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Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 26 January 2023

1

Meta lets Trump return

Meta has announced that Donald Trump will be allowed back on to Facebook and Instagram. The company said that the former US president’s two-year suspension will end “in the coming weeks”. Nick Clegg, president of global affairs, said the suspension had been imposed after Trump’s “praise for people engaged in violence at the Capitol” but said the public “should be able to hear what their politicians are saying”. Media watchdog Media Matters for America said Meta is “refuelling Trump’s misinformation and extremism engine”.

Should Twitter and Meta have the power to ban Donald Trump’s account?

2

Moscow vows to destroy tanks

The president of Ukraine has said that tanks being sent by the US and Germany needed to be delivered quickly. Volodymyr Zelenskyy also urged the West to send long-range missiles and fighter jets. Moscow has described the plan to send the new weaponry as a “blatant provocation” and said any tanks would be destroyed. The conflict in Ukraine is “escalating” said the ipaper.

How the Ukraine war exposed cracks in Western defence

3

Brexit plans ‘baffling’ says boss

Plans to ease post-Brexit trade are “baffling” and “overbearing”, said the chairman of Marks & Spencer. Archie Norman, who is also a former Conservative MP, said the approach could force prices higher and hand EU businesses an advantage over British competitors. A string of industry leaders have recently attacked the government over its economic policy, said The Telegraph. Last week, Dyson founder Sir James Dyson accused the government of a “stupid” economic approach.

Brexit: the pros and cons of leaving the EU

4

Arrest over Hancock ‘assault’

British Transport Police said a man has been arrested on suspicion of assaulting former health secretary Matt Hancock in an underground station. “A 61-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of common assault and a public order offence and remains in custody,” said the force. A spokesman for Hancock said it was a “very aggressive and unpleasant encounter with a dangerous conspiracy theorist”. They added that Hancock was unhurt, but such incidents “reemphasise the importance of shutting down baseless misinformation which causes so much harm”.

Matt Hancock’s Pandemic Diaries: a ‘fundamentally dishonest’ write-up?

5

‘Giuffre book’ could ‘ruin coronation’

Speculation is mounting that King Charles’ coronation may be “overshadowed by Prince Andrew’s sex abuse accuser” amid reports that Virginia Giuffre’s memoir could be released weeks before the ceremony, said the Daily Mail. Giuffre, who has accused the Duke of York of sexually abusing her when she was a minor under US law, has signed a book deal worth millions, according to reports. Meanwhile, said The Independent, Andrew may not have enough money to challenge his settlement with Giuffre. He denies any wrongdoing.

Virginia Giuffre to pen memoir as Prince Andrew ‘plots to overturn’ £3m settlement

6

Netflix to clampdown on passwords

Netflix has announced that it will launch its long-promised crackdown in March, to stop people sharing log-in details with those outside their household. In a letter sent to shareholders, the streaming giant said that more than 100m households across the world were guilty of sharing passwords, which “undermines our long-term ability to invest in and improve Netflix, as well as build our business”. Last year, the Intellectual Property Office ruled that password sharing was illegal and broke copyright law.

The rise and fall of Netflix

7

Allegations mount against Raab

At least 24 civil servants are involved in complaints against Dominic Raab, sources have told The Guardian. The insiders believe the scale of the inquiry and gravity of some of the allegations means the deputy prime minister will struggle to hang on to his job. Raab has vowed to “thoroughly rebut and refute” the formal complaints, but the latest claims will “come as another blow as he attempts to move on from the scandal”, said the paper.

Dominic Raab: the deputy PM at centre of new bullying row

8

Ministers plan to ban laughing gas

The government is planning a ban on the sale and possession of laughing gas. Drug misuse laws would be revised to allow people found with nitrous oxide gas in public to be prosecuted, unless they have a “legitimate reason”, such as chefs who use it in products including whipped cream or medical staff who use it for pain relief. The gas, which is inhaled from balloons, can cause euphoria, relaxation and calmness. However, side-effects can cause fatal accidents.

Is alcohol the ‘most harmful’ drug?

9

Dog show cancelled after probe

An international dog show has been cancelled after the BBC uncovered abuse of the animals. The American Bully Kennel Club event was due to be held at Coventry Building Society Arena on 11 February but undercover reporters at an equivalent show in Manchester found hundreds of dogs paraded with cropped ears. Ear-cropping, which is illegal in the UK under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2006, sees the skin at the tops of dogs ears cut off to make them stand more upright.

10

AI ‘could wipe out humanity’

MPs have been warned that a rogue artificial intelligence system could kill us all. A researcher from Oxford University told the science and technology committee that just as humans wiped out the dodo, AI machines could eventually pose an “existential threat” to humanity. “There are some reasons for hope in that we have been pretty good at regulating the use of nuclear weapons,” said Michael Osborne, professor of machine learning at the University of Oxford, adding that: “AI is as comparable a danger as nuclear weapons”.

Should we be worried about artificial intelligence?

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