In Praise of Whistleblowers

While corporate media spread distraction and propaganda, whistleblowers step up to reveal abuses of power the public has a right to know. In their new book,  United States of Distraction: Media Manipulation in Post-Truth America (And What We Can Do About It ), Nolan Higdon and Mickey Huff sketch out our current media landscape, one cluttered with propaganda, confusion, and distraction. They argue that while corporate media do not serve the public’s right to know, whistleblowers should be regarded as defenders of democracy. Whistleblowers are the brave people who risk…

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What to know about applying for seasonal work

Department stores, coffee shops, specialty stores like toy stores, and distribution and fulfillment centers are all hiring temporary workers now Opportunities abound for those looking to make some extra money over winter break. “Retailers hire hundreds of thousands of people for seasonal jobs. If you can give an employer between four and eight weeks you can find a job this holiday season,” said Ellen Davis, president of the National Retail Federation Foundation and senior vice president of strategic initiatives at the National Retail Federation. Department stores, coffee shops, specialty stores…

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Public hearings in Trump impeachment inquiry to begin next week

House Intel Committee Chair Adam Schiff says three State Department officials will be the first to testify publicly. House Democrats leading an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump‘s dealings with Ukraine will begin public hearings next week, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said on Wednesday. The hearings will mark a new, and potentially significant, phase of the impeachment inquiry, which Democrats launched in September. While a House panel has been hearing testimonies in closed-door sessions from several officials in recent weeks, this will be the first time the entirety of…

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WeWork, Uber drag SoftBank into first quarterly loss in 14 years

Softbank’s founder Masayoshi Son admitted that his earlier judgement of WeWork was ‘not right’ in many ways. Japanese technology investment firm SoftBank Group suffered its first quarterly loss in 14 years between July and September, dragged down by falling valuations of its biggest tech bets such as WeWork and Uber. The group’s giant Vision Fund made a 970 billion yen ($8.9bn) loss, a humbling blow for founder, chairman and chief executive Masayoshi Son even as he tries to raise an enormous sum for a second investment fund. Son, 62, told…

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Software flaws found in Uber car that killed US woman

US transport safety agency’s findings could affect developments of autonomous vehicles across the auto sector. An Uber self-driving test vehicle that struck and killed an Arizona woman in 2018 had software flaws, the United States‘ National Transportation Safety Board said. The agency also revealed on Tuesday that the company’s autonomous test vehicles were involved in 37 crashes over the prior 18 months. NTSB may use the findings from the first fatal self-driving car accident to make recommendations that could affect how the entire industry addresses self-driving software issues or to…

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HOTTOPIC: Fruity or minty? Vape flavors most popular with teens may be ban

Prohibition could cover all flavors, but e-cigarette advocates want to exempt at least mint and menthol for adults. Mint and menthol are among the most popular e-cigarette flavors with young users, according to U.S. government survey data that could weigh on a decision about whether or not to ban the flavors. The 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey, produced by the Food and Drug Administration and published Nov. 5 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows e-cigarette use remains highly prevalent among teenagers who start as early as middle…

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Apple pledges $2.5bn to address California housing crisis

As homelessness reaches chronic levels in California, Apple and other tech companies pledge funds to fix the problem. Technology giant Apple says it will set aside $2.5bn to provide affordable homes in California which has more homeless people in the state than anywhere else in the United States. Tech companies have been blamed for contributing to the state’s housing crisis as they set up shop there, pushing house prices up beyond the reach of many residents. Al Jazeera’s Rob Reynolds reports from Los Angeles.

