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TikTok, ByteDance File Appeal US Government Nationwide Ban

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TikTok, ByteDance File Appeal

TikTok and its Chinese parent company ByteDance filed a lawsuit in federal court in the United States on Tuesday, seeking to overturn a law signed by President Joe Biden that would require the divestment or prohibition of the short video app used by 170 million Americans.

The corporations filed their action in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, claiming that the statute violates the U.S. Constitution for various reasons, including violating First Amendment free speech protections.

Biden signed the measure on April 24, giving ByteDance until January 19 to sell TikTok or face a ban.

“For the first time in history, Congress has enacted a law that subjects a single, named speech platform to a permanent, nationwide ban,” the firms claim in their case.

The lawsuit stated that the divestment “is simply not possible: not commercially, technologically, or legally.” There is little doubt that the Act (law) will compel the shutdown of TikTok by January 19, 2025, silencing the 170 million Americans who use the platform to communicate in ways that cannot be replicated elsewhere.”

The White House has stated that it wants to restrict Chinese ownership for national security reasons, not a ban on TikTok. The White House and the Justice Department have declined to comment on the case.

TikTok's political uncertainties

TikTok’s political uncertainties

The complaint is TikTok’s latest measure to stave off efforts to shut it down in the United States. Competitors like Snap and Meta seek to profit from TikTok’s political uncertainties and steal advertising dollars from its competitors.

Driven by concerns among U.S. senators that China may use the app to acquire data on Americans or spy on them, the bill was passed by Congress overwhelmingly just weeks after it was presented.

TikTok has denied sharing U.S. user data and accused American politicians of raising “speculative” fears in the case.

Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi, the lead Democrat on a House Committee on China, stated that the proposal is “the only way to address the national security threat posed by ByteDance’s ownership of apps like TikTok.”

“Instead of continuing its deceptive tactics, it’s time for ByteDance to start the divestment process,” he stated.

The rule prevents app stores such as Apple and Alphabet’s Google from supplying TikTok and internet hosting providers from supporting It unless ByteDance divests by January 19.

The suit stated that the Chinese government “has made clear that it would not permit a divestment of the recommendation engine that is critical to TikTok’s success in the United States.”

us china ticktok

Conflicts between the United States and China

The firms urged the D.C. Circuit to prevent U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland from executing the statute, arguing that “prospective injunctive relief” is necessary.

According to the lawsuit, global institutional investors such as BlackRock, General Atlantic, and Susquehanna International Group hold 58% of ByteDance, while the company’s Chinese founder owns 21%, and employees, including around 7,000 Americans, own another 21%.

The four-year battle over TikTok represents a crucial battleground in the ongoing conflict between the United States and China over the internet and technology. In April, Apple announced that China had asked to remove Meta Platforms’ WhatsApp and Threads from its App Store in China because of national security concerns.

According to the lawsuit, TikTok spent $2 billion on steps to secure U.S. users’ data and made additional pledges in a 90-page draft National Security Agreement established through negotiations with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

According to the claim, TikTok agreed to a “shutdown option” under which the U.S. government could stop TikTok in the U.S. if it violated specified requirements.

According to the lawsuit, CFIUS discontinued significant conversations concerning the transaction in August 2022, and in March 2023, CFIUS “insisted that ByteDance divest the U.S. TikTok business.”

Biden Campaign Using TikTok

Biden Campaign Using TikTok

CFIUS is an interagency body chaired by the United States Treasury Department that investigates foreign investments in American enterprises and real estate that raise national security issues.

In 2020, judges ruled against President Donald Trump’s attempt to prohibit TikTok and WeChat, owned by Tencent (0700. H.K.).

Resides in the United States. Trump, the Republican candidate running against Democrat Joe Biden in the November 5 presidential election, has shifted course, stating he does not support a ban but that security concerns must be addressed.

If Biden believes ByteDance is progressing, he may extend the January 19 deadline by three months. According to the lawsuit, Biden’s presidential campaign’s continued usage of TikTok “undermines the claim that the platform poses an actual threat to Americans.” The Trump campaign does not use TikTok.

