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Nine US states launch probe into whether Facebook broke antitrust rules

Nine US states launch probe into whether Facebook broke antitrust rules | 06 Sept 2019 | Several state attorneys general united forces to investigate if the social media giant Facebook violated antitrust laws, hurting its users in the process. The prosecutors will check whether Facebook "stifled competition and put users at risk," said New York Attorney General Letitia James who is leading the probe. The attorneys general of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia are also taking part in the probe.

U.S. military commits air support for Bahamas aid operation

U.S. military commits air support for Bahamas aid operation | 06 Sept 2019 | The Trump administration has requested "airlift and logistics support" from the Defense Department in its urgent support effort for the Bahamas, McClatchy has learned. USAID formally made the request of the Pentagon on Friday afternoon after conducting aerial and on-the-ground assessments of the devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian earlier this week.

Feds Order Apple and Google to Hand Over Names of 10,000 Users of a Gun Scope App

Feds Order Apple and Google to Hand Over Names of 10,000 Users of a Gun Scope App | 06 Sept 2019 | Own a rifle? Got a scope to go with it? The government might soon know who you are, where you live and how to reach you. That's because Apple and Google have been ordered by the U.S. government to hand over names, phone numbers and other identifying data of at least 10,000 users of a single gun scope app, Forbes has discovered. It’s an unprecedented move: Never before has a case been disclosed in which American investigators demanded personal data of users of a single app from Apple and Google. And never has an order been made public where the feds have asked the Silicon Valley giants for info on so many thousands of people in one sweep. According to a court order filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on September 5, investigators want information on users of Obsidian 4, a tool used to control rifle scopes made by night-vision specialist American Technologies Network Corp.

Liberal author begs 'normal people' not to wear sports teams' MAGA-like red caps: 'You're making everyone scared'

Liberal author begs 'normal people' not to wear sports teams' MAGA-like red caps: 'You're making everyone scared' | 06 Sept 2019 | An author who has been a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award received backlash on Twitter after likening President Trump's red "Make America Great Again" hats to the Nazi swastika -- and urging "normal people" (i.e., non-Trump voters) to avoid wearing any type of red hat, saying they'd be "making people scared" by doing so. The Chicago-based author, Rebecca Makkai, 41, made the remarks in a string of tweets beginning over the weekend and carrying into early this week. She also asked sports fans whose teams wear red hats -- such as the Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals -- not to don that specific color cap in public...She also railed against parody MAGA hats if they, too, are red. "Also, for the love of God: The clever folks wearing "Make America Read Again" or whatever caps -- NO. You're making everyone scared. Don't do it," she wrote.

After Climate Forum, Biden Heads to a Fundraiser Co-Hosted by a Fossil Fuel Executive

After Climate Forum, Biden Heads to a Fundraiser Co-Hosted by a Fossil Fuel Executive | 04 Sept 2019 | The day after Joe Biden participates in CNN's climate forum in New York, the former vice president will head to a high-dollar fundraiser co-hosted by a founder of a fossil fuel company. Andrew Goldman, a co-founder of Western LNG, a natural gas production company based in Houston, Texas, is co-hosting one of two high-dollar fundraisers Biden will attend in New York on Thursday. Western's major project is a floating production facility off the northern coast of British Columbia designed to provide Canadian gas to markets in northeast Asia. Goldman and Biden have deep ties: Goldman served as an adviser to Biden while he was in the Senate and was the northeast director of finance for Biden's 2008 campaign.

Ernst calls for Congress to fix [cut] Social Security 'behind closed doors'

Ernst calls for Congress to fix [cut] Social Security 'behind closed doors' | 05 Sept 2019 | Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Deep State troll-Iowa) said at a recent town hall that lawmakers should discuss changes to Social Security "behind closed doors," sparking criticism from Democrats and advocacy groups. Ernst made the comments Saturday, according to a video posted by the Democratic super PAC American Bridge. The remarks began to receive wider attention after being reported by the news website Iowa Starting Line on Wednesday. Ernst, who is running for reelection in 2020, received pushback for her remarks on social media, including from one of her four Democratic challengers.

