Kushner joins father-in-law’s White House as senior adviser

Jared Kushner will serve as a senior adviser in father-in-law Donald Trump’s White House, the Trump Presidential Transition Team said Monday.

The announcement ends speculation about Kushners post-campaign role but fuels questions about the future of his familys Manhattan real estate business.

Kushner’s lawyer has said his client would step down as chief executive of the family business if he takes a White House position and divest some of his assets to comply with federal ethics laws that apply to government employees.

The law requires Kushner, who was among Trump’s most trusted and powerful campaign advisers, to take more significant steps than Trump to disentangle his business interests, given that conflict-of-interest laws largely do not apply to the president.

But attorney Caleb Burns, a partner in the Washington, D.C., firm Wiley Rein, hit back Monday at Democrats like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and others who have suggested that Trump, Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson and now Kushner arent doing enough to separate themselves from business interests.

Jared Kushner has done everything hes required to do and more. Hes simply required to recuse himself from any decision that would have a direct and predictable impact on his financial holdings, Burns, who specializes in government ethics law, said Monday. They’re cloaking political issues in legal garb.” 

The transition team said Kushner will work closely with White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon to execute President-elect Trumps agenda.

Jared has been a tremendous asset and trusted adviser throughout the campaign and transition, and I am proud to have him in a key leadership role in my administration said Trump, in the announcement.  

Kushners decision also ends speculation about whether he would join Trumps administration or take an outside advisory role.

But it will likely further ignite the political squabble over whether the 35-year-old Kushner’s post violates a no-nepotism law that bars officials from appointing relatives to government positions. (Some Trump aides have argued that the law does not apply to the White House.)

Kushner, married to Trumps daughter Ivanka, was deeply involved in the campaign’s digital efforts and was usually at Trump’s side during the election’s closing weeks.

He has since continued to play a central role in the transition, taking part in Cabinet interviews and often getting a last word alone with Trump after a meeting concludes.

Whether Kushner, a Harvard graduate, will be an adviser on domestic or foreign policy, or both, remains unclear.

Trump has suggested since winning the White House race in November that he would like Kushner involved in helping with Middle East peace.

Kushner has never publicly distanced himself from Trump’s more provocative stances, including his campaign call for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration.

The announcement follows Kushner being among the few advisers to join Trump in meeting President Obama at the White House and reports about him and his family already having decided on a home in Washingtons Kalorama neighborhood.

Like his father-in-law, Kushner pushed a mid-sized real estate company into the high-stakes battlefield of Manhattan. Though he is often viewed as more moderate than Trump, people close to him say he fully bought in to the Trump campaign’s fiery populist message that resonated with white working class voters.

Prior to the campaign, Kushner and Ivanka Trump were not overtly political. Kushner’s father was a Democratic fundraiser while Ivanka, whose personal brand has a focus on young working mothers, counted Chelsea Clinton among her friends.

It is an honor to serve our country, Kushner said. I am energized by the shared passion of the president-elect and the American people and I am humbled by the opportunity to join this very talented team.

FoxNews.com’s Joseph Weber and Fox News’ John Roberts and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/01/09/kushner-to-join-father-in-laws-white-house-as-senior-adviser.html

Have baby boomers stolen the family silver? – BBC News

Image copyright Ian Wells
Image caption Millennial daughter and her baby boomer father, Claudia and Ian Wells

We take it for granted that our children will be better off than us but the so-called millennials – anyone born in the 1980s or 1990s – could become the first generation in history to be worse off than their parents.

And are those parents, mostly baby boomers who benefited from economic good times, tax cuts and free higher education to blame?

The figures

Baby boomers, people born between 1945 and 1965, will on average earn 740,000 during their lives, according to the Resolution Foundation.

Generation X, those now aged between 35 and 50, are projected to earn 21% more than that – 835,000 on average.

But the figure for millennials, the under-35s, is lower – they’re forecast to earn 825,000 over their working lives.

‘Stagnation Generation’

Laura Gardiner, author of the Resolution Foundation’s report Stagnation Generation found a range of reasons for the dismal outlook for millennials.

Image caption Millennial Laura Gardiner says that her generation has been particularly hard hit by the financial crisis

Laura, a millennial herself, says the timing of the financial crisis was particularly bad for her generation. “This pay squeeze in particular hit millennials just at the point you expect your pay to be rising most quickly, in your early twenties,” she says.

