DAILY NEWS IN ENGLISH
Brussels proposes class-action suits for EU consumers Presenting a raft of proposals for its New Deal for Consumers, the European Commission has said it aims to strengthen citizensʼ rights by allowing the filing of class-action suits. Business organizations are not amused. Consumers from across the European Union may in future be able to join forces and file class-action lawsuits with a view to getting compensation from companies that break the law. Under a proposal made by the EU executive Wednesday, consumersʼ rights are to be strengthened considerably. Calls for the EU to introduce collective lawsuits, a tool used extensively in US litigation, had grown after Volkswagen clientswere outraged to learn that the German car giant had cheated on emissions tests. "In a globalized world where the big companies have a huge advantage over individual consumers, we need to level the odds," EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said in a statement.
Algeria: Military plane crash leaves more than 250 dead A Russian-made passenger plane used by the Algerian military has crashed near the capital Algiers. More than 250 people on board have died in one of Algeriaʼs worst air disasters. An Algerian military plane carrying mostly army members and their families crashed on Wednesday shortly after take off, killing 247 passengers and 10 crew members. "This morning at around 8:00 an Ilyushin model military transport plane ... crashed directly after takeoff in an agricultural field that was clear of residents," Major General Boualem Madi told state TV. The Defense Ministry said it had opened an investigation into what caused the Russian-made Il-76 military aircraft to crash near an airbase in Boufarik in northern Algeria. The ministry did not say if there were any survivors. Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika called the crash a "grave, heart-breaking calamity" and announced three days of national mourning.
85/2018 • 16 APRIL, 2018
Catalans rally for freedom and return of independence leaders A wide group of political and social groups came together to organize the protest
More than 300,000 people have rallied in Barcelona calling for the release of Catalan separatist politicians.
Spotify: Market unicorn prepares to go public The Swedish music-streaming platform Spotify goes public on Tuesday, following in the footsteps of fellow "unicorns" Dropbox and Zscaler. The stock market is healthy and the timing seems good, but what are the risks? Drew Houston and Arash Ferdosi stood in New Yorkʼs Times Square, surrounded by their associates who cheered and threw confetti in celebration. The two Dropbox founders highfived, onlookers clapped, and the cameras flashed. On March 23, theNasdaq stock market welcomed Dropboxwith open arms. Only a few
minutes into trading and stock prices had risen over 50 percent. "A very exciting day for us," said billionaire Houston. "A milestone," said Matt Kennedy of Renaissance Capital, an IPO-focused analyst firm. In the wake of the Dropbox IPO, investors are turning their attention to another major startup about to go public. Spotify,the beloved music-streaming platform based out of Stockholm, opens for public trading on Tuesday. The media is hyping Spotify, the third unicorn to go public this year following Dropbox and the cybersecurity provider Zscaler.
German university hospital defends auto firmsʼ nitrogen dioxide test ethics No experiments on animals or humans can take place in Germany without a go from an authorized ethics committee. Dr. Thomas Kraus from Aachen University Hospital says this was the case in the most recent NO2 scandal. The European Research Group on Environment and Health in the Transport Sector (EUGT) "did not impinge in any way on the nitrogen dioxide (NO2) research it commissioned Aachen University Hospital to do," Professor Thomas Kraus from the
hospital told the German press agency DPA on Monday. The EUGT is a now defunct organization that was funded by German carmakers Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW plus partsmaker Bosch, thus raising questions of possible conflicts of interest. In 2013, 25 healthy volunteers were exposed to NO2 pollution for three hours, Kraus said. "None of them had any negative health effects," he went on, adding that the tests were meant to measure the impact of pollutants in the workplace.
Gulf Stream system at weakest point in 1,600 years A further weakening of the system of currents in the Atlantic Ocean could wreak havoc on the Earthʼs climate. But there isnʼt too much reason to be overly concerned about a looming ice age — at least not yet. Two new studies have found that the system of currents in the Atlantic Ocean is exceptionally weak — and its strength, or lack thereof, could have serious ramifications on the global climate. The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) — also known as the Gulf Stream system — is often described as part of the global ocean conveyor belt. It transports warm water from the Atlantic towards the Arctic, which influences the relatively mild climate of Western Europe. In the northern Atlantic, this surface water eventually cools and sinks to the bottom of the ocean, where another current transports it south to Antarctica before circulating back to the Gulf Stream and beginning the cycle anew. This entire process is known as thermohaline circulation.
