In the ground and off the page: why we’re banning ads from fossil fuels extractors | Membership | The Guardian

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In a bid to reduce our carbon footprint, confront greenwashing and increase our focus on the climate crisis, the Guardian this week announced it will no longer run ads from fossil fuel extractors alongside any of its content in print or online. The move will come into immediate effect, and follows the announcement in October last year that we intend to reduce our net emissions to zero by 2030.

Once upon a time, a newspaper was a rather straightforward business. You generated enough material of interest to attract a significant number of readers. You then ‘sold’ those readers to advertisers happy to pay to get their ideas, products or brands in front of consumers with cash to spend.

Of course, digital disruption over the past 20 years has upended that model, but advertising remains an important part of the media business ecosystem. At the Guardian, it is still responsible for about two-fifths of our income.

But what happens when the readers don’t like the adverts? What do you do when the message that advertisers want to spread jars awkwardly with the work your journalists are doing?

What if your journalists are some of the best in the world at revealing and investigating the deepening climate catastrophe and the disaster that is fossil fuel growth, while some of your advertisers are the very people digging the stuff out of the ground?

This contradiction has bothered us – and some of you – for some time. We came up with a rather bold answer this week: turn away the money and double down on the journalism.

“It’s something we thought about for a long time,” says Anna Bateson, the interim chief executive officer of Guardian Media Group, the Guardian’s parent company. “We always felt it was in line with our editorial values but were cautious for commercial reasons.”

She said it was the logical next step after the Guardian committed last year to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and was certified as a B Corp – a company that puts purpose before profit. But she added that the move had to be weighed carefully, given the fact that the Guardian only recently returned to breakeven after years in the red.

“You have to be careful you are not making cavalier decisions,” she said. “ We are still having to fight for our financial future. But because of the support we get from our readers, it is less of a risk.”

On the advertising side of our business, Adam Foley said there were no complaints at all that potential customers were suddenly off-limits, adding that staff felt that “being part of a company that shares their values” was the biggest motivation for his teams.

“A statement like this reaffirms to all of us that we’re contributing to a business that really lives those values – to the extent where it is prepared to sacrifice profit for purpose.”

The response from the wider world has been a pleasant surprise. Hundreds of you have written in, pledging your support, and in some cases, one-off contributions to start making up the shortfall. (EDS: See below – I’m going to append the best responses below. In print you can use as the panel)

The environmental movement was instantly appreciative, with activists quickly urging our peers to follow suit. “The Guardian will no longer accept advertising from oil and gas companies,” Greta Thunberg tweeted. “A good start, who will take this further?” Greenpeace called it “a huge moment in the battle against oil and gas for all of us.”

Some readers have been calling for the Guardian to go the whole hog and forsake advertising from any company with a substantial carbon footprint. Bateson said that was not realistic, adding that such a move would result in less money for journalism. She said the fossil fuel extractors were specifically targeted because of their efforts to skew the climate change debate through their lobbying effort.

“We are committed to advertising,” she said. “It will continue to be part of our future. We want advertisers who want to be appear alongside our high quality journalism.”

And how will we know if this has worked?
“We will listen to our readers, we will listen to our advertisers. The response so far has been gratifying. If we continue to hear positive noises from our readers and supporters, then it will have been a success.”




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Responses from our supporters

That is such a brilliant decision and it will be tough, but it is the correct one and I am very proud of The Guardian. Barbara Syer

Following the Guardian’s decision to ban ads from fossil fuel companies I’m making a monthly contribution to support its fearless journalism: reader support is essential for independent scrutiny of the powerful in business, finance and politics. Titus Alexander, Hertfordshire, England

I live at present in Canada, home to the Alberta Tar Sands: another name for ecological devastation resulting from fossil fuel extraction. I fully support The Guardian’s action in ceasing to be a vehicle for advertising by fossil fuel extractive companies, and I’m proud to be a supporter. My monthly donation is small, but when I can I will make it much greater. Rosemary Delnavine, Canada

Congratulations. At this time it may be a bold step, indeed, within this industry, but true leaders have to take bold steps for the betterment of the quality of life, and more importantly for the life of future generations. I applaud this decision, and will spread the word. Raphael Sulkovitz, Boston MA

What a bravery! This is what the life on earth needs, thank you. Karri Kuikka, Finland (EDS: please leave her wonderful Finglish intact!)

