The Top Stories on the Internet Today (Thursday January 31)

January 31, 2019

These are the stories making headlines as we end the first month of the year.

The US wants to halt Huawei’s global advance. It may be too late

Huawei is under pressure in major international markets as a growing number of governments express concern that its technology could be used by Chinese spies. But it has a number of key strengths that analysts say will help it survive.

Extreme weather is so bad in some parts of the country, even the US Postal Service won’t be going out

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” the saying goes.

Maduro says he’s willing to negotiate with opposition, international mediators

Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro said he is willing to meet with opposition leaders and international mediators to bring about a solution to the country’s ongoing political crisis.

Venezuelan army defectors appeal to Trump for weapons

Venezuelan army defectors are calling on the Trump administration to arm them, in what they call their quest for “freedom.”

‘Empire’ star Jussie Smollett attacked in possible hate crime

“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett was attacked in the early morning hours on Tuesday in what Chicago police are calling a possible hate crime.

Melting glaciers in the Canadian Arctic have revealed landscapes not seen in 40,000 years

The Canadian Arctic may be having its warmest century in at least 115,000 years, according to a study published this month in the journal Nature Communications.

This 14-year old found Apple’s FaceTime bug before it went viral

Fourteen-year old Grant Thompson was just trying to play video games with friends on a day off from school when he made an alarming discovery: a bug in Apple’s FaceTime tool that could turn iPhones into eavesdropping devices.

R&B singer James Ingram dead at 66

James Ingram, the soulful, smooth voice behind R&B hits like “Just Once” and “I Don’t Have The Heart,” has died at the age of 66.

Travel ban for Venezuela opposition head

Venezuela’s Supreme Court has banned opposition leader Juan Guaidó from leaving the country and frozen his bank accounts. The move comes amid an escalating power struggle, after Mr Guaidó declared himself interim president last week. He has been backed by the US and other countries. President Nicolás Maduro has major allies too, including Russia.

North Korea ‘unlikely to abandon nukes’

North Korea is unlikely to fully give up its nuclear weapons, a US intelligence report says, despite the hopes of the Trump administration. The Worldwide Threat Assessment report also says Iran is not making nuclear weapons, but that cyber threats from China and Russia are a growing concern.

Apple iPhone sales in ‘disappointing’ fall

Sales of the Apple iPhone have fallen hitting the tech giant’s financial performance. The firm’s revenue fell 5% from a year ago to about $84.3bn (£64.5bn) in the most recent quarter, with iPhone revenue down 15% to about $52bn.

Stacey Abrams to respond to Trump speech

Stacey Abrams, a Democrat who narrowly lost the Georgia governor race in 2018, is set to respond to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech. She will deliver a televised rebuttal after Mr Trump’s joint address to Congress on 5 February. His speech was delayed due to the government shutdown.

Newcastle United 2-1 Manchester City

Manchester City’s title hopes suffered a huge blow as Newcastle came from a goal down to record a remarkable victory over the defending champions at St James’ Park. Two defensive lapses cost Pep Guardiola’s side the chance to cut Liverpool’s lead at the top of the Premier League to one point.

Tesla launches new cheaper Model S and Model X

Tesla is tweaking its Model X and Model S lineup again. As spotted by Electrek, the automaker has launched cheaper versions of its Model X and Model S with a 100kWh battery pack, now that you can’t buy the 75kWh iteration.

Facebook paid teens to install an app to spy on their internet and phone use

Ever watchful of its competitors (and not so concerned about your privacy), Facebook has been paying people so it can keep tabs on their phone and internet usage. As unearthed by TechCrunch, the research program dubbed “Project Atlas” sought users who would be willing to install an app that gave Facebook unfettered access to their iOS or Android phones for $20 a month, plus referral fees.

Despite ‘transparency’ claims, Facebook stops watchdogs from monitoring ads

Facebook appears to be talking out of both sides of its mouth again. On Monday, the nonprofit news organization ProPublica published a report stating that Facebook had intentionally disabled its ability to monitor political advertising on the platform – which doesn’t exactly sound like the transparency Mark Zuckerberg promised.

Apple really wants you to know that Apple News is dominating

Every product here is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps support our work. It turns out Apple products are good for more than just spying on people. In an otherwise dreary Jan.

Gmail’s app is about to look totally different

Gmail will soon be the latest major app to look really, really white. Google is is redesigning the Gmail mobile app to bring its look more in line with the desktop version. The updated look, which will be rolling out to iOS and Android “in the coming weeks,” ditches the app’s red color scheme for a more minimalist white backdrop.

Genius woman turns her AirPods into earrings so they won’t get lost

Apple AirPods may be more high-tech than old school wired headphones, but they’re way easier to misplace. Since they’re each about an inch and a half in length and not tethered to anything, losing AirPods is common.

Facebook’s plan to merge Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram raises data privacy concerns

It may be early days for Facebook’s plan to integrate Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram, but one regulator already wants answers. The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) has asked Facebook for an “urgent briefing” on the tech giant’s proposal, which will see the three apps continue separately – but have their backend infrastructure unified.

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