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Trump taps net neutrality foe to head FCC

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President Donald Trump on Monday tapped Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai to head the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, which is expected to roll back many of the Obama administration’s telecommunications and internet policies.

Pai, a former Justice Department, FCC and Capitol Hill staffer, in December said the administration’s landmark net neutrality rules adopted in 2015 would not last.

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Pai, the son of Indian immigrants who grew up in Kansas, said last month the commission should take a “weed whacker” to unneeded rules and was harshly critical of many FCC regulations imposed during the Obama administration.

“During the Trump Administration, we will shift from playing defense at the FCC to going on offense,” he said last month. “We need to fire up the weed whacker and remove those rules that are holding back investment, innovation, and job creation.”

Pai will also have a key role in deciding whether to approve or reject or impose conditions on mergers involving cable and telephone companies. In May, Pai opposed conditions imposed by the FCC on Charter Communication’s acquisition of Time Warner Cable.

Last week, then FCC chairman Tom Wheeler urged Republicans against dismantling the Obama administration’s landmark “net neutrality” protections that bar internet service providers from slowing consumer access to web content.

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Internet providers fear net neutrality rules make it harder to manage internet traffic and make investment in additional capacity less likely. The Republican-controlled Congress is also considering rewriting the net neutrality rules.

Pai has vowed to boost transparency at the FCC. Pai does not need Senate confirmation as chairman but his current term expires at the end of the year and he will need to be reconfirmed to continue.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli, Bernard Orr)

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump approves of North Korea missile tests: ‘I have no problem’ because they’re just ‘short-range missiles’

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On Thursday, in conversation with reporters, President Donald Trump said that he had 'no problem' with North Korea's new round of missile tests.

"Short-range missiles, we never made an agreement on that," said Trump. "I have no problem, we'll see what happens, but these are short-range missiles. They're very standard."

The thought that short-range missiles would still be capable of hitting our allies in the region, like South Korea and Japan, does not seem to have occurred to him.

Watch below:

Trump says he has "no problem" with North Korea testing missiles because they are just "short-range missiles" that are "very standard." pic.twitter.com/fdKtQ6yrBE

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Elections 2016

Russian Twitter propaganda predicted 2016 US election polls

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When Robert Mueller completed his long-awaited investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, he left many questions unanswered.

But one conclusion was unequivocal: Russia unleashed an extensive campaign of fake news and disinformation on social media with the aim of distorting U.S. public opinion, sowing discord and swinging the election in favor of the Republican candidate Donald Trump.

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Elections 2016

Beto O’Rourke calls for a ‘war tax’ in release of health care plan for veterans

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The Democratic presidential candidate uses his eighth policy announcement to focus on an area that he prioritized in Congress.

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on Monday morning released a plan to improve the lives of veterans, returning to an area of priority during his time in the U.S. House for his latest 2020 policy rollout.

In keeping with measures he supported in Congress, the plan calls for a "responsible end" to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — reinvesting $1 out of every $2 saved in veterans programs — and the creation of a Veterans Health Care Trust Fund for each future war. The fund would be paid for by a "war tax" on households without service members or veterans.

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