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October 10, 2018updated 09 Oct 2018 5:42pm

European Parliament talks Cambridge Analytica / Monsanto challenges cancer verdict / US and Russia discuss ISS

By Luke Christou

Good morning, here’s your Wednesday morning briefing to set you up for the day ahead. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

European Parliament talks Cambridge Analytica

The European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs will meet today to discuss the use of Facebook user data by political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.

Led by committee chair Claude Moraes, the committee will discuss how user data was misused in the case, before voting on a motion for resolution.

It came to light in March this year that Cambridge Analytica had purchased and used the data of 87 million Facebook users to influence votes in the lead up to political elections using targeted advertisements on social media platforms.

The revelation saw $34bn wiped off of the social media giant’s value. Likewise, Cambridge Analytica was forced to declare bankruptcy and shut its doors.

Monsanto challenges cancer verdict

A hearing will take place today at the San Francisco Supreme Court, as agrochemical company Monsanto continues to challenge the $289m fine imposed on it in August.

A judge previously ruled that chemicals found in the company’s weed killers, Roundup and Ranger Pro, could cause cancer if frequently used over a long period of time. It was found to have caused non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, an uncommon cancer, in one customer, who was subsequently awarded $289m in compensation.

Monsanto claims that there was insufficient evidence in the previous trial and is asking the judge to overturn the verdict, begin a retrial, or reduce the amount of compensation awarded.

Despite the case, German pharmaceutical company Bayer completed a $66bn acquisition of Monsanto in June.

US and Russia discuss ISS

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin will meet in person for the first time to discuss the future of the International Space Station (ISS) after a leak was discovered in the hull of a Russian capsule attached to the station in September.

The pair have had limited contact since they both took on their roles in the first half of 2018. However, Bridenstine has stressed that they have a “positive” relationship, despite current tensions between Russia and the western world.

The meeting, which will take place in Kazakhstan today, was confirmed by NASA last week.

It comes a day ahead of the Soyuz MS-10 mission, which will see an American and Russian astronaut travel to the ISS on-board a Russian-made Soyuz spacecraft.


Yesterday’s highlights

Driverless and electric cars dominate at Paris Motor Show 2018

Google Plus shutting down is a “murky way to save face”

Ada Lovelace Day 2018: Three women in STEM give their advice

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