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Facebook’s Hands-Off Approach to Political Speech Gets Impeachment Test

WASHINGTON — The 30-second video ad released by the Trump campaign last week is grainy, and the narrator’s voice is foreboding. Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., it says, offered Ukraine $1 billion in aid if the country pushed out the man investigating a company tied to Mr. Biden’s son.Saying it made false accusations, CNN immediately refused to air the advertisement.But Facebook did not, and on Tuesday, the social network rejected a request from Mr. Biden’s presidential campaign to take it down, foreshadowing a continuing fight over misinformation on the service during the 2020 election as well as the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.In a letter…

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Ahead of offensive, Turkey says it strikes Syria-Iraq border

ANKARA/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey’s military struck the Syrian-Iraqi border to prevent Kurdish forces using the route to reinforce northeast Syria, as Ankara prepared to attack there following a surprise U.S. troop pullback, Turkish officials told Reuters on Tuesday. Turkey says it is ready to advance into northeast Syria now that the United States has begun withdrawing troops from the Turkey-Syria frontier in an abrupt policy shift by U.S. President Donald Trump widely criticized in Washington as a betrayal of America’s allies, the Kurds. The U.S. move will leave Kurdish-led forces long allied to Washington vulnerable to attack by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), which brands them terrorists…

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England players ready to walk off pitch over racist abuse

LONDON (Reuters) - England’s players are ready to walk off the pitch if they are subjected to racist abuse in Euro 2020 qualifiers against Czech Republic and Bulgaria, striker Tammy Abraham said on Tuesday. FILE PHOTO - Soccer Football - Champions League - Group H - Lille v Chelsea - Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille, France - October 2, 2019 Chelsea's Tammy Abraham celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Pascal RossignolEngland face the Czechs away in Group A on Friday before visiting Bulgaria on Monday for a match in a partially-closed stadium due to the home supporters’ racist behavior in June. “If it happens to one of us, it happens…

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Jury says J&J must pay $8 billion in case over male breast growth linked to Risperdal

FILE PHOTO: The Johnson and Johnson logo is seen at an office building in Singapore January 17, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas WhiteNEW YORK (Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson must pay $8 billion in punitive damages to a man who previously won $680,000 over his claims that it failed to warn that young men using its antipsychotic drug Risperdal could grow breasts, a Philadelphia jury said on Tuesday. The Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas jury’s verdict in favor of Nicholas Murray came in the first case in which a Pennsylvania jury had been able to consider awarding punitive damages in one of thousands of Risperdal cases pending in the state.…

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White House says it will refuse to cooperate with impeachment inquiry

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Tuesday it would refuse to cooperate with an “illegitimate, unconstitutional” congressional impeachment inquiry, setting Republican President Donald Trump on a collision course with the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives. Hours after the administration abruptly blocked a key witness in the Ukraine scandal from testifying to congressional panels, White House lawyer Pat Cipollone criticized the decision by lawmakers to proceed with an impeachment inquiry without a full House vote. “You have designed and implemented your inquiry in a manner that violates fundamental fairness and constitutionally mandated due process,” he said, adding House Democrats had left Trump “no choice.” “To fulfill…

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U.S. visa move against China casts pall over talks to end trade war

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Tuesday imposed visa restrictions on Chinese officials for the detention or abuse of Muslim minorities, angering Beijing, but a U.S. official said high-level trade talks would still take place on Thursday and Friday as planned. The State Department announced the visa plan just a day after the U.S. Commerce Department cited the mistreatment of Uighur Muslims and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities in China in its decision to add 20 Chinese public security bureaus and eight companies to a trade blacklist. The State Department did not name the Chinese officials affected by the visa clampdown. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo…

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Goldman evaluating role in Megvii IPO after AI firm put on U.S. blacklist

NEW YORK/HONG KONG (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc said on Tuesday it was reviewing its involvement in Megvii Technology Ltd’s planned initial public offering (IPO) after the U.S. government placed the Chinese artificial intelligence firm on a human rights blacklist. FILE PHOTO: The Goldman Sachs company logo is seen in the company's space on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermidThe Trump administration said Monday that Megvii and seven other Chinese companies were targeted because they were “enabling activities contrary to the foreign policy interests of the United States”. Specifically, it said, the firms were…

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U.S. expands blacklist to include China’s top AI startups ahead of trade talks

WASHINGTON/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - The U.S. government widened its trade blacklist to include some of China’s top artificial intelligence startups, punishing Beijing for its treatment of Muslim minorities and ratcheting up tensions ahead of high-level trade talks in Washington this week. The decision, which drew a sharp rebuke from Beijing, targets 20 Chinese public security bureaus and eight companies including video surveillance firm Hikvision, as well as leaders in facial recognition technology SenseTime Group Ltd and Megvii Technology Ltd. The action bars the firms from buying components from U.S. companies without U.S. government approval - a potentially crippling move for some of them. It follows the same blueprint…

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White House calls House impeachment probe unconstitutional

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Tuesday rejected an impeachment inquiry launched by Democrats in the House of Representatives as “constitutionally invalid” and said it would refuse to cooperate with the probe absent a vote of the full House. An eight-page letter signed by White House counsel Pat Cipollone was sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the top U.S. Democrat, and the Democratic chairs of the House intelligence, foreign affairs and oversight committees. Pelosi argues the impeachment inquiry she launched is constitutional and that no House vote is necessary at this juncture. The inquiry was started based on accusations from a government whistleblower that President Donald…

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U.S. Defense Secretary participated in call between Trump and Erdogan: official

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper is seen at a news briefing held with French Defense Minister Florence Parly (not pictured) in Paris, France, September 7, 2019. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/File PhotoWASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley took part in a recent call between U.S. President Donald Trump and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, a U.S. official said on Tuesday. “Given the likely military issues raised on the call between (Trump) and President Erdogan, Secretary of Defense Esper and Chairman Milley participated on the call,” the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said. The official…

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