31 Jan 2020

What we're reading this week — January 31, 2020

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Coronavirus cases have popped up around the world, stirring anti-Chinese racism on social media. Holocaust survivors discuss their experiences at Auschwitz, 75 years after the liberation of the death camp. Job cuts at the BBC and News Corp. launches a news aggregator to rival Facebook and Google.

These are some of the stories that caught our attention this week.

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Coronavirus map tracks the spread of the virus across the world

ABC News

Johns Hopkins University has set up a map visualising confirmed cases of the virus, which originated in Wuhan. The ABC explores the tool’s use and limitations.

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I experienced anti-Chinese racism during SARS. But with coronavirus scare, social media makes it so much worse

Toronto Star / Evelyn Kwong

“To many Asian Canadians, this comes as no surprise. We’re often all lumped together, and the idea of ‘yellow peril’ — a racist stereotype that generalizes Asians as unsanitary, lower-class, and alien — is embedded in our nation’s history.”

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TNI to aid Australia in fighting bushfires

The Jakarta Post / Dian Septiari

Indonesia’s military is set to send aid personnel to Australia to support the bushfire recovery efforts.

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One year inside Trump’s monumental Facebook campaign

The Guardian / Julia Carrie Wong

An investigation of 218,100 ads shows how much the campaign spent in 2019 on social media ads — $US20 million.

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Why Democrats still have to appeal to the centre, but Republicans don’t

The New York Times / Ezra Klein

Both parties have polarised, in very different ways. What will be the consequences for US politics?

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75 years after Auschwitz liberation, survivors urge world to remember

NPR / Rob Schmitz

The Soviet army liberated the largest Nazi extermination camp 75 years ago. Now, survivors fear the horrors of the Holocaust will be forgotten.

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A radical experiment, at an uncertain time, for BBC News

BBC / Amol Rajan

This week the BBC announced it would cut 450 jobs as it moves away from traditional broadcasting towards digital audiences. The cuts come at a time when the Beeb is under financial strain, is struggling to connect with younger Brits and the licence fee is under political pressure.

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Q&A: Jason Rezaian on Kylie Moore-Gilbert’s nightmare in Iran

The Interpreter / Daniel Flitton

A former Washington Post correspondent, Rezaian spent 544 days in an Iranian prison. He says Australia should be pushing harder for the release of jailed academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert.

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News Corp. launches news aggregation site Knewz to counter Facebook, Google

Reuters / Helen Coster

News Corp launched its free new aggregation service, Knewz, this week. It aims to provide an alternative to Google and Facebook.

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Washington Post clears reporter who tweeted link to Kobe Bryant rape allegations

The Washington Post / Paul Farhi

WashPo journalist Felicia Sonmez was placed on administrative leave after tweeting a story referencing rape allegations against the basketballer from 2003, soon after Bryant and his daughter died in a helicopter crash. After a brief investigation, the reporter was reinstated.