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Gender: Male
Hometown: TX
Home country: USA
Member since: Thu Jul 23, 2020, 06:05 PM
Number of posts: 1,233

Journal Archives

FBI Searched the Data of Millions of Americans Without Warrants

Source: Bloomberg

The FBI searched emails, texts and other electronic communications of as many as 3.4 million U.S. residents without a warrant over a year, the nation’s top spy chief said in a report.

The “queries” were made between December 2020 and November 2021 by Federal Bureau of Investigation personnel as they looked for signs of threats and terrorists within electronic data legally collected under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, according to an annual transparency report issued Friday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The surge came as the FBI made a push to stop hacking attacks.

The American Civil Liberties Union called it an invasion of privacy “on an enormous scale.”

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-04-29/fbi-searched-the-data-of-millions-of-americans-without-warrants

Twitter Apocalypse Consolidation Thread

Okay, doom-ish implications, incorrect information and Olympic competition-level handwringing have been the order of the day on DU today, so here's your chance to actually articulate it: what is your worst-case fever-dream of what Twitter will become that it is not now?

Like Hitler and Trump before him

Dictators and wannabees seem to rot from the inside. Let's hope his body completely fails him before he can do much more damage.


Biden Signs Jackson's Supreme Court Commission Early in Unusual Move

Source: Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden signed papers to appoint Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this month even though she can’t begin work until Justice Stephen Breyer retires this summer.

Biden signed Jackson’s commission on April 8, the day they appeared together at the White House to celebrate her confirmation by the Senate, White House spokesman Andrew Bates said Tuesday.

Jackson’s precise status has been the subject of online discussion stemming from the unprecedented timing of her Senate confirmation, more than two months before a vacancy was expected to arise. Typically, a new justice is sworn in almost immediately after the president signs the commission.

The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel concluded in an April 6 opinion that the president could “prospectively appoint” Jackson before Breyer steps down. That opinion relied on a 1970 memo written on a related issue by future Chief Justice William Rehnquist, then the head of the OLC.

Read more: https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/other/biden-signs-jacksons-supreme-court-commission-early-in-unusual-move/ar-AAWnybP

Student loan borrowers will get help after an NPR report and years of complaints

Source: NPR

The U.S. Department of Education says it will retroactively help millions of federal student loan borrowers who have been hurt and held back by its troubled income-driven repayment (IDR) plans, calling the plans' longstanding flaws and mismanagement "inexcusable."

Tuesday's announcement comes after years of complaints and lawsuits and, most recently, an NPR investigation that revealed that these IDR plans, which promise affordable monthly payments as low as $0 and loan forgiveness after 20-25 years, have been badly mismanaged by the department and the loan servicing companies it employs.

"Today, the Department of Education will begin to remedy years of administrative failures that effectively denied the promise of loan forgiveness to certain borrowers enrolled in IDR plans," U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement.

The department estimates that the changes will result in immediate debt cancellation for at least 40,000 borrowers who will now qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. In addition, several thousand borrowers will now qualify for debt cancellation under IDR.

Read more: https://www.npr.org/2022/04/19/1093310151/student-loans-income-based-repayment

Ukrainian Battalion Accuses Russia of Using Chemical Weapons on Civilians

Source: Newsweek

A Ukrainian battalion said Monday that Russia has used chemical weapons against Ukraine's military and citizens, causing victims to develop respiratory failure and other illnesses.

The Azoz Regiment, a unit of the National Guard of Ukraine, said the chemicals were of an "unknown origin" and dropped via an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on civilians in the southeastern city of Mariupol.

"About an hour ago, Russian occupation forces used a poisonous substance of unknown origin against Ukrainian military and civilians in the city of Mariupol, which was dropped from an enemy UAV," the Azoz Regiment posted on Telegram on Monday. "The victims have respiratory failure, vestibulo-atactic syndrome. The consequences of using an unknown substance are being clarified."

