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FCC chairman plans fast-track repeal of net neutrality: sources

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The chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission is moving quickly to replace the Obama administration’s landmark net neutrality rules and wants internet service providers to voluntarily agree to maintain an open internet, three sources briefed on the meeting said Thursday.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican appointed by President Donald Trump, met on Tuesday with major telecommunications trade groups to discuss his preliminary plan to reverse the rules, the sources said.

The FCC declined to comment but Pai previously said he is committed to ensuring an open internet but feels net neutrality was a mistake.

The rules approved by the FCC under Democratic President Barack Obama in early 2015 prohibited broadband providers from giving or selling access to speedy internet, essentially a “fast lane”, to certain internet services over others. As part of that change, the FCC reclassified internet service providers much like utilities.

Pai wants to overturn that reclassification, but wants internet providers to voluntarily agree to not obstruct or slow consumer access to web content, two officials said late Tuesday.

The officials briefed on the meeting said Pai suggested companies commit in writing to open internet principles and including them in their terms of service, which would make them binding.

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It is unclear if regulators could legally compel internet providers to adopt open internet principles without existing net neutrality rules.

As part of that move, the Federal Trade Commission would assume oversight of ensuring compliance.

Three sources said Pai plans to unveil his proposal to overturn the rules as early as late April and it could face an initial vote in May or June.

Internet providers like AT&T Inc, Verizon Communications Inc and Comcast Corp have argued net neutrality rules would make it harder to manage internet traffic and investment in additional capacity less likely. Websites worry that without the rules they might lose access to customers.

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AT&T and major trade groups sued the FCC in 2015 over the net neutrality rules.

Democrats and privacy advocates say net neutrality is crucial to keeping the internet open.

Pai in December predicted that net neutrality’s days were numbered. He told Reuters in February he believes “in a free and open internet and the only question is what regulatory framework best secures that.”

Pai and congressional Republicans have moved quickly to dismantle Obama-era telecommunications rules.

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Trump on Monday signed a repeal of Obama-era broadband privacy rules a victory for internet service providers and a blow to privacy advocates.

Politico Pro reported some details of the meeting with trade groups on Thursday.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Soccer star slams Trump for attacking her teammate: He hates women he ‘cannot control or grope’

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On Wednesday, U.S. Women's Soccer champion Ali Krieger rebuked President Donald Trump for his attacks on her teammate Megan Rapinoe, saying that the president feels threatened by women that he "cannot control or grope":

In regards to the “President’s” tweet today, I know women who you cannot control or grope anger you, but I stand by @mPinoe & will sit this one out as well. I don’t support this administration nor their fight against LGBTQ+ citizens, immigrants & our most vulnerable.

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2020 Election

Bernie Sanders: ‘I intend to be the Democratic nominee’

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Bernie Sanders intends to be the 2020 Democratic nominee - and he's not planning to back down anytime soon. Not even with 23 other Democratic presidential hopefuls in the running alongside him.

MSNBC's Kasie Hunt spoke with Sanders for an interview prior to the first Democratic debate night where he plainly said, "I intend to be the Democratic nominee."

In the interview, Sanders also discussed his plan to end student loan debt and Medicare for all. But before that, he said there was another pressing issue.

"Our goal right now is to win it," Sanders said. "And by the way, as you you may know, poll after poll shows what against Trump? Shows me beating Trump by 8, 9 or 10 points. We're going to beat Trump, we're going to win the Democratic nomination."

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Justice Department sues Omarosa Manigault Newman over financial disclosures

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The Justice Department on Tuesday sued Omarosa Manigault Newman, a former contestant on "The Apprentice" who campaigned for President Donald Trump and later worked for him in the White House, alleging she failed to file a required public disclosure report after she left 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, claims Manigault Newman "knowingly and willingly" failed to file the financial disclosure report after corresponding multiple times with attorneys for the White House. It accuses her of violating the Ethics in Government Act (EIGA) by not filing the report, which was required because her salary exceeded $124,406, despite several oral and written reminders from White House ethics lawyers.

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