Keep it up. Here in Canada, we’re still trying to have it both ways — sell the product internationally but discourage buying domestically. As I recall, it was the same with tobacco. Eventually, it took a change in public opinion to solve the problem. As a news source, your efforts are part of this solution. Robert Shotton, Ottawa

I applaud your decision to”walk the talk.” I will therefore continue to contribute to The Guardian. Bob Wagenseil

Bravo yr decision to eschew $ from the FFI. Please do continue to hold to the fire(s) the feet of the deniers and the willfully ignorant. Sydney Alonso, Vermont, US

I am very happy to hear that good news. It’s quite courageous on your part, and I’m happy to support you! Have a great year ahead, you’ll have my continuous support! Julien Psomas

I completely support your plan to refuse ads from fossils, despite the
financial hit to the Guardian. I have made a donation to help out. David Thompson

A very commendable decision, very much in keeping with the Guardian’s position as leader of green issues to leave a better planet for following generations. Richard Vernon, Oxford

Yay! I’m so proud of the Guardian! We can no longer support or fund in any manner the fossil fuel industry if we have any chance of survival as a civilization on this planet. You’ve taken a courageous and moral step that will hopefully embolden others to join you. Good on you! Best, Carol Ross, Missouri, US

Good decision. I’ll support you as much as I can, which unfortunately is not much as I live on age pension only. Keep up the good work, we need it desperately! Ursula Brandt, South Australia

I am absolutely delighted by this decision. So many people pledge to do something about Climate Change, but few actually are willing to get uncomfortable and DO it. I am very proud of you as my favourite source of Information and this only makes a case for me to donate next time to you again. Christiane Gross

It was great reading what The Guardian is doing re the climate. As a Guardian on-line reader from The Netherlands I’m going to contribute monthly now instead of ‘now and again’. The amount will be relatively small as I do not have a great income. I really hope more of your supporters will do so, because it is really great what you are doing.
With kind regards, Aleida Oostendorp, Netherlands

I congratulate you and your team on taking this step regarding fossil fuel companies. The Guardian’s stance on the environment and its excellent coverage of related stories and events is the major reason for my support. Well done, and good luck in the future. Deirdre Moore

Love your new policy about accepting money from fossil fuels. Will contribute more to help make up for the shortfall. Todd Misk

I live on a fixed income with a strict budget so my continuing support of your excellent news organisation represents my commitment to the fight to address climate change. Every step counts. Barbara Hirsch, Texas, US

Only when we speak truth to power can change take place. thank yo for your courageous and expensive decision. Nancy Shepherd, Vermont, US

Love your journalism, especially your investigative work and the climate change topic. And with the bold statement about not receiving any more sponsorship from the fossil extracting companies? Well, the already great newspapers became even more impressive now. Keep up the good work. Miroslav Řezníček, Czech Republic

Thank you for taking the bold step of refusing advertising from fossil fuel extractive companies. I think it is the right thing to do & hope many more companies do the same. We must all work together if we want to save our planet. It is one of the most important issues of our times. Ginger Comstock, New York, US

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Twitter bans animated PNG files after online attackers targeted users with epilepsy

Twitter is banning animated PNG image files (APNGs) from its platform, after an attack on the Epilepsy Foundation’s Twitter account sent out similar animated images that could potentially cause seizures in photosensitive people.

Twitter discovered a bug that allowed users to bypass its autoplay settings, and allow several animated images in a single tweet using the APNG file format.

ALSO READ: Feds allegedly found gold-plated pistol and drugs on Lil Wayne’s plane

“We want everyone to have a safe experience on Twitter,” the company says in a tweet from the Twitter Accessibility handle. “APNGs were fun, but they don’t respect autoplay settings, so we’re removing the ability to add them to Tweets. This is for the safety of people with sensitivity to motion and flashing imagery, including those with epilepsy.”

Tweets with existing APNG images won’t be deleted from the platform, but only GIFs will be able to animate images moving forward. According to Yahoo, Twitter has further clarified that APNG files were not used to target the Epilepsy Foundation, but the bug meant such files could have been used to do so in the future had Twitter not moved to squash it.

ALSO READ: Trump says he and Xi will sign China trade deal

The attacks on the Epilepsy Foundation’s Twitter handle occurred last month — National Epilepsy Awareness Month — with trolls using its hashtags and Twitter handle to post animated images with strobing light effects. It’s not clear how many people may have been affected by the attack, but the foundation said it’s cooperating with law enforcement officials and has filed criminal complaints against accounts believed to have been involved.

An animated image can be considered a deadly weapon, a Texas jury found in 2016, after a man sent a flashing GIF to journalist Kurt Eichenwald, who has epilepsy. The image did indeed cause Eichenwald to have a seizure.

Twitter said Monday it will “look into building a similar feature that’s better for you and your Twitter experience” in lieu of APNGs.

Source: The Verge

The post Twitter bans animated PNG files after online attackers targeted users with epilepsy appeared first on Vanguard News.

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World’s oldest couple set to celebrate 80th wedding anniversary

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John Henderson, aged 106 and Charlotte Curtis aged 105 are officially recognized by the Guiness Book of World Records as the world’s oldest couple and will on December 22, 2019, celebrate their 80th wedding anniversary, and 85 years after sitting in a zoology class in 1934.

John and Charlotte married in a tiny ceremony with only two guests present on Dec. 22, 1939 and during their honeymoon in San Antonio, they stayed at a hotel that cost $7 a night.

