Sunday, April 23, 2017

11:23 AM 4/23/2017 - What motivated Comey to announce the reopening of the Clinton email probe after the Weiner laptop was found MarketWatch After the FBI discovery, on a laptop belonging to former congressman Anthony Weiner but also used by his wife, Huma Abedin, a top aide to Hillary Clinton of a cache of Clinton emails that may not have previously been identified, FBI Director ... FBI boss Comey arrives in New Zealand ahead of conferenceNew York Daily News Comey Tried to Shield the FBI From Politics. Then He Shaped an Election.New York Times all 37 news articles »

FBI boss Comey arrives in New Zealand ahead of conference - New York Daily News
Sun, 23 Apr 2017 09:14:00 GMT

New York Daily News

FBI boss Comey arrives in New Zealand ahead of conference
New York Daily News
FBI Director James Comey, center top, walks to a vehicle on the tarmac upon his arrival in Queenstown, New Zealand, Sunday, April 23, 2017. A spokeswoman for New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English said New Zealand's government is hosting a ...

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What motivated Comey? 

"After the FBI discovery, on a laptop belonging to former congressman Anthony Weiner — but believed also to have been used by his wife, Huma Abedin, a top aide to Hillary Clinton — of a cache of Clinton emails that may not have previously been identified, FBI Director James Comey reportedly gathered his lieutenants and legal team in a conference room to discuss the crucial next steps. The investigation into Clinton’s email practices and private server clearly was no longer closed, as he’d famously announced, and so Comey faced a decision.
His options, as he saw them, according to new New York Times reporting on the matter, were (a.) to reveal that the Clinton case, which he had publicly declared closed, had now been reopened to accommodate perusal of those emails, and thereby potentially tilt the election outcome in Donald Trump’s favor, or (b.) to have the emails examined without such a revelation and thus leave the bureau open, down the line, to charges that it had protected Clinton, who then held a relatively comfortable lead in most polls.
As he addressed his FBI team, Comey, a Republican but an Obama appointee, weighed that dilemma. When an adviser, according to the Times reporting, asked whether Comey should “consider that what [he was] about to do may help elect Donald Trump president,” the director, according to the report, told his agents:
‘If we ever start considering who might be affected, and in what way, by what we do, we’re done.’



James Comey
His decision had been made." 

World - Google News: What motivated Comey to announce the reopening of the Clinton email probe after the Weiner laptop was found - MarketWatch


MarketWatch



What motivated Comey to announce the reopening of the Clinton email probe after the Weiner laptop was found
MarketWatch
After the FBI discovery, on a laptop belonging to former congressman Anthony Weiner but also used by his wife, Huma Abedin, a top aide to Hillary Clinton of a cache of Clinton emails that may not have previously been identified, FBI Director ...
FBI boss Comey arrives in New Zealand ahead of conferenceNew York Daily News
Comey Tried to Shield the FBI From Politics. Then He Shaped an Election.New York Times

all 37 news articles »


World - Google News
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Comey Tried to Shield the FBI From Politics. Then He Shaped an Election.

New York Times - ‎Apr 22, 2017‎
As the F.B.I. investigated Hillary Clinton and the Trump campaign, James B. Comey tried to keep the bureau out of politics but plunged it into the center of a bitter election. By MATT APUZZO, MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT, ADAM GOLDMAN and ERIC LICHTBLAU ... 

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Copies of Google News - Comey - 4.23.17

World - Google News: What motivated Comey to announce the reopening of the Clinton email probe after the Weiner laptop was found - MarketWatch


MarketWatch



What motivated Comey to announce the reopening of the Clinton email probe after the Weiner laptop was found
MarketWatch
After the FBI discovery, on a laptop belonging to former congressman Anthony Weiner but also used by his wife, Huma Abedin, a top aide to Hillary Clinton of a cache of Clinton emails that may not have previously been identified, FBI Director ...
FBI boss Comey arrives in New Zealand ahead of conferenceNew York Daily News
Comey Tried to Shield the FBI From Politics. Then He Shaped an Election.New York Times

all 37 news articles »


World - Google News

Comey Tried to Shield the FBI From Politics. Then He Shaped an Election.

New York Times - ‎Apr 22, 2017‎
As the F.B.I. investigated Hillary Clinton and the Trump campaign, James B. Comey tried to keep the bureau out of politics but plunged it into the center of a bitter election. By MATT APUZZO, MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT, ADAM GOLDMAN and ERIC LICHTBLAU ... 

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Google News 
Clinton email probe reportedly caused rift between Comey, Lynch - Fox News
Sun, 23 Apr 2017 07:23:11 GMT

Fox News



Clinton email probe reportedly caused rift between Comey, Lynch
Fox News
FBI Director James Comey reportedly did not trust former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and other senior officials at the Justice Department, speculating they might provide Hillary Clinton some political cover over her email scandal during the ...

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FBI boss Comey arrives in New Zealand ahead of conference - New York Daily News
Sun, 23 Apr 2017 09:14:00 GMT

New York Daily News



FBI boss Comey arrives in New Zealand ahead of conference
New York Daily News
FBI Director James Comey, center top, walks to a vehicle on the tarmac upon his arrival in Queenstown, New Zealand, Sunday, April 23, 2017. A spokeswoman for New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English said New Zealand's government is hosting a ...

and more »
What motivated Comey to announce the reopening of the Clinton email probe after the Weiner laptop was found - MarketWatch
Sun, 23 Apr 2017 13:35:42 GMT

MarketWatch



What motivated Comey to announce the reopening of the Clinton email probe after the Weiner laptop was found
MarketWatch
After the FBI discovery, on a laptop belonging to former congressman Anthony Weiner but believed also to have been used by his wife, Huma Abedin, a top aide to Hillary Clinton of a cache of Clinton emails that may not have previously been ...

and more »
The Russians Hacked Democrats' Plans to Cheat in the General Election, Too - Breitbart News
Sun, 23 Apr 2017 07:29:33 GMT

Breitbart News



The Russians Hacked Democrats' Plans to Cheat in the General Election, Too
Breitbart News
A New York Times report on Saturday claimed that FBI Director James Comey decided to reveal that he was re-opening the investigation into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton because he suspected Attorney General Loretta Lynch was ...

