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FILE PHOTO: The Comcast NBC logo is shown on a building in Los Angeles, California
FILE PHOTO: The Comcast NBC logo is shown on a building in Los Angeles, California, U.S. June 13, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

April 25, 2019

By Helen Coster and Arjun Panchadar

(Reuters) – Comcast Corp reported first-quarter profit on Thursday that beat Wall Street estimates, boosted by strong additions of high-speed internet customers in a quarter that painted another mixed picture for the biggest U.S. cable provider.

The company’s shares were up 2.5 percent in premarket trading after falling as much as 3 percent following release of its earnings report.

Overall revenue missed analyst estimates and Comcast lost more video and phone customers than expected. Revenue from its NBCUniversal cable networks, filmed entertainment and theme parks also fell short of expectations. Earnings per share did, however, exceeded expectations.

Like others in the cable television industry, Comcast is grappling with rival offerings from Alphabet Inc’s YouTube TV and subscription video services like Netflix Inc.

Earlier this week AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications Inc both reported losing more video customers than analysts expected.

Philadelphia-based Comcast said it lost 121,000 video customers in the quarter, more than the 29,000 it shed last quarter and the 109,000 estimated by analysts, according to research firm FactSet. In response, the company is striving to build new services on top of its broadband network.

Revenue from the high-speed internet business climbed 10 percent to $4.58 billion in the first quarter as the company added 375,000 subscribers on a net basis.

Subscriber additions beat the average analyst estimate of 356,000, according to FactSet, but were down slightly from 379,000 in the same period a year earlier.

Comcast is betting that its redesigned Xfinity X1 cable box, which uses a single menu to find content across live TV, on-demand and streaming services like Netflix, will help retain and attract subscribers.

Revenue at its NBCUniversal business, which includes NBC Entertainment and Universal Pictures, dropped 12.5 percent to $8.31 billion.

NBCUniversal plans to launch an advertising-supported TV streaming service in 2020 that will be free for NBCUniversal’s pay-TV customers as well as Sky customers internationally.

Filmed entertainment revenue rose 7.4 percent to $1.77 billion, boosted by movies including “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” and “Us” while theme park revenue slipped 0.4 percent to $1.28 billion.

Revenue from broadcast television dropped 29.4 percent year-on-year to $2.47 billion. Excluding last year’s Olympics and Super Bowl from the prior-year comparison, however, revenue rose.

Comcast, which bought the British pay-TV group Sky last year, said revenue reported from Sky was $4.8 billion.

Excluding items, the company earned 76 cents per share, beating estimates of 68 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Comcast’s overall revenue rose 18 percent to $26.86 billion, but fell short of Wall Street expectations of $27.20 billion.

(Reporting by Helen Coster and Arjun Panchadar; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Steve Orlofsky)

Source: OANN

The first Republican to announce a GOP 2020 primary challenge to President Donald Trump says “we would be much better off with a President Mike Pence.”

“For the good of the country, if he had the self-awareness that Richard Nixon had, sense of shame is too strong a word, but self-awareness is probably too soft a word, he would resign,” former Massachusetts Gov. Weld told MSNBC’s “The Last Word” on Tuesday night. “The truth is: We would be much better off with a President Mike Pence than a President Donald Trump.”

Weld warned against Democrats impeaching President Trump, because “those boils over at the White House are dying to have impeachment proceedings initiated so that Mr. Trump can scream like a stuffed pig.”

“It’s just going to give him such a delicious talking point the last few months before the election,” Weld told host Lawrence O’Donnell. 

Weld is ready to challenge President Trump in a Republican primary for the 2020 presidential candidacy, although Ohio Republican John Kasich and Maryland GOP Gov. Larry Hogan are weighing a run as well.

Weld admitted he will not bother campaigning in the deep red southern states, but he will focus on the northeast, mid-Atlantic, and California.

“It is time to return to the principles of Lincoln — equality, dignity, and opportunity for all,” he said at the time. “There is no greater cause on earth than to preserve what truly makes America great. I am ready to lead that fight.”

