WASHINGTON — In his first hours as president, Joe Biden plans to take executive action to roll back some of the most controversial decisions of his predecessor and to address the raging coronavirus pandemic, his incoming chief of staff said Saturday. The opening salvo would herald a 10-day blitz of executive actions as Biden seeks to act swiftly to redirect the country in the wake of Donald Trump's presidency without waiting for Congress. On Wednesday, following his inauguration, Biden will end Trump's restriction on immigration to the U.S. from some Muslim-majority countries, move to rejoin the Paris climate accord and mandate mask-wearing on federal property and during interstate travel. Those are among roughly a dozen actions Biden will take on his first day in the White House, his incoming chief of staff, Ron Klain, said in a memo to senior staff. Other actions include extending the pause on student loan payments and actions meant to prevent evictions and foreclosures for those struggling during the pandemic. “These executive actions will deliver relief to the millions of Americans that are struggling in the face of these crises,” Klain said in the memo. “President-elect Biden will take action — not just to reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration — but also to start moving our country forward.” “Full achievement” of Biden’s goals will require Congress to act, Klain said, including the $1.9 trillion virus relief bill he outlined on Thursday. Klain said that Biden would also propose a comprehensive immigration reform bill to lawmakers on his first day in office. The next day, Thursday, Klain said Biden would sign orders related to the COVID-19 outbreak aimed at reopening schools and businesses and expanding virus testing. The following day, Friday, will see action on providing economic relief to those suffering the economic costs of the pandemic. In the following week, Klain said, Biden would take additional actions relating to criminal justice reform, climate change and immigration — including a directive to speed the reuniting of families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border under Trump’s policies. More actions will be added, Klain said, once they clear legal review. Incoming presidents traditionally move swiftly to sign an array of executive actions when they take office. Trump did the same, but he found many of his orders challenged and even rejected by courts. Klain maintained that Biden should not suffer similar issues, saying “the legal theory behind them is well-founded and represents a restoration of an appropriate, constitutional role for the President.” Zeke Miller, The Associated Press
Major social platforms have been cracking down on the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories in the leadup to the presidential election, and expanded their efforts in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. But Apple and Google, among others, have left open a major loophole for this material: Podcasts. Podcasts made available by the two Big Tech companies let you tune into the world of the QAnon conspiracy theory, wallow in President Donald Trump's false claims of a stolen election and bask in other extremism. Accounts that have been banned on social media for election misinformation, threatening or bullying, and breaking other rules also still live on as podcasts available on the tech giants’ platforms. Conspiracy theorists have peddled stolen-election fantasies, coronavirus conspiracies and violent rhetoric. One podcaster, RedPill78, called the Capitol siege a “staged event” in a Jan. 11 episode of Red Pill News. The day before the Capitol riot, a more popular podcast, X22 Report, spoke confidently about a Trump second term, explained that Trump would need to “remove” many members of Congress to further his plans, and said “We the people, we are the storm, and we’re coming to DC.” Both are available on Apple and Google podcast platforms. Podcasting “plays a particularly outsized role” in propagating white supremacy, said a 2018 report from the Anti-Defamation League. Many white supremacists, like QAnon adherents, support Trump. Podcasting’s an intimate, humanizing mode of communication that lets extremists expound on their ideas for hours at a time, said Oren Segal of ADL’s Center on Extremism. Elsewhere on social media, Twitter,Facebook and YouTube have been cracking down on accounts amplifying unfounded QAnon claims that Trump is fighting deep state enemies and cannibals operating a child-sex trafficking ring. A major talk radio company, Cumulus, told its hosts to tone down rhetoric about stolen elections and violent uprisings or risk termination, although it's not clear what impact that dictate has had. Google-owned YouTube axed “Bannon's War Room,” a channel run by Trump loyalist Steve Bannon on Jan. 8 after he spread false