Even though they known each other for 85 years, they have been married only for 80, meaning the record for the longest marriage according to Guinness World Records, belongs to Zelmyra and Herbert Fisher, who wed at the ages of 17 and 19, respectively, and were married for 86 years and 290 days before Herbert’s death in 2011.

Speaking to Washington post on Sunday, John Henderson said;

“it took her five years to make up her mind that she wanted to get married,”

Speaking about the first time he got a radio, John said;

“And I well-remember that long antenna. They had to put it up from the front yard to the backyard to receive a radio show,” he said.

He recalls renting a room while in the University of Texas in the early 1930s across the street from the Gregory Gym, one of the few historical buildings remaining on the campus.

“The neighbors next door had a cow and chickens. You can imagine today a cow and chicken house across the street from Gregory, where the campus is so large now you wouldn’t recognize hardly anything,” John said.

“I thought he was just a fine fella, and I didn’t mind his looking over my shoulder,” Charlotte told The Washington Post, remembering the first time she saw John in a Zoology class in front of John while he made passes at her.

The pair have been lauded by many for their long, milestone-filled life together.

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Interest rates: Powell tells Congress federal debt is ‘unsustainable’

Powell: U.S. debt is ‘on unsustainable path,’ crimping ability to respond to recession

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned lawmakers Wednesday that the ballooning federal debt could hamper Congress’ ability to support the economy in a downturn, urging them to put the budget “on a sustainable path.”

Powell suggested such fiscal aid could be vital after the Fed has cut its benchmark interest rate three times this year, leaving the central bank less room to lower rates further in case of a recession.

“The federal budget is on an unsustainable path, with high and rising debt,” Powell told the Joint Economic Committee. “Over time, this outlook could restrain fiscal policymakers’ willingness or ability to support economic activity during a downturn.”

Powell also reiterated that the Fed is likely done cutting rates unless the economy heads south.

“The outlook is still a positive one,” he said. “There’s no reason this expansion can’t continue.”

The testimony marks a more aggressive tone for Powell, who generally has steered clear of lecturing lawmakers on the hazards of the federal deficit. But after raising its key rate nine times since late 2015, the Fed has lowered it three times this year to head off the risk of recession posed by President Donald Trump’s trade war with China and a sluggish global economy.

Those developments have hurt manufacturing and business investment while consumer spending remains on solid footing.

The Fed’s benchmark rate is now at a range of 1.5% to 1.75%, above the near-zero level that persisted for years after the Great Recession of 2007-09 but below the 2.25% to 2.5% range early this year.

“Nonetheless, the current low-interest-rate environment may limit the ability of monetary policy to support the economy,” Powell said.

Noting the Fed has lowered its federal funds rate an average 5 percentage points in prior downturns, Powell said, “We don’t have that kind of room.” He added, “Fed policy will also be important, though,” if the nation enters a recession. Fed officials have said they still have ammunition to fight a slump, including lowering rates and resuming bond purchases.

Meanwhile, the federal budget deficit hit $984 billion in fiscal 2019, the highest in seven years, and it’s expected to top $1 trillion in fiscal 2020. The federal tax cuts and spending increases spearheaded by Trump have added to the red ink and are set to add at least $2 trillion to the federal debt over a decade. The national debt recently surpassed $23 trillion.

“The debt is growing faster than the economy and that is unsustainable,” Powell said.

He added that a high and rising federal debt also can “restrain private investment and, thereby, reduce productivity and overall economic growth.” That’s because swollen debt can push interest rates higher.

“Putting the federal budget on a sustainable path would aid in the long-term vigor of the U.S. economy and help ensure that policymakers have the space to use fiscal policy to assist in stabilizing the economy if it weakens,” Powell said.

He added, “How you do that and when you do that is up to you.”

Many economists are forecasting a recession next year, though the risks have eased now that the U.S. and China appear close to a partial settlement of their trade fight and the odds of a Brexit that doesn’t include a trade agreement between Britain and Europe have fallen.

Powell also said the Fed is unlikely to reduce interest rates further unless the economy weakens significantly – a message he delivered after the central bank trimmed its key rate for a third time late last month.

“We see the current stance of monetary policy as likely to remain appropriate” as long as the economy, labor market and inflation remain consistent with the Fed’s outlook, Powell said.

Since last month’s Fed meeting, the government has reported that employers added 128,000 jobs in October – a surprisingly strong showing in light of a General Motors strike and the layoffs of temporary 2020 census workers.

“There’s a lot to like about today’s labor market,” Powell said. He noted the 3.6% unemployment rate, near a 50-year low, is drawing Americans on the sidelines back into the workforce. And while average yearly wage growth has picked up to 3%, it’s lower than anticipated in light of the low jobless rate. Inflation, he said, remains below the Fed’s 2% target.

“Of course, if developments emerge that cause a material reassessment of our outlook, we would respond accordingly,” Powell said.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, tried to coax the Fed chief into weighing in on the potential economic impact of “a massive tax increase,” which some analysts say could be required by several Democratic presidential candidates’ proposals for universal health care or free college tuition.