Source: NewsMax Politics

FILE PHOTO: Small toy figures are seen in front of a binary code in this illustration picture
FILE PHOTO: Small toy figures are seen in front of a binary code in this illustration picture, April 8, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic//File Photo

April 24, 2019

By Joseph Menn

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Technology firms should do more to connect people in positive ways and steer away from trends that have tended to exploit human weaknesses, ethicists told a meeting of Silicon Valley leaders on Tuesday.

Tristan Harris and Aza Raskin are the co-founders of the nonprofit Center for Humane Technology and the ones who prompted Apple and Google to nudge phone users toward reducing their screen time.

Now they want companies and regulators to focus on reversing what they called “human downgrading,” which they see as at the root of a dozen worsening problems, by reconsidering the design and financial incentives of their systems.

Before a hand-picked crowd of about 300 technologists, philanthropists and others concerned with issues such as internet addiction, political polarization, and the spread of misinformation on the web, Harris said Silicon Valley was too focused on making computers surpass human strengths, rather than worrying about how they already exploit human weaknesses.

If that is not reversed, he said, “that could be the end of human agency,” or free will.

Problems include the spread of hate speech and conspiracy theories, propelled by financial incentives to keep users engaged alongside the use of powerful artificial intelligence on platforms like Alphabet Inc’s YouTube, Harris said.

YouTube and other companies have said they are cracking down on extremist speech and have removed advertising revenue-sharing from some categories of content.

Active Facebook communities can be a force for good but they also aid the dissemination of false information, the campaigners said. For example, a vocal fringe that oppose vaccines, believing contrary to scientific evidence that they cause autism, has led to an uptick in diseases that were nearly eradicated.

Facebook said in March it would reduce the distribution of content from groups promoting vaccine hoaxes.

In an interview after his speech, Harris said that what he has called a race to the bottom of the brainstem – manipulation of human instincts and emotions – could be reversed.

For example, he said that Apple and Google could reward app developers who help users, or Facebook could suggest that someone showing signs of depression call a friend who had previously been supportive.

Tech personalities attending included Apple Inc co-founder Steve Wozniak, early Facebook funder turned critic Roger McNamee and MoveOn founders Joan Blades and Wes Boyd. Tech money is also backing the Center, including charitable funds started by founders of Hewlett Packard, EBay, and Craigslist.

The big companies, Harris said, “can change the incentives.”

(Reporting by Joseph Menn; Editing by Greg Mitchell and Rosalba O’Brien)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A woman stands in front of the logo of Snap Inc. on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) while waiting for Snap Inc. to post their IPO, in New York City
FILE PHOTO: A woman stands in front of the logo of Snap Inc. on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) while waiting for Snap Inc. to post their IPO, in New York City, NY, U.S. March 2, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

April 23, 2019

By Vibhuti Sharma and Sheila Dang

(Reuters) – Snap Inc’s original shows and rebuilt Android app helped it add Snapchat users for the first time in three quarters and beat analyst revenue expectations, but that was not enough to push its shares higher after a sharp run up this year.

Snap said the number of daily active Snapchat users rose to 190 million in the first quarter from 186 million in the prior period, but remained below the 191 million it had a year earlier.

The figure, widely watched by investors and advertisers, beat analysts’ average estimate of 187.2 million daily users, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Overall revenue jumped nearly 40 percent in the quarter from a year earlier as Snap was able to wring more ad revenue out of each user.

Executives left the company in droves late last year after a widely panned redesign of Snapchat, and any uptick is a welcome sign Snap has stemmed user losses.

Chief Executive Evan Spiegel has worked to turn Snap’s business around while the company largely avoid privacy and other scandals plaguing bigger rivals like Facebook Inc.

Snap did not give specific guidance on future user growth, but cautioned that growth rates tend to be higher in the first quarter versus the second quarter.

Shares of the company, which rose 12 percent immediately after the results, gave up most of their gains to trade up marginally at $12.08. They have more than doubled in value so far this year.

