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BREAKING News: President Trump signs an order aimed at curbing protections for social media giants!

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President Trump signs an order aimed at curbing protections for social media giants

, Alleging bias against conservatives he said, “We’re fed up with it.” Legal experts have expressed doubts Trump can do much by himself, without an act of Congress.

How it all began.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is escalating his war on social media companies, preparing to sign an executive order Thursday challenging the liability protections that have served as a bedrock for unfettered speech on the internet.

Still, the move appears to be more about politics than substance, as the president aims to rally supporters after he lashed out at Twitter for applying fact checks to two of his tweets.

The proposed order would direct executive branch agencies including the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission to study whether they can place new rules on the companies — though experts express doubts much can be done without an act of Congress.

Trump and his allies, who rely heavily on Twitter to verbally flog their foes, have long accused the tech giants in liberal-leaning Silicon Valley of targeting conservatives on social media by fact-checking them or removing their posts. The executive order was expected to argue that such actions should cost those companies their protection from lawsuits for what is posted on their platforms.

Companies like Twitter and Facebook are granted liability protection under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act because they are treated as “platforms,” rather than “publishers,” which can face lawsuits over content.

A similar executive order was previously considered by the administration but shelved over concerns it couldn’t pass legal muster and that it violated conservative principles on deregulation and free speech.

Two administration officials outlined the draft order on the condition of anonymity because it was still being finalized Thursday morning. But a draft was circulating on Twitter — where else?

“This will be a Big Day for Social Media and FAIRNESS!” Trump tweeted.

Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the Twitter fact checks reflected “bias in action” and Trump aimed to sign the order by the end of the day.

Trump and his campaign reacted after Twitter added a warning phrase to two Trump tweets that called mail-in ballots “fraudulent” and predicted “mail boxes will be robbed.” Under the tweets, there’s now a link reading “Get the facts about mail-in ballots” that guides users to a page with fact checks and news stories about Trump’s unsubstantiated claims.

Trump accused Twitter of interfering in the 2020 presidential election” and declared “as president, I will not allow this to happen.” His campaign manager, Brad Parscale, said Twitter’s “clear political bias” had led the campaign to pull “all our advertising from Twitter months ago.” In fact, Twitter has banned political advertising since last November.

Late Wednesday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted, “We’ll continue to point out incorrect or disputed information about elections globally.”

Dorsey added: “This does not make us an ‘arbiter of truth.’ Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves.”

On the other hand, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Fox News his platform has “a different policy, I think, than Twitter on this.”

“I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online,” he said.

The president’s critics, meanwhile, scolded the platforms for allowing him to put forth false or misleading information that could confuse voters.

“Donald Trump’s order is plainly illegal,” said Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat and advocate for internet freedoms. He is “desperately trying to steal for himself the power of the courts and Congress. … All for the ability to spread unfiltered lies.”

Trump’s proposal has multiple, serious legal problems and is unlikely to survive a challenge, according to Matt Schruers, president of the Computer and Communications Industry Association, a Washington-based organization that represents computer and internet companies.

It would also seem to be an assault on the same online freedom that enabled social media platforms to flourish in the first place — and made them such an effective microphone for Trump and other politicians.

“The irony that is lost here is that if these protections were to go away social media services would be far more aggressive in moderating content and terminating accounts,” Schruers said. “Our vibrant public sphere of discussion would devolve into nothing more than preapproved soundbites.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said it was “outrageous” that while Twitter had put a fact-check tag on Trump’s tweets asserting massive mail-in election fraud, it had not removed his tweets suggesting without evidence that a TV news host had murdered an aide years ago.

“Their business model is to make money at the expense of the truth and the facts that they know,” she said of social media giants, also mentioning Facebook. She said their goal is to avoid taxes “and they don’t want to be regulated, so they pander to the White House.”

The order was also expected to try to hold back federal advertising dollars from Twitter and other social media companies that “violate free speech principles.”

The president and fellow conservatives have been claiming, for years, that Silicon Valley tech companies are biased against them. But there is no evidence for this — and while the executives and many employees of Twitter, Facebook and Google may lean liberal, the companies have stressed they have no business interest in favoring on political party over the other.

The trouble began in 2016, two years after Facebook launched a section called “trending,” using human editors to curate popular news stories. Facebook was accused of bias against conservatives based on the words of an anonymous former contractor who said the company downplayed conservative issues in that feature and promoted liberal causes.

Zuckerberg met with prominent right-wing leaders at the time in an attempt at damage control, and in 2018, Facebook shut down the “trending” section,.

In August 2018, Trump accused Google of biased searches and warned the company to “be careful.” Google pushed back sharply, saying Trump’s claim simply wasn’t so: “We never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment.”

Experts, meanwhile, suggested that Trump’s comments showed a misunderstanding of how search engines work.

Last year, Trump again blasted social media companies after Facebook banned a slew of extremist figures including conspiracy peddler Alex Jones from its site and from Instagram.

Meanwhile, the companies are gearing up to combat misinformation around the November elections. Twitter and Facebook have begun rolling out dozens of new rules to avoid a repeat of the false postings about the candidates and the voting process that marred the 2016 election.

