The Top Stories on the Internet today (Tuesday February 12)

February 12, 2019

Here are today’s top stories.

US warships again challenge Beijing’s claims in South China Sea

The United States sailed two warships close to disputed islands in the South China Sea on Monday (Sunday night, ET), a move that is bound to draw the ire of Beijing.

Massive insect decline ‘catastrophic’ for planet

Insect populations are declining dramatically worldwide due to pesticide use and other factors, with a potentially “catastrophic” effect on the planet, a study has warned.

Grammys 2019: Kacey Musgraves has a golden night with album of the year win

It was more than just a golden hour for country singer Kacey Musgraves; she had a golden night.

Virginia politics in chaos: Live updates

What we’re covering here What we’re covering here Pressure on Fairfax ramps up: Key supporters are calling for the Lieutenant governor’s resignation after a second woman accuses him of sexual assault. Fairfax has denied both allegations. Northam hangs on: One week ago, fellow Democrats thought the governor of Virginia would resign over a racist yearbook photo.

BAFTAs 2019: Best fashion on the red carpet

The British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) serve as the film industry’s last major red carpet event before the grand finale, the Oscars, later this month. Due to a calendar clash with the Grammys in Los Angeles, Lady Gaga, one of this season’s big fashion winners, was notably absent from London’s Royal Albert Hall on Sunday.

Nearly 100 children dead from Ebola in DRC as crisis worsens

Nearly one hundred children have died since the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) started last year — and the crisis is gathering pace, with the number of new cases doubling last month, according to charity Save the Children.

Turkey condemns China’s ‘torture and political brainwashing’ in Xinjiang

Turkey has denounced Beijing’s controversial mass “re-education” camps in China’s western region of Xinjiang, calling them a “great shame for humanity.”

US shutdown talks stall ahead of deadline

Talks between US Republicans and Democrats to reach a border security agreement and avoid another government shutdown have stalled, reports say. Negotiators had wanted a deal by Monday to give Congress time to pass legislation by Friday, when last month’s federal funding deal runs out.

Reddit backlash over ‘China tech funding’

A reported investment by Chinese tech giant Tencent in Reddit has sparked a backlash on the popular community news site over censorship fears. Last week reports said that Tencent would be investing $150m (£115m) into the platform. China has a strict internet censorship regime known as the Great Firewall and Reddit is among the sites it blocks.

US blackface governor ‘not going anywhere’

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has vowed he is “not going anywhere” despite calls for him to resign after admitting he had worn blackface. He told Gayle King on CBS that he had balanced those calls against “what Virginia needs right now”. He denies having been in a racist photograph on his page in his 1984 medical school yearbook.

‘I stole £30,000 from my mum to make millions’

The BBC’s weekly The Boss series profiles different business leaders from around the world. This week we speak to serial technology entrepreneur Andrew Michael. When Andrew Michael was 17 he gambled on changing his life by spending £30,000 on his mother’s credit card without her knowledge.

Two die in crash after police pursuit

Two people were killed in a car that drove down the wrong side of the road and hit a coach following a lengthy police pursuit in west London. The man and woman died on the A40 in Acton, at about 21:00 GMT on Sunday.

China’s hidden camps

China is accused of locking up hundreds of thousands of Muslims without trial in its western region of Xinjiang. The government denies the claims, saying people willingly attend special “vocational schools” which combat “terrorism and religious extremism”. Now a BBC investigation has found important new evidence of the reality.

Defiant Leaker Amid White House Probe Reveals Trump Still Ticking Off ‘Executive Time’

Despite a reportedly intense White House investigation to unmask the individual who spilled Donald Trump’s private daily schedules to the media, a defiant leaker has popped up again to reveal the president is still spending about half of his days in unstructured “executive time,” Axios reported.

400 Richest Americans Own More Than 150 Million Of The Nation’s Poorest: Study

A new study of the intensifying concentration of wealth in the United States reveals that the 400 richest people in the nation – just .00025 percent of the population – own more than the 150 million adults in the bottom 60 percent, according to an analysis by The Washington Post.

Disney’s Live-Action ‘Aladdin’ Trailer Reveals Will Smith’s Genie; Laughs Ensue

An extended look at the live-action iteration of Disney’s ” Aladdin ” aired during Sunday night’s Grammy Awards, and it’s shining, shimmering, splendid! We learned about the Guy Ritchie-directed film last year and that Will Smith had signed on as the hilariously silly Genie.

Jada Pinkett Smith Stuns At Grammys With A Train Sweeping Twitter Off Its Feet

Jada Pinkett Smith shined on the 2019 Grammys red carpet in a pink feathery dress that left Twitter abuzz on Sunday evening. The “Girls Trip” actress walked the red carpet before the Grammys ceremony donning a low-back gown with a long, feathered train. Clearly, Twitter users were swept away: Jada Pinkett-Smith looks TF GOOD.

Paris is suing Airbnb for illegal listings

Paris is one of the most popular destinations for Airbnb, but the city’s authorities are at odds with the company. The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, announced on Sunday the city would be suing Airbnb to the tune of $14 million, due to the alleged listing of 1,000 illegal rentals.

Oh whew, the new ‘Aladdin’ trailer has a real blue Genie

The new trailer for Disney’s live action ‘Aladdin’ shows awesome new footage, including the Cave of Wonders, Abu, and a truly blue Will Smith as the genie.

Michelle Obama gave a speech at the Grammys and everyone went absolutely wild

When you’ve got an event that’s already jam-packed with celebrities, it’s no easy feat to find a surprise guest who’s famous enough to get the crowd truly excited. Enter Michelle Obama. The former First Lady made an appearance during Sunday’s Grammy Awards, walking on stage hand-in-hand with Jada Pinkett Smith, Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys and Jennifer Lopez.

Trump appears to mock Elizabeth Warren with genocide joke and people are livid

It’s rare to see President Trump reference American history, but when he does, it’s normally either (1) wrong or (2) evil. Consider his tweet on Saturday, which mocked Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren using a racist slur and then seemingly referenced the Trail of Tears, the 19th century Native American genocide.

Facebook just bought a furniture shopping startup

Facebook has acquired GrokStyle, a shopping startup that uses AI to help you buy furniture and other items for the home. The move, which was reported by Bloomberg, is the latest sign yet that the social network is looking to push deeper into e-commerce in 2019.

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