Bahamas death toll rises to 30 after Hurricane Dorian

Bahamas death toll rises to 30 after Hurricane Dorian | 05 Sept 2019 | The death toll in the Bahamas in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian rose to 30, according to multiple reports. Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis told CNN about the increased fatalities Thursday evening. Previous reports indicated that 23 people had died due to the storm. The Bahamas's minister of health, Duane Sands, told The New York Times that the death count after the storm hit "could be staggering."

Hurricane Dorian closes in on the Carolinas, bringing tornadoes and flooding

Hurricane Dorian closes in on the Carolinas, bringing tornadoes and flooding | 05 Sept 2019 | The dangerous eyewall of Hurricane Dorian moved closer to the Carolinas Thursday evening as the storm brought fierce winds and destructive tornadoes to coastal regions in those states. Dorian, a high-end Category 2 storm with sustained winds up to 105 mph, was centered over the ocean some 45 miles southeast of Myrtle Beach by 6 p.m. ET, looking like it would move along the coast. The eyewall -- containing the storm's strongest winds -- could come so close that it doesn't technically make landfall, but conditions were worsening as the storm moved to the northeast at 10 mph. Hurricane conditions had already hit South Carolina and were expected in the Tar Heel state with the coming hours.

San Francisco Declares the N.R.A. a 'Domestic Terrorist Organization'

San Francisco Declares the N.R.A. a 'Domestic Terrorist Organization' | 05 Sept 2019 | Unsettled by recent mass shootings across the nation, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution this week declaring the National Rifle Association a domestic terrorist organization. The resolution was introduced by Supervisor Catherine Stefani on July 30, two days after a shooting at a garlic festival in Gilroy, Calif., in which three people were killed and more than a dozen others injured...Amy Hunter, a spokeswoman for the N.R.A. responded in a statement on Wednesday. "This is a reckless assault on a law-abiding organization, its members, and the freedoms they all stand for. We remain undeterred, guided by our values and belief in those who want to find real solutions to gun violence."

US service member killed in Kabul suicide car bomb attack

US service member killed in Kabul suicide car bomb attack --The US death is the 16th US service member to be killed in Afghanistan in 2019. | 05 Sept 2019 | A US service member was killed in a suicide car bomb attack Thursday in Kabul, Afghanistan, at a checkpoint near NATO headquarters and the US embassy, a US military official with direct knowledge of the incident said. Another service member from Romania also was killed, the NATO-led coalition announced in a statement.

'It's a tip of an iceberg': Bulgarian journo reveals how US-purchased arms end up with ISIS in Yemen

'It's a tip of an iceberg': Bulgarian journo reveals how US-purchased arms end up with ISIS in Yemen | 05 Sept 2019 | Mortar shells shown in an Islamic State propaganda video have put a Bulgarian journalist on the scent of an alleged US-run arms shipping network supplying militants in the Middle East, she told RT in an exclusive interview. This story began back in June, when Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS [but still I-CIA-SIS]) terrorists in Yemen demonstrated several Serbian-made 82mm mortar shells in their propaganda video. Independent investigative journalist, Dilyana Gaytandzhieva, believes that the deadly munitions ended up with the jihadists after going through US hands.

China, US agree to meet in October for trade talks

China, US agree to meet in October for trade talks | 04 Sept 2019 | U.S. and Chinese officials have agreed to meet in early October for a new round of negotiations amid the continuing trade war between the nations, officials from both nations said Wednesday night. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke with Liu He, Beijing's top trade negotiator, and they agreed on further talks in Washington D.C., with consultations to take place in mid-September to prepare, the Chinese Commerce Ministry announced, according to CNBC, which was the first to report news of the meeting.

Hurricane Dorian's death toll rises to 21 as it charges up Southeast coast; may make landfall in Carolinas

Hurricane Dorian's death toll rises to 21 as it charges up Southeast coast; may make landfall in Carolinas | 04 Sept 2019 | Hurricane Dorian has killed at least 20 in the Bahamas, as well as an elderly man in North Carolina, as the powerful storm charges up the Southeast coast. Dorian, which restrengthened to a Category 3 hurricane late Wednesday, might make landfall as it inches closer to the Carolinas -- and South Carolina's governor is warning that the time to evacuate will soon be over. Dorian is now hovering just off the coast of Florida and southern Georgia, pummeling the Sunshine State to Savannah to South Carolina with rain.