The coronavirus pandemic has further escalated the platforms’ response, leading them to take actions against politicians — a move they’ve long resisted — who make misleading claims about the virus.

Last month, Twitter began a “Get the Facts” label to direct social media users to news articles from trusted outlets next to tweets containing misleading or disputed information about the virus. Company leaders said the new labels could be applied to anyone on Twitter and they were considering using them on other topics.

The Democratic National Committee said Trump’s vote-by-mail tweets should have been removed, not just flagged, for violating the company’s rules on posting false voting information.

“After taking too long to act, Twitter once again came up short out of fear of upsetting Trump,” the party said in a statement.

___

AP writers Amanda Seitz, Barbara Ortutay and David Klepper contributed.

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Inside America

Breaking News: Trump and Melania test positive for Covid-19.

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  • President Donald Trump said he and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for coronavirus, a stunning development just over a month away from Election Day.
  • In a tweet, Trump said, “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”

Shortly after Trump’s tweet, U.S. stock futures moved sharply lower with Dow futures falling more than 400 points.

Trump has come under withering criticism for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, where more than 7.2 million have been infected and 200,007 people have died, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University. 

White House physician Sean Conley said in a memo, “The President and First Lady are both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence.”

He also said he expects Trump to “continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering.”

The announcement came hours after the president said he would begin a quarantine process after top aide Hope Hicks tested positive for coronavirus.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines say people should stay home and quarantine if they might have been exposed to the virus. The agency says people should quarantine for 14 days. Two weeks from Thursday is Oct. 15, the date of the second presidential debate between Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden.

Hicks, who has been known to spend a lot of time with Trump, had traveled with the president to the debate Tuesday night in Cleveland. She was seen not wearing a mask.

Trump, 74, himself rarely wears a mask and has mocked Biden, 77, for often wearing face coverings. At his age, Trump is considered to be part of a high-risk group.

The Biden campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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George Floyd’s: final words ‘I can’t breathe’ are a wake-up call ‘for all of us’-Joe Biden.

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Joe- Biden

PHILADELPHIA — Joe Biden on Tuesday praised the nationwide peaceful protests to the death of George Floyd, calling his killing in police custody a “wake-up call for our nation” and drawing a stark contrast between President Donald Trump’s tactics and how he would respond.

In a speech from Philadelphia City Hall, Biden repeated Floyd’s final words before he died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes — and said it was time “to listen to those words … and respond with action.”

“I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. George Floyd’s last words,” the apparent 2020 Democratic presidential nominee said. “But they didn’t die with him. They’re still being heard. They’re echoing across this nation.”

“They speak to a nation where every day, millions of people — not at the moment of losing their life, but in the course of living their life — are saying to themselves, ‘I can’t breathe.’ It’s a wake-up call for our nation, for all of us,” Biden said.

Biden said the country was “crying out for leadership that can unite us” — and that he, not Trump, could provide it.

Joe- Biden
Official portrait of Vice President Joe Biden in his West Wing Office at the White House, Jan. 10, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

“I won’t traffic in fear and division. I won’t fan the flames of hate. I will seek to heal the racial wounds that have long plagued this country — not use them for political gain,” he said. “I’ll do my job and take responsibility. I won’t blame others. I’ll never forget that the job isn’t about me.

Addressing Monday night’s events outside the White House when police used tear gas against peaceful protesters to clear the area for Trump’s photo-op outside St. John’s Episcopal Church, Biden said that, “We can be forgiven for believing that the president is more interested in power than in principle, more interested in serving the passions of his base than the needs of the people in his care.”

Biden, noting that Trump had held up a Bible for the photo-op, said, “I just wish he’d open it once in a while.”

Trump, Biden added, “might want to open up the U.S. Constitution once in a while,” and read the First Amendment, hitting the president for urging governors across the U.S. to “dominate” protesters.

At the same time, Biden said there was “no place for violence” or “rioting” or “destroying property,” while also warning law enforcement that “nor is it acceptable for our police … to escalate violence.”

Biden’s remarks come a day after he spoke to African American leaders and visited a church in Wilmington, Delaware. On Sunday, he visited a site in Wilmington where demonstrators had protested Floyd’s death.

The former vice president recently came under fire for telling a radio host and African American voters in an interview that “you ain’t black” if they back Trump’s re-election. Biden later apologized for his comments, saying they were “really unfortunate” and that he “shouldn’t have been such a wise guy.”

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George Floyd live update: violent protests escalate-Looting and arson, spread across the United States.

videos of looters in Los Angeles.

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New York Police car burnt

There appears to be a complete state of anarchy inside America in the last four days, a nation where over 100.000 people died due to Coronavirus. The protests over the death of George Floyd in Police Custody is spiraling out of control. With curfews imposed by various States, the Mayor of New York addressed the City residents last night, making a passionate appeal to all the protesters to go back home.
A reliable source said the Mayor is likely going to impose a curfew on the beleaguered City still reeling from over three months of lockdown, due to COVID-19.

