Tag: justice

Google’s merger with ITA helped it grow into the giant that the Justice Department is scrutinizing

Google critics and rivals have long warned the search engine is threatening countless industries from shopping to travel by consistently pointing people to its own products and services on the biggest search platform on the Web. And those competing against Google to win over consumers say that the search engine forces them to pay their biggest rival in advertising dollars just to show up.

Google’s dominance in search has drawn more regulatory scrutiny and criticism from rivals and lawmakers in recent months, something that is expected to culminate in the Department of Justice filing an antitrust suit against the company in the coming weeks. Lawmakers are also preparing new legislation to rein in tech’s power, following the publication last week of a congressional investigation that found Google engaged in anticompetitive tactics.

The case by the Justice Department would be its biggest swing yet to rein in the power of tech giants in decades, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. But some who warned the government a decade ago say it may be too late.

Google “is a monopoly, without question,” Barry Diller, chairman of Expedia and IAC, said in an interview. Google has been great for consumers, Diller said, but it increasingly restricts competitors by making it more expensive to compete in online advertising. Expedia and IAC sites are pushed down the page in favor of Google’s own services, he said.

“Google is essentially competing with our services while taking our money,” he said. “I don’t want the person I’m spending billions of dollars with to compete directly against me.”

Ten years ago, the government had a chance to block the purchase of a travel software company that now powers Google’s flight searches. Even though the government found it might cut into consumer choice, regulators approved it with just a few conditions.

The travel company, ITA Software, made a powerful engine used by Hotwire, Orbitz and other online companies to search flight options and quickly show fares and schedules. Google, which had a sparse travel presence at the time, scooped it up for $700 million.

Some of Google’s acquisitions over the past decade-and-a-half have triggered federal government reviews, but the company has emerged largely unscathed. Its $2.1 billion purchase of Fitbit, which would give it valuable health data, is under review now.

And over time, its search results page has evolved to include more readily accessible answers — and more of Google’s own products.

“It’s such a gradual process,” said Pete Meyers, an expert on Google Search algorithms who works as a marketing scientist at search engine optimization company Moz. “It’s often subtle in the moment. Six months later, when all of these small changes accumulate, Search can look very different.”

The congressional report specifically called out Google’s tendency to fill out search results with its own content or ads, effectively limiting traffic to the outside while simultaneously allowing it to charge more. The report also said Google gives its own products a boost even when inferior to competitors. Google

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‘DC’s Stargirl’ Creator Geoff Johns Teases Justice Society Of America’s Clash With Eclipso & The Shade

Today at New York Comic Con, the stars of DC’s Stargirl joined creator/executive producer Geoff Johns to recap Season 1 and tease what’s to come in Season 2.

During the virtual panel with actors Brec Bassinger, Yvette Monreal, Anjelika Washington, Cameron Gellman and Meg DeLacy, Johns said that we can expect “a lot of bad guys, and a lot of bad things happening” in the series’ second run. “Everyone’s got a great journey ahead in Stargirl Season 2,” he added. “We broke the season a long time ago, but [we’ve now] broken the season even deeper.”

One of the main antagonists set to clash with Stargirl’s Justice Society of America in Season 2 is Eclipso, a life essence trapped inside a blue diamond. Once owned by the Injustice Society of America, that diamond was stolen in Season 1 by DeLacy’s Cindy, which will result in problems for the JSA going forward.

“I’m so excited for Eclipso. Eclipso is so terrifying. I’ve always loved the character, and he’s a very different antagonist or villain than the [Injustice Society of America],” Johns said. “We’re just starting to cast him, and it’s such a different, darker, scarier threat.

“Cindy’s one thing. She’s got the black diamond, and were going to explore that. But this ancient being trapped inside the diamond is aching to do what he does and feed off the darkness within humanity,” the Stargirl creator added. “Its going to take a lot to confront it, and it’s going to take the JSA and all our wonderful characters to a place that’s tough to explore.”

A second primary villain of Season 2 will be The Shade, a former member of the ISA who Johns said is “the most powerful of them all, and very threatening because no one knows exactly what he wants.” And then, there’s supervillain Solomon Grundy. “One of the things I’m really excited about for Season 2 [is], we have a lot more story with Solomon Grundy coming up,” Johns revealed. “Like, you might have told him to leave, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to.”

