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NCAA Football: Ohio State Spring Game
Apr 13, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes former running back Ezekiel Elliott (right) during the first half of the Spring Game at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

April 24, 2019

The Dallas Cowboys exercised the fifth-year option on running back Ezekiel Elliott’s contract, keeping him in place through the 2020 season.

Elliott is set to make $3.85 million in 2019. He figures to receive around $10 million in the option season though the Cowboys have stated they intend to negotiate a rich extension with him.

Elliott led the NFL with 1,434 rushing yards last season and also had a career-high 77 receptions for 567 yards.

Elliott has rushed for 4,048 yards and 28 touchdowns in 40 games over three seasons.

–The San Francisco 49ers exercised the fifth-year contract option on Pro Bowl defensive tackle DeForest Buckner.

Buckner is in line to receive around $12 million in 2020. The two sides have been working on a long-term contract extension that could get hammered out prior to the 2019 campaign.

Buckner posted a career-best 12 sacks last season while accumulating 67 tackles. He has 201 stops, 21 sacks and three fumble recoveries in 47 NFL games.

–The Atlanta Falcons announced via Twitter that they picked up the fifth-year option of safety Keanu Neal.

Neal suffered a season-ending knee injury in the 2018 season opener. The 2017 Pro Bowl selection has 220 tackles, eight forced fumbles and one interception in 31 games.

–The New Orleans Saints have exercised the fifth-year option on defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins, according to multiple reports.

Rankins is recovering from a torn Achilles tendon suffered in January’s playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles. He had a career-best eight sacks last season and has 14 sacks and 86 tackles in 41 NFL games.

–The Cincinnati Bengals exercised the fifth-year option on cornerback William Jackson.

Jackson had 41 tackles last season. He has 66 tackles and one interception in 31 career games.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: File photo of the Twitter logo displayed on a screen on the floor of the NYSE
FILE PHOTO: The Twitter logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., September 28, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

April 24, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Twitter was ablaze on Wednesday with humorous commentary and speculation over why Tesla Inc’s first-quarter earnings release was so late. As of 5:05 p.m. ET (2105 GMT), one hour after the market close, the results still had not been released.

Here is a sampling of comments on Twitter:

“Tesla forgot to get Deepak’s password when he left and now they can’t release the earnings. 40 minute late and counting…” – @FredericLambert, referring to former Chief Financial Officer Deepak Ahuja

“TSLA has sent one of the new flawless robotaxis to deliver the earnings report, apparently.” – @NickGiva

“Maybe Tesla switched to full self accounting and it works as well as their full self driving.” – @bgrahamdisciple

“TSLA forgot to pay their WebEx Conference call bill.” – @mackandcompany

“I’m imagining Elon in a huge fight with the board right now who’s trying to convince him that he has to release the #s.” – “@EternityStake

(Reporting by Alexandria Sage; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Source: OANN

Trumps depart the White House in Washington
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump depart the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

April 24, 2019

By Susan Heavey

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump vowed on Wednesday to fight all the way to the Supreme Court against any effort by congressional Democrats to impeach him, even though the U.S. Constitution gives Congress complete authority over the impeachment process.

Trump’s threat, made in a morning tweet, came as the White House launched a fierce legal battle to fight subpoenas from Democrats in the House of Representatives for documents and testimony from his administration.

Democrats remain divided on whether to proceed with Trump’s impeachment after Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia inquiry. Trump defiantly proclaimed on Twitter that the investigation “didn’t lay a glove on me.”

“If the partisan Dems ever tried to Impeach, I would first head to the U.S. Supreme Court,” the Republican president, who is seeking re-election next year, said without offering details about what legal action he envisioned.

The Constitution gives the sole power of impeachment and removing a president from office to the House and the Senate, not the judiciary, as part of the founding document’s separation of powers among the three branches of the federal government.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders have remained cautious over launching impeachment proceedings against Trump ahead of the 2020 election, although they have left the door open to such action. Others in the party’s more liberal wing have demanded impeachment proceedings.