“I’m particularly reluctant to be pulled into the 2020 election,” said Powell, a Republican and Trump appointee who has been repeatedly attacked by the president for not cutting interest rates more sharply.

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Heartwarming Story Of Bride Who Helped Her Brother Propose To His Girlfriend During Her Wedding (Video) – YabaLeftOnline

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Most brides naturally want the attention to remain on them for the entirety for their big day, but one unselfish sister was happy to share the spotlight to help her brother propose.

Sierra Mcginty-Rush, from Navasota, Texas spent months planning the moment with her brother Solomon McGinty II, which was captured on camera by their cousin De’Von Jones.

Footage shows how the bride turned and presented her flowers to her brother’s girlfriend, Baylee Gillmore, rather than following the tradition of throwing her bouquet.

He was waiting on one knee to pop the question, much to the delight of guests.

In the video, that was shared online, the newlywed was seen preparing to toss her bouquet towards her single friends.

But at the last minute, the bride turned around and walked to the group of women behind her.

She then handed her bouquet to a Baylee, who was wearing a shiny dress, who seemed confused and surprised.

The woman looked around and spotted her boyfriend, waiting behind her on one knee, as the crowd went wild.

The woman could not believe her eyes as her boyfriend took her hand and made his proposal, his voice drowned out by the scream and cheers of the wedding party.

Baylee nodded and offered her left hand as the guests swooned.

After embracing and sharing a sweet kiss, the couple were left beaming from ear to ear.

The woman’s friends could been seen rushing to her side to congratulate her, as the crowd dispersed to let them through.

The giddy groom-to-be could be seen raising his thumb up in the air in sign of success.

Jones revealed the proposal was the bride’s idea. Her brother was initially hesitant to go ahead with the move.

He felt it might be disrespectful to her to steal her thunder, but his sister insisted he did it and offered her help.

She reportedly planned it for months on end before the wedding.

In a Facebook post, Sierra wrote: ‘Doing it at MY reception that MY coins paid for was MY idea.

‘If you know me and my brothers relationship then you would understand why I was more excited then they were! I was nervous and trying not to cry,’ she added.

‘Sharing Saturday with him just gave us more memories,’ she said.

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Presley Mitchell softball death: Presley Mitchell obituary, tributes

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Presley Mitchell softball death: Presley Mitchell obituary, tributes

Presley Mitchell softball death happened November 2, 2019.

11 year old Texas Attitude softball player Presley Mitchell died after she collapsed during a tournament yesterday and unfortunately did not pull through after she was taken to the hospital.

Please say a prayer for Presley Mitchell’s devastated family and loved ones as you read the tributes below:

We lift up the family of Presley Mitchell, the Texas Attitude softball family, and all of Presley’s friends and teammates in our prayers.

Presley was a member of the 12U Texas Attitude softball team and tragically passed away Saturday evening while playing the game she loved.

All softball players are asked to wear their jerseys on Monday in memory of our softball sister. #22 #homersinheaven

We come together as a big softball community to uplift in prayer Presley Mitchell’s family, friends, and her Texas Attitude team.

Presley collapsed during a tournament yesterday and did not make it. Please keep her loved ones in prayer.

May God give them strength, comfort, and the peace they need to get through. Our respect and condolences to everyone going through this difficult time. Our hearts are with you all.

***The Texas Attitude organization is asking for all our softball girls to wear their team jerseys tomorrow to honor Presley. Please show your support and post photos on the DSE SPORTS EVENTS page where Texas Attitude will view these, below is a link to DSE SPORTS EVENTS***

We are saddened by the news of Presley Mitchell’s passing. Presley played for the 12 Texas Attitude team in North Texas. We are sending our prayers to her friends, family and softball family. We will be wearing our jerseys tomorrow in her memory. All North Texas softball players are asked to wear their jerseys in memory of our softball sister…..

As a parent, player or a coach, you never want to have to have this news rock the community. She was an absolute delight and great ball player.

Our hearts go out to the family of Presley Mitchell and the Texas Attitude organization. We are co-hosting a benefit with D-BAT Texoma and Knife and Whisk Catering for the Mitchell family to help with very unexpected costs as no family should have to prepare for this. All proceeds will go to the family of Presley Mitchell #P #HomersinHeaven #PlayforPresley

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Daddy Freeze Reacts To Viral Video Of Pastor Performing Oral Sex On Church Member

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Pastor
Texas Pastor

Media personality Daddy Freeze has reacted to a viral sex video of a certain pastor David Wilson of BibleWay Ministries & World Outreach Inc. located at Texarkana, Texas.

The video showed the pastor performing a sex act on a lady that appears not to be his wife.

Read Also: Pastor Wilson Breaks The Internet With Video of Him Licking Member’s Vagina Religiously [Video]

Reacting to the video, Daddy Freeze said; 

astor Wilson’s case can never be “he manipulated me”, after that video, female church members would be more than willing.

