuggled more than $12 billion worth of drugs into the U.S. and killed 100,000 people in Mexico. In 2009, Guzman was on Forbes’ list of richest men in the world, with a net worth of $1-billion. Guzman will be serving his sentence in a high maximum-security prison in Colorado.


FACEAPP BUZZKILL

The app that’s giving you a sneak peek at your future self might be giving your data to the wrong people. When you give permission to FaceApp to access your photo gallery, you're also giving the Russia-based developer, Wireless Labs, permission to modify, reproduce, and publish the images through its AI. Don’t act too shocked - it’s all right there in the Terms and Conditions. FaceApp first came to market in 2017 but has gained momentum recently thanks to a new feature that allows users to age themselves. But by uploading your photo to the app, you’re granting FaceApp free license to use, publish, and distribute your content at its leisure, even on an ad. The privacy policy also allows for third-party tools to collect data from your device, i.e. the websites you visit and “other information that assists us in improving the service.”



GOOD NEWS

Air New Zealand is in a league of its own when it comes to reducing waste. The Kiwi carrier has promised to remove almost 55 million single-use plastic items from its operations this year to reduce waste. Recyclable alternatives include plant-based coffee cups and reusable dishes. The cabin crew will even fill up your reusable container if you bring one. As if you needed another reason to take a trip to the land of the long white cloud.


WATCH LISTEN READ

• Curious about Area 51? You’re not alone.

• Ellie Goulding and Juice WRLD released their music video for Hate Me.

• The latest season of the Crimetown podcast explores the culture of crime in Detroit, Michigan. Binge the whole season on Spotify now.

• A star-studded Hustlers premieres this September.

The Lion King is officially out in theatres today. Beyoncé dropped a music video for SPIRIT just in time.


Walking into Thursday like...



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