Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

Trump identifies another hoax: The coronavirus“The most outrageous lies are the ones about Covid 19,” wrote game show host Chuck Woolery in a tweet promoted by the president.


7/13/2020 10:26:49 AM

Xu Zhangrun: Outspoken professor freed after six daysA friend said constitutional law professor Xu Zhangrun was in good health.


7/12/2020 11:49:50 AM

Spike in Shootings Continues over the Weekend in Chicago, NYCA spike in shootings during the past month and a half continued with 64 shooting victims in Chicago and 28 in New York City over the weekend.While overall crime is down in both cities, there has been an uptick in gun violence in June and July as compared to the same period in 2019. That uptick comes in the midst of massive protests against police kindled by the death of George Floyd, an African American man killed during his arrest by officers in Minneapolis.Of the shooting victims in Chicago this weekend, 13 were killed including two children. The same weekend in 2019 saw 41 shooting victims with nine dead. Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown has announced the creation of "mobile patrol" units to increase police presence in various neighborhoods, in an attempt to clamp down on the violence.Mayor Lori Lightfoot said last week that the uptick in gun violence could be attributed at least in part to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic."The ecosystem of public safety that isn’t just law enforcement but is local, community-based, they too, have really been hit hard by COVID and are now just kind of coming back online and getting their footing," Lightfoot said at a press conference.Meanwhile, New York City recorded 28 shooting victims over the weekend, with 15 of those shot within a 15-hour period, according to the New York Post. The victims included a one-year-old boy who was killed after gunfire erupted near a barbecue in Brooklyn.Much of the spike in shootings in June occurred in 10 specific precincts, NYPD Chief of Crime Control Strategies Michael LiPetri said last week, adding "Those communities are being overrun by the small percentage of gang members who have no regard for their own life and absolutely zero regard for the community."The NYPD also dealt with multiple pro- and anti-police demonstrations over the weekend, some of which descended into scuffles between the two factions.


7/13/2020 8:12:00 AM

US Air Force F-16 fighter jet crashes at New Mexico base, marking service's fifth fighter jet crash since MayThe pilot was able to eject safely and is being treated for minor injuries, the base said Monday evening.


7/13/2020 10:33:13 PM

New York mayor 'heartbroken' over shooting death of one-year-oldToddler Davell Gardner Jr. was killed and three men were wounded on Sunday after two gunmen opened fire at a family cookout in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York media reported, citing New York police. "It's just horrifying," de Blasio said at a news conference to discuss the coronavirus. Davell's shooting was one of 11 incidents in which 16 people in New York were shot over the weekend, WABC television reported.


7/13/2020 12:49:56 PM

Ousted U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman: Deal Barr Offered ‘Could Be Seen as a Quid Pro Quo’The federal prosecutor whom Attorney General Bill Barr ousted in June told House investigators that he was alarmed at the way Barr attempted to replace him, saying that “the “irregular and unexplained actions by the Attorney General raised serious concerns for me,” according to a transcript of the closed-door interview released by the House Judiciary Committee on Monday. Geoffrey Berman, formerly the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, was brought in for a closed-door session of the Judiciary Committee on July 9 to talk about the events surrounding Barr’s public announcement on June 19 that Berman had “stepped down” from his post, even though the U.S. attorney made clear to Barr multiple times that he was not stepping down. The late-night announcement by Barr immediately sparked confusion and raised questions about his involvement in a crucial prosecutor’s office. The next day, Berman said he would leave the job when Barr agreed to let his deputy take over as acting U.S. attorney, as opposed to Craig Carpenito, the U.S. attorney for the district of New Jersey, whom Barr wanted to install in the position until the Trump administration’s pick, Securities and Exchange Commission chief Jay Clayton, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate.Berman, who at SDNY handled sensitive investigations into Trumpworld figures such as Rudy Giuliani, did not comment specifically to the Judiciary Committee on what he believed Barr’s motivations to be, and he studiously avoided any questions about how specific SDNY probes might have factored into the situation. But Berman made clear that the attorney general’s preferred plan would have slowed and complicated the work of the office, and he raised several questions challenging Barr’s handling of the process. Trump Thought He’d Picked His Perfect U.S. Attorney in Geoffrey Berman. He Was Very Wrong.“Why did the attorney general say that I was stepping down when he knew I had neither resigned nor been fired?” Berman asked rhetorically, in response to questions from Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY). “Why did the attorney general not tell me the actual reason he was asking me to resign instead of saying that it was to get Clayton into the position? And why did he announce the appointment of Craig Carpenito as acting U.S. attorney when Audrey Strauss was the logical and normal successor?”“Replacing me with someone from outside the district would have resulted in the disruption and delay of the important investigations that were being conducted,” Berman said later. “I was not going to permit that. And I would rather be fired than have that done.” At numerous points, Berman expressed his dismay at Barr’s wish to install Carpenito—who would have retained his previous job in New Jersey—in the job instead of Berman’s top deputy, Strauss, a move he said violated 70 years of precedent at SDNY.According to his opening statement that was obtained by The Daily Beast last Thursday, Berman said that during a private meeting in New York that Barr called to open the discussion, the attorney general praised his performance as U.S. attorney but said the Trump administration wanted Clayton to take the SDNY post. Berman said Barr tried to lure him away by dangling other offers—to head the Department of Justice’s civil rights division and, later, the SEC—but Berman declined. Barr told him that if he did not resign, he would be fired. “I believe the attorney general was trying to entice me to resign so that an outsider could be put into the acting U.S. attorney position at the Southern District of New York, which would have resulted in the delay and disruption of ongoing investigations,” Berman told the Judiciary Committee.At one point in the interview, GOP committee attorney Steve Castor asked if Barr had laid out to Berman a set of actions that would have allowed him to keep his job—if there was any “quid pro quo for you getting to keep your job.”Berman said no, and he confirmed that Barr did not mention any specific SDNY investigations—Castor raised Jeffrey Epstein and Guiliani-related probes—in pressuring him to leave. But Berman did say Barr’s offering of other positions could have been construed as a quid pro quo.“You know, he wanted me to resign to take a position. I assume you could call that a quid pro quo. You resign and you get this, that would mean quid pro quo,” said Berman. Asked to clarify those comments later, he said it wasn’t his term but reiterated that “it could be seen as a quid pro quo, his offering me a job in exchange for my resignation.” Berman is a rare U.S. attorney in that he was not confirmed by the Senate but was appointed by the judges of SDNY to hold the position in April 2018. Berman insisted that, as he was a court-appointed prosecutor, neither Barr nor President Trump had the authority to fire him before the Senate confirmed a successor, but some past legal precedent has indicated the president can fire a court-appointed U.S. attorney. Trump has said he had nothing to do with Berman’s ouster. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


7/13/2020 6:21:25 PM

It’s so hot at Death Valley National Park that cars are breaking downIt’s the hottest place on Earth for a reason.