There’s still a chance that millennials’ lifetime earnings could outstrip those of their parents because they are likely to live longer and work longer, Laura says.

She adds, however, that the slowdown in productivity growth (which affects national income) and the rise of insecure or precarious work, such as zero-hours contracts, self employment and short-term contracts, could prove so devastating that millennials would still earn less than their parents.

Media captionFather and daughter Ian and Claudia discuss their financial prospects

Claudia Wells, who is 24, graduated from university in 2015 and since then has had a series of temporary and short-term contracts, the most recent of which has taken her to France. “In today’s market,” she says, “finding a job can be hard.”

Claudia also faces other financial burdens compared with her baby boomer father Ian. As soon as she starts earning more than 21,000 she will have to start paying off more than 40,000 of student debt.

Ian compares his daughter’s circumstances with his own: “At 23 I was in a secure, big company job with a good pension scheme, I had bought my first modest house and I was paying off a mortgage, not student debt.”

The housing divide

“I live in a shared house and the idea of me or any of my friends owning a house by ourselves is pretty unforeseeable,” Claudia says.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Housing supply has failed to meet demand – another problem facing millennials

In fact, by the age of 30, Claudia’s generation are 50% less likely to own their own homes than their baby boomer parents. Almost two-thirds of Ian’s generation were homeowners by the same age.

Part of the problem is that supply has failed to keep up with demand for housing as the population has grown.

And Angus Hanton, co-founder of the Intergenerational Foundation, which exists to promote fairness between the generations, believes that older people are hogging the housing that is available.

“Partly,” he says, “because they are living longer and partly because there aren’t suitable places to downsize to, but they are taking more than their share.”

This matters for Claudia’s generation because property remains the single biggest asset owned by people in the UK and is a valuable source of wealth and, potentially, rental income in later life.

Image caption Angus Hanton, a baby boomer himself, says his generation is taking “more than their share”

Ian and his wife own their home outright and receive rental income from properties overseas that will supplement his already generous defined benefits pension and large savings pot, should he choose to retire.

An uncomfortable retirement

For “generation rent” – as millennials are also known – their retirement prospects look a lot bleaker. Not only are they more likely to forego income and wealth from owning property, they also face much higher pension costs.

And, despite the start of auto-enrolment into company pension schemes, the shift towards defined contribution pensions and the rise in self-employment (excluded from auto-enrolment) could dramatically reduce millennials’ retirement income.

The state is often seen as the arbiter of fairness between generations. But, there is evidence that government policy itself may have widened the intergenerational divide.

Prof Sir John Hills of the London School of Economics found that baby boomers were, on average, net beneficiaries of the welfare state – they will get more in benefits than they have paid in tax. They have enjoyed tax cuts and a boom in welfare spending. Subsequent generations, by contrast, are likely to be net contributors over their lifetimes and get back less than they have paid in, thanks to austerity cuts to state benefits.

The grey vote

“The older generation have more voting power… they lobby more, the MPs and the policy makers are more likely to be baby boomers so [young people’s] interests tend to be treated as less important,” says Angus Hanton.

So government decisions to protect the state pensions with a “triple lock” guaranteeing an annual rise of at least 2.5%, at a time when other working-age benefits are being cut, has added to the controversy over intergenerational fairness.

“In the UK we have a huge number of pensioners who are wealthy, probably two million over-60s who live in households with more than a million pounds’ worth of assets,” adds Angus. “It seems odd that they should be getting this handout of the state pension.”

Image caption Baroness Greengross, who is from the “silent” inter-war generation, doesn’t believe parents are at war with their children

Not everyone, however, puts the blame quite so squarely on the shoulders of the older generations.

“I would dispute the fact that the generations are at war,” says Baroness Greengross, president of the Pensions Policy Institute. “The older generation has no desire to fight the younger generation… these are their children and grandchildren.”

There is evidence that, in some countries at least, state level transfers of wealth from the young are, to some extent, offset by private transfers from old to young within families.

And, Ian admits that, like most parents, he is setting aside money to help Claudia get on to the housing ladder.

