Good morning. Great moments are born from great opportunity…like this dad on vacation who flew a plane full of passengers after the pilot pulled a no-show (the dad is a pilot but you get the point). Onward and upward.
Always and never are two words you should always remember never to use.
– Wendell Johnson
Tech, Privacy & Competition
On Friday, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced a probe into Facebook to determine whether the company’s practices endangered consumer data, reduced quality of consumer choice, or increased the price of advertising. New York is joined by seven other states and the District of Columbia.
Separately, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said that his office would announce a multistate investigation today into whether large tech companies have engaged in anticompetitive behavior that stifled competition, restricted access, and harmed consumers.
How did we get here? The state probes come after two federal investigations into big tech were announced over the summer. The Federal Trade Commission – which recently levied a $5 billion fine against Facebook for data privacy violations – is working with the Department of Justice to determine whether Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google have engaged in illegal monopolization tactics.
So what are people saying?
New Google and Facebook Inquiries Show Big Tech Scrutiny Is Rare Bipartisan Act
The United States cancelled peace talks with the Taliban after a blast that killed 11 in Kabul last week, including an American soldier. This comes days after the US peace envoy had announced a draft peace deal that would have withdrawn around 5,000 troops from Afghanistan.
A week after the storm hit the island nation, Hurricane Dorian’s death toll in the Bahamas stands at 43 according to local officials, but is expected to rise as the search for hundreds more who are missing continues. The storm made its way up the east coast of the United States over the past week, hitting east Canada yesterday with power outages, downed trees, and building damage.
The Justice Department has opened an antitrust investigation into four car companies. The automakers agreed to a deal with California in July to adhere to stricter emissions standards than those proposed by the White House.
Nissan’s board will meet today to discuss a succession plan for its CEO, Hiroto Saikawa (according to sources, Saikawa could also put in his resignation during the meeting). This comes after former Chairman Carlos Ghosn’s dismissal last year for allegedly committing financial crimes, and as the business faces decreasing sales and profit.
‘It Chapter 2’ brought in $91 million in the US, and $185 million globally during its opening weekend. This secures the second highest worldwide opening of all time for a horror film, only trailing the first ‘It’ (~$190 million globally).
Jermaine Bell’s parents had a dream-come-true vacation planned to celebrate his seventh birthday – a trip to Walt Disney World. The family had been saving up for the trip, but when Jermaine learned that people were having to flee their homes to escape Hurricane Dorian, he came up with a different plan for the money: to serve food to evacuees.
Jermaine and his grandmother bought dozens of hot dogs, chips, and bottles of water, and set up a tent near his North Carolina home with big, handwritten signs inviting hurricane evacuees to come share a meal. Jermaine didn’t stop at just feeding the folks, either – he talked with people about where they’d come from and prayed with them, asking for protection for their homes and safe travels back.
In the end, the 6-year-old fed almost 100 evacuees, and plans to feed many more. Though the family had to postpone the trip to Disney this time around, the 6-year-old has no regrets, telling local reporters he just wanted to ‘live to give.’
After Laurie Joncas, 54, had lost both of her beloved adoptive parents, the search for her biological mother – who’d given her up at birth in a closed adoption – began to feel more urgent. She called judges and lawyers involved in her case, but because of the strict rules that govern those adoptions, she was unable to get any information regarding her mom.
But for Christmas in 2016, her brother bought her a DNA testing kit online. Through the site, she was contacted by her biological mother’s niece. Laurie called her biological mom, Ann Blodgett, for the first time on Mother’s Day, and they met in person a few weeks later.
Ann, 73, said she’d been trying to find her daughter for decades, and faced the same roadblocks as Laurie. In a video of their reunion on the beach in South Carolina, the excitement, relief, and familial resemblance is obvious through their teary laughter (video in link). Now, they’re just trying to make up for lost time and make sure to connect each and every day.
Researchers at Columbia and Cambridge found a “space elevator” from the Earth to the Moon could be constructed using materials that exist today. Here’s the thing… it’s actually plausible.
A case for Sherlock Holmes… a German underwater observatory has disappeared without a trace, leaving only a shredded transmission cable in its wake.
You may have some knowledge of the illicit ivory smuggling trade, but have you heard of the lucrative world of black market bug smuggling? Ya know… those creepy crawlers you despise.
India lost contact with its lunar lander as it descended towards the moon’s surface on Friday. The country was attempting to become the first to land near the south pole, and no updates have materialized regarding the fate of the spacecraft.