The Top Stories on the Internet Today (Wednesday August 12)

August 12, 2020

Here are today’s top stories.

Putin says Russia has approved ‘world first’ Covid-19 vaccine. But questions over its safety remain

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the approval of a coronavirus vaccine for use on Tuesday, claiming it as a “world first,” amid continued concern and unanswered questions over its safety and effectiveness.

New Zealand reinstates coronavirus restrictions after first locally-transmitted case in 102 days

New Zealand has reintroduced coronavirus restrictions in parts of the country after new locally transmitted cases broke the 102-day streak the country had gone without recording a local infection.

Previous vaccines and masks may hold down Covid-19, some researchers say

As US leaders work to control the spread of coronavirus, researchers across the country — and globe — are working to answer the mysteries that remain around infections.

Analysis: Hong Kong’s security law is transforming the city even faster than expected

It’s been less than six weeks since a security law banning secession, subversion and collusion came into force in Hong Kong. But it’s already having a dramatic effect on the city’s political, media and online spheres.

How one man and his cellphone in Canada rescued a group of Africans stuck in China because of the coronavirus pandemic

Johannesburg (CNN) – Even for 2020, with its once-in-a-generation global pandemic and the countless travel bans that have followed, this rescue mission seems a bit far-fetched.

Trump postpones G7 summit until after US election

President Donald Trump said Monday that he will look to postpone the G7 meeting until after the election in November, after a previous delay due to Covid concerns.

Analysis: How Donald Trump has already handed Joe Biden a debate win

President Donald Trump has made his view of Joe Biden’s mental state and capacity very, very clear.

After nine years as CEO of Apple, Tim Cook is now a billionaire

Apple CEO Tim Cook has become a billionaire as he nears a decade at the helm of the world’s most valuable company.

The earth was once home to ‘terror crocodiles’ nearly the size of city buses

A new study has shed more light on gigantic “terror crocodiles,” that once roamed the world and preyed on dinosaurs with teeth “the size of bananas.”

Beirut protests continue despite PM’s resignation

Protests have taken place for a third consecutive night in Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, amid mounting anger over the devastating explosion a week ago that reportedly killed more than 200 people. Clashes broke out near the parliament building, with demonstrators throwing fireworks and police firing tear gas. Hours earlier, the Lebanese cabinet submitted its resignation.

Putin: Russia’s Covid-19 vaccine approved for use

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said a locally developed vaccine for Covid-19 has been given regulatory approval after less than two months of testing on humans. Mr Putin said the vaccine had passed all the required checks, adding that his daughter had already been given it.

UK employment falls by biggest amount in a decade

Employment in the UK fell by the largest amount in over a decade between May and July, official figures show. Employment decreased by 220,000 on the quarter, said the Office for National Statistics. This was the largest quarterly decrease since May to July 2009, it added.

Uber and Lyft drivers are employees, says US judge

Ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft must classify their drivers as employees rather than freelancers, a judge in California has ruled. The firms have 10 days to appeal against a preliminary injunction. The work status is controversial. Gig economy firms say it means drivers can work on their own terms, while critics say they have no protection.

The city that became an open-air café

“It’s the fourth morning in a row that I’m cleaning and collecting hundreds of scattered outdoor tables into a pile,” complains Asta Baškauskaitė as she cleans up the square near Halės Market in the Old Town area of the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius.

Google Pixel 4a review: A worthy Android alternative to the iPhone SE

All products featured here are independently selected by our editors and writers.If you buy something through links on our site, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission. Mashable Choice is a badge of honor, reserved for the absolute best stuff you can see, use, or do. If it’s Choice, it’s worth your time.

Remember voice tweets? Lmao.

Back in the day, and by “the day” I mean June 2020, Twitter launched a new feature that allows people to record and tweet audio clips of their own voices. For a day or two, my timeline was flooded with annoying and painfully unfunny audio bits.

Trevor Noah says we should *actually* put Trump on Mount Rushmore

On Aug. 9, Donald Trump tweeted that he thought it would be a “good idea” to add his face to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, alongside the heads of former presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.

Twitter is testing a new ‘Quotes’ counter

Twitter might make it easier for users to view quote retweets. The social network confirmed to The Verge over the weekend that it’s testing a new feature. For some people, quote retweets now appear as “Quotes” under tweets, with their own counter, similar to how the number of retweets and likes are displayed.

Facebook internal investigation finds millions of members in QAnon groups

Facebook officially has a QAnon problem. An internal investigation carried out by the social networking giant found that Facebook groups related to the far-right conspiracy theory QAnon are racking up millions of members on the platform. According to documents provided to by a Facebook employee, the company’s investigation discovered thousands of QAnon pages and groups on the site.

Twitter is apparently interested in buying TikTok, too

The race to buy the U.S. side of TikTok before the app is banned in the states has an interesting new competitor: Twitter. Reuters reported on Saturday that the popular microblogging platform has spoken to TikTok’s parent company ByteDance about a possible sale. ByteDance has 43 days to agree to sell the U.S.

Facebook bans troll farm running fake pro-Trump accounts like ‘BlackPeopleVoteForTrump’

Here come the fake social media accounts trying to sway the 2020 U.S. election. A foreign troll farm masquerading as African-American supporters of President Donald Trump was kicked off Facebook on Thursday. The troll farm, which has been traced back to Romania, was linked to hundreds of pro-Trump accounts, according to NBC News.

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