7/13/2020 3:34:40 PM

A YouTuber and her friend who got sick at Disney World's reopening are being criticized for ignoring medical advice to go to the hospital after 'violently vomiting'The women insisted that the health scare was an allergic reaction — and not the result of COVID-19 — but commenters remained concerned.


7/13/2020 3:06:46 PM

America is not prepared for schools opening this fall. This will be badWe’re just weeks from schools opening, and they aren’t ready. Parents, children, teachers – everyone will be affected The public school district in Charlottesville, Virginia, has proposed a model for schooling this fall that resembles what most districts are trying to do. Because state health officials recommend putting three to six feet between students, and because classrooms were already crowded and schools over-enrolled, the district leadership has decided to alternate attendance. Half the student population will attend Mondays and Wednesdays. The other half will attend Tuesdays and Thursdays. Fridays will be for teacher preparation and deep cleaning.As a working parent of a school-age child, the prospect of my child attending school for two days a week, and staying home alone to do school work (or not) the three days a week, is frustrating. I have the means, flexibility and job security to cope with it. My kid will be able to get lunch every day. She has good wifi and multiple computers at home. But she would still have to write off an entire year of high school as a wasted opportunity. The course quality will be lousy and she’ll have minimal social engagement. No club meetings. No homecoming. No “Friday night lights”. It’s heartbreaking. But because we have the resources, she will be fine in the long run. It will be even harder for other people. Consider my neighbor. She’s a single parent with three school-aged children in three different schools. She works for an hourly wage as a food-service contract worker at the local university. She was furloughed in March when the university shut down. She hopes to work full-time this fall, but with most university classes moved online, there is no guarantee that she’ll get the hours she needs to pay her bills.So she might have to pick up another hourly job as well – if any exist during the looming economic crash in this college town. Her kids don’t have the advantages that mine has. Under Covid-19 things will be even tougher for them than the general injustices of this country have already put on them.Then consider my brother-in-law, a public school teacher married to my sister, who is immuno-suppressed after intensive cancer treatment. He looks at classroom plans for the fall and sees almost nothing to protect him from the aerosol spread of the virus. Once winter comes, air will recirculate among closed classrooms. Schoolchildren are hard to manage in normal times, and they cough on whatever is close. Given that many more children will be facing crises at home as parents and grandparents lose their jobs or their health or both, behavior will be even harder to manage. And given that he might only see each child two days a week, building trusting relationships will be impossible. Teaching online in the spring was a miserable failure, so his students will be well behind grade level in most subjects, making the task of catching them up even more daunting. He has already said goodbye to dear colleagues who have decided to leave the profession rather than deal with this impending disaster.I suspect thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of teachers across the United States are going to quit in the next year because either their districts can’t afford to keep them safe or online teaching is so bad and unsatisfying that they get frustrated. Teachers in Fairfax county, Virginia, have already pledged not to teach in person this fall because their district has not planned adequately for safety and educational quality. The workload of preparing for both live and online teaching means overworked and underpaid teachers will have to work twice as hard this year for less money, since few received cost-of-living adjustments this year.This is a crisis of conflicting needs. Parents need their children in school so they can do their jobs or care for sick or elderly relatives. Children need a decent education, access to nurses, nutritious meals, safety, friendship and mentorship. And teachers deserve to be able to do their jobs to the best of their ability, know that they are making a difference, and trust they are not endangering themselves or their loved ones.> We’re in July, just weeks from schools opening, and almost nothing has been doneLike Denmark, South Korea and dozens of other decently run countries around the world, the US could have schooling this fall five days a week – had we committed hundreds of billions of dollars to construction, desk separators, masks, internet and software upgrades (especially in rural communities), HVAC and ventilation fixes, food service delivery to classrooms, viral testing and tracing, and school nurses (most US schools did away with full-time nurses decades ago).We would have had to have started all these projects in March. Instead, we’re in July, just weeks from schools opening, and almost nothing has been done.President Donald Trump, invoking his power of positive thinking, has declared that schools will be open full-time this fall, regardless of consequences. Vice-President Mike Pence, acknowledging that the US Centers for Disease Control guidelines make that impossible, has pledged that the guidelines will change because Trump wants them to – thus destroying the CDC’s credibility, yet doing nothing to help schools.Instead of massive infusions of federal funds, every school district faces budget cuts from reduced state and local taxes. So you can write off the education and safety of almost all American children. Millions will be at home alone, where they are most likely to be hurt or killed. Millions will be with abusive relatives. Millions will be without lunch or nurse care.Americans are uncomfortable with situations like this. We’re used to relying on our myths and stories of innovation, mobilization and triumph. If we had a good run during which such myths were true enough to inspire confidence and drive us toward progress, that run is over. This realization isn’t just true of long-term, global maladies like climate change. Our inability to solve or even avoid devastating problems is now immediate, local and clear.There is nothing Americans can do to save public education right now. We had a window about three months ago. We saw this coming. Teachers all saw this coming. There was no federal help, no national leadership. We got to visit bars and amusement parks this summer, though. So there’s that. * Siva Vaidhyanathan is a Guardian columnist, a professor of media studies at the University of Virginia, and the author of Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy


7/13/2020 4:30:07 AM

AOC suggests NYC crime spike linked to unemployment and parents shoplifting to feed childrenNew York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has insisted that spikes in New York crime are not related to police budget cuts but people needing to pay rent and feed their children.In a virtual town hall meeting on Thursday, reported by The Hill, AOC was questioned about the significant rise in crime in the city.


7/13/2020 9:34:17 AM

Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

Trump identifies another hoax: The coronavirus“The most outrageous lies are the ones about Covid 19,” wrote game show host Chuck Woolery in a tweet promoted by the president.


7/13/2020 10:26:49 AM

Xu Zhangrun: Outspoken professor freed after six daysA friend said constitutional law professor Xu Zhangrun was in good health.