Mueller’s findings, released in a redacted report last week, detailed about a dozen episodes of potential obstruction of justice by Trump in trying to impede the inquiry but stopped short of concluding that he had committed a crime.

The report said Congress could address whether the president violated the law. Mueller separately found insufficient evidence that Trump’s campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy with Russia in the 2016 presidential race.

House Democrats have stepped up their oversight of the Trump administration since taking control of the chamber in January, from Trump’s tax returns and White House security clearances to the investigation into Russian interference in U.S. politics.

Trump has ordered officials not to comply with subpoenas, and has filed a lawsuit to prevent material from being turned over to lawmakers.

“We’re fighting all the subpoenas,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday.

CONSTITUTION

Under the Constitution, Congress is a co-equal branch of government alongside the executive branch and the judiciary.

The Constitution empowers Congress to remove a president from office for “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” The House is given the power to impeach a president – bring formal charges – and the Senate then convenes a trial, with the senators as jurors, with a two-thirds vote needed to convict a president and remove him from office.

The Constitution gives no role to the Supreme Court in impeachment, though it does assign the chief justice the task of presiding over the Senate trial. Conservative John Roberts currently serves as chief justice.

That would not preclude Trump from proceeding with litigation to tie up the issue in the courts, despite Supreme Court precedent upholding congressional impeachment power. In 1993, the nation’s top court ruled 9-0 in a case involving an impeached U.S. judge that the judiciary has no role in the impeachment process.

Lawrence Tribe, a constitutional law professor at Harvard who has been critical of Trump, said the U.S. founding fathers had considered but ultimately scrapped the idea of allowing the Supreme Court to have any role in the impeachment process.

“Not even a SCOTUS filled with Trump appointees would get in the way of the House or Senate,” Tribe said in a series of tweets on Wednesday.

Some congressional Republicans have urged the country to move forward after the Mueller report, while a few, including Senator Mitt Romney, have condemned Trump’s actions. Some conservatives outside of Congress have urged congressional action in the wake of Mueller’s report.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey, Steve Holland, Roberta Rampton and Makini Brice, Writing by John Whitesides, Editing by Andrea Ricci and Alistair Bell)

Source: OANN

The Google logo is pictured at the entrance to the Google offices in London
FILE PHOTO: The Google logo is pictured at the entrance to the Google offices in London, Britain January 18, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

April 24, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Top U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday wrote to Google’s chief executive raising concerns about reports of a massive database known as Sensorvault that allegedly contains precise consumer location information from hundreds of millions of devices.

The letter from Democrats and Republicans on the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee to CEO Sundar Pichai seeks a briefing and answers on how this information is used and shared, citing a New York Times report that the database includes nearly every consumer with an Android mobile device, in some cases storing information dating back to 2009.

A representative for Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc, said in a statement: “The data in question is used for Location History, which is off by default. If a user chooses to turn it on, we can provide helpful information, like real-time data to help them beat traffic on their way home from work. They can delete their Location History data, or turn off the product entirely, at any time.”

The letter is one of several sent by members of Congress in recent months that raise concerns about how Google and other big Internet companies use information they have gathered about consumers.

The letter, which was signed by Democratic Representatives Frank Pallone and Jan Schakowsky and Republicans Greg Walden and Cathy McMorris Rodgers, asked Google who has access to the Sensorvault database and which Google services or apps collect the information.

The lawmakers asked for answers to their questions as well as a briefing on the issue by May 10.

They also asked Google if information is collected from consumers who requested that their data not be shared and asked to be briefed on any third parties, other than law enforcement, given access to location data.

Google, Facebook, Twitter and other free online services rely on advertising for revenue and use data collected on users to more effectively target those ads.

Congress has long been expected to take up privacy legislation after California passed a strict privacy law that goes into effect next year.

Two U.S. senators introduced a bill in early April that would ban online social media companies like Facebook and Google from misleading consumers in order to convince them to give up personal data.

