United States

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Uber could pause ride-hailing in California if drivers become employees
Uber app on a mobile phone
Uber app on a mobile phone Credit: Charles Deluvio (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The San Francisco Superior Court granted California’s request for a preliminary injunction saying that Uber and rival Lyft must make drivers employees rather than independent contractors. Judge Ethan Schulman delayed that order for ten days, giving the companies time to appeal, as both have said they will.

Dana Khosrowshahi, Uber CEO, stated: "If the court doesn’t reconsider, then in California, it’s hard to believe we’ll be able to switch our model to full-time employment quickly."

Uber and Lyft are pushing Proposition 22, a November ballot initiative that would keep drivers as freelancers entitled to some benefits and earnings guarantees.

Technology • Internet & Web
US court rules that Apple needs to pay $506 million over patent violations
US court rules that Apple needs to pay $506 million over patent violations
Credit: unsplash.com / Mika Baumeister

A federal jury in Texas has decided that Apple needs to pay $506,2 million in damages and interest for using patented 4G technology in hardware made by the company.

Following the jury verdict, five patents were willfully infringed leading the District Judge Rodney Gilstrap to be able to increase the compensation amount by three times compared to what the jurors have set. Panoptis Patent Management had sued on behalf of one of its clients as they manage the intellectual property and patents for companies in order to enable them to focus on "innovation and new development".

According to local media Apple will appeal the decision made by the court.

Technology • Internet & Web
Facebook faces lawsuit over illegal harvesting of biometric information from Instagram users
Facebook faces lawsuit over illegal harvesting of biometric information from Instagram users
Credit: Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum

In a new lawsuit, filed Monday in Redwood City, Facebook is accused of collecting, storing and profiting from biometric data of more than 100 million Instagram users, without explicitly asking for their consent.

According to the suit, Facebook started informing Instagram users about their biometric data being collected only at the beginning of 2020, which allegedly violated an Illinois privacy law.

Last month, the social media company offered to pay $650 million to settle a different lawsuit in which it was accused of illegally collecting biometric data through a photo-tagging tool provided to Facebook users.

Technology • Internet & Web
Former COO sues Pinterest, accusing it of gender bias
Françoise Brougher
Françoise Brougher Credit: Pinterest

Françoise Brougher, Pinterest’s former COO, has filed a lawsuit accusing the company of gender discrimination. Brougher is suing the company to hold it “accountable for discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), and the Labor Code,” according to a Tuesday filing in San Francisco Superior Court.

Brougher, who was abruptly fired from the company in April, states in the lawsuit that she had a less favourable equity compensation package than her male peers. She also claims that she was also left out of crucial decision-making by other executives, was subjected to a hostile work environment, and ultimately fired by CEO Ben Silbermann when she spoke up against her treatment.

Sports
Tyson, Jones fight postponed to November
Mike Tyson, Los Angeles California in June 2019
Mike Tyson, Los Angeles California in June 2019 Credit: Glenn Francis (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson's exhibition fight against Roy Jones Jr. initially set for next month has been postponed to November, organisers said Tuesday.

In a statement, promotional company Triller said the fight in Los Angeles would now take place on November 28 to coincide with the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Tyson said, "Changing the date to November 28th will give more people the opportunity to see the biggest comeback in boxing history."

Politics • American • US
Joe Biden picks Kamala Harris as his running mate
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has announced Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate. She will be the first black woman to serve in the role.

Harris, once a rival for the Democratic nomination, had long been considered the front-runner for the VP position. She was born in Oakland, California to two immigrant parents: an Indian-born mother and Jamaican-born father.

Technology • Internet & Web
TikTok announces plans to sue Trump Administration over ban
TikTok announces plans to sue Trump Administration over ban
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler – Logo via TikTok (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The video-sharing app hugely popular with the smartphone generation will file the federal lawsuit as soon as Tuesday, according to a person who was directly involved in the forthcoming suit but was not authorized to speak for the company.

It also alleges that the administration's national security justification for the order is baseless, according to the source.

Technology • Internet & Web
Uber and Lyft ordered by California judge to classify drivers as employees
Uber and Lyft ordered by California judge to classify drivers as employees
Credit: unsplash.com / Dan Gold

A California judge ruled that Uber and Lyft must classify their drivers as employees in a stunning preliminary injunction issued Monday afternoon.

