NEWS   SUNDAY, MARCH  12, 2017   NEWS

US attorney Bharara Is Fired After Rejecting Sessions' Step-Down Request
An outspoken Manhattan federal prosecutor known for fighting public corruption was fired Saturday afternoon. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara tweeted that he "did not resign" and added, "Moments ago, I was fired. Being the US Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life." "One hallmark of justice is absolute independence, and that was my touchstone every day that I served. I want to thank the amazing people of the Southern District of New York, the greatest public servants in the world, for everything they do each day in pursuit of justice," Bharara said in a statement. "They will continue to do the great work of the Office under the leadership of Joon H. Kim, the current Deputy U.S. Attorney, who will serve as Acting U.S. Attorney.”  Fox News
VOA VIEW: Bharara made a fool of himself and office.

Trump, Pence Follow ObamaCare Replacement Rollout With Weekend Offensive
The White House is trying this weekend to rally support for the ObamaCare replacement plan -- with Vice President Pence in Kentucky and President Trump using the bully pulpit and old-reliable Twitter. "The ObamaCare nightmare is about to end,” Pence said at a business routable in Kentucky, with protesters outside the venue and as the GOP replacement bill moves through the House and heads toward the Senate. “Here are the heartbreaking facts: Today, Americans are paying $3,000 more a year on average for health insurance since the day ObamaCare was signed into law.” Kentucky has emerged as a battleground in the early efforts by Trump and GOP House leadership to pass the American Health Care Act, with Republican Sen. Rand Paul helping lead conservative opposition to the bill, introduced Monday. Fox News

Arson Suspect Wanted To 'Run The Arabs Out Of Our Country,' Sheriff Says
A 64-year-old Florida man tried to set a convenience store on fire because he thought the owners were Muslim, St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara said. Richard Lloyd told deputies he wanted to "run the Arabs out of our country" so he pushed a dumpster in front of the Port St. Lucie store and set the contents on fire, Mascara said in a news release posted on Facebook. Lloyd told detectives he assumed the owner was Muslim and that angered him because of "what they are doing in the Middle East," Mascara said. "It's unfortunate that Mr. Lloyd made the assumption that the store owners were Arabic when, in fact, they are of Indian descent," Mascara said. The sheriff said Lloyd's mental health will be evaluated and the state attorney's office will decide if this was a hate crime. CNN

House Committee Wants Evidence For Trump's Wiretap Claim
The House intelligence committee is asking the Trump administration for evidence that the phones at Trump Tower were tapped during the campaign as its namesake has charged. President Donald Trump asserted in a tweet last week: "Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!" He continued the allegation against former President Barack Obama in other tweets but offered no evidence.On Saturday a senior congressional aide said the request for evidence by Monday was made in a letter sent by the committee chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and the panel's ranking Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., according to the aide, who wasn't authorized to discuss the request by name and requested anonymity. Philadelphia Inquirer
VOA VIEW: Obama did wrong - Republicans don't fight hard enough.

Cuomo Takes Key Step Toward Launching Presidential Campaign
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has hired two Florida fundraisers, a sign he’s building a national network to launch a presidential bid, sources told The Post. The two consultants — one is former Hillary Clinton money man Jon Adrabi — will help plan events and build relationships with Democratic donors in the key swing state, sources said. “Hiring out-of-state fundraising staff, particularly in a battleground state, opens up money spigots beyond what would normally be available and is a key first step to laying the groundwork for a run,” said one source, a Democratic operative, who said Cuomo’s plan is to hire political consultants with experience outside of New York.  NY Post

‘Meet A Muslim Day’ A Chance To Display True Face Of Islam, Young Men Say
Ahmad Bilal, Faiez Ahmad and Luqman Munir couldn’t have been better positioned to talk about being Muslims than the cultural crossroads of Fourth Avenue and Pine Street in downtown Seattle on Saturday. The trio, all members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, took part in the organization’s “Meet a Muslim Day,” an effort in cities around the country to dispel myths about Islam and put a human face on a population that’s been the subject of stereotypes, public suspicion and in extreme cases, threats and violence. For three hours on a showery Saturday, the men stood among the throngs of tourists and St. Patrick’s Day parade spectators at a corner of Fourth and Pine with a sign that read, “I am a Muslim: Ask me anything.” Young Muslims with similar signs fielded questions at Seattle’s Green Lake, University District and Pike Place Market, too. Seattle Times

