Mark Zuckerberg loses $6 billion in just hours thanks to Facebook outage

News Network
October 5, 2021

Mark Zuckerberg’s personal wealth has fallen by more than $6 billion in a few hours, knocking him down a notch on the list of the world’s richest people, after a whistleblower came forward and outages took Facebook Inc.’s flagship products offline.

A selloff sent the social-media giant’s stock plummeting 4.9% on Monday, adding to a drop of about 15% since mid-September.

The stock slide on Monday sent Zuckerberg’s worth down to $121.6 billion, dropping him below Bill Gates to No. 5 on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He’s down from almost $140 billion in a matter of weeks, according to the index. 

On Sept. 13, the Wall Street Journal began publishing a series of stories based on a cache of internal documents, revealing that Facebook knew about a wide range of problems with its products — such as Instagram’s harm to teenage girls’ mental health and misinformation about the Jan. 6 Capitol riots — while downplaying the issues in public. The reports have drawn the attention of government officials, and on Monday, the whistleblower revealed herself.

In response, Facebook has emphasized that the issues facing its products, including political polarization, are complex and not caused by technology alone.

“I think it gives people comfort to assume that there must be a technological or a technical explanation for the issues of political polarization in the United States,” Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs, told CNN.

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News Network
October 17,2021

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An elderly woman could be seen running from one person to another screaming through the rain swept roads in this high range hamlet, located at the foothills of Western Ghats mountain ranges, on Sunday morning. "I have lost everything...everything in my life...where should I go?...who will give me a shelter?" the woman, clad in a tattered saree, asked aloud crying and running here and there.

The unexpected torrential rain, which pounded the village on Saturday, washed away every penny of her life time earnings and made her homeless all of a sudden. 

At least 15 people have been killed in Kerala as heavy rain triggered landslides in Idukki and Kottayam districts. Lord Ayyappa devotees have been asked to avoid visiting Sabarimala Temple today and tomorrow. The rescue ops are underway.

"I begged our Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan sir to give me two cents of land to construct a 'koora' (hut). I have nowhere to go. My daughters' houses are also submerged. Now I am going to the church to see whether I will get a place there," she told the journalists gathered at the place.

It was the story of many hapless families in Koottickal, located in Kottayam district of Kerala which suffered severe destruction and human casualty due to a series of landslips triggered by heavy rains yesterday.

When the extreme rains showed a slight dip this morning, a large number of people in this village could be seen as displaced and became the inmates of the rehabilitation campus. Many elderly villagers said it was for the first time in their decades-old life that they were seeing and experiencing such severe rainfall. A local shop owner here pointed to his new car, which can be seen as destroyed and partially hanging with its back wheels stuck on a broken wall in his house compound.

"It was my new car parked in front of the house. I was not at home when the flood water suddenly gushed inside the house compound Saturday afternoon. My wife and children somehow managed to run to the neighbour's house," the middle-aged man said. He turned a bit emotional showing the 'mundu' (dhoti) which he was wearing, saying that it was borrowed from the neighbour. Only life was saved and everything else was lost, he said adding that not even in the 2018 floods had he faced such a terrible situation.

The situation was not different in Kokkayar, a hilly hamlet in Idukki district as well, which also witnessed a series of landslips and human casualties on Saturday in incessant rains. A shocked Rajamma, a woman villager, was yet to believe that a four-member family including children, who were seen engaged in some construction activities near her home on the foothills of the hill, swept away by floodwaters in front of her eyes.

The elderly woman said she advised the family to move away from the place when water was seen coming down from the hilltops on a small scale. "But, they continued their work. Suddenly a portion of the hill, where they were standing, caved in... huge boulders started rolling down accompanied by a massive flood of water... I do not remember anything else," the teary-eyed woman said.

George, a middle-aged man engaged in rescue operations, said it was everything fine and calm in the village till 11 PM on Saturday. "But, the situation worsened after that. Around 10 big bridges and the same number of wooden bridges were washed away and the village became isolated soon," he added.

The Army, NDRF, police and the Fire Force along with the locals began rescue operations on Sunday morning at Koottickal and Kokkayar panchayats where over a dozen people are listed to be missing due to numerous landslides accompanied by heavy downpour since Saturday.

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News Network
October 17,2021

Bengaluru, Oct 17: Congress leader BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan has said JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy is not a politician, but a dealer, and he does not do any work without benefits.