Uber said it planned to file an immediate emergency appeal to block the ruling from going into effect.

Politics • American • US
US surpasses 5 million total Covid-19 cases, experts
COVID-19 yard signs along Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring, Maryland. They are in Amharic, English, and Spanish.
COVID-19 yard signs along Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring, Maryland. They are in Amharic, English, and Spanish. Credit: Farragutful / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The United States has surpassed 5 million Covid-19 cases early Sunday while experts warn that the estimated number of true cases might be many times higher.

"That's a huge number of cases and a very large number of hospitalizations and deaths -- and more to come. Because over much of this country, this virus is spreading unimpeded because so many folks are not getting with the program to contain it," so Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University.

40% of cases are attributed to only 5 states: Florida, Texas, New York, Georgia and California – the latter has reported the most cases in the country.

Politics • American • US
Georgia school district reports 260 students and 8 teachers contracted Covid-19 in first week of reopening
Frank Long Elementary School, Hinesville, Liberty County, Georgia
Frank Long Elementary School, Hinesville, Liberty County, Georgia Credit: Michael Rivera (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

A week after reopening schools for in-person classes, the Georgia school district reports that at least 260 students and 8 teachers have contracted Covid-19. Those with a confirmed positive result are now under quarantine for two weeks and everyone who had been in contact with them was urged to self-isolate as well. Infections were reported from elementary, middle as well as high schools.

"We have students and staff reporting presumptive, pending and positive COVID-19 tests every day, and this will continue as we operate schools during a pandemic. We are working with the Department of Public Health to confirm, contact trace, quarantine and then notify the school community," so the district's superintendent, Dr Brian V. Hightower.

Politics • Middle Eastern
Lebanon: Protesters in Beirut call for "revolution", storm ministries
Lebanon: Protesters in Beirut call for "revolution", storm ministries
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Tens of thousands of people are protesting Lebanese leadership following this week's explosion that killed over 150 people and left the city in ruins. In the city's main square symbolic gallows with nooses to hang politicians were set up. Corruption and negligence is blamed for Tuesday's catastrophe.

On Saturday night, protestors entered several ministries, among them Lebanese association of banks, the Energy Ministry building and the Foreign Ministry. The latter was declared as the "headquarters of the revolution."

Part of the protest got more violent as police fired tear gas and protesters threw stones and fireworks. One protestor said: "You survive an explosion in Beirut only to be teargassed."

The Beirut US embassy tweeted in support of peaceful protests: "The Lebanese people have suffered too much and deserve to have leaders who listen to them and change course to respond to popular demands for transparency and accountability. We support them in their right to peaceful protest, and encourage all involved to refrain from violence."

Politics • American • South America
Venezuela court sentences two U.S. ex-soldiers for 20 years after failed incursion
Venezuela court sentences two U.S. ex-soldiers for 20 years after failed incursion
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

A Venezuelan court sentenced Luke Denman and Airan Berry, two former United States Army Special Forces soldiers, to 20 years in prison for their role in a failed incursion aimed at ousting President Nicolas Maduro in early May.

Chief prosecutor Tarek William Saab said on Twitter "Said gentlemen ADMITTED having committed crimes of conspiracy, association, illicit trafficking of weapons, war and terrorism typified in the Penal Code".

Politics • American • US
Researchers predict that US Covid-19 death toll could reach 300,000 by December
Researchers predict that US Covid-19 death toll could reach 300,000 by December
Credit: unsplash.com/United Nations COVID-19 Response

Researchers at Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation predict that the US Covid-19 death toll could reach 300,000 by December, almost twice as much as the current number of around 160,000 deaths, or "about five times the number of people who die of flu each year."

"In fact, if this projection pans out, coronavirus will likely be the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. for 2020, only behind heart disease and cancer," so global health correspondent Nurith Aizenman in an interview with NPR.

The forecast also took into consideration "states moving to stay-at-home orders and shutdowns once cases skyrocket" and "50% of schools will be doing online-only instruction" but it does not " assume widespread mask use, and that is what could change things," Aizenman added.

The researchers assumed 50% of people were wearing masks if "out and about", but assuming if 95% of people wore masks " about half of the deaths between now and December 1 would be prevented."