Talking Business: Generations at War will be broadcast on BBC World News at 15:30 GMT on Friday, 13 January and on the BBC News Channel at 20:30 on Saturday, 14 January.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38558116

Pretend you’re in The Italian Job or get the bus? – BBC News

Image copyright Small Car Big City
Image caption “Betty” the 1999 Paul Smith Mini Cooper adds some fun to private car hire

Betty, a resplendent royal blue 1999 Paul Smith Mini Cooper, has just arrived downstairs.

Handing over the keys is a tweed-wearing, bearded Tony Grant, who owns 10 such Minis with names like Poppy, Mildred and Lulu.

Self-styled “Head Gasket” at Small Car Big City, he is adding a new twist to the car hire and car-sharing business.

As part of the fun, there are fancy dress outfits in the boot to match The Italian Job film theme, along with a crowbar and a bar of (imitation) gold.

I booked Betty through recently launched car sharing app Turo, which is aiming to bring an Airbnb vibe to the world of wheels.

While car-sharing firms, such as ZipCar which owns its own fleet, have been around for more than a decade, so-called peer-to-peer (P2P) car sharing – private owners renting out their cars – hasn’t really taken off.

And yet, given that we use our cars just 5% of the time, as Andre Haddad, Turo’s chief executive tells me, the business potential remains.

Image copyright Tony Grant
Image caption Small Car Big City founder Tony Grant and one of his beloved Minis

This is why Turo, and a handful of other recent start-ups like easyCar, Getaround, and Rentecarlo, are hoping to unlock all this unused capacity sitting idle in the street.

“ZipCar’s fleets at their maximum reached 15,000 vehicles, so they were not able to reach massive scale,” says Mr Haddad.

“They obviously built a very successful company, but globally, hourly car sharing reached, at its peak, less than 1% of the entire car rental market space,” he adds.

For Turo, the minimum rental is a day, he says, and their average is four days. Other firms, like Getaround, which has a presence in 10 US cities, focus more on hourly rentals.

Image copyright Turo
Image caption Car enthusiast and Turo boss Andre Haddad owns a Porsche 911

Mr Haddad, who describes himself as a car enthusiast, says Turo gives people the opportunity to try out interesting cars, from cute Minis to rugged off-roaders.

“It would be really fun to go out in a Jeep Wrangler if you’re going up a mountain, but it doesn’t really justify owning one,” he says.

Keys to success

One practical challenge of P2P rental is getting the key to the customer if the car’s owner isn’t around.

Richard Laughton, chief executive of easyCar Club, which launched in 2014, says: “We provide owners with lockboxes they can attach somewhere outside their house, and send a one-use pin to the renter to take the key out, and put it back at the end.”

Next year easyCar Club will try out unlocking cars by mobile app, he says.

Image copyright EasyCar Club
Image caption EasyCar Club owners and renters are vetted by the company

Another challenge is overcoming the trust issue. After all, would you rent out your precious motor to a total stranger?

“I think one thing that will continually hold back the P2P model is the reluctance of people to put an asset on a shared platform,” says Adam Stocker, a researcher at Berkeley University Transportation Sustainability Research Center in California.

“The fear that their vehicle gets trashed, misused, or breaks faster – but this is just human nature.”

One early US car-sharing start-up, HiGear, shut down in 2012 following the theft of several members’ cars.

So most P2P companies engage in detailed vetting of new members, and incorporate feedback and user ratings. Turo says it has developed machine learning tools to help with the screening process.

EasyCar believes telematics boxes could help track how renters have used – or abused – the car and act as a sort of onboard policeman.

Image copyright David Yiu
Image caption EasyCar Club boss Richard Laughton does not own a car

And what if the renter crashes or damages your car?

“Insurance has been a really big challenge,” admits Jacob Nielsen, co-founder of Rentecarlo, a P2P car-sharing firm founded by “three guys from Denmark” two-and-a-half years ago.

Admiral Insurance has worked with several P2P start-ups to develop a suitable product, says Mr Nielsen. The insurer even allows renters to earn up to five years’ no-claims bonus while driving someone else’s car, providing they drive more than 30 days in a year, he says.

Such innovations and technological improvements have enabled easyCar to “double bookings year-on-year”, says Mr Laughton.

Other P2P car-sharing firms seem to be enjoying similar rates of growth, as younger people in particular embrace the concept of “mobility as a service” and eschew ownership.