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Comey Tried to Shield the FBI From Politics. Then He Shaped an Election. - New York Times
Sat, 22 Apr 2017 13:22:22 GMT

New York Times



Comey Tried to Shield the FBI From Politics. Then He Shaped an Election.
New York Times
As the F.B.I. investigated Hillary Clinton and the Trump campaign, James B. Comey tried to keep the bureau out of politics but plunged it into the center of a bitter election. By MATT APUZZO, MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT, ADAM GOLDMAN and ERIC LICHTBLAU ...

and more »
James Comey Wasn't a Partisan Hack. He Was Worse. - Mother Jones
Sun, 23 Apr 2017 10:20:03 GMT

Mother Jones



James Comey Wasn't a Partisan Hack. He Was Worse.
Mother Jones
By coincidence, right after my Comey post yesterday morning the New York Times published a long tick-tock about how and why Comey did what he did. It doesn't address the question of whether Comey tipped the election, it just provides an insider account ...

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Jim Comey's Dilemma - Outside the Beltway
Sun, 23 Apr 2017 13:57:26 GMT

Outside the Beltway



Jim Comey's Dilemma
Outside the Beltway
Kevin Drum argues in two postings that FBI Director James Comey's 11th hour letter advising Congress that his agency was re-opening its investigation into Hillary Clinton cost her the election. Yesterday's piece, Let's Talk About Bubbles and James ...

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Comey sent letter to Congress to avoid appearance of favoritism after pressure from Lynch to downplay probe - BizPac Review
Sun, 23 Apr 2017 12:18:10 GMT

BizPac Review



Comey sent letter to Congress to avoid appearance of favoritism after pressure from Lynch to downplay probe
BizPac Review
Sources say FBI Director James Comes was pressured to go easy on Hillary Clinton by his ex-boss, former US Attorney Loretta Lynch. (Image: YouTube screenshot). FBI Director James Comey felt pressured by his former boss, Obama-appointed U.S. ...

and more »
NYT: Comey distrusted Lynch on Clinton - The Hill (blog)
Sat, 22 Apr 2017 16:30:39 GMT

The Hill (blog)



NYT: Comey distrusted Lynch on Clinton
The Hill (blog)
FBI Director James Comey distrusted former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and senior officials at the Justice Department, believing they might provide Hillary Clinton · Hillary Rodham ClintonOMB director: Government shutdown not a 'desired end' America ...

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NYT: Comey went public about Emailgate partly because he didn't trust Loretta Lynch to be impartial - Hot Air
Sat, 22 Apr 2017 20:01:51 GMT

Hot Air



NYT: Comey went public about Emailgate partly because he didn't trust Loretta Lynch to be impartial
Hot Air
Lynch's untrustworthiness has always been a key ingredient to the Comey/Emailgate saga. If not for the tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton last spring, it would have fallen to her as AG to make the final decision on whether to charge Hillary. Instead ...

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Articles:

What motivated Comey to announce the reopening of the Clinton email probe after the Weiner laptop was found

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After the FBI discovery, on a laptop belonging to former congressman Anthony Weiner — but believed also to have been used by his wife, Huma Abedin, a top aide to Hillary Clinton — of a cache of Clinton emails that may not have previously been identified, FBI Director James Comey reportedly gathered his lieutenants and legal team in a conference room to discuss the crucial next steps. The investigation into Clinton’s email practices and private server clearly was no longer closed, as he’d famously announced, and so Comey faced a decision.
His options, as he saw them, according to new New York Times reporting on the matter, were (a.) to reveal that the Clinton case, which he had publicly declared closed, had now been reopened to accommodate perusal of those emails, and thereby potentially tilt the election outcome in Donald Trump’s favor, or (b.) to have the emails examined without such a revelation and thus leave the bureau open, down the line, to charges that it had protected Clinton, who then held a relatively comfortable lead in most polls.
As he addressed his FBI team, Comey, a Republican but an Obama appointee, weighed that dilemma. When an adviser, according to the Times reporting, asked whether Comey should “consider that what [he was] about to do may help elect Donald Trump president,” the director, according to the report, told his agents:
‘If we ever start considering who might be affected, and in what way, by what we do, we’re done.’
His decision had been made.
Read the whole story

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FBI boss Comey arrives in New Zealand ahead of conference

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — FBI Director James Comey arrived in New Zealand on Sunday ahead of a conference, although officials were being cagey about the exact nature of his visit.
Comey disembarked from a Gulfstream jet after touching down at the Queenstown Airport.
A spokeswoman for New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English said New Zealand's government is hosting a conference this week with a number of senior officials from overseas, but that she couldn't comment further "due to specific security requirements."
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Wellington said U.S. officials routinely attend meetings with their New Zealand counterparts "but I can't provide further details."
New Zealand is part of the "Five Eyes" intelligence-sharing network, which also includes the U.S., Canada, Britain and Australia.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Russian think tank helped craft...

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Russian think tank helped craft election meddling plan, report says

New York Daily News - ‎Apr 19, 2017‎
U.S. intelligence has acquired documents from the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies written since last June that show the formulation behind the plot, unidentified sources told Reuters Wednesday. Two of the reported documents include a strategy ...

Putin-linked think tank drew up plan to sway 2016 US election - documents

Reuters - ‎Apr 19, 2017‎
U.S. intelligence officials acquired the documents, which were prepared by the Moscow-based Russian Institute for Strategic Studies [en.riss.ru/], after the election. The institute is run by retired senior Russian foreign intelligence officials ...

Another Reason to Avoid Rushing on Russia's Election Role

Bloomberg - ‎Apr 20, 2017‎
These unnamed sources described "two confidential documents" from a Moscow think tank, the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS), as "providing the framework and rationale for what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive ...

Russian Strategic Studies Institute Rejects US Election Meddling Claims

Sputnik International - ‎Apr 20, 2017‎
Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS) director Mikhail Fradkov has refuted the accusations made against the think tank regarding its alleged interference in the recent US election, adding that RISS experts do not engage in such information ...

