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'El Chapo' Guzman associate who testified against the kingpin sentenced to 84 months in prison
Tirso Martinez Sanchez, a former associate of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman whose testimony helped convict the drug kingpin, was sentenced to 84 months in prison -- about seven years -- in Brooklyn federal court Thursday.
7 m
Boat with 91 migrants onboard goes missing in Mediterranean
The inflatable boat carrying mostly African migrants departed earlier this month from an area 30 miles east of the capital Tripoli.
Column: Andre Ethier didn't win a World Series ring. He blames analytics, not sign stealing
Andre Ethier's 12-year Dodgers career ended with the 2017 World Series Game 7 loss to the Houston Astros. He says the emphasis on analytics led to sign stealing.
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MSNBC's Chuck Todd concedes that Sanders' status as the 'front-runner' has 'strengthened' following Dem debate
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Paraglider caught in power lines rescued in California
Officials had to turn off the electricity, impacting nearly 5,000 residents.
Disney star Chris Tavarez to do jail time in domestic violence case: report
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CNN10 - 2/21/20
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Why John Lewis spent his 21st birthday in jail
As Rep. John Lewis turns 80, the congressman and civil rights legend remembers the birthday that changed his life forever.
The rise of meatless meat, explained
A Beyond Burger at a fast food restaurant in Berlin, Germany. | Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images 9 questions about meat alternatives you were too embarrassed to ask. The last year has been an extraordinary one for a niche industry: alternative meats. It started last spring. Impossible Foods announced partnerships with Burger King, Qdoba, and dozens of other restaurants and franchises. Their competitor Beyond Meat started selling at restaurants including Del Taco, Subway, and most recently KFC. Both companies started the year primarily selling burgers but have since launched new products — from Beyond’s ground beef to Impossible’s sausage to Beyond’s KFC chicken. In just one year, plant-based meat went from something very few Americans had heard of to something that 40% of us have tried. These new deals have had the company’s valuations soaring. In May, Beyond Meat went public, initially selling its stock for $25, and has since seen it jump to an astounding $169— which means the company now has a market capitalization of more than $10 billion. Impossible Foods closed an additional $300 million in investor funding. Meat alternatives are clearly having a moment — and it’s offering us a glimpse into a different future for meat. Every year, more than 9 billion animals in the US are raised and killed on factory farms. Our factory farm system has contributed to a range of problems, from increasing antibiotic resistance to the climate crisis. Proponents of meat alternatives say these meatless meats could help change that equation. Let’s sort the hype from the reality. Here are nine questions you might have had about alternative meat products and their leap to the mainstream. 1) What are meat alternatives? Veggie burgers have been around for a while — are these new products any different? Meat alternatives aren’t new. There have been veggie burgers available in grocery stores for a long time. But the meatless meat products on the market today are different in one important way: An alternative meat, like a Beyond Meat burger or the Impossible Burger, is a product made from plants that is meant to taste like meat, be marketed to meat-eating customers, and replace some of those customers’ meat purchases. That’s what makes them different from veggie burgers, which have typically been aimed mostly at vegetarians. There’s another kind of meat alternative on the horizon: so-called cell-based (or lab-grown, or cultured) meat products are made from real animal cells but are grown in a food production plant instead of taken from animals raised in captivity and slaughtered for consumption. These aren’t on the market yet — and some are skeptical that they’ll work out — but they aremeat alternatives too, and they might be part of the big picture as we try to move away from relying on factory farming to supply the meat consumers want. (More on them below.) Caroline Bushnell oversees retail research at the Good Food Institute, a nonprofit that works to promote meat alternatives. “Veggie burgers have been around for many decades,” she told me. “Plant-based meats are still just getting started. The next generation is really designed for meat eaters, so the stakes are higher for what the products need to deliver on. People really like the taste of meat. Instead of trying to convince them to eat a kale and quinoa bowl, why not try to make meat for them in a better way?” The rise of meat alternatives was driven, researchers and marketing experts told me, by one realization: that alternative meats didn’t have to be a niche product just for vegans or vegetarians, who make up about 3 percent of the US population. There are lots of Americans who are meat eaters and always will be, but who are up for trying plant-based products as long as they’re tasty, cheap, and nutritious. Those consumers, not vegetarians and vegans, would be the target of the next generation of meat alternatives. The teams behind meat alternatives work to ensure their products have the flavor, macronutrient balance, and cooking experience of meat. The Impossible Burger famously bleeds, thanks to a meat protein called heme, which the company produces from yeast. The leading companies that produce meatless meat products have actually gone out of their way to make sure their products won’t be tarred as just for vegetarians. Burger King’s Impossible Whopper, for example, comes slathered in mayo — not vegan at all — and when I went to get an Impossible Burger at a San Francisco restaurant, nearly every selection paired it with bacon bits. So that’s the big difference: Veggie burgers are a niche product targeted toward vegetarians. But the makers of meatless meat are betting they can find their way onto everyone’s plate. 