The Top Stories on the Internet Today (Thursday June 20)

June 20, 2019

Here are today’s biggest headlines, picked from select sources.

An alleged ex-spy is upending Boris Johnson’s play for Prime Minister

The race to succeed Theresa May as British Prime Minister is entering its crucial stage. In the next two days, Conservative lawmakers will select two candidates to be paraded in front of the wider party membership for a final decision on who will take on the fateful (and twice fatal) Brexit chalice.

Trump relies on campaign nostalgia — and Hillary bashing — to launch 2020 bid

President Donald Trump revived the greatest political show on Earth on Tuesday night.

One in every 108 people has been displaced, says UN Refugee Agency

More than 70 million people have been forced to flee their homes due to violence or persecution, the United Nations has said, as the global migrant crisis pushed the number of displaced people to a new all-time high.

Hong Kong’s leader ‘sincerely sorry’ after record-breaking protests, but she’s not resigning

Hong Kong’s leader has issued a rare public apology in the wake of repeated record-breaking protests that called for the withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill with China.

Iran claims it dealt ‘heavy blow’ to US ‘spy network’

Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence said on Tuesday that the country has managed to “deal a heavy blow against America’s international spy network.”

Facebook’s new cryptocurrency has unexpected critics: Libras

No one was angry when Facebook named products Moments, Poke, Slingshot or Portal. But the name Facebook gave its new cryptocurrency has upset some members of a very specific group: people born between September 23 and October 22.

Richer countries have less faith in vaccines, survey finds

People living in high-income countries have the lowest confidence in vaccines, with around a fifth of people in Europe either disagreeing or are unsure of whether vaccines are safe, according to a new global survey.

California utility PG&E to pay $1 billion to local governments for a series of wildfires

A utility blamed for igniting deadly wildfires that killed dozens in California has agreed to pay $1 billion in damages to local governments for blazes linked to its power lines, poles and other equipment.

Boeing finds the first buyer for a 737 Max since its grounding

Boeing got a huge vote of confidence for its troubled 737 Max Tuesday as International Airlines Group announced it plans to buy 200 of the jets.

Low trust in vaccines ‘a global crisis’

Public mistrust of vaccines means the world is taking a step backwards in the fight against deadly yet preventable infectious diseases, warn experts. The biggest global study into attitudes on immunisation suggests confidence is low in some regions. The Wellcome Trust analysis includes responses from more than 140,000 people in over 140 countries.

MH17 crash investigators ‘to name four suspects’

Investigators probing the downing of a Malaysia Airlines jet in eastern Ukraine in 2014 will present new evidence later on Wednesday. The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is expected to name suspects and announce charges for the first time. Flight MH17 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down, killing all 298 on board.

Trump to meet Xi at G20 as trade war simmers

US and China will resume trade talks ahead of a meeting between their leaders at a G20 summit next week, US President Donald Trump has said. Mr Trump said on Twitter he had a “very good” call with Chinese President Xi Jinping and their teams would start talks before they met in Japan.

Boeing 737 Max boosted by BA-owner deal

Boeing has received a boost for its grounded 737 Max jet after British Airways-owner IAG signed a letter of intent to order 200 of the planes. The airline group said it was confident that the Boeing planes would return to service in the coming months.

Heathrow reveals expansion ‘masterplan’

Heathrow Airport will construct a third runway by 2026 and complete its expansion by 2050, according to its “masterplan” published on Tuesday. The plan includes diverting rivers, moving roads and rerouting the M25 through a tunnel under the new runway. Heathrow’s expansion has faced fierce opposition, but the airport says it has engaged with local communities and other stakeholders.

Could KFC’s vegan burger challenge chicken?

Jordan would normally choose KFC’s standard chicken fillet burger but the 32-year-old has come with a colleague from the Medway in Kent to try out the fast food chain’s temporary vegan addition to its menu. “It’s alright,” is his verdict on the “Imposter Burger”, although he could tell it wasn’t chicken.

Hands on the wheel with Tesla’s new in-car racing video game

Why not play a game while sitting and waiting for your electric vehicle to charge up? No, not on your phone. That’d be too easy. Instead, you can now use the very car you’re sitting in – well, if it’s a Tesla.

Over 30 million accounts watched ‘Murder Mystery’, according to Netflix

Netflix is known for keeping its viewership numbers a secret, sharing them rarely and typically only when the number is outrageously high. Like now. @NetflixIsAJoke, the official Twitter account for the company’s comedy projects, just announced that the recent Jennifer Aniston-Adam Sandler starrer Murder Mystery was viewed by around 30.9 million accounts in its first three days since premiering on June 14.

Inventor hacks up a perfectly good Tesla Model 3 and turns it into a pickup

Simone Giertz, the queen of shitty robots, modified her Tesla into a not-at-all-shitty pickup truck that she has dubbed “Truckla.” The YouTuber and inventor is known for creating useless robots that automatically smack people awake or chaotically try to apply lipstick. Her latest build, though, was a massive undertaking.

All the data self-driving cars take in from cameras looks like this

Self-driving cars are almost too observant, taking in information from light-emitting LiDAR sensors, radar equipment, microphones, and cameras. But all the information a car gleans from the outside world still has to be wrangled to be useful.

Man straps GoPro to a turtle and gets some incredible footage

Looks like Crush the turtle’s totally gnarly cousin is shooting some sick pond footage. But the credit truly goes to The Fish Whisperer, a YouTube channel full of one chill dude’s adventures feeding fish, being one with nature, and recently, hanging with some turtles.

Michelle Obama takes on James Corden in a celebrity-packed dodgeball game

You might not think you’d ever see Michelle Obama nailing Harry Styles in the groin with a dodgeball, but here we are. As part of his London-based edition of The Late Late Show, James Corden took on the former First Lady in a UK vs USA celebrity dodgeball game.

Facebook announces Libra cryptocurrency with a massive list of partners

Facebook’s cryptocurrency, and the company’s long-rumored, vast ambitions in the crypto space, are real. On Tuesday, the company announced Libra, a decentralized cryptocurrency that will allow users of Facebook and WhatsApp to easily send each other money and make online purchases. The news, however, is far bigger than that, transcending Facebook itself in several aspects.

Facebook’s Libra blockchain project: All you need to know

In the world of cryptocurrencies, big promises, names and numbers aren’t uncommon; at every corner, you’ll find well-funded projects that aim to change the very core of the world’s financial system. But a new project, called Libra, dwarfs even the most ambitious cryptocurrencies by the sheer power of the names involved as well as the project’s scope.

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