Nunes files $9.9M suit against firm behind Steele dossier, saying it tried to obstruct Russia probe

Nunes files $9.9M suit against firm behind Steele dossier, saying it tried to obstruct Russia probe | 04 Sept 2019 | Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., filed a $9.9 million federal conspiracy lawsuit on Wednesday alleging that the opposition research firm behind the anti-Trump Steele dossier coordinated with another group to file several fraudulent and harassing ethics complaints intended to derail his investigation. The complaint in the Eastern District of Virginia, which named Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson and the nonprofit Campaign for Accountability (CfA), said the "smear" tactics kicked into action shortly after Simpson "lied" in his closed-door testimony before the House Intelligence Committee in November 2017, as well as before the Senate Judiciary Committee in August 2017. Fusion GPS and CfA's "racketeering activities," Nunes alleged, were "part of a joint and systematic effort to intimidate, harass, threaten, influence, interfere with, impede, and ultimately to derail" Republican investigators.

Biden defends ties to former fossil fuel executive at climate forum

Biden defends ties to former fossil fuel executive at climate forum | 04 Sept 2019 | Joe Biden had to play defense during CNN's climate town hall Wednesday, starting his portion of the night answering a question about news he would attend a fundraiser hosted by a former fossil fuel executive the following day. An audience member asked Biden about the scheduled fundraiser with Andrew Goldman, a co-founder of Houston-based natural gas producer Western LNG. The meeting was first reported Wednesday by CNBC. Biden has signed the No Fossil Fuel Pledge, an agreement that his campaign would not accept donations from the fossil fuel industry or its executives.

DARPA unleashes anti-meme militia to fight 'polarizing' viral content, with apparent goal of eradicating dissent

DARPA unleashes anti-meme militia to fight 'polarizing' viral content, with apparent goal of eradicating dissent | 03 Sept 2019 | The Pentagon has unveiled an initiative to fight foment 'large-scale, automated disinformation attacks' by unearthing deep-fakes and other polarizing content - with the eventual goal of rooting out so-called 'malicious intent' entirely. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is seeking software capable of churning through a test set of half a million news stories, photos, and audio/video clips to target and neutralize potentially viral information before it spreads. In DARPA jargon, the aim is to "automatically detect, attribute, and characterize falsified multi-modal media to defend against large-scale, automated disinformation attacks." "Polarizing viral content," however, includes inflammatory truths, and the program's ultimate goal seems to be to stamp out dissent.

Trump administration considers using Google, Amazon, and Apple to determine if a citizen should own a gun

Trump administration considers using Google, Amazon, and Apple to determine if a citizen should own a gun | 22 Aug 2019 | the Trump administration is [insanely] considering a proposal that would use Google, Amazon and Apple [the Big Tech tyrants] to collect data on users who exhibit characteristics of mental illness that could lead to violent behavior, The Washington Post reported Thursday. The proposal is part of an initiative to create a Health Advanced Research Projects Agency (HARPA), which would be located inside the Health and Human Services Department, the report notes, citing sources inside the administration. The new agency would have a separate budget and the president would be responsible for appointing its director. HARPA would take after Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, which serves as the research arm for the Pentagon. [Trump is considering relying on disinformation agencies from the Google archipelago to curtail rights. --Michael Rectenwald]

Hurricane Dorian's devastation in the Bahamas revealed

Hurricane Dorian's devastation in the Bahamas revealed --The Grand Bahama airport was under 6 feet of water | 03 Sept 2019 | After battering the Bahamas for more than a day and a half, Hurricane Dorian finally began to move away from the islands on Tuesday as the scope of the devastation began to emerge. Dorian's punishing winds and torrential rain have battered the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama, which have a combined population of about 70,000...The Pentagon said Tuesday that 5,000 National Guard and 2,500 active-duty forces are ready to assist Hurricane Dorian relief efforts.