election claims and called for the beheading of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious-disease expert. But podcast versions of Bannon's show live on at Apple and Google. Spotify took it down in November, according to one of its hosts. “Podcasts filled with hatred and incitement to violence should not be treated any differently than any other content," Segal said. "If you’re going to take a strong stance against hate and extremism in the platform in any way, it should be all-inclusive.” Apple, Spotify and Google curate lists of top podcasts and recommend them to users. Apple and Spotify are the dominant players in the U.S., with other players far behind, said Dave Zohrob, CEO of the podcast analytics firm Chartable. Despite its name recognition, Google remains a tiny presence. Spotify said it takes down podcasts that violate its policies against hate speech, copyright violations or break any laws, using “algorithmic and human detection measures” to identify violations. Apple’s guidelines prohibit content that is illegal or promotes violence, graphic sex or drugs or is “otherwise considered obscene, objectionable, or in poor taste.” Apple did not reply to repeated questions about its content guidelines or moderation. Google declined to explain the discrepancy between what’s available on YouTube and what’s on Google Podcasts, saying only that its podcast service “indexes audio available on the web” much the way its search engine indexes web pages. The company said it removes podcasts from its platform “in very rare circumstances, largely guided by local law.” X22 Report and Bannon’s War Room were No. 20 and No. 32 on Apple's list of top podcasts on Friday. (Experts say that list measures a podcast's momentum rather than total listeners.) X22 Report said in October that it was suspended by YouTube and Spotify and last week by Twitter. It's no longer available on Facebook, either. It is supported by ads for products such as survivalist food, unlicensed food supplements and gold coins, which run before and during the podcasts. The website for Red Pill News said YouTube banned its videos in October and that a Twitter suspension followed. The podcast is available on Apple and Google, but not Spotify. Several QAnon proponents affected by the crackdown sued YouTube in October, calling its actions a “massive de-platforming.” Among the plaintiffs are X22 Report, RedPill78 and David Hayes, who runs another conspiracy podcast called Praying Medic that's available on Apple and Google, but not Spotify. Melody Torres, who podcasts at SoulWarrior Uncensored, self-identifies as a longtime QAnon follower and said in a recent episode that her podcast is “just my way of not being censored." She said she was kicked off Twitter in January and booted from Instagram four times last year. She currently has Instagram, Facebook and YouTube accounts; her podcast is available on Apple and Google. Spotify removed the podcast Friday after The Associated Press inquired about it. X22 Report, RedPill78 and Hayes did not respond to requests for comment sent via their websites. Torres did not reply to a Facebook message. Podcasts suffer from the same misinformation problem as other platforms, said Shane Creevy, head of editorial for Kinzen, a startup created by former Facebook and Twitter executives that offers a disinformation tracker to companies, including some that host or curate podcasts. Creevy points out that it's harder to analyze misinformation from video and audio than from text. Podcasts can also run for hours, making them difficult to monitor. And podcasting has additional challenges in that there are no reliable statistics on their audience, unlike a YouTube stream, which shows views, or a tweet or Facebook post, which shows likes and shares, Creevy said. But some argue that tech-company moderation is opaque and inconsistent, creating a new set of problems. Censorship “goes with the tide against what’s popular in any given moment," said Jillian York, an expert at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital-rights group. Right now, she said, “that tide is against the speech of right-wing extremists ... but tomorrow the tide might be against opposition activists.” ___ AP Technology Editor David Hamilton contributed to this article. ___ This story was first published on Jan. 15, 2021. It was updated on Jan. 16, 2021, to correct the name of the head of editorial for Kinzen, a startup that offers a disinformation tracker to companies. He is Shane Creevy, not Shane Creevey. Tali Arbel, The Associated Press
Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], January 17 (ANI): Hyderabad Police has arrested a six-member gang of inter-state house burglars and recovered several items worth Rs 35 lakhs from their possessions.
Till now, K2 was the only mountain higher than 8,000m not to be conquered in winter.
