Facebook's profits hit $11.2 billion last year 

The giant company said in a recent statement that it attained a profit of $11.2 billion in the last three months of 2020, an increase of more than 50% from 2019. 

Facebook's revenue also rose 33% to roughly $28 billion during the quarter despite the pandemic, showing the stability of its core advertising business.

Criticism of Facebook's policies continue to rise 

Although Facebook's business continues to improve, it is facing accumulating examination from regulators over its acquisitions, and from critics, for the role, the platform may have played in circulating lies about the US presidential election.

During a call with analysts, CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg revealed that the social media platform plans to limit the amount of political content and press releases on its app. 

He added that most of the feedback the company has been receiving from its community is about politics. He said most of the Facebook community stated that they don't want politics and fighting to dominate their experience on the platform. 

Zuckerberg also said that Facebook plans to stop recommending civic and political groups to its users. 

Facebook's users increased by over 14% 

Facebook's subsidiaries- Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp- recorded over 3.3 billion monthly active users. The company experienced a growth of up to 14%.

Zuckerberg stated that 2020 was a good year for Facebook, as people and businesses increased their use of the app during the lockdowns caused by the pandemic. 

Facebook is currently handling the spread of harmful content on its platform. A tech watchdog group found that several posts promoting unrest during inauguration week disseminated on the site, despite its crackdown since the January 6 Capitol riots.

Dozens of states and the federal governments also sued Facebook last month, accusing the social media giant of using its influence in the digital marketplace to cause harm. They also accused the company of participating in anti-competitive behavior.

Jesse Cohen, a senior analyst at investing.com said in a statement that the continuous growth of Facebook despite the unfavorable publicity and antitrust cases shows that the giant tech company can't be stopped.

Facebook suspends Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu-linked chatbot

The social media platform-Facebook-recently deleted a post made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The tech giant also suspended a chatbot linked to his account, explaining that the chat violated the company's privacy policy. 

Facebook claims the message violated its privacy policy 

In a statement released by Facebook via a spokesperson, they explained that their privacy policy is against content that shares or asks for individuals' medical information.

The spokesperson for Facebook also added that Facebook removed the post that violated the rule, and temporarily suspended the Messenger bot for breaking the rules.

The message that allegedly violated the privacy rules was read automatically by visitors that clicked on a piece of link-sharing coronavirus information on the Prime Minister's Facebook page. 

The message claimed to come from Netanyahu himself and implored people to share the names and phone numbers of their friends or family members aged 60 or over that have not received the vaccine. The message concluded with the promise that the prime minister would talk to them himself.  

Israeli prime minister's office released a statement 

Netanyahu's Likud party released a statement in response to Facebook. The party said the message was formed to motivate Israelis over the age of 60 to get the vaccine and save their lives, and to prevent vaccine waste after the efforts of Minister Netanyahu to make sure the vaccine is available to the public.

The party also said in the statement that they are encouraging every Israeli to get vaccinated so that the country can open up the economy, and be among the countries to defeat the coronavirus.

Netanyahu, who is currently facing a fourth election-the second in two years, has made the results of Israel's vaccination program a prominent message in his re-election campaign. 

The success of the Israeli vaccination campaign has been covered in controversy after the country refused to vaccinate Palestinian citizens under its jurisdiction. 

According to United Nations experts, the Israeli's policy of immunizing only people with Israeli IDs is a form of discrimination.

32 people killed by suicide bombers in Baghdad 

A total of 32 and 110 people were killed and injured respectively after two suicide bombers triggered a bomb in a busy central located in central Baghdad.  

The attack is the first suicide attack by extremists in Baghdad in over two years.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks 

ISIS, the jihadist terrorist group, claimed responsibility for the attack on its official media channels. Iraqi President Barham Salih spoke against the attack in a tweet. 

He tweeted that the bomb attack by the extremists against the citizens of Baghdad shows that terrorist groups are against the national growth of Baghdad and the citizens of Baghdad. He also reiterated the country's stance against the actions of the extremists. 

The US embassy in Baghdad also released a statement on social media against the attack, describing the attack through its Facebook page as a disgusting and cowardly act that highlights the problems millions of citizens in Iraq face as a result of terrorism.

The statement closed with the embassy extending their good wishes to the families of the dead victims, and the families of the people currently hospitalized as a result of the attack. 

