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U.S. judge allows tech ‘poaching’ suit to proceed

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SAN FRANCISCO — A US judge has given a green light to a lawsuit charging Apple, Google, Pixar and other technology-driven firms with colluding to keep salaries in check by agreeing not to poach one another’s software engineers.

District Court Judge Lucy Koh, in a decision released late Wednesday, rejected motions to dismiss a class-action lawsuit charging that high-tech companies in the Silicon Valley and San Francisco areas conspired on “Do Not Call” lists to keep talent tethered.

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The list of defendants includes Lucasfilm, Pixar, Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit, and Adobe Systems, alleged to have participated in the scheme to refrain from hiring each other’s employees.

Koh noted in her ruling that the suit was based on Department of Justice antitrust investigations that ended in 2010 with technology firms agreeing to change their ways without admitting any wrongdoing.

The DOJ concluded that “facially anticompetitive” agreements were made that “eliminated a significant form of competition” to the detriment of workers “who were likely deprived of competitively important information and access to better job opportunities,” according to court documents.

Agreements not to woo other companies’ workers could prevent people from advancing careers and eased market pressure on employers to improve compensation overall, Koh reasoned.

“While these allegations concerning the labor market effects of cold calling remain to be proven, the court presumes these factual allegations to be true for the purposes of ruling on a motion to dismiss,” the judge wrote.

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“It is plausible to infer that even a single bilateral (do-not-call) agreement would have the ripple effect of depressing the mobility and compensation of employees of companies that are not direct parties to the agreement.”


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Doctor fighting fraud charge cites Donald Trump in his defense of doling out COVID-19 drug

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As President Donald Trump promoted the drug hydroxychloroquine, one California doctor took his recommendations to the bank.

According to the San Diego Tribune, Dr. Jennings Staley is being charged in what appears to be the first case involving the drug. The FBI is charing Staley with mail fraud as part of an effort hailing hydroxychloroquine as a "miracle cure" and the "magic bullet" to an undercover agent posing as a patient, court documents say.

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The few police willing to join in solidarity with protesters

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Reports of the protests across the country are focusing on the violence, clashes and property damage caused by a small few rather than the peaceful protest of those rallying against injustice and the police standing in solidarity with them.

A few captured positive moments of cities where officers support the protests and believe Black lives do actually matter.

There were moments of protesters fist-bumping police, hugs with police, and in one incident in New York City over the weekend, one officer was separated from his unit. Protesters surrounded him with locked arms to protect him from those being violent. In Miami, Florida and Seattle, Washington, police joined protesters in kneeling.

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2020 Election

Trump shows all the signs of being ‘rattled’ now that the White House is under siege from protesters: columnist

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In a column for the Atlantic, longtime political observer Peter Nicholas stated that Donald Trump is showing all the signs of a scared man as massive protests have broken out across the country over the murder of George Floyd at the hands of four former Minneapolis cops -- and angry Americans are taking their case all the way up to the White House gates.

As Nicholas wrote, "Presidents live within a protective cocoon built and continually fortified for one purpose: keeping them alive. But inside the White House compound these days, Donald Trump seems rattled by what’s transpiring outside the windows of his historic residence."

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