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YouTube is creating a mobile live-streaming feature that is built directly into the YouTube mobile app, that allows users to make money on their content. This puts YouTube a step ahead of Facebook and Instagram, who haven't launched ways for users to make money on their live streams.

How it works: A new "capture" button will be added to the most-updated version of the YouTube mobile app that once hit allows the viewer to stream their content live. Live videos will have all of the same search, recommendation and privacy functions as normal videos. YouTube says they've been refining the service with select partners to make the experience optimal for a public rollout.

Show me the money: YouTube has introduced the new feature with a ready-to-go monetization platform, called Super Chat, which is available in over 20 countries. Users can purchase chat messages within any livestream that are highlighted in bright colors and stay pinned to the top of the chat window for up to five hours. Super Chat allows users to pay to engage in a more visible way and gives creators an opportunity to monetize their videos.

Why it matters: YouTube is taking a step ahead of rivals Facebook and Instagram by letting everyday users, including publishers, monetize their videos. Instagram and Facebook are still testing monetization opportunities for their live platforms. Some publishers have said they would abandon resources for Facebook Live altogether if the tech giant doesn't introduce a monetization platform for them to make creative investments worthwhile.

Go deeper

Storms pummel Pacific Northwest as floodwaters rise

An image of the water-logged Sumas Prairie area taken last Friday. Photo: B.C. Ministry of Transportation/Twitter.

The latest ferocious storm system to hit the Pacific Northwest triggered fresh evacuation orders in flood-ravaged British Columbia and at least one mudslide late Sunday.

Threat level: Flood sirens sounded in Washington state as the Nooksack River overflowed south across the border and into Canada. Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun told reporters there was "nothing to stop it," as the rising waters neared the B.C. border city.

Updated 1 hour ago - Health

First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada

COVID-19 testing personnel at Toronto Pearson International Airport in September. Photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The first two cases of the new Omicron variant have been detected in North America, the Canadian government announced Sunday evening.

Driving the news: The World Health Organization has named Omicron a "variant of concern," but cautioned earlier on Sunday that it is not yet clear whether it's more transmissible than other strains of COVID-19.

Former Defense Secretary Esper sues Pentagon over book

Former President Trump and former Defense Secretary Mark Esper at the White House in 2020. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper filed a lawsuit Sunday against the Defense Department, accusing the Pentagon of "censoring" his First Amendment rights by redacting parts of his upcoming book on the Trump administration.

The big picture: Esper, who served as defense secretary from July 2019 until he was fired by then-President Trump in November last year, alleges in the suit that "significant text" is "being improperly withheld from publication" of the manuscript "under the guise of classification."