NATION / WORLD BRIEFS September 30, 2021 | Local News
YouTube bans false vaccine claims
YouTube on Wednesday announced a sweeping crackdown on vaccine misinformation that kicked popular anti-vaccine influencers off its site and removed false claims that have been made about a range of vaccinations.
The video-sharing platform said it would no longer allow users to baselessly speculate that approved vaccines, like those given to prevent influenza or measles, are dangerous or cause disease.
YouTube’s latest attempt to stem a wave of vaccine misinformation comes as countries around the world struggle to convince a somewhat hesitant vaccine audience to agree to the free vaccinations that scientists say will end the pandemic of COVID-19 that started 20 months ago. The tech platform, which is owned by Google, previously tried to ban misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine last year, at the height of the pandemic.
“We have regularly seen false claims about coronavirus vaccines turn into misinformation about vaccines in general, and we are now at a point where it is more important than ever to expand the work we started with COVID- 19 to other vaccines. YouTube said in a blog post.
South Dakota lawmakers question Noem’s meeting with his daughter
SIOUX FALLS, SD – Republican and Democratic lawmakers in South Dakota said Wednesday they wanted more details from Gov. Kristi Noem’s administration on a meeting last year that included the governor, his daughter and employees of the state overseeing an agency that had decided to turn down her daughter’s candidacy to become a chartered real estate appraiser.
In response to the Associated Press report this week, the Legislative Assembly’s government operations and audit committee will consider the matter at its meeting in late October, according to committee chair State Senator Kyle Schoenfish. The Republican governor dismissed the report as an attack on his family, but lawmakers in his party said they wanted answers from his administration on what had happened.
Schoenfish, a Republican, said the committee was still working on the details of how it would deal with the issue. Republicans, who hold a super-majority in the Legislature, will ultimately determine the scope of the investigation.
The AP reported on Monday that Noem summoned to his office last year a state employee who was overseeing his daughter’s appraiser license application just days after the agency decided to deny him the license. . After the meeting, Noem’s daughter Kassidy Peters was not denied a license, according to the Ministry of Labor and Regulation. Peters finally received his certification four months later on November 25, 2020.
Ex-diplomat Kishida wins Japanese party vote to become new prime minister
TOKYO – Former Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida won the ruling party leadership election on Wednesday and is set to become the next prime minister, facing the task of reviving a pandemic-stricken economy and securing strong alliance with Washington to counter growing regional security risks.
Kishida replaces outgoing party leader Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who resigns after only one year of service.
As the new leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, Kishida is certain to be elected prime minister in parliament next Monday, where his party and coalition partner control both chambers.
In his victory speech, Kishida pledged to tackle “national crises” including COVID-19, the economy hit by the pandemic and declining population and birth rate. He said he would pursue “important issues relating to the future of Japan” through a vision of “a free and open Indo-Pacific” that thwarts China’s assertion in the region.
Lava from La Palma eruption finally reaches the Atlantic
LOS LLANOS DE ARIDANE, Canary Islands – A river of bright red lava from the volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma eventually tumbled over a cliff and into the Atlantic Ocean, unleashing huge plumes of steam and possibly gas poisons that forced local residents out of the evacuation area to stay indoors on Wednesday.
The immediate area had been evacuated for several days as authorities waited for the lava that began to erupt on September 19 to cross 6½ kilometers (four miles) to the edge of the island. Descending from the volcanic ridge of Cumbre Vieja, lava flows engulfed at least 656 buildings, mostly houses and farm buildings, in its unstoppable march to the sea.
The meeting of molten rock and sea water finally took place at 11 p.m. on Tuesday. At dawn, a widening promontory of newborn earth could be seen forming under plumes of steam rising high in the area.