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Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg leaves a Senate office on Monday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sens. Mark Warner and Amy Klobuchar sent letters Monday to the CEOs of Google parent Alphabet and Twitter urging them to follow Facebook in endorsing their bill to increase disclosure requirements for online political ads.

Why it matters: Beyond Facebook's privacy firestorm, Google and Twitter are getting pulled into other debates surrounding how social media platforms are used during elections. Facebook endorsed the Honest Ads Act last week in a move that armed CEO Mark Zuckerberg with ammunition for his hearing appearances this week and put pressure on its rivals to follow suit.

What they’re saying:

  • The senators said in letters to the chief executives of Alphabet and Twitter, Larry Page and Jack Dorsey, that they “encourage you to follow Facebook’s lead and endorse the Honest Ads Act.”
  • They also encouraged the companies to take further voluntary steps to be transparent about political ad spending on their platforms.

Dorsey and Google CEO Sundar Pichai had initially been called to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee along with Zuckerberg until the panel arranged a joint session with the Senate Commerce Committee featuring the Facebook chief alone.

  • But Sen. Bill Nelson, the ranking Democrat on the Commerce Committee, said executives from Twitter and Google should have to testify. “Absolutely, because it’s not just Facebook,” he told reporters after meeting with Zuckerberg Monday. “He happens to be the point of the spear, but all of these other app sites that get your personal data, that’s another way of us losing our privacy.”

The bottom line: Most criticisms of Facebook's overall business model — which harvests user data for ad targeting — could be applied to Google and Twitter, too. They won't be spared from having to answer similar questions.

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28 mins ago - World

Palestinian Authority announces new COVID restrictions as cases surge

A nurse administers the COVID-19 vaccine to a Palestinian in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron. Photo: Hazem Bader/AFP via Getty Images

The Palestinian Authority on Saturday announced fresh coronavirus restrictions, including a partial lockdown, for the occupied West Bank as COVID-19 cases surge.

The big picture: The new measures come as Israel, which leads the world in vaccinations, faces increased pressure to ensure Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip have equal access to vaccines.

Myanmar military fires UN ambassador after anti-coup speech

Photo: Peerapon Boonyakiat/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Myanmar's military regime on Saturday fired the country's Ambassador to the United Nations, Kyaw Moe Tun, a day after he gave a pro-democracy speech asking UN member nations to publicly condemn the Feb. 1 coup, The New York Times reports.

Details: State television said the ambassador had "betrayed the country and spoken for an unofficial organization which doesn’t represent the country and had abused the power and responsibilities of an ambassador."