Anthem Supports Parts Of GOP Health Care Bill, But Wants More And Fast
Insurance giant Anthem lent its support to parts of the Republican health care bill, saying changes must be made as soon as possible for the Obamacare market to survive. The company warned two Republican House committee leaders Thursday that without "significant regulatory and statutory changes," it will begin to "surgically extract" itself next year from the 14 states where it participates on the individual market. The company highlighted that it's the sole carrier in about one-third of the counties in those states, most of them rural. Anthem noted that it must start making decisions about its continued involvement in the exchanges as soon as mid-April. CNN

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Texas Lawmakers Illegally Drew Three Voting Districts On Racial Lines, Court Rules
Texas lawmakers drew up three U.S. congressional districts to undermine the influence of Hispanic voters, a divided panel of three federal judges ruled, in the latest development in a years-long battle over gerrymandering. In the decision announced late on Friday, U.S. District Judges Xavier Rodriguez and Orlando Garcia in San Antonio found that the districts' shapes diluted minority voters' power, either by splitting communities into different districts or concentrating minorities in a single area to limit their sway. "When done to minimize Hispanic electoral opportunity, it bears the mark of intentional discrimination," wrote Rodriguez and Garcia, who were appointed by former Republican President George W. Bush and former Democratic President Bill Clinton, respectively. The third judge on the panel, 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jerry Smith, dissented. It was not clear whether Texas would appeal the ruling. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Expected from Spanish judges.

Man Faces 10-Year Sentence After Scaling White House Fence
An intruder carrying a backpack was arrested after scaling a fence around the White House and entering the grounds, the U.S. Secret Service said on Saturday, in the latest breach of security at the president's official residence. President Donald Trump was inside the White House when the male suspect climbed over the fence on the complex's South Grounds at 11:38 p.m. on Friday, and uniformed officers arrested him, the Secret Service said in a statement. The suspect, identified in court documents as California resident Jonathan Tran, 26, is scheduled to appear in federal court on Monday after a judge on Saturday ordered him held without bond, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia said. Reuters

Darrell Issa, Republican Congressman, Faces Tough Crowd At Town Hall
After weeks of demonstrations outside of his office in California, longtime Republican congressman Darrell Issa faced a crowded auditorium of angry voters Saturday, marking his first town hall appearance since the election in November. The nine-term congressman caved to demands from his constituents to hold a town hall event, bringing him face to face with an auditorium of more than 500 largely Democratic voters troubled by the Trump administration. Issa held two separate town halls at Junior Seau Recreation Center in Oceanside, California, to accommodate the large number of voters and protesters who gathered to challenge their representative. Audience members booed and jeered throughout the meetings as the congressman answered questions for more than three hours. At one point, the auditorium was so rowdy Issa quipped, "I don't mind that things are contentious. I just don't want things to end like the play 'Hamilton.'  NBC

Coming To A TV Near You: Trump’s America
Tales detailing the plight of America's disillusioned middle class and the realities of life in the rural United States are making their way to a TV near you. Sitcom writers are now grappling with how to best reflect the slice of the electorate that voted for Donald Trump, and delve into the deep cultural and political divides exposed during the 2016 presidential race, according to television and film experts. The television industry will likely start developing new shows based on this political reality later in the year or early next year, said Eric Deggans, an award-winning author and television critic with NPR. NBC

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Trump Holds Partial Cabinet Meeting At His Golf Club
President Trump held what he called “part of a Cabinet meeting” Saturday afternoon at his golf club in suburban Virginia for a discussion on the military, border security, health care and the economy. At the clubhouse at Trump National Golf Club in Potomac Falls, Virginia, Mr. Trump hosted Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, along with White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. The wives of Mr. Shulkin and Mr. Ross also attended, as did Mr. Mnuchin’s fiancee. On the day after the Labor Department reported that employers added 235,000 jobs in February, Mr. Trump said “the economy is doing very, very well.” Washington Times

Michael Hayden, Former CIA Chief, Blames Millennials For Intel Leaks
Millennials are making it difficult for the U.S. intelligence community to keep secrets, according to a former director of the NSA and CIA. Weighing in following WikiLeaks‘ publication this week of previously unreleased intelligence files, retired four-star General Michael Hayden indicated that individuals who came of age around the turn of the century are “culturally” more inclined to part ways with privileged information. “I don’t mean to judge them at all, but this group of millennials and related groups simply have different understandings of the words loyalty, secrecy and transparency than certainly my generation did,” Gen. Hayden, 71, told BBC on Wednesday. “So we bring these folks into the agency – good Americans, all, I assume – but culturally they have different instincts than the people who made the decision to hire them,” said the former chief spymaster. Washington Times