So what does this mean for car manufacturers’ traditional business models?

“I would say 2016 definitely was the year the major auto manufacturers woke up to the shared mobility space,” says Mr Stocker.

Image copyright Croove
Image caption Mercedes’ P2P car-sharing service Croove lets private owners rent out their cars

For example, Mercedes-Benz recently launched a car-sharing app called Croove.

In September, Ford bought Chariot, a San Francisco-based crowd-sourced shuttle service, and is even investing in a bike-sharing start-up called Motivate.

Manufacturers clearly understand that personal car ownership is becoming old hat.

General Motors tried to buy Lyft this summer, but was rebuffed, despite both companies joining forces to develop driverless taxis.

Public transport threat?

Car sharing may worry public authorities less than house sharing.

Property-sharing giant Airbnb has recently come under fire from city authorities – in Amsterdam, for instance – over concerns that it increases city centre congestion and enables guests to avoid paying hotel tax.

Car-sharing companies like Turo and others could help decrease the overall number of cars on the road to start with as fewer people see the need to own their own vehicle.

But once driverless cars come in, authorities might worry they pose threat to public transport systems, some analysts believe.

“It would be very inexpensive to run electric driverless Uber taxis that go around cities and provide transport in a fluid way,” says Philippe Houchois, an automotive sector analyst at equity research company Jefferies.

“If you get to a point where your cost-per-mile is less than 1,” says Mr Houchois, “public transport would seem less attractive.”

Paradoxically, we could then see a rise in car numbers on our roads, not a reduction.

  • Follow Technology of Business editor Matthew Wall on Twitter and Facebook

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38554004

Republicans Used To Care About Cabinet Disclosures. Then Trump Won.

WASHINGTON Senate Republicans used to care about Cabinet nominees making full disclosures at least they cared when President Barack Obama was the one doing the nominating.

So concerned with the potential for foreign conflicts of interest that, in 2013, Republicans demanded unprecedented disclosures from a member of their own party: former Sen. Chuck Hagel, Obamas nominee for secretary of Defense.

This Committee, and the American people, have a right to know if a nominee for Secretary of Defense has received compensation, directly or indirectly, from foreign sources, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), then one month into the job, wrote in a letter to Hagel that was signed by 25 additional Republican senators. Until the Committee receives full and complete answers, it cannot in good faith determine whether you should be confirmed as Secretary of Defense.

But now that President-elect Donald Trump looks apt to retain a financial stake in his multibillion-dollar business enterprise with deals connected to foreign businesses and a hotel that is being rented out by foreign governments the GOP no longer seems to care.

Republicans in both the House and Senate have refused to hold hearings on Trumps conflicts of interest, and there is no apparent concern that some of the nine Cabinet nominees scheduled to testify this week have so far failed to properly disclose their financial holdings or reach the customary agreement with the Office of Government Ethics.

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), who signed Cruzs letter and defended Cruzs attacks against Hagel during a committee vote on the nomination, made no attempt to hide the hypocrisy.

When The Huffington Post asked Inhofe on Monday night if this same standard of disclosing foreign payments should apply to Trumps Cabinet nominees, he said it shouldnt.

So its different now because its Trump? we asked.

Thats just right, Inhofe said.

Thats right? we asked to clarify.

Yeah, he said.

A spokeswoman later tried to walk back Inhofes answers. Of course we dont believe theres a double standard when it comes to President-elect Trumps Cabinet picks, said Daisy Letendre, Inhofes communications director. Inhofe, it seems, had made the great political mistake of telling the truth, but you can listen to the exchange complete with guffaws from surrounding reporters surprised by his honesty here.

Other Republicans have been more careful than Inhofe to admit the hypocrisy.

To highlight the duplicity, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) took a 2009 letter laying out eight standards for nominees that then-Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had sent to then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), changed the names with a sharpie, and then sent it back to McConnell via Twitter.

Democrats have asked for a delay in the hearings until the nominees who had not been fully vetted by OGE as of late Monday Ben Carson, Betsy DeVos and Wilbur Ross complete the vetting process, but that request is being ignored.

McConnell has labeled those calls to postpone confirmation hearings for Trumps nominees little procedural complaints. McConnell also signed Cruzs letter demanding the unprecedented disclosures from Hagel.