Claims Russia's Strategic Studies Institute Meddled in US Elections 'Baseless'

Sputnik International - ‎Apr 20, 2017‎
According to the media outlet, the first document allegedly recommended that the Kremlin initiate a propaganda campaign on social media, and that Russia's state-run media persuade US citizens to vote for a candidate less critical to Russia than former ...
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Russian Institute for Strategic Studies - Google Search

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Story image for Russian Institute for Strategic Studies from New York Daily News

Russian think tank helped craft election meddling plan, report says

New York Daily News-Apr 19, 2017
U.S. intelligence has acquired documents from the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies written since last June that show the formulation ...
Story image for Russian Institute for Strategic Studies from New York Times

Kremlin Group Employing Ex-Spies Is Viewed Abroad as ...

New York Times-Apr 20, 2017
The organization, the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies in Moscow, says its main purpose is preparing policy papers and other analytical ...
Read the whole story

· · · ·

Our Costly Addiction to Health Care Jobs

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Hiring rose even more as coverage expanded in 2014 under the health care law and new federal dollars flowed in. The law gave hospitals, universities and companies even more reason to invest in new facilities and staff. Training programs sprang up to fill the growing job pool. Cities welcomed the development — and the revenue. Simply put, rising health spending has been good for some economically distressed parts of the country, many of which voted for Mr. Trump last year.
The West Virginia University health system, for example, recently opened a 10-story medical tower in Morgantown and hired more than 2,000 employees last year. In Danville, Pa., the Geisinger Health System has added some 2,200 workers since July, and it’s trying to fill 2,000 more jobs across its 12 hospital campuses and insurance company. Out west, UCHealth in Colorado expanded its Fort Collins hospital and is building three new hospitals in the state.
In cities such as Pittsburgh, Cleveland and St. Louis, health care has replaced dying industries like coal mining and heavy manufacturing as a primary source of jobs. “The industry accounts for a lot of good middle-class jobs and, in many communities, it’s the single-largest employer,” said Sam Glick, a partner in the San Francisco office of Oliver Wyman, a consulting firm. “One of the hardest decisions for the new Trump administration is how far do they push on health care costs at the expense of jobs in health care.”
House Republicans, with backing from Mr. Trump, took the first swipe. Their American Health Care Act sought to roll back the current health law’s Medicaid expansion and cut federal subsidies for private health insurance. The plan faltered in the House, but Republican lawmakers and the Trump administration say they are again trying to draft a replacement for Obamacare.
Neither the Affordable Care Act nor the latest Republican bill tackles what some industry experts and economists see as a serious underlying reason for high health care costs: a system bloated by redundancy, inefficiency and a growing number of jobs far removed from patient care.
Labor accounts for more than half of the $3.4 trillion spent on American health care, and medical professionals like health aides and nurse practitioners are in high demand. But the sheer complexity of the system has also spawned jobs for legions of data-entry clerks, revenue-cycle analysts and medical billing coders who must decipher arcane rules to mine money from human ills.
For every doctor, there are 16 other health care workers. And half of those 16 are in administrative and other nonclinical roles, according to Bob Kocher, a former Obama administration official who worked on the Affordable Care Act and is now a partner in the venture capital firm Venrock.
“I find super-expensive drugs annoying, and hospital market power is a big problem,” Mr. Kocher said. “But what’s driving our health insurance premiums is that we are paying the wages of a whole bunch of people who aren’t involved in the delivery of care. Hospitals keep raising their rates to pay for all of this labor.”
Take medical coders. Membership in the American Academy of Professional Coders has swelled to more than 165,000, up 10,000 in the past year alone. The average salary has risen to nearly $50,000, offering a path to the American dream.
“The coding profession is a great opportunity for individuals seeking their first joband it’s attractive to a lot of medical professionals burned out on patient care,” said Raemarie Jimenez, a vice president at the medical coding group. “There is a lot of opportunity once you’ve got a foot in the door.”
Some of these back-office workers wage battle every day in clinics and hospitals against an army of claims administrators filling up cubicles inside insurance companies. Overseeing it all are hundreds of corporate vice presidents drawing six-figure salaries.
Administrative costs for the American health care system are the highest in the developed world, according to a January report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. More than 8 percent of domestic health spending is tied up in administration, while the average globally is about 3 percent. America spent $631 for every man, woman and child on health insurance administration for 2012, compared with $54 in Japan.
America’s huge investment in health care and related jobs hasn’t always led to better results for patients, data show. But it has provided good-paying jobs, which is why the talk of deep cuts in federal health spending has many people concerned.
Linda Gonzalez, a 31-year-old mother of two, was among the thousands of enrollment counselors hired to help sign up Americans for health insurance as Obamacare rolled out in 2014. Ms. Gonzalez, a college graduate, makes more than $40,000 a year working at an AltaMed enrollment center, tucked between a Verizon Wireless store and a nail salon on a busy street in Los Angeles.
In her cramped cubicle, families pull up chairs and sort through pay stubs and tax returns, often relying on her to sort out enrollment glitches with Medicaid. As the sole breadwinner for her two children, ages 9 and 10, she counts on this job but isn’t sure how long it will last.
“A lot of people depend on this,” she said recently. “It’s something I do worry about.”
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Kremlin Group Employing Ex-Spies Is Viewed Abroad as Propaganda Mill