Gorsuch Has Ruled For Police, And Suspects, In Crime Cases
Judge Neil Gorsuch wasn't convinced that a teenager who made burping sounds in a classroom should be arrested, handcuffed and taken to juvenile detention in a police car. Gorsuch said the 13-year-old student from Albuquerque, New Mexico, should have been able to sue the arresting officer for excessive force. His powerful dissent in the case last year offers a glimpse of how Gorsuch — a favorite among conservatives — might be hard to pigeonhole on criminal justice issues if he is confirmed to the Supreme Court. "Arresting a now compliant class clown for burping was going a step too far," Gorsuch wrote, saying there is a difference "between childish pranks and more seriously disruptive behaviors." During a decade on the federal appeals court in Denver, Gorsuch has raised concerns about intrusive government searches and seizures that he found to violate constitutional rights. ABC

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3-Year-Old Girl Dies After Fire Blamed On Recharging Hoverboard
A 3-year-old girl from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, died today, following a Friday night fire that officials say was ignited by by a hoverboard that was recharging. The Lehigh County Coroner said Ashanti Hughes died this morning. Her death, blamed on complications from burns, was ruled an accident. She and two other girls from the home were airlifted to Lehigh Valley Hospital Friday night. Two other girls are in critical condition at Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest, officials said. The fire, which broke out around 7:45 p.m. Friday night, was ruled accidental and attributed to a hoverboard plugged in to recharge on the first floor, where family members were also present, Harrisburg Fire Chief Brian Enterline said. "They heard some sizzling and crackling in the hoverboard and shortly thereafter, it exploded in flames," he said. ABC

Michael Morell: CIA Trove On WikiLeaks “An Inside Job”
This week, the Central Intelligence Agency has been dealing with the release of top secret documents, apparently detailing highly-classed surveillance methods, which were published on the WikiLeaks website. This is in addition to agency’s fraught relationship with President Trump, who criticized the CIA throughout his campaign and has recently questioned whether it has been the source of ongoing leaks that have dogged his administration. Sources say Trump’s CIA visit made relations with intel community worse. CBS News senior security contributor Michael Morell, a former deputy director of the CIA, said there are a lot of questions about how the WikiLeaks release occurred, calling it an inside job.  “Absolutely. This data is not shared outside CIA; it’s only inside CIA. It’s on CIA’s top secret network, which is not connected to any other network. So this has to be an inside job,” he told “CBS This Morning: Saturday.” CBS
VOA VIEW: It was Obama's people on his watch.

Trump Travel Ban Can't Be Enforced On Syria Family, Judge Rules
A federal judge on Friday blocked President Trump’s administration from enforcing his new travel ban against a Syrian family looking to escape their war-torn homeland by fleeing to Wisconsin. The ruling likely is the first by a judge since Mr. Trump issued a revised travel ban on Monday, according to a spokesman for the Washington state attorney general, who has led states challenging the ban. A Syrian Muslim man who was granted asylum and settled in Wisconsin has been working since last year to win U.S. government approval for his wife and 3-year-old daughter to leave the devastated city of Aleppo and join him here. The man, who is not identified because of fears for his family’s safety, filed a federal lawsuit in Madison in February alleging Mr. Trump’s first travel ban had wrongly stopped the visa process for his family. U.S. District Judge William Conley set that challenge aside after a federal judge in Washington state blocked the entire Trump travel order. CBS

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Merkel To Warn Trump That U.S. Tax Changes May Spark Retaliation
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will warn U.S. President Donald Trump that a proposed tax overhaul could spark retaliatory measures, including higher tariffs for American companies, according to Der Spiegel magazine. The German government is reviewing its responses to a border-adjustment tax, which would only tax U.S. corporations’ imports and not their exports. Documents for Merkel’s upcoming meeting with Trump cited by Spiegel label the measure a “protective tariff” and say it violates World Trade Organization rules.  Responses from Europe’s largest economy could include incrementally higher duties on imports from America and allowing German companies to make their U.S. import tax deductible, thus compensating their competitive disadvantage, according to the report. Eventually, Germany could also lower corporate taxes and social contributions, making itself more attractive to international companies. Bloomberg
VOA VIEW: Those who fight the U.S. will lose.