7/12/2020 11:49:50 AM

Spike in Shootings Continues over the Weekend in Chicago, NYCA spike in shootings during the past month and a half continued with 64 shooting victims in Chicago and 28 in New York City over the weekend.While overall crime is down in both cities, there has been an uptick in gun violence in June and July as compared to the same period in 2019. That uptick comes in the midst of massive protests against police kindled by the death of George Floyd, an African American man killed during his arrest by officers in Minneapolis.Of the shooting victims in Chicago this weekend, 13 were killed including two children. The same weekend in 2019 saw 41 shooting victims with nine dead. Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown has announced the creation of "mobile patrol" units to increase police presence in various neighborhoods, in an attempt to clamp down on the violence.Mayor Lori Lightfoot said last week that the uptick in gun violence could be attributed at least in part to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic."The ecosystem of public safety that isn’t just law enforcement but is local, community-based, they too, have really been hit hard by COVID and are now just kind of coming back online and getting their footing," Lightfoot said at a press conference.Meanwhile, New York City recorded 28 shooting victims over the weekend, with 15 of those shot within a 15-hour period, according to the New York Post. The victims included a one-year-old boy who was killed after gunfire erupted near a barbecue in Brooklyn.Much of the spike in shootings in June occurred in 10 specific precincts, NYPD Chief of Crime Control Strategies Michael LiPetri said last week, adding "Those communities are being overrun by the small percentage of gang members who have no regard for their own life and absolutely zero regard for the community."The NYPD also dealt with multiple pro- and anti-police demonstrations over the weekend, some of which descended into scuffles between the two factions.


7/13/2020 8:12:00 AM

US Air Force F-16 fighter jet crashes at New Mexico base, marking service's fifth fighter jet crash since MayThe pilot was able to eject safely and is being treated for minor injuries, the base said Monday evening.


7/13/2020 10:33:13 PM

New York mayor 'heartbroken' over shooting death of one-year-oldToddler Davell Gardner Jr. was killed and three men were wounded on Sunday after two gunmen opened fire at a family cookout in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York media reported, citing New York police. "It's just horrifying," de Blasio said at a news conference to discuss the coronavirus. Davell's shooting was one of 11 incidents in which 16 people in New York were shot over the weekend, WABC television reported.


7/13/2020 12:49:56 PM

Ousted U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman: Deal Barr Offered ‘Could Be Seen as a Quid Pro Quo’The federal prosecutor whom Attorney General Bill Barr ousted in June told House investigators that he was alarmed at the way Barr attempted to replace him, saying that “the “irregular and unexplained actions by the Attorney General raised serious concerns for me,” according to a transcript of the closed-door interview released by the House Judiciary Committee on Monday. Geoffrey Berman, formerly the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, was brought in for a closed-door session of the Judiciary Committee on July 9 to talk about the events surrounding Barr’s public announcement on June 19 that Berman had “stepped down” from his post, even though the U.S. attorney made clear to Barr multiple times that he was not stepping down. The late-night announcement by Barr immediately sparked confusion and raised questions about his involvement in a crucial prosecutor’s office. The next day, Berman said he would leave the job when Barr agreed to let his deputy take over as acting U.S. attorney, as opposed to Craig Carpenito, the U.S. attorney for the district of New Jersey, whom Barr wanted to install in the position until the Trump administration’s pick, Securities and Exchange Commission chief Jay Clayton, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate.Berman, who at SDNY handled sensitive investigations into Trumpworld figures such as Rudy Giuliani, did not comment specifically to the Judiciary Committee on what he believed Barr’s motivations to be, and he studiously avoided any questions about how specific SDNY probes might have factored into the situation. But Berman made clear that the attorney general’s preferred plan would have slowed and complicated the work of the office, and he raised several questions challenging Barr’s handling of the process. Trump Thought He’d Picked His Perfect U.S. Attorney in Geoffrey Berman. He Was Very Wrong.“Why did the attorney general say that I was stepping down when he knew I had neither resigned nor been fired?” Berman asked rhetorically, in response to questions from Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY). “Why did the attorney general not tell me the actual reason he was asking me to resign instead of saying that it was to get Clayton into the position? And why did he announce the appointment of Craig Carpenito as acting U.S. attorney when Audrey Strauss was the logical and normal successor?”“Replacing me with someone from outside the district would have resulted in the disruption and delay of the important investigations that were being conducted,” Berman said later. “I was not going to permit that. And I would rather be fired than have that done.” At numerous points, Berman expressed his dismay at Barr’s wish to install Carpenito—who would have retained his previous job in New Jersey—in the job instead of Berman’s top deputy, Strauss, a move he said violated 70 years of precedent at SDNY.According to his opening statement that was obtained by The Daily Beast last Thursday, Berman said that during a private meeting in New York that Barr called to open the discussion, the attorney general praised his performance as U.S. attorney but said the Trump administration wanted Clayton to take the SDNY post. Berman said Barr tried to lure him away by dangling other offers—to head the Department of Justice’s civil rights division and, later, the SEC—but Berman declined. Barr told him that if he did not resign, he would be fired. “I believe the attorney general was trying to entice me to resign so that an outsider could be put into the acting U.S. attorney position at the Southern District of New York, which would have resulted in the delay and disruption of ongoing investigations,” Berman told the Judiciary Committee.At one point in the interview, GOP committee attorney Steve Castor asked if Barr had laid out to Berman a set of actions that would have allowed him to keep his job—if there was any “quid pro quo for you getting to keep your job.”Berman said no, and he confirmed that Barr did not mention any specific SDNY investigations—Castor raised Jeffrey Epstein and Guiliani-related probes—in pressuring him to leave. But Berman did say Barr’s offering of other positions could have been construed as a quid pro quo.“You know, he wanted me to resign to take a position. I assume you could call that a quid pro quo. You resign and you get this, that would mean quid pro quo,” said Berman. Asked to clarify those comments later, he said it wasn’t his term but reiterated that “it could be seen as a quid pro quo, his offering me a job in exchange for my resignation.” Berman is a rare U.S. attorney in that he was not confirmed by the Senate but was appointed by the judges of SDNY to hold the position in April 2018. Berman insisted that, as he was a court-appointed prosecutor, neither Barr nor President Trump had the authority to fire him before the Senate confirmed a successor, but some past legal precedent has indicated the president can fire a court-appointed U.S. attorney. Trump has said he had nothing to do with Berman’s ouster. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


7/13/2020 6:21:25 PM

It’s so hot at Death Valley National Park that cars are breaking downIt’s the hottest place on Earth for a reason.


7/13/2020 3:34:40 PM

A YouTuber and her friend who got sick at Disney World's reopening are being criticized for ignoring medical advice to go to the hospital after 'violently vomiting'The women insisted that the health scare was an allergic reaction — and not the result of COVID-19 — but commenters remained concerned.


