Apple has reached an out of court settlement with plaintiffs that accused it of price-fixing on e-books, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. Apple and the plaintiffs -- consumers and some US states -- have reached an agreement in principle that…
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GOP prepares to destroy Manchin in 2024 after he dashed their hopes for obstructing Biden's agenda: report
Earlier in the term, when Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) was the principal vote against advancing a broad-based health care and climate package in the Senate, he was a favorite Democratic senator of the Republican caucus. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reportedly counseled Republicans to praise him, and at various points even said he'd welcome Manchin into the GOP if he chose to switch sides.
Then Manchin helped President Joe Biden pass his signature Inflation Reduction Act, securing hundreds of billions for the president's top priorities. And things changed. According to CNN, Republicans are already making plans on how to take him out when he stands for re-election in 2024 — already a tough proposition, as he represents the most Republican-favoring state of any Democratic senator.
"West Virginia GOP Gov. Jim Justice acknowledged in a local newspaper interview that he is considering a bid against Manchin," reported Chris Cillizza. "'I don’t really know what I’m going to do right yet,' Justice said. 'Maybe you’ll see me … you know … sticking around and running for national office. But right now, I don’t know.' Asked directly about the 2024 Senate race, Justice said: 'I guess it’s possible. Who knows?'"
"Justice isn’t the only Republican already circling Manchin. Last month, West Virginia Republican Rep. Alex Mooney ran an ad blasting Manchin for supporting the Inflation Reduction Act," said the report. "'Suddenly, Joe Manchin is backing Joe Biden’s liberal agenda,' the ad’s narrator said. 'Manchin is supporting legislation that would raise our taxes, tax our coal industry and devastate West Virginia communities.' Asked over the summer whether he was considering a challenge to Manchin, Mooney told CNN that it was 'an after-November decision,' which, you will rightly note, is not a 'no.'"
This also comes as Republicans work to sink Manchin's legislative priorities. GOP senators have increasingly come out against Manchin's permitting reform bill, an intended complement to the Inflation Reduction Act that would make building both renewable and fossil fuel energy projects easier, and introducing a competing bill of their own.
Former President Donald Trump, writing on his Truth Social media platform, had his own assessment about the situation: "When people ask, 'What happened to Joe Manchin, why did he go off the rails?' The answer is very simple — Mitch McConnell forced his hand by saying that Manchin was weak and ineffective and that he, McConnell, had him totally under control. Manchin couldn’t stand for that and turned strongly, not against the Republicans, but against McConnell, who he has always despised. The fact is, Joe Manchin should have been brought into the Republican Party long ago."
Today, ProPublica filed a complaint and motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to prevent the U.S. Navy from continuing to withhold military court records and docket information filed in the United States v. Mays case. Seaman Recruit Ryan Mays’ court-martial trial is currently underway on the San Diego Naval Base and is expected to conclude later this week.
In “The Navy Accused Him of Arson. Its Own Investigation Showed Widespread Safety Failures,” ProPublica examined details of the Mays case, where a sailor has been accused of aggravated arson and hazarding a vehicle in the 2020 fire that destroyed the USS Bonhomme Richard. After the fire, investigators uncovered in exhaustive detail an astonishing array of failures — broken or missing fire hoses, poorly trained sailors, improperly stored hazardous material — that had primed the ship for a calamitous fire.
The Navy and a military judge have refused to release records in the case, citing Article 140a of the Uniform Code of Military Justice as well as a memo issued by the former Defense Department general counsel and Navy instructions interpreting that guidance. ProPublica’s complaint and motion, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, contend that the Navy and military court judge in the case are violating the public’s and ProPublica’s First Amendment and common law rights to court proceedings and records.
The records have been discussed extensively in open court and are not classified, under seal, or otherwise restricted. Additionally, ProPublica argues that the Navy has misinterpreted Article 140a, noting that Congress adopted it in 2016 to promote transparency in the military courts and to enhance public access to court records and docket information at every stage of court-martial proceedings.