90% of women, after bashing him for the immorality in the video, will look at their husbands and say: “Hmmm, see yasef”

When the video broke on twitter all the women around me were like wow, this guy sabi if una too talk I go tag una for this post

Jokes apart, after he is done serving his punishment for lewdness (I believe a one year suspension should be the minimum penalty), he should start a school where he can teach Christians in monogamous relationships how to please their partners, many of us need to learn, guys don’t be shy, admit say the guy Sabi pass you, make all of us learn so that pastor Wilson no go collect our women o! I don yarn.

◄ Song of Solomon 2:3 ►
New International Version
Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my beloved among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste.

◄ Song of Solomon 1:16 ►
New Living Translation
You are so handsome, my love, pleasing beyond words! The soft grass is our bed;

◄ Song of Solomon 4:16 ►
New Living Translation
Awake, north wind! Rise up, south wind! Blow on my garden and spread its fragrance all around. Come into your garden, my love; taste its finest fruits.

◄ Song of Solomon 8:5 ►
New Living Translation
Who is this sweeping in from the desert, leaning on her lover? Young Woman I aroused you under the apple tree…..

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Pastor Wilson’s case can never be “he manipulated me”, after that video, female church members would be more than willing.🙄 – 90% of women, after bashing him for the immorality in the video, will look at their husbands and say: “Hmmm, see yasef”🙄 – When the video broke on twitter all the women around me were like wow, this guy sabi 🙄 if una too talk I go tag una for this post🙄 – Jokes apart, after he is done serving his punishment for lewdness (I believe a one year suspension should be the minimum penalty), he should start a school where he can teach Christians in monogamous relationships how to please their partners, many of us need to learn, guys don’t be shy, admit say the guy Sabi pass you, make all of us learn so that pastor Wilson no go collect our women o! I don yarn. – ◄ Song of Solomon 2:3 ► New International Version Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my beloved among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste. – ◄ Song of Solomon 1:16 ► New Living Translation You are so handsome, my love, pleasing beyond words! The soft grass is our bed; – ◄ Song of Solomon 4:16 ► New Living Translation Awake, north wind! Rise up, south wind! Blow on my garden and spread its fragrance all around. Come into your garden, my love; taste its finest fruits. – ◄ Song of Solomon 8:5 ► New Living Translation Who is this sweeping in from the desert, leaning on her lover? Young Woman I aroused you under the apple tree…..

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Why Donald Trump’s Twitter Account Should Be Suspended – US Presidential Aspirant | How Africa News

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U.S. senator, Kamala Harris, seized the Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday night to advance her proposal for the suspension of President Donald Trump’s Twitter account.

Appearing alongside 11 other aspirants in the live television debate, Harris accused Trump of abusing the platform where he has over 65 million followers.

“Here we have Donald Trump, who has 65 million Twitter followers, and is using that platform as the President of the United States to openly intimidate witnesses, to threaten witnesses and obstruct justice.

“He and his account should be taken down,’’ she said, adding that the Aug. 3 mass shooter in El Paso, Texas, was inspired by Trump’s hate tweet against Latinos.

As a matter of corporate responsibility, she argued, “Twitter should be held accountable, and made to take down that site; it is a matter of safety and corporate accountability’’.

The California senator was responding to a question on whether it was necessary to break up big tech companies like Facebook and Twitter over their use for election interference by foreign interests.

She said she was surprised that her rival, Sen. Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts, opposed her idea of what should be the rules around corporate responsibility.

Harris said it was “grave injustice’’ for the social media accounts of ordinary people to be suspended over abuse, but those of powerful individuals like Trump were spared.

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Warren responded saying, “I don’t just want to push Donald Trump off Twitter. I want to push him out of the White House. That’s our job.”

Harris disagreed, urging her to back the campaign for the president’s Twitter account to be shut down.

Also speaking on the subject, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Andrew Yang, said breaking up the tech companies would not solve the problem, and suggested the use of “21st century solutions’’.

Sen. Cory Booker (New Jersey), said American democracy was in “massive crisis’’ with the way the big tech companies were being used not only in anti-competitive practices but also in undermining the country’s democracy.

Booker said such practices used in the 2016 presidential election had not been corrected, and as president he would pursue a reform in America’s anti-trust laws.

The Russian government is accused of creating thousands of social media accounts to harm the campaign of the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, in favour of Trump during the 2016 election.

This has triggered calls for the unbundling of the big tech companies to guard against their use in election interference.

However, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, warned that splitting up the companies would boost election interference, because they would not be able to work together to fight it.

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Progressives Are Divided On How To Approach The Impeachment Process

Algorithmia AI Generated Summary

When House Speaker support for an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump last week, some of the most pointed criticism of her leadership evaporated in an instant.

Need to Impeach, the nonprofit funded by billionaire Tom Steyer that had been a thorn in Pelosi’s side for the better part of two years, only had good things to say.

“People will look back at this moment as the day Congress stood up for democracy, American values, and our constitution and fought back against the corrupt, criminal president, Donald Trump,” Nathaly Arriola, the group’s executive director, said in a statement.

