Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russian forces have completely destroyed the eastern Donbas region, describing the area where the Kremlin has focused its latest offensive as “hell.”

North Korea’s COVID-19 outbreak soared to nearly 2 million by Thursday, exactly a week after the Hermit Kingdom admitted its very first case.

The secretive nation — which until last week dubiously claimed to have completely escaped COVID for two and a half years — confirmed 262,270 more cases on Thursday. 

That took the tally to more than 1.98 million sickened with a fever, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

However, experts believe the tally is likely far higher given the isolated nation’s lack of testing abilities — with the death toll also likely to rocket due to the lack of key medical supplies and intensive care units.

The outbreak started in late April and spread after despot Kim Jong Un oversaw a huge parade marking the 110th birth anniversary of his state-founding grandfather, South Korea’s Newsis agency said, citing lawmakers briefed by Seoul’s spy agency.

A doctor checks a resident's temperature.

The U.K.’s Defense Ministry, meanwhile, expects Russia to quickly redeploy forces to Donbas once the strategically important port city of Mariupol has been secured. The ministry says Russian commanders are under pressure to quickly make gains elsewhere and there is a risk that troops will be redistributed without adequate preparation.

U.S. President Joe Biden says Finland and Sweden both have his “full backing” in their bids to become members of the NATO military alliance.

A new bipartisan proposal takes aim at Google and would force it to break up its digital advertising business if passed.

The Competition and Transparency in Digital Advertising Act was introduced Thursday by a group of key senators on the Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust: the ranking member and chair, Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., as well as Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.

Advertising is a huge part of parent company Alphabet’s business. In Q1, Alphabet reported $68.01 billion in revenue, $54.66 billion of which was generated by advertising — up from $44.68 billion the year prior.

The bill would ban companies that process more than $20 billion annually in digital ad transactions from participating in more than one part of the digital ad process, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news.

Google infamously has a hand in multiple steps of the digital ad process, a business that has become the focus of a state-led antitrust lawsuit against the company. Google runs an auction, or exchange, where ad transactions are made and also runs tools to help companies sell and buy ads. If the new legislation passed, it would have to choose in which part of the business it would want to remain.

“When you have Google simultaneously serving as a seller and a buyer and running an exchange, that gives them an unfair, undue advantage in the marketplace, one that doesn’t necessarily reflect the value they are providing,” Lee told the Journal in an interview. “When a company can wear all these hats simultaneously, it can engage in conduct that harms everyone.”

“Advertising tools from Google and many competitors help American websites and apps fund their content, help businesses grow, and help protect users from privacy risks and misleading ads,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement. “Breaking those tools would hurt publishers and advertisers, lower ad quality, and create new privacy risks. And, at a time of heightened inflation, it would handicap small businesses looking for easy and effective ways to grow online. The real issue is low-quality data brokers who threaten Americans’ privacy and flood them with spammy ads. In short, this is the wrong bill, at the wrong time, aimed at the wrong target.”

The coalition behind the bill underscores the way support for reining in tech power through antitrust reform cuts across ideological lines. It’s also notable that Lee, the top Republican on the subcommittee, led the bill, given he has opposed some of the other antitrust reforms on the table from Klobuchar and others.

Klobuchar, as chair of the subcommittee, has led an effort to get competition reforms passed this year. So far, two major bills have stood out as having a fighting chance of becoming law if Congress moves on them in time: the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, which would prevent dominant platforms from favoring their own products over those of competitors that rely on their services, and the Open App Markets Act, which would have a similar impact but focuses on app stores like those from Apple and Google. Lee supported the latter, but not the former, during committee votes.

WATCH: Here’s why some experts are calling for a breakup of Big Tech after the House antitrust report

missing hiker was found dead, his dog alive and lying next to him, in rugged forest in north-central Arizona five days after reporting he was lost, authorities said Thursday.

Searchers found the body of Donald Hayes on Wednesday near Mingus Mountain after six days of looking for the 74-year-old Prescott Valley man, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

Hayes had called his wife to ask her to report to authorities that he was lost, which triggered six days of air and ground searching, the office said.

Hayes was advised to remain where he was to await rescue, the office said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the victim decided against the advice and tried to find his way out, causing him to become lost further in the forest.”

The rugged area where Hayes’ body was found was difficult for searchers to reach but they were able to do so Wednesday, the office said.

Hayes took his dog, Ranger, with him on the hike and the dog, after being found lying next to Hayes’ body, was taken to an animal hospital for treatment before being returned to Hayes’ wife, said Kristin Greene, a sheriff’s spokesperson.

Hayes’ cause of death wasn’t immediately determined, but the adult dog “was more than likely very dehydrated and malnourished,” Greene said.

Hayes and the dog were found about six miles (nearly 10 kilometers) in straight-line distance from a trailhead but more than twice in hiking distance because of the terrain, Greene said. “He was definitely far, far away from civilization.”

The searchers included crews from four counties and a state police helicopter.

“I thank all the volunteer search and rescue teams and others who gave of their time for six days to locate the victim and bring him home” Sheriff David Rhodes said. “Our searchers utilized every tool at their disposal to find Mr. Hayes and never gave up”.

Mingus Mountain is 86 miles (108 kilometers) north of Phoenix.

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.