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Rahm Emanuel’s brother lobbies for ‘three strikes’ law against downloaders

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The brother of the White House chief of staff is engaged in a campaign to have a “three-strikes” law against illegal file-sharers passed in the United States.

Modeled on a similar law enacted recently in France, a “three strikes” law would force Internet service providers to cut off Internet access to any users accused three times of downloading or sharing copyrighted material without permission.

Ari Emanuel, the brother of Rahm Emanuel, told the Abu Dhabi Media Summit last week that he is engaged in a lobbying effort to have such a law put on the books in the United States.

“We are in the midst of talking to the president and some attorney generals and [we are] trying to implement a three strikes and you’re out rule,” Emanuel said, as quoted at The Guardian.

Ari Emanuel is the CEO of William Morris, the US’s largest and most prominent talent agency.

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Opponents of three-strikes laws say there are significant problems with the policy. For one, it would cut off Internet access to entire households, not just individuals accused of illegal file-sharing. For another, the law, as laid out in French legislation, does not require a court to rule on the denial of access — the individual need only be accused three times.

Opposition to the proposal could further be hindered by the fact the public increasingly views Internet access as a human right. In a recent poll, nearly 80 percent of people surveyed in 26 countries agreed that the Internet is a “fundamental human right.”

The US is among ten countries, plus the EU, currently negotiating the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a broad international proposal that would bring copyright laws across many developed nations into sync with each other.

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According to documents obtained by privacy and security expert Michael Geist, a “three strikes” law has been included in drafts of the proposed treaty.

But, months before any decisions on ACTA are expected to be made public, some governments have already rebelled against the three-strikes idea. Last week, by a vote of 663 to 13, the European Parliament condemned the secretive ACTA negotiations and forbade member countries from passing “three strikes” laws.

But, as Nate Anderson at Ars Technica points out, the Obama administration appears to be taking a different view. In a speech at the US Export-Import Bank last week, President Obama pointed to ACTA as a cornerstone of the White House’s intellectual property strategy.

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“We’re going to aggressively protect our intellectual property,” Obama said. “That’s why [the Office of the US Trade Representative] is using the full arsenal of tools available to crack down on practices that blatantly harm our businesses, and that includes negotiating proper protections and enforcing our existing agreements, and moving forward on new agreements, including the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.”


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‘Do you love Puerto Rico?’: Fox News’ Shep Smith rips governor to shreds

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Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló was outed for cold and heartless comments he exchanged about his own island in wake of the horrific hurricanes that destroyed the island in 2017. He's also being forced to ask questions about the corruption involving the funding for hurricane relief. Nearly 1 million people have taken to the streets demanding accountability and action.

In his first interview, Rosselló may have assumed he'd meet a friendly audience on Fox News, but Shep Smith let him have it.

"The corruption is rampant in Puerto Rico," Smith said. "Economically Puerto Rico is in a fiscal crisis, $70 billion in debt and a 13-year recession. In the leaked 900 pages of profanity-laced messages, dubbed RickyGate, after you, sir, you made light of the casualties of the Hurricane Maria, you tossed homophobic and misogynistic remarks, You were calling the former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverit a whore. Of the oversight board that rules Puerto Rico's finances, you said, 'Go F-yourself. And when your representative to that board said he is salivating to shoot the woman who is the mayor of San Juan, you said, 'You’d be doing me a grand favor.' So, attacks on woman, gays, dead relatives on your own island and after that who is left to support you? Is it even safe for you to govern?"

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Puerto Ricans launch biggest protest yet against governor

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Angry protesters blocked the main road in Puerto Rico's capital on Monday as they launched what was expected to be the largest yet of a wave of demonstrations seeking the resignation of the US territory's embattled governor.

Marching under sunny skies in San Juan, the demonstrators sang, chanted, danced and carried the territory's red, white and blue flag with a lone star.

Altogether, hundreds of thousands were expected to turn out.

Puerto Ricans are up in arms over alleged corruption involving money meant to be for victims of Hurricane Maria in 2017, which left nearly 3,000 dead.

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‘Simply astonishing’: Retired general sounds the alarm on Trump’s ‘utter breakdown’ in foreign policy process

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Ret. Gen. Barry McCaffrey on Monday sounded the alarm on President Donald Trump's foreign policy team, which he said had shown no indications that it is capable of dealing with a real crisis on the world stage.

While appearing on MSNBC, McCaffrey was asked about a quote from former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in which he said that the entire Trump foreign policy team is being held hostage to the president's impulsive tweets.

"I think the most important thing Panetta said here was the utter breakdown of a national security process," he explained. "It's simply astonishing! [Defense Secretary nominee Mark] Esper still hasn't been confirmed, you've had a series of acting secretaries of defense, no one really understands what [Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo, who is a very intelligent person, is up to."

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