May Urged To Prepare For `Real' Risk Of A No-Deal Brexit
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May must plan for the “real possibility” that she emerges from two years of Brexit negotiations without a deal, according to a panel of lawmakers. May has warned she is prepared to take Britain out of the European Union with no agreement rather than accept a bad one. That could happen and it would be a “dereliction of duty” not to plan for the consequences, the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee said in a report on Sunday. “The possibility of no deal is real enough to require the government to plan how to deal with it,” said Crispin Blunt, chairman of the cross-party panel. “But there is no evidence to indicate that this is receiving the consideration it deserves or that serious contingency planning is under way.” A no-deal Brexit could see Britain revert to World Trade Organization tariffs, disrupting the operations of exporters and importers alike. Bloomberg

How Healthy Are You? GOP Bill Would Help Employers Find Out
A bill in Congress could make it harder for workers to keep employers from getting access to their personal medical and genetic information and raise the financial penalties for those who opt out of workplace wellness programs. House Republicans are proposing legislation aimed at making it easier for companies to gather genetic data from workers and their families, including their children, when they collect it as part of a voluntary wellness program. The bill, the Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act, introduced by Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, would also significantly increase the financial costs faced by someone who does not join a company wellness program.  Las Vegas Sun

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Lefties, Techies Long At Odds In SF, Team Up Against Trump
Before Donald Trump's election, Laurence Berland viewed political protest as a sort of curiosity. He was in a good place to see it: San Francisco's Mission District, once an immigrant enclave in the country's heartland of radicalism that is increasingly populated by people like him — successful tech workers driving up rents while enjoying a daily commute to Silicon Valley on luxury motor coaches. Berland regarded the activism of his adopted city with a mix of empathy and bemusement, checking out Occupy Wall Street demonstrations and protests against the gentrification of his own neighborhood. But now there is less distance between him and activists on the street. On a recent day Berland stood with about 100 others — from software engineers like himself to those who work in tech company cafeterias — outside a downtown museum for a rally against President Trump. Las Vegas Sun

Trump's Choice For FDA Has Ties To Wall Street, Drug Makers
A conservative doctor-turned-pundit with deep ties to Wall Street and the pharmaceutical industry is President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Scott Gottlieb would be tasked with Trump's goal of cutting red tape at the FDA, which regulates everything from pharmaceuticals to seafood to electronic cigarettes. Trump has called the FDA's drug approval process "slow and burdensome" despite changes to speed reviews, particularly of cutting-edge products. Gottlieb, 44, is no stranger to the FDA — he served as a deputy commissioner under President George W. Bush. While he has frequently criticized the FDA for unnecessary regulations and urged changes to get safe and effective drugs onto the market faster, he generally has supported its overall mission.  A Senate vote is required before Gottlieb can take over as head of the agency. Newsday

German Police Order Mall To Stay Closed After Attack Threat
Police ordered a shopping mall in the western German city of Essen not to open Saturday after receiving credible tips of an imminent attack. The shopping center and the adjacent parking lot stayed closed as about a hundred police officers — many armed with machine pistols and bullet-proof vests — positioned themselves around the compound to prevent anyone from entering the mall. Several officers scoured the interior to bring out early morning cleaning staff. "As police, we are the security authority here and have decided to close the mall," police spokesman Christoph Wickhorst said, adding that they had been tipped off late Friday by other security agencies. He did not want to provide further details because of the ongoing investigation.  Newsday

Protests Rage As S. Korea's Park Yet To Vacate Presidential Residence
Tens of thousands of South Koreans crowded the streets of Seoul on Saturday, alternately celebrating and protesting the ouster of Park Geun-hye as president, though she has yet to speak or vacate her official residence. Three pro-Park demonstrators have been killed in clashes between the two sides, though one death was reportedly an accident. A speaker on a bus fell on the man's head, NPR reported. Park, an icon of the country's aging conservative political establishment, was removed from office after the nation's Constitutional Court upheld the Legislature's overwhelming impeachment vote in December. Public opinion polls show more than three-in-four South Koreans supported her removal from power amid sprawling corruption and bribery allegations. UPI

House Committee Wants Evidence For Trump's Wiretap Claim
The House intelligence committee is asking the Trump administration for evidence that the phones at Trump Tower were tapped during the campaign as its namesake has charged. President Donald Trump asserted in a tweet last week: "Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!" He continued the allegation against former President Barack Obama in other tweets but offered no evidence.On Saturday a senior congressional aide said the request for evidence by Monday was made in a letter sent by the committee chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and the panel's ranking Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., according to the aide, who wasn't authorized to discuss the request by name and requested anonymity. Philadelphia Inquirer
VOA VIEW: Obama did wrong - Republicans don't fight hard enough.