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MOSCOW — A Kremlin-controlled research organization that Western critics accuse of subversive propaganda in other countries, including possible election meddling, is known in Russia as a semiretirement refuge for former intelligence officers.
The organization, the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies in Moscow, says its main purpose is preparing policy papers and other analytical materials for the country’s leading government agencies.
At the top of its website, the institute says in capital letters that it was founded by “the president,” a reference to President Vladimir V. Putin. Some political commentators in Russia regard it as a place where ex-intelligence officials can work with dignity.
Nonetheless, Kremlin opponents have linked the institute to such efforts as trying to dissuade Sweden from closer ties to NATO and subvert Montenegro’s impending membership in the alliance.
Attention was focused on the institute this week when Reuters, quoting what it described as seven former and current American officials, reported on Wednesday that the institute had provided the “framework and rationale” to interfere in the Nov. 8 United States presidential election to help Donald J. Trump win.
Russian officials, who have repeatedly denied accusations by American intelligence officials of election interference, called the Reuters report nonsense. Mikhail Fradkov, the institute’s recently appointed director, described the report as a product of a “conspiratorial mind-set.”
Mr. Fradkov, appointed to lead the institute last October, described the institute as “an authoritative analytical organization with high-skilled professionals.”
Mr. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, said Thursday during his regular news briefing that he had not read the Reuters report but he asserted that “seven anonymous sources are not worth one real one.”
The institute’s publicly released documents are relatively tame compared with the ulterior motives that Russia’s adversaries ascribe to it. Some of the well-known materials prepared by the institute include a report that ranked countries, media outlets and individual authors in terms of their anti-Russian bias.
Another of its publications, a report about the spread of H.I.V. in large urban areas, argued against sex education and advocated the promotion of traditional Russian Orthodox values as a way to stop the spread of infection.
In Moscow, foreign affairs experts expressed some amused cynicism about the true extent of the research group’s influence on Russia’s foreign policy.
“Everyone, please chill,” Alexey Kovalev, a Russian journalist known for his efforts to debunk propaganda stories, wrote on Twitter. “These guys (average age: 70) couldn’t have possibly game-planned making a sandwich, let alone rigging U.S. elex”
Mark Galeotti, a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations who specializes in Russia’s security affairs and organized crime, described the Russian institute as fitting “the stereotype some Westerners want to find so well.” In a Twitter exchange with Mr. Kovalev, Mr. Galeotti said the institute’s members “also appreciate being regarded as being so important.”
Mr. Fradkov previously led Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service. His predecessor at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, Leonid P. Reshetnikov, also a former spy, was famous for his conservative, anti-American statements.
“World War II was orchestrated by the same forces now trying to rule the world, forces located in the United States,” Mr. Reshetnikov said in a February 2016 interview. “I’m talking about international companies and the upper crust of the Anglo-Saxon elite.”
In Montenegro, the institute and other Russian organizations have faced scrutiny for what critics call their attempts to reverse the Balkan nation’s tilt toward the West and to derail its entry into NATO.
Officials in Montenegro say Mr. Reshetnikov played an important role in preparing the ground for a coup attempt timed to coincide with parliamentary elections last October. The coup plot reportedly fizzled after a wave of arrests, and voting went ahead without incident.
Mr. Reshetnikov was abruptly dismissed by Mr. Putin after news of the Election Day plot broke. A follower of the Russian Orthodox Church, Mr. Reshetnikov had close ties to senior Orthodox priests in the Balkans and to pro-Russian political groups that led street protests last year against Montenegro’s NATO membership.
The institute took an aggressively critical view of Milo Djukanovic, the longtime leader of Montenegro, who infuriated Moscow by abandoning Pan-Slavic loyalties to embrace the West. Mr. Reshetnikov once described him as a “traitor who will answer for his treachery to Russia on Judgment Day.”
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Is It Time to Break Up Google?

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Could it be that these companies — and Google in particular — have become natural monopolies by supplying an entire market’s demand for a service, at a price lower than what would be offered by two competing firms? And if so, is it time to regulate them like public utilities?
Consider a historical analogy: the early days of telecommunications.
In 1895 a photograph of the business district of a large city might have shown 20 phone wires attached to most buildings. Each wire was owned by a different phone company, and none of them worked with the others. Without network effects, the networks themselves were almost useless.
The solution was for a single company, American Telephone and Telegraph, to consolidate the industry by buying up all the small operators and creating a single network — a natural monopoly. The government permitted it, but then regulated this monopoly through the Federal Communications Commission.
AT&T (also known as the Bell System) had its rates regulated, and was required to spend a fixed percentage of its profits on research and development. In 1925 AT&T set up Bell Labs as a separate subsidiary with the mandate to develop the next generation of communications technology, but also to do basic research in physics and other sciences. Over the next 50 years, the basics of the digital age — the transistor, the microchip, the solar cell, the microwave, the laser, cellular telephony — all came out of Bell Labs, along with eight Nobel Prizes.
In a 1956 consent decree in which the Justice Department allowed AT&T to maintain its phone monopoly, the government extracted a huge concession: All past patents were licensed (to any American company) royalty-free, and all future patents were to be licensed for a small fee. These licenses led to the creation of Texas Instruments, Motorola, Fairchild Semiconductor and many other start-ups.
True, the internet never had the same problems of interoperability. And Google’s route to dominance is different from the Bell System’s. Nevertheless it still has all of the characteristics of a public utility.
We are going to have to decide fairly soon whether Google, Facebook and Amazon are the kinds of natural monopolies that need to be regulated, or whether we allow the status quo to continue, pretending that unfettered monoliths don’t inflict damage on our privacy and democracy.
It is impossible to deny that Facebook, Google and Amazon have stymied innovation on a broad scale. To begin with, the platforms of Google and Facebook are the point of access to all media for the majority of Americans. While profits at Google, Facebook and Amazon have soared, revenues in media businesses like newspaper publishing or the music business have, since 2001, fallen by 70 percent.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, newspaper publishers lost over half their employees between 2001 and 2016. Billions of dollars have been reallocated from creators of content to owners of monopoly platforms. All content creators dependent on advertising must negotiate with Google or Facebook as aggregator, the sole lifeline between themselves and the vast internet cloud.
It’s not just newspapers that are hurting. In 2015 two Obama economic advisers, Peter Orszag and Jason Furman, published a paper arguing that the rise in “supernormal returns on capital” at firms with limited competition is leading to a rise in economic inequality. The M.I.T. economists Scott Stern and Jorge Guzman explained that in the presence of these giant firms, “it has become increasingly advantageous to be an incumbent, and less advantageous to be a new entrant.”
There are a few obvious regulations to start with. Monopoly is made by acquisition — Google buying AdMob and DoubleClick, Facebook buying Instagram and WhatsApp, Amazon buying, to name just a few, Audible, Twitch, Zappos and Alexa. At a minimum, these companies should not be allowed to acquire other major firms, like Spotify or Snapchat.
The second alternative is to regulate a company like Google as a public utility, requiring it to license out patents, for a nominal fee, for its search algorithms, advertising exchanges and other key innovations.
The third alternative is to remove the “safe harbor” clause in the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which allows companies like Facebook and Google’s YouTube to free ride on the content produced by others. The reason there are 40,000 Islamic State videos on YouTube, many with ads that yield revenue for those who posted them, is that YouTube does not have to take responsibility for the content on its network. Facebook, Google and Twitter claim that policing their networks would be too onerous. But that’s preposterous: They already police their networks for pornography, and quite well.
Removing the safe harbor provision would also force social networks to pay for the content posted on their sites. A simple example: One million downloads of a song on iTunes would yield the performer and his record label about $900,000. One million streams of that same song on YouTube would earn them about $900.
I’m under no delusion that, with libertarian tech moguls like Peter Thiel in President Trump’s inner circle, antitrust regulation of the internet monopolies will be a priority. Ultimately we may have to wait four years, at which time the monopolies will be so dominant that the only remedy will be to break them up. Force Google to sell DoubleClick. Force Facebook to sell WhatsApp and Instagram.
Woodrow Wilson was right when he said in 1913, “If monopoly persists, monopoly will always sit at the helm of the government.” We ignore his words at our peril.
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Three Iraqi policemen killed in suicide attack south of Mosul

