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News Daily: Facebook faces Congress and Russia warns US over Syria

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Facebook gets a grilling

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Mark Zuckerberg faced five hours of questioning by US senators on Tuesday and he certainly appeared contrite. Facebook's boss apologised for allowing several other firms to exploit users' personal data for political ends, and promised to investigate whether any other apps had accessed data in a similar way to Cambridge Analytica. He even said he would welcome the "right regulation" to tighten up privacy provisions.

The billionaire also said sorry for Facebook's slowness at uncovering and acting against disinformation campaigns by Russian trolls during the US election. He said the social network was in an "arms race" with Russian operators seeking to exploit it.

But if Congress was hoping to leave Mr Zuckerberg battered, they may have been disappointed. Markets reacted favourably to his performance, and as the BBC's reporters watching put it, he almost seemed to enjoy himself at times. You can read their full coverage here.

Our North America technology correspondent Dave Lee, though, thinks Mr Zuckerberg won't be so relaxed if senators press ahead with the aforementioned regulation and seek to go beyond fairly narrow controls on political campaigning.

Here are the key moments of his appearance - stay tuned for the second day of his trip to Capitol Hill.

Russia warns Washington

The Syria crisis deepens. On Tuesday, Russia used its United Nations security council veto to block a US-drafted resolution calling for an independent investigation into the alleged chemical attack in Douma. Moscow also warned the US to avoid the use of force, saying Washington would "bear responsibility" for any "illegal military adventure" it carries out. Western leaders, led by Donald Trump, have promised to respond strongly to what happened.

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Save the Children in the spotlight

The Charity Commission is to investigate how Save the Children dealt with allegations of misconduct and harassment against its staff, saying it's concerned whether the charity had "adequately reported the full extent and nature" of claims. Save the Children came under scrutiny earlier this year after it disclosed evidence of "unsafe behaviour" towards staff, and an ex-chief executive apologised after three women made allegations.

Not open for business

The UK High Street is having a tough time and now research suggests new stores are opening at their lowest rate in seven years. The Local Data Company found there were 4,083 openings in 2017 and 5,855 closures, meaning a total of 1,772 shops disappeared. Clothing and shoe shops fared worst, while the number of beauty salons, coffee shops, ice-cream parlours and bookshops increased.

Here are six reasons behind the High Street crisis and some possible solutions.

Why the raid on Trump's lawyer is a big deal

By Anthony Zurcher, BBC North America reporter

The FBI has raided the office, home and hotel room of Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's long-time personal lawyer, business adviser and fixer-of-uncomfortable-problems. Now Mr Cohen himself has become the uncomfortable problem. There's basically no precedent for this sort of action in modern US presidential politics. And Mr Trump's response - an unprompted, extended tirade that used the word "disgrace" or "disgraceful" nine times - hints that the president is concerned… and angry. Here are a few reasons why the Cohen raid is a significant development.

Read the full article

What the papers say

The Syrian crisis dominates the headlines once again. The Times says Theresa May is resisting calls to join military action until more evidence is produced, but the Telegraph thinks she has given her "strongest signal yet" that Britain would support a military strike. The Sun backs such action, arguing that memories of Iraq should not be allowed to paralyse foreign policy forever. The Daily Mirror accepts "doing nothing is not an option", but urges the government to seek the approval of Parliament "before being sucked into another unpredictable conflict". On Facebook, the Guardian says it faces a class action lawsuit over alleged data misuse. The papers also enjoy a story about a seal who ended up in a field 50 miles from the sea.

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Daily digest

Private hospitals Regulator concerned about some surgeons.

Missing Five athletes "desert" Commonwealth Games.

Abortion clinic Buffer zone to be imposed.

Child amputees Funding boost for prosthetics.

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Reality Check: Is police funding falling?

Lookahead

Today The Commonwealth Games continue with Jack Laugher in the diving and Maria Lyle in the T35 100m leading the home nations charge.

On this day

1981 Rioting erupts in Brixton, south London, following the arrest of a black man. In the end nearly 300 police officers and 65 civilians were injured during three days of disturbances.

From elsewhere

Glossies so white: The problem with British magazine covers (Guardian)

A mum explains why she's not disclosing her child's sex (Huffington Post)

16 household items you never knew had an expiry date (Daily Mirror)

Pro-cheerleaders say harassment is part of the job (New York Times)

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