Need to Impeach has now turned its attention to vulnerable Senate Republicans, whom it announced on Tuesday it will be pressing to back impeachment with over $3 million in television and digital advertisements. 

But beneath the praise and comity, there is some disagreement among progressive groups as to how to proceed.

At one end of the debate is a smaller group of progressive activists and experts worried that the impeachment inquiry risks at once dragging on too long and covering too few of the president’s infractions.

And on the other side of the spectrum are groups like Need to Impeach, as well as officials, activists and strategists who see no need, for the time being, to exert additional public pressure on congressional Democrats.

“We’re getting it right here,” said Greg Pinelo, a veteran Democratic media strategist who helped develop advertisements for both Obama campaigns. “You can argue about whether we should have got here sooner. But facts on the ground change ― and the facts on the ground right now suggest a really focused effort.”

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Speaker Pelosi, right, addressed reporters alongside Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). Her support for an impeachment inquiry has largely quieted critics.

Not everyone is content though. Heidi Hess, who runs the progressive phone company Credo’s issue campaigns at Credo Action, expressed disappointment in Speaker Pelosi’s press conference on Tuesday. 

Hess is calling for a timeline for completing the investigation and a deadline to vote on articles of impeachment that are reported out. She fears that allowing the process to drag on could give Trump an opportunity to sow more chaos and diminish public support for the process.

“Unless we have deadlines, then for us, that is still them telegraphing that what [Democrats] want is to stall,” she said.

Credo Action, the nonpartisan, pro-democracy nonprofit Free Speech for People and several other groups have called for the House Judiciary Committee to report out articles of impeachment against Trump by Nov. 1 and a vote on those articles by Nov. 15. They are also demanding an immediate end to the current congressional recess in the interest of expediting the process.

Another priority for these liberal critics is impeaching Trump on the broadest possible grounds, which they worry Democratic leadership is not adequately interested in. Credo Action is part of a coalition of liberal groups and legal experts, under the intellectual leadership of Free Speech for People, calling for Trump to be impeached for at least 12 different reasons. The reasons, which the groups outlined in a July 30 letter to the House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York, fall under the broad categories of abuse of power, corruption of the electoral process, promotion of racial hostility, and corruption and self-enrichment.

“We remain deeply concerned that Congress is not addressing this constitutional crisis with the urgency that’s required at the moment,” said John Bonifaz, an attorney and co-founder of Free Speech for People. 

Bonifaz helped develop the coalition’s list of impeachable offenses and advised Democratic Reps. Al Green of Texas and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan on their earlier efforts to initiate impeachment inquiries. He worries that failure to hold Trump accountable for the full scope of his misconduct could again set an “extremely dangerous precedent” for presidential impunity.

Hess cited the possibility of a repeat of the articles of impeachment against then-President Richard Nixon. Congress chose not to issue articles of impeachment related to Nixon’s secret bombing of Cambodia, which Hess and other left-leaning activists regard as a mistake that helped future presidents prosecute foreign interventions illegally.

Pelosi has not set any explicit deadlines for the House Judiciary Committee to report out articles of impeachment. But at a press conference on Wednesday, the speaker warned that refusals by the Trump administration to cooperate with the House’s investigation into Trump’s request that Ukraine investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter would be regarded as obstruction of justice. 

“We do not want this to drag on for months and months, which appears to be the [White House’s] strategy,” Pelosi said. 

A lot of the work on the other misconduct has already been done. I think [impeachment] will be broad and fast. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.)

Pelosi has also said that House committees investigating other elements of Trump’s potential misconduct will report their findings to the Judiciary Committee, leaving open the possibility that impeachment will cover a broader range of matters.

Rep. Ro Khanna, a California Democrat and vice chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, stood out among his colleagues with a public appeal last week for Congress to postpone its two-week recess in order to work on the impeachment inquiry. He predicted that focusing on a broad range of Trump’s misdeeds is compatible with a rapid process. 

“A lot of the work on the other misconduct has already been done,” Khanna told HuffPost. “I think [impeachment] will be broad and fast.” 

But assurances like those are not enough for Hess, Bonifaz and some other outspoken progressives who worry that the absence of firmer commitments from Pelosi right now, when the pressure to placate the grassroots is perhaps greatest, raises the risk of a looser approach going forward. 

The trouble for these Pelosi critics is that many of their normally allied organizations and activists are thus far unwilling to publicly criticize the speaker’s management of the process. 

Spokespeople for the Democracy for America, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Indivisible all expressed support for an impeachment process that is both prompt and broad in scope without joining in criticism of Pelosi.

Meagan Hatcher-Mays, who runs Indivisible’s democracy program, shared Hess’ commitment to a rapid process, as well as a wide-ranging inquiry. “Every day that he’s in office is a new threat to our election security,” she said. But Indivisible is not setting out a hard deadline; Hatcher-Mays said the group hopes it nears completion before Thanksgiving. 