7/13/2020 3:06:46 PM

America is not prepared for schools opening this fall. This will be badWe’re just weeks from schools opening, and they aren’t ready. Parents, children, teachers – everyone will be affected The public school district in Charlottesville, Virginia, has proposed a model for schooling this fall that resembles what most districts are trying to do. Because state health officials recommend putting three to six feet between students, and because classrooms were already crowded and schools over-enrolled, the district leadership has decided to alternate attendance. Half the student population will attend Mondays and Wednesdays. The other half will attend Tuesdays and Thursdays. Fridays will be for teacher preparation and deep cleaning.As a working parent of a school-age child, the prospect of my child attending school for two days a week, and staying home alone to do school work (or not) the three days a week, is frustrating. I have the means, flexibility and job security to cope with it. My kid will be able to get lunch every day. She has good wifi and multiple computers at home. But she would still have to write off an entire year of high school as a wasted opportunity. The course quality will be lousy and she’ll have minimal social engagement. No club meetings. No homecoming. No “Friday night lights”. It’s heartbreaking. But because we have the resources, she will be fine in the long run. It will be even harder for other people. Consider my neighbor. She’s a single parent with three school-aged children in three different schools. She works for an hourly wage as a food-service contract worker at the local university. She was furloughed in March when the university shut down. She hopes to work full-time this fall, but with most university classes moved online, there is no guarantee that she’ll get the hours she needs to pay her bills.So she might have to pick up another hourly job as well – if any exist during the looming economic crash in this college town. Her kids don’t have the advantages that mine has. Under Covid-19 things will be even tougher for them than the general injustices of this country have already put on them.Then consider my brother-in-law, a public school teacher married to my sister, who is immuno-suppressed after intensive cancer treatment. He looks at classroom plans for the fall and sees almost nothing to protect him from the aerosol spread of the virus. Once winter comes, air will recirculate among closed classrooms. Schoolchildren are hard to manage in normal times, and they cough on whatever is close. Given that many more children will be facing crises at home as parents and grandparents lose their jobs or their health or both, behavior will be even harder to manage. And given that he might only see each child two days a week, building trusting relationships will be impossible. Teaching online in the spring was a miserable failure, so his students will be well behind grade level in most subjects, making the task of catching them up even more daunting. He has already said goodbye to dear colleagues who have decided to leave the profession rather than deal with this impending disaster.I suspect thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of teachers across the United States are going to quit in the next year because either their districts can’t afford to keep them safe or online teaching is so bad and unsatisfying that they get frustrated. Teachers in Fairfax county, Virginia, have already pledged not to teach in person this fall because their district has not planned adequately for safety and educational quality. The workload of preparing for both live and online teaching means overworked and underpaid teachers will have to work twice as hard this year for less money, since few received cost-of-living adjustments this year.This is a crisis of conflicting needs. Parents need their children in school so they can do their jobs or care for sick or elderly relatives. Children need a decent education, access to nurses, nutritious meals, safety, friendship and mentorship. And teachers deserve to be able to do their jobs to the best of their ability, know that they are making a difference, and trust they are not endangering themselves or their loved ones.> We’re in July, just weeks from schools opening, and almost nothing has been doneLike Denmark, South Korea and dozens of other decently run countries around the world, the US could have schooling this fall five days a week – had we committed hundreds of billions of dollars to construction, desk separators, masks, internet and software upgrades (especially in rural communities), HVAC and ventilation fixes, food service delivery to classrooms, viral testing and tracing, and school nurses (most US schools did away with full-time nurses decades ago).We would have had to have started all these projects in March. Instead, we’re in July, just weeks from schools opening, and almost nothing has been done.President Donald Trump, invoking his power of positive thinking, has declared that schools will be open full-time this fall, regardless of consequences. Vice-President Mike Pence, acknowledging that the US Centers for Disease Control guidelines make that impossible, has pledged that the guidelines will change because Trump wants them to – thus destroying the CDC’s credibility, yet doing nothing to help schools.Instead of massive infusions of federal funds, every school district faces budget cuts from reduced state and local taxes. So you can write off the education and safety of almost all American children. Millions will be at home alone, where they are most likely to be hurt or killed. Millions will be with abusive relatives. Millions will be without lunch or nurse care.Americans are uncomfortable with situations like this. We’re used to relying on our myths and stories of innovation, mobilization and triumph. If we had a good run during which such myths were true enough to inspire confidence and drive us toward progress, that run is over. This realization isn’t just true of long-term, global maladies like climate change. Our inability to solve or even avoid devastating problems is now immediate, local and clear.There is nothing Americans can do to save public education right now. We had a window about three months ago. We saw this coming. Teachers all saw this coming. There was no federal help, no national leadership. We got to visit bars and amusement parks this summer, though. So there’s that. * Siva Vaidhyanathan is a Guardian columnist, a professor of media studies at the University of Virginia, and the author of Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy


7/13/2020 4:30:07 AM

AOC suggests NYC crime spike linked to unemployment and parents shoplifting to feed childrenNew York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has insisted that spikes in New York crime are not related to police budget cuts but people needing to pay rent and feed their children.In a virtual town hall meeting on Thursday, reported by The Hill, AOC was questioned about the significant rise in crime in the city.