Many experts have questioned if any potential buyer has the financial capacity to acquire TikTok and whether Chinese and U.S. government authorities would authorize a sale.

According to the lawsuit, moving the TikTok source code to the United States “would take years for an entirely new set of engineers to gain sufficient familiarity.”

Source: Reuters

Geoff Thomas is a seasoned staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. With his sharp writing skills and deep understanding of SEO, he consistently delivers high-quality, engaging content that resonates with readers. Thomas' articles are well-researched, informative, and written in a clear, concise style that keeps audiences hooked. His ability to craft compelling narratives while seamlessly incorporating relevant keywords has made him a valuable asset to the VORNews team.

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Canada Fisheries Officers Seize Elvers Worth $500K at Toronto Airport

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Canada Fisheries Officers Seize Elvers
The seized elvers are worth between $400,000 and $500,000: CTV News

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) officers and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers seized roughly 109 kg of unlawful elvers at Toronto Pearson International Airport. The elvers were scheduled to be transferred overseas.

The seized elvers are worth between $400,000 and $500,000.

An investigation into this matter for violations of the Fisheries Act is currently underway.

“The magnitude of this elver seizure is an important development,” said Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, in a statement. “It reflects not only the work of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, but also the collaborative efforts of many other government agencies and departments.

“Once again, our message is crystal clear: do not travel to Nova Scotia to illegally fish or export elvers this year, enforcement officers will be waiting for you.”

This seizure was the product of a coordinated operation combining officials from the DFO’s Conservation & Protection Directorate and the National Fisheries Intelligence Service, as well as the CBSA Commercial Operations District and intelligence teams.

The federal government banned the lucrative elver fishery on March 11 following violence and intimidation during last year’s fishing season in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

Elvers are often flown to Asia and grown to maturity before being sold for food, with mature eels utilized in unagi dishes at sushi restaurants.

The baby eels are valued approximately $5,000 per kilogram, more than lobsters, scallops, or salmon, making them the most valuable fish by weight in Canada.

The DFO announced in March that no elver fishing would take place this year due to safety and conservation concerns. So far, cops have made 149 arrests and seized around 207.7 kg of elvers.

According to federal data, 149 people have been arrested for elver-related crimes this year, with approximately 208 kilos recovered.

Elvers, the fascinating baby eels

Elvers, the fascinating baby eels

Elvers are tiny, transparent young eels that migrate from the ocean into freshwater rivers and streams. These little snake-like organisms make an astonishing journey, swimming thousands of miles to their destination. Elvers perform an important role in the life cycle of eels, eventually maturing into the adult eels we know.

Their migration is a spectacular natural spectacle. Elvers crawl in large groups upstream, overcoming barriers such as waterfalls and dams. Once in freshwater, they will mature for years before returning to the sea to breed and repeat the cycle. Elvers face numerous dangers, including habitat loss and over fishing, making conservation efforts critical for these extraordinary migratory.

 

 

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CNN Pay Tribute to Alice Stewart: A Very Special Woman Dead at 58

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Alice Stewart

Alice Stewart, a longtime political strategist and CNN political pundit who worked on multiple Republican presidential campaigns, has died. She was 58. CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer joins Jessica Dean to reflect on Stewart as a friend and coworker.

According to law enforcement officials, Stewart’s body was discovered outside in the Belle View community of northern Virginia early Saturday morning. There is no indication of foul play, and officers assume a medical emergency occurred.

“Alice was a very dear friend and colleague to all of us at CNN,” CNN’s CEO Mark Thompson wrote in an email to employees Saturday. “A political veteran and Emmy Award-winning journalist who brought an exceptional spark to CNN’s coverage, known throughout our bureaus not only for her political acumen, but also for her unfailing kindness. Our emotions are heavy as we lament such a great loss.”

Alice Stewart was born March 11, 1966, in Atlanta.

Stewart began her career as a local reporter and producer in Georgia before relocating to Little Rock, Arkansas, to become a news anchor, she told Harvard International Review. She went on to work as the communications director for then-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee before taking on a similar role for his presidential campaign in 2008.

