It’s safe to say Facebook has had better weeks. It started last Monday with a six-hour global blackout and ended Friday with one of its harshest critics, the Filipino journalist. Maria Ressawas awarded the Nobel Prize. And in the midst of it all, the inner secrets of the social network were revealed to the US Senate by an informant, Frances Haugen, who revealed that Mark Zuckerberg’s brain routinely and knowingly puts profits before the public good.
In our big story this week, the global tech editor Dan Milmo gazing at the fallout of Haugen’s explosive expression as a columnist Jonathan Freedland It strikingly demonstrates how Facebook has become the tobacco industry of the 21st century by knowingly concealing the societal harm caused by its products.
There is a growing sense that the world is learning to live with Covid-19. As the long-term lockdown in Sydney is relaxed this week and worldwide travel restrictions begin to be lifted, it looks like we could start taking stock of a crucial 20 months for the world. One of the areas examined is the global Covid death toll. Laura Spinney What was considered in our Spotlight head story may have been significantly under-recorded.
At the same time, an investigation published this week has labeled the UK’s early handling of the pandemic one of the worst public health failures in UK history. Undoubtedly, there will be many more such inquiries in the coming months; What they reveal about the global pandemic response will be fascinating.
The critical Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow is approaching and in the coming weeks we’ll be bringing you lots of features and insights from the Guardian and Observer’s excellent environmental reporting team. This week, we took a critical look at the biomass industry, which has been lauded as a clean energy success story but is attracting more and more skeptical attention from scientists.
We also look at how the climate crisis has negatively impacted global coffee prices and whether global warming may soon make growing beans commercially viable in Southern Europe.
Our features section this week goes behind the scenes of the Booker prize, the prestigious annual award for English-language fiction writing that overnight catapults winning authors into the world of literary stardom.
Then, in Culture, we meet Liverpudlian actress Jodie Comer, who made her name as a shape-shifting assassin on the TV series Killing Eve and now looks set to take Hollywood by storm.