7/13/2020 9:34:17 AM

Severe storms put Midwest, Plains in the crosshairs for explosive weekFor the past several weeks, severe weather has abounded across portions of the Plains and Midwest and AccuWeather meteorologists say that trend will continue through midweek.Each state across the Great Plains and Midwest has reported at least one instance of severe weather since the start of the month. From damaging wind gusts to hailstorms and even some tornadoes, the nation's midsection has had it all during the first half of July.Elsewhere, the severe weather bull's-eye has been located solidly over the central Plains since Sunday. However, starting Tuesday, the threat for feisty storms will expand northeastward into the Midwest.The same cold front that set off explosive storms across the central Plains Monday and Monday night will dig eastward on Tuesday. Storms can erupt along a wide swath of the country from the Front Range of the southern Rockies to the Upper Midwest. Severe activity will start to ramp up in earnest by Tuesday afternoon when lines of damaging thunderstorms called squall lines can begin to organize and rumble across the nation's midsection through Tuesday night. Along with torrential rainfall and large hail, very strong and damaging wind gusts are likely to be produced by these storms. Even an isolated tornado or two can develop across the area.An AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 90 mph can occur on Tuesday, especially in the central Plains.Locations that may end up in the path of Tuesday's damaging storms include Madison, Wisconsin; Des Moines, Iowa; Omaha, Nebraska; and Dodge City, Kansas.CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APPThere will be no rest for the weather-weary in the Midwest on Wednesday as another round of severe weather will ignite across the region.Compared to Tuesday, the severe threat on Wednesday will sink southeastward and place locations from northeastern Kansas to western Indiana in the crosshairs for explosive storms during the day.Any storms that initiate on Wednesday will have the capacity to unleash frequent lightning strikes, flooding rainfall, large hail and damaging winds up to an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 75 mph. An isolated tornado or two will once again be possible on Wednesday. Chicago and Milwaukee may be among the major Midwest metros that get hit hard by storms during the afternoon and evening rush hours. If directly impacted, flash flooding may become a significant issue across these cities, especially in low-lying or poor-drainage areas.Motorists, especially those traveling on interstates 80, 70, 55 and 39 will need to keep an eye to the sky on Wednesday as conditions can deteriorate rapidly within any storm.The threat for severe storms will march generally eastward throughout the day and reach into more of Indiana, as well as portions of Michigan and Ohio, by Wednesday evening.Thursday, the Midwest will likely be granted a breather from widespread severe weather as the damaging storm bull's-eye shifts back to the Front Range and the Plains.Despite the threats inherent with large hail and damaging wind gusts, the persistent stormy and wet pattern across the nation's midsection is proving to be beneficial for farmers in the region."The month of July is considered to be the most important month for farmers across the Midwest, as this is when crops like corn and soybeans experience the most rapid growth if conditions are conducive," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brandon Buckingham said.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.


7/14/2020 5:55:10 AM

French man accused of molesting hundreds of children dies in IndonesiaFrancois Camille Abello, 65, died in a suspected suicide in his cell in Jakarta, police say.


7/13/2020 6:22:57 AM

Earthquakes in Southern California last year increased the chances of 'the big one' on the San Andreas fault, research suggestsA major earthquake on the San Andreas fault line would crumble buildings, rupture gas lines, trigger landslides, and devastate Los Angeles.


7/13/2020 7:30:00 PM

7/13/2020 1:42:00 PM

Blame game? Cuomo takes heat over NY nursing home studyNew York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is facing blistering criticism over an internal report that found no strong link between a controversial state directive that sent thousands of recovering coronavirus patients into nursing homes and some of the nation’s deadliest nursing home outbreaks. Scientists, health care professionals and elected officials assailed the report released last week for failing to address the actual impact of the March 25 order, which by the state’s own count ushered more than 6,300 recovering virus patients into nursing homes at the height of the pandemic.


7/13/2020 11:39:52 PM

‘We’re going to lose a lot of teachers.’ Coronavirus kills beloved Arizona educator“It just feels like a bad dream that I can’t wake up from. We’ve just felt so lost without her.”


7/12/2020 12:00:07 PM

Claudia Conway, 15-year-old daughter of Kellyanne and George Conway, announced plans to delete her social-media accounts per her parents' requestClaudia Conway garnered thousands of followers across her social-media platforms, which largely include posts critical of President Donald Trump.


7/14/2020 12:42:45 AM

Nelson Mandela's daughter Zindzi Mandela dies at 59Zindzi Mandela, daughter of Nelson Mandela, has died, a spokesperson for the African National Congress said on Monday. She was 59.


7/13/2020 5:43:43 AM

Yemeni Houthis say they hit Saudi oil facility in drone, missile attack"The strike was accurate," a Houthi military spokesman said.


7/13/2020 4:59:25 AM

Philippines to use police in house-to-house searches for COVID-19 casesPhilippine authorities and police will carry out house-to-house searches for COVID-19 patients to prevent wider transmission, a minister said on Tuesday, amid soaring death and infection numbers and some areas returning to a stricter lockdown. Interior Minister Eduardo Año urged the public to report cases in their neighbourhoods, warning that anyone infected who refused to cooperate faced imprisonment. The tough approach comes during a week where the Philippines recorded Southeast Asia biggest daily jump in coronavirus deaths and saw hospital occupancy grow sharply, after a tripling of infections since a tough lockdown was eased on June 1 to allow more movement and commerce.


7/14/2020 7:59:02 AM

Federal unemployment benefits to expire in weeksOut-of-work Floridians are about to take another big hit when federal unemployment benefits expire at the end of July.


7/13/2020 6:12:48 AM

US Surgeon General Jerome Adams says the US can turn coronavirus around in '2 or 3 weeks if everyone does their part'Adams compared his past mask advice to doctors who prescribed "leeches and cocaine and heroin for people as medical treatments" before learning more.


7/12/2020 11:15:21 AM

Prosecutors in Ghislaine Maxwell case say proposed $5 million bond is 'effectively meaningless'Prosecutors in New York doubled down in their bid to keep Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell behind bars while awaiting trial.


7/13/2020 7:43:19 PM

German study finds no evidence coronavirus spreads in schoolsSchools do not play a major role in spreading the coronavirus, according to the results of a German study released on Monday. The study, the largest carried out on schoolchildren and teachers in Germany, found traces of the virus in fewer than 1 per cent of teachers and children. Scientists from Dresden Technical University said they believe children may act as a “brake” on chains of infection. Prof Reinhard Berner, the head of pediatric medicine at Dresden University Hospital and leader of the study, said the results suggested the virus does not spread easily in schools. “It is rather the opposite,” Prof Berner told a press conference. “Children act more as a brake on infection. Not every infection that reaches them is passed on.” The study tested 2,045 children and teachers at 13 schools — including some where there have been cases of the virus. But scientists found antibodies in just 12 of those who took part. “This means that the degree of immunization in the group of study participants is well below 1 per cent and much lower then we expected,” said Prof Berner. “This suggests schools have not developed into hotspots.” The study was carried out at schools in three different districts in the region of Saxony.


7/13/2020 11:47:04 AM

Yahoo! News

Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines

Trump says a President Biden would get 'no ratings'President Trump, whose halting leadership in the face of the coronavirus pandemic Americans increasingly question, boasted Monday about his one undisputed success: his ability to command media attention.


7/13/2020 9:42:49 AM

French man accused of molesting hundreds of children dies in IndonesiaFrancois Camille Abello, 65, died in a suspected suicide in his cell in Jakarta, police say.


7/13/2020 6:22:57 AM

New York mayor 'heartbroken' over shooting death of one-year-oldToddler Davell Gardner Jr. was killed and three men were wounded on Sunday after two gunmen opened fire at a family cookout in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York media reported, citing New York police. "It's just horrifying," de Blasio said at a news conference to discuss the coronavirus. Davell's shooting was one of 11 incidents in which 16 people in New York were shot over the weekend, WABC television reported.


