XINHUA (China), BBC NEWS (UK), BLOOMBERG, REUTERS

Worldcrunch

SHANGHAI - Chinese authorities slaughtered more than 20,000 birds and closed a poultry market in Shanghai on Friday, due to the new H7N9 bird flu outbreak that has already killed six people over the past week.

State news agency Xinhua said the Huhuai market for live birds in Shanghai had been shut down and birds were being culled after health officials detected the H7N9 virus -- a form of avian flu not before seen in humans -- in pigeons at the market.

Six people have died in this latest outbreak, including four in Shanghai, BBC News reports. Although it is still unclear how the victims caught the disease, there is no sign yet of human-to-human transmission.

The news sent Hong Kong shares tumbling to a four-month low on Friday, on worries that the outbreak could cause an epidemic and hurt the local economy, according to Bloomberg.

The H7N9 virus brings back fears of widespread outbreak in China: In 2003, Chinese authorities initially tried to cover up an epidemic of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which emerged in the country and killed about 10 percent of the 8,000 people it infected worldwide, Reuters recalls.

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Ideas

How Facebook Knowingly Undermines The World's Largest Democracy

Facebook whistleblower Sophie Zhang says that the tech giant knowingly facilitates undermining democracy in India. Fair voting cannot be guaranteed if real people's voices are drowned out by armies of fake online commentators.

The Tek Fog app is allegedly used by online operatives to hijack social media

Sophie Zhang

-OpEd-

NEW DELHI — Earlier this month, The Wire published an exposé on Tek Fog, an app allegedly used by India's ruling, right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to make social engineering easier. The app is allegedly used by online operatives to hijack social media and amplify right-wing propaganda in the country.

The investigation immediately grabbed the attention of the Indian public. For the first time, everyday Indians were given insight into the inner workings of a major political party's Information Technology Cell (IT cell). Indians were forced to confront the possibility that their everyday reality was shaped not by the Indian public but the whims of shadowy political operatives.

They also discovered that their own ruling party would seek to phish their phones with spyware for the purpose of sending party-line propaganda impersonating them to friends and family. Such serious allegations more closely resemble an authoritarian dictatorship like the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and their hired online commentators, the 50 Cent Army (五毛党), than the world’s largest democracy.

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