Category Archives: POLITICS

Twitter crackdown sparks free speech concerns 


Twitter’s verification program put the company at the center of another political headache this week, with the social media giant stuck between liberals who demand stricter rules about hate speech and misinformation and conservatives who fear the site will target them for their political views.

Twitter’s “blue checkmark” verification program is meant to authenticate the identities of high-profile users. But it’s also come to be seen as an endorsement or mark of approval from Twitter, sparking outrage when the checkmarks were bestowed on white nationalists like Richard Spencer or Charlottesville, Va. “Unite the Right” organizer Jason Kessler.

The social media site responded to the criticism Wednesday by taking checkmarks away from several users affiliated with the far right or white nationalism, as well as kicking one prominent Charlottesville marcher off the platform permanently.

Further changes are expected next week, when Twitter says it will implement more rules. Twitter declined to comment on the changes. 

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR 

http://thehill.com/policy/technology/360806-twitter-crackdown-sparks-free-speech-concerns

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Calls mount for action on ‘killer robots’ after UN talks


Geneva (AFP) – “Robots are not taking over the world”, the diplomat leading the first official talks on autonomous weapons assured Friday, seeking to ease criticism over slow progress towards restricting the use of so-called “killer robots”.

The United Nations was wrapping up an initial five days of discussions on weapons systems that can identify and destroy targets without human control, which experts say will soon be battle ready.

The meeting of the UN’s Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) marked an initial step towards an agreed set of rules governing such weapons.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR 

https://www.yahoo.com/news/calls-mount-action-killer-robots-un-talks-155430106.html

Democrats face sexual assault allegations 


Democrats called Al Franken’s behavior unacceptable, returned his campaign donations, and hinted that — absent a satisfying explanation in response to a sexual harassment allegation — they’d eventually demand he resign.

Anything less would risk catastrophe for a party that stakes its political reputation on fighting for women. Especially one that is just now, 20 years after the fact, grappling with its unyielding support of Bill Clinton.

“Sexual harassment is never acceptable and must not be tolerated,” said Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. “I hope and expect that the Ethics Committee will fully investigate this troubling incident, as they should with any credible allegation of sexual harassment.”

Talk show host Leeann Tweeden on Thursday accused Franken of sexually assaulting her during an overseas USO tour in 2006, three years before he became a Democratic senator from Minnesota. She said Franken forcibly kissed her, and later posed for a photo in which he groped her chest while she slept.

The Minnesota Democrat issued a statement apologizing to Tweeden and said he’d welcome a congressional ethics investigation into the incident. But the allegations had by that time already sent shockwaves through the Democratic Party. Democrats, who rely heavily on women for votes, regularly criticize Republicans for being insufficiently supportive of women on issues like abortion rights and gender pay equity.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR 

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/article185091388.html

Sen. Franken Demands Social Media Censorship Over “Russian Collusion” 


Franken appeared to be an over-reaction to testimony given by legal counsel for Google, Facebook, and Twitter, to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Oct. 31, in which each of the Internet social media content giants reported statistics that showed minimal Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Yet, in the face of this concrete evidence, Franken seems determined to continue beating the New McCarthyism narrative advanced by Hillary Clinton and her Democratic Party supporters to explain away her devastating 2016 loss to Donald Trump.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR 

https://www.infowars.com/sen-franken-demands-social-media-censorship-over-russian-collusion/

When child sex isn’t rape: French to set age of consent


PARIS (AP) — Is a 13-year-old girl old enough to agree to sex with an adult? That’s a question France is asking itself as the government prepares to set a legal age for sexual consent for the first time.

Twice in recent weeks, French courts refused to prosecute grown men for rape after they had sex with 11-year-olds because authorities couldn’t prove coercion. Amid public horror, the government is drafting a bill to say sex with children under a certain age is by definition coercive.

Feminist groups plan a protest Tuesday to argue the age should be set at 15. Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet says 13 “is worth considering.”

The age is just one piece of an upcoming bill on sexual violence and harassment. The bill has gained importance amid worldwide concern unleashed by the allegations against Harvey Weinstein.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR 

https://www.yahoo.com/news/child-sex-isnt-rape-french-set-age-consent-105241781.html

Disneyland shuts down 2 cooling towers after Legionnaires’ disease sickens park visitors 


-Disneyland has shut down two bacteria-contaminated cooling towers after Orange County health officials discovered several cases of Legionnaires’ disease in people who had visited the Anaheim theme park, authorities said.