Politics • American • US
Trump hosts press conference at his New Jersey Golf Club, claims Covid-19 is disappearing, accuses Democrats of election cheating
Trump hosts press conference at his New Jersey Golf Club, claims Covid-19 is disappearing, accuses Democrats of election cheating
Credit: @jeffmason1 via Twitter (Reproduction)

On Friday, President Donald Trump hosted a press conference at his New Jersey golf club where he spoke to a group of patrons, most of which were not social distancing nor wearing masks, a violation of New Jersey's Covid-19 gathering capacity limit.

During his speech, Trump claims that the Coronavirus was "disappearing", even though the US reported over 42,000 cases on Friday, and again attributed the number of cases to the large number of tests, stating that more tests lead to more cases. When asked about social distancing, Trump said it was a "political activity" and called his audience a "peaceful protest."

Trump further accused Democrats of "election cheating", saying that "the Democrats are cheating on the election. Because that's exactly what they're doing. If you look at what they're doing even with these negotiations. That's an influence, and an unfair influence, on an election."

Politics • American • US
State department lifts international travel advisory,
State department lifts international travel advisory,
Credit: unsplash.com/Blake Guidry

The State Department has lifted its international travel advisory urging Americans to not travel overseas due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which was first established in March. The department will go back to issuing recommendations on "country-specific levels", available on Travel.State.gov.

"With health and safety conditions improving in some countries and potentially deteriorating in others, the Department is returning to our previous system of country-specific levels of travel advice ... to give travellers detailed and actionable information to make informed travel decisions," so the State Department in a press release.

The department has issued travel warnings for over 50 countries and said it would "continue to recommend U.S. citizens exercise caution when traveling abroad due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic."

Politics • American • US
Trump signs executive order banning business between U.S. citizens and TikTok from in 45 days on
Trump signs executive order banning business between U.S. citizens and TikTok from in 45 days on
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Logo TikTok

The president of the United States Donald Trump has followed through with his announcement to make a move against the social media application TikTok with the help of an executive order. In the signed executive order, Trump outlaws all transactions between ByteDance, which is the parent company of TikTok, and citizens of the United States. The reason for that are national security concerns according to Trump.

The outlined transaction ban in the executive order will become effective in 45 days and most likely prevent the application from being downloaded or updated.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Daisy Coleman has died by suicide at age 23
Daisy Coleman has died by suicide at age 23
Credit: YouTube (Reproduction)

Daisy Coleman, an advocate for sexual abuse victim and subject of a Netflix documentary, has taken her own life at the age of 23. After her mother called the police for a wellness check, Coleman was found dead.

Coleman was allegedly sexually assaulted when she was 14 while being unconscious at a high school party. In 2016, she was featured in the Netflix documentary "Audrie & Daisy" which followed the aftermath of both girls' harassment after the assault.

"She was my best friend and amazing daughter. I think she had to make it seem like I could live without her. I can't. I wish I could have taken the pain from her! She never recovered from what those boys did to her and it's just not fair. My baby girl is gone," so her mother, Melinda Coleman, in a post to Facebook.

Politics • American • US
US Senate bans TikTok from phones owned by government
US Senate bans TikTok from phones owned by government
Credit: Solen Feyissa (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

In a unanimous decision, the senate of the United States has decided that the social media app TikTok will be banned from all government-owned devices.

This step comes after President Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to ban the app for everyone in the United States.

Politics • American • US
Ohio Gov. DeWine tests positive for Covid-19 before planned Trump visit
DeWine at  at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, 2019
DeWine at at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, 2019 Credit: (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock) / Public domain

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) has tested positive for Covid-19. DeWine was scheduled to greet President Donald Trump at the Cleveland airport but was tested hours before the planned meeting as part of a standard screening protocol. He did not meet with Trump.

DeWine is currently asymptomatic and will be self-quarantining for the next 14 days, so his office.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
YouTuber Jake Paul's home searched by FBI
Jake Paul (r) at the Web Summit 2016
Jake Paul (r) at the Web Summit 2016 Credit: Web Summit / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

An FBI swat team has searched the Calabasas residence of 23-year-old YouTuber Jake Paul and confiscated several firearms, including long guns. The reason for the search has not been disclosed but was reportedly related to an ongoing investigation. At the time of the raid, Paul was not present.

"The FBI is executing a federal search warrant at a residence in Calabasas in connection with an ongoing investigation," so a statement by the FBI. "The affidavit in support of the search warrant has been sealed by a judge and I am, therefore, prohibited from commenting as to the nature of the investigation. No arrests are planned."