Violent protests have escalated, overpowering the police and members of the National Guard. Over 15 NYPD cars were burnt, forcing the New York finest to change tactics and become more aggressive. Five New York City Police officers, escaped death by a whisker when two protesters from the Catskill area of New York, threw a curtail at them. Both officers fled, leaving their vehicles in flame.

Through much of the afternoon until well after dark, crowds of protesters holding signs and chanting slogans made their way through Harlem, the East Village, Times Square, Columbus Circle, Jackson Heights in Queens, the Flatbush section of Brooklyn and portions of the Bronx and Staten Island, sometimes seeming to move independently but at other moments appearing to break apart, come together and re-splinter in a way that tested the ability of the police to maintain control.
Most of the actions were peaceful, with demonstrators waving burning sage at the police or shouting Mr. Floyd’s name to mourn his death last Monday at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. “I’m not here to fight someone,” said Eldon Gillet, 40, who was on the streets in Brooklyn. “I’m here to fight a system.”

You can see the photos and videos of looters in Los Angeles.

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George Floyd: Philadelphia Burns!!-see video

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pholadephia burns-see video

Initially peaceful protests in Philadelphia took on a different tone later Saturday afternoon after a car was set on fire and a crowd tried to gain access to a municipal building in one of many new demonstrations to emerge across the country during the day Saturday — only hours after violence rocked cities coast to coast on Friday night.

A demonstration in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday led police to declare an emergency.

At the White House, protesters pushed security barricades and could be seen standing on top of Secret Service vehicles.

And, in Austin, Texas, demonstrators gathered in the street in front of officers in riot gear. A photo showed a protester holding a sign that read “your uniform is not a license to kill.”

The demonstrations come days after a video was posted on social media showing a Minneapolis police officer pinning Floyd to the ground with his knee for more than eight minutes as Floyd said, “Please please, please, I can’t breathe.”

Derek Chauvin, the since-fired officer who detained Floyd, was arrested and charged Friday with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Three other officers were also involved in Floyd’s detainment.

The Philadelphia protest on Saturday appeared at first to be peaceful, but video showed a car on fire in the vicinity of demonstrators, NBC Philadelphia reported.

Then, at around 5 p.m., police were seen pepper-spraying a group of protesters who were climbing onto an armored truck near a municipal services building.

Social media posts showed police guarding the building from a crowd of people holding signs with messages such as, “He couldn’t breathe ” and “Justice for the people.”

In Columbus, Ohio, police said midday Saturday that the public should avoid the area of demonstrations that were sparked by the death of Floyd, a black man, in Minneapolis police custody on Monday.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said police declared the emergency to help manage the crowds.

“We are asking residents to avoid the area,” Ginther wrote in a tweet. “Safety of everyone — protesters and police — is paramount. We’re calling for everyone to remain calm.”

A video posted on Twitter showed people running and coughing after Columbus police apparently deployed tear gas at a crowd.

Protesters also gathered in the Ohio cities of Cleveland and Cincinnati during the day Saturday.

A massive crowd gathered outside of City Hall in Cincinnati, some with signs that read “Black Lives Matter” and “Disarm the police.”

Across the country, the Los Angeles Police Department was calling in additional officers and detectives to prepare for Saturday’s expected demonstrations, sources told NBC News.

Shortly before 2 a.m. Saturday a vehicle drove through a police skirmish line downtown, resulting in an officer-involved shooting, they said. At least one person has been arrested. It’s unclear if anyone was injured.

By mid-afternoon Saturday throngs of protesters filled Pan Pacific Park in the Beverly Grove neighborhood of the city, not far from the Grove shopping center.

In New York City meanwhile, a large group gathered outside a police in Harlem. According to NBC New York, protests were planned in all five boroughs.

Following the arrests of more than 530 people during protests in Los Angeles Friday night, the city was preparing for more demonstrations on Saturday, NBC Los Angeles reported.

By mid-afternoon Saturday throngs of protesters filled Pan Pacific Park in the Beverly Grove neighborhood of the city, not far from the Grove shopping center.

And in Des Moines, Iowa, Mothers Against Violence and Stop the Violence organized a demonstration on Saturday morning in which hundreds of protesters chanted “I can’t breathe,” according to NBC affiliate WHO.

The group that organized the protest in Newark, New Jersey — The People’s Organization for Progress —posted a video on its Facebook page showing a large crowd of people calmly walking through the streets of the city’s downtown, also chanting “I can’t breathe.”

Those peaceful protests stood in stark contrast to Friday night’s events, including the death of a 19-year-old man in Detroit after someone in a van fired shots into a crowd of protesters. A police spokesperson said an officer was not involved.

Also on Friday, in Oakland, California, a security officer with the Federal Protective Service of the Department of Homeland Security was killed and another injured after someone in a vehicle opened fire around 9:45 p.m. on Friday, the FBI said.

A number of public officials around the country have condemned the violence. “Go home. You’re not honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said at a news conference. “If you want change in America, go and register to vote.”

The Minnesota governor said the violent demonstrations no longer have anything to do with Floyd or a demand for racial justice. He said the blame lies primarily with people from out of the state who are going to the Twin Cities to commit violence.

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