The Top Stories on the Internet Today (Wednesday February 13)

February 13, 2019

Here are today’s biggest stories.

Toyota is growing in China as its global rivals stumble

The biggest global automakers are having a terrible time in the world’s largest market with one notable exception: Toyota.

Chinese billionaire stripped of visa calls Australia ‘a giant baby’

A Chinese billionaire and political donor has called Australia a “giant baby,” after it revoked his permanent residency amid concerns over China’s growing foreign influence.

The US is stepping up pressure on Europe to ditch Huawei

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned European countries on Monday that using technology from Huawei could hurt their relationship with the United States.

At least 17 dead in New Delhi hotel fire

At least 17 people died in a fire that ripped through a budget hotel in the Indian capital New Delhi early Tuesday, police said.

The Venezuelan women selling their bodies to survive

As Venezuelan women flood across the Colombian border, desperate for work, many are finding there is only one job open to them: prostitution.

Katy Perry faces criticism over shoes that evoke blackface

First it was Prada. Then Gucci. Now, Katy Perry is being called out for creating fashion that evokes blackface.

Bonsai thief steals $118,000 of tiny trees, including 400-year-old juniper

Among the loot was a rare 400-year-old shinpaku tree, a star of the bonsai world, which was due to be entered in a Japanese beauty competition this month.

IBM’s AI debate computer loses to human champion

People are great at arguing. But a project from IBM shows that computers are getting quite good at it, too.

Deal aims to avert new US shutdown

Democrats and Republicans have reached an agreement in principle over border security to fund the US government and avert another partial shutdown. The agreement contains only a fraction of the money President Donald Trump wants for his promised border wall and does not mention a concrete barrier.

Cyber-bullying row rocks French media

Several French media executives have been suspended or fired for allegedly co-ordinating online harassment through a private Facebook group. The largely-male League du LOL (League of LOL) targeted women writers and feminist activists among others. Dozens of people have shared their experience of cyber-bullying by the group since it was uncovered by the French left-wing newspaper Libération.

Teen has vaccinations after asking Reddit

Ethan Lindenberger from Ohio asked social media site Reddit if he could have vaccines without parental consent. His mother would not give her permission, he wrote in the post, which had thousands of reactions. He learned he had to wait until he was 18 – which he did, and has now had five vaccinations so far.

Why so many people believe conspiracy theories

Did Hillary Clinton mastermind a global child-trafficking ring from a Washington pizzeria? No. Did George W Bush orchestrate a plot to bring down the Twin Towers and kill thousands of people in 2001? Also no. So, why do some people believe they did? And what do conspiracy theories tell us about the way we see the world?

How India’s single time zone is hurting its people

India’s single time zone is a legacy of British rule, and is thought of as a symbol of unity. But not everyone thinks the Indian Standard Time (IST) is a good idea. Here’s why. India stretches 3,000km (1,864 miles) from east to west, spanning roughly 30 degrees longitude.

The UK’s giant aircraft carriers

A century ago the UK started work on the world’s first purpose-built aircraft carrier. Soon the first jets will fly off the massive deck of her latest successor – the giant HMS Queen Elizabeth. Along with her sister ship, HMS Prince of Wales, they’re the largest warships ever to be built for the Royal Navy.

Russia plans to ‘unplug’ from internet

Russia is planning to briefly disconnect from the internet as part of planning for a future cyber-war. The test will mean data passing between Russian citizens and organisations stays inside the nation rather than being routed internationally. A law mandating technical changes needed to operate independently was introduced to Russia’s parliament last year.

Amazon will buy router company Eero to hook deeper into the home

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. Amazon just added another company to its growing smart home portfolio. The e-commerce giant is acquiring Eero, maker of the popular routers and mesh WiFi system of the same name.

LinkedIn finally rolls out video livestreaming service LinkedIn Live

LinkedIn is getting into the video livestreaming game. The social networking website built for business professionals has started rolling out a streaming service called LinkedIn Live, as first reported by TechCrunch . LinkedIn Live will be rolled out via invite-only to select U.S. users for this initial beta phase.

Oh, good, there’s a button you can press to tell your partner you’re horny

Since the dawn of time, people who aren’t terrible have been using words to ask other people to have sex with them. What if we could do away with all that and press a fuck button instead? A would-be product called LoveSync, which is mid-Kickstarter campaign at the moment, wants to do just that.

George Clooney goes darkly hilarious in irreverent ‘Catch-22’ trailer

That book you lied about reading in high school is finally coming to Hulu, and it’s all thanks to director and executive producer George Clooney. Based on Joseph Heller’s novel of the same name, Catch-22 is a six-part limited series capturing the “adventures and misadventures” of a U.S.

Google Assistant now lets you play HQ Trivia on demand

Google can now help you prepare for your next HQ trivia game. The search giant is teaming up with the creators of the popular trivia app HQ to create HQ University, a dedicated trivia game made for Google Assistant. The new game is now available in the Google Assistant app, Google Home speakers, and smart displays like the Home Hub.

Opera browser to bring built-in VPN on Android

Opera’s bringing back its VPN (virtual private network) service, albeit in a slightly different format. In 2016, the company launched a free VPN app for Android (followed by an iOS launch) but the app was discontinued last year. Soon, however, Opera will offer the free VPN service again, as part of its Opera browser for Android.

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