“Things are improving at Snap, and that could be putting it mildly – although with the shares up 100% so far this year, that’s pretty priced in,” said Nicholas Hyett, an analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, in a note.

In an effort to increase how much time users spend on the app, Snap, which faces stiff competition from Facebook’s Instagram, launched more than 50 shows and publisher stories in international markets alone during the reported quarter.

It also rebuilt its Android app, which had more bugs and a worse user experience than its iOS app. Snap had prioritized development on the Apple ecosystem through its stock market debut in 2017.

Snap’s revenue, which it earns from selling advertising on the app, jumped 39 percent to $320.4 million and beat Wall Street’s average estimate of $306.6 million.

Revenue growth was helped by new ad formats like unskippable commercials on its original shows, which are housed on the Discover page, a panel on the app that contains publisher content along with influencer content.

“Snap is maintaining, which is a good place for them considering they still lack any clear direction on how to expand or pivot its app beyond the under 34-year-old demographic,” said Jessica Liu, a marketing analyst at Forrester.

Snap’s focus on privacy and communication between friends has helped it avoid problems with misinformation and the spread of abusive content, which have been an issue for Facebook and Google’s YouTube, two of Snap’s main rivals for digital ad dollars.

Average revenue per user jumped 39 percent to $1.68 during the quarter from a year earlier.

The company’s net loss narrowed to $310.4 million, or 23 cents per share, from $385.8 million, or 30 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company lost 10 cents per share in the quarter, beating analyst estimates of losses of 12 cents per share.

For the second quarter, Snap said it expects revenue of $335 million to $360 million. That compares with the average analyst estimate for revenue of $348.5 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Earlier this month, Snap launched a gaming platform within its Snapchat app featuring original and third-party games such as Zynga Inc’s Tiny Royale.

(This story corrects tenth paragraph to show Snap launched 50 shows and publisher stories in international markets, not that Snap launched 50 original shows).

(Reporting by Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru and Sheila Dang in New York; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Meredith Mazzilli)

Source: OANN

An illustration photo shows the Facebook page displayed on a mobile phone internet browser held in front of a computer screen at a cyber-cafe in downtown Nairobi
An illustration photo shows the Facebook page displayed on a mobile phone internet browser held in front of a computer screen at a cyber-cafe in downtown Nairobi, Kenya April 18, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

April 23, 2019

By Maggie Fick and Paresh Dave

NAIROBI/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Facebook Inc’s struggles with hate speech and other types of problematic content are being hampered by the company’s inability to keep up with a flood of new languages as mobile phones bring social media to every corner of the globe.

The company offers its 2.3 billion users features such as menus and prompts in 111 different languages, deemed to be officially supported. Reuters has found another 31 widely spoken languages on Facebook that do not have official support.

Detailed rules known as “community standards,” which bar users from posting offensive material including hate speech and celebrations of violence, were translated in only 41 languages out of the 111 supported as of early March, Reuters found.

Facebook’s 15,000-strong content moderation workforce speaks about 50 tongues, though the company said it hires professional translators when needed. Automated tools for identifying hate speech work in about 30.

The language deficit complicates Facebook’s battle to rein in harmful content and the damage it can cause, including to the company itself. Countries including Australia, Singapore and the UK are now threatening harsh new regulations, punishable by steep fines or jail time for executives, if it fails to promptly remove objectionable posts.

The community standards are updated monthly and run to about 9,400 words in English.

Monika Bickert, the Facebook vice president in charge of the standards, has previously told Reuters that they were “a heavy lift to translate into all those different languages.”

A Facebook spokeswoman said this week the rules are translated case by case depending on whether a language has a critical mass of usage and whether Facebook is a primary information source for speakers. The spokeswoman said there was no specific number for critical mass.

She said among priorities for translations are Khmer, the official language in Cambodia, and Sinhala, the dominant language in Sri Lanka, where the government blocked Facebook this week to stem rumors about devastating Easter Sunday bombings.

A Reuters report found last year that hate speech on Facebook that helped foster ethnic cleansing in Myanmar went unchecked in part because the company was slow to add moderation tools and staff for the local language.