The bill from Mark Warner, a Democrat, and Deb Fischer, a Republican, would also ban online platforms with more than 100 million monthly active users from designing addicting games or other websites for children under age 13.

(Reporting by David Shepardson and Diane Bartz; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Rosalba O’Brien)

Source: OANN

A man looks on in front of an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Nanjing
FILE PHOTO: A man looks on in front of an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China February 13, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

April 24, 2019

By Andrew Galbraith

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Equity markets in Asia rose on Wednesday morning after upbeat earnings helped the Nasdaq and S&P 500 indexes reach record closing highs on Wall Street overnight, while oil retreated from its near six-month highs.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.1 percent in early trade in Asia. The gains followed a strong performance on Wall Street, driven by robust results from Coca-Cola, Twitter, United Technologies and Lockheed Martin.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.52 percent to 26,647.97, the S&P 500 gained 0.91 percent to 2,934.31 and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.35 percent to 8,123.25.

On Wednesday morning, S&P 500 e-mini stock futures were up 0.03 percent at 2,938.75, just short of a record high of 2,944.75 on October 3.

Australian shares gained 0.6 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei stock index was 0.3 percent higher. Seoul’s Kospi was up 0.1 percent.

Analyst said that alongside better-than-feared corporate earnings, a more supportive policy environment is helping to boost risk appetites.

“The Fed has been joined in its dovish tilt by major central banks across the globe … the tilt globally reflects genuine concern not to allow individual countries and the globe to tip into recession. That risk has receded,” Greg McKenna, strategist at McKenna Macro in Australia, said in a note to clients.

Equity market gains had been bolstered on Tuesday by rising energy shares after Brent crude, the global benchmark, hit its highest level since Nov. 1.

Oil prices had surged after the United States ended six months of waivers that allowed Iran’s eight biggest buyers, most of them in Asia, to continue importing limited volumes of Iranian oil.

Gulf OPEC members said that rather than offset any shortfall resulting from the U.S. decision on waivers, they would raise output only if there was demand.

But early on Wednesday, Brent had given up some gains, trading down 0.54 percent at $74.11 per barrel. U.S. crude dipped 0.54 to $65.94 a barrel.

U.S. Treasury yields ticked lower. Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes yielded 2.5686 percent compared with a U.S. close of 2.57 percent on Tuesday, while the two-year yield, slipped to 2.3516 percent, compared with a U.S. close of 2.364 percent.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, eased 0.03 percent to 97.606. The dollar was down 0.04 percent against the yen to 111.82.

The euro edged 0.08 percent lower to buy $1.1216.

Spot gold fell about 0.1 percent to $1,271.07 per ounce.

(Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

Source: OANN

U.S. President Trump attends the 2019 White House Easter Egg Roll in Washington
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump attends the 2019 White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., April 22, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

April 23, 2019

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump met with Twitter Inc’s Chief Executive Jack Dorsey on Tuesday and spent a significant time questioning him about why he has lost some Twitter followers, a person briefed on the matter said.

The meeting, which was organized by the White House last week, came hours after Trump again attacked the social media company over his claims it is biased against conservatives.

“Great meeting this afternoon at the @WhiteHouse with @Jack from @Twitter. Lots of subjects discussed regarding their platform, and the world of social media in general. Look forward to keeping an open dialogue!” Trump tweeted, posting a photo of Dorsey and others with him in the Oval Office.

Earlier on Tuesday, Trump suggested Twitter was biased against him without providing evidence. He wrote on Twitter that the company does not “treat me well as a Republican. Very discriminatory.”

Twitter said in a statement Dorsey had a “constructive meeting with the president of the United States today at the president’s invitation. They discussed Twitter’s commitment to protecting the health of the public conversation ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections and efforts underway to respond to the opioid crisis.”

Unlike other major U.S. tech company executives, Dorsey had not previously met with Trump.

He was not invited to a December 2016 meeting with president-elect Trump that featured other major tech companies. Reuters reported in 2016 Trump had been angry with Twitter because it had rejected an advertising deal with his campaign.