NATO has warned that the use of chemical weapons could prompt further action from the West. Late last month, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that using chemical weapons is a "blatant violation of international law with far-reaching consequences."

Read more: https://www.newsweek.com/ukrainian-battalion-accuses-russia-using-chemical-weapons-civilians-1697052

Two COVID Variants Just Combined Into a 'Frankenstein' Virus

Source: Daily Beast

The first subvariant of Omicron, the latest major variant of the novel coronavirus, was bad. BA.1 drove record cases and hospitalizations in many countries starting last fall.

The second subvariant, BA.2, was worse in some countries—setting new records for daily cases across China and parts of Europe.

Now BA.1 and BA.2 have combined to create a third subvariant. XE, as it’s known, is a “recombinant”—the product of two viruses interacting “Frankenstein”-style in a single host.

With its long list of mutations, XE could be the most contagious form of the coronavirus yet. “From the WHO reports, it does appear to have a bit more of an edge in terms of transmissibility,” Stephanie James, the head of a COVID testing lab at Regis University in Colorado, told The Daily Beast.

Read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/two-omicron-variants-just-combined-to-make-xe-a-frankenstein-covid-virus

New York Times updates Twitter policy for reporters

Source: The Hill

The New York Times is updating its policies for how its journalists use Twitter, and is emphasizing that use of the social media platform is optional given the dangers of online harassment.

In a memo to employees on Thursday shared with The Hill, Dean Baquet, the newspaper’s top editor, announced what he called a “reset in our approach,” handing down new guidance dictating that “maintaining a presence on Twitter and social media is now purely optional for Times journalists.”

Baquet wrote that he has been hearing from staffers about “the challenges that Twitter presents,” writing that staffers at the leading national newspaper often “can rely too much on Twitter as a reporting and feedback tool.”

Such feedback, Baquet wrote, can be harmful to the Times’ journalism when “our feeds become echo chambers.”

Read more: https://thehill.com/news/3261482-new-york-times-updates-twitter-policy-for-reporters/

NBC News journalists vexed by MSNBC's move to hire White House press secretary Jen Psaki

Source: CNN

New York (CNN Business)NBC News journalists are troubled by and have expressed dismay to network executives about MSNBC's intention to hire White House press secretary Jen Psaki when she exits the Biden administration, people familiar with the matter told CNN.

Noah Oppenheim, the NBC News president, even held an impromptu phone call Friday so that he could address the matter with vexed staffers from the Washington bureau, some of whom have complained to their superiors that the tentative hiring tarnishes the NBC News brand.
Oppenheim, attempting to quell the anger, reaffirmed the distinction on the call between NBC News and MSNBC's opinion programming, some of the people familiar with the matter said.

Oppenheim, who does not oversee MSNBC, told the journalists that NBC News did not have a role in hiring Psaki. And he noted to those on the phone that they work for the NBC News brand and that the hires made for MSNBC's opinion arm should be viewed as unrelated to their work, the people said.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/06/media/jen-psaki-nbc/index.html

After Gridiron Dinner, a covid outbreak among Washington A-list guests

Source: Washington Post

It was supposed to be an evening of lighthearted political satire and bipartisan fellowship among an elite cadre of politicians, journalists and public officials, just as it has been for much of the past 137 years.

Instead, the annual Gridiron Dinner in Washington on Saturday appears to have been notable for a potential coronavirus outbreak among its A-list guests.

As of Wednesday morning, Reps. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) and Joaquin Castro (D-Tex.) and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo had announced they had received positive results on coronavirus tests after attending the dinner at the downtown Renaissance Washington Hotel. On Wednesday afternoon, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that he, too, had tested positive.

In addition, about a half-dozen journalists as well as members of the White House and National Security Council staffs said they tested positive after the event. Their names are being withheld because they have not announced their status publicly.

Read more: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/after-gridiron-dinner-a-covid-outbreak-among-washington-a-list-guests/ar-AAVVSko
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