Category سول

The most dangerous conspiracy theory in 2020 isn’t about blood-sucking pedophiles

Open Sourced logo

As the 2020 election enters its final phases, it feels like a lot could go wrong in the United States. Reports warn that hackers from Russia and China are targeting both parties, while the fringe conspiracy movement QAnon slips into the mainstream and possibly influences voters. And millions of people are talking about a different conspiracy theory, one that posits that the election has already been stolen.

Believers say this still-unfolding scandal goes all the way to the top. It gets weird, too. According to some, a sinister millionaire is ripping equipment out of post offices so they can’t properly process mail-in ballots...

Read More

Trump made a rare public appearance in DC to pay his respects to RBG. It did not go well.

President Donald Trump was met with boos and chants of “vote him out!” when he went to the Supreme Court on Thursday to pay his respects to the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Trump, who in an unusual twist was wearing a mask, and first lady Melania Trump made a brief appearance besides Ginsburg’s coffin at the top of the Supreme Court’s steps. As the Trumps stood silently, a nearby crowd made their displeasure with their presence known. After just a few moments, the Trumps got back into their limousine.

Footage of the incident quickly went viral. As CNN White House reporter Kevin Liptak noted along with the video, “it’s rare for this President to see his opposition this up-close and in-person.”

Indeed, the clip serves as a reminder that Trump is a historically unpopular presiden...

Read More

Trump is proposing to limit student visas to two years for citizens of 59 countries

The Trump administration is proposing a new rule to limit student visas to two years for citizens of 59 countries, potentially complicating the path to an American college degree for tens of thousands of foreign students.

Student visas are currently valid for as long as students are enrolled in their course of study. But the proposed rule, published by the Department of Homeland Security, would limit the validity period to two years for certain immigrants under the theory that it will be easier to identify security threats and monitor compliance.

The countries targeted are those that are designated as state sponsors of terrorism and those with a high rate of people who come to the US and overstay their visas.

After that two-year period, students will have to apply for an extension...

Read More

Amazon employees fear HR is targeting minority and activism groups in email monitoring program

Some Amazon employees are furious after they discovered the company’s HR department appears to be quietly monitoring a subset of listservs dedicated to employees who are minorities and those who are involved in activism.

Earlier this week, a group of Amazon employees discovered that an email alias affiliated with Amazon’s HR team had subscribed to 78 listservs at Amazon, the majority of which are related to underrepresented employees and employee activism issues, such as climate change, Black employee networking, and Muslim employees. Amazon has thousands of internal emailing lists where employees discuss common interests and projects, so the dozens of listservs that the alias was subscribed to are a small subset of the total groups that exist.

Amazon denies that its HR teams were ...

Read More

How the US keeps poor people from accessing abortion

For the past 44 years, every US Congress and president have approved a federal budget that includes a ban on federal funding for abortion services, except in extreme cases like rape, incest, and a life-threatening situation for the child-bearer. It’s known as the Hyde Amendment, and even politicians who support abortion access generally have a history of voting in favor of it to get spending bills passed.

The politics of abortion access in this country have evolved since the introduction of the Hyde Amendment. Progressive Democrats have long been critical of it for singling out Medicaid recipients, who are disproportionately poor and people of color...

Read More

Amazon’s surveillance cameras fly now — which is terrifying

Open Sourced logo

Amazon has announced a new way for consumers to surveil their own homes: a camera-equipped drone that connects to Ring security systems. Ring, which Amazon owns, has a history of enabling controversial levels of surveillance in homes and neighborhoods. So the addition of a flying camera that can venture into new nooks and crannies is, at best, unsettling.

The Ring Always Home Cam is designed to fly around different areas of someone’s home every so often, capturing footage before landing back in its dock. The device is meant to stay indoors and fly autonomously based on pre-programmed flight paths that navigate between the walls of a house, a Ring spokesperson told Recode...

Read More

A Biden Presidency: The Democratic nominee’s policy vision, explained

If Democratic nominee Joe Biden wins the presidency in November, what will he do with it?

If he wins, Biden will take office amid a collision of American crises. The Covid-19 pandemic has killed more than 150,000 Americans and brought economic devastation in its wake. Massive nationwide protests after the police killing of George Floyd have amplified calls for racial justice.

Biden in response is calling for transformational change: massive new programs for clean energy and caregiving, a vastly expanded public option for health care, a multifront attack on the racial wealth gap...

Read More

“It isn’t a question of politics”: Fauci on calling out Sen. Rand Paul’s misinformation

Six months into the US response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, remains one of the most visible and steadfast defenders of science in an increasingly politicized environment.

On Thursday, Vox and the Today, Explained podcast team spoke to Fauci about calling out Sen. Rand Paul at a Wednesday Senate hearing; his projections for when vaccines may be ready to distribute; his concerns about public mistrust in the vaccine approval process; and telling political appointees at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to “take a walk.” He also detailed who the real enemy is and what he would ask for if he could wave a magic wand right now.

“The public health response and the public health activities, i...

Read More

Pennsylvania’s naked ballot problem, explained

If you’re voting by mail in Pennsylvania this year, and you want your vote to actually count, you need to remember one crucial thing: the secrecy envelope.

Once you fill out the ballot itself, you must place it inside the provided secrecy envelope, which contains no information about your identity. Then you put the sealed secrecy envelope inside a different postage-paid addressed return envelope, on which you have to sign your name and write your address.

If you forget the secrecy envelope — simply dropping your ballot in the ordinary return envelope — your ballot will be deemed a “naked ballot.” And, according to a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling, election officials will have to throw it out.

The reason for the secrecy envelope, in theory, is to preserve the secret b...

Read More

“We’re gonna have to see what happens”: Trump’s comments about the peaceful transfer of power, explained

In a remarkable moment on Thursday, President Donald Trump refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power following November’s election.

“Win, lose, or draw in this election, will you commit here today for a peaceful transferral of power after the election?” Trump was asked during a press conference by Brian Karem, the White House reporter for Playboy. It would have been a layup for any other president, but Trump took it as an opportunity to push conspiracy theories about mail voting.

“We’re gonna have to see what happens,” Trump said. “We want to get rid of the ballots, and we’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There’ll be a continuation.”

This isn’t the first time Trump has refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power — he said...

Read More