Big Tech Down: Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp Experience Widespread Outages

Smartphone with display of social media apps

Platforms owned by Facebook all experienced outages at the same time late Monday morning, and could not be accessed.

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp all went down Monday morning, according to outage tracking site Downdetector. Facebook was first reported down around 11:15 a.m., with reports peaking around 12 p.m. with over 100,000 reported outages, according to the site.

When users attempted to access Instagram, a message reading “5xx Server Error” appeared. A message reading “Sorry, something went wrong” appeared when users tried to access Facebook.

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Trump Demands New York Times, Washington Post Be Stripped of Pulitzers for Russia Reporting

Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump asked the Pulitzer Prize committee on Sunday to strip awards to The Washington Post and The New York Times, arguing their award-winning stories in 2016 and 2017 alleging Russia collusion lacked “any credible evidence “

The newspapers’ reporting was “based on the false reporting of a non-existent link between the Kremlin and the Trump Campaign. The coverage was no more than a politically motivated farce,” Trump wrote in a letter to interim Pulitzer administrator Bud Kliment.

Trump noted that multiple investigations have dismissed any notion of collusion between his campaign and the Kremlin and that a recent indictment by Special Prosecutor John Durham traced some of the key allegations to people tied to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

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Biden, Congress Seek to Chip Away at Gun Rights with United Nations Arms Treaty, Military Red Flag Law

handgun with ammo

Congressional Democrats and the Biden administration are attempting to nibble away at the Second Amendment from both within and without the U.S., gun rights advocates warn, as Congress seeks to pass a red flag law for military members and the president eyes signing on to a United Nations arms treaty.

Red flag laws that would apply to military members were slipped into the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed by the House of Representatives last week with the help of 135 Republicans.

Red flag laws are “essentially bypassing due process,” Gun Owners of America’s Director of Outreach Antonia Okafor told the John Solomon Reports podcast on Wednesday. “It is going from one person who says they accuse you of being a danger to yourself, or to somebody else, and then going to a judge that then gets reasonable suspicion, right, that you are a danger to yourself or somebody else.”

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Swift Backlash for Fauci after He Suggests ‘Too Soon’ to Say Americans Can Gather for Christmas

Dr. Anthony Fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci came under fire this weekend for suggesting that he may ultimately advise against group gatherings for Christmas this year.

Fauci said Sunday on CBS’s “Face The Nation” that it remains “too soon to tell” whether Americans for a second year in a rowwill be told not to gather in groups around the holidays.

“We have to concentrate on continuing to get those numbers down and not try to jump ahead by weeks or months and say what we’re going to do at a particular time,” he said.

Backlash against the White House’s chief medical adviser was swift as many right-leaning commentators and pundits said that enough will never be enough for Fauci when it comes to lockdowns and extreme precautions against COVID-19.

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New Ohio Vaccine Incentive Program Expands Prizes, Age Group

Young girl getting COVID vaccination

Ohio’s newest COVID-19 vaccination incentive program doubled in size Friday when state officials announced a total of $2 million in scholarships will be given way and age ranges will expand.

The program that originally targeted 12- to 25-year-olds now will include those age 5-11 once the vaccine is authorized for their use. Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said authorization should come by the end of the month.

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Commentary: President Biden and His ‘Build Back Better’ … Nonsense

The winding road to American utopia is dotted with potholes, buckling bridges, leaking canals, and lit by flickering lights. To repave America’s highways, shore up her bridges, repair her waterways, and reinforce her power grid, the Democrats’ left-wing insists Congress must first pass a $3.5 trillion bill to fund the federal government and remake large swaths of society along the way. 

So the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, first scheduled for a vote in the House of Representatives on Monday, then punted to Thursday, might not get a vote before the weekend as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) redoubles her efforts to wrangle her fractious caucus into supporting the whole stinking mess.

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Democrat Push to Expand Government, Inject Race Alienates 2022 Swing Voters, Polling Shows

Newt Gingrich, who crafted the Contract with America that upset Washington’s political status quo a quarter century ago, has quietly been conducting one of the most extensive polling operations ever of swing voters ahead of the 2022 election. His takeaway: Democrats’ big government, race-focused and America-disparaging agenda could bust the fragile coalition that put Joe Biden in power last November.