Liverpool are this weekend facing another defensive headache as they prepare to face Premier League leaders Manchester United. In a common theme for Jurgen Klopp this season, the Reds boss while likely have to patch together his defence. There was no sign of Joel Matip during Wednesday's training session - the defender last playing against West Brom in December - though Jurgen Klopp said on Friday that the defender was “close” to return.
WILMINGTON, Del. — In a dig at the outgoing Trump administration, President-elect Joe Biden introduced his slate of scientific advisers Saturday with the promise that they would summon “science and truth” to combat the coronavirus pandemic, climate crisis and other challenges. “This is the most exciting announcement I’ve gotten to make,” Biden said after weeks of Cabinet and other nominations and appointments. “This is a team that is going to help restore your faith in America’s place in the frontier of science and discovery.” Biden is elevating the position of science adviser to Cabinet level, a White House first, and said that Eric Lander, a pioneer in mapping the human genome who is in line to be director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, is “one of the most brilliant guys I know.” The president-elect, Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris, Lander and other top science advisers never mentioned Trump's name, but they framed the inauguration Wednesday as a clean break from a president who downplayed the threat of COVID-19 and declared the science behind climate change to be a hoax. “The science behind climate change is not a hoax. The science behind the virus is not partisan,” Harris said. “The same laws apply, the same evidence holds true regardless of whether or not you accept them.” Biden emphasized how scientific research leads to practical progress and better quality of life, from the COVID-19 vaccines and new cancer treatments to clean energy expansion that reduces carbon emissions. “Science is discovery. It’s not fiction,” Biden said. “It’s also about hope.” And, again without naming Trump, the president-elect said one of his team’s tasks will be to gird public faith in science and its usefulness. Lander added that Biden has tasked his advisers and “the whole scientific community and the American public” to “rise to this moment." Biden and Harris also veered from their prepared texts to hold up the scientists as examples to children across the country. “Superheroes aren’t just about our imagination,” Harris said. “They are walking among us. They are teachers and doctors and scientists, they are vaccine researchers ... and you can grow up to be like them, too.” Lander is the founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and was the lead author of the first paper announcing the details of the human genome. He would be the first life scientist to have that White House job. His predecessor is a meteorologist. The president-elect is retaining the director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, who worked with Lander on the human genome project. Biden also named two prominent female scientists to co-chair the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Frances Arnold, a California Institute of Technology chemical engineer who won the 2018 Nobel Prize in chemistry, and MIT vice-president for research and geophysics professor Maria Zuber will lead the outside science advisory council. Lander held that position during Obama administration. Biden picked Princeton’s Alondra Nelson, a social scientist who studies science, technology and social inequality, as deputy science policy chief. The president-elect noted the team's diversity and repeated his promise that his administration's science policy and investments would target historically disadvantaged and underserved communities. Nelson celebrated that commitment. “As a Black woman researcher, I am keenly aware of those who are missing from these rooms,” she said. “I believe we have a responsibility to work together to make sure that our science and technology reflects us ... who we truly are together.” Science organizations were quick to praise Lander and the promotion of the science post to Cabinet level. The job as director of science and technology policy requires Senate confirmation. Elevating the position "clearly signals the administration's intent to involve scientific expertise in every policy discussion,” said Sudip Parikh, chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific society. Lander, also a mathematician, is a professor of biology at both Harvard and MIT and his work has been cited nearly half a million times in scientific literature, one of the most among scientists. He has won numerous science prizes, including a MacArthur “genius” fellowship and a Breakthrough Prize, and is one of Pope Francis' scientific advisers. “As a kid growing up in Brooklyn, I saw America go to the moon,” Lander said, adding that “no nation is better equipped than America to lead the search for solutions” that “advance our health, our economic welfare and our national security.” ___ Borenstein reported from Kensington, Maryland. Bill Barrow And Seth Borenstein, The Associated Press
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has plenty of options as Manchester United on Sunday head to Anfield to face Liverpool in their biggest game of the Premier League season so far. An impressive run of form has seen United take first place in the table, and the Red Devils currently boast a three-point lead over champions Liverpool before Sunday’s clash on Merseyside. Nemanja Matic has a tight groin, while Victor Lindelof has been struggling with a back injury - but all three are in with a chance of being included, and will be given late fitness tests.
