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DoJ seeks Google records as US states launch antitrust probe of Big Tech

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The US Department of Justice has asked Google to provide records on past investigations, as part of its extensive probe of tech giants over possible anti-competitive practices, the internet titan said Friday.

Washington has not named the companies it has targeted in its probe — which began in July — but it appears directed at the likes of dominant tech players such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon.

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“We have answered many questions on these issues over many years, in the United States as well as overseas, across many aspects of our business, so this is not new for us,” Kent Walker, Google’s senior vice president of global affairs, said in a blog post.

“The DOJ (Department of Justice) has asked us to provide information about these past investigations, and we expect state attorneys general will ask similar questions,” Walker said, confirming rumors in the US media that a coalition of US states would soon launch an antitrust investigation of the group.

“We have always worked constructively with regulators and we will continue to do so,” he said.

Google was “one of America’s top spenders on research and development, making investments that spur innovation: Things that were science fiction a few years ago are now free for everyone,” he stressed.

Lawmakers and activists have raised concerns about the growing dominance of online giants such as Google, Facebook and Amazon in key segments of the digital economy.

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A coalition of US states, including New York, on Friday launched an antitrust investigation of Facebook, the first of what is expected to be a wave of action against dominant technology firms.


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White House grants press access to Christian site whose founder called impeachment a ‘Jew coup’

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The White House granted press credentials to a Christian news site whose founder claimed that President Donald Trump's impeachment was a "Jew coup" organized by a "Jewish cabal" in anti-Semitic remarks.

Five employees of the Florida-based conservative Christian news outlet TruNews received press credentials from the White House to cover Trump's trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week, founder Rick Wiles told The New York Times from a ski lodge reserved for press members by the Trump administration. The outlet was not granted special access to Trump, though TruNews' Edward Szall asked Ivanka Trump a question during a news conference, according to the report.

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Laura Ingraham wants to remove Adam Schiff from Congress: ‘It’s not clear that congressmen can’t be impeached’

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Fox News host Laura Ingraham floated a novel legal theory on Monday in an attempt to remove Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) from Congress: that members of Congress can be impeached.

"It’s not clear that congressmen can’t be impeached, by the way," Laura Ingraham told Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA).

"It's not clear that they cannot be impeached," she repeated.

Ingraham was simply wrong on the facts, the constitution does not allow the impeachment of members of Congress.

The constitutional mechanism to remove a member of Congress before the end of their two-year term is for two-thirds of the body to vote to expel the member.

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50 million trapped after China sealed off cities as virus death toll surges

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The United States and other nations raced to get their citizens out of the locked-down Chinese city at ground-zero of a virus epidemic on Tuesday, as the death toll surged to 106 and the number of confirmed infections doubled to over 4,500.

The deadly virus, which experts believe emanated from a wild animal market in the city of Wuhan last month, has triggered a desperate Chinese containment effort after spreading nationwide and to more than a dozen other countries.

The government has sealed off Wuhan and other cities in central Hubei province, effectively trapping more than 50 million people, including thousands of foreigners, in a bid to contain the virus as the high-travel Lunar New Year holiday unfolds.

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