Facebook Widens Ban on Political Ads as Alarm Rises Over Election

The open-ended ban on political advertising is especially significant, after Facebook resisted calls to remove the ads for months. Last month, the company had said it only would stop accepting new political ads in the week before Election Day, so existing political ads would continue circulating. New political ads could have resumed running after Election Day.

But Facebook lags other social media companies in banning political ads. Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive, banned all political ads from the service a year ago because, he said, they could rapidly spread misinformation and had “significant ramifications that today’s democratic infrastructure may not be prepared to handle.” Last month, Google said it, too, would ban all political and issue ads after Election Day.

Mr. Zuckerberg has said that ads give less well-known politicians the ability to promote themselves, and that eliminating those ads could hurt their chances at broadening their support base online.

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Facebook bans political ads after polls close on Election Day

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We’ve heard a lot about voter suppression as we approach Election Day. So what is it and how does it manifest itself? The Associated Press explains. (Oct. 5)

AP Domestic

With tensions rising between President Trump and his Democratic challenger Sen. Joe Biden, Facebook is taking urgent new steps to keep political candidates and their campaigns from using its social media platforms to cast doubt on the election and its outcome.

The company said Wednesday that it will ban all political, election and social issue ads after the polls close on Nov. 3 for a week or longer. Google adopted a similar rule two weeks ago.

On Election Day, Facebook will notify users of the latest results at the top of news feeds on Facebook and Instagram.

If a presidential candidate or party declares victory before the election is called by major media outlets, those posts will be labeled

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Ahead of election, Trump imposes new curbs on H-1B visas

The Trump administration has announced new restrictions on H-1B non-immigrant visa programme which it said is aimed at protecting American workers, restoring integrity and to better guarantee that H-1B petitions are approved only for qualified beneficiaries and petitioners, a move which is likely to affect thousands of Indian IT professionals.

The interim final rule announced by the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday, less than four weeks ahead of the US presidential election, will narrow the definition of “specialty occupation” as Congress intended by closing the overbroad definition that allowed companies to game the system.

It will also require companies to make “real” offers to “real employees,” by closing loopholes and preventing the displacement of the American workers.

 

And finally, the new rules would enhance the department’s ability to enforce compliance through worksite inspections and monitor compliance before, during and after an H1-B petition is approved.

The H1B visa is

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Trump admin imposes new curbs on H-1B visas to protect US workers ahead of presidential election

Washington, Oct 7 (PTI) The Trump administration has announced new restrictions on H-1B nonimmigrant visa programme which it said is aimed at protecting American workers, restoring integrity and to better guarantee that H-1B petitions are approved only for qualified beneficiaries and petitioners, a move which is likely to affect thousands of Indian IT professionals.

The interim final rule announced by the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday, less than four weeks ahead of the US presidential election, will narrow the definition of “specialty occupation” as Congress intended by closing the overbroad definition that allowed companies to game the system.

It will also require companies to make “real” offers to “real employees,” by closing loopholes and preventing the displacement of the American workers. And finally, the new rules would enhance the department’s ability to enforce compliance through worksite inspections and monitor compliance before, during and after an H1-B petition is approved.

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We need to shield the US space program from election cycle chaos

Space exploration is a long-term endeavor. It takes many years and boatloads of money to get a single spacecraft off the ground and out of Earth’s atmosphere. Getting it to destinations outside the planet’s orbit is even trickier. And if the plan is to send humans along for the ride, you can expect development to take longer than most US presidential terms.

That’s a problem, given that the executive office is in charge of shaping the US space program and its overall goals: when different administrations have different ideas on what to prioritize, the space program faces whiplash that creates chaos and slows projects down. In just this century, NASA has seen its focus shift from the moon to Mars and back to the moon. In 2005, President Bush said we were gearing up to go to the moon with the Constellation program. In 2010, President Obama said we were

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Goldman Sachs Says Election Fears Are Overblown; Suggests 2 Stocks to Consider

November 3 is just around the corner, and Wall Street’s gaze has locked in on the race to the White House. Biden currently leads in the polls, but it’s still anyone’s race.  

