Mark-Zuckerberg

Facebook – Zuckerberg was aware. He defended his platform’s practices, while making a fortune

Mark Zuckerberg built one of the world’s most powerful — if not the most powerful — radicalization engines in history. For years and years, his platform has algorithmically pushed people into ideological political bubbles and reinforced their existing worldviews. It has enabled and rewarded media organizations profiting off of hyper-partisan trash and outright disinformation. And it has looked the other way as conspiracy theories, such as QAnon, flourished on the site.
All the while, Zuckerberg was aware. But he defended his platform’s practices, while making a fortune, repeatedly hiding behind a commitment to free expression as reason to allow for poison to be injected into the American political conversation. But on Wednesday, Zuckerberg announced what can only be viewed as an about-face.
The Facebook chief observed on a call with investors — in which the company posted an $11.2 billion profit in Q4, an increase of more than 50% from the year prior — that “there has been a trend across society that a lot of things have become politicized and politics have had a way of creeping into everything.” (Hmm, I wonder what might have contributed to this!) “One of the top pieces of feedback that we’re hearing from our community right now is that people don’t want politics and fighting to take over their experience on our services,” Zuckerberg added.

Trump leaves White House for last time as US president

Credit: ABC7NY

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — His presidency over, Donald Trump bid farewell to Washington on Wednesday but also hinted at a comeback despite a legacy of chaos, tumult, and bitter division in the country he led for four years.

“Goodbye. We love you. We will be back in some form,” Trump told supporters at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland where he received a 21-gun salute as part of a military send-off before boarding Air Force One for his last time as president.

 

President Donald Trump delivers farewell address at Joint Base Andrews.

Trump was already in Florida, at his private Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, by the time Joe Biden was sworn in just before noon as the 46th president of the United States.

Trump was the first president in modern history to boycott his successor’s inauguration. He also refused to participate in many other symbolic passing-of-the-torch traditions surrounding the peaceful transition of power as he continued to stew about his election loss. Trump did leave behind a note for Biden.

Trump has maintained the election Biden won decisively was stolen from him, even though Republican officials in several critical states, members of his own administration, and a wide swath of judges, including those appointed by Trump, have rejected those arguments.

President Donald Trump says it was an honor of a lifetime and an amazing four years.

After painting a dire picture of “American carnage” on his own Inauguration Day in 2017, Trump departed on Wednesday as the only president ever to be impeached twice, with millions more out of work than when he was sworn in and 400,000 dead from the coronavirus. Under his watch, Republicans lost the presidency and both chambers of Congress.

He will be forever remembered for inciting an insurrection at the Capitol two weeks before Biden’s swearing-in that left five dead, including a Capitol Police officer, sent lawmakers scrambling for safety and horrified the nation.

Trump orchestrated an elaborate farewell that included a red carpet and color guard, as well as his usual campaign soundtrack. Members of his family were visibly emotional during the program at the base.

Speaking without notes, Trump told several hundred supporters that it had been his “great honor and privilege” to serve as president.

He acknowledged that his was not a “regular administration.” Without mentioning Biden by name, Trump wished the new administration great luck and success, which he said would be made easier because he had laid “a foundation.”

Before arriving at the airport, Trump had told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House that being president had been the honor of his lifetime.

“It has been something very special,” he said over the sound of the Marine One helicopter. “And I just want to say goodbye, but hopefully it’s not a long-term goodbye. We’ll see each other again.”

Aides had urged Trump to spend his final days in office trying to salvage his legacy by highlighting his administration’s achievements. But Trump largely refused, taking a single trip to the Texas border and releasing a video in which he pledged to his supporters that “the movement we started is only just beginning.”

Just before midnight, Trump signed a flurry of pardons and commutations for more than 140 people, including his former chief strategist, rap performers, and ex-members of Congress.

In his final act as president, after landing in Florida and just as Biden was making his grand entrance at the Capitol, Trump announced that he was pardoning Al Pirro, the ex-husband of Fox News Channel host Jeanine Pirro, one of his staunchest defenders. Al Pirro was convicted of conspiracy and tax evasion charges and sentenced to more than two years in prison in 2000.,

As usual, the televisions aboard Air Force One were tuned to Fox News, airing Biden’s inauguration ceremony, as Trump and his family took their final flight aboard the presidential aircraft. To mark the occasion, crew members announced the plane would fly low over Mar-a-Lago, descending as the Florida coastline came into view.

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JahDon to Release Album

Jamaican singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur, JahDon, is eagerly anticipating the release of his debut album “369” in the early months of 2020.

The album is a clear reflection of JahDon’s mission to deepen his impact as a revolutionary artist, driven by the principles of Rastafari, with a collection of music that can be described as a leading-edge, contemporary blend of classic reggae and dancehall vibes with energizing and thought-provoking lyrics.