"I have seen Kumaraswamy from close quarters. He does not do any work without seeking benefits. It is impossible for the JDS to win by-elections. He has fielded (Muslim) candidates to help BJP.

"It is not politics, it is a deal between JDS and BJP. Kumaraswamy does not do anything without a deal. He is a dealer," he told reporters late yesterday evening at the Bengaluru International Airport.

He was replying to a query on Kumaraswamy hitting out at Opposition Leader Siddaramaiah for orchestrating "political genocide" of Muslim leaders in Congress party.

Further turning on the heat against Kumaraswamy, Khan accused him of collecting money from Byrathi Suresh, an independent candidate, to defeat Iqbal Ahmed Saradagi in the legislative council polls in 2012.

"Who supported Byrathi Suresh? How much money was taken from him? With the help of ex-Chikkanayakanahalli MLA Suresh, the meeting was fixed at UB City flat. How much money was taken then? It was for defeating Saradagi, wasn't it? Doesn't he (Kumaraswammy) know? Siddaramaiah did not defeat Saradagi, but JDS who defeated him. Invite Kumaraswamy for a debate on this," he said.

Kumaraswamy had alleged Siddaramaiah was responsible for the defeat of Saradagi, a protege of senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, in the legislative council polls in 2012.

Kumaraswamy also had blamed Siddaramaiah for clandestinely working for Byrathi and defeating CK Abdul Rehman, the official candidate of the Congress and grandson of late CK Jaffer Sharief, in the byelection to Hebbal assembly constituency in 2016.

He also held Siddaramaiah responsible for the ouster of Roshan Baig from the party. "The only reason for doing this was that he had questioned the state leadership's poor performance in the last Lok Sabha elections," he added.

Baig himself had blamed Siddaramaiah for his suspension from Karnataka Congress.

Kumaraswamy also had rapped Siddarmaiah for insulting Tanvir Sait, who was making sincere efforts to empower the secular forces in the polity.

The supporters of Sait had protested against Siddaramaiah for serving their leader notice for attempting to forge an alliance with JDS for the Mysuru mayoral election in February this year.

Kumaraswamy had also blamed Siddaramaiah for the six years suspension of MA Salim who had linked KPCC President DK Shivakumar to an irrigation scam as a minister and defended VS Ugrappa who entertained his conversation.

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News Network
October 17,2021

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Makkah, Oct 17: The Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Makkah in Saudi Arabia operated at full capacity Sunday, with worshippers praying shoulder-to-shoulder for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Workers removed floor markings that guide people to social distance in and around the Grand Mosque, which is built around the Ka’aba, the black cubic structure towards which Muslims around the world pray.

"This is in line with the decision to ease precautionary measures and to allow pilgrims and visitors to the Grand Mosque at full capacity," reported the official Saudi Press Agency.

Pictures and footage on Sunday morning showed people praying side by side, making straight rows of worshippers that are formations revered in performing Muslim prayers, for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic took hold last year.

While social distancing measures were lifted, the authorities said visitors must be fully vaccinated against coronavirus and must continue to wear masks on mosque grounds.

Also, the Ka’aba remained cordoned off and out of reach.

Saudi Arabia announced in August it will begin accepting vaccinated foreigners wanting to make the umrah pilgrimage.

The umrah can be undertaken at any time and usually draws millions from around the globe, as does the annual hajj, which abled-bodied Muslims who have the means must perform at least once in their lifetime.

In July, only around 60,000 inoculated residents were allowed to take part in a vastly scaled-down form of the annual hajj.

The Covid-19 pandemic hugely disrupted both Muslim pilgrimages, which are usually key revenue earners for the kingdom that rake in a combined $12 billion annually.

Hosting the pilgrimages is a matter of prestige for Saudi rulers, for whom the custodianship of Islam's holiest sites is their most powerful source of political legitimacy.

The once-reclusive kingdom began issuing tourist visas permitting foreign visitors to undertake more than just the pilgrimages for the first time in 2019 as part of an ambitious push to revamp its global image and diversify income.

Between September 2019 and March 2020, it issued 400,000 of them -- only for the pandemic to crush that momentum as borders were closed.

But the kingdom is slowly opening up and has started welcoming vaccinated foreign tourists since August 1.

Saudi Arabia also announced that fully-inoculated sports fans will from Sunday be allowed to attend events at all stadiums and other sports facilities, reported SPA.

It has also been said that masks in most open spaces are no longer mandatory.

Saudi Arabia has registered over 547,000 coronavirus cases and 8,760 deaths.

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