What makes Christmas movies so popular

If you are one of those people who will settle in this evening with a hot cup of apple cider to watch a holiday movie, you are not alone. Holiday movies have become firmly embedded in Americans’ winter celebrations. A still from the 1946 classic ‘It’s A Wonderful Life.’ National Telefilm Associates The New York Times reports a massive increase in new holiday movies this year. Disney, Netflix, Lifetime and Hallmark are now in direct competition for viewers’ attention, with both new releases and reruns of the classics. Holiday movies…

Read More

‘Evil Corp’: Russian hackers indicted in the US

Two Russian hackers are being accused of running a phishing campaign to steal millions in more than 40 countries. The United States has charged two Russians for allegedly running a global hacking group called “Evil Corp” from their basements. Indictments against Igor Turashev and Maksim Yakubets were issued on Thursday, accusing them of using malware to steal millions of dollars. A $5m bounty has been offered for information leading to Yakubet’s arrest and prosecution – the largest reward ever offered for a cybercriminal. Al Jazeera’s Sara Khairat reports.

Read More

Trump impeachment hearings updates: Judiciary panel takes over

New phase of Trump impeachment inquiry kicks off with first hearing of the House Judiciary Committee. Investigation refresher The inquiry centres on a call between Trump and Ukraine’s president in which Trump asks for a probe into the Bidens. Trump also wanted a probe into a conspiracy theory about the 2016 elections. At the time of the call, Trump was withholding $391m in military aid from Ukraine, and conditioned a White House meeting on the probes, according to witnesses. US House Democrats entered a new phase of the impeachment inquiry of President…

Read More

Vegan meat revolution could help solve global warming

A mouth-watering task – the race to create a plant-based burger without any meat that everyone can eat and save the planet. Being a vegetarian or a vegan is nothing new but the push towards a plant-based diet for more people world-wide has taken on added importance because of global warming. Companies that make meat-food are racing to create the best meat-free burger. It is all part of an effort to reduce reliance on farmed animals, which contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. Al Jazeera’s Rob Reynolds reports from Redwood…

Read More

Will e-cigarette industry go up in smoke over health epidemic?

President Donald Trump announced in September he is considering banning most vaping, and it has caused business to plummet. President Donald Trump is expected to meet with officials from the e-cigarette industry in the United States. Trump announced in September he is considering banning most vaping, and it has caused business to plummet. Health advocates are hoping he follows through. Al Jazeera’s Gabriel Elizondo reports from Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Read More

World’s fastest car: Vehicle aims to break record by 2020

The Bloodhound LSR car is a combination of F1 car, fast jet, and spaceship. The supersonic car has now completed its phase of high-speed testing in South Africa. It is called the Bloodhound, and those who built it believe it will soon be the fastest car on the Earth. A British team is testing it in South Africa‘s Kalahari Desert. Al Jazeera’s Fahmida Miller reports from Hakskeenpan in the Northern Cape.

Read More

Impeachment inquiry: More witnesses to testify on Trump

Televised hearings enter second week, with more witnesses due to give evidence on Trump’s handling of Ukraine affair. Washington is preparing for another week of high-profile hearings at the impeachment inquiry into US President Donald Trump. Eight key witnesses are due to give evidence on the impeachment inquiry. Trump is accused of having withheld aid to his Ukrainian counterpart because he wanted to bring down his political rival Joe Biden. Meanwhile, Trump has continued attacking the inquiry on Twitter. Al Jazeera’s Rob Reynolds reports from Washington, DC.

Read More

Trump impeachment inquiry public hearings: All the latest updates

House Intelligence Committee holds first public hearing as impeachment inquiry marks new phase. The impeachment inquiry of US President Donald Trump entered uncharted territory on Wednesday with the first public hearing of the probe. William Taylor, the top diplomat in Ukraine, and George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs, are testifying in a televised hearing. The inquiry is centred on a July phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in which the US leader asked his Ukrainian counterpart to open an investigation…

Read More

Sesame Street marks 50th anniversary

The puppet-filled children’s show is celebrating its golden jubilee. Children’s show Sesame Street – which airs in 150 countries around the globe and is one of the most popular American brands – is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Filled with jingles and positivity, the show also tackles serious issues like death, HIV, homelessness and divorce. Al Jazeera’s Kristen Saloomey reports from New York.

Read More

Apple pledges $2.5bn to address California housing crisis

As homelessness reaches chronic levels in California, Apple and other tech companies pledge funds to fix the problem. Technology giant Apple says it will set aside $2.5bn to provide affordable homes in California which has more homeless people in the state than anywhere else in the United States. Tech companies have been blamed for contributing to the state’s housing crisis as they set up shop there, pushing house prices up beyond the reach of many residents. Al Jazeera’s Rob Reynolds reports from Los Angeles.

Read More

Trump whistle-blower offers to take written questions

Lawyer says offer is in response to Republican efforts, led by President Trump, to unmask the whistle-blower. The United States official, whose whistle-blower complaint led to the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, has offered to answer written questions submitted by House Republicans, his lawyers said. The surprise offer on Sunday, made to Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the intelligence committee leading the inquiry, would allow Republicans to ask questions of the whistle-blower without having to go through the committee’s Democratic chairman, Adam Schiff. Lawyer Mark Zaid said the…

Read More

Okay Google: Forget me!

The internet never forgets, but privacy concerns have more people pushing for that to change. In today’s digitally connected world, racist tweets, drunken Facebook photos or tactless emails can come back to haunt individuals years after the fact. With online search results affecting the outcome of job offers, relationships and even home loans, more people are pushing to have a say in shaping their digital narratives. This is already possible in the European Union, which grants  ordinary citizens (not public officials) the “right to be forgotten” on search engines in certain…

Read More

Should political ads be banned on social media?

Twitter is banning all political advertising around the world from next month. Social media has transformed the way we debate politics. Donald Trump, the president of the United States, often uses Twitter to announce new policies, attack an opponent or even re-tweet what many consider to be misleading information. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have been criticised for allowing political hate speech and misinformation to flourish on their platforms. Now, with just a year to go before the US presidential election, Twitter is banning all political advertising around the world from…

Read More

Is enough being done to combat cybercrimes?

The global cost of online crime is expected to reach six trillion dollars by 2021. Cyberattacks are now one of the biggest concerns for governments and companies across the world. In the past year alone, there has been an 11 percent increase in security breaches by hackers. These growing figures show just how big a threat cybercrime has become. With security experts fighting the hackers, the cybercrime economy is growing so quickly, it is now making profits of $1.5 trillion each year. A recent Microsoft survey suggests executives now consider…

Read More

California declares state of emergency as fires rage

Wildfires continue to tear through southern and northern parts of the western US state. The governor of the US state of California has declared a state of emergency because of raging wildfires. High winds and extremely low humidity have hindered efforts to contain blazes burning in the northern and southern part of the state. The Kincade fire located in Sonoma County, north of San Francisco, first started on October 23. It is the largest fire currently burning in the state. More than 6,400 hectares (15,800 acres) of land has already…

Read More