Part of the GOP double standard seems to be a belief that OGE might intentionally be dragging its feet.

Theres a concern, frankly, that the government ethics office is not working with us expeditiously, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), who also signed Cruzs letter, said Monday. Theres a concern there that Ive heard expressed.

Typically, administrations work with OGE before nominees are put forward to work out potential conflicts of interest, but the Trump administration did not do that, and nominees were late to get their paperwork into the ethics office.

Now Republicans are rushing to confirm Trumps nominees without even the standard level of vetting, let alone the additional standards they applied to Hagel.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who also had signed Cruzs letter, said Senate Republicans have asked for a number of the same disclosures that they demanded of Obama nominees.

So well see what answer we get on it in the next couple days, Rubio said.

But if they dont get those documents, would Rubio vote to block any of the nominees?

Lets see the answers first, he said.

Armed Services Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.), who signed Cruzs letter in 2013, said the same standards should apply now as they did then.

Presented with the fact that Republicans were holding hearings this week on nominees who have not received a letter of approval from OGE, McCain said the Senate should have all the information necessary.

But I dont know about the specific nominees, he said. Im taking care of the ones that go through the defense the Armed Services Committee.

While McCain turns a blind eye to the nominees not under his jurisdiction, he did, to his credit, come to Hagels defense against Cruzs attack in 2013. When other Republicans were threatening a walkout over the Hagel vote, McCain issued a news release saying Hagel had fulfilled the rigorous requirements and that a vote was appropriate. He also called Cruzs attack at the time out of bounds.

Cabinet nominees are already required by committees to disclose whether they have received any compensation from, or been involved in any financial or business transactions with, a foreign government or an entity controlled by a foreign government over the past 10 years.

Hagel stated that he could not produce such disclosures, as he was no longer employed at any of the firms targeted for disclosure by Senate Republicans.

Cruz took that answer to imply that Hagel must have received ethically disqualifying payments.

We do not know, for example, if he received compensation for giving paid speeches at extreme or radical groups, Cruz said. It is at a minimum relevant to know if that $200,000 that he deposited in his bank account came directly from Saudi Arabia, came directly from North Korea.

It was an attack that then-Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said was reminiscent of Sen. Joseph McCarthys witch hunt against supposed communists in the government in the 1950s, and it brought Cruz a quick reputation as someone not interested in making nice with the collegial Senate.

At least, that was then.

Asked Monday if the standard he set for Hagel should apply to Trump nominees, Cruz ignored the question and told us to contact his office.

Sign up for the HuffPost Must Reads newsletter. Each Sunday, we will bring you the best original reporting, longform writing and breaking news from The Huffington Post and around the web, plus behind-the-scenes looks at how its all made. Click here to sign up!

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-nominees-disclosures-republicans_us_58743641e4b043ad97e5662f?sg7pthbrvdzhbyb9

Sanders gets heated with Trump-supporting small business owner

Washington (CNN)Sen. Bernie Sanders and a Donald Trump supporter shared a heated moment Monday night during CNN’s town hall event as the Democrat was pressed on Obama administration regulations.

Jim Jacobs, who said he was a small business owner, told the Vermont senator he was concerned about the effects of what he called a raft of burdensome regulations.
“The devil is in the details. We’ve got to see what those regulations are,” Sanders said, not giving an inch.
    Sanders said he wouldn’t rule out reconsidering some regulations, but added he didn’t know which ones the man was citing.
    “It’s very easy to blame Barack Obama for everything, by the way. Some of those regulations may be state, may be local,” the Vermont senator said.
    “But some of them, if you’re talking about — you now, you have some folks out there who really want the freedom to pollute our air and pollute our water,” he said. “They want to get rid of those regulations. I don’t agree. I don’t agree. We have got to protect our environment.”
    Sanders added that while Obama raised taxes on the wealthiest Americans, he would have gone further.
    “Obama did raise taxes on the top 1 or 2%, and you know what? I would have gone further. I think the wealthiest people in this country are doing phenomenally well,” Sanders said.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/09/politics/bernie-sanders-jim-jacobs-cnn-town-hall/index.html

    Two cases of Twitter abuse highlight the obscure nature of suspensions

    Two women recently reported their abuse on Twitter. The difference in how the company responded raises questions about the way it protects its users

    Over the weekend pharma bro Martin Shkreli was suspended from Twitter following his interactions with Teen Vogue journalist Lauren Duca. Today, the company briefly suspended Alexandra Brodsky, a fellow at the National Womens Law Center, after she retweeted screengrabs of antisemitic abuse she received. Her abusers accounts were not suspended.