National Mall and Washington Monument both closed to public on Inauguration Day following safety concerns
Bologna earned its first win since November by beating Hellas Verona 1-0 in Serie A on Saturday. Bologna's winless run included three defeats and five draws. Riccardo Orsolini scored from the penalty spot in the first half in Bologna after Verona goalkeeper Marco Silvestri brought down Roberto Soriano.
Shop this Nordstrom sale to get an extra 25% off your clearance purchase for men, women and the home—get the details.
Attorney in Mike Lindell martial law plan denies knowing of pro-Trump plot * Army lawyer named in notes toted by My Pillow inventor * White House meeting reportedly ‘brief’ and ‘contentious’ * US Capitol rioters plead with Trump for pardons
Bird has introduced skid detection to catch joyriders who abuse their scooters.
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden will cap a busy day of inauguration pageantry by using the powers of his new office to push policy changes on housing, student loans, climate change and immigration, a top aide said on Saturday. Biden, who campaigned on a raft of promises to undo President Donald Trump’s legacy even before the novel coronavirus pandemic walloped the nation, will unveil “roughly a dozen” previously promised executive actions on Wednesday, incoming Biden chief of staff Ron Klain said in a memo distributed to reporters.
Following the attack by supporters of President Donald Trump against the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, the social media company said it will now prohibit ads for accessories such as gun safes, vests and gun holsters in the United States. Three U.S. senators sent a letter to Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg on Friday asking him to permanently block advertisements of products that are clearly designed to be used in armed combat.
President-elect Joe Biden plans to issue a sweeping set of policy reversals and agenda-setting actions within his first 10 days in office, undoing Donald Trump’s legacy of severe executive orders. The incoming administration has prepared more than a dozen executive actions for Inauguration Day on 20 January, including striking the Trump administration’s bans on travel from majority-Muslim countries and rejoining the Paris climate accord. Following his swearing-in ceremony, there will also be immediate action on the coronavirus pandemic, including a mask mandate for federal property and interstate travel and extending efforts to freeze evictions and defer student loan payments.
A manager at a Saskatoon business says he wants to be part of the solution when it comes to addressing inequality in the workplace for women, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a widely shared Twitter thread this week, Aaron Genest, a manager with Siemens Digital Industries in Saskatoon, explained his reaction when an employee asked to cut her hours back, in order to balance her work and family responsibilities. He said "no" — but not for the reasons you may think. The employee's husband had taken on more responsibility and the couple were having some trouble keeping their kids on track with remote learning, Genest said in his thread. In the thread, he notes women have been disproportionately affected in the workplace by the COVID-19 pandemic, and said he didn't want his employees to become a victim of the same trend. "So I said no. No, you can't become one of the women earning less because of COVID," he wrote in the posts, which he says he asked the employee about before writing. "No, you can't sacrifice your career advancement because of a perceived lack of productivity. No, you don't need to feel guilty about taking the time to make sure your kids are learning." Instead, he said he's working with the employee to make sure she's still productive and happy and "that she feels comfortable blocking off whatever time she needs in her calendar to support her family." He also called on other employers to work with their teams "from within, above, or below, to support the people struggling through this." The outsized effects of the pandemic on working women have been well documented, with some calling it a "she-cession." A December Statistics Canada report found that measures to respond to COVID-19 have only deepened gender-based divisions when it comes to parenting. "Women continue to report that they mostly perform these parental tasks, including home-schooling and it's important to underline home-schooling because it represents an additional responsibility directly related to the closure of schools during the pandemic," Karine Leclerc, the study's author, told CBC last month. "The measures to combat COVID like quarantine, self-isolation, school