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Every Move Counts Towards Better Health – WHO

Up to five million deaths a year could be averted if the global population was more active. At a time when many people are home bound due to COVID-19, new World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behaviour, launched last week, emphasise that everyone, of all ages and abilities, can be physically active and that every type of movement counts.

The new guidelines recommend at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity per week for all adults, including people living with chronic conditions or disability, and an average of 60 minutes per day for children and adolescents.

WHO statistics show that one in four adults, and four out of five adolescents, do not get enough physical activity. Globally, this is estimated to cost US$54 billion in direct healthcare and another US$14 billion to lost productivity.

The guidelines encourage women to maintain regular physical activity throughout pregnancy and post-delivery. They also highlight the valuable health benefits of physical activity for people living with disabilities.

Older adults (age 65 years or older) are advised to add activities that emphasize balance and coordination, as well as muscle strengthening, to help prevent falls and improve health.

Regular physical activity is key to preventing and helping to manage heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and cancer, as well as reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, reducing cognitive decline, improving memory, and boosting brain health.

“Being physically active is critical for health and well-being – it can help to add years to life and life to years,” said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Every move counts, especially now as we manage the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic. We must all move every day – safely and creatively.”

All physical activity is beneficial and can be done as part of work, sport, and leisure or transport (walking, wheeling, and cycling), but also through dance, play, and everyday household tasks, like gardening and cleaning.

“Physical activity of any type, and any duration, can improve health and well-being, but more is always better,” said Dr Ruediger Krech, director of health promotion, WHO, “and if you must spend a lot of time sitting still, whether at work or school, you should do more physical activity to counter the harmful effects of sedentary behavior.”

“These new guidelines highlight how important being active is for our hearts, bodies and minds, and how the favourable outcomes benefit everyone, of all ages and abilities,” said Dr Fiona Bull, head of the Physical Activity Unit which led the development of the new WHO guidelines.

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Dancehall Artiste Tommy Lee Charged With Gun Offences

Source (Jamaica Gleaner)

Dancehall entertainer Tommy Lee Sparta has been charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Tommy Lee, whose given name is Leroy Russell, was held in New Kingston on Monday night after a vehicle in which he was traveling was intercepted by members of a police specialized operations unit.

The police say the men in the vehicle were searched and the firearm was found in Russell’s waistband.

He remains in police custody and is to appear in court on January 6, 2021, to answer to the charges.

The police say Tommy Lee is also the subject of other criminal investigations.

Meanwhile, the other men held along with him remain in police custody and are being investigated by the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Unit.

Trump – Uncertainty Threatens Senate Vindication

Credit: CNN

Washington (CNN)After being impeached, President Donald Trump is hoping to move quickly to a vigorous defense in the Senate and is distressed the trial he hopes will vindicate him might be delayed.

“What are they doing?” Trump asked a top Republican ally, Sen. Lindsey Graham, upon learning Thursday morning that House Democrats may withhold sending articles of impeachment to the Senate until they feel assured there will be a fair trial.
“I said, ‘Mr. President, I don’t know,’” Graham told reporters before traveling to the White House to discuss the matter further with Trump.

Trump and his Aides:

The uncertainty threw a wrench into long-laid plans by the White House to mount an effort at exoneration once the impeachment proceedings move across Capitol Hill to the upper chamber. Trump and his aides have long eyed a Senate trial as the venue for eventual vindication in the saga, viewing the Republican-led chamber as a lock to acquit the President.
One possible avenue for Trump is looking back, to Barack Obama, with a suggestion — supported possibly with Justice Department legal opinions — that the former president should have been impeached for blocking congressional Republicans from fully investigating the “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal.
Trump was spending the day at the White House, with two-holiday receptions listed on his public calendar. He returned to a frigid Washington late Wednesday after a bitter and disjointed “Merry Christmas” rally in Michigan where he learned of the impeachment vote from a placard held aloft by a campaign aide.
The President met in the afternoon with Rep. Jeff Van Drew, the New Jersey lawmaker who is switching parties from Democrat to Republican in opposition to Trump’s impeachment.
He said during the Oval Office meeting the impeachment felt anticlimactic.
“I don’t feel like I’m being impeached because it’s a hoax, it’s a setup. It’s a horrible thing they did,” Trump told reporters when asked how it feels to be the third president impeached by the House.
Trump has hailed Van Drew’s switch over the past several days and used the unanimous Republican opposition to impeachment as evidence of the party’s unity. He hopes the solidarity will extend in the Senate, but the future of the impeachment case was uncertain after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters she would only transmit the articles once the outlines of the trial were clear.
Despite his public confidence, Trump has complained in private about the historic indignity of his predicament. He has steeled himself for another political battle after years of facing down opponents in scorched-earth fashion. He previewed his approach during the Michigan rally, suggesting the state’s long-serving Democratic congressman John Dingell was in hell.
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Trump – Uncertainty Threatens Senate Vindication – Flexx FM Online – Radio, TV
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Is this the end of Donald Trump? Flexx FM Online

After being impeached, President Donald Trump is hoping to move quickly to a vigorous defense in the Senate and is distressed the trial he hopes will vindicate him might be delayed.