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More losses for Uber after spending on discounts, new ventures

The ride-hailing firm expects to become profitable by the end of 2021, it told investors. Ride-hailing giant Uber Technologies Inc sank deeper into loss from July to September as it tried to outspend competitors with discounts and loss-making new business ventures, the company reported on Monday in the United States. Uber’s shares fell 5.5 percent in after-hours trading despite Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi saying that the company would become profitable by the end of 2021. Overall, the company’s net loss widened to $1.16bn in the three months ended September 30, from…

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Smoky bacon meets hearty black-eyed peas in this easy, potluck-ready salad

Here’s an idea for the next time you’re invited to a neighborhood potluck, picnic or cookout: Bypass the grocery store deli’s goopy, sad, ready-made potato-pasta salad, and try your hand at making your own chilled salad, from scratch. After all, that’s what your neighbor really meant when she asked you to bring a side dish. One of my favorite dishes makes use of hearty, flavorful black-eyed peas. Yes, these peas are often overlooked in the hierarchy of legumes; pinto and kidney beans, revered as the the stars of many chili con…

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Oklahoma to release 462 inmates in historic commutation

The inmates granted release as part of largest single-day commutation were imprisoned for low-level, non-violent crimes. Hundreds of Oklahoma inmates who served time for low-level, non-violent crimes will walk out of prison on Monday in the largest single-day commutation of criminal sentences in United States‘s history, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt said. The Oklahoma Department of Corrections will release 462 inmates after the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted unanimously on Friday to recommend commutation of their sentences for crimes that would no longer be considered felonies if charged today. “This…

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Writer sues Trump for calling her sex assault claim a lie

President Trump denied ever meeting E Jean Carroll, who says Trump raped her in a dressing room of a department store. An advice columnist who has accused President Donald Trump of raping her in a New York City department store dressing room in the 1990s has sued him, saying he defamed her by calling her a liar whom he had never even met. E Jean Carroll’s lawsuit, filed Monday in New York, said Trump “smeared her integrity, honesty and dignity – all in the national press” when he responded to…

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McFired: McDonald’s CEO removed over relationship with employee

Fast food giant says Steve Easterbrook’s consensual relationship with employee ‘demonstrated poor judgement’. McDonald‘s Corp has dismissed Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook over a recent consensual relationship with an employee, which the board determined violated company policy, the fast-food giant said. The board determined that Easterbrook had “demonstrated poor judgement” with regards to the relationship, McDonald’s said in a news release on Sunday. Easterbrook relinquished his seat on the company’s board as well. “This was a mistake,” Easterbrook, 52, said of the relationship in an email to employees on Sunday that…

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Trump whistle-blower offers to take written questions

Lawyer says offer is in response to Republican efforts, led by President Trump, to unmask the whistle-blower. The United States official, whose whistle-blower complaint led to the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, has offered to answer written questions submitted by House Republicans, his lawyers said. The surprise offer on Sunday, made to Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the intelligence committee leading the inquiry, would allow Republicans to ask questions of the whistle-blower without having to go through the committee’s Democratic chairman, Adam Schiff. Lawyer Mark Zaid said the…

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Google to buy smartwatch maker Fitbit for $2.1bn in cash

The tech giant is under investigation for anti-competitive practices, so the deal may attract more regulatory scrutiny. Alphabet Inc.’s Google agreed to buy smartwatch maker Fitbit Inc. for $2.1 billion in cash, a move that could shore up the internet giant’s hardware business while also potentially increasing antitrust scrutiny. Fitbit shares jumped 16%. Google will pay $7.35 a share for San Francisco-based Fitbit, according to a statement Friday. That represents a 71% premium to Fitbit’s stock price before Reuters reported Google had made a bid on the company on Oct.…

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Woman found dead with 2.4 metre python around her neck

Laura Hurst found unresponsive at home in Indiana with the snake wrapped loosely around her neck, police say. A woman in Indiana in the United States was found dead with a 2.4-metre-long (8-foot) python wrapped around her neck had apparently kept snakes at the residence which was outfitted for a collection of the reptiles, police said on Thursday. Laura Hurst, 36, was found unresponsive on Wednesday night on the floor of a home in the northern Indiana town of Oxford, with the snake wrapped loosely around her neck, said Indiana State…

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