Twelve cases of the bacteria-caused illness were discovered about three weeks ago among people who had spent time in Anaheim and included nine people who had visited Disneyland in September before developing the illness, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency. Their ages ranged from 52 to 94.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR 

http://beta.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-disneyland-legionnaires-20171110-story.html

How the ex-DNC chair ruined Clinton’s chance at 2020 


Who’s afraid of the Clintons? Not Donna Brazile.

The explosive book by the former head of the Democratic National Committee is rocking the political world with its tales of Hillary Clinton’s brazen corruption and tawdry deceits. To add extra punch to her insider’s account, Brazile is telling interviewers that Clinton’s 2016 campaign was “sterile” and a “cult,” and mocking it as sexless and joyless.

She even writes that she considered trying to replace Clinton as the nominee over health concerns after the candidate collapsed at the 9/11 anniversary ceremony, a fact that demolishes the myth that suspicions about Clinton’s condition were the sole province of conservative partisans.

To say the Clinton camp is furious at what they regard as betrayal doesn’t do justice to their outrage. They are attacking Brazile personally, accusing her of telling outright lies just to sell books.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR 

http://nypost.com/2017/11/11/how-the-ex-dnc-chair-ruined-clintons-chance-at-2020/

Investigators probe Trump knowledge of campaign’s Russia dealings

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has questioned Sam Clovis, co-chairman of President Donald Trump’s election campaign, to determine if Trump or top aides knew of the extent of the campaign team’s contacts with Russia, two sources familiar with the investigation said on Friday.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR 

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-russia-investigation/investigators-probe-trump-knowledge-of-campaigns-russia-dealings-sources-idUSKBN1DB04J

Saudi Arabia Orders Its Citizens Out of Lebanon, Raising Fears of War 


BEIRUT, Lebanon — Saudi Arabia ordered its citizens to leave Lebanon on Thursday, escalating a bewildering crisis between the two Arab nations and raising fears that it could lead to an economic crisis or even war.

The order came after Saudi Arabia had stepped up its condemnations of Hezbollah, the Iran-backed Shiite militia that is the most powerful political and military force in Lebanon, and asserted that Lebanon had effectively declared war on Saudi Arabia.

The developments plunged Lebanon into a state of national anxiety, with politicians, journalists and even parents picking up their children at school consumed with the question of what could come next.

While analysts said a war was unlikely — because Saudi Arabia was not capable of waging one and Israel did not want one now — they worried that with so many active conflicts in the region, any Saudi actions that raised the temperature increased the risk of an accidental conflagration.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR 

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/11/09/world/middleeast/saudi-arabia-lebanon-war.html?referer=http://www.drudgereport.com/

Senate Candidate Roy Moore: ‘Transgenders Don’t Have Rights’


Moore, a Republican and the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, criticized his opponent, Democrat Doug Jones, for embracing “transgender issues and transgender rights in the military,” the Montgomery Advertiser reports.

“The transgenders don’t have rights,” Moore said at the press conference, where he received the endorsement of 13 Alabama sheriffs. “They’ve never been denominated as having rights by the U.S. Supreme Court. He believes in transgender bathrooms and transgenders in the military. I disagree with him 100 percent.” Moore has previously said trans people are mentally ill, in addition to his many homophobic stances.

Jones has not emphasized LGBT issues during the campaign, but he has denounced the Trump administration’s withdrawal of guidelines for schools on appropriate treatment of transgender students, including allowing them access to the restrooms of their choice, and the reinstatement of a ban on military service by trans people (the ban is currently blocked by a court injunction). Several Republicans, including Alabama’s senior U.S. senator, Richard Shelby, have decried the ban as well.

Jones, appearing the same day at Alabama State University to discuss criminal justice issues, said Moore “wants to talk about nothing but the issues that may divide us instead of the ones that may unify us,” according to the Advertiser.

Moore today remained defiant in the face of a Washington Post report that alleges he dated and made sexual advances to a 14-year-old girl in 1979, when he was in his 30s, and that he pursued romantic relationships with several other teenage girls, although no sexual contact is alleged with those teens. Some top Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have said Moore should step aside if the allegations are true.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR 

https://www.advocate.com/politicians/2017/11/09/senate-candidate-roy-moore-transgenders-dont-have-rights