7/13/2020 12:49:56 PM

Ousted U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman: Deal Barr Offered ‘Could Be Seen as a Quid Pro Quo’The federal prosecutor whom Attorney General Bill Barr ousted in June told House investigators that he was alarmed at the way Barr attempted to replace him, saying that “the “irregular and unexplained actions by the Attorney General raised serious concerns for me,” according to a transcript of the closed-door interview released by the House Judiciary Committee on Monday. Geoffrey Berman, formerly the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, was brought in for a closed-door session of the Judiciary Committee on July 9 to talk about the events surrounding Barr’s public announcement on June 19 that Berman had “stepped down” from his post, even though the U.S. attorney made clear to Barr multiple times that he was not stepping down. The late-night announcement by Barr immediately sparked confusion and raised questions about his involvement in a crucial prosecutor’s office. The next day, Berman said he would leave the job when Barr agreed to let his deputy take over as acting U.S. attorney, as opposed to Craig Carpenito, the U.S. attorney for the district of New Jersey, whom Barr wanted to install in the position until the Trump administration’s pick, Securities and Exchange Commission chief Jay Clayton, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate.Berman, who at SDNY handled sensitive investigations into Trumpworld figures such as Rudy Giuliani, did not comment specifically to the Judiciary Committee on what he believed Barr’s motivations to be, and he studiously avoided any questions about how specific SDNY probes might have factored into the situation. But Berman made clear that the attorney general’s preferred plan would have slowed and complicated the work of the office, and he raised several questions challenging Barr’s handling of the process. Trump Thought He’d Picked His Perfect U.S. Attorney in Geoffrey Berman. He Was Very Wrong.“Why did the attorney general say that I was stepping down when he knew I had neither resigned nor been fired?” Berman asked rhetorically, in response to questions from Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY). “Why did the attorney general not tell me the actual reason he was asking me to resign instead of saying that it was to get Clayton into the position? And why did he announce the appointment of Craig Carpenito as acting U.S. attorney when Audrey Strauss was the logical and normal successor?”“Replacing me with someone from outside the district would have resulted in the disruption and delay of the important investigations that were being conducted,” Berman said later. “I was not going to permit that. And I would rather be fired than have that done.” At numerous points, Berman expressed his dismay at Barr’s wish to install Carpenito—who would have retained his previous job in New Jersey—in the job instead of Berman’s top deputy, Strauss, a move he said violated 70 years of precedent at SDNY.According to his opening statement that was obtained by The Daily Beast last Thursday, Berman said that during a private meeting in New York that Barr called to open the discussion, the attorney general praised his performance as U.S. attorney but said the Trump administration wanted Clayton to take the SDNY post. Berman said Barr tried to lure him away by dangling other offers—to head the Department of Justice’s civil rights division and, later, the SEC—but Berman declined. Barr told him that if he did not resign, he would be fired. “I believe the attorney general was trying to entice me to resign so that an outsider could be put into the acting U.S. attorney position at the Southern District of New York, which would have resulted in the delay and disruption of ongoing investigations,” Berman told the Judiciary Committee.At one point in the interview, GOP committee attorney Steve Castor asked if Barr had laid out to Berman a set of actions that would have allowed him to keep his job—if there was any “quid pro quo for you getting to keep your job.”Berman said no, and he confirmed that Barr did not mention any specific SDNY investigations—Castor raised Jeffrey Epstein and Guiliani-related probes—in pressuring him to leave. But Berman did say Barr’s offering of other positions could have been construed as a quid pro quo.“You know, he wanted me to resign to take a position. I assume you could call that a quid pro quo. You resign and you get this, that would mean quid pro quo,” said Berman. Asked to clarify those comments later, he said it wasn’t his term but reiterated that “it could be seen as a quid pro quo, his offering me a job in exchange for my resignation.” Berman is a rare U.S. attorney in that he was not confirmed by the Senate but was appointed by the judges of SDNY to hold the position in April 2018. Berman insisted that, as he was a court-appointed prosecutor, neither Barr nor President Trump had the authority to fire him before the Senate confirmed a successor, but some past legal precedent has indicated the president can fire a court-appointed U.S. attorney. Trump has said he had nothing to do with Berman’s ouster. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


7/13/2020 6:21:25 PM

US Air Force F-16 fighter jet crashes at New Mexico base, marking service's fifth fighter jet crash since MayThe pilot was able to eject safely and is being treated for minor injuries, the base said Monday evening.


7/13/2020 10:33:13 PM

It’s so hot at Death Valley National Park that cars are breaking downIt’s the hottest place on Earth for a reason.


7/13/2020 3:34:40 PM

Detained Chinese professor who criticised Chinese President Xi Jinping is freedA Chinese academic who penned an essay blaming the coronavirus pandemic on President Xi Jinping's authoritarianism and censorship has been released after nearly a week in detention, his friends have told AFP. Xu Zhangrun, a law professor at Beijing's prestigious Tsinghua University, was taken from his home in the capital by a group of more than 20 people on July 6, according to associates. He returned home on Sunday and was well, two friends confirmed to AFP on Sunday, speaking on condition of anonymity. In an essay published on overseas websites, Xu had written that the leadership system under Xi - China's most powerful leader since Mao Zedong - was "destroying the structure of governance". He said the lack of openness contributed to the outbreak of the coronavirus, which first appeared in China late last year and eventually spread globally after Communist Party officials tried to suppress initial news of the contagion. It was not immediately clear whether he would face further repercussions. Beijing police did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.


7/13/2020 12:04:18 AM

AOC suggests NYC crime spike linked to unemployment and parents shoplifting to feed childrenNew York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has insisted that spikes in New York crime are not related to police budget cuts but people needing to pay rent and feed their children.In a virtual town hall meeting on Thursday, reported by The Hill, AOC was questioned about the significant rise in crime in the city.


7/13/2020 9:34:17 AM

South Africa's 9 million smokers were faced with cold turkey when the government banned cigarette sales in March as a coronavirus measure. Now Big Tobacco is fighting back.Cigarettes have become the top illicit drug, more profitable than cocaine and heroin, analysts told AP.


7/12/2020 11:03:00 AM

Couple who threatened Black Lives Matter protesters with guns once destroyed children's beehivesSt. Louis couple Mark and Patricia McCloskey drew national attention in June when they flashed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters walking down their street.


7/12/2020 4:14:24 PM

Trump identifies another hoax: The coronavirus“The most outrageous lies are the ones about Covid 19,” wrote game show host Chuck Woolery in a tweet promoted by the president.