Similarly, PCCC spokeswoman Maria Langholz called Pelosi’s approach of having committees of jurisdiction submit to the Judiciary Committee the results of their investigations into Trump “smart.”

And Charles Chamberlain, executive director of Democracy for America, which rivals Credo Action and PCCC in online organizing heft, suggested a middle path in terms of the scope of the impeachment articles ― something shy of 12, but more than just one about Trump’s pressure on Ukraine.

Chamberlain said he is “not really concerned” with the speed of the process so far, but he would like to see the House move on it quickly so it can proceed to the Senate. The sooner it gets there, he argued, the sooner it can be used against Republicans senators up for reelection in swing states.

“The Senate has the most to lose here,” he said.

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Botham Jean’s mother testifies at sentencing after ex-cop Amber Guyger is found guilty of murder

Amber Guyger trial verdict: Ex-police officer found guilty of murder - CNN

(CNN)Allison Jean took the stand first at Amber Guyger‘s sentencing hearing Tuesday, hours after raising her hands in jubilation over the rare murder conviction of a former police officer in the death of her son, Botham.

“My life has not been the same,” Allison Jean told the jury that will sentence Guyger. “It’s just been like a roller coaster.
Guyger, who is white, testified that after working long hours on September 6, 2018, she returned to her Dallas apartment complex and approached what she thought was her apartment. She noticed the door was partially open, saw a man inside who she believed to be an intruder, and fired her service weapon, killing him.
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    In fact, she was at the apartment directly above hers — which belonged to the 26-year-old Jean, who was black. Prosecutors said Jean had been on the couch in his shorts, watching TV and eating vanilla ice cream when Guyger walked in.
    Jurors deliberated for less than 24 hours before reaching the verdict. Guyger was booked into the North Tower Detention Center in Dallas Tuesday afternoon, according to the county website.
    Though the topic of race did not figure prominently in the trial itself, outside the courtroom, Jean’s case had became a focal point in the national conversation on policing and the threat of violence people of color face in daily life.
    After the verdict, S. Lee Merritt, an attorney for Jean’s family, called the murder conviction a “huge victory” not only for the victim’s family but also “for black people in America.” Few police officers ever face trial for shooting deaths, and even fewer are convicted.
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    “It’s a signal that the tide is going to change here,” he told reporters outside the courtroom. “Police officers are going to be held accountable for their actions and we believe that will begin to change policing culture all over the world.”
    Another family attorney, Benjamin Crump, cited the names of numerous unarmed African Americans who have died at the hands of police.
    “For so many unarmed black and brown human beings all across America, this verdict is for them,” he said.

    Allison Jean wore her son’s favorite color on the stand

    Wearing red — her son’s favorite color — Allison Jean fought back tears as she described the day she learned her son had been fatally shot.
    “I was in New York with my daughter at 12:13 a.m. on September 7th when she came to inform me that she had gotten a call and that somebody told her that Botham was shot, that he died,” she said.
    She added, “I cannot sleep. I cannot eat. It’s just been the most terrible time for me. ”
    Allison Jean talked about how Botham — the middle child — was “the glue” that brought her three children together. She smiled as she was shown photos of her son.
    “I have to tried to keep that family together because everybody’s in pain,” she said, adding that she goes to weekly therapy sessions.
    She was largely composed and spoke proudly of her son and how, at age 11, he ranked 23 out of about 4,000 students on the island of St. Lucia who took a selective high school entrance exam.
    Amber Guyger trial verdict: Ex-police officer found guilty of murder - CNN
    “We have a simple life, one of faith and that’s how we raised our children,” she said, adding that she has been married 30 years.
    She would have preferred that Botham remained at home for his studies, but he wanted to attend Harding University, a private Christian school in Arkansas where became president of the student council, sang in a choir and led community service missions with other students to the island. Allison Jean described him as loving and giving and passionate about helping others.
    She said her youngest son Brandt, 18, spent part of the the summer of 2017 in Dallas with Botham, who worked as an accountant and would have turned 28 on Sunday. When Brandt was leaving, Botham called his mother crying.
    “He didn’t want Brandt to leave,” she said. “He felt that Brandt spent three weeks with him and the first week, he said he had a lot of work to do and he really regretted that he didn’t spend enough time with Brandt.”
    Allison Jean said she is concerned for her youngest son, who has gone from punching walls in anger after his brother’s death to not saying much about his feelings.
    In court, Allisa Findley, Botham’s sister, watched a video of her brother singing at church. She put her head down. His voice makes her miss him, she said.
    “I want my brother back,” she said.
    Findley said she calls home more to check on her mother, father and younger brother. None of them are the same. She recalled how her brother would call her in the middle of the night when he was in school so she could order a pizza and send it to his dorm room. She remembered him buying her a television as a housewarming present — on his birthday.