Cuomo Takes Key Step Toward Launching Presidential Campaign
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has hired two Florida fundraisers, a sign he’s building a national network to launch a presidential bid, sources told The Post. The two consultants — one is former Hillary Clinton money man Jon Adrabi — will help plan events and build relationships with Democratic donors in the key swing state, sources said. “Hiring out-of-state fundraising staff, particularly in a battleground state, opens up money spigots beyond what would normally be available and is a key first step to laying the groundwork for a run,” said one source, a Democratic operative, who said Cuomo’s plan is to hire political consultants with experience outside of New York.  NY Post

‘Meet A Muslim Day’ A Chance To Display True Face Of Islam, Young Men Say
Ahmad Bilal, Faiez Ahmad and Luqman Munir couldn’t have been better positioned to talk about being Muslims than the cultural crossroads of Fourth Avenue and Pine Street in downtown Seattle on Saturday. The trio, all members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, took part in the organization’s “Meet a Muslim Day,” an effort in cities around the country to dispel myths about Islam and put a human face on a population that’s been the subject of stereotypes, public suspicion and in extreme cases, threats and violence. For three hours on a showery Saturday, the men stood among the throngs of tourists and St. Patrick’s Day parade spectators at a corner of Fourth and Pine with a sign that read, “I am a Muslim: Ask me anything.” Young Muslims with similar signs fielded questions at Seattle’s Green Lake, University District and Pike Place Market, too. Seattle Times

Outdoor Retailer Gander Mountain Files Bankruptcy, Closing 32 Stores
Outdoor retailer Gander Mountain filed for bankruptcy protection Friday and announced the closure of 32 stores nationwide as the company prepares for a quick sale by mid May, the company announced. The privately held, Minnesota-based retailer said the Chapter 11 protection will also for the sale "on an expedited basis while protecting the interests of our customers, employees and other stakeholders." The company said it is in active discussions with several parties and anticipates closing a sale by May 15. "Like many retailers, Gander Mountain experienced challenging traffic patterns and shifts in consumer demand resulting from increased direct-to-customer sales by key vendors and accelerated growth of e-commerce," the company said. UPI

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German Newspapers: Netanyahu Is A Mad Dictator Like Khamenei
Two German tabloids in Hamburg and Berlin wrote on Friday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is one of the world’s seven most insane dictators, prompting the Israeli Embassy to slam the report as antisemitic. In unsigned articles titled “The seven looniest dictators of the world,” the papers included Netanyahu on a list with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Syria’s Bashar Assad, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte, and Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe. The article listed the initials of the author as MKR. The Hamburger Morgenpost and Berliner Kurier, part of the same publishing house, wrote under a picture of Netanyahu that he “long refuses to agree to a two-state solution. He continues to carry out construction of settlements and thereby provokes his Palestinian neighbors. Jerusalem Post

Protest Grows Outside Turkish Consulate In Rotterdam
Several hundred demonstrators waving Turkish flags gathered outside the Turkish consulate in the Dutch city of Rotterdam on Saturday, demanding to see the Turkish minister for family affairs as a dispute between the two countries escalated. Police erected metal barriers and patrolled on horseback to keep the demonstrators away from the consulate as the crowd grew with more pro-Turkish protesters arriving from Germany. Turkish Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya traveled by road to the Netherlands from neighboring Germany after the Dutch government revoked landing rights for a plane carrying Turkey's foreign minister earlier on Saturday.  Dutch TV footage showed police stopping the minister's convoy near the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam and preventing her from entering the building. Jerusalem Post

Tesco Chairman: White Men 'Endangered Species' In UK Boardrooms
White men are becoming an "endangered species" in top business jobs as companies take on more women and ethnic minorities, Tesco's chairman has said. John Allan told a retail conference "the pendulum has swung very significantly" - even though white men still dominate in UK boardrooms. He said it was an "extremely propitious period" to be "female and from an ethnic background and preferably both". Mr Allan later said his comments were intended to be "humorous". In his speech, the day after International Women's Day, about the recruitment of prospective non-executive directors, Mr Allan said: "For a thousand years men have got most of these jobs, the pendulum has swung very significantly the other way now and will do for the foreseeable future I think. "If you are a white male - tough - you are an endangered species and you are going to have to work twice as hard." BBC