7/13/2020 10:26:49 AM

Spike in Shootings Continues over the Weekend in Chicago, NYCA spike in shootings during the past month and a half continued with 64 shooting victims in Chicago and 28 in New York City over the weekend.While overall crime is down in both cities, there has been an uptick in gun violence in June and July as compared to the same period in 2019. That uptick comes in the midst of massive protests against police kindled by the death of George Floyd, an African American man killed during his arrest by officers in Minneapolis.Of the shooting victims in Chicago this weekend, 13 were killed including two children. The same weekend in 2019 saw 41 shooting victims with nine dead. Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown has announced the creation of "mobile patrol" units to increase police presence in various neighborhoods, in an attempt to clamp down on the violence.Mayor Lori Lightfoot said last week that the uptick in gun violence could be attributed at least in part to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic."The ecosystem of public safety that isn’t just law enforcement but is local, community-based, they too, have really been hit hard by COVID and are now just kind of coming back online and getting their footing," Lightfoot said at a press conference.Meanwhile, New York City recorded 28 shooting victims over the weekend, with 15 of those shot within a 15-hour period, according to the New York Post. The victims included a one-year-old boy who was killed after gunfire erupted near a barbecue in Brooklyn.Much of the spike in shootings in June occurred in 10 specific precincts, NYPD Chief of Crime Control Strategies Michael LiPetri said last week, adding "Those communities are being overrun by the small percentage of gang members who have no regard for their own life and absolutely zero regard for the community."The NYPD also dealt with multiple pro- and anti-police demonstrations over the weekend, some of which descended into scuffles between the two factions.


7/13/2020 8:12:00 AM

After coronavirus kept a Florida couple apart for 114 days, wife takes dishwashing job to see husbandMary Daniel got a job as a dishwasher at a memory-care center so she could be inside the locked-down facility to see her husband, a patient there.


7/14/2020 4:50:50 AM

A leading antibody expert says you can get coronaviruses again, so 'there's not much we can do until there's a vaccine'"Is it possible to have durable, effective immunity? I think it is, but it's still an unanswered question that we need to prove," Fauci said.


7/14/2020 8:22:00 AM

German study finds no evidence coronavirus spreads in schoolsSchools do not play a major role in spreading the coronavirus, according to the results of a German study released on Monday. The study, the largest carried out on schoolchildren and teachers in Germany, found traces of the virus in fewer than 1 per cent of teachers and children. Scientists from Dresden Technical University said they believe children may act as a “brake” on chains of infection. Prof Reinhard Berner, the head of pediatric medicine at Dresden University Hospital and leader of the study, said the results suggested the virus does not spread easily in schools. “It is rather the opposite,” Prof Berner told a press conference. “Children act more as a brake on infection. Not every infection that reaches them is passed on.” The study tested 2,045 children and teachers at 13 schools — including some where there have been cases of the virus. But scientists found antibodies in just 12 of those who took part. “This means that the degree of immunization in the group of study participants is well below 1 per cent and much lower then we expected,” said Prof Berner. “This suggests schools have not developed into hotspots.” The study was carried out at schools in three different districts in the region of Saxony.


7/13/2020 11:47:04 AM

7/13/2020 1:42:00 PM

Former federal prosecutor says Ghislaine Maxwell could be bailed because of coronavirusFormer federal prosecutor Jaimie Nawaday has claimed that Ghislaine Maxwell could be granted bail because of an outbreak of Covid-19 in her New York prison.Maxwell is currently being held at the Metropolitan Detention Centre in Brooklyn facing charges of trafficking, sexual exploitation and abuse of minors.


7/13/2020 9:11:00 AM

Pro-Police Agitators and Black Lives Matter Protesters Clash in BrooklynThe pro-police rallies came weeks after the New York City Council cut the NYPD's budget by $1 billion. The cuts came in light of national calls to defund police departments in response to the killing of George Floyd and other unarmed Black people at the hands of police officers.


7/13/2020 7:51:45 PM

'Historic corruption': Republicans and Democrats react to Trump's Stone rulingThe president commuted the prison sentence of his longtime associate on Friday, prompting outcry from politicians on both sides of the aisle The White House statementIn a statement released on Friday evening, the White House denounced the prosecution of Stone on charges stemming from “the Russia Hoax” investigation. “Roger Stone has already suffered greatly,” the statement read. “He was treated very unfairly, as were many others in this case. Roger Stone is now a free man!”> Roger Stone was targeted by an illegal Witch Hunt that never should have taken place. It is the other side that are criminals, including Biden and Obama, who spied on my campaign - AND GOT CAUGHT!> > — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2020 Robert Mueller, former special counsel“The work of the special counsel’s office – its report, indictments, guilty pleas and convictions – should speak for itself,” Robert Mueller wrote in an op-ed article for the Washington Post on Saturday.“But I feel compelled to respond both to broad claims that our investigation was illegitimate and our motives were improper, and to specific claims that Roger Stone was a victim of our office … Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so.”Mueller said that “the special counsel’s office identified two principal operations directed at our election: hacking and dumping Clinton campaign emails, and an online social media campaign to disparage the Democratic candidate.“We also identified numerous links between the Russian government and Trump campaign personnel – Stone among them. We did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government …“The investigation did, however, establish that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome. [And] that the campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts.” Senator Mitt Romney, Utah, Republican> Unprecedented, historic corruption: an American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president.> > — Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) July 11, 2020Romney, who was also the lone GOP senator to vote to convict the president during his impeachment trial earlier this year, attacked Trump’s move. “Unprecedented, historic corruption: an American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president,” Romney tweeted. Nancy Pelosi, House speaker, DemocratPelosi called the commutation an act of “staggering corruption”, saying legislation is needed to prevent a president from pardoning, or commuting the sentence of, someone who acted to shield that president from prosecution. Speaking on Sunday to CNN’s State of the Union, Pelosi said: “It’s a threat to our national security.” Senator Lindsey Graham, South Carolina, RepublicanGraham, a Trump confidant, said Stone was convicted of a non-violent, first-time offense and the president was justified in commuting the sentence.Graham, chair of the Senate judiciary committee, tweeted on Sunday that he would now grant Democrat requests to call Mueller to give evidence before the committee in light of his op-ed for the Washington Post.> Apparently Mr. Mueller is willing - and also capable - of defending the Mueller investigation through an oped in the Washington Post.> > — Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) July 12, 2020“Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have previously requested Mr Mueller appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify about his investigation. That request will be granted,” Graham tweeted.“Apparently Mr Mueller is willing – and also capable – of defending the Mueller investigation through an oped in the Washington Post.”Graham is leading an investigation by Republicans on the judiciary committee into the origins of Mueller’s investigation. Democrats say the investigation is a move to appease Trump ahead of November’s election. Senator Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania, RepublicanToomey called Trump’s move a “mistake”, noting that the US attorney general, William Barr, had called Stone’s prosecution “righteous”.“The president clearly has the legal and constitutional authority to grant clemency for federal crimes,” Toomey said in a statement. “However, this authority should be used judiciously and very rarely by any president.” Mark Sanford, Republican> So much for the RepublicanParty being the party of law and order. Have we not lost our minds in not condemning as a party the president’s pardon of corruption by RogerStone.> > — Mark Sanford (@MarkSanford) July 11, 2020Sanford, the former South Carolina congressman who made a short-lived primary challenge to Trump, tweeted: “So much for the Republican Party being the party of law and order. Have we not lost our minds in not condemning as a party the president’s pardon of corruption by Roger Stone.” Representative Adam Schiff, California, DemocratSchiff, chairman of the House intelligence committee – the congressional panel Stone was convicted of lying to about aspects of the Trump-Russia investigation – called the decision “destructive of the criminal justice system and the rule of law” on Saturday morning. Governor Larry Hogan, Maryland, RepublicanHogan raised questions about Trump’s decision , and said “it’s certainly going to hurt politically.”Speaking to NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday he added that he did not “know what the future holds in November” for the Republican party. Hogan, rumored to be eyeing a run for the White House in 2024 said that the GOP needs to be a “bigger tent party” in the future.“I know that the Republican party is going to be looking at what happens after President Trump and whether that’s in four months or four years,” Hogan said. “And I think they’re going to be looking to, ‘How do we go about becoming a bigger tent party?’”