In conversation with his cast, Johns went on to tease storylines involving other supporting characters, including medical pioneer Dr. Mid-Nite (Henry Thomas) and Sylvester Pemberton (Joel McHale). “[In Season 2, Pemberton] is back,” Johns said. “What that means, and how and why, you’ll start to get an inkling of that in the first episode of Season 2.”

Also teased during the panel was a storyline involving Monreal’s Yolanda, who finds herself haunted by some of the major events of Season 1. “That’s a big story, her dealing with what she did, what happened with Henry and what she did with Brainwave,” the creator said. “It’s actually her entire story [throughout] Season 2.”

Based on Johns and Lee Moder’s DC Comics character, Stargirl centers on teenager Courtney Whitmore (Bassinger), who discovers the cosmic staff and assumes the identity of Stargirl. After joining the Justice Society of America, Stargirl becoming an inspiration to a new

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The Latest: Harris says Breonna Taylor didn’t get justice

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on the 2020 presidential election (all times local):

10:40 p.m.

Democrat Kamala Harris says she doesn’t believe justice has been done in the case of Breonna Taylor, who was killed in a police drug raid that went bad.

Taylor was shot multiple times in March after being roused from sleep by police at her door. A grand jury did not charge any officers for their role in Taylor’s death.

Addressing criminal justice reform at Wednesday’s vice presidential debate, Harris says a Joe Biden administration would ban chokeholds and require a national registry for police officers who break the law. She says George Floyd would be alive if such a ban existed.

Vice President Mike Pence was also asked if justice was done in the Taylor case. He says Taylor’s family “has our sympathies, but I trust our justice system, a grand jury that reviews the evidence.”

Pence also says there is no excuse for what happened to Floyd, who was killed after police pressed on his neck with a knee for several minutes. He says, “Justice will be served.”

But he says there is no excuse for the rioting and looting that followed Floyd’s death.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:

President Donald Trump is recovering from the coronavirus at the White House. Democrat Joe Biden is holding two virtual fundraisers. The candidates’ running mates, meanwhile, met in a vice presidential debate Wednesday night in Salt Lake City.

Read more:

– Pence-Harris debate to unfold as Trump recovers from virus

– Viewer’s Guide: Virus response on stage with Pence, Harris

– Trump, out of sight, tweets up storm, says he ‘feels great’

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

10:35 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence says Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is a “brilliant woman” who will bring a lifetime of experience and “a sizable American family” to the nation’s highest court.

During Wednesday’s vice presidential debate, Pence and Democratic candidate Kamala Harris were asked how their respective states of Indiana and California should handle abortion if the Supreme Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Pence, a former Indiana governor and abortion opponent, warned against attacks on Barrett’s Roman Catholic faith and mentioned her large family of seven children.

Pence says he wouldn’t presume to say how Barrett would vote on Roe. But as a candidate in 2016, Pence often told conservative crowds that President Donald Trump would appoint justices who would send Roe to the “dustbin of history.”

Harris said it was “insulting” to suggest that she and running mate Joe Biden would knock anyone for their faith.” She noted that Biden is Catholic, and she criticized Republicans for rushing to confirm Barrett.

Harris said she will “always fight for a woman’s right to make a decision about her own body.”

___

10:30 p.m.

There was briefly another participant swooping into Wednesday night’s vice presidential debate.

For several minutes, a fly landed in Vice President

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Joe Biden: ‘We can have both’ law and order and racial justice

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden aimed to walk fine line between calling for racial justice and enforcing law and order in the nation Tuesday.

After months of protests and rioting across the country, Mr. Biden pushed back at criticism he was soft in his support for law enforcement, arguing that it was a false choice.

“The country has been riled by incidents of excessive police force, heartbreaking cases of racial injustice, and lives needlessly and senselessly lost. By peaceful protesters giving voice to calls for justice. By examples of violence and looting and burning that cannot be tolerated,” he said in a speech delivered in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

“I believe in law and order. I’ve never supported the defunding the police but I also believe that justice is real,” he added. “I cannot believe we have to choose between law and order racial justice in America. We can have both. This is a nation strong enough.”