His polling, shared with Just the News, shows Americans overwhelmingly think the United States is the greatest county in history, prefer free-market capitalism to big government socialism, reject the premise of critical race theory that skin color is a predeterminant to success, and oppose defunding the police.

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Upscale Department Store Neiman Marcus Hacked, Exposing Personal Data of up to 4.6 Million Customers

exterior of Neiman Marcus

Department store chain Neiman Marcus is sending notifications to millions of its customers telling them their personal data may be exposed.

Neiman Marcus announced in a press release late Thursday that personal information, including names, contact information, payment card numbers, usernames, passwords and security questions, may have been accessed by a hacker during a May 2020 security breach. The company said it was notifying 4.6 million online customers, and said that 3.1 million payment and virtual gift cards were affected, though the vast majority were expired.

“We are working hard to support our customers and answer questions about their online accounts,” Neiman Marcus Chief Executive Officer Geoffroy van Raemdonck said in a statement. “We will continue to take actions to enhance our system security and safeguard information.”

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YouTube Deletes Ron Paul Channel, Rejects Appeal, Then Reinstates It After Getting Called Out on Twitter

YouTube deleted one of former Texas Rep. Ron Paul’s channels Thursday and denied his appeal to reinstate it, only restoring the account after Paul voiced his frustrations on Twitter.

Paul posted two screenshots on Twitter Thursday of emails sent to him by YouTube informing him his account “RonPaulInstitute” had been removed for “severe or repeated violations of our community guidelines.” A screenshot of another email appeared to show an automatic reply from YouTube informing Paul that his appeal to reinstate the account had been denied.

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Rochester Schools to Ban Parents for One Year if They Don’t Wear Masks

Rochester parents and community members who refuse to wear masks during school board meetings will be banned from district property for one year.

Rochester Public Schools Board Chair Jean Marvin announced the new policy during a Sept. 21 meeting.

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Defunding Disaster: Austin Police No Longer to Responding to ‘Non-Life Threatening’ 911 Calls

Police lights

The Austin Police Department is warning it won’t be responding to non-life threatening 911 calls.

Starting Friday, Austin’s sworn police officers will no longer be responding in person to non-emergency calls because of severe staffing shortages, APD announced.

The announcement comes after the Harris County Sheriff’s Deputies Organization in Houston warned residents that if they were “robbed, raped or shot” to “hold their breath and pray” because they might not have the personnel to respond.

The Austin no-response announcement includes vehicle collisions with no injuries and burglaries no longer in progress or where the suspect has fled the scene. Instead of calling 911, residents are being told to call 311 to file a non-emergency police report.

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Panama Official Says Biden Administration Was Warned About Mass Migration from Haiti, 60k More Coming

Haitian migrants on a boat

Erika Mouynes, Panama’s foreign minister, says the Biden administration was warned in advance about thousands of Haitians heading to the U.S.

About 15,000 migrants recently arrived in Del Rio, Texas. According to the Department of Homeland Security, some were deported but the majority were released into U.S. communities while they await their asylum claim to be adjudicated.

According to Axios, Mouynes said an estimated 60,000 more migrants are making their way to the U.S. Many of the Haitian migrants travel through Panama to get there.

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Groups Warn of Supply Chain System Collapse, as California Ports Face Record Backlogs

Seaport

The International Chamber of Shipping, a coalition of truck drivers, seafarers, and airline workers, recently warned heads of state at the United Nations General Assembly that if restrictive COVID policies don’t change and freedom of movement isn’t restored to transportation workers, a supply-chain collapse is imminent.

Industry leaders representing some 65 million transport workers asked the United Nations and heads of government to “take meaningful and swift action to resolve the crisis now.”

“Global supply chains are beginning to buckle as two years’ worth of strain on transport workers take their toll,” they wrote in an open letter signed by the International Air Transport Association, the International Road Transport Union and the International Transport Workers’ Federation.

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School Sees COVID Cases Decline after Court Said It Can’t Require Masks

After a judge told a school district it couldn’t require masks for students without a quarantine order, the district reported fewer COVID-19 cases, but it has faced other consequences.