    These very different cases highlight the lack of transparency in the way Twitter handles harassment. From the outside, its abuse policies appear to be applied inconsistently, with some accounts being suspended with little explanation. Critics are calling for the microblogging platform to be more accountable for its moderation decisions.

    Id like to see Twitter be more open about their priorities, expectations and practices, said Stuart Geiger, an ethnographer and Berkeley PhD student who has studied Twitters approach to moderating abuse. It does seem to be haphazard.

    Shkreli, an entrepreneur and hedge fund founder, achieved notoriety in 2015 when he acquired the drug Daraprim, used in the treatment of Aids and cancer patients, and hiked the cost of a pill from $13.50 to $750. He has since built a name for himself as a right-wing provocateur.

    In the last few weeks hes turned his attention to Duca, a freelance writer, sending her direct messages asking her to be his +1 to Donald Trumps inauguration and changing his Twitter profile picture to a doctored image that showed him sitting with Duca on a sofa. He also made his cover photo a collage of images of Duca with the caption, For better or worse, til death do us part, I love you with every single beat of my heart, and changed his bio to refer to his small crush on @laurenduca (hope she doesnt find out).

    Lauren Duca (@laurenduca)

    How is this allowed @jack pic.twitter.com/Wof8MlYHTL

    January 8, 2017

    Duca reposted the direct message and screenshots of Shkrelis profile, calling on Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey to help. How is this allowed, @jack, she wrote. Later that day, Shkrelis account was suspended with no public explanation.

    On Sunday, Duca told Buzzfeed: I dont know how this could possibly be allowed because this is an act of targeted harassment.

    The suspension of Shkrelis account follows a similar pattern to that of Breitbart journalist Milo Yiannopoulos, who was permanently banned from the platform last year for his role in the online abuse of Ghostbusters actor Leslie Jones. It wasnt until Jones publicly quit the platform following an onslaught of racist and sexist vitriol, whipped up by Yiannopoulos, that Twitter decided to act.

    Twitter suspends accounts for a number of reasons, including abusive behaviour, sending spam or if the account has been hacked. These suspensions may be temporary or permanent.

    Actor Leslie Jones publicly quit Twitter after a campaign of abuse by rightwing journalist Milo Yiannopoulos. Photograph: NBC/Getty Images

    According to Twitters rules, a user can be deemed abusive if they harass, intimidate or use fear to silence another users voice. This includes making threats of violence, inciting or engaging in targeted abuse of others, promoting hate against others based on race, sexual orientation, gender, age or disability, and publishing the private information of others, known as doxxing.

    How Twitter applies these rules, however, is less clear. The platform appears to tackle abuse in a reactive, rather than strategic, way according to how high-profile the target of abuse is. Both Yiannopoulos and Shkreli had sent messages that could be interpreted as intimidating or misogynistic before they were suspended, but Twitter only acted when they targeted users with large followings.

    In some cases, the platform is blocking the victim rather than the antagonist, as happened in the case of Brodsky.

    She found her account temporarily suspended after she tweeted screenshots of antisemitic abuse she was receiving. The accounts of the people who sent the abuse remained online.

    Dana Bolger (@danabolger)

    This weekend, @azbrodsky and I got harassing anti-Semitic tweets. When she spoke out, @Twitter suspended HER account. @JACK, how is this ok? pic.twitter.com/dUW47KD1fn

    January 9, 2017

    Brodskys account was reactivated after some of her 5,000 followers complained to Jack Dorsey and one of her friends told a journalist, who then called Twitter asking for comment.

    Twitters anti-harassment enforcement is still unacceptable, she said on her Facebook page after her account was restored. Public criticism shouldnt be necessary for the company to do the right thing.

    For Brodsky, Twitter is a crucial tool she uses at work. At the time her account was suspended she was in the middle of a campaign opposing the appointment of Jeff Sessions of the role of attorney general.

