1. EVERY MOVE EU MAKE – BIGTECH FACES TOUGH NEW LAW
Social media and the world’s biggest digital companies – there’s a new sheriff in town. The European Union’s landmark rules for taming the online Wild West are here. The Digital Services Act, which kicks in this week, forces BigTech to police content and protect users from disinformation and hate speech – or face heavy fines. Sites with 45M active monthly users must obey the stricter rules including submitting to annual compliance audits. Meta and TikTok have already announced how they’ll comply, but EU oughta know regulators are watching X (Twitter.) They’ve warned Elon Musk – who cut the workforce by half – that he needs enough people to moderate dangerous content.
2. LUNA THE LAB NOT FELINE LOVE OF NJ CONDO BOARD
Fur’s flying over whether a black lab should be allowed to staaaaay with her humans in their New Jersey condominium complex. A couple adopted Luna as an emotional support dog. But complex rules include a claws that prohibit pets over 30 pounds. Luna tips the scales at 70. The state’s supreme court will chew on whether the condo board must make an exception for Luna as a reasonable accommodation under NJ’s discrimination laws. Board members argue that big dogs have caused big issues in the past – hence the rule. But the couple says who’s a good girl? Luna is – and she doesn’t cause any of those pawblems.
3. AMBER HEARD’S OUT OF DOG HOUSE IN AUSTRALIA
An Australian journalist, nine months pregnant, was working a story about what parents can legally name their newborns. The registrar of births theoretically denies offensive or obscene names. But she wanted to know what default names officials bestow in their place. With contractions less than six minutes apart, no answer from the registry, she felt a need for speed, so she birthed her baby and named him Methamphetamine Rules. Then she waited for the Registrar to reject his name and tweak it. But Meth Rules, slipped through the crack. Mom didn’t realize it until his birth certificate arrived. The registrar says they’ve since cranked up their monitoring.
4. BEER-GUZZLING RACCOONS PLAGUE GERMANY
Germany’s raccoons are a problem that’s gone from baden baden to worse, in part, because they love beer. They raid hauser in the middle of the nacht, eating pet rabbits and fish and tossing back Pilsners. But raccoons aren’t native to Germany. Twenty that were introduced around 1934 have multiplied to hundreds of thousands. Efforts to control them haven’t gotten very farfegnugen. In fact, hunting them – and the beer – have merely schtimulated more procreation. Experts say dar drunk, promiscuous, invaders thrive because unlike North American raccoons, they lack natural predators, such as cougars. Even so, Berlin leaders refused to sanction killing them, telling residents to lock their bins – and beer.
5. NOW YOU MUSEUM, NOW YOU DON’T – WARNING IGNORED
Days after the British Museum fired a staffer suspected of looting its treasures – evidence surfaced that officials were alerted about a thief in their ranks two years ago and displayed little concern. An ancient gems dealer in Denmark found three stones from museum collections on eBay in 2021. He warned directors that someone on their staff must be stealing and that the eBay gems were probably the tip of the looting iceberg. But an investigation opened and quickly closed with no finding of wrongdoing. That decision haunts them. The recently-booted employee allegedly stole or damaged multiple jewelry and gems from the 15th century B.C.