Mosul ISIS Battle: Mass Grave Found At Badoush Prison, Iraqi Forces Say
A mass grave containing the remains of about 500 people has been found at Badoush prison near Mosul, Iraqi forces say. The Shia-led Hashd al-Shaabi forces said the victims were "civilian prisoners" murdered by militants from so-called Islamic State (IS). IS is alleged to have killed up to 600 inmates, most of them Shia Muslims, when it seized Mosul in 2014. Badoush prison was recaptured earlier this week. The Hashd al-Shaabi paramilitary forces said on Saturday that the "large mass grave" contained the remains of about 500 civilian prisoners who were "executed by (IS) gangs after they controlled the prison during their occupation of Mosul". However, an army source deployed with Hashd forces was unable to confirm the discovery. BBC

Tim Berners-Lee Calls For Tighter Regulation Of Online Political Advertising
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the worldwide web, has called for tighter regulation of online political advertising, which he says is being used in “unethical ways”.  “We urgently need to close the ‘internet blind spot’ in the regulation of political campaigning,” he said, writing in an open letter marking the 28th anniversary of his invention. The 61-year-old British computer scientist described how political advertising has become a sophisticated and targeted industry, drawing on enormous pools of personal data on Facebook and Google. This means that campaigns create personalised ads for individuals – as many as 50,000 variations each day on Facebook during the 2016 US election, he said. This can become unethical when voters are pointed to fake news sites and using messaging to discourage people from turning out to vote, as the Trump campaign did with certain groups whose support Hillary Clinton needed to win. Guardian

Conservatives Cheer EPA Cuts That Activists Fear 'Will Be Borne By Lungs'
Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, caused conniptions among scientists this week by claiming that carbon dioxide isn’t the primary catalyst of global warming. Conservative groups and industry, on the other hand, heard hints that a cherished goal may be within reach. In 2009 the EPA determined that greenhouse gas emissions “endanger both the public health and the public welfare of current and future generations”, opening the door to regulation. Donald Trump’s crusade against government strictures could target this finding, effectively making it official US policy that burning fossil fuels poses no threat to Americans, despite a mountain of scientific literature to the contrary. “I suspect the president and his team are doing due diligence in this area and I’m hopeful they will request that the administrator reviews the endangerment finding,” said Tom Pyle, who served on Trump’s EPA transition team. Guardian

Don't Sabotage Brexit, David Davis Warns Tory Rebels
David Davis has issued a last-minute warning to Tory rebels not to sabotage the Article 50 Bill amid fears any change could see Brexit end up in the courts. Writing exclusively for the Telegraph, the Brexit Secretary says that putting promises over leaving the EU into law creates a “greater risk of legal action". He warns that Theresa May would be negotiating with “one hand tied behind her back” if MPs approve two changes to the law proposed by Lords. Mr. Davis also says that protecting the rights of EU citizens in the UK without reciprocal promises would plunge more than a million Britons abroad into “uncertainty”. Telegraph

Diamonds Lose Their Sparkle As Couples Prioritise Weddings, Housing And Children over expensive rings
Diamonds, in the words of one of the world’s most famous marketing slogans, are supposed to be forever. But a growing fashion for engagement rings with coloured stones, such as rubies and emeralds, is threatening to undermine their pre-eminence. When Frances Gerety, a young advertising copywriter, coined the ‘forever’ slogan in 1947, she helped established the status of diamonds as a must-have accessory. That, coupled with the De Beers diamond company’s marketing campaign which invented the ‘rule’ that a man ought to spend at least two months' pay on his fiancee's engagement ring, reinforced the cachet of diamonds as a gift of rare and eternal beauty. But experts say that the rise of the millennials, with their more cost-conscious and individualistic shopping habits, along with their growing demands for more ethical sourcing of products, have led to diamonds losing their sparkle. Telegraph

If Trump Fans Love Freedom, They Should Love Net Neutrality
Imagine a world where Comcast slows video streaming from Fox News’s website to a pixelated crawl while boosting Rachel Maddow—who happens to star on Comcast-owned MSNBC. What if Verizon, which owns the liberal Huffington Post, charged you more to visit right-wing Breitbart. Or maybe Google Fiber bans access to the alt-right social network Gab. Today, it’s illegal to impose tiered pricing on any internet content, thanks to the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules. But if Republicans have their way, those rules will soon disappear, leaving companies like Comcast and Verizon free to block, throttle, or charge a toll to access your favorite websites and apps. The principle of net neutrality asserts that internet service providers should treat all internet traffic the same way, regardless of a site’s content or owner—or its politics. Wired

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