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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during the Christchurch Call international leaders' summit on May 15.

The U.S. for the first time attended a summit on Saturday with tech giants and world leaders as part of an international effort to stop extremist violence from proliferating online while also protecting freedom of speech, AP reports.

Why it matters: The effort was created by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron in the aftermath of the 2019 Christchurch, New Zealand, shootings and deadly attacks in France that were streamed or shared on social media platforms.

Context: The effort, called the Christchurch Call, involves around 50 countries and major tech companies, including Google, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon.

  • The purpose of Saturday's meeting was to strengthen coordination efforts and encourage more tech companies to become involved.

What they're saying: “The existence of algorithms themselves is not necessarily the problem, it’s whether or not they are being ethically used,” Ardern said during the summit, according to AP. “And so that is probably the biggest focus for the Call community over the next year.”

  • “Countering the use of the internet by terrorists and violent extremists to radicalize and recruit is a significant priority for the United States,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement that also stressed the importance of protecting freedom of expression and “reasonable expectations of privacy.”

Go deeper: Why domestic terrorists are so hard to police online

Go deeper

Updated Aug 19, 2021 - World

New Zealand's PM says scientists have solved COVID outbreak "puzzle"

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks during a COVID-19 response update at Parliament in Wellington, New Zealand, on Wednesday. Photo: Mark Mitchell - Pool/Getty Images

New Zealand scientists linked the country's growing COVID-19 cluster to the Delta outbreak that began in Sydney, Australia — and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Thursday they're "fairly certain" they've found the source.

Why it matters: Since the country entered its highest pandemic restrictions just before midnight Tuesday over one positive local test result, scientists have uncovered links to a traveler who arrived in NZ from Sydney on Aug. 7.

3 mins ago - World

Israel to approve new construction in West Bank settlements

Bennett (L) and Biden discussed the settlements issue. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty

Israel will approve the construction of 4,400 new homes in the West Bank next week: 3,10o in the Jewish settlements and 1,300 in Palestinian villages.

Why it matters: This will be the first time Israel has approved new settlement-building since President Biden assumed office, and the first time since 2007 that it approves a significant number of new homes for Palestinians in "Area C" of the West Bank, which is controlled by Israel.

House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress

Steve Bannon. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

The House of Representatives voted 229-202 on Thursday to hold former Trump strategist Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena from the Jan. 6 select committee.

Why it matters: The Justice Department will now consider bringing criminal charges against Bannon, marking a significant escalation in the Jan. 6 committee's efforts to enforce subpoenas against Trump allies who refuse to cooperate.