EU hosts donors conference / Cambridge University researcher testifies on Facebook data scandal / Metro Bank boss faces shareholder revolt

By Billy

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

European Union hosts donors to raise $6 billion for aid in Syria

Governments are hoping to raise $6 billion in aid for Syria at a two-day donor conference in Brussels beginning today.

The European Union — which is hosting the donor conference — is hoping it can also offer Russia, Turkey, and Iran a chance to renew peace efforts.

Some 85 governments and non-governmental agencies are expected to raise funds for humanitarian aid, limited reconstruction and de-mining of shattered cities in the war-torn country.

This will be the third such donor conference after London hosted it in 2016 and then in Brussels last year.

Cambridge University researcher testifies on Facebook data scandal

The researcher at the centre of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal Aleksandr Kogan will testify in the UK about fake news and social media today.

Questions are likely to hang on the period leading up to the UK’s vote to quit the European Union and how advertisers might have used Facebook user data to influence the vote.

Kogan yesterday told BuzzFeed News he is “not a Russian spy” as he attempts to play down his role in the scandal.

In an interview yesterday with CNBC, Kogan called Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg a hypocrite after Zuckerberg, in testimony before US Congress earlier this month, said Kogan’s actions were not acceptable.

You can watch Kogan’s testimony live from 10:30am London time here.

Metro Bank founder and chairman faces shareholder revolt at AGM

The founder and chairman of UK challenger bank Metro Bank will face a shareholder revolt today at the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) amid questions over payments to his wife’s company and his use of a £120,000 per year travel allowance.

Vernon Hill has come under increasing pressure as both shareholder Royal London Asset Management and investment adviser Glass Lewis urged investors to oppose his re-appointment.

Metro Bank has paid £21 million to an architecture firm run by Hill’s wife Shirley Hill since 2010, according to the bank’s financial statements.