It comes as a member of the Illinois Legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules said there is further evidence the Illinois State Board of Education can’t revoke a public or private school’s recognition status for failing to follow the governor’s mask mandate.

Attorney Thomas DeVore said since securing a temporary restraining order enjoining the Hillsboro school district from mandating masks on children on Sept. 17, cases have gone down.

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Black High School Student Admits Responsibility for Racist Graffiti at Missouri High School

A black student admitted responsibility for racist graffiti that prompted a Sept. 23 walkout by over 1,000 students in a Missouri high school, administrators told St. Louis-area media outlets.

“The student responsible is not white, however, this does not diminish the hurt it caused or the negative impact it has had on our entire community,” Dr. Keith Marty, superintendent of the Parkway School District wrote in a Sept. 28 letter to parents.

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Dead, Sick Deer Are Turning up in Mississippi, Biologists Suspect a Viral Infection Called ‘Blue Tongue’

white tale doe

Authorities in Mississippi said Wednesday they’ve witnessed an increased number of sick or dead deer, and suspect one disease could be the cause, the Associated Press reported.

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks believe that the increased number of dead deer is due to Hemorrhagic Disease, also known as blue tongue, the AP reported. The condition is caused by a virus that is transmitted from deer by small bugs like midges and gnats.

“The virus causes internal hemorrhaging and sometimes rapid death occurs,” Dr. Bronson Strickland, a wildlife specialist at the Mississippi State University Extension, said according to the AP. “The virus may cause ulcers which can disrupt digestion.”

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Trade Chief Katherine Tai Says U.S. Will ‘Build On’ Trump’s Tariffs to Fight China

Trade Representative Katherine Tai said the U.S. will “build on” existing tariffs targeting billions of dollars in Chinese imports issued during the Trump administration as President Joe Biden seeks to define his relationship with China, Politico reported.

Tai told Politico the Section 301 tariffs former President Donald Trump issued have “had the effect of getting a lot of people’s attention,” including U.S. companies, their workers, trading partners and China itself.

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Biden’s Approval Rating Tanks Again in Latest Poll

President Joe Biden’s approval rating has declined to 50%, its lowest level since he took office, the latest Associated Press-NORC poll showed.

While 50% of Americans approved of Biden’s job performance, 49% disapproved, according to the AP poll released Friday. The survey — conducted between Sept. 23-27 — showed the president’s approval rating declining to 85% among Democrats, 38% among Independents and 11% among Republicans, each category’s lowest level of Biden’s presidency.

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Commentary: Understanding the 1619 Project

The cover of the August 18, 2019, issue of the New York Times Magazine was adorned with a photograph of a blackish, foreboding ocean captioned by these words: “In August of 1619, a ship appeared on this horizon, near Point Comfort, a coastal port in the British colony of Virginia. It carried more than 20 enslaved Africans, who were sold to the colonists. America was not yet America, but this was the moment it began. No aspect of the country that would be formed here has been untouched by the 250 years of slavery that followed. On the 400th anniversary of this fateful moment, it is finally time to tell our story truthfully.”

What greeted the reader once he turned past an advertisement for a new, highly revisionist Broadway production of To Kill a Mockingbird was a reiteration of the initial message, boldly announced in giant white type. The number 1619 took up two-thirds of the vertical space against a black background. An introduction by New York Times Magazine editor Jake Silverstein appeared beneath the giant “1619” in the same white print, but much smaller: “It is not a year that most Americans know as a notable date in our country’s history. Those who do are at most a tiny fraction of those who can tell you that 1776 is the year of our nation’s birth.”

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Biologically Male Athletes Have Unfair Advantage Over Women, Major Review Finds

Biologically male athletes have unfair advantages over women, a report from the Sports Councils’ Equality Group released Thursday found.

The Sports Councils’ Equality Group (SCEG) found that there are “retained” differences in an average woman’s strength, stamina and physique compared to the average transgender woman “with or without testosterone suppression.”

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11 Months After 2020 Election Georgia Secretary of State Missing Chain of Custody Documents for 6,995 Absentee Ballots Deposited in Fulton County Drop Boxes

A review of transfer forms provided to The Georgia Star News in response to an open records request reveals that the Secretary of State’s office in Georgia is missing chain of custody documents for 6,995 absentee ballots deposited in drop boxes in Fulton County during the November 2020 election.

