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Texas woman sues Facebook claiming social media site enabled sex trafficking

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A Texas woman, claiming that she was raped, beaten and sex trafficked at the age of 15 by a pimp who posed as a Facebook “friend,” has filed suit against the social network, alleging its executives knew minors were being lured into the sex trade on their platform.

The woman, identified only as Jane Doe in court papers filed in Harris County District Court in Houston on Monday, also named as defendants the now-shuttered classified ads website Backpage.com and its founders.

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Facebook did not respond to a request by Reuters for comment.

Attorneys for Backpage.com and the former employees named in the lawsuit as defendants also did not return calls for comment.

According to the lawsuit, the woman was “friended” on Facebook in 2012 by a user who appeared to know several of her real-life friends. The man messaged her through Facebook, according to the lawsuit, which was seen by Reuters.

The lawsuit alleges that at one point following an argument with her mother, the trafficker offered to console her, but after picking her up from her home he beat and raped her and took pictures that were posted on Backpage.com.

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The lawsuit says Facebook did not do enough to verify the user’s identity, which the lawsuit said was false, and that Jane Doe was never warned that sex traffickers were operating on the social media network.

The plaintiff’s attorneys, David Harris and Louie Cook of the law firm Sico Hoelscher Harris LLP in Houston, did not reply to requests for comment.Backpage.com was shut down by authorities earlier this year after a Justice Department investigation into allegations that the website was used primarily to sell sex.

Reporting by Dan Whitcom; Editing by Bill Tarrant

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The View explodes in confusion after Meghan McCain makes Trump’s Ukraine debacle all about herself

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Meghan McCain managed to place herself at the center of a debate about a whistleblower complaint filed against President Donald Trump.

"The View" grappled with reports that Trump dangled U.S. military aid to Ukraine in exchange for damaging information against Joe Biden, and co-host Abby Huntsman agreed that was an impeachable offense -- but expressed doubts about the accuracy.

"This is a blown-up story and we have no facts, there's no gray area," Huntsman said. "It's black and white, and that would give Trump all the more ammunition if this isn't even true to say, this is what the media does."

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Dem lawmaker encourages acting-DNI to ignore White House and deliver the whistleblower report directly to Congress

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Appearing on CNN on Friday morning to discuss an alarming whistleblower report on Donald Trump's actions that the president's administration is withholding from Congress, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) encouraged the acting Director of National Intelligence to hand the report over and ignore the administration.

Speaking with CNN host Jim Sciutto, Swalwell made a direct appeal to acting-DNI head Joseph Maguire.

"This is an opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to unite and say, we don't want this in our democracy," Swalwell explained. "You know, that's why I wrote the Protecting Our Democracy Act, to, you know, have a bipartisan commission look at this."

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‘Young people have had enough’: Global climate strike youth activists on why they are marching today

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Today is the Global Climate Strike, inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. As people took to the streets in Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia, we host a roundtable discussion with youth activists organizing marches in the United States — in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Minneapolis — ahead of next week’s U.N. Climate Action Summit. We are joined by Xiye Bastida, a 17-year-old climate justice activist originally from Mexico who is an organizer with Fridays for Future New York and a student at Beacon High School in New York; Katie Eder, a 19-year-old climate justice activist who founded the Future Coalition, where she is currently the executive director; Juwaria Jama, a 15-year-old and first-generation Somali from Minneapolis, Minnesota, who is with U.S. Youth Climate Strikes and is the co-state lead for the Minnesota Youth Climate Strike; and Isra Hirsi, a high school junior and executive director of the U.S. Youth Climate Strike, daughter of Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar.

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