Today’s top stories from around the world: global, business and technology news for April 8, 2018.

Top News Stories

67-year-old Man Dies in Trump Tower Fire

Todd Brassner was found dead in his 50th floor apartment when a fire broke out. 6 firefighters sustained minor injuries. Cause of fire is unknown at this point.

Suspected Chemical Attack in Syria

Syrian activist groups the White Helmets, the Douma Coordination Committee and the Ghouta Media Center – alleged to be “terrorists’ media affiliates” by Syrian state news agency SANA – have reported that barrel bombs containing toxic gas were dropped on Douma by helicopters, leading to the deaths of “several dozen” people. SANA has denied all allegations, saying that the Syrian Arab Army “does not need to use any chemical materials” per the claims made by these groups.

Hungary Goes to Polls Today

Between 2010 and 2014 the Fidesz party led by Prime Minister Viktor Orban re-engineered the electoral system to guarantee their entrenchment as the governing party through various complex reforms in the system. As Hungary goes to polls today, will we witness the silent death of what was once a setting for competitive democracy?

Man in Van Rams into Crowd, Kills Two, Shoots Self in Germany

A psychologically disturbed man in Germany plowed his delivery van into some outside tables at a cafe in Münster, killing two and injuring at least 20 before taking his own life with a gun. The attack is not believed to be linked to any terrorist organization, and the man is thought to have attempted taking his own life recently. The van is believed to be registered in his name. German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a statement saying that “in light of the horrible incident in Münster, I’m deeply shocked. Everything possible is being done to investigate the act and support the victims and their families.”

15 Dead as Canadian Hockey Team Collides with Semi Trailer

At least 15 people were confirmed dead after the Canadian hockey team the Humboldt Broncos were traveling in a bus that collided with a semi trailer truck. The team members were between the ages of 16 and 21. The incident occurred in the province of Saskatchewan. The team was playing in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and were on their way to a game against the Nipawin Hawks. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that “an entire country is in shock and mourning,” and that “our national hockey family is a close one, with roots in almost every town – small and big – across Canada.”

Keystone Pipeline Leak Estimate Nearly Doubled from November

Back in November 2017 about 5,000 barrels of oil were estimated to have leaked from the Keystone oil pipeline between Canada and the United States. New estimates from the pipeline’s owners, Calgary-based TransCanada Corp., show that up to 9,600 barrels of oil may have leaked – nearly double the original estimate, making it one of the largest inland oil spills in the United States since 2010, when the Dilbit Disaster saw about 1 million U.S. gallons, or 3,800 cubic meters of heavy crude (diluted bitumen, hence dilbit) being spilled into a tributary of the Kalamazoo River. The biggest ever leak in the U.S. was in 1991, when about 1.7 million U.S. gallons of pressurized oil began to shoot out of a pipeline near Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

Business News

Facebook Suspends Canadian Political Consultancy AggregateIQ

Facebook on Friday suspended Canadian political consultancy AggregateIQ after suspecting that the company may have “improperly” accessed personal data of Facebook users. AggregateIQ has joined a growing list of companies whose accounts have been suspended pending internal investigations by Facebook into the data leak scandal that broke around Cambridge Analytica.

 

Dow Plummets 750 Points as Trade War Fears Continue

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) tumbled from 24,546 on Thursday to 23,781 on Friday night as tension continued to mount around a potential trade war between the U.S. and China. The biggest of the 30 losers in the index were Nike (NKE), Boeing (BA) and Caterpillar (CAT), all of which have heavy exposure in China.

March Hiring in the U.S. Slows, but Jobs Market Still Healthy

Only 103,000 jobs were added in the U.S. this March, the slowest gain after several months of relatively high growth. Other metrics such as stable unemployment rate (4.1%) and higher average hourly pay (2.7% over the prior year), however, indicate that the labor market is still healthy.

Technology News

Facebook to Introduce “Unsend Feature” in Messenger

Facebook users will soon be able to “Unsend” their messages. Until now, the option has been available to delete, but other readers can still view it. The feature will be made available on Facebook’s Messenger app “in a few months.”

Apple May be Working on a Curved iPhone, Touchless Gestures

Apple Inc. is rumored to be working on a curved iPhone, presumably in an attempt to “level-up” after the release of iPhone X last year. The device itself will not be curved: the curvature will be on the top and bottom edges, unlike Samsung’s Edge technology which features the curves on the lateral sides. Apple is also said to be working on introducing touchless gestures for a future iOS version. Both the curved phones and the touchless features are thought to be at least a couple of years away, says the Bloomberg report.

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