Now, with President Trump’s COVID-19-related hospitalization rocking the last leg of the 2020 presidential election campaign, and Senate control also up for grabs, fears regarding a divided government are circling the Street. 

That said, this might not be such a bad thing, if you ask Goldman Sachs. “A divided government scenario would lead to a smaller change in interest rates and a reduction in political uncertainty,” the firm’s chief equity strategist David Kostin wrote. The strategist argues that such an outcome could push the S&P 500 to 3,700, which would reflect an 11% gain, with the index reaching 4,000 by mid-2021. 

But what will happen if Biden comes out on top? Kostin believes a blue wave wouldn’t be

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Why You Should Vote for Science in the 2020 Presidential Election

Photo credit: Dan Saelinger
Photo credit: Dan Saelinger

From Prevention

Women have always considered many factors when voting, but this election, health care is top of mind. “I say it all the time now: ‘Vote health care, vote health care, vote health care,’” says Cindy Pearson, executive director of the National Women’s Health Network (NWHN), a nonprofit advocacy group in Washington, DC. So much of our health is affected by what our elected officials do: Getting affordable insurance, contraception, and screenings depends on this, as does having access to doctors who understand the unique ways in which conditions like heart disease affect women. Reproductive rights and racial disparities in the system are likewise on the ballot. “It’s more important than ever that women support people who prioritize women’s health,” says Congresswoman Nita Lowey, a rep from New York who is retiring after more than 30 years. “We cannot take that for granted.”

Legislating for

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Facebook, Google, Twitter CEOs agree to testify before Nov. 3 election

Lawmakers have sought to convene the hearing to explore social-media sites’ content-management practices and the future of a federal law, known as Section 230, that spares tech giants from being held liable for the way they police their sites and services.

GOP lawmakers have ramped up their attacks in recent months as tech companies take a more aggressive stand against controversial tweets and posts from President Trump, including his widely debunked comments that seek to cast doubt over the 2020 election. Democrats, meanwhile, widely reject the claims of bias — instead, they fault Facebook, Google and Twitter for failing to crack down against harmful or abusive posts, photos and videos, including viral election disinformation.

A spokesman for Sen. Roger Wicker (Miss.), the Republican chairman of the Commerce Committee, did not respond to a request for comment. The hearing is set to occur virtually, with the tech executives testifying from the

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Putin and Kim anticipate U.S. election in chilling deepfakes

“You blame me for interfering with your democracy, but I don’t have to,” Vladimir Putin says. “You are doing it to yourselves.”

While this Putin looks and sounds remarkably like the Russian president, the real Putin never spoke these works. That’s because this video is a deepfake, an algorithmically generated video that can make a subject realistically look like they’re saying something they never really said.

A nonpartisan nonprofit is using this fake video of Putin to convince people to vote. The group, called RepresentUs, recently released a pair of deepfake video ads featuring Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un talking about how they need to do nothing at all to watch U.S. democracy disintegrate–that is, unless Americans exercise their right to vote. Forty percent of eligible voters did not vote in the 2016 election, according to Pew Research.

Deepfakes are made by training a machine-learning architecture with

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Emerging Markets Could Beckon After Election Day

Emerging markets equities could be back in vogue if there’s regime change here in the U.S. come November and that could be a positive for exchange traded funds, including the FlexShares Emerging Markets Quality Low Volatility Index Fund (NYSE: QLVE).

QLVE quality screen to provide exposure to high-quality companies with lower absolute risk, thereby limiting potential future volatility. The quality screen analyzes a broad universe of equities based on key indicators such as profitability, management efficiency, and cash flow, and then excludes the bottom 20% of stocks with the lowest quality score. The index is then subject to the regional, sector, and risk-factor constraints, in order to manage unintended style factor exposures, significant sector concentration, and high turnover.

A victory by former Vice President Joe Biden on Election Day could lift emerging markets assets because it’s expected his tone toward China – the largest developing economy – will be

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