The suicide bombers attack was coordinated 

Security agents investigating the bombing said the attacks were coordinated and well planned. 

From their reports, the first bomber entered the marketplace and pretended to be sick to draw people around him. After people gathered, he blew himself up. During the confusion caused by the first bomber, the second terrorist then arrived at the scene on a motorbike before blowing up.

As a result of the terrorist attack, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi instantly ordered an important security meeting. The meeting was held at the Baghdad Operations Command Headquarters in Kadhimi and was attended by his top security officials. Kadhimi, the commander in chief of the Iraqi armed forces, has the support of the US.

Despite a substantial decrease in violence in Iraq recently, Iraq continues to have numerous armed groups and organizations.

Some of Iraq's armed groups have recently been accused of increasing attacks against US-occupied Baghdad the past year. The attacks, which are occurring as the country handles a coronavirus outbreak and economic turmoil, have increased the tension in the state.

Florida data analyst turns herself in after accusing Florida of falsifying coronavirus data 

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) said in a recent statement that a former Florida data analyst, famous for revealing that Florida hid the full impact of the coronavirus from the public, has agreed to present herself to the authorities. 

The FDLE added that the data analyst, Rebekah Jones, has been charged by the state with one count of violations. Her charges are reportedly very serious and could lead to serious jail time if she gets convicted.  

The Florida data analyst currently has the coronavirus 

After giving herself up to the Leon County Detention Facility, Rebekah Jones strode out of the jail after posting bail, an option that was available to her due to her positive coronavirus result. 

In a series of tweets, Jones clarified her conclusion to turn herself in to the authorities, after her arrest warrant was broadcasted by state officials.

In the tweets, she said the reason she was turning herself in was to protect her family and friends from the violence directed towards her from the state and to also show that she is ready to prove her innocence in court. 

She also tweeted that the governor of Florida will not win in his war against fairness, neither will he continue to threaten her.

Jones was fired after claiming Florida was falsifying coronavirus data 

According to Jones, she was fired from her job after she refused to fabricate COVID-19 data. The data analyst is part of the team that built the state's coronavirus dashboard, after which she became one of Florida's governor's harshest critics. She claimed that Desantis is at fault for the increasing death toll.

Florida state officials refuted her announcement, saying that Jones was dismissed because was rude to her bosses and changed the state's data portal without authorization or information from epidemiologists. 

After she was fired, Jones published her dashboard of Covid-19 stats in public. She said she had classified records from individuals who worked in the state's coronavirus screening labs. The records reportedly include proof that state officials lied in January (2020) about internal reports and notices from the CDC.

The UK witnessed a massive drop in the number of cars produced in the country 

The latest industry figures from the car manufacturing industry in the UK show that the number of new cars built in the country last year drastically reduced to just under 921,000, the lowest number since 1984.  

The society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders chief- Mike Hawes- when asked, said that the UK's car output was currently 920,928 vehicles, a 29.3% fall in 2019, making 2020 a dreadful year for the business.

Coronavirus pandemic contributed to the drop in output 

Mike Hawkes added that the pandemic forced car plants to close and contributed to the drop in consumer demand.  

He also added that the recent vaccine rollout by the UK government and EU trade deal has made car manufacturers hopeful about 2021's output.

He said their aim currently is to get used to the new manufacturing conditions, maneuver around the new custom burden caused by Brexit, and remain competitive at a global scale as they innovate new car products. 

Independent forecasters agree with Mike Hawkes, saying that forecasts show that UK car production will partly recover in 2021 by one million. 

The E.U remains the biggest UK car exports destination 

The EU remained the UK's biggest export destination in 2020, responsible for a 53.5% share in the number of cars sold, despite a 30.8% drop in the volume of cars sold to the continent.

Production for UK and export markets dropped by 30.4% in 2020. In ten UK-built cars, up to eight were sold abroad, which- according to the chief-shows there should be tariff-free trade with the EU.

In December, car output reduced by 2.3% to 71,403 vehicles. Car shipments to three major countries last year all reduced by 33.7% (The US), 21.6%(Japan), and 21.8% (Australia).  

Car exports to China increased by 2.3%. The ones going to South Korea got a 3.6% growth while the case was 16.7% to Taiwan. The rise is attributed to the fact that the Asian countries battled the coronavirus more successfully than their counterparts.

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