While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Jan 8

Twitter has reportedly made further staff cuts, in the company’s Dublin and Singapore offices. PHOTO: AFP

Twitter cuts more staff overseeing global content moderation

Twitter, under new owner Elon Musk, has made deeper cuts into its already radically diminished trust and safety team handling global content moderation, as well as to the unit related to hate speech and harassment, according to people familiar with the matter. 

At least a dozen more cuts on Friday night affected workers in the company’s Dublin and Singapore offices, according to the people, who asked not to be identified discussing non-public changes.

They included Nur Azhar Bin Ayob, the head of site integrity for Twitter’s Asia-Pacific region, a relatively recent hire; and Analuisa Dominguez, Twitter’s senior director of revenue policy.

Workers on teams handling the social network’s misinformation policy, global appeals and state media on the platform were also eliminated. 


Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg discourage China travel

Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg on Saturday discouraged non-essential trips to China, the world’s most populous nation, as it struggles with a surge in Covid-19 cases after relaxing strict virus restrictions.

“We currently discourage non-essential trips to China. The reason is a peak in Covid infections and an overwhelmed health system,” the German foreign ministry said on Twitter.

Neighbouring Belgium and Luxembourg were swift to follow suit.


Wagner boss wants Ukraine’s Bakhmut for ‘underground cities’

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The founder of Russia’s most high-profile mercenary group said on Saturday he wanted his forces and the regular Russian army to capture the small city of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine because it possessed “underground cities” that can hold troops and tanks.

Russia’s grinding more than five months-long push to try to take Bakhmut has puzzled some Western military analysts who have said that heavy losses incurred on the Russian side and the fact that Ukraine has built defensive lines to fall back to nearby mean any Russian victory there, if it happens, would be pyrrhic.

Mr Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group which is fighting in the battle of Bakhmut, set out in detail on Saturday why he thought its capture would be significant.


Mexico metro crash kills one, injures at least 23

Two metro trains collided in a Mexico City tunnel on Saturday, killing one person and injuring 23, authorities in the megacity of 20 million reported.

Local media reported the trains collided in a tunnel between the Potrero and La Raza stations on the north-south line three.

Mexico City mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said on Twitter that there had been one death and 23 people taken to hospital, updating an earlier tally of 16 injured.


Football: Newcastle shocked by third-tier club in FA Cup

Premier League high-flyers Newcastle United were shocked by third-tier Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday as they suffered a 2-1 away defeat to crash out of the FA Cup in the third round.

Newcastle, who sit third in the top flight, fell two goals behind as League One side Sheffield Wednesday’s Josh Windass netted twice in the second half.

Windass opened the scoring as he finished off an intricate move in the 52nd minute before doubling his side’s advantage when he coolly slotted past Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka later in the half after running through a gap in the middle of the defence.


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