She previously worked as the communications director for former Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann’s 2012 Republican presidential campaign, as well as former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, a former CNN analyst. Stewart most recently served as the communications director for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s 2016 GOP campaign.

“Alice was wonderful, talented, and a dear friend,” Cruz wrote in a post on X. “She lived every day to the fullest, and she will be deeply missed.”

CNN hired Stewart as a political pundit ahead of the 2016 election, and she appeared on “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” as recently as Friday to provide insight on the day’s political headlines.

“We always invited her to come on my show because we knew we would be a little bit smarter at the end of that conversation,” Blitzer stated to Jessica Dean on “CNN Newsroom.” “She helped our viewers better appreciate what was going on and that’s why we will miss her so much.”

Alice Stewart: A Very Special Woman Dead at 58

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Diddy Won’t Be Prosecuted Over Cassie Ventura Hotel Video

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Diddy Won’t Be Prosecuted Over Cassie Ventura Hotel Video
Sean “Diddy” Combs won’t be prosecuted over a 2016 video: Image Fox News

According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Sean “Diddy” Combs will not face charges in connection with a 2016 video that appears to show him abusing then-girlfriend Cassie Ventura in a hotel.

“We find the images extremely disturbing and difficult to watch,” the office of Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón posted on Instagram Friday (May 17). “If the conduct depicted occurred in 2016, unfortunately we would be unable to charge as the conduct would have occurred beyond the timeline where a crime of assault can be prosecuted.”

Combs appears to push Ventura to the ground near an elevator bank, kick her multiple times while she is on the ground, and pull her down a hallway in the footage, which CNN received on March 5, 2016.

According to the statement, law enforcement has not presented the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office with “a case related to the attack depicted in the video against Mr. Combs, but we encourage anyone who has been a victim or witness to a crime to report it to law enforcement or reach out to our office for support from our Bureau of Victims Services.”

The video’s contents resemble an assault complaint Ventura made in a now-settled lawsuit against Diddy in November, in which she also claimed one incidence of rape and another of Combs forcing her to have sex with male sex workers while he masturbated.

“The gut-wrenching video has only confirmed Mr. Combs’ disturbing and predatory behavior,” said Ventura’s attorney, Douglas Wigdor, in a statement to Billboard. “Words cannot express the courage and fortitude that Ms. Ventura has shown in coming forward to bring this to light.”

Ventura and Combs had an on-and-off romance for 11 years until splitting in 2018. In the lawsuit, she claimed she met Combs in 2005, when she was 19 and he was 37. After signing with his Bad Boy Records company, Ventura alleged that Combs “lured” her into a sexual relationship in which he “asserted complete control” over her life.

Combs has faced four further sexual misconduct complaints after Ventura filed hers late last year. The entrepreneur resigned as chairman of his digital media business Revolt in November, and he reportedly sold his interest in the company in March. Also in March, federal officials raided Combs’ houses in Los Angeles and Miami “in connection” with a federal sex trafficking probe, CNN reported.

Combs has flatly denied all allegations of sexual assault leveled against him. “Let me be absolutely clear: I did not do any of the awful things being alleged,” he declared in a statement shared on social media on December 6. “I will fight for my name, my family and for the truth.”

Diddy

Sean “Diddy” Combs

Sean “Diddy” Combs is a multi-talented mogul who has made his mark in music, fashion, and business. Born in Harlem, he began his career as a talent director at Uptown Records. Combs later created his own label, Bad Boy Records, which launched the careers of musicians such as The Notorious B.I.G. and Mary J. Blige.

His debut album, “No Way Out,” achieved multi-platinum success, cementing his reputation as a rapper and producer. Diddy expanded his business interests, launching the apparel line Sean John and investing in beverage businesses such as Ciroc and DeLeon. With an estimated net worth of $900 million, he is one of hip-hop’s wealthiest individuals.

Combs is a presence in Hollywood, appearing in films and television series while also influencing music and society. His commercial savvy, paired with his musical talents, have elevated him to the status of rap icon.

Source: Billboard

 

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