closures — all that intensified the parental tasks but also added new responsibility such as home-schooling." Thousands of responses The thread, which Genest posted last Monday, has been shared more than a thousand times on Twitter and has garnered over 6,000 reactions. "I'm flabbergasted, and perhaps a bit disappointed, at how much this story has resonated with people," he said during an interview with CBC Radio's The Morning Edition. "The most common comment is that this is the way that things should be, and [the fact] that this is extraordinary, or worth commenting on, is unfortunate. And I wholeheartedly agree with that," he said. A post about Genest's thread on the website moms.com declared that "this should be the golden rule that all employers should follow as we move forward to navigate what's currently happening in the world." "Moms shouldn't be penalized, employers should be adapting to the new normal with them," Alison Cooper wrote at the parenting site. Some of the responses to the Twitter thread are from employees recalling how they were accommodated, and employers detailing how they were working with their staff. But that wasn't the case for many. "A lot of them, unfortunately, are the opposite," Genest said, and he's heard from people "who have had to leave jobs, or were trying to leave jobs, because they're not feeling supported. They're feeling that their time is counted more than their productivity." People have told him they felt their employers didn't make allowances for illness, family concerns, or mental health challenges brought on by isolation, Genest says. He says there are two main questions in the thread. One is whether employers are flexible enough to realize they're investing not just in productivity, but in people, no matter their gender identity. "We should invest in the people who we want working for us, so they continue to work for us and continue to feel invested in in turn," he said. "But the other question is what are we doing to ensure that when people are making decisions about who is going to take on the extra labour at home, that it's not falling to women disproportionately." Genest himself was recognized by his employer for sharing the story. A post from the Siemens official Twitter account, which has over 190,000 followers, called his lead a "brilliant example of how we want to do things in the future." "Focus on outcomes rather than on time spent at work," the company tweeted. "Thank you for being a front runner for us!"
NEW YORK — Benjamin de Rothschild, who oversaw the banking empire started by his father in 1953, has died. He was 57. The Edmond de Rothschild Group, the company he was chairman of, said that de Rothschild died of a heart attack Friday afternoon at his home in Pregny, Switzerland. Since 1997, Benjamin de Rothschild headed the banking group, which was named after his father. Today, Edmond de Rothschild Group says it manages assets worth 160 billion euros, or $190 billion. Forbes magazine estimates de Rothschild's net worth at $1.5 billion. He is a descendent of the Rothschild family, which has a nearly 300-year history running European banks. In a press release announcing his death, the Edmond de Rothschild Group said de Rothschild was passionate about finance, sailing, cars and wine. He was also a philanthropist, involved in the Adolphe de Rothschild Foundation Hospital, the company said. He is survived by his wife, Ariane de Rothschild, and their four adult daughters. Joseph Pisani, The Associated Press
Loews Hotels said Saturday it has canceled an upcoming fundraiser for U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, the latest fallout for the Republican lawmaker after the U.S. Capitol uprising. The Republican senator from Missouri had staged an Electoral College challenge that became the focus of the Jan. 6 siege on Capitol Hill by supporters of President Donald Trump over baseless claims that Trump had won the November presidential vote. “We are horrified and opposed to the events at the Capitol and all who supported and incited the actions,” according to a Twitter statement from the hotel.
Lisa Kudrow revealed more details about the anticipated Friends reunion for HBO Max during an interview with Rob Lowe. During Lowe’s Literally! podcast, Kudrow revealed that the project is already underway and seeks to beginning shooting “early, early spring.” The Booksmart actress doubled down on a hint Matthew Perry had dropped for Friends fans back in […]
In a story January 15, 2021, about podcasts and misinformation, The Associated Press misspelled the name of the head of editorial for Kinzen, a startup that offers a disinformation tracker to companies. He is Shane Creevy, not Shane Creevey. The Associated Press