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News Briefs: Ebola spreads, Big tech anti-trust, CNN bodyguard charged with assault

States open anti-trust against big tech

A group of states is preparing to proceed with a joint antitrust investigation of big technology companies. The number could grow to 20.

Tech companies have increasingly come under scrutiny for bias, censorship, privacy issues and the free flow of information.  The effort involving state attorneys general is expected to be formally launched as soon as next month, and is likely to focus on whether a handful of dominant technology platforms use their marketplace powers to stifle competition.

Alphabet’s Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple, likely to be a focus of the probe, all declined to comment.

The new investigation could dovetail with plans by the Justice Department, which last month said it was opening an antitrust review focusing on tech companies. In addition to the Justice Department probe, the Federal Trade Commission is investigating antitrust concerns at Facebook, as well as competitive issues elsewhere in the industry.

Facebook, Twitter move to support Hong Kong

Twitter and Facebook took down accounts they say are suspected of having links to the Chinese government and were trying to undermine antigovernment protests in Hong Kong. A large peaceful march in the city over the weekend has raised pressure on government officials to find a political solution. A member of the British consular staff in the city has been detained in mainland China after a trip to Shenzhen, just across the border from Hong Kong.

Speed of Ebola is ‘intense’

Hundreds of people continue to be exposed to the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), raising fears of the disease spreading to neighboring countries and the wider region.

The World Health Organization (WHO) team in the DRC has reported 70 to 80 cases a week.

Overall, 2,758 cases and 1,819 deaths have been recorded since August 2018, when the pandemic first broke out in the country’s northern provinces of North Kivu and Ituri.

“The current rate of transmission can be described as intense,” Dr. Margaret Harris, spokesperson for the WHO response team in the DRC, told The Epoch Times. 

Illegal alien’s lawsuit thrown out

An illegal alien’s class-action lawsuit, in which he claimed a Virginia sheriff violated his constitutional rights by detaining him at the request of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), has been thrown out by a federal judge.

The law enforcement officer who was sued, Culpeper County, Virginia, Sheriff Scott Jenkins, says that he’s satisfied with the legal outcome.

“I am pleased that this lawsuit seeking preferential treatment for criminal illegal aliens within our justice system has been dismissed,” Jenkins said.

“This judge confirmed what people with common sense have known all along—my actions as sheriff, in cooperating with federal law enforcement authorities on illegal immigration, are completely legal and constitutional,” he concluded.

Bodyguard for CNN political analyst charged with assault

A bodyguard for April Ryan, a political analyst for CNN, has been charged with harassment, assault, and theft after he was caught on camera taking a journalist’s equipment and appearing to strike the journalist.

Charlie Kratovil with New Brunswick Today was at an event in New Jersey on Aug. 3 where Ryan was speaking. He has shown emails that indicate he was approved to cover the event.

Kratovil said that a man approached him as Ryan was being introduced and asked: “Who are you with?” Video footage showed the man, later identified as Ryan’s bodyguard, Joel Morris, approach Ryan and then come back and take Kratovil’s camera. Another video appeared to show him assault Kratovil.

According to a criminal complaint obtained by The Epoch Times, police found probable cause to issue a summons for Morris for harassment, assault, and theft.

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