Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called for reforms to one of the US’ most important internet laws Thursday as lawmakers pledged to tighten their regulatory grip on social media companies. During his third congressional hearing in six months, Zuckerberg made the case for updating Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act while defending his firm from criticism that it has failed to snuff out misinformation. “We believe that connectivity and togetherness are more powerful ideals than division and discord and that technology can be part of the solution to the challenges our society is facing,” he told the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “And we are ready to work with you to move beyond hearings and get started on real reform.” Zuckerberg’s virtual testimony alongside Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Google CEO Sundar Pichai came amid moves by congressional Democrats to ramp up scrutiny on Silicon Valley in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, for which they say social media firms bear some responsibility.
Is it gross, or is it great? That’s up to the winners of a social media contest to decide. Either way, Pepsi and Peeps have teamed up to create Marshmallow Cola, which will come in small three-packs, but won’t be sold in stores. Instead, Americans can get them by hashtagging: “#HangingWithMyPEEPS” on social media.
ISMAILIA — A huge container ship blocking the Suez Canal like a “beached whale” may take weeks to free, the salvage company said, as officials stopped all ships entering the channel on Thursday in a new setback for global trade. The 400 meter Ever Given, almost as long as the Empire State Building is high, is blocking transit in both directions through one of the world’s busiest shipping channels for oil and refined fuels, grain and other trade linking Asia and Europe.
Former President Donald Trump’s struggling hotel company was dealt another blow when a major luxury travel group ended its partnership and dropped the chain from its listings. Zenger News reported last week that Virtuoso Travel, a luxury travel network that caters to the wealthy, quietly cut off Trump Hotels earlier this month. “Virtuoso considers many variables when reviewing both existing and new network participation,” a spokesperson told the website. “Out of respect for all involved parties, and as a general policy, we do not share comments regarding our non-renewal and exit decisions.” In addition, Trump hotels are no longer listed on the Virtuoso website. “It’s a big deal because Virtuoso is very well-respected in the industry,” travel industry analyst Henry Harteveldt of Atmosphere Research Group told the newspaper. He said Virtuoso’s “elite base” of customers means others in the industry study its moves… and often make similar moves of their own. “Some travel agencies that may have been debating whether or not to do it could decide, well, if Virtuoso has done this, we too will end our professional relationship with the Trump hotels,” Harteveldt said.
The founder of bottled-water maker Real Water has publicly apologized after five kids who drank its product came down with liver failure. Real Water president Brent Jones issued the mea culpa amid a Food and Drug Administration probe of the alkaline water, which has been linked to several cases of hepatitis. “We’d like to expressed our deepest sympathy and concern over the events that have led to the inquiry,” Jones said in a roughly two-minute video message released Tuesday. “I want to personally apologize to all of our customers, and I assure you the lessons learned from this will drive further improvement in the brand,” he added. The video came four days after the FDA urged consumers and businesses not to drink, sell or serve Real Water, which has as higher pH level that the Arizona-based company claims can improve hydration. The feds say five infants and children in southern Nevada who consumed the brand’s water came down with non-viral hepatitis that resulted in acute liver failure and put them in the hospital.
Canadian banks have a serious fossil fuel addiction. But it is not just a Canadian problem. The latest study of corporate data from 60 of the world’s largest banks shows that rather than cutting back on the funding of fossil fuel projects since the 2016 global agreement to limit greenhouse gases, they have increased that funding to $3.8 trillion US in the past five years. The report outlining the data, titled Banking on Climate Chaos 2021, is the 12th annual tally of fossil fuel financing by a group of seven climate advocacy organizations, including Rainforest Action Network and the Sierra Club, both based in the United States. The good news for those concerned about climate change is that a crash in the fossil fuel business during the COVID-19 pandemic led to a sharp drop in investment growth in 2020, but the report’s authors fear that a growing recovery this year will lead to a “snap back to business as usual.”