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To start off, we’re looking into:
US, China and Russia congratulate the Philippines’ “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
US President Joe Biden, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin are among the first world leaders to congratulate incoming President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. of the Philippines after he claimed a landslide victory this week.
As of Friday morning, more than 98% of precincts had reported votes, with Marcos Jr. receiving more than 58% of the vote and more than double the votes of his nearest rival, Leni Robredo.
US-Philippine relations have been on the rocks in recent years, but Biden said he looks forward to cooperating with Marcos Jr., and Xi wished a similar sentiment, despite long-standing disputes over the South China Sea.
Potential COVID cluster in Kennedy Town
Just as Hong Kong proceeds toward recovery from its deadliest COVID outbreak, sewage samples at a public housing residence in Kennedy Town (Sai Wan Estate) tested positive for high levels of the virus. This prompted lockdowns for all five blocks of the residential area.
Following this announcement, The University of Hong Kong’s Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine posted a warning of a potentially large virus cluster in the area on social media. They urged students and staff to refrain from going there, as it neighbors the school.
Findings are still at the beginning stages, so details of the extent of this growing cluster remain unknown for now.
TikTok sued over child’s death
TikTok is being sued by the family of a 10-year-old girl who died after trying the “Blackout Challenge,” a viral stunt where people choke themselves until they blackout.
The family of Nylah Anderson says that TikTok is guilty of marketing a defective product and negligence by allowing the videos of the dangerous stunt to be “thrust in front” of Anderson.
The lawsuit also calls the social media platform space the “digital wild west,” bringing into question what happens when social media companies are allowed to run amok.
It also lists a handful of other viral “challenges,” like the “Skullbreaker Challenge” and the “Benadryl Challenge,” which resulted in many children overdosing on the allergy medication.
Softbank’s highest-ever annual loss
SoftBank reported its highest-ever annual loss at its Vision Fund investment arm, which lost around 3.5 trillion yen (US$27 billion) net on investments for the year that ended in March.
A lot of these losses happened because of investments in tech companies that have had massive value drops recently. Many of CEO Masayoshi Son’s chosen investments were startups and high-growth tech companies, which is riskier. But the whole aim is, of course, that if one or two of them makes it real big, then the failed investments don’t matter.
Son explained that his personality tends to “play offense,” but he said in a press conference that now it’s time for the company to go on defense.
To end, we’ll look into:
PlayStation head’s disastrous email
We mentioned last week that abortion would be a hot topic in the corporate world, similar to the BLM movement after the Floyd murder, as employees demand leadership and companies to take a stance on the matter. Now, it seems as if it’s starting to divide companies.
According to Bloomberg, some staff at Sony were fuming on Thursday after PlayStation’s head Jim Ryan told employees via email to “respect differences of opinion” when it comes to abortion before proceeding to talk about his cats’ birthday … for five paragraphs … in an attempt to “share something lighthearted to help inspire everyone to be mindful of having balance that can help ease the stress of uncertain world events.”
One employee wrote that they’d “never been so mad about a cat birthday before.”
In other news …
↘️The crypto market lost US$200 billion in one day, according to Coinmarketcap. Safe havens like the US dollar have reached highs.
🇰🇵North Korea has said that it has detected its first COVID outbreak and has initiated a nationwide lockdown.
🇨🇳Panic-buying in Beijing is in full swing, even though authorities have insisted there will be no lockdown like in Shanghai.
🇺🇸Former defense secretary Mark Esper reveals in his forthcoming book that Donald Trump at least twice suggested the US “shoot missiles into Mexico to destroy the drug labs," adding that no one needed to know that it was the US.
🇰🇷South Korea said that the North fired three short-range ballistic missiles from the Pyongyang region toward waters off its east coast ahead of Biden’s visit to the South next week.
🌌This is the first picture of a supermassive black hole in the middle of our galaxy. It’s 4 million times the mass of our sun, and it’s called Sagittarius A*.
🇪🇸Spain has become the first European country to offer menstrual leave. Japan, Taiwan and South Korea have similar rules in place.
📧Twitter’s CEO sent an unsettling internal memo to its staff saying, among other things, that it would fire its consumer product head and head of revenue product. The company will also place a hiring freeze and pull back on spending in most areas, but there will be no layoffs.
⚡️Energy is hugely in demand right now, and with that, Saudi Aramco has surpassed Apple to become the most valuable company in the world.