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Google assisting oppressive Chinese government with censored search engine

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Google assisting oppressive Chinese government with censored search engine

Google is notorious for their employee wellness programs as well as social activism. But can one truly be surprised that they would assist semi-communist government in oppressing their own people? In the last couple of years, Google has accumulated a reputation for censoring ideas, websites, and bloggers they don’t seem to agree with. James Damore was fired for being a dissenting voice in an internal chatroom. But this is a mere drop in the bucket, Damore explains in his PragerU video. The Intercept reports how Google has been developing a search engine that enables government regimes to oppress their citizens.

Original Story

The Intercept: GOOGLE CHINA PROTOTYPE LINKS SEARCHES TO PHONE NUMBERS

GOOGLE BUILT A prototype of a censored search engine for China that links users’ searches to their personal phone numbers, thus making it easier for the Chinese government to monitor people’s queries, The Intercept can reveal.

The search engine, codenamed Dragonfly, was designed for Android devices, and would remove content deemed sensitive by China’s ruling Communist Party regime, such as information about political dissidents, free speech, democracy, human rights, and peaceful protest.

Previously undisclosed details about the plan, obtained by The Intercept on Friday, show that Google compiled a censorship blacklist that included terms such as “human rights,” “student protest,” and “Nobel Prize” in Mandarin.

Other Implications

Gallagher’s report details the implications in regards to the toxicity in China’s air. The amount of pollution could very well be under-reported and thus the truth hidden from the people. However their is a greater Truth that may purposely hidden on this nefarious search engine.

By most accounts the underground Church in China is booming. This is despite efforts by the Communist Party officials to extinguish Christianity. The Chinese government even created apostate churches to limit the threat Christianity and free thinking pose. Earlier this year these Churches gained a sense of legitimacy courtesy of Pope Francis.  Now they have a search engine which will undoubtedly label Christianity as politically incorrect and therefore censor it.

Final Thoughts

Google has yet to be so bold as to completely censor Christianity from the internet. But in China they can overtly practice that which they covertly perform in the United States and elsewhere. The major difference is that they are actively assisting an oppressive government. For a company with the motto “Don’t Be Evil” for its own corporate conduct, Google, or Alphabet, is miserably failing to live up to its word.


This article was originally published on Startup Christ.

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Guns and Crime

Gunman in California mass shooting showed warning signs

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Gunman in California mass shooting showed warning signs

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — At first, the outlines of the mass shooter’s 28 years appeared unremarkable.

Ian David Long enlisted in the Marines out of high school and married at 19. Within five years, he was honorably discharged, divorced and in college.

As the picture sharpened, troubling details emerged — the kinds of clues that, in hindsight, make people wonder out loud whether the impulse that led Long to kill 12 people at a country music bar had been forming in plain sight.

Neighbors avoided him. He made them uncomfortable, and then there were the fits of aggressive yelling and property destruction at the home Long shared with his mom. One of his high school coaches says he scared her.

Others who interacted with Long at different stops — high school classmates, Marines in his regiment, professors — struggled to recall much about him. Meanwhile, family who did know him and investigators who are learning his story aren’t talking publicly.

One thing that has leaked out: During the Nov. 7 massacre at the Borderline Bar & Grill, Long posted on social media about whether people would think he was insane.

Authorities haven’t settled on a theory of why Long opened fire, then killed himself. Reconstructing a motive may take weeks, or much longer.

“We may never know what was in his head,” said Tricia Benson, who grew up and still lives in the Los Angeles suburb of Thousand Oaks. “We may never know what that darkness was.”

___

Long’s desire to join the Marines dated at least to high school.

It was a life goal that helped rescue him from consequences when, a decade ago, Long allegedly assaulted a track coach.

One day at practice, Dominique Colell was asking who owned a lost a cellphone. Long said it was his. When she didn’t immediately hand it over, she said, he grabbed her rear and midsection.

Another time, Long mimicked shooting her in the head.

“I literally feared for myself around him,” said Colell, who no longer coaches at Newbury Park High School.

She wanted to kick Long off the team. Another coach argued the black mark could jeopardize his goal of joining the military. Long, a sprinter, was allowed to stay.

Neither the school nor its district has responded to requests for comment.

A third coach, Evie Cluke, recalled profanity-laced tirades that forced people to back away.

“The warning signs were there,” Cluke said.

In a calm moment, she asked Long why he wanted to enlist.

“When you hear somebody say they want to be in the military because they want to kill people in the name of our country, that’s chilling,” Cluke said.

Long’s family had a military pedigree. His grandfather was a Naval Academy graduate who served 30 years and retired with the rank of commander.

Long enlisted a few months after high school graduation. It was 2008.