Facebook says it now offers the rules in Burmese and has more than 100 speakers of the language among its workforce.

The spokeswoman said Facebook’s efforts to protect people from harmful content had “a level of language investment that surpasses most any technology company.”

But human rights officials say Facebook is in jeopardy of a repeat of the Myanmar problems in other strife-torn nations where its language capabilities have not kept up with the impact of social media.

“These are supposed to be the rules of the road and both customers and regulators should insist social media platforms make the rules known and effectively police them,” said Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia Division. “Failure to do so opens the door to serious abuses.”

ABUSE IN FIJIAN

Mohammed Saneem, the supervisor of elections in Fiji, said he felt the impact of the language gap during elections in the South Pacific nation in November last year. Racist comments proliferated on Facebook in Fijian, which the social network does not support. Saneem said he dedicated a staffer to emailing posts and translations to a Facebook employee in Singapore to seek removals.

Facebook said it did not request translations, and it gave Reuters a post-election letter from Saneem praising its “timely and effective assistance.”

Saneem told Reuters that he valued the help but had expected pro-active measures from Facebook.

“If they are allowing users to post in their language, there should be guidelines available in the same language,” he said.

Similar issues abound in African nations such as Ethiopia, where deadly ethnic clashes among a population of 107 million have been accompanied by ugly Facebook content. Much of it is in Amharic, a language supported by Facebook. But Amharic users looking up rules get them in English.

At least 652 million people worldwide speak languages supported by Facebook but where rules are not translated, according to data from language encyclopedia Ethnologue. Another 230 million or more speak one of the 31 languages that do not have official support.

Facebook uses automated software as a key defense against prohibited content. Developed using a type of artificial intelligence known as machine learning, these tools identify hate speech in about 30 languages and “terrorist propaganda” in 19, the company said.

Machine learning requires massive volumes of data to train computers, and a scarcity of text in other languages presents a challenge in rapidly growing the tools, Guy Rosen, the Facebook vice president who oversees automated policy enforcement, has told Reuters.

GROWTH REGIONS

Beyond the automation and a few official fact-checkers, Facebook relies on users to report problematic content. That creates a major issue where community standards are not understood or even known to exist.

Ebele Okobi, Facebook’s director of public policy for Africa, told Reuters in March that the continent had the world’s lowest rates of user reporting.

“A lot of people don’t even know that there are community standards,” Okobi said.

Facebook has bought radio advertisements in Nigeria and worked with local organizations to change that, she said. It also has held talks with African education officials to introduce social media etiquette into the curriculum, she said.

Simultaneously, Facebook is partnering with wireless carriers and other groups to expand internet access in countries including Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo where it has yet to officially support widely-used languages such as Luganda and Kituba. Asked this week about the expansions without language support, Facebook declined to comment.

The company announced in February it would soon have its first 100 sub-Saharan Africa-based content moderators at an outsourcing facility in Nairobi. They will join existing teams in reviewing content in Somali, Oromo and other languages.

But the community standards are not translated into Somali or Oromo. Posts in Somali from last year celebrating the al-Shabaab militant group remained on Facebook for months despite a ban on glorifying organizations or acts that Facebook designates as terrorist.

“Disbelievers and apostates, die with your anger,” read one post seen by Reuters this month that praised the killing of a Sufi cleric.

After Reuters inquired about the post, Facebook said it took down the author’s account because it violated policies.

ABILITY TO DERAIL

Posts in Amharic reviewed by Reuters this month attacked the Oromo and Tigray ethnic populations in vicious terms that clearly violated Facebook’s ban on discussing ethnic groups using “violent or dehumanizing speech, statements of inferiority, or calls for exclusion.”

Facebook removed the two posts Reuters inquired about. The company added that it had erred in allowing one of them, from December 2017, to remain online following an earlier user report.

For officials such as Saneem in Fiji, Facebook’s efforts to improve content moderation and language support are painfully slow. Saneem said he warned Facebook months in advance of the election in the archipelago of 900,000 people. Most of them use Facebook, with half writing in English and half in Fijian, he estimated.