7/12/2020 4:15:03 PM

U.S. carries out first execution in 17 years after overnight Supreme Court rulingLee was pronounced dead at 8:07 a.m. EDT (1207 GMT), U.S. Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman Kristie Breshears said by phone. "The American people have made the considered choice to permit capital punishment for the most egregious federal crimes, and justice was done today in implementing the sentence for Lee's horrific offenses," U.S. Attorney General William Barr said in a statement.


7/14/2020 7:53:05 AM

U.S. Considers TikTok Ban as Chinese Threat to Global Internet Freedom GrowsThe partnership between Chinese tech companies and the Chinese Communist Party is threatening global Internet freedom. But the U.S. has the chance to push back and safeguard online free speech and privacy worldwide.Last Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News’s Laura Ingraham that the U.S. is “certainly looking at” banning TikTok, a video-sharing social-media platform owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, over its ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).Pompeo cited the threat of “Chinese surveillance” to national security, as TikTok user data is surely being passed on to the CCP. A day later, in an interview with Greta Van Susteren, President Trump took a different tack, listing a ban on TikTok as “one of many” potential ways to punish the Chinese government for its hand in the coronavirus pandemic.TikTok is no stranger to U.S. scrutiny. Government agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security have banned the app for security reasons. And last year, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department investigated the company after it was alleged to have used data from users under 13 years of age in violation of American privacy laws. It was recently reported that the app may have failed to address regulators’ concerns on that front.It might seem strange that an app known for making harmless, entertaining videos go viral would be the center of so much controversy. But the problem isn’t the content TikTok allows users to share with the world; it’s the company’s meticulous collection of user data and its close, troubling relationship with the CCP.Parent company ByteDance is allegedly working with the CCP in its surveillance efforts. Just as unsettling, the app has been accused of aiding Chinese propaganda efforts through the use of “shadow bans,” fiddling with the app’s algorithm so that users — even users outside China — don’t see content concerning Tiananmen Square or the Hong Kong protests. For instance, in 2019, TikTok user Feroza Aziz had her account suspended after posting a makeup tutorial that secretly condemned China’s mass detention and abuse of Uighur Muslims in Xianjiang Province.Such abuses are not limited to TikTok. Other Chinese tech companies have done the CCP’s bidding inside and outside China as well. According to an Australian Strategic Policy Institute report, Chinese tech giants such as Huawei, Tencent, and Alibaba are using artificial intelligence to collect users’ data and aid and abet China in fulfilling its global ambitions.And what are those ambitions? One is obviously the legitimizing of the CCP’s dictatorship abroad. But China may also be seeking to normalize authoritarianism more generally. For instance, TikTok has reportedly censored criticisms of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s authoritarian president.It’s like a virtual Belt and Road Initiative, in which viral dance videos replace seemingly good-faith investments as the vehicle for the spread of CCP influence.In the face of China’s threats to the freedom of the world’s Internet, the Trump administration should be applauded for considering a ban on TikTok. As Chinese censorship, surveillance, and propaganda spread worldwide, the U.S. has a chance to fight back and change the trajectory of the Information Age for the better. At a press conference on Wednesday, Pompeo said that “the infrastructure of this next hundred years must be a communications infrastructure that’s based on a Western ideal of private property and protection of private citizens’ information in a transparent way.” He added, however, that realizing that vision would be difficult: “It’s a big project, because we’ve got partners all around the world where infrastructure crosses Chinese technology and then comes to the United States.”It won’t be easy, but it must be done. Nothing less than global Internet freedom is at stake.


7/13/2020 12:28:44 PM

US Surgeon General Jerome Adams says the US can turn coronavirus around in '2 or 3 weeks if everyone does their part'Adams compared his past mask advice to doctors who prescribed "leeches and cocaine and heroin for people as medical treatments" before learning more.


7/12/2020 11:15:21 AM

Funeral for Seoul mayor held as allegation details emergeMourners wept and deeply bowed before the coffin of Seoul’s mayor during his funeral Monday, while a lawyer came forward with details about sexual harassment allegations against the late politician. The allegations have split many in South Korea over how to remember Park Won-soon, who was found dead Friday in a wooded area in northern Seoul. Park, a liberal who built his career as a reform-minded politician and champion of women’s rights, had been considered a potential candidate for president in 2022.


7/12/2020 10:46:54 PM

Airline contacts US senator over maskless photoAmerican Airlines said Monday it had contacted Republican Senator Ted Cruz after he was seen without a mask on a flight, but he said he had only removed it to eat and drink. Health experts and scientists have called on politicians to set an example by wearing face coverings as the coronavirus rages across the United States. "While our policy does not apply while eating or drinking, we have reached out to Senator Cruz to affirm the importance of this policy," American Airlines said in a statement.


7/13/2020 11:07:36 PM

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