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November 22, 2019

Twitter political ad ban comes into effect / FCC votes on Huawei security risk / Astronauts repair spectrometer during spacewalk

By Robert Scammell


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

Twitter political ad ban comes into effect

A ban on most political adverts on Twitter comes into effect today, following CEO Jack Dorsey’s announcement last month.

Twitter defines political ads as “content that references a candidate, political party, elected or appointed government official, election, referendum, ballot measure, legislation, regulation, directive, or judicial outcome”. Candidates, political parties or government officials will not be allowed to run ads of any kind.

The social media firm drew praise for its stance, which is in stark contrast to Facebook allowing political candidates to post demonstrably false political adverts. But despite Twitter’s plaudits, many pointed out that Twitter makes relatively little from political adverts, making it an easy PR win for the San Francisco-based firm.

FCC votes on designating Huawei a security risk

The US Federal Communications Commission holds its November 2019 open meeting, which is expected to include a vote on formally designating Huawei and ZTE as security risks.

The US alleges that the firms’ ties with the Chinese government make them a security threat, which the companies deny. A vote against the tech firms will mean federal money cannot be spent on Huawei and ZTE telecommunications gear.

It could also require carriers receiving federal money to remove existing Huawei and ZTE equipment from their networks.

The FCC meets in Washington at 10:30 EST (15:30 GMT).

ISS astronauts repair spectrometer during spacewalk

Two astronauts onboard the International Space Station will carry out a spacewalk today to continue repairs on the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer.

NASA flight engineer Andrew Morgan and European Space Agency commander Luca Parmitano will spend at least six and a half hours navigating the exterior of the ISS.

The spectrometer, which analyses cosmic ray events, was not designed to be serviceable from the outside of the space station, making the repairs even more challenging.

The spacewalk is expected to begin at 12:05 GMT.

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