    Twitter is a cesspool, but its a really important useful cesspool, she told the Guardian. A lot of us dont have the option of disengaging because its a powerful tool to get the work done.

    These cases highlight the lack of transparency over Twitters decision-making, particularly as a key forum for public discourse and with President-elect Donald Trump now even using it to announce policy changes.

    Twitter is becoming more like governments. We dont expect them to be black boxes, said Geiger.

    Im a law school graduate, so I like the idea of there being public justifications for these decision, added Brodsky. It would be helpful to for us to see if Twitter is being consistent and whether the size of the platform of the target plays into the decision making.

    Geiger said that abuse is particularly acute on Twitter because of the way its designed. Twitter has one of the toughest jobs among the various online platforms because of its immediacy. The same stuff that happens on Facebook doesnt get the same public reach. Twitter pushes us all together I can tweet Donald Trump if I want to. Its part of the thrill but also why it can be so problematic and dangerous, he said.

    He believes Twitter might be dragging its feet over really clamping down on harassment in the way its clamped down on terrorist accounts for fear of losing too many users. Already members of the alt-right are moving to Twitter alternatives like Gab.

    If you look at it from a business perspective, if they have a dip in the number of users active on the platform theyll have a dip in stock price, he said. It puts them in a tricky position.

    Twitter did not respond to questions about how it decides which accounts to suspend and who is responsible for making the decisions.

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jan/09/twitter-abuse-martin-shkreli-lauren-duca-alexandra-brodsky

    Contrary to reports, Yahoo is not changing its name to Altaba

    Only the investment part of Yahoo that will be renamed Altaba, while the main brand will retain its name

    Dont worry, Mom. Yahoo is not changing its name to Altaba.

    Contrary to some news reports on Monday, only the part of Yahoo that is not being sold to Verizon will be renamed Altaba.

    In addition, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is to step down from its board, but will continue to be CEO.

    Verizon agreed to buy Yahoos search engine and web portal for $4.83bn back in July. However, Yahoos shareholders heldonto the companys lucrative investments including a 36% stake in Yahoo Japan and a 16% stake in Alibaba and patent portfolio. This remaining entity has no product and no staff members.

    According to an SEC filing released today, that entity will, provided the Verizon deal goes through, be know as Altaba and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, along with five other board members, will resign from its board.

    Marissa Mayer will resign from the companys board if the Verizon purchase goes through, but will remain as CEO. Photograph: Elijah Nouvelage / Reuters/Reuters

    The Yahoo-branded web portal, search engine, email service and news services will continue to exist but will be integrated with Verizon-owned AOL. The Yahoo brands, such as Yahoo Finance and Yahoo Sports, wont go away, said an AOL spokeswoman in July.

    The Verizon deal, which puts an end to Yahoos 21-year history as an independent company, still needs be approved by regulators and is expected to be finalized in the first quarter of 2017.

    The disclosure of a massive data breach that impacted more than 1 billion accounts has raised questions over whether the deal will be finalised.

    The company revealed in early December that an unauthorised party broke into Yahoo accounts in 2013, in the largest such breach in history. The number of accounts was double the number implicated in a 2014 breach that the internet company disclosed in September and blamed on hackers working on behalf of a government.

    Marissa Mayer joined Yahoo as CEO in 2012 from Google. She was tasked with turning the company around, but failed to do so. At the start of 2016 the company reported a $4.4bn loss following expensive gambles such as the $1.1bn acquisition of Tumblr in 2013.

    It is unclear what Mayers role will be if the Verizon deal is completed, although she has said she plans to stay on in the newly merged company, writing in a Tumblr post last year: Im planning to stay… Its important to me to see Yahoo into its next chapter.

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jan/09/yahoo-altaba-no-name-change-marissa-mayer

    Issa Rae has the perfect advice for dealing with Donald Trump

    It might be Issa Rae’s first Golden Globes but she is not leaving without making a statement.

    The actress and brilliant mind behind HBO’s Insecure took some time on the red carpet to talk about president-elect Donald Trump’s controversial Twitter account.

    “Every single time I see a tweet from that man…every single time I see some of the staff and administration he’s bringing, it gets worse and worse,” Rae said. “The scariest part is how normal it’s becoming to some people.”