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FBI Delayed Russian Probe to Focus on Hillary's Emails

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The FBI last summer was more concerned with its investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server than with Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee's accounts during the election, and as a result, it took several months before the FBI discussed the breach with the DNC, a new report states.
The DNC's computer system was hacked while agents were investigating Clinton's email server, which was one of the largest news stories as she began her presidential campaign in late 2015, The New York Times reported in an extensive article on Saturday.
Even though the DNC breach appeared to have been conducted by Russian hackers, several other entities, including think tanks, universities and political organizations on both sides of the aisle also had been hacked. So the DNC hack did not raise alarms that there was meddling occurring in the election.
But months later, the DNC and the FBI met to discuss the hacks, and more than a year later, the government concluded that Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, had a plan to meddle in the election.
The FBI, along with two congressional committees, are investigating Russia's role in the election, but Clinton and other Democrats claim FBI Director James Comey and his agency brought about their election loss by waiting too long to focus on Russia over the email server scandal.
In addition, only a week before the November election, Comey announced he was restarting the FBI's investigation into Clinton, as more new emails had been discovered.
Further, just before the November election, still more emails guaranteed to embarrass the Democratic candidate were about to be released.
The night of Oct. 7, after then-Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. accused Russia of waging a cyber operation to disrupt the election, WikiLeaks posted thousands of emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta's private account.
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Messi, Ronaldo kissing graffiti causes stir pre-Clasico - YouTube

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Published on Apr 22, 2017
Graffiti portraying Lionel Messi on tiptoes kissing arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo is causing a stir in Barcelona, just two days before the seaside city's team faces Real Madrid in a crux game. IMAGES

Karim Cheurfi - Google Search

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Paris gunman named as small-time criminal apparently inspired by Islamic State

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PARIS — French authorities on Friday identified a small-time criminal, apparently inspired by the Islamic State, as the perpetrator of a deadly attack on police officers in a shooting that set France on edge and darkened the final day of campaigning in the country’s pivotal presidential election.
Despite a promise not to campaign following the attack Thursday night on Paris’s renowned Champs-Élysées boulevard, far-right candidate Marine Le Pen reinforced her anti-immigrant message in a Friday speech, calling on the French government to immediately reinstate border checks and expel foreigners being monitored by the intelligence services.
“My government of national unity will implement this policy, so that the republic will live, and that France will live,” she said at an impromptu news conference.
Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve rejected early calls to postpone Sunday’s first round of voting, telling reporters Friday morning that “nothing should hinder this fundamental democratic moment for our country.” He pledged heightened security, including deployments of heavily armed soldiers from a two-year-old counterterrorism campaign called Operation Sentinelle, as French voters go to the polls.
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The scene in Paris after a shooting on the Champs-Élysées