“Social media has the ability to completely derail an election,” Saneem said.

Other social media companies face the same problem to varying degrees.

(GRAPHIC: Social media and the language gap – https://tmsnrt.rs/2VHjwTu)

Facebook-owned Instagram said its 1,179-word community guidelines are in 30 out of 51 languages offered to users. WhatsApp, owned by Facebook as well, has terms in nine of 58 supported languages, Reuters found.

Alphabet Inc’s YouTube presents community guidelines in 40 of 80 available languages, Reuters found. Twitter Inc’s rules are in 37 of 47 supported languages, and Snap Inc’s in 13 out of 21.

“A lot of misinformation gets spread around and the problem with the content publishers is the reluctance to deal with it,” Saneem said. “They do owe a duty of care. “

(Reporting by Maggie Fick in Nairobi and Paresh Dave in San Francisco; Additional reporting by Alister Doyle in Fiji and Omar Mohammed in Nairobi; Editing by Jonathan Weber and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Source: OANN

President Donald Trump isn’t taking impeachment talk by Democrats lightly.

“How do you impeach a Republican President for a crime that was committed by the Democrats? MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Trump tweeted Sunday evening after arriving in Washington following an Easter Sunday spent at Mar-a-Lago in Florida.

Earlier, the president criticized special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, calling it the “worst and most corrupt political Witch Hunt in the history of the United Stated (No Collusion) when it was the “other side” that illegally created the diversionary & criminal event and even spied on my campaign? Disgraceful!”

Several Democrats, including Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., over the weekend said impeachment could still be pursued.

“Impeachment is likely to be unsuccessful,” said Schiff during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” before adding, “It may be that we undertake an impeachment nonetheless.”

U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, whose panel would spearhead any impeachment proceedings, said Democrats would press ahead with investigations of Trump in Congress and “see where the facts lead us.”

“Obstruction of justice, if proven, would be impeachable,” Nadler said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

A redacted version of Mueller’s long-awaited report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, the product of a 22-month investigation, outlined multiple instances where Trump tried to thwart the probe. While it stopped short of concluding Trump had committed a crime, it did not exonerate him.

Information from Reuters was used in this report.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Ancestry.com on Friday apologized for an ad that showed a mixed-race couple discussing escaping to the North during the Civil War era.

The ad drew widespread criticism on social media for whitewashing slavery, prompting the DNA testing company to remove it from TV and its YouTube channel. Ancestry started running the ad on TV on April 15, according to research firm iSpot.TV.

The ad is part of a campaign by Ancestry showing stories from the past to pique viewers’ curiosity about their ancestors. It depicts a white man holding up a ring and telling a black woman wearing Civil War-era clothing that they can be together if they escape to the North. The woman says nothing as the scene fades to black, with the line: “Without you, the story stops here.”

Critics pointed out that the ad ignores the fact that mixed race couplings during the slavery era were usually not romantic love stories but instead due to rape and violence against slaves.

Many took to Twitter to express complaints about the ad.

“I used this service a few years ago. And when I realized I was more than 10% European, I wept,” tweeted Brittany Packnett. “Not from shame for who I am, but from anger from the trauma of how it may have come to be. This commercial spits on the trauma in our veins and the fight of our ancestors.”

In an emailed statement, Ancestry said the ad was intended to be part of its effort to tell “important stories from history.”

“We very much appreciate the feedback we have received and apologize for any offense that the ad may have caused,” the company said in the statement.

M.J. McCallum, creative director of Muse Communications, called the ad “thoughtless,” but said it could happen to any company that doesn’t prioritize having diverse representation in its ranks.

“I believe it’s the responsibility of brands and their agencies to foster inclusive environments,” he said. “They must encourage their team members to be open, honest and vulnerable to topics like race and culture.”

The Ancestry ad joins a long list of missteps by marketers that are at best tone-deaf and at worst racist.

In 2017, Dove stopped using a Facebook GIF that showed a black woman removing a brown shirt and transforming into a white woman. The ad was meant to show different types of people can use Dove but many saw it as saying the black woman was “dirty” and the white woman was “clean.” Dove apologized .