“Withholding these records from the public while they are timely and newsworthy is government-imposed censorship that deprives the press and public of information they need to meaningfully understand these proceedings as they happen and to assess whether justice is ultimately done,” said Michael H. Dore, a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, representing ProPublica. He added, “We are honored to represent ProPublica in this important matter and are hopeful this lawsuit will vindicate the rights of the public and ProPublica to access non-classified records in court-martial proceedings.”
ProPublica is represented by Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr., Michael H. Dore, Jillian London and Marissa Mulligan of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, as well as ProPublica Deputy General Counsel Sarah Matthews.
Frisco (United States) (AFP) - The little aircraft appeared out of the blue sky above a Texas home, deposited its payload of a mid-morning snack in the yard and zoomed off, as deliveries by drone start becoming a reality in America.
Flying shipments of pizzas and birthday gifts have still not become the norm that tech leaders predicted, but the service is available in parts of the United States and government regulation is catching up.
Skeptics question whether drone drop-offs can ever work on a large scale, but backers argue they are safer and better for the planet than hulking, greenhouse-gas-spewing delivery trucks –- and faster.
The parcel lowered to the ground from an electric drone hovering above Tiffany Bokhari's Frisco, Texas, house was in her hands minutes after she placed an order on a smartphone app.
"On the soda, you can even see the condensation on it because it's still cold," she told AFP after the drone from Alphabet-owned Wing had flown off.
Service was new in the area and remained small-scale, but Wing offered the comparison of the up to 1,000 deliveries per day it's doing in just one part of the Brisbane metro area in Australia.
Blood and tooth brushes
A handful of firms already have operations running or will by year's end in parts of Texas, North Carolina or California, with providers including Israeli startup Flytrex, Wing and e-commerce behemoth Amazon.
In fact, it was Amazon founder Jeff Bezos who in 2013 unveiled a delivery drone in a CBS interview, predicting that within five years airborne shipments would be routinely zipping from fulfillment centers to customers' doorsteps.
Things haven't quite gone that way for the company that has otherwise seeped ubiquitously into aspects of modern life, from streaming and food shopping to health care.
When an Amazon delivery drone crashed during a test last year and started a brush fire, it was another setback for the company's stumbling drone ambitions.
The work has advanced more steadily for others, and in April, Wing announced what it calls "the first commercial drone delivery service" in a major US metro area: Texas's Dallas-Fort Worth.
Wing, which also offers deliveries to some areas in Australia and Finland, has a weight limit of 2.5-3 pounds (just over one kilo).
"An entire roasted chicken... that's actually a good visual for the size of what fits," said Jonathan Bass, who heads marketing and communications for Wing.
Take-out food, prescriptions and household items like toothbrushes are the type of small and light products that have worked for airborne drop-offs, though drones have for years delivered essential items like medical goods in parts of Africa.
Drone drop-offs of perishable substances like blood make sense in places where infrastructure is lacking and air transport is the best option, yet some experts are skeptical of whether it works everywhere.
For example, a drone can carry one delivery from a warehouse or store to generally one place, which means a steep drop in efficiency in comparison with an old-fashioned parcel delivery driver.
"It would take a small army of drones to service the 150-200 packages that just one truck normally takes on a route," wrote Bloomberg Opinion columnist Thomas Black, who still saw potential for "premium" emergency deliveries.
But Flytrex CEO Yariv Bash asserted that electric drones, in addition to being more efficient than take-out food deliveries done by a fossil fuel-powered car, were safer.
"Drones don't get tired. They don't try to text while driving. They don't drink and drive," he told AFP. "You just get much better service."
The question of safety has been at the heart of long processes of getting government approvals to work in the United States.
Bass, from Wing, noted that although they use a 10-pound foam drone, the company had to get the same certification that firms like DHL or UPS need for their delivery aircraft.
But he noted the Federal Aviation Administration transport regulator has launched a committee that's made recommendations for regulating drones in the United States, adding: "I think that would really unlock faster growth" in the country.
Growth in the United States wouldn't be a surprise, as McKinsey & Company figures show the global number of commercial deliveries spiking from around 6,000 in 2018 to nearly half a million last year.
"But the path ahead is not yet clear," the firm's March report said. "Regulations, customer acceptance, and cost will all determine whether the industry reaches its potential."