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Three police officers were shot, one fatally, near a metro station on the renowned boulevard. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.
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Three police officers were reportedly shot near a metro station at the center of the heavily traveled avenue. French news media, citing the Islamic State-affiliated Amaq news agency, reported that the terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack.
April 20, 2017 Police secure the Champs-Elysees, a busy avenue in Paris. Christian Hartmann/Reuters
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In Washington, President Trump waded into France’s political morass with predictions that the Champs-Élysées attack would “have a big effect” on the election and would “probably help” Le Pen, who has raised many of the same anti-immigrant and security issues that Trump promoted during his campaign.
One police officer was killed and two others were seriously injured when a gunman, formally identified Friday as Karim Cheurfi, opened fire with a Kalashnikov assault rifle on a police patrol parked on Paris’s best-known thoroughfare, sending pedestrians fleeing into side streets. The Islamic State claimed responsibility.
Cheurfi was then shot dead as he tried to escape, Paris prosecutor François Molins told reporters. Investigators subsequently found a number of knives and a pump-action shotgun in Cheurfi’s car, as well as a message apparently scribbled in support of the Islamic State.
The note praising the extremist group apparently fell out of Cheurfi’s pocket, Molins said, adding that pieces of paper with addresses of police stations were found in his car.
Cheurfi, a 39-year-old of Algerian descent who was born in the Paris suburbs, had a criminal record and was well-known to authorities, Molins said. In a profile that mirrored those of perpetrators of other recent, smaller-scale attacks, Cheurfi had been convicted at least four times since 2003 and had spent nearly 14 years in prison for crimes ranging from burglary and theft to attempted murder.
In 2001, he fired on and wounded two men, one of them a plainclothes police officer, who were chasing him as he drove a stolen car. He was released from prison in October 2015 and lived with his mother in an eastern suburb of Paris.
(The Washington Post)
After a gunman opened fire on French police April 20 along the renowned Champs-Élysées boulevard, President Trump tweeted that the attack would help shape Sunday's election. Three reported shot as French police come under fire in Paris (The Washington Post)
Earlier this year, Molins said, French authorities became aware that Cheurfi had sought to purchase weapons and had made statements about wanting to kill police officers. As recently as April 7, Molins said, authorities had interviewed Cheurfi following a trip to Algeria. However, a judge decided not to revoke his probation.
Cheurfi’s former lawyer, Jean-Laurent Panier, told BFM TV on Friday that his client was “extremely isolated” and a “psychologically fragile character” whose problems went untreated. He said Cheurfi never spoke about religion, adding that he talked mainly about “how to fill his daily life with video games.”
The slain police officer, identified as Xavier Jugelé, 37, was a member of the LGBT police association and had spent his entire career in Paris, police officials said.
In November, according to L’Express newspaper, Jugelé had attended a concert that reopened the Bataclan Theater, the main target in a series of Islamic State attacks on Paris in November 2015. “This concert is meant to celebrate life,” he told People magazine. “To say no to terrorists.”
It was not immediately clear whether the timing of Thursday’s attack was linked to the presidential election. But it appeared that way to many French voters, coming as the 11 candidates in the race were speaking in a widely watched televised debate.
The election has become a critical test of strength for Le Pen and her National Front party at a time when nationalism has overshadowed other votes in the West, including Trump’s victory and last year’s British referendum on leaving the European Union.
Le Pen’s opponents, meanwhile, have urged France to stand against the hard-line rhetoric that has dominated her campaign.
In an interview Friday with the Associated Press, Trump predicted that the attack would likely boost Le Pen, who has been sharply critical of “Islamist terrorism” for weeks. Trump said he was not explicitly endorsing her but that he believes she is the candidate who is “strongest on borders, and she’s the strongest on what’s been going on in France.”
Trump also told the news agency that he is not worried about emboldening terrorists by saying that an attack can have an impact on a democratic election.
“Another terrorist attack in Paris,” Trump wrote earlier Friday in a Twitter post. “The people of France will not take much more of this. Will have a big effect on presidential election!”
The attack was claimed with unusual speed Thursday night by the Islamic State through its affiliated Amaq News Agency, which said it was carried out by a Belgian national it identified only by the pseudonym Abu Yusuf al-Baljiki. But authorities and analysts urged caution in interpreting that claim.
“It’s never happened in the past so quickly,” said Jean-Charles Brisard, an intelligence expert and director of the Paris-based Center for the Analysis of Terrorism, referring to the Islamic State’s tendencies in claiming attacks.
“Perhaps the individuals in question had some kind of coordination and were in contact” with the Islamic State, he said, “but we should also not rule out the possibility that Amaq was too hasty in releasing its statements.”
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Molins agreed. Regardless of Le Pen’s exhortation to expel all those in what sometimes is called France’s “S File,” a list of approximately 10,000 names that authorities suspect of potential Islamist radicalism, Cheurfi was never included in that file. According to Molins, at no point in his long period of incarceration did he “show signs of radicalization or proselytism.”
“Now, it is a matter of determining the precise context of the act and possible complicities in its execution,” he said.
Branigin reported from Washington. Souad Mekhennet in Frankfurt, Germany, Michael Birnbaum in Brussels and Brian Murphy in Washington contributed to this report.
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Russia is trying to “sow chaos” in Europe by betting big on Marine Le Pen and France’s far right – VICE News