Hurricane Dorian lashes Florida's Atlantic coast after decimating Bahamas

Hurricane Dorian lashes Florida's Atlantic coast after decimating Bahamas | 03 Sept 2019 | Hurricane Dorian closed in on the east of Cape Canaveral, Fla., around 8 p.m. Tuesday with maximum sustained wind speeds of 110 mph, packing "life-threatening" storm surge, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. The storm advisory update warned Florida’s central Atlantic coast could see damage as Dorian charges northward. In the most powerful hurricane ever to hit the Bahamas, the Category 5 storm devastated the islands and killed at least seven people in its wake over the span of several days, officials said.

Beto O'Rourke wants to be REALLY clear he IS 'coming for your guns'

Beto O'Rourke wants to be REALLY clear he IS 'coming for your guns' | 02 Sept 2019 | Texas-born presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke has vowed that if elected, he will implement a mandatory buyback of firearms, meaning the Americans will have to sell their AR-15s and AK-47s. The promise has inflamed conservatives. Former Texas Congressman, O’Rourke has made gun control a key issue in his 2020 platform, and has been one of the loudest public figures calling for tighter gun laws in the wake of Saturday's mass shooting in Odessa, Texas. Asked on Saturday whether he would go as far as to confiscate guns from American citizens if elected president, O'Rourke made his position clear. "I want to be really clear. That’s exactly what we're going to do," he told reporters.

Virginia latest to declare state of emergency as Hurricane Dorian approaches

Virginia latest to declare state of emergency as Hurricane Dorian approaches | 02 Sept 2019 | Virginia on Monday became the most recent state to declare a state of emergency as Florida and the Southeast United States braces for Hurricane Dorian. Dorian, classified as a category 5 hurricane Sunday but downgraded to Category 4 on Monday, is over the Bahamas and predicted to first hit Florida early Tuesday before turning North. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) declared the state of emergency Monday as the hurricane is expected to hit the southeast portion of the state Thursday.

Explosives found near Labor Day parade in which New Jersey governor was supposed to attend

Explosives found near Labor Day parade in which New Jersey governor was supposed to attend | 02 Sept 2019 | A man is in custody after several pipe bomb-like devices were discovered along a Labor Day parade route in New Jersey that Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and first lady Tammy Murphy were scheduled to attend, NJ.com reported. A suspect was reportedly detained on Monday after police found "over half a dozen" devices on his property that was near the town of South Plainfield’s parade route, leading officials to abruptly cancel the festivities. Dan Bryan, a spokesman for the governor, told the outlet that both the governor and his wife were set to participate in the parade.

McCarthyism 101: Actors demand 'blacklist' of Trump supporters in Hollywood

McCarthyism 101: Actors demand 'blacklist' of Trump supporters in Hollywood | 02 Sept 2019 | Entertainment industry figures could soon find themselves on a "blacklist" of Donald Trump supporters if Will & Grace actors [sic] Debra Messing and Eric McCormack have their way. Have we reached peak neo-McCarthyism? The pair are demanding that the Hollywood Reporter prints a full list of attendees for an upcoming Trump fundraiser in Beverly Hills -- an appeal which has drawn natural comparisons to the late Sen. Joe McCarthy's efforts in the 1950s to rid Hollywood of "Communist sympathizers." The difference is, this time the calls for a political blacklist are coming from the Hollywood left itself.

'Wish You Were Here': Pink Floyd's Roger Waters to stage Assange rally outside UK Home Office

'Wish You Were Here': Pink Floyd's Roger Waters to stage Assange rally outside UK Home Office | 01 Sept 2019 | Pink Floyd's Roger Waters will perform the band's hit song 'Wish You Were Here' in support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, at a demonstration outside the UK Home Office on Monday. WikiLeaks tweeted that the Pink Floyd frontman will play the iconic number at the central London event, which will also see award-winning journalist and filmmaker John Pilger speak "in solidarity with Britain’s political prisoner." Waters is a vocal supporter of Assange, and said he was "ashamed to be an Englishman" after the UK arrested the whistleblower in April.

