The Wider World

Trump asks for curbs on Internet

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP (White House photo).

President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order directing the Commerce Department to ask the Federal Communications Commission to remove some legal protections now accorded to Internet companies.

According to the Associated Press, the president said, “We’re here to defend free speech from one of the greatest dangers.”

The order was prompted by Twitter’s new practice of attaching notes to tweets it considers to be misleading or false. At least two of Trump’s recent messages were treated in that fashion, including one which alleged that voting by mail was subject to extensive fraud.

Print and broadcast media are generally subject to lawsuits for libel and invasion of privacy, but websites are considered “platforms” and not publications and are not liable for lawsuits for posts made by the general public.

Jobless claims down but 2.12 million are added

The good news is that fewer people filed for unemployment claims this week than last. The not-as-good news is that 2.12 million people did, bringing the total number to over 40 million, as expected.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, this week’s claims were 323,000 fewer than last week. The total number of people out of work may actually be higher, however, because 2.2 million others have filed for relief under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which provides benefits for the self-employed and “gig” workers, according to United Press International.

National Guard called out in Minneapolis to quell violence

BURNED building after riots in Minneapolis (Wikipedia).

Stung by riots and looting in the aftermath of a handcuffed black man dying after a white police officer knelt on his neck for five minutes in Minneapolis, the Minnesota National Guard has been called upon to restore order.

According to the Associated Press, Gov. Tim Walz activated the Guard after two nights of violent protests.

Looters attacked a Target department store and nearby retail shops and fires were set. Disturbances were reported in 20 areas, authorities have said.

Not all the protests were violent, and Gov. Walz called for making the moment the beginning of reforms.

“George Floyd’s death should lead to justice and systemic death, not more death and destruction,” he said.

Four policemen have been fired and investigations by local, state and federal agencies are underway.

China jitters cause Wall Street to drop a bit

Concerns over chilly relations with China – and its potential impact on trade –pushed stocks down a bit on Friday. The Dow Jones average dropped 95 points (0.37 percent), the S&P Index fell 10.25 points (0.34 percent) and Nasdaq closed down 37 points (0.39 percent).

Weather: More clouds and sun taking turns

June gloom is just a little bit ahead of schedule. Although the new month won’t be with us until Monday, the pattern of clouds alternating with sunny conditions is our present reality, with some warming. High temperatures for Orange County should be around 71 on Friday, 76 on Saturday and 80 on Sunday.

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