Stationed in Hawaii, Long became a machine gunner. Two weeks before he returned from a seven-month deployment in Afghanistan in 2011, he legally separated from his wife of two years.

Authorities with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department have publicly speculated that, like many veterans, Long suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

No such diagnosis has been confirmed. A spokeswoman for the Department of Veterans Affairs said Long wasn’t enrolled in health care there.

The theory that something fundamental about Long changed in the Marines does not persuade Thomas Burke, who served in Long’s regiment and is now a pastor. Though the two did not know each other, Burke said he has spoken recently with their mutual friends.

“Really what this was more about was his own loneliness and isolation,” Burke said.

Long left the service in 2013 and enrolled at California State University, Northridge. During three years at the school about a half-hour drive from Thousand Oaks, he took classes that lead to becoming a physical trainer or rehab specialist.

Students in the school’s physical therapy club did not recall Long. Campus police have no record of him. Professors said they have no helpful insights.

“An unremarkable student in good standing,” Konstantinos Vrongistinos, a professor in the Department of Kinesiology, wrote in email.

For reasons that remain unclear, Long dropped out after three years.

Around that time, his Facebook posts alienated at least one high school acquaintance.

Raven Chavanne ran track with Long. She was turned off by his personality, but like many high school classmates, they were connected online.

Chavanne said she unfriended Long around 2016 because she didn’t like what he was writing — though she couldn’t remember the details.

“I was like, ‘Who is this guy posting this? Oh, it’s Ian,’” said Chavanne.

What Long did over the past two years is largely a public mystery.

In April, one particularly alarming uproar on the Longs’ property prompted an intervention.

“It sounded to me like the man was out of his head,” said Tom Hanson, a next-door neighbor who called 911.

Deputies summoned a mental health specialist, who interviewed Long. A 72-hour involuntary psychiatric commitment requires an “imminent” threat of harm, and the specialist concluded his behavior wasn’t extreme enough.

The standard can be tough to meet, said Marisa Randazzo, who has interviewed five mass shooters as the former chief research psychologist for the U.S. Secret Service. “We don’t want laws that somebody can be taken in because of something they said over Thanksgiving dinner,” she said.

Hanson, the neighbor on a quiet block in a city often ranked as one of California’s safest, said he sympathized with Long’s mother.

“I think she was all the time overwhelmed by this guy,” Hanson said. “You never knew when he was going to go off.”

___

Pritchard reported from Los Angeles; contact him on Twitter. Also contributing were Julie Watson in San Diego; Tami Abdollah in Washington; Audrey McAvoy, Jennifer Sinco Kelleher and Caleb Jones in Honolulu; Jennifer Farrar in New York; and Allen G. Breed in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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Immigration

Judge bars US from enforcing Trump asylum ban

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Judge bars US from enforcing Trump asylum ban

HOUSTON (AP) — A federal judge barred the Trump administration on Monday from refusing asylum to immigrants who cross the southern border illegally.

U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar issued a temporary restraining order after hearing arguments in San Francisco. The request was made by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights, which quickly sued after President Donald Trump issued the ban this month in response to the caravans of migrants that have started to arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump issued a proclamation on Nov. 9 that said anyone who crossed the southern border would be ineligible for asylum. The regulations, which will remain in place for three months absent a court order, could potentially make it harder for thousands of people who enter the U.S. to avoid deportation.

“Individuals are entitled to asylum if they cross between ports of entry,” said Baher Azmy, a lawyer for the Center for Constitutional Rights. “It couldn’t be clearer.”

In recent years, tens of thousands of immigrants each year have shown up in the Arizona desert or on the north bank of the Rio Grande in Texas, surrendered to immigration agents and requested asylum. The Department of Homeland Security estimates around 70,000 people a year claim asylum between official ports of entry.

Trump has argued that the recent caravans are a threat to national security.

Around 3,000 people from the first of the caravans have arrived in Tijuana, Mexico, across the border from San Diego, California. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Monday that it closed off northbound traffic for several hours at the San Ysidro crossing. It has also installed movable, wire-topped barriers, apparently to stop a potential mass rush of people.

As of Monday, 107 people detained between official crossings have sought asylum since Trump’s order went into effect, according to DHS, which oversees Customs and Border Protection. Officials didn’t say whether those people’s cases were still progressing through other avenues left to them after the proclamation.

DHS has said it wants asylum seekers at the southern border to appear at an official border crossing. But many border crossings such as San Ysidro already have long wait times. People are often forced to wait in shelters or outdoor camps on the Mexican side, sometimes for weeks.

ACLU lawyer Lee Gelernt said that some people seeking asylum cross between official ports because “they’re in real danger,” either in their countries of origin or in Mexico.