    Guyger faces up to life in prison

    Hours earlier, in the same courtroom, Judge Tammy Kemp asked Guyger and her lawyers to stand as she read the verdict sheet.
    “We the jury unanimously find the defendant, Amber Guyger, guilty of murder as charged in the indictment,” Kemp read, as a shriek and hand clap could be heard.
    Jean’s mother briefly threw both arms in the air. Another woman who started to shout in praise was chastised by a court officer. Members of Jean’s family sobbed. There were hugs among family members and prosecutors after the jury left the courtroom.
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    With the murder conviction, Guyger, 31, now faces up to life in prison. The former officer, her head down, wept at the defense table. Her mother broke down in the courtroom.
    When the courtroom doors opened, applause and cheers erupted in the corridors. Some cried on hallway benches and shouts of “Guilty! Guilty!” and “Black lives matter!” could be heard.

    ‘I wish he was the one with the gun’

    In uniform but off duty, Guyger testified last week that she wanted to “find the threat” after hearing movement in her apartment. She said she saw the silhouette of a man and demanded to see his hands. He approached in a “fast-paced walk,” she added, and she fired two shots at what she believed to be an intruder.
    Prosecutor Jason Hermus told jurors that the trajectory of the bullet suggests Jean was getting up from a chair when Guyger fired, or he was on his knees, trying to hide from her. Experts have been unable to determine Jean’s exact position when he was shot.
    One bullet struck and killed Jean. A medical examiner testified the bullet entered just above Jean’s upper left nipple and traveled downward, damaging his heart and several other major organs before landing in his psoas muscle.
    “I ask God for forgiveness, and I hate myself every single day,” Guyger told the jury, her voice shaking. “I wish he was the one with the gun who had killed me. I never wanted to take an innocent person’s life.”
    Guyger was distracted that night, prosecutors argued, texting with her married police partner, with whom she had had sexual relations. They said she missed numerous signs in the hallway leading up to Jean’s apartment indicating she was on the wrong floor.
    Hermus also criticized Guyger for entering the apartment rather than backing away and seeking cover or calling for assistance over her police radio. He argued she did not render enough first aid to Jean.
    “When you aimed and pulled the trigger at Mr. Jean, shooting him in center mass exactly where you are trained, you intended to kill Mr. Jean,” Hermus said.
    “I did,” Guyger said.
    On the phone with a 911 operator that night, Guyger said 19 times she thought she had been in her apartment. Guyger said she performed a “little” CPR and a sternum rub on Jean.
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    Hermus pointed out she never used first aid supplies from her backpack. Guyger testified her mind was racing while on the phone with a 911 operator. She said it didn’t cross her mind that she had first aid supplies.
    Texas Ranger David Armstrong, the lead investigator, said in court last week — while the jury was not in the room — that he believed Guyger’s actions were reasonable and that she did not commit murder, nor manslaughter or criminally negligent manslaughter. The judge would not allow him to offer his opinion before the jury.
    Guyger was initially charged with manslaughter in September 2018, but a grand jury later indicted her on a murder charge.The Dallas Police Department fired Guyger.
    The trial was laced with dramatic, emotional moments, as attorneys played graphic body cam footage of police trying to resuscitate Jean and read explicit sexual messages between Guyger and her police partner.

    The castle doctrine and closing arguments

    After six days of witness testimony, the prosecution and defense teams rested Monday morning, then presented two hours of closing arguments. Prosecutors leaned heavily on their emotional appeal, while the defense urged the jury to use discipline and focus on the law.
    In a significant move, the judge allowed Guyger’s attorneys to argue the so-called castle doctrine — or stand your ground laws — as part of their defense, since Guyger believed she was in her own apartment. Guyger’s actions were reasonable, defense attorneys said, and any ordinary person could have made the same mistake in a similar situation.
    Defense attorney Toby Shook urged jurors to look at the case “calmly” and not decide on emotion, sympathy, or public pressure. “But you have to use the discipline not to do that,” he said.
    “That’s hard, especially in a case like this,” he added. “You’ll never see a case like this, that’s so tragic. So tragic. It’s hard to do as jurors. Who would not have sympathy for Botham Jean? Wonderful human being — died in these horrible, tragic circumstances.”
    Prosecutors argued self-defense did not apply because Guyger was not in her home. She acted disproportionately, prosecutors said, and had less lethal options available, like using her stun gun or mace.
    Amber Guyger trial verdict: Ex-police officer found guilty of murder - CNN
    “Self-defense is an option of last resort. She killed him unreasonably and unjustifiably,” said Hermus.
    The self defense argument should apply to Jean, not Guyger, they said. “It’s not her apartment. There was not force. It’s not occupied. She doesn’t need castle doctrine,” said Assistant District Attorney Jason Fine. “No. This law is not in place for her, it’s in place for Bo.”
      Hermus, in closing arguments, walked up to Guyger in her seat, pointed and looked her in the eye, and urged the jury to tell her: “You will be held responsible for what you did and whether or not you want to accept responsibility, it will be forced upon you.
      “And by God in Dallas County, Texas,” he continued, “there will be a consequence for you walking in and shooting an unarmed, defenseless man.”

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