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In this image taken from video, police are deployed outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024, after an active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force was critically injured after setting himself ablaze outside the diplomatic compound. (WJLA via AP)
What we’re reading: Active-duty U.S. airman sets himself on fire, Abbott supports IVF and more
By Zahra Ahmad, Staff Writer
Published Feb 26, 2024
Texas governor Greg Abbott voiced support for IVF procedures after a ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court, Star Trek actor dies and more of what we're reading.

What we’re reading: Facebook whistleblower testifies, sexual abuse reports in the French Catholic Church

Former Facebook data scientist Frances Haugen speaks during a hearing of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Data Security, on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Facebook whistleblower testifies before Senate

Frances Haugen, former Facebook product manager for civic misinformation and recent Facebook whistleblower, testified before the Senate on Tuesday, according to CNBC.

The hearing was titled, “Protecting Kids Online: Testimony From a Facebook Whistleblower.”

Haugen previously leaked internal company research to Congress and The Wall Street Journal, and her identity was revealed two days prior to the hearing.

It was revealed that company executives were aware of the negative impacts of Instagram, such as suicidal thoughts, on young users.

According to company documents, 6% of users traced suicidal thoughts or actions to the use of Instagram.

In the Senate hearing, Haugen stated that Congress needs to intervene to solve this problem. She also said that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg needs to be held accountable for the impact of his business and products.

Haugen said Facebook often places the company’s profits at a higher importance than user safety, but she never accused company executives of purposefully harming users.

Haugen said Facebook has had worse problems than any other place she has worked, including Google, Yelp and Pinterest.

She said she did the right thing by exposing these issues, but she worries about what Facebook will do in response even though she resigned months ago, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Watch the full Senate hearing here.

More than 200,000 minors sexually abused by French Catholic Church

Catholic Bishop Eric de Moulins-Beaufort, president of the Bishops’ Conference of France (CEF), attends the publishing of a report by an independent commission into sexual abuse by church officials (Ciase), Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, in Paris. A major French report released Tuesday found that an estimated 330,000 children were victims of sex abuse within France’s Catholic Church over the past 70 years, in France’s first major reckoning with the devastating phenomenon. (Thomas Coex, Pool via AP)

A report was published Tuesday stating that the Catholic clergy in France had sexually abused more than 200,000 minors in the past 70 years, according to CNN.

When including minors who were not clergy members but had other links to the Church, such as Catholic school, the number of abused minors becomes approximately 330,000.

The report found that children were more likely to be abused in church settings than in related organizations, such as Catholic summer camps or schools.

The author of the report, Jean-Marc Suave, said the abuse was systemic and not only stemming from a few corrupt members.

Roughly 3,000 abusers out of a total of 115,000 priests and clerics have worked in the French Catholic Church since 1950.

Most of the violence occurred 60 or 70 years ago, but the problem still exists today. Sexual violence in the Church accounts for about 4% of all sexual violence in France.

The report was commissioned by French Catholic clergy groups in 2018 and paid for by the French Catholic Bishops conference. These groups act independently of the Church and are not paid.

Because of the commission, researchers for the report were allowed access to the archives of religious institutions.

The research team was carefully chosen, made up of 21 interdisciplinary experts with varying religious backgrounds.

The team gathered direct testimony from more than 6,000 people and interviewed 11 known abusers.

Climate change is rapidly killing coral reefs

This May 2016 photo provided by NOAA shows bleaching and some dead coral around Jarvis Island, which is part of the U.S. Pacific Remote Marine National Monument. Scientists found 95% of the coral is dead in what had been one of the world’s most lush and isolated tropical marine reserve. More than 2,000 international reef scientists, policymakers and stakeholders are gathering in Hawaii starting Monday, June 20, 2016, to discuss the latest coral science and what can be done to stop widespread death of the world’s reefs. (Bernardo Vargas-Angel/NOAA via AP)

An international report published late Monday stated that 14% of all coral reefs have been lost since 2009, according to The New York Times.

The report declared that the loss of coral reefs was due to global warming and subsequent climate change.

In 1998, reefs faced a similar decline and recovered, but there is no indication of possible recovery this time.

David Obura, one of the report’s editors, said this double-digit decline was cause for concern, as people worry about even a half percent decline in different sectors such as employment.

The benefits of coral reefs include providing for numerous types of fish which are key protein sources for millions of people, protecting coasts during storms and bringing in billions of dollars in tourism.

The report states that some coral reefs can be recovered or saved if humans act quickly in diminishing greenhouse gases.

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