“We don’t condone people entering between ports of entry, but Congress has made the decision that if they do, they still need to be allowed to apply for asylum,” he said.

___

Associated Press journalists Jill Colvin and Colleen Long in Washington contributed to this report.

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Democrats

In threat to Pelosi, 16 Dems say they’ll back new leadership

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In threat to Pelosi 16 Dems say theyll back new leadership

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sixteen Democrats who’ve opposed Nancy Pelosi’s quest to become speaker released a letter Monday saying they will vote for “new leadership” when the House picks its leaders in January, underscoring a significant threat to her effort to lead her party’s House majority in the next Congress.

The letter’s release suggests that rather than spending the next six weeks focusing on a fresh agenda to present to Americans, House Democrats could be consumed with a bitter and attention-grabbing internal leadership fight.

The battle pits the party’s largely liberal and diverse membership backing Pelosi, D-Calif., against a small group of mostly moderate male lawmakers. Of the 16 Democrats who signed the letter — which stops short of explicitly saying they will vote for an opposing candidate for speaker — all but two are men: Reps. Kathleen Rice of New York and California’s Linda Sanchez.

“We promised to change the status quo, and we intend to deliver on that promise,” the authors wrote, referring to campaign pledges by a number of Democratic candidates. “Therefore, we are committed to voting for new leadership in both our Caucus meeting and on the House Floor.”

Pelosi has activated an aggressive campaign for the job involving House colleagues, prominent outside Democrats and party-aligned interest groups. Her office distributed endorsements Monday from nine House Democrats who are military veterans and UnidosUS, a Hispanic civil rights organization.

Known as a precise vote counter with a keen sense of her caucus’ leanings, Pelosi is aided by the lack of a declared opponent and many weeks during which she can dangle choice committee assignments, rules changes and other goodies to help attract support.

“Leader Pelosi remains confident in her support among Members and Members-elect,” spokesman Drew Hammill said in a written statement. He said 94 percent of House Democrats declined to sign the letter, though Pelosi opponents said they expect others who didn’t sign to vote against her.

Though the mavericks’ numbers represent a handful of the 232 House Democrats elected, plus five races still undecided, they could still garner enough opposition to thwart her.

Pelosi seems certain to have enough support to become her party’s nominee for speaker when House Democrats vote by secret ballot on Nov. 28. She will need only a majority of Democrats in that contest.

But when the full House elects its new leaders Jan. 3, the speaker will need a majority 218 votes, assuming that no one votes “present” or misses the vote and Republicans oppose her en masse, as seems likely. At 232 seats, Pelosi could afford to lose just 14 Democrats and still become speaker.

The rebels’ letter to their Democratic colleagues praises Pelosi, 78, as “a historic figure” who helped win major victories. Pelosi was speaker from 2007 through 2010 when Democrats held the majority and has been the party’s leader since 2003.

“We also recognize that in this recent election, Democrats ran and won on a message of change,” they wrote. “Our majority came on the backs of candidates who said that they would support new leadership because voters in hard-won districts, and across the country, want to see real change in Washington.”

Pelosi’s critics say the party’s long-serving top leaders must make room for younger members. They say years of Republican ads portraying her as an out-of-touch liberal have made it hard for moderate Democrats to win in swing districts.

Pelosi allies counter that the party just won House control with their biggest gain of seats since the 1974 post-Watergate election. Many bristle at dumping her at a time when President Donald Trump and the #MeToo movement have helped attract female candidates and voters to the party.

Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland has been No. 2 House Democrat since 2003 and South Carolina’s Jim Clyburn has been No. 3 since 2007. Both are in their late 70s and are running, unopposed so far, for those posts again.

Of the letter’s signees, five are incoming House freshmen or hope to be. Two of them — Anthony Brindisi of New York and Ben McAdams of Utah — are in races in which The Associated Press has yet to call a winner.

Pelosi critics assert there are more Democrats who’ve not signed the letter who are prepared to vote against Pelosi. That includes Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio, who’s said she’s considering running for speaker.

Trump has tweeted his respect for Pelosi and offered to round up GOP votes to help elect her speaker. Pelosi’s office has said she will win with Democratic votes, and it seems a stretch to expect Republicans to help elect her speaker — a vote that could open them up to primary challenges in 2020.

Others signing were incumbents Jim Cooper of Tennessee; Bill Foster of Illinois; Brian Higgins of New York; Stephen Lynch and Seth Moulton of Massachusetts; Ed Perlmutter of Colorado; Tim Ryan of Ohio; Kurt Schrader of Oregon and Filemon Vela of Texas. Incoming freshmen were Joe Cunningham of South Carolina, Max Rose from New York and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey.

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