“What are they doing?” Trump asked a top Republican ally, Sen. Lindsey Graham, upon learning Thursday morning that House Democrats may withhold sending articles of impeachment to the Senate until they feel assured there will be a fair trial.
“I said, ‘Mr. President, I don’t know,'” Graham told reporters before traveling to the White House to discuss the matter further with Trump.
The uncertainty threw a wrench into long-laid plans by the White House to mount an effort at exoneration once the impeachment proceedings move across Capitol Hill to the upper chamber. Trump and his aides have long eyed a Senate trial as the venue for eventual vindication in the saga, viewing the Republican-led chamber as a lock to acquit the President.
One possible avenue for Trump is looking back, to Barack Obama, with a suggestion — supported possibly with Justice Department legal opinions — that the former president should have been impeached for blocking congressional Republicans from fully investigating the “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal.
Trump was spending the day at the White House, with two holiday receptions listed on his public calendar. He returned to a frigid Washington late Wednesday after a bitter and disjointed “Merry Christmas” rally in Michigan where he learned of the impeachment vote from a placard held aloft by a campaign aide.
close dialog
The President met in the afternoon with Rep. Jeff Van Drew, the New Jersey lawmaker who is switching parties from Democrat to Republican in opposition to Trump’s impeachment.
He said during the Oval Office meeting the impeachment felt anticlimactic.
“I don’t feel like I’m being impeached because it’s a hoax, it’s a setup. It’s a horrible thing they did,” Trump told reporters when asked how it feels to be the third president impeached by the House.
Trump has hailed Van Drew’s switch over the past several days, and used the unanimous Republican opposition to impeachment as evidence of the party’s unity. He hopes the solidarity will extend in the Senate, but the future of the impeachment case was uncertain after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters she would only transmit the articles once the outlines of the trial were clear.
Despite his public confidence, Trump has complained in private about the historic indignity of his predicament. He has steeled himself for another political battle after years of facing down opponents in scorched-earth fashion. He previewed his approach during the Michigan rally, suggesting the state’s long serving Democratic congressman John Dingell was in hell.
“He was at a political rally,” his press secretary Stephanie Grisham explained on “Good Morning America.” “I think as we all know the President is a counterpuncher.”
It wasn’t clear whether Trump would continue his attacks on the late congressman after his comments drew condemnation, including from the lawmaker’s widow, Rep. Debbie Dingell, who said on CNN she felt “kicked in the stomach” by Trump’s remark.
One person familiar with the process said the White House was waiting to see Pelosi’s next move, illustrating the fluidity of the situation.
As they await clarity, White House officials are grappling with what one aide called a “central decision point” in the legal preparations: who should play what role in Trump’s defense, and what the legal strategy should look like.
Aides are still debating who should present key elements of the case against impeachment. Their decision-making has been muddied by the still-uncertain parameters of the Senate trial.

Focus on legal defense or public opinion?

While White House counsel Pat Cipollone is still expected to play a central role in Trump’s defense, Trump has seriously considered bringing on at least four of his fiercest House allies to lay out a minority response to Democrats’ report, which could provide the President with some of the theatrics he believes he deserves in his quest to clear his name.
Aides say Trump has advocated for an aggressive self-defense that might help shift public opinion and convince more Americans that Democrats impeached him on spurious charges.
Some Trump associates have argued to the President that Cipollone is better suited for making a legal argument in a courthouse — and not a political one, which they feel will be needed for the audience of senators on Capitol Hill and Americans watching at home.
Trump has privately expressed concern about how effective his message is being expressed on television — at times criticizing his surrogates while questioning how effective people think Cipollone will be on camera.
Trump said in the Oval Office on Thursday that Cipollone was doing a “great job” and that it “looks” like he would act as his lead attorney in the Senate trial.
But Trump added a “couple others” would help present his defense.
Adding to the confusion is the feud Cipollone remains locked in with the acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. White House sources say the spat has only worsened as impeachment has taken its course. Officials familiar with the dynamic often liken it to a power struggle, though it is Cipollone who has amassed power while several others say Mulvaney’s sway on the President has diminished.
Decisions about the impeachment trial team have proved difficult to make so far because the rules of the proceedings remain unclear.
As the Senate trial draws closer, Cipollone and McConnell have spoken almost daily, coordinating closely for what House Democrats already fear will be a trial tilted in favor of the President. While Trump had privately advocated for a theatrical trial that doesn’t just acquit him, but vindicates him, he has begun to come around to McConnell’s idea of a truncated timeline with no live testimony.
White House officials preliminarily expect that the trial could be kept as short as a week, where House managers receive just a few days to lay out their case, the White House Counsel’s office — with Cipollone presenting — gets time to respond, and then lawmakers hear both sides’ closing arguments. Outside lawyers, including the President’s personal attorney Jay Sekulow, could be brought in to argue the issue surrounding the second article: obstruction of Congress.
Cipollone and the rest of the defense team are currently crafting two separate cases, according to people familiar with the plans: one to present against the article for abuse of power, and one against the article for obstruction of Congress.
On the latter charge, aides say the White House counsel’s office is preparing to “dismantle” the Democrats’ arguments.
“No one is losing sleep over that one,” one White House source said.