Hurricane Dorian unleashes 220-mph wind gusts as it slams Bahamas

Hurricane Dorian unleashes 220-mph wind gusts as it slams Bahamas | 01 Sept 2019 | Hurricane Dorian packed sustained winds of 185-mph with staggering 220-mph gusts as it made landfall in the Bahamas Sunday, prompting President Trump to tweet that the churning monster "is looking like one of the largest hurricanes ever" as it moved within 205 miles of Florida. Only four storms in the Atlantic have ever had higher sustained wind speeds, and none since Hurricane Wilma in 2005, AccuWeather reported, while the National Hurricane Center called Dorian "the strongest hurricane in modern records for the northwest Bahamas."

'Catastrophic' Hurricane Dorian intensifies into Category 5 storm

'Catastrophic' Hurricane Dorian intensifies into Category 5 storm | 01 Sept 2019 | Hurricane Dorian has been upgraded to a potentially catastrophic Category 5 storm, the National Hurricane Center announced Sunday. The hurricane center said on Twitter that Dorian had "devastating" 160 mph sustained winds as it headed toward the Bahamas. It also warned of a "life-threatening storm surge and very heavy rainfall" in the area of the Abaco Islands, east of southern Florida.

Death toll rises to seven in Texas shooting rampage; shooter identified

Death toll rises to seven in Texas shooting rampage; shooter identified | 01 Sept 2019 | The death toll rose to seven Sunday after a gunman's rampage that left many more injured following what began as a routine traffic stop Saturday in this West Texas city. Police Chief Michael Gerke, at a news conference Sunday, said the victims ranged in age from 15 to 57. The 22 wounded at 15 crime scenes included three police officers and a 17-month old child, he said...The Associated Press, citing two law enforcement officials, identified the shooter as Seth Ator, 36.

Odessa spokeswoman: Shooter is Seth Ator

Odessa spokeswoman: Shooter is Seth Ator --U.S. Rep. Tom Craddick told the Reporter-Telegram he had previously failed a background check. | 01 Sept 2019 | The gunman responsible for killing seven people and injuring 22 others -- including three law enforcement officials -- is Seth Aaron Ator, 36, of Odessa, the city of Odessa's spokeswoman said in an email. Odessa Police Department Chief Michael Gerke said Ator fired at random, using an AR as he drove nearly 10 miles around Midland and Odessa. He was shot and killed by law enforcement at Cinergy theater in Odessa.

Hurricane Dorian makes landfall in the Bahamas as a Category 5 storm with record-tying winds of 185 mph

Hurricane Dorian makes landfall in the Bahamas as a Category 5 storm with record-tying winds of 185 mph | 01 Sept 2019 | Hurricane Dorian struck the northern Bahamas on Sunday as a catastrophic Category 5 storm, its record 185 mph winds ripping off roofs and tearing down power lines as hundreds hunkered in schools, churches and other shelters. Dorian hit land in Elbow Cay in the Abaco Islands at 12:40 p.m., and then made a second landfall near Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco Island at 2 p.m., after authorities made last-minute pleas for those in low-lying areas to evacuate. With its maximum sustained winds of 185 mph, it tied the record for the most powerful Atlantic hurricane ever to come ashore, equaling the Labor Day hurricane of 1935, before the storms were named.

Saudi-led coalition strike on prison in Yemen kills at least 100 people - Red Cross

Saudi-led coalition strike on prison in Yemen kills at least 100 people - Red Cross | 01 Sept 2019 | A Red Cross official has estimated that Saudi airstrikes killed at least 100 people at a Yemeni prison. Medics have been dispatched to the scene of what looks like the deadliest strike in Yemen this year. Airstrikes pounded the detention center located in a college building in the southwest of the country on Sunday..."We estimate over 100 people were killed," International Red Cross head in Yemen, Franz Rauchenstein, told AFP.

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'We want either a hammer or a fire, to break the spell or dissolve the ice.' Artisan radical freethinker, George Jacob Holyoake, Reasoner V (1848): 2.

CLG's Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. and Lori Price receive the Patrick Henry Think Tank's American Hero Award 02 Nov 2005 The Patrick Henry Democratic Club --A Think Tank working to give the government back to the people. "Give me liberty or give me death!"

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