Trump has been upset about losing followers.

In October, Trump wrote that “Twitter has removed many people from my account and, more importantly, they have seemingly done something that makes it much harder to join – they have stifled growth to a point where it is obvious to all. A few weeks ago it was a Rocket Ship, now it is a Blimp! Total Bias?”

Any reduction is likely the result of Twitter’s recent moves to remove millions of suspicious accounts after it and other social media services were used in misinformation campaigns attempting to influence voters in the 2016 U.S. presidential race and other elections, Reuters reported in October.

Shares in Twitter jumped 13 percent on Tuesday after it reported quarterly revenue above analyst estimates, which executives said was the result of weeding out spam and abusive posts and targeting ads better.

Trump lost 204,000, or 0.4 percent, of his 53.4 million followers in July when Twitter started its purge of suspicious accounts, according to social media data firm Keyhole.

Trump has one of the most-followed accounts on Twitter. But the president and Republicans in Congress have repeatedly criticized the company and its social media competitors for what they have called bias against conservatives, something Twitter denies.

Democratic U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono said earlier this month “we cannot allow the Republican party to harass tech companies into weakening content moderation policies that already fail to remove hateful, dangerous and misleading content.”

Carlos Monje, Twitter’s public policy director, said at a Senate hearing earlier this month the site “does not use political viewpoints, perspectives or party affiliation to make any decisions, whether related to automatically ranking content on our service or how we develop or enforce our rules.”

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Tom Brown)

Source: OANN

President Donald Trump met with Twitter Inc’s Chief Executive Jack Dorsey on Tuesday, the White House confirmed, hours after Trump again attacked the social media company.

Earlier on Tuesday, Trump suggested Twitter was biased against him. He wrote on Twitter that the company does not “treat me well as a Republican. Very discriminatory.”

Twitter did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

Source: NewsMax Politics

FILE PHOTO: A man walks in front of a banner reading,
FILE PHOTO: A man walks in front of a banner reading, “Yes to the constitutional amendments, for a better future”, with a photo of the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi before the approaching referendum on constitutional amendments in Cairo, Egypt April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/File Photo

April 23, 2019

CAIRO (Reuters) – Nearly 90 percent of Egyptian voters have approved in a referendum constitutional changes, the election commission said on Tuesday, in a move that could pave the way for President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to stay in power until 2030.

Voter turnout during the three-day referendum was 44.33 percent and 88.83 percent of those taking part approved the amendments while 11.17 percent voted no, the commission said.

“These (changes) are effective from now as your constitution,” commission chairman Lasheen Ibrahim said after he announced the result on state TV, adding that more than 23.4 million voters had endorsed the changes in the referendum.

The amendments will extend Sisi’s current term to six years from four and allow him to run again for a third six-year term in 2024 and to appoint one or more vice president.

They will also grant the president control over appointing head judges and the public prosecutor from a pool of candidates, and give Egypt’s powerful military the role of protecting “the constitution and democracy”.

Michele Dunne, senior fellow and director of the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, questioned the credibility of the turnout figure announced.

“Rather than being a reflection of actual data, the announced 44 percent turnout is more likely an attempt to portray this as the most legitimate constitutional referendum, as it has the highest turnout ever reported,” she said.

Sisi expressed his “appreciation and pride” on Twitter to the Egyptian people who he said had “dazzled the world with their awareness of the challenges” facing Egypt by participating in the referendum.

Sisi’s supporters say he has stabilised Egypt and needs more time to reform and develop the economy.

Critics fear the constitutional changes will shrink any remaining space for political competition and debate, paving the way for a long period of one-man rule.

(Reporting by Lena Masri and Nayera Abdallah, writing by Lena Masri and Sami Aboudi; Editing by Gareth Jones)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A combination photo from files of Facebook Google and Twitter logos
FILE PHOTO: Facebook, Google and Twitter logos are seen in this combination photo from Reuters files. REUTERS//File Photo

April 23, 2019

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Google, Facebook and Twitter have to do more to tackle fake news ahead of key European Parliament elections next month, the European Commission said on Tuesday, as its latest report showed a lack of progress in some areas.