Attacking Obama and Democrats

The White House is expected to rely on Justice Department legal opinions issued under Democratic administrations to make their case — including arguing that, under House Democrats’ standard, Obama should have been impeached for withholding documents and testimony from Republican investigators pursuing information about the “Fast and Furious” scandal.
Trump himself plans to make that case no matter the parameters of the Senate trial during campaign rallies and speeches in the new year. He spent the evening of his impeachment delivering a disjointed and irate speech in Michigan that foreshadowed his messaging going forward.
“Let’s impeach him, for that, for the IRS scandal, for the guns,” Trump said of his predecessor. “Remember the guns, he was giving them to anybody that wanted them. He gave guns to the worst people in the world and then they didn’t have them registered, right? Not to good. Impeach him. Why didn’t the Republicans impeach him?”
Republican and White House officials are operating under the assumption that impeachment will grow less popular as the Senate trial gets closer, meaning Trump is not as likely to offer any concessions to Democrats.
“I don’t think impeachment will get more popular over the break,” a senior Republican official close to the process said.
On the other article of impeachment — abuse of power — officials say the White House plans to argue the Democrats have laid out a weak case based on opinions and not facts. White House officials plan to amplify what they will argue are discrepancies in the Democrats’ case — such as the House Judiciary Committee’s decision to accuse the President of bribery in its 658-page report despite citing something different, abuse of power, in the article itself.
Lawyers will also argue the Trump was well within his right as the head of the executive branch to withhold aid and propose a White House meeting with Ukrainian President Zelensky.
They have also discussed arguing former Vice President Joe Biden is not immune from scrutiny simply because he may face Trump in the election next year.
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Trump Twitter ‘hack’: Police accept attacker’s claim – Flexx FM, International

Credits: (BBC)

Dutch prosecutors have found a hacker did successfully log in to Donald Trump’s Twitter account by guessing his password – “MAGA2020!”

But they will not be punishing Victor Gevers, who was acting “ethically”.

Mr. Gevers shared what he said were screenshots of the inside of Mr. Trump’s account on 22 October, during the final stages of the US presidential election.

But at the time, the White House denied it had been hacked and Twitter said it had no evidence of it.

In reference to the latest development, Twitter said: “We’ve seen no evidence to corroborate this claim, including from the article published in the Netherlands today. We proactively implemented account security measures for a designated group of high-profile, election-related Twitter accounts in the United States, including federal branches of government.”

The White House has not responded to a request for further comment.

A screenshot of Donald Trump's Twitter account

Mr. Gevers had previously shared this screenshot that appeared to show him editing Donald Trump’s Twitter profile information

Mr. Gevers said he was very happy with the outcome.

“This is not just about my work but all volunteers who look for vulnerabilities on the internet,” he said.

The well respected cyber-security researcher said he had been conducting a semi-regular sweep of the Twitter accounts of high-profile US election candidates, on 16 October, when he had guessed President Trump’s password.

Victor Gevers

IMAGE COPYRIGHTVICTOR GEVERS image captionVictor Gevers has been discovering security flaws in software and websites for 22 years

Dutch police said: “The hacker released the login himself.

“He later stated to police that he had investigated the strength of the password because there were major interests involved if this Twitter account could be taken over so shortly before the presidential election.”

They had sent the US authorities their findings, they added.

Mr. Gevers had told officers he had substantially more evidence of the “hack”.

In theory, he would have been able to see all the president’s data, including:

  • private photos and messages
  • privately bookmarked tweets
  • how many people he had blocked

The president’s account, which has 89 million followers, is now secure.

But Twitter has refused to answer direct questions from BBC News, including whether the account had extra security or logs that would have shown an unknown login.

Earlier this year, Mr. Gevers also claimed he and other security researchers had logged in to Mr. Trump’s Twitter account in 2016 using a password – “yourefired” – linked to another of his social-network accounts in a previous data breach.