In 2018, a Heineken ad with the tagline “Sometimes, Lighter Is Better,” showed a bartender sliding a bottle of Heineken down a bar where several people of color were sitting before it stops in front of a light-skinned woman. Heineken apologized and pulled the ad after an online outcry in which many people, including Chance the Rapper , called the ad racist.

And in February , Gucci pulled a sweater off the market after complaints that the oversized collar designed to cover the face resembled blackface makeup. Italian designer Prada, Katy Perry’s fashion line and H&M have also pulled similar racially insensitivity items.

“The idea that an ad won’t be offensive simply because no one who approved it was offended is just not acceptable anymore,” McCallum said. “Yes, there is always a chance that even the best of intentions will be misinterpreted, but there are reliable resources and skilled professionals available for brands to tap into.”

Source: NewsMax America

Eileen O’Brien and Michael O’Brien read the redacted report by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election in Clearwater
Eileen O’Brien, 65, and Michael O’Brien, 62, read the redacted report by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, at their home in Clearwater, Florida, U.S., April 18, 2019. REUTERS/Letitia Stein

April 19, 2019

By Letitia Stein and Tim Reid

CLEARWATER, Florida/LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – After months as volunteer activists demanding that U.S. President Donald Trump be impeached, Eileen and Michael O’Brien sat on their couch on Thursday, cracked open a laptop and began to read the 448-page special counsel report that liberals have dreamed would make impeachment a reality.

“Hmm, seems like there’s a lot of gray area here,” said Eileen O’Brien, 65, of Clearwater, Florida, reading aloud a line about the findings falling short of a criminal case. “Legally wrong and morally wrong are two different things.”

The release of the long-anticipated report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller on his inquiry into Russia’s role in the 2016 election landed in a stridently divided America: one side convinced Trump acted improperly, the other adamant that the investigation was a politically driven farce.

Mueller built an extensive case that Trump committed obstruction of justice but stopped short of concluding he had committed a crime, though he did not exonerate the president.

For those like the O’Briens who have been pining for impeachment, the report renewed resolve to oust the president. For those who want to see the president reelected, there was a sense of vindication.

“The White House is going to put out their own version of things, which is basically fish wrapper,” said Michael O’Brien, formerly a service technician who now works on houses. His wife, who a day earlier delivered a can of “impeaches” peaches to a lawmaker, looked up with a quizzical expression.

“It’s worthless,” he explained. “You can use it to wrap fish.”

“ONE BATTLE IN A WAR”

Lee Mueller and his wife, Michele Mueller, no relation to Robert Mueller, also paused their Thursday to read through the special counsel’s report. They printed out the table of contents for both volumes along with the executive summaries.

“I view the Mueller report as being one battle in a war against the United States of America’s founding principles and against Donald Trump,” Michele Mueller, 61, said in a suburb of Las Vegas.

After Attorney General William Barr released his four-page summary of the Mueller report late last month, Americans were dug in on their views.

So far, the full report does not appear to have convinced many to change their opinions about the president’s conduct.

A Reuters/Ipsos public opinion poll conducted Thursday afternoon to Friday morning found among those respondents of who said they were familiar with the Mueller report, 70 percent said the report had not changed their view of Trump or Russia’s involvement in the U.S. presidential race.

Only 15 percent said they had learned something that changed their view of Trump or the Russia investigation, and a majority of those respondents said they were now more likely to believe that “Trump or someone close to him broke the law.” Trump’s approval ratings, however, dipped 3 percentage points after the release of the report, the poll found.

Ahead of Thursday’s release of the Mueller report, Trump ramped up his insistence that he was the victim, not the perpetrator, of crimes.

James Stratton, 65, of Clearwater, Florida, caught snippets of the news about the report from conservative commentators Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. He looked up Barr’s news conference, held Thursday morning before the report was released online, on YouTube.

