Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Why does Washington suddenly seem ready to regulate Big Tech? Look...

The cascade of political probes targeting the four biggest companies in tech feels like it happened suddenly. But Washington’s surge in scrutiny toward Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple in the past week is a natural culmination of a relationship between tech and society that’s soured over the past two years. That’s why recent reports that the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission are divvying up responsibilities for possible action against the big four — and that legislators had begun a turn-over-every-stone investigation of companies like Facebook and Google — seemed at once both abrupt and a long time...

Trump tightens Cuba travel rules

The Trump administration is moving ahead with new travel restrictions for Cuba. The new rules ban US cruise ships from stopping in Cuba and eliminate the “people to people” travel loophole that has allowed Americans to visit the the island nation as part of organized group educational tours and thereby get around the myriad federal restrictions limiting travel to the communist country. According to the Treasury Department, the new rules will go into effect Wednesday. Travelers who’ve already booked their trips will be allowed to continue with their plans, however. The new restrictions serve two purposes for the Trump administration: fulfilling...

Buttigieg MSNBC town hall: “I would not have applied that amount...

Pete Buttigieg is running a conflict-averse presidential campaign. But conflict makes news. And so the biggest moment of his MSNBC town hall Monday night in Fresno, CA was his half-hearted defense of former Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), who resigned in 2017 after several women accused him of groping them. Calls for Franken’s resignation were led by Democratic women in the Senate — most notably Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who is now herself running for president. Buttigieg didn’t name Gillibrand or other Democratic senators running for president who called for Franken’s resignation in the days before he offered it — including...

Apple is officially killing iTunes

At its annual developer’s conference today, Apple confirmed reports that it will break iTunes up into three separate apps: Apple Music, Podcasts, and Apple TV. The news is not super surprising. These separate apps have already existed on iOS for a long time, with the iTunes Store reserved as a weird desktop-only clunker. iTunes has been a running joke for years — messy, confusing, and full of too many features that don’t have obvious uses in most people’s lives. “iTunes itself is a relic of a different era in which people bought all their music and movies in one...

Democratic presidential candidates call for change at California’s Democratic Party Convention

Democratic presidential hopefuls pitched themselves to primary voters in San Francisco, California on Saturday and Sunday with calls for the party to embrace big changes. Messages on gun control, immigration reform, income inequality, and Medicare for all were received warmly by California Democratic Party Convention delegates, many of whom are progressives. Most of the party’s frontrunners appeared at the California Democratic Party Convention, including Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Cory Booker. In total, 14 candidates spoke, and one other, author Marianne Williamson, was present, but didn’t take the stage. Notably absent was former Vice President Joe Biden,...

Top Democrat says the House will impeach Trump, just not yet

House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn predicted Sunday that the House of Representatives will impeach President Donald Trump — just not yet. In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Clyburn said House Democrats are moving methodically to build the type of impeachment case against the president that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called “ironclad.” “We’re trying to take our time and do this right,” Clyburn said. “I don’t see this as being out of whack with what people’s aspirations are.” When asked by Tapper if he felt that Trump will eventually face impeachment, Clyburn did not mince words. “Yes, that’s exactly...

Virginia Beach shooting: What we know

At least 12 people have been killed in a mass shooting at a municipal center in Virginia Beach, Virginia, police confirmed Friday. Police have identified one shooter, who died after a firefight with police. Virginia Beach Police Chief James Cervera described him as a city public utilities employee. “Today is Virginia Beach’s darkest hour,” Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer said Friday night at a press conference. This story is still developing. Here’s what we know so far, and what we don’t. What we know Shortly after 4 pm local time, the gunman entered Building 2 of the Municipal Center, which houses public works,...

Italy revokes Steve Bannon’s right to use a monastery for his...

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon’s plans for a far-right nationalist school have been halted by Italian authorities. Bannon hoped to run the school out of an ancient monastery near Rome, but officials say they are revoking rights to the grounds for failure to maintain the site and pay fees. In a statement released Friday, Gianluca Vacca, an official with Italy’s cultural ministry, said that it was the government’s “duty” to revoke the rights to the Certosa de Trisulti monastery that the Human Dignity Institute, a far-right Catholic think tank that Bannon partnered with, had obtained. Vacca cited...

Deadwood: The Movie is a fitting capstone to one of TV’s...

After 10 years, they’re all still there — Seth Bullock and Al Swearengen and Trixie and Charlie Utter, and on and on. The residents of Deadwood, the mining camp, and Deadwood, the TV show, are all still hanging around one of the greatest settings for a TV series ever. And even more people are coming back to town for a celebration of the newly formed statehood of South Dakota. Alma Garret and her daughter, Sofia, arrive on the train, as does Senator George Hearst, the closest thing Deadwood ever had to a villain. Deadwood: The Movie — the long...

Mexican president to Trump: tariffs and coercion won’t work

President Donald Trump is threatening to start a trade war with Mexico, but Mexico’s populist President Andrés López Obrador isn’t having it. Trump warned Thursday evening, over Twitter, that he would soon start taxing imported goods from Mexico if the government doesn’t do more to stop the flow of migrants from Central America who are seeking asylum at the US border. López Obrador responded within a few hours with a scathing letter that he posted on Twitter. He invoked Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt, pointing out that those US presidents respected Mexico’s sovereignty — a veiled warning for Trump...