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Less than a month before the fiercely contested French presidential election, far-right candidate Marine Le Pen was campaigning not in Nantes or Lyon but in Moscow, where she had an unannounced meeting with Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin. After exchanging pleasantries with Russia’s leader, a politician for whom she is not shy in expressing her admiration, Le Pen pledged that one of her first actions as president would be to cancel sanctions against Russia.
“A new world has emerged in the last few years,” Le Pen told VICE News and other journalists after the meeting. “It’s the world of Vladimir Putin, it’s the world of Donald Trump in the United States, it’s the world of Mr. [Narendra] Modi in India, and I think I am the one who shares this vision of cooperation, and not a vision of submission or a vision of warmongering, like the one which is put forward far too often by the European Union.”
Le Pen’s surprise trip to Moscow at the height of a raucous French campaign, in which she has been jostling for the lead with more traditional candidates Emmanuel Macron and Francois Fillon, was indicative of the outsized role Russia has played in the election, endorsing France’s right-wing candidates while smearing Macron. So was the knowing grin that crept onto Putin’s face as he told Le Pen on camera that Russia didn’t “want to influence” the vote in any way.
Putin’s smile couldn’t disguise the fact that Russia has financed Le Pen’s National Front party in the past and has been accused of surreptitiously backing her this go-around. Unlike Le Pen and the center-right Fillon, who have both called for closer relations with Moscow, the pro-EU Macron has been the target of smear pieces in Russian state media and cyberattacks that his campaign says originated in Russia.
The meeting in front of TV cameras in the gilded Kremlin reception room was a win-win — a display of legitimacy for both Putin and Le Pen. For Le Pen, the rare sit-down with a world leader cast her in a presidential light before the election. It also confirmed that the Kremlin was once again in her corner after Putin praised Fillon after he took an early lead in November.
For Russia, a Le Pen win would be at once a victory lap and damning blow to the EU, further weakening already strained support for sanctions against Russia related to its role in the annexation of Crimea. After Brexit, the EU itself might not survive a Le Pen presidency. That would leave countries to individually work out relations with Moscow, as the Kremlin prefers, and create more room for Russian influence on the continent.
Having forged close ties with far-right parties in Austria, Italy, France, Germany, and elsewhere, Moscow has been accused of interfering in politics across Europe through propaganda and disinformation. The fear is that its meddling could frame campaign issues and potentially shift election outcomes, as it may have done in the United States, where intelligence agencies concluded that Russia hacked Democratic Party emails in a bid to help Donald Trump win the White House.
While the growth of the populist far right in Europe can in no way be blamed on the Kremlin, the landscape no doubt makes France and Germany — which has elections in September — “vulnerable” to Russia’s election exploits, said Tatiana Kastueva-Jean, head of the Russia/NIS Center at the French Institute of International Relations.
A Eurosceptic president like Le Pen would be a boon for Moscow, which views the current European Union leadership as too influenced by Kremlin critics in Poland and the Baltics, she said. That’s not to mention that fractures in Europe could speed the end of EU sanctions adopted against Russia over its involvement in the Ukrainian crisis.
“If Le Pen comes to power, it would correspond with the secret but obvious desires of the Kremlin, namely the weakening of the European Union, the weakening of the trans-Atlantic alliance and the NATO alliance,” Kastueva-Jean said. “These politics would weaken the Western camp and give Russia a lot of freedom for geopolitical and diplomatic maneuvering.”
Moscow has a history of trying to influence European politics going back to Soviet times, when it reportedly gave money to trade unions and political groups. A shared love of conservative social stances — exemplified by Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law — and strong-handed leadership makes Putin’s government and the far right a natural match, but the Kremlin’s motivations are more political than ideological: Far-right parties have become natural allies thanks to their growing popularity and arguments against European integration.
Alina Polyakova of the Atlantic Council, who studies both Russian disinformation and the European far right, said the Kremlin’s top goal is good relations with those in power in Europe. In the absence of this, the aim is to “manufacture some sort of political paralysis while at the same time raising the level of pro-Russian voices” to “destabilize politics and sow chaos,” she said.
Le Pen and Russian politicians have been forging their mutually beneficial friendship for years. She first came to Moscow in 2013, and the next year her foreign policy adviser Aymeric Chauprade visited then-Russia-occupied Crimea. He joined members of far-right (and a few far-left) parties from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Serbia, and Spain to observe the widely criticized referendum to join Russia.
The National Front had difficulty taking out bank loans in France, but following its friendly support of the Crimean annexation, the party found easy credit in Russia. Cotelec, a financial branch of the National Front, received a $2.5 million loan from a Cyprus-registered holding company reportedly belonging to a former KGB agent in 2014, days after Le Pen met speaker of Parliament and ruling party member Sergei Naryshkin in Moscow. The party itself later obtained an $11 million loan from First Czech-Russian Bank in Moscow, which Czech intelligence has in the past suspected of ties to Russian spy agencies and which is owned by a company belonging to sanctioned Putin ally Gennady Timchenko.
In text messages leaked by Anonymous International, Kremlin officials in March 2014 allegedly discussed asking Le Pen to support the annexation of Crimea, and once she had, spoke of the need to “thank the French in some way.” The Cotelec loan was approved the next month, leading to accusations that Le Pen had taken pro-Russian positions in exchange for funding. She has denied them.
Although its treasurer said late last year the National Front was seeking loans in Russia and other countries, Le Pen said she did not discuss financing during her April trip to Moscow. Leonid Slutsky, the nationalist member of Parliament who arranged the visit, told VICE News that he didn’t know of any current Russian government funding for the National Front.
“If she took out credit, then she took out credit,” he said. “Any of us can take out credit in any bank, including banks in Russia or France or wherever.”
French authorities have opened an investigation into the National Front treasurer over allegations of fraudulent campaign activities, and the EU is seeking to recover €339,000 in misused funds from Le Pen.
Moscow’s influence extends beyond financing and supporting France’s far right. Russian authorities have set up three influential civil society organizations in France that have worked to build support for Russian foreign policy and for the lifting of EU sanctions. One of them has been accused by French secret services of being a front for Russian spies, though nothing has materialized. Similar accusations have been leveled against the huge new Orthodox cultural center built by the Russian government next to a French presidential compound in downtown Paris, part of a pro-Kremlin influence campaign spearheaded by the Orthodox church. French counter-espionage services have reportedly sought to surround the Orthodox center with jamming devices over fears it would be used for surveillance.
The French center right, like traditional conservative parties in some other European countries, has increasingly co-opted rhetoric and policy from the far right, with former president and The Republicans leader Nicolas Sarkozy setting an anti-immigrant tone in the primaries. The party’s eventual candidate, Fillon, published a book called “Conquering Islamic Totalitarianism” and promised immigration quotas based on country of origin — nationalistic policies often bolstered by the Kremlin.  
And like Le Pen, Fillon called for closer relations with Russia, a talking point that came after Moscow made overtures to The Republicans. In 2015, the Russian Peace Foundation, which is directed by Slutsky, paid to bring 10 French parliamentarians from the party, including former transport minister Thierry Mariani, to Moscow and Crimea to meet the local leadership and buy souvenirs like an “Obama, you’re a douchebag” T-shirt. It brought another group of French parliamentarians to Crimea in 2016. Both visits were condemned by the French foreign ministry.
But deputy chairman Yelena Sutormina told VICE News that the Russian Peace Foundation doesn’t receive money from the government and the trips did not have any political purpose.
While Russian politicians have built ties with French MPs, Russia’s foreign-focused state media RT and Sputnik have been lavishing coverage on Europe’s migrant crisis, an issue on which France’s far right — led most notably by Le Pen — has made political hay after a string of gruesome ISIS-organized terror attacks, including Thursday’s shooting at Paris’s famed Champs Elysees. An analysis this year of Sputnik found that since the establishment of its French-language site in 2016, it had put out an average of three articles a day about immigrants. (RT, which the British media regulator Ofcom has found in violation of impartiality standards more often than any other broadcaster, is launching a French channel this year.)
While experts have argued the audience of these Russian outlets is limited, Polyakova said factually incorrect stories they publish can make their way into mainstream media and the public discourse. “Like an ink drop in a pool of water, at first you see the origin, but then it just dissipates and you can’t see it,” she said.
That was the case when a Sputnik interview with Nicolas Dhuicq, a member of Parliament from Fillon’s The Republicans party, blew up after the politician alleged that Macron was an “agent of the big American banking system” and backed by a “wealthy gay lobby.” That story reignited rumors Macron was secretly homosexual and forced the candidate to deny he was the gay lover of Radio France chief executive Mathieu Gallet. Macron soon suffered a slump in the polls, prompting his aide Benjamin Griveaux to accuse Russia of a “smear campaign” against him.
At the same time, the secretary-general of Macron’s En Marche! party said it was suffering several thousand cyberattacks each month “coordinated by a structured group,” which he said was based in Russia. (The Kremlin denied interfering.) The Macron campaign is not the first French organization to accuse the Kremlin of hacking: According to the head of France’s TV5, investigators found that a 2015 cyberattack that took the channel off-air for hours was linked to APT 28, the same group accused of hacking the Democratic National Committee during the U.S. election.
For now there is no publicly available evidence to back up En Marche!’s claim. But it has again raised the specter of Russia’s ability to meddle in western elections.
“It would be huge, if, say, the hackers stopped in the States and decided to refocus on Europe,” said expert Andrei Soldatov, author of books about the Russian secret services and their electronic surveillance.
One mitigating factor this time around is that the U.S. election hacking has made European leaders more vigilant against Russian interference. A November resolution by the European Parliament warned about “aggressive Russian activities in the cyber domain” and called for coordination by member states to “counter disinformation and propaganda” from Russia.
In France, outgoing president François Hollande has warned against Russia’s “ideological operations” to influence elections, and foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault called the cyberattacks against Macron an unacceptable “form of interference in French democratic life.” The foreign ministry has suspended e-ballots for voters living abroad “due to the extremely high threat of cyberattacks that could affect the conduct of electronic voting.”
“After what happened in the United States,” Ayrault said, “it is our responsibility to take all steps necessary to ensure that the integrity of our democratic process is fully respected.”
The Russian threat to Europe’s elections will not be over after the presidential vote. France will hold elections to the national legislature in June, and national elections will soon take place in Germany, which chancellor Angela Merkel warned is already “having to deal with information out of Russia or with internet attacks that are of Russian origin or with news which sows false information.”
Cover: Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Marine Le Pen.
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Russian jets spotted off Alaska coast...

