Democrats on Thursday sharpened their case for removing President Trump from office, kicking off the second day of opening arguments in the Senate impeachment trial by zeroing in on the first of the House’s two charges: abuse of power.
The proceedings come on the heels of Wednesday’s arguments, in which Democrats laid out a broad, if detailed, chronology of Trump’s pressure campaign on Ukrainian leaders last year.
Source: Democrats sharpen case on second day of arguments | TheHill
An analysis from U.S. News & World Report, based on recently released U.S. Census data, shows Motown is the second-least racially diverse city of 300,000 or more. African Americans make up 80% of its 670,000 residents, one of the highest percentages of any city in the nation.
Yet as Detroit’s fortunes are changing, so, too, is its racial composition. From 2010 to 2018, Detroit saw the biggest growth in racial diversity of any city analyzed by U.S. News, a trend fueled largely by an influx of white residents. Drawn to the Motor City by its anything-is-possible buzz, experts say, the newcomers stay because of below-average costs of living – particularly cheap housing – along with low business start-up costs and gritty Midwestern street cred.
But the gentrification that’s driving Motown’s urban-renaissance narrative, analysts say, is actually creating a tale of two Detroits.
Source: Amid Detroit’s Rebirth, Many African Americans Feel Left Behind | Cities | US News
.. while it is not the sort of job the mild-toned Schiff seemed to want when he came to Congress, he has embraced it with an understated ferocity, standing for hours on end as he has invoked history, facts and evidence, constitutional law and the stakes for American democracy to make his case against President Donald Trump.
On Tuesday, he delivered his opening statement, starting with Alexander Hamilton’s warnings of a despotic government and then laying out the evidence Schiff said proves Trump abused his power and obstructed Congress. As the House case – mounted entirely by Democrats – proceeded, Schiff would pass the prosecutorial baton to other members of the team but often came back to argue the case himself, at length.
Source: Adam Schiff’s Show: Impeachment Performance Draws Praise | The Report | US News
An international conference hosted by Germany on Sunday secured a promise from several outside powers to stop interfering in the armed conflict in Libya. It also provided a sobering glimpse of the future of conflict diplomacy in the 21st century.
The two main actors vying for control of the country — the head of the U.N.-backed government, Fayez al-Sarraj, and the rebel general Khalifa Haftar — were present but not at the table. (Still, they agreed to staff ceasefire talks.) The key signatories were Algeria, Egypt, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Russia, whose supplies of arms and mercenaries have fanned the conflict into a conflagration. China, another co-signer, has long-term oil industry and infrastructure investments to protect.
Source: The West must reassess its record on foreign intervention
Everyone will welcome better automated customer service, where you can get accurate and thorough answers to questions about complex topics. For example, soon, it might be easy for AI to convey what your health insurance actually covers, based on a database of similar prior claims.
For most of these interactions, it will be obviously and intentionally clear that the text you read, voice you hear, or face you see is not a real person. However, other times it will not be so obvious. As AI technologies quickly and methodically climb out of the uncanny valley, customer service calls, website chatbots, and interactions on social media and in virtual reality may become progressively less evidently artificial.
Source: The case for AI transparency requirements
Over the first three days of Trump’s impeachment trial, the head of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, has led a team of Democratic lawmakers serving as prosecutors as they lay out their evidence that Trump abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading 2020 Democratic presidential contender.
Even a few of Trump’s fellow Republicans have said Schiff has made an effective case.
Source: Trump impeachment prosecutor, Adam Schiff, is becoming Exhibit A in president’s defense – Reuters
Women politicians in India face a shocking scale of abuse on Twitter, reveals data from a new study titled “Troll Patrol India: Exposing Online Abuse Faced by Women Politicians in India”. The study was conducted using crowdsourcing, machine learning and data science. It reviewed hundreds of thousands of tweets sent to 95 women politicians — an analysis on an unprecedented scale in India, said Amnesty International India today.
Amnesty International India, in collaboration with Amnesty International – International Secretariat (AI-IS) conducted the study to measure the nature and scale of online abuse faced by women politicians in India. It found that women who express their opinions online are targeted with abuse not just for their opinion, but also for the various immutable identities – such as gender, religion, caste, marital status and many more.
Source: Shocking Scale Of Abuse On Twitter Against Women Politicians In India – Amnesty International India
What is more shocking is that anyone truly believes that another investigation into Saudi malfeasance will curb the use of spyware by autocratic governments against their perceived critics at home and abroad. To be sure, for the sake of accountability, the FBI should heed the call by U.N. experts Agnes Callamard and David Kaye to open an investigation into how the heir to the Saudi kingdom apparently used Israeli-made spyware to breach the personal phone of the world’s richest man, who owns a leading American newspaper and runs one of the world’s most valuable publicly traded companies.
But in the grand scheme of things, investigating the hack of Bezos’ phone might not make all that much difference in preventing these kinds of abuses.
Instead, the best defense against dangerous surveillance technology is to treat the spyware that MBS deployed against Bezos the same way that the U.N., the United States and others deal with weapons of mass destruction: regulate it as much as possible and insist on more global oversight.
Source: The Bezos Hack and the Dangers of Spyware in the Hands of Autocrats
What did Facebook expect?
The company has doubled down on its policy of allowing political ads that contain lies, explaining that it shouldn’t be in the business of evaluating ads.
One unfortunate (and predictable) consequence of that is that the Trump campaign, the biggest overall buyer of Facebook ads, would take advantage. In fact Facebook’s policy looks almost tailor-fit to Trump’s Facebook ad game.
Source: Facebook’s lie-friendly ads policy is showing in Trump’s ads
It’s fun to talk about Space Force uniforms and blasting troops into orbit, but the first priority for the new service branch is getting capabilities to warfighters, a top Space Force enlisted leader said.
Service members working for the Space Force, which was created in December by designating the Air Force Space Command as its own service branch, are airmen who will eventually become something else, said Chief Master Sgt. John Bentivegna, senior noncommissioned officer for Combined Force Space Component Command and Space Operations Command at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., who wore a shiny space operations occupational badge.
Source: While social media jokes about uniforms and logos, Space Force is getting ready to fight wars, senior NCO says – Stripes