PHN Rewind (25 April – 1 May)

In this week’s rewind, the parliamentary elections in Slovenia, the EU’s new legislation regarding online platforms, Twitter’s new owner, and other topics.

Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša’s Party Loses in Slovenian Parliamentary Elections

Prime Minister Janez Janša’s Slovenian Democratic party was defeated in last week’s parliamentary election by the liberal party the Freedom Movement.

Janša’s party received 23.6% of the vote compared with the Freedom Movement’s 34.5%.

The New Slovenia party received 7% of the vote while the Social Democrats party reached 6%.

The head of the winning party is Robert Golob, a former businessman, who said that “tonight people dance. Tomorrow is a new day and serious work lies ahead.”

EU Agreed on New Digital Services Act

The European Union lawmakers reached an agreement on the Digital Services Act, new legislation that requires more transparency from online platforms regarding their algorithms.

The legislation will also change the way content is recommended to users. The platform’s system will not automatically suggest content based on the users’ profiles. Children’s personal data will no longer be used for targeted advertisements.

The DSA will allow the European Commission to supervise the activities of large online platforms and intervene in case public security is threatened.

Billionaire Elon Musk Takes Over Twitter

Elon Musk made a bid of 44 billion dollars last week to take over the giant social media platform Twitter.

After initially rejecting his offer, the board of Twitter asked shareholders to vote for the deal’s approval.

The board eventually accepted the offer, causing a wave of discontent and controversy, considering the platform’s history regarding free speech.

Elon Musk himself had been accused of misinformation in 2018 and defamation in 2019.

Following the takeover, the billionaire stated on Twitter: “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.”

North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un Announces Further Developments in Nuclear Arms

In a speech during a military parade, the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to boost the development of nuclear weapons and use them if threatened.

The parade last Monday marked the 90th anniversary of North Korea’s army. Crowds gathered to watch the parade at Pyongyang plaza.

Addressing the people, he said that they “will continue to take measures for further developing the nuclear forces of our state at the fastest possible speed.”

Kim Jong Un also stated that nuclear weapons will be used “if any forces try to violate the fundamental interests of our state.”

First Reported Human Case of H3N8 in China

China reported its first case of H3N8 bird flu in Beijing. It was found in a four-year-old who had been in contact with chickens raised at home.

The health authority said its spread rate among humans is meager and did not yet infect people.

In a country with such a significant population density of birds, it is an ideal place for viruses to mutate.

Human bird flu infections are sporadic and usually happen when there had been very close contact with infected birds.

Ukraine Capital City Kyiv Hit By Russian Airstrikes

Kremlin confirmed using two “high-precision, long-range air-based weapons” in the Ukrainian capital.

The attack caused many losses following the destruction of a residential building of 25 floors.

Moscow admitted that two “high-precision, long-range air-based weapons” had been used to destroy production buildings of the Artyom missile and space enterprise.

The airstrike came after the visit of the UN general secretary, António Guterres, to the Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The attacks came as a shock and resulted in widespread criticism worldwide.

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