The monthly reports follow a pledge made by the tech giants and advertising trade bodies in October last year to combat the spread of fake news and avoid more heavy-handed regulations.

The EU has warned of foreign interference during campaigning for the European Parliament elections and national elections in Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Poland, Portugal and Ukraine in recent and coming months.

“Further technical improvements as well as sharing of methodology and data sets for fake accounts are necessary to allow third-party experts, fact-checkers and researchers to carry out independent evaluation,” the EU executive said.

The Commission said Google had made insufficient progress in defining issue-based advertising. The report covered actions taken by the companies in March.

It said Facebook, which took down eight coordinated inauthentic behavior networks originating in North Macedonia, Kosovo and Russia, failed to disclose whether these affected EU users.

Twitter also fell short because it did not provide details on its measures against spam and fake accounts and also did not report on any action to improve the scrutiny of ad placements.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: The logo of TikTok application is seen in this picture illustration
FILE PHOTO: The logo of TikTok application is seen on a screen in this picture illustration taken February 21, 2019. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Illustration

April 23, 2019

By Aditya Kalra and Munsif Vengattil

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s ban on popular Chinese video app TikTok is resulting in “financial losses” of up to $500,000 a day for its developer, Beijing Bytedance Technology Co, and has put more than 250 jobs at risk, the company said in a court filing seen by Reuters.

TikTok allows users to create and share short videos with special effects and is one of the world’s most popular apps. It has been downloaded by nearly 300 million users so far in India, out of more than 1 billion downloads globally, according to analytics firm Sensor Tower.

Earlier this month, an Indian state court ordered the federal government to prohibit its downloads, saying the app was encouraging pornography. Acting upon instructions from the federal IT ministry, Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google last week removed TikTok from their India app stores.

The developments have dealt a blow to the India growth plans of Bytedance, which is backed by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp and by private equity. Bytedance, one of the world’s most valuable startups potentially worth around $75 billion, was considering a public listing in Hong Kong this year, sources told Reuters in August.

The ban has also worried the social media industry in India as it sees legal worries mounting if courts increasingly regulate content on their platforms.

In the filing made to India’s Supreme Court on Saturday, Bytedance urged the court to quash the ban and direct the federal IT ministry to tell companies such as Google and Apple to make the app available again on their platforms.

The court filing is not publicly available and its contents have not been previously reported.

Bytedance pegged financial losses at $500,000 each day, which it said includes destruction in the value of its investments and loss of commercial revenue. It added the ban would result in its reputation and goodwill taking a hit with both advertisers and investors.

“Banning has had adverse impact on the user base of this app, losing close to 1 million new users per day … It is estimated that approximately six million requests for downloads could not be effected since the ban came into effect,” the company said in the filing.

A spokesman for TikTok and the federal IT ministry did not respond to requests for comment.

COURT BATTLE, CONTENT WOES

The Supreme Court has so far not provided any interim relief on repeated pleas by Bytedance and referred the case back to the court in southern Tamil Nadu state, where the case will next be heard on Wednesday.

Memes and music videos thrive on TikTok, although some clips show youngsters, some scantily clad, lip-syncing and dancing to popular tunes.

Its growing popularity has drawn criticism from some Indian politicians and parents who say its content is inappropriate. The Tamil Nadu court, which ruled against TikTok after an individual filed a public interest litigation, has said the app could also expose children to sexual predators.

The Supreme Court filing included a table in which Bytedance compared TikTok to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by listing 13 of its implemented safety features, including parental controls.

A “very minuscule” proportion of TikTok’s videos were considered inappropriate or obscene, the company has said.

“The constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights of free speech and expression … of numerous Indian citizens have been severely impacted,” the company said in its latest filing.

(Reporting by Aditya Kalra; Editing by Martin Howell and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

Source: OANN


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