Outcry in Bavaria over extending police powers An outcry in Munich over legislation to widen police powers has prompted an angry rebuttal from Bavariaʼs interior minister. Opposition Greens say planned preventive snooping is rejected by 60 percent of Bavarians. Joachim Herrmann, interior minister in Bavariaʼs Christian Social Union (CSU) government, has accused opposition parties in the southern stateʼs Munich assembly of staging a "scurrilous disinformation campaign."
weather today BUDAPEST
4 / 25 °C Precipitation: 0 mm
85/2018 • 16 April, 2018
Facebook bans Trump campaign data firm Cambridge Analytica The social media giant has accused the data analysis company of illegally obtaining user data. At the same time, a whistleblower has said that Cambridge Analytica illegally harvested data from 50 million users. Facebook announced on Saturday that it had suspended the data research firm Cambridge Analytica for holding onto dubiously obtained user data after assuring the social media firm that the information had been deleted. Cambridge Analytica has become well-known in political circles for its work on the election campaign of US President Donald Trump and for the pro-Brexit group Leave.eu. Facebook said it was also suspending the firmʼs parent company, Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL). The incident revolves around an app put on the site in 2015 by Aleksandr Kogan, a professor at the University of Cambridge, that purported to be a personality test and psychological research tool. About 270,000 users downloaded it and shared their information with it, according to Facebook.
F1: Sebastian Vettel wins in Bahrain as Valtteri Bottas takes it to the wire Sebastian Vettel survived a sensational late surge by Valtteri Bottas to win a thrilling Bahrain Grand Prix. Itʼs the Germanʼs second win from two races this season, with title rival Lewis Hamilton finishing third. ebastian Vettel marked his 200th Formula One race with a dramatic victory for Ferrari in Sundayʼs Bahrain Grand Prix. The four-time champion crossed the line with Valtteri Bottas on his tail and the Finnʼs Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in third in a nail-biting finish to an intriguing contest.
Facebook to notify users affected by Cambridge Analytica scandal Facebook users are about to find out if their information was harvested by the political research firm. More than 70 million of the 87 million affected people reside in the US, but the scandalʼs impact spans the globe. Facebook users are about to find out if their information was harvested by the political research firm. More than 70 million of the 87 million affected people reside in the US, but the scandalʼs impact spans the globe. Facebook has said that it will inform users on Monday if their information was harvested by the data research firmCambridge Analytica. The move comes as authorities in the US and the UK are scrutinizing the social media giant over user privacy. Of
the at least 87 million users affected by the scandal, more than 70 million are in the US, and there are more than a million each in the UK,Indonesia, and the Philippines. The firm is also set to put out a notice on privacy protection to all its 2.2 billion users, which will show individuals what apps are linked to their account and what information has been shared with those apps. The user will then be able to turn off third-party apps individually or altogether.
Surviving Australiaʼs most extreme bushfire The driest inhabited continent on earth, Australia, has lived with bushfires for millennia. But the 2009 Black Saturday infernos were so fierce that survivors are still grappling with the consequences. Ash carried by heavy winds had started to fall from the sky when a neighbor sent me a text message to warn us that a fire might be descending over the valley. As my partner and I got into the car to leave, we couldnʼt see smoke in the immediate vicinity — but the ash was a clear sign that things were bad in
the distance. Ten minutes later, we sought safety by a river and waited for the fire to engulf the mountain — and ultimately, our house. Living mostly in the city, we had retreated to our cabin in the thickly forested mountains outside Melbourne to escape the peak of a brutal heatwave. Urban temperatures had been expected to spike at 47 degrees Celsius (117 degrees Fahrenheit), the hottest day on record, and had regularly been in the mid-40s the week before. Scientists says climate change is driving record-breaking heat waves and "bushfire weather."
Budapest Spring Fair Between March 23rd and April 22nd, Budapest’s central Vörösmarty Square fills with stands and stalls crammed with hundreds of handcrafted Hungarian products for the Budapest Spring Fair. Besides the traditional and modern folk-art displays, visitors can sample local flavors prepared on-site, while cultural and artisanal events, workshops, folk music and folk-dance shows entertain children and adults alike.
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German metalworkers finally secure wage agreement Following weeks of bitter fighting, a wage agreement for the German metal and electrical industries has finally been struck. Employees were able to secure higher wages and more flexible working hours. A wage agreement was reached in the early hours on Tuesday in Germanyʼs metal and electrical industries. The powerful IG Metall union announced the deal initially covering workers in the southern German state of BadenWürttemberg, but expected to be eventually implemented for a total of 3.9 million workers in the sector nationwide. According to the deal, employeesare to receive a pay hike of 4.3 percent from April this year. Additionally, monthly one-off payments of €100 ($124) were agreed for January through March. Employers and trade union representatives also agreed on the possibility of workers reducing their hours from 35 to 28 hours per week for two years, should they need to look after children or care for older relatives.
Publisher slammed as Hitler appears in ʼgreat leadersʼ book The book "would bring tears of joy to neo-Nazis," a Jewish human rights organization has said. Adolf Hitler carries a certain fascination in some parts of the world that is largely untouched by his atrocities. Indian publisher Pegasus landed itself in hot water this week when it emerged that itʼs "Great Leaders" book for children included Adolf Hitler. Pictured alongside freedom fighters Mathama Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, the book chose Hitler as one of the "powerful world leaders who have dedicated their lives to the betterment of their countries and the people living in them." Also included in the book are current Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, controversial Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi and former US President Barack Obama. "Dedicated to the betterment of countries and people? Adolf Hitler? This description would bring tears of joy to the Nazis and their racist neo-Nazi heirs," said Abraham Cooper of the Jewish human rights organization the Wiesenthal Center.