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House passes bill to raise US debt ceiling through early December

House passes bill to raise US debt ceiling through early December

US CongressHouse passes bill to raise US debt ceiling through early DecemberLegislation raises government’s borrowing limit to $28.9tnHard-fought House vote passes entirely along party lines Guardian staff and agenciesTue 12 Oct 2021 19.57 EDTLast modified on Tue 12 Oct 2021 21.57 EDTThe US House of Representatives gave final approval on Tuesday to a Senate-passed bill temporarily raising the government’s borrowing limit to $28.9tn, putting off the risk of default at least until early December.Kamala Harris: European colonizers ‘ushered in wave of devastation for tribal nations’Read moreDemocrats, who narrowly control the House, maintained party discipline to pass the hard-fought, $480bn debt limit increase. The vote was along party lines, with every yes from Democrats and every no from Republicans.Joe Biden is expected to sign the measure into law this week, before 18 October, when the treasury department has estimated it would no longer be able to pay the nation’s debts without congressional action.Republicans insist Democrats should take responsibility for raising the debt limit because they want to spend trillions of dollars to expand social programs and tackle climate change. Democrats say the increased borrowing authority is needed largely to cover the cost of tax cuts and spending programs during Donald Trump’s administration, which House Republicans supported.House passage warded off concerns that the world’s largest economy would go into default for the first time, but only for about seven weeks, setting the stage for continued fighting …

Facebook whistleblower’s testimony could finally spark action in Congress

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Facebook whistleblower’s testimony could finally spark action in Congress

FacebookFacebook whistleblower’s testimony could finally spark action in CongressDespite years of hearings, the company has long seemed untouchable. But Frances Haugen appears to have inspired rare bipartisanship Kari PaulWed 6 Oct 2021 08.14 EDTFirst published on Wed 6 Oct 2021 01.00 EDTThe testimony of Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee, is likely to increase pressure on US lawmakers to undertake concrete legislative actions against the formerly untouchable tech company, following years of hearings and circular discussions about big tech’s growing power.In a hearing on Tuesday, the whistleblower shared internal Facebook reports with Congress and argued the company puts “astronomical profits before people”, harms children and is destabilizing democracies.Facebook harms children and is damaging democracy, claims whistleblowerRead moreAfter years of sparring over the role of tech companies in past American elections, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle on Tuesday appeared to agree on the need for new regulations that would change how Facebook targets users and amplifies content.“Frances Haugen’s testimony appears to mark a rare moment of bipartisan consensus that the status quo is no longer acceptable,” said Imran Ahmed, chief executive officer of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a non-profit that fights hate speech and misinformation. “This is increasingly becoming a non-political issue and one that has cut through definitively to the mainstream.”On Wednesday morning Richard Blumenthal, chair of the Senate commerce sub-committee that hosted Haugen the day before, condemned Facebook again …

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Facebook whistleblower accuses firm of serially misleading over safety

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Facebook whistleblower accuses firm of serially misleading over safety

FacebookFacebook whistleblower accuses firm of serially misleading over safety Frances Haugen filed at least eight complaints against the company regarding its approach to safety Dan Milmo Global technology editorTue 5 Oct 2021 07.50 EDTLast modified on Tue 5 Oct 2021 08.44 EDTThe Facebook whistleblower, Frances Haugen, who testifies at the US Congress on Tuesday, has filed at least eight complaints with the US financial watchdog accusing the social media company of serially misleading investors and politicians over its approach to safety.The complaints, published online by the news programme 60 Minutes late on Monday, hours before Haugen’s testimony to US senators at 10am EDT (3pm BST), are based on tens of thousands of internal documents that Haugen copied shortly before she quit Facebook in May.The complaints and testimony from Haugen, who stepped forward on Sunday as the source of a damning series of revelations in the Wall Street Journal, are taking place against a backdrop of operational chaos for Facebook, whose platforms, including Instagram and WhatsApp, went offline around the world for nearly six hours on Monday.The first whistleblower complaint filed to the US Securities and Exchange Commission relates to the 6 January riots in Washington, when crowds of protesters stormed the Capitol, and alleges that Facebook knowingly chose to permit political misinformation and contests statements made by its chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, to the contrary.“Our anonymous client is disclosing original evidence showing that Facebook … has, for years past and ongoing, …

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