“Nobody on our side is going to change,” the Republican president of the local Tampa Bay Trump Club said in a phone interview, adding that liberals will grow tired of hearing predictions about Trump’s downfall that never materialize. “We stay focused on the issues. How do we stop socialism? How do we protect our borders?”

“IT WILL ONLY AFFIRM”

For the most invested, though, Mueller’s report offered hope for further investigation, but by Democrats in Congress this time.

Tom Steyer, a billionaire activist who has spent millions of his own dollars directing pressure at Congress to impeach Trump, said while he thinks the contents of the report implicate the president, he acknowledges the findings alone are unlikely to convince Americans to change their minds.

“I think the only way to get voters to notice is to directly publicize, televised hearings,” Steyer said. “We’re all for public hearings so the American people can see and can react themselves.”

In Florida, Margo Hammond, 69, who considers herself an independent voter, gleaned highlights by toggling through the coverage of MSNBC, CNN and Fox News. She was unimpressed with Barr.

“It’s kind of an insult to the American people that we can’t decide for ourselves,” she said while in an art class. She planned to read as much as she could of the report.

“I think it will only affirm what I originally thought,” she said. Then she repeated something she had heard earlier from a news commentator: “There was a whole lot of cheating going on.”

(For a ‘Link to Mueller report’ click https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-TRUMP-RUSSIA/010091HX27V/report.pdf)

(For a graphic on ‘A closer look at Mueller report redactions’ click https://tmsnrt.rs/2VSx7HZ)

(Reporting by Letitia Stein in Clearwater, Florida and Tim Reid in Las Vegas; Writing by Ginger Gibson; Editing by Leslie Adler and Marguerita Choy)

Source: OANN

Early livestream videos that broadcast the devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris were flagged for misinformation and showed viewers an article about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

BuzzFeed News reported Monday, as live footage of the fire first spread, YouTube’s automated systems recognized the live-streams as some sort of misinformation. That triggered a new feature on videos that tries to tamp down false reporting by showing facts.

In the case of the cathedral fire, an Encyclopedia Britannica article called “September 11 attacks” appeared in a grey bar underneath the video player. A snippet of the article was visible, along with a link to read the full text.

BuzzFeed claimed to have discovered at least three livestreams of the fire posted by major news outlets containing the disclaimer. YouTube was made aware of the abnormality and removed the alerts.

“These panels are triggered algorithmically and our systems sometimes make the wrong call,” a YouTube spokesperson told BuzzFeed. “We are disabling these panels for livestreams related to the fire.”

There was no immediate word on what caused the fire at the cathedral, which was completed in 1345 after nearly 200 years of construction. It has been added to and renovated several times over the years.

More recently, a project was underway to shore up the cathedral’s roof. The fire caused the main spire and the roof to collapse, which left the intricate metal scaffolding standing in the middle.

As the fire continued to burn, however, the scaffolding appeared to be collapsing in itself.

Source: NewsMax America

The liberal think tank accused by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., of using its resources to smear him pushed back Sunday, saying the 2020 Democratic presidential contender was attempting to “muzzle” journalists with its independent news outfit, ThinkProgress.

“The Center for American Progress is a research institution focused on ideas and policy. ThinkProgress is part of CAP Action: It is editorially independent of both CAP and CAP Action and has been for years,” the Center for American Progress (CAP) said in a statement.

“We do not suggest, edit, approve or see their stories before publishing. And, in this particular instance, no one at CAP or CAP Action knew about this article or video’s existence before publication.”

Sanders earlier Sunday wrote a harshly-worded letter accusing CAP of “using its resources to smear” him and two of his Senate colleagues running in 2020 after ThinkProgress published a video suggesting Sanders stopped disparaging millionaires when he became one.

“I and other Democratic candidates are running campaigns based on principles and ideas and not engaging in mudslinging or personal attacks on each other,” Sanders wrote in the April 13 letter first obtained by The New York Times. 

“Meanwhile, the Center for American Progress is using its resources to smear Senator Booker, Senator Warren, and myself, among others. This is hard the way to build unity, or to win the general election.” 

Source: NewsMax Politics


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