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Russian jets spotted off Alaska coast 4th time in 4 days: US

Press TV - ‎9 hours ago‎
In this US Navy picture, a F-18 Hornet strike fighter intercepts a Russian Tu-95 Bear long rang bomber. (File photo by Getty Images). American Air Force officials say they have spotted Russian military aircraft flying in international airspace off the ...

What is Known So Far About Russian Strategic Bombers Flying Near Alaska

Sputnik International - ‎12 hours ago‎
Russian military aircraft were spotted flying near the Alaskan coast for the fourth time in four days, a North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) spokesperson told CNN Friday. According to experts, such flights are a routine mission, including ...

Canadian Jets Intercepted Russian Tu-95MS Bombers Near Alaska

Sputnik International - ‎15 hours ago‎
The fighter jets of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) followed US Air Force in intercepting two Russian Tu-95MS military planes that were flying in the neutral airspace around the northern coast of Canada, local media reported, citing the North ...

4 times in 4 days: Russian military aircraft fly off US coast

KBZK Bozeman News - ‎17 hours ago‎
Russian military aircraft were spotted flying off the coast of Alaska for the fourth time in as many days, a spokesperson for the North American Aerospace Defens
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Behind the James Comey NYT story

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Apparently, the software that you rely on to hail an Uber or Lyft from your phone was dreamed up in 1997. At least that's what Hailo Technologies, LLC. says after suing the two ride-sharing companies for allegedly infringing on their patent that was granted in 1999.
Sounds familiar: The patent covers an "automated vehicle dispatch and payment honoring system" that allows users to select a mode of transportation, enter in the number of passengers and your desired destination, which will then provide an estimated cost for the trip and accept your digital payment.
Programming note: Hailo Technologies, LLC. has no relation to Daimler's Hailo, the ride-sharing service that operates in Europe and North America. 
Why it matters: While it's unclear how much this could actually hurt their brand from a consumer's perspective, this is just another legal battle Uber is facing in a growing list of controversies from the past few months alone.
Get up to speed: We've written about their lawsuit from Waymo, including the full history of their legal fight, their PR and self-driving car execs leaving the company, and the allegations that they used secret software to track Lyft, among others.

Comey Tried to Shield the FBI From...

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Comey Tried to Shield the FBI From Politics. Then He Shaped an Election.

New York Times - ‎8 hours ago‎
As the F.B.I. investigated Hillary Clinton and the Trump campaign, James B. Comey tried to keep the bureau out of politics but plunged it into the center of a bitter election. By MATT APUZZO, MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT, ADAM GOLDMAN and ERIC LICHTBLAU ...

NY Times Concludes James Comey Gave Election to Trump, But What About The Times Itself?

Mediaite - ‎3 hours ago‎
James-Comey-via-C-SPAN Today, the New York Times is out with a comprehensive report into how FBI Director James Comey handled investigations into both presidential candidates during the 2016 election. Their conclusion seems to be that Comey, ...

Let's Talk About Bubbles and James Comey

Mother Jones - ‎2 hours ago‎
I have frequently made the case that Donald Trump is president because of FBI director James Comey. On October 28, Comey wrote a letter to Congress telling them that the FBI was investigating a new cache of Clinton emails that it found on the laptop of ...

NYT: Lynch didn't want Comey to notify Congress on Clinton emails

The Hill - ‎5 hours ago‎
Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch did not want FBI Director James Comey to send a letter to Congress about the discovery of new emails pertinent to the investigation into Hillary Clinton · Hillary Rodham ClintonNYT: Lynch didn't want Comey to ...

NYT: Comey went public about Emailgate partly because he didn't trust Loretta Lynch to be impartial

Hot Air - ‎1 hour ago‎
Lynch's untrustworthiness has always been a key ingredient to the Comey/Emailgate saga. If not for the tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton last spring, it would have fallen to her as AG to make the final decision on whether to charge Hillary. Instead ...
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German Intelligence Spying on Interpol Since 2000 - Sputnik International

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Sputnik International



German Intelligence Spying on Interpol Since 2000
Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the information obtained by the German magazine Spiegel the intelligence has been spying on Interpol's headquarters in the French city of Lyon as well as Interpol's liaison offices in Austria, Denmark, Belgium, Greece, ...

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Carl Bernstein: FBI Has 'Serious Belief' of 'Active Coverup' to Hide Trump Campaign-Russia Connection - Mediaite

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Mediaite



Carl Bernstein: FBI Has 'Serious Belief' of 'Active Coverup' to Hide Trump Campaign-Russia Connection
Mediaite
According the the Watergate legend, intelligence suggests that Russia tried to use advisers ofDonald Trump to penetrate the presidential campaign. Carter Page was named as one of these advisers, and the way he was referred to in the segment above, we ...

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Comey Tried to Shield the FBI From Politics. Then He Shaped an Election. - New York Times

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New York Times



Comey Tried to Shield the FBI From Politics. Then He Shaped an Election.
New York Times
WASHINGTON — The day before he upended the 2016 election, James B. Comey, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, summoned agents and lawyers to his conference room. They had been debating all day, and it was time for a decision.

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