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Report: Facebook in negotiations to buy maker of solar-powered drones

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Facebook is in talks to buy a solar-powered drone startup in what could lead to making wireless Internet available in regions without online access, according to technology news website TechCrunch.

TechCrunch cited an unidentified source as disclosing that the leading social network is considering buying Titan Aerospace for about $60 million.

Facebook declined to comment Tuesday on what it referred to in an email to AFP as “rumors and speculation.”

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Titan Aerospace makes high-altitude, solar-powered drones that can fly for as long as five years without touching down.

Facebook-backed Internet.org, which has a stated mission of making online access available everywhere in the world, could put such drones to work as airborne wireless hotspots.

Titan Aerospace would start by making about 11,000 drones to fly above Africa and other parts of the world with minimal to no Internet access, according to TechCrunch.

Titan Aerospace was founded in 2012 and has its headquarters in the state of New Mexico where it handles research and development.

The takeover, if confirmed, would come as Google works on a Project Loon to spread Internet access using balloons.

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[Image via Agence France-Presse]


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Stop praising anti-Trump evangelicals: Their embrace of authoritarianism is a big part of the problem

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At this critical moment for American democracy our media landscape is doing a poor job in its coverage of conservative white evangelicals. Coverage of this relatively large segment of the population is characterized by, on the one hand, effusive praise for the slightest milquetoast criticism of Donald Trump, and on the other, by a periodic parade of nearly interchangeable unfounded predictions about how evangelical youth are going to change America’s most radically right-wing demographic for the better—any day now. In the words of the great sage Bullwinkle J. Moose, “This time for sure!”

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2020 Election

Intel official who briefed lawmakers on latest Russian meddling targeted for ouster by Trump White House: CNN

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During a discussion on the war on the intelligence community being waged by the Donald Trump's White House, CNN host Victor Blackwell stated that sources speaking with the network stated that the intel official who briefed lawmakers for both parties on new efforts by Russia to meddle in U.S. elections could be on the way out.

Speaking with contributor Lynn Sweet, Blackwell asked about the so-called "purge" being conducted by the White House.

"It sends the signal once again that President Trump is not a respecter of the United States intelligence services with the bigger issue that a permanent director has not been in that office since last summer when Dan Coates was forced out," Sweet explained. "This is a key position, subject to Senate confirmation and Trump hasn't seen fit to have a permanent director for months now."

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2020 Election

Trump’s latest national security adviser is undercutting FBI Director Wray to quash report of new Russian meddling: report

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In a scorching column for the Daily Beast, historian David Rothkopf accused Donald Trump's latest national security director, Robert O'Brien, of undercutting the United States intelligence services and uses his comments about recent reports of new Russian election meddling to make the case that he is contradicting FBI Director Christopher Wray to please the president.

According to Rothkopf, "For just over a century, since America arrived as a major force on the global stage, we have feared that should our enemies defeat us, it would be on the battlefield or via a devastating nuclear onslaught. We never could have imagined that an enemy might take another approach altogether: infecting us with a presidential virus who this week gutted our national security leadership structures like a fish."

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