The number of absentee ballots for which the office has no evidence of the origination of the ballots represents 9 percent of the 79,460 total that Fulton County has recorded as being deposited into drop boxes during the more than month-long early voting and election day period.

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After Meeting with House Democrats About Economic Agenda, Biden Declares ‘We’re Gonna Get This Done’

President Joe Biden told reporters Friday that he was in no rush to see his bipartisan infrastructure bill and budget pass Congress as Democratic divisions over the two slow their path to becoming law.

“We’re gonna get this done,” Biden said after meeting with the House Democratic caucus on Capitol Hill Friday. “It doesn’t matter when. It doesn’t matter whether it’s six minutes, six days or six weeks. We’re gonna get it done.”

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Democrat’s $3.5 Trillion Spending Bill Calls Mothers Both ‘Lactating,’ ‘Birthing’ Individuals

Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending package refers to mothers as both “pregnant” and “lactating” individuals on 11 separate occasions.

Though the spending package specifically mentions the word “mother” three times and the word “maternal” 50 times, the spending bill avoids gendered language and refers to “pregnant, lactating, and postpartum individuals” on 11 other occasions when discussing maternal health conditions or concerns.

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Professors Force Students to Mask in Violation of University Rules, with Mixed Pushback

University systems with bans on COVID-19 mask mandates are taking diametrically opposed approaches to faculty who refuse to comply, offering a real-time experiment in the effectiveness of persuasion versus coercion.

The University of Northern Iowa (UNI) removed biology professor Steve O’Kane from the classroom for the rest of the semester and forced him to forgo a merit pay raise for threatening to grade down students for not wearing masks.

The same day the faculty senate voted to indefinitely postpone O’Kane’s resolution to let faculty require masks in spite of the Board of Regents ban, Cedar Rapids news outlet The Gazette reported.

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Report: Durham Subpoenas Law Firm Tied to Steele Dossier, Hillary Clinton

Special Counsel John Durham reportedly issued subpoenas to Perkins Coie, a law firm tied to the Steele Dossier, the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

The subpoenas are part of Durham’s probe into the origins of the investigation into allegations that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign colluded with Russia, CNN reported.

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Employees Criticize Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin for Being ‘Mostly Male and Overwhelmingly White’

Jeff Bezos

A letter written by current and former employees of Jeff Bezos’ rocket company Blue Origin took aim at the company’s workplace culture.

The letter, posted on website Lioness and written by former Head of Blue Origin Employee Communications Alexandra Abrams along with 20 unnamed current and former employees, criticized the company’s culture and work environment as “stuck in a toxic past.”

“One-hundred percent of the senior technical and program leaders are men,” the employees wrote, bashing the Blue Origin workforce for being “mostly male and overwhelmingly white.”

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NYC Teachers Make Last-Minute Appeal for Supreme Court to Block Vaccine Mandate

In a last-ditch effort to delay the Friday deadline for unvaccinated New York City teachers to receive the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, some teachers filed a petition for an emergency injunction, the New York Post reported.

Four plaintiffs appealed to Justice Sonia Sotomayor to stop the city from removing unvaccinated teachers from their posts by the deadline, according to the New York Post.

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Commentary: A New Meta-Study Breaks Through Institutional Bias, Finds Smarter People Oppose ‘Governmental Intervention in Markets’

The overwhelming majority of social psychologists are liberal, so that could at least partly explain why the field’s scientific literature is overflowing with studies linking conservative political views to lower levels of intelligence.

“That’s just what the data say,” psychologists might counter, glossing over the publication bias, p-hacking, and slanted studies that are rife within the discipline.

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Ohio Judge Allows Municipal-Income-Tax Challenge to Go Forward

Dr. Manal Morsy

A judge has ruled a lawsuit challenging the city of Cleveland’s ability to collect income tax from a doctor who had not worked in the city during the pandemic can go forward.

Dr. Manal Morsy’s lawsuit, one of several filed against Ohio cities by The Buckeye Institute, tests a state law that was altered during the COVID-19 pandemic to continue to allow cities to collect taxes from workers who did not work in those cities.

Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Dick Ambrose denied Cleveland’s motion to dismiss Wednesday.

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