The former vice president said America needs to look into the roots of systemic racism honestly while ensuring the streets are safe for families and businesses.

He also explicitly denounced white supremacist groups, saying Americans should want law enforcement to do their jobs and not “vigilantes.”

President Trump’s campaign has touted the administration’s tough response to unrest that broke out over the summer in response to the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, both unarmed black people, in incidents with police.

At the same time, they’ve aimed to paint Mr. Biden as a radical leftist intent on defunding police departments and allowing riots to run rampant.

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Law and order, racial justice compatible

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the 2020 presidential election (all times local):

5:40 p.m.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden says the U.S. doesn’t have to choose between “law and order” and racial justice.

Speaking near the national historic site in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday, Biden cited “instances of excessive police force” and “heart-wrenching cases of racial injustice” that have inspired peaceful protests across the country. Biden says instances of violence and burning during some demonstrations “cannot be tolerated” but also should not obscure the larger issues.

President Donald Trump is campaigning as a “law and order” president and blasting racial justice protests as violent anarchy in U.S. cities led by Democrats. And the president has falsely accused Biden of calling to “defund the police” across the country.

Biden says he believes “in law and order” and has “never supported defunding the police.” But he said he also believes that “injustice is real” and rooted in 400 years of history that includes slavery, Jim Crow segregation and a fundamentally uneven economy. Biden said anyone who doesn’t see the effects of that history today hasn’t “opened your eyes to the truth in America.”

___


HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:

President Donald Trump is recovering from the coronavirus at the White House. He announced Tuesday that he had instructed his aides to abandon COVID-19 relief talks with congressional Democrats until after the Nov. 3 election. Democrat Joe Biden was campaigning in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday.

Read more:

— Trump, contagious at White House, back to downplaying virus

— Trump halts COVID-19 relief talks until after election

— Countering Trump, US officials defend integrity of election

— 5 questions as Pence and Harris prepare for debate faceoff

___

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

5:30 p.m.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has issued a sweeping call for national unity, using a picturesque, symbolic backdrop of the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War to warn that the U.S. again is “in a dangerous place.”

Biden argued Tuesday in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, that the U.S. can overcome centuries of economic and racial divisions, along with deep partisan rifts that have accelerated in recent years. He says some semblance of bipartisanship is necessary to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild a battered economy.

But he said the country must “decide to cooperate” the same way that partisans have decided “not to cooperate.”

The former vice president again denounced white supremacy and promised he’d “provide for the common good” and ensure there is “no place for hate in America” if he’s elected.

Biden didn’t mention President Donald Trump and instead invoked Abraham Lincoln and called for Americans to listen to the “better angels” that the 16th president spoke of during the Civil War.

Americans “can’t undo what has been done,” Biden said, but the nation “can do so much better.”

___

4:25 p.m.

Joe Biden has again tested negative for the coronavirus.

His campaign announced Tuesday afternoon that the Democratic

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Justice for Breonna Taylor means changing the systems that killed her

Cassia Herron and Aja Holston-Barber, Opinion contributors
Published 6:29 a.m. ET Oct. 2, 2020 | Updated 6:30 a.m. ET Oct. 2, 2020

Breonna Taylor should still be alive today. 

The people and institutions that killed her are incapable of giving us justice. Black women deserve better than what Louisville has given us. Everyone who lives in Louisville deserves better than what can be given from systems more focused on maintaining unjust power than meeting our needs. 

The only remaining role for this failed leadership is to practice accountability. This means it is our collective responsibility to ensure they are held responsible and no longer in charge of making community-wide decisions.

Mayor Greg Fischer, Louisville Metro Police Department, Metro Council. These people and systems have not been proactively transparent nor action-oriented in practicing accountability for Breonna’s murder. They did not support Tamika Palmer as she grieved and waited hours for answers about her daughter immediately after her death. They did not protect Kenneth Walker when they kept him in jail for weeks during a pandemic. They have not been transparent about this investigation nor repentant in their subsequent inactions. Their posture set the stage for the grand jury decision. Their leadership has not brought justice.

