AP Top News at 2:19 a.m. EDT
Posted on Monday, October 4, 2021 | 9:00 p.m.
Updated on Monday October 4, 2021 | 11:19 p.m.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Former Facebook data scientist stunned lawmakers and the public with revelations about the company’s awareness of the apparent harm done to some teens by Instagram and its accusations of dishonesty in its fight against hate and disinformation. Now she’s coming to Congress. Frances Haugen has spoken out on a broad condemnation of Facebook, backed up by tens of thousands of pages of internal research documents that she secretly copied before quitting her job in Facebook’s civic integrity unit. Haugen has also filed complaints with federal authorities alleging that Facebook’s own research shows it amplifies hatred, disinformation and political unrest, but the company is hiding what it knows.
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden is shifting his strategy to sell his ambitious social spending plans by traveling out of Washington and wooing Democrats who have complained they feel left out of the process. With his agenda in jeopardy on Capitol Hill, Biden will visit the Michigan district of a moderate Democratic lawmaker on Tuesday who urged him to promote his proposals more aggressively to the public. Back in Washington, negotiations continue on a pair of bills aimed at increasing spending on social protection, health and environmental programs and infrastructure projects. While there is cautious optimism about recent progress, no deal has been reached to bridge the deep divides between moderates and progressives in the Democratic Party over the size and scope of the package.
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden has urged Republican senators to “step aside” and let Democrats suspend the country’s debt limit, hoping to prevent the U.S. government from coming dangerously close to a credit default as Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell refuses to help his party. Biden’s criticisms on Monday came as Congress faced an Oct. 18 deadline to authorize more borrowing to keep the government in business after accumulating a total public debt of $ 28.4 trillion. The House passed a measure to suspend the debt ceiling, but McConnell is forcing Senate Democrats to embark on a cumbersome process that could drag on and near the deadline with little margin for error.
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) – The US Coast Guard received the first report of a possible oil spill off the southern California coast more than 12 hours before a company reported the major leak in its pipeline and that a cleanup effort be launched, according to the records. . Oil spill reports reviewed by The Associated Press on Monday raise questions about the Coast Guard’s response to one of the state’s largest recent oil spills, as well as how quickly Amplify Energy, the company operating three offshore platforms and the pipeline, admitted it had a problem and notified authorities. Two first calls regarding the spill arrived at the National Response Center, which is made up of the Coast Guard and advises other disaster agencies for a swift response.
Facebook and its Instagram and WhatsApp platforms are back online after a massive global outage that plunged services, businesses and the people who depend on it into chaos for hours. Facebook said Monday evening that “the root cause of the outage was a faulty configuration change” and that there was “no evidence that user data was compromised as a result” of the outage. The company apologized and said it is working to better understand the cause, which began around 11:40 a.m. Eastern time on Monday. Facebook was already in the throes of a separate major crisis after whistleblower Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, provided the Wall Street Journal with internal documents that exposed the company’s awareness of the damage caused by its products and decisions .
SAN DIEGO (AP) – Refugee admissions to the United States fell to an all-time high in fiscal year 2021, despite President Joe Biden’s pledge to reverse the dramatic cuts made by the Trump administration, according to figures obtained by the Associated Press. A total of 11,445 refugees were allowed entry into the United States in the fiscal year that ended Thursday, according to a person with access to information who requested anonymity because she was not authorized to disclose the figure. This number does not include the tens of thousands of Afghans brought to the United States when American troops withdrew from Afghanistan, ending the 20-year war there.
JERUSALEM (AP) – Jordan’s King Abdullah II was meeting with World Bank President, asking for more financial support for his country’s struggling economy, just as news broke: A mine of leaked documents revealed that the King had secretly purchased over a dozen luxury homes in the United States and Britain for over $ 100 million over the past decade. Abdullah was one of dozens of public figures identified as holders of hidden offshore accounts. But perhaps nowhere was there a more obvious contradiction between the public man and the private man, for the king carefully cultivated an image of a caring father of a troubled nation, and it turns out that he amassed a luxury real estate empire.
TANACROSS, Alaska (AP) – An indigenous Alaskan village knew what to do to prevent COVID-19 from entering. They put up a barrier on the only road to town and guarded it around the clock. It was the same idea used a century ago in some remote indigenous villages to protect people from strangers in another deadly pandemic. – the Spanish flu. It has largely worked. Only one person has died from COVID-19 and 20 people have fallen ill in Tanacross, an Athabascan village of 140 residents whose rustic log cabins and other homes nestle between the Alaska Highway and the Tanana River. But the battle against the coronavirus is not over.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Biden administration has rolled back the ban on abortion by family planning clinics, lifting a Trump-era restriction as political and legal battles over abortion intensify from Texas to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Department of Health and Human Services said Monday that its new regulations would restore the federal family planning program to the way it was under the Obama administration, when clinics could refer women seeking abortions to a provider. The aim is to “strengthen and restore” services, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said. Groups representing the clinics said they hoped the Biden administration’s action would lead some 1,300 local facilities that left to protest Trump’s return policies, helping to stabilize a long-standing program shaken by the coronavirus pandemic in addition to ideological battles.
DULAC, Louisiana (AP) – Coy Verdin grew up about 30 meters from the slow waters of Bayou Grand Caillou and a few miles north of the swampy Louisiana coast. Her parents still live in the elevated, securely anchored mobile home that overlooks the sprawling oak trees framing their view of the bayou. The 52-year-old’s own home on Fisherman’s Lane in the community of Dulac is a short drive away, a little further from the water, but close by. A third-generation fisherman and volleyball coach at Grand Caillou College in Houma, Verdin speaks enthusiastically, almost reverently, about life in the bayou. But he no longer wants to live “at the bottom of the bayou”.