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Baghouz, in eastern Syria, is liberated from ISIS rule; tech companies in Europe will be held responsible for copyright infringement.

ISIS no longer in eastern Syria

Chris McGrath/Getty Images
  • US-backed Kurdish forces announced on Saturday that they had liberated Baghouz in eastern Syria from ISIS rule. This was the first territory to be occupied by ISIS and now the last one to be returned, meaning that ISIS’s rule over any populated areas has come to an end. [CNN / Ben Wedeman]
  • Baghouz was ISIS’s last stronghold, and fighters dug in there, hiding “not just in tunnels but trenches and hundreds of cubby holes.” [Fox News / Benjamin Hall]
  • The fight against ISIS is ongoing, but it will look more like a fight against insurgents while finding ways to disrupt the group’s recruiting and appeal. US intelligence officials say the group remains a threat. [WSJ / Gordon Lubold, Warren P. Strobel, and Nancy A. Youssef]
  • The US military now plans to keep around 1,000 troops in Syria, three months after President Trump called for a complete withdrawal. [New York Post / Mark Moore]
  • After the raid, Al-Hikma Hospital in eastern Syria is dealing with an influx of gravely ill babies, the children of ISIS fighters. The young patients are from all around the world — France, the Maldives, Tajikistan — but have no country to call their own. [Christian Science Monitor / Dominique Soguel]
  • ISIS’s economic empire will be more difficult to defeat than the territory they conquered. The group has hundreds of millions of dollars, much of it transferred through a bank-free system known as hawala, and kept detailed records on the people who once lived under its thumb. [Atlantic / David Kenner]

A copyright directive that could change the internet

  • The European Parliament approved a directive that holds tech companies responsible for any copyright-infringing content posted on their sites. Many artists and creators believe this rule will help ensure they are protected and compensated fairly. [BBC News / Zoe Kleinman]
  • A part of the directive, widely known as Article 13, is likely to force all but the smallest companies to implement filters that can detect any copyright violations. This caused outrage in many online communities because it is seen as a tool that will limit the distribution of even non-infringing content. [Fortune / David Meyer]
  • The directive aims to give news publishers and artists the upper hand in how much they make with the distribution of their content. This gives them an opportunity to make a fair amount off sites like Google and Facebook, which typically profit more from them. [Gizmodo / Rhett Jones]
  • Google responded to the approval saying that although it is a better version than the previous draft, it still leaves concern about legal uncertainty and possible damage to the creative industry. [CNBC / Ryan Browne]
  • Members of Parliament voted 348 to 274 in favor of the law. A last-minute proposal to remove Article 13 was rejected by just five votes. Now the EU member states have 24 months to turn this into a national law. [The Verge / James Vincent]


  • A dark future for energy-efficient lightbulbs? The Trump administration wants to roll back an Obama-era guidance on bulb efficiency. [NPR / Jeff Brady]
  • French Muslim groups are suing Facebook for allowing the streaming of the video from the mosque shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand. [News Australasia / Julie Carriat]
  • Turkey is entering a recession, and municipality-run stands are popping up everywhere — selling fruits and vegetables for cheaper prices than local supermarkets. [Atlantic / Ayla Jean Yackley]
  • A writer slept for three weeks after a surgery left him too sedated to wake up. Here’s what he dreamed about. [Kotaku / Mike Fahey]
  • Schoolgirls in Burundi who were detained for “insulting” President Pierre Nkurunziza by scribbling on his portrait in textbooks are now on provisional release after the incident sparked international outcry. [Reuters / George Obulutsa]


“While New Zealanders and Muslim communities around the world are both grieving and showing compassion for one another, they are also quite rightly asking questions on how this attack was able to happen here.” [Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday ordering a top-level inquiry into the Christchurch mosque shooting that killed 50 people]

Watch this: Why some Asian accents swap Ls and Rs in English

A foreign accent is when someone speaks a second language with the rules of their first language, and one of the most persistent and well-studied foreign-accent features is a lack of L/R contrast among native Japanese speakers learning English. [YouTube / Joss Fong]

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