Read more: Judge says she is ‘concerned’ detective may have lied to get Breonna Taylor search warrant

Protesters and supporters continue to call for and win justice. Brief highlights of a long list include Kenneth Walker’s release and dismissal of local charges, a civilian review board workgroup and subsequent independence from the office of the mayor and LMPD (we’re claiming the latter now), Breonna’s Law, Brett Hankison’s firing and removal from the Louisville Metro Merit Board, and so much more. 

What Louisville Metro Government is doing under the mayor and the dominance of LMPD is wrong. Instead of rallying every local government staff person to ensure every resident has everything they need during an unprecedented pandemic, the mayor’s administration unnecessarily rushed a reopening in the middle of a pandemic, offered insufficient eviction relief and other community support, furloughed hundreds of library employees and paid police officers overtime to tear gas residents protesting for justice for Taylor.

And as we braced for the grand jury decision, this administration prepared for war rather than to emotionally and meaningfully respond to the collective trauma they are inflicting. 

Justice for Breonna Taylor requires we transform the society and systems that killed her. The only way to win is to invest our resources — our bodies, voices, time, analysis, money, creativity — into building the world anew. 

So, what could justice look like?

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The people want the officers involved in the killing of Taylor fired and indicted. The call is also clear for Mayor Fischer and his team to be gone: Deputy Mayor Ellen Hesen, Communications Director Jean Porter and Louisville Forward Chief Mary Ellen Wiederwhol. As Yvette Gentry has been appointed to serve as the interim police chief, so does the community

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Brazil Supreme Court justice demands explanation on weakened coastal forest law

FILE PHOTO: Judge Rosa Weber attends a session of the Supreme Court in Brasilia, Brazil October 17, 2019. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazilian Supreme Court justice Rosa Weber has demanded Environment Minister Ricardo Salles explain a decision earlier in the week, which sought to weaken laws around coastal woodlands.

Weber’s request, dated 30 Sept., gave Salles 48 hours to provide information surrounding the decision, citing the “urgency” of the issue.

On Monday, Brazil’s National Environmental Council (Conama) revoked protections for mangroves and a type of coastal forest known as restinga that grows on splits of seaside land.

Conama’s decision was later suspended by a federal judge who cited the risk to the environment that it posed.

Salles has argued that these forest types are already protected by a separate piece of Brazilian legislation, known as the Forest Code. However, there are some crucial differences between the Conama’s protections and the Forest Code that environmentalists said could be exploited to further coastal development.

The previous Conama regulation, for example, protected restingas for a minimum of 300 meters from the sea, a detail missing from the Forest Code. Without it, disputed areas, such as degraded woodland, might no longer be classified as protected – potentially opening the path for real estate development.

For mangroves, although the Forest Code protects them in their entirety, again the revoking of the Conama legislation opens up potential loopholes over what exactly is classified as mangrove.

Reporting by Ricardo Brito, writing by Stephen Eisenhammer

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New law calls for task force on addressing ‘the issues of justice and fairness’

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law that moves the Golden State one step closer to paying reparations to black Californians.

Assembly Bill 3121 calls for the creation of a 9-member task force that will make recommendations on whether compensation should be paid, the type of compensation that should be paid out, and who is eligible to receive compensation from the state.

The committee will also be charged with examining the effects slavery still has on the United States and recommending how California can make a formal apology “for the perpetration of gross human rights violations and crimes against humanity on African slaves and their descendants.”

California was admitted into the Union in 1850. In 1852, the state legislature instituted the Fugitive Slave Law, which decreed any enslaved person who had entered California before it became a state were not legally considered “free.”

“California has come to terms with many of its issues, but it has yet to come to terms with its role in slavery,” the bill’s author, Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, a Democrat and professor emeritus, said. “We’re talking about really addressing the issues of justice and fairness in this country that we have to address.”

“California’s rich diversity is our greatest asset, and we won’t turn away from this moment to make right the discrimination and disadvantages that Black Californians and people of color still face,” Newsom said at the signing of the bill.

William Darity Jr., an economist at Duke University, warned that true reparations require a federal response, and this bill does not meet that threshold.

“I have a sense of proprietariness about the use of the term reparations, because I think people should not be given the impression that the kinds of steps that are taken at the state or local level actually constitute a comprehensive or true reparations plan,” Darity told CalMatters . “Whatever California does perhaps could be called atonement, or it could be called a correction for past actions.”

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