In announcing yesterday that Saudi shooter Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani – an aviation trainee who killed three U.S. service members and wounded eight at the Pensacola (Fla.) Naval Air Station in a mass shooting last month characterized as “jihad” – Attorney General William Barr said Apple Inc. has provided no “substantive” help in unlocking the late assailant’s two iPhones.
Apple disputes that claim.
The disagreement boils down to whether Apple is providing any useful information from Alshamrani’s data for the Justice Department investigation, or not.
“Within one day of the shooting, the FBI sought and received court authorization based on probable cause to search both phones in an effort to run down all leads and figure out with whom the shooter was communicating,” Barr explained, adding that the shooter damage both phones, one of them by shooting a round into it.
This article by Steve Thompson today appeared in the Washington Post:
For years, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings ran a charity so closely intertwined with her for-profit consulting firm that they shared the same employees, the same office space and the same director — her.
The private firm carried out the charity’s mission of promoting public health and addressing racial and economic inequity under a cost-sharing agreement that gave the firm a 5 percent management fee. Rockeymoore Cummings signed a contract on behalf of both parties to set up the unusual relationship.
She disclosed the arrangement to the Internal Revenue Service initially, but in subsequent years she checked “no” on 990 tax forms asking whether the charity did business with any entities owned by its director. A “yes” answer would have required her to provide more financial details. Lawyers who specialize in nonprofits say that’s to allow scrutiny by both the … Read More ➡
So has Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg suddenly become a free speech devotee?
If you observe how the political Left is reacting and obsessing over his decision last month to not police political advertisements, you’d think he might have.
His announcement was juxtaposed against the polar opposite move of social media rival Twitter, and its CEO Jack Dorsey, who in early November said his platform would completely ban political ads. The contrast between the two near-simultaneous declarations likely heightened the blowback against Facebook.
The policy means that Facebook won’t subject political ads placed by candidates or advocacy groups to the site’s fact-checking review, as it does with news articles. Nor will ads accused of being false be removed.
Specifically, Zuckerberg said, “In a democracy, I don’t think it’s right for public companies to censor policies or the news.” He downplayed the speculation that he was allowing the ads … Read More ➡
As member nations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change take their 25thstab at an international agreement to limit so-called greenhouse gas emissions, some American corporations are trying to make up for the absence of the United States as part of the deal.
President Donald Trump famously announced in June 2017 the U.S. withdrawal from the nonbinding Paris Climate Agreement, which was previously negotiated in 2015 with the willful participation of then-President Barack Obama. Even though the U.S. Senate never ratified the treaty, as is required, the U.S. acted as though it was legal and pretended to adhere to the accord. But then last month Trump gave formal notification to the U.N. of America’s departure from the pact, effective the day after Election Day, in 2020.
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., faces ethics and legal hurdles for obtaining and exposing phone records of political enemies, knowledgeable observers say.
Schiff may have violated the same rule he used to threaten House Republicans, said Tom Anderson, director of the Government Integrity Project at the National Legal and Policy Center, a watchdog group.
Schiff warned Republicans on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence not to reveal the name of the whistleblower who first filed a complaint about President Donald Trump’s now-famous July 25 phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“Schiff warned Republicans members if they did anything to publicize the whistleblower, it would be a violation of House ethics rules,” Anderson told The Daily Signal.
“He didn’t want other members to expose private information of the whistleblower,” Anderson said of Schiff, “but he is doing the same thing to … Read More ➡
Expect nothing substantive to change at Google and parent company Alphabet, following Tuesday’s announced departures of co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin from their roles as CEO and president, respectively, of Alphabet.
The moves made big headlines, but the pair is mostly invisible anyway, leaving Google CEO Sundar Pichai – who will now hold that title for Alphabet also – to take the frequent slings and arrows that are now regularly thrown at the companies, as he mostly already has in recent years. But in reality Page and Brin will still call the shots, thanks to their ownership of special classes of “super-voting” stock that gives them majority control.
The announcement of their moves admitted as much.
“We are deeply committed to Google and Alphabet for the long term, and will remain actively involved as Board members, shareholders and co-founders,” Page and Brin wrote. … Read More ➡
Gary Jones’ tenure as head of the United Auto Workers was brief. But he and the union are preparing for what may be a long ordeal. On November 20, Jones, beset by a slew of federal corruption charges involving extensive illegal payoffs exacted from vendors by ex-officials of the UAW’s General Motors Department, abruptly resigned as president. Nine days later, he ended his union membership. The actions occurred shortly after the UAW executive board filed paperwork to expel him and a regional director, Vance Pearson. While Jones has not been accused of anything (yet), his home was one of several sites raided in August by federal agents. In a related event, GM last month filed a racketeering suit against Fiat Chrysler on grounds that the latter misused the collective bargaining process to facilitate a merger.
If these were normal times, the 400,000-member, Detroit-based United Auto Workers might be … Read More ➡
The resolution, announced a year ago by NLPC president Peter Flaherty, followed the height of the #MeToo movement in which women who had been sexually harassed – or even assaulted – came forward to expose what happened to them in the workplace. The proposal sought accountability and transparency in how Alphabet/Google has handled various claims of such misconduct, and also called for more ideological balance on the heavily left-leaning board of directors. The annual meeting was held in June.
The current investigation by a select committee of Alphabet’s board, along with the hiring of a law firm to aid the probe, was revealed this month in a report… Read More ➡
Alana Goodman in today’s Washington Examinerreports that Joe Biden’s son Hunter was associated with a firm that received more than $130 million in financial bailout funds. The firm called Rosemont Capital then set up a fund that was incorporated in the Cayman Islands, presumably for the purpose of avoiding U.S. taxes. From the article:
“This is a great example of the suspicion of many Americans that these bailouts were used to benefit connected insiders while ordinary Americans went broke,” said Tom Anderson, director of the Government Integrity Project at the National Legal and Policy Center, an organization that was critical of TALF at the time.
The bailout program was known as the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, or TALF. It was separate from the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) but was part of the same package of actions initiated in 2008 in response to the financial meltdown. TALF was … Read More ➡
If there is a worse piece of legislation in the history of American labor relations than the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, one would be hard-pressed to find it. This gift to organized labor, introduced in May by Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., would dismantle virtually every existing safeguard against union monopoly in the private-sector workplace. Among its features, the measure would override state Right to Work laws protecting employees from being fired for withholding union dues; create an expansive “joint employer” standard to force employers to bargain alongside their contractors; and ban employment arbitration agreements. The House Education and Labor Committee approved the measure on September 25 in a party-line 26-21 vote, setting up a brutal battle in 2020 in the full House and likely the Senate.
Labor unions in this country regularly proclaim their solidarity with “working families,” also known as “working … Read More ➡