    “I think we just have to keep calling things out like, ‘No you’re lying! That’s not true! No, that doesn’t work that way!,’ Rae explained. “As long as we don’t continue to let him slide there might be some hope, but it’s scary.”

    Rae is up for her first Golden Globe award for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy TV Series for HBO’s Insecure.

    Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/01/08/issa-rae-golden-globes-donald-trump/

    See Emma Stone’s fun pre-Golden Globes glam routine

    It’s weird that your best friend, Emma Stone, didn’t invite you over to have a glass of champagne and listen to Carly Rae Jepsen while she gets ready for her big night.

    But it’s cool! She probably didn’t want you to make you think she’s just trying to make everything about Emma Stone all the time. But lucky for us, the social media-shy actress let everyone have a peek at her less-than-glam lip mask routine.

    Makeup artist Rachel Goodwin shared the fun snap of the actress, expected to pick up a Best Actress or Comedy statue for La La Land at the Globes, trying out a Korean lip mask that looks a lot like a bubblegum mess.

    About to hit the red carpet & feeling confident. @goldenglobes @veephbo @karenkawahara #goldenglobes

    A photo posted by Julia Louis-Dreyfus (@officialjld) on

    Your girl Julia Louis-Dreyfus also shared a beauty routine selfie since she probably assumed you were too busy gossiping with Emma Stone about cocky actors to stop by while she’s getting ready.

    Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/01/08/emma-stone-lip-mask-golden-globes/

    Nokia’s legacy lives on with a new Android smartphone

    Image: NOKIA

    After years of anticipation, Nokia is finally back in the smartphone game.

    To little fanfare, the Finnish technology company HMD Global (HMD) Sunday unveiled the Nokia 6, a mid-range Android smartphone for the Chinese market. HMD owns the rights to use Nokias brand on mobile phones.

    The Nokia 6, which runs the newest version of Googles mobile operating system, Android Nougat, sports a 5.5-inch full HD (1920×1080 pixels) display. With metal on the sides and a rounded rectangular fingerprint scanner housed on the front, the Nokia 6 seems reminiscent of the Samsung Galaxy S7.

    The new Nokia smartphone is powered by a mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor and will compete with the likes of Samsungs Galaxy A series models and other mid-end smartphones. The smartphone is manufactured by Foxconn.

    HMD says more smartphones coming in the first half of 2017.

    HMD doesnt seem hurried about its global ambitions. The Nokia 6 will exclusively sell in China through ecommerce giant JD.com, it said Sunday. The smartphone is priced at 1,699 CNY (roughly $250). HMD says it will launch more products in the first half of this year.

    Other features of the Nokia 6 include a 4GB of RAM, and 64GB internal storage. The Nokia 6, which also houses dual amplifiers capable of delivering louder sound, features a 16-megapixel phase detection auto focus camera on the back and an 8-megapixel selfie camera on the front.

    “China is the largest and most competitive smartphone market in the world,” the company said in a press note, justifying why its long-anticipated smartphone is limited to the Chinese market. “Our ambition is to deliver a premium product, which meets consumer needs at every price point, in every market.”

    Image: nokia

    The Nokia 6 was expected to be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress, the four-day trade show scheduled to start on Feb. 27. But an early launch could help the company capitalize on the Chinese New Year, according to Tarun Pathak, senior analyst at research firm Counterpoint.

    Many wanted to see a high-end smartphone from Nokia, but its decision to go with a mid-end device is strategic, Tarun told Mashable. “Nokia would like to target mid-end segment where Chinese players are more dominant and try leverage its brand equity in that segment,” he said.

    “Interestingly the price point of Nokia 6 is very close to the average selling price offered by the top three Chinese players,” he added. The mid-end smartphone market is growing 12 percent year-on-year, according to the research firm.

    Once dominant in the global cellphone market, Nokia couldnt keep pace with iPhone and Android smartphones. The company instead relied on Microsofts mobile operating system Windows Phone, and later got acquired by the company.

    Under Microsoft, the relevance of Nokia smartphones further diminished with Windows Phone-powered smartphones struggling to gain traction. Last year, the Redmond giant let go of the remaining Nokia employees and all but shut down its smartphone business.

    Now at HMD, Nokia begins a new chapter in its 150-year history.

    Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/01/08/nokia-6-android-smartphone-launched/