2) Okay, but do they actually taste like meat? Some of the leading meat alternatives on the market today are burgers, ground beef, and sausages from two companies: Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat. “Both companies have really led with taste,” Zak Weston, an analyst at the Good Food Institute, told me. Everyone agrees that taste will be the big make-or-break factor for these companies. Does their meat really, actually taste like meat? Food reviewers have delivered mixed verdicts so far. Reviewers at Food & Wine loved the Beyond Burger and Impossible Burger, and were less impressed with more traditional veggie burgers. The Washington Post’s Tim Carman wrote, “the Impossible Whopper patty, all by itself, has more flavor than the meaty one,” though he noted that while you can’t tell the difference on the first bite, you can tell eventually. Adam Rothbarth at Thrillist was less impressed, writing that his burger had been overcooked and as a result, “it’s very one-note in its flavor and texture ... the question shouldn’t be whether it tastes like a Whopper (it does), it should be whether it tastes good (not especially).” It’s fair to say that we’re at the point where whether Beyond Meat or Impossible Meat taste like meat to a given person depends on that person, and the specifics they pay attention to in their food experience. It’s good enough for some, but not good enough for all — yet. 3) I’ve been hearing a lot about meatless meat lately. Why now? Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat have both grabbed a lot of headlines in the last year. Impossible scored a partnership with Burger King to offer meatlessWhoppers. Burger King joined White Castle, which sells Impossible Foods sliders, and Carl’s Jr., which sells burgers from Impossible Foods’ competitor Beyond Meat. Del Taco announced it’ll offer Beyond Meat too. And Qdoba announced that it will offer the Impossible Bowl and the Impossible Taco at all its US locations. The two companies have also gotten attention in the financial pages. Beyond Meat’s stock surged after its IPO in early May; in a volatile year since then, it rocketed as high as $235, before settling around $120 for the last few months. Impossible Foods raised $300 million in more funding and may be looking at an IPO itself. What happened, and how did it happen so fast? Experts told me they see a virtuous cycle, where consumers — more concerned with health and sustainability than ever before — demand the products, which then feeds publicity, which then fuels more customer demand. Ricardo San Martin, who studies meat alternatives at UC Berkeley, told me that many restaurants and food manufacturers had been waiting to see whether the popularity of plant-based meat was a fad. As consumer interest has grown, “companies have become more aware that this is here to stay” — and they’re placing their own orders. That generates more publicity, which makes more consumers interested in the products and convinces other companies that the trend is for real. Michele Simon, the executive director of the Plant Based Foods Association, saw the same pattern — that publicity meant more consumers were aware of the products, which increased demand. “It’s a combination of increased consumer interest in healthier eating in general, and then combined with innovation and an explosion of more great-tasting meat alternatives for consumers to choose from. With that has come the mainstreaming of these types of foods,” Simon told me. Now the burst of publicity is “getting consumers more familiar and breaking down some of the myths around them, like that they won’t taste good, that you’re sacrificing something by giving up conventional meat.” 4) Is eating meatless meat healthier than eating actual meat? In general, eating vegetables is good for you. So many people might think it’s obvious that plant-based meat is healthier than regular meat. But that’s not quite true. Plant-based meat is absolutely safe — but it’s not a health food. While there’s a lot of uncertainty in nutrition science, and meatless meat may avoid the cancer risks of red meat, for the most part, it isprobably about as good for you as the meat it’s imitating. San Martin called the assumptions about health effects a major misconception about plant-based foods. “Plant-based means it’s of ingredients that come from plants,” he told me, but that doesn’t mean you’re eating a salad — “they are processed foods.” As a result, they’re likely less healthy than unprocessed veggies. Moreover, most meat alternatives attempt to imitate meat as closely as possible, including in macronutrient profile and calorie content. That’s because meatless meat makers want consumers to know what they’re getting. If eating a Beyond Burger was not nearly as filling as eating a real burger, that would probably leave consumers dissatisfied (indeed, a Beyond Burger provides the same amount of protein as a beef burger). As a result, there’s only so much that meat alternatives can do to be healthier than animal-based meat products. That’s not to say there are no health benefits at all. Some people report sensitivities to the growth hormones or antibiotics fed to cows that then make it into burgers and steaks, a problem that plant-based meats don’t have. Plant-based meat should be able to avoid worries about food poisoning from undercooking and mad cow disease entirely. But ultimately, if you’re ordering a Whopper at Burger King, it’s not going to be health food, even if it’s an Impossible Whopper. Some people have raised health concerns specific to meatless meats — for example, worrying that the heme in Impossible Foods could somehow be harmful. There is no reason to worry on those grounds. Beyond Meat doesn’t use GMOs and other ingredients that health-conscious consumers often fret about. (To be clear, there are no signs that GMOs are dangerous to consumers, but many of the health-conscious consumers Beyond Meat caters to may nonetheless be wary of it.) Beyond’s products are also soy-free and gluten-free, which similarly have no known health impacts for the typical person but are priorities for health-conscious consumers. The Impossible Burger “bleeds” like meat because it uses heme, a protein found in red meat that Impossible Foods grows from yeast. Some analysts raised worries that the Impossible Burger might, due to the heme, have the same negative health effects — like elevated risk of cancer and heart attacks — sometimes associated with red meat. An exhaustive review of the nutrition literature by Business Insider last year found that there are no signs heme is the reason red meat has those effects. So plant-based meat products are safe, and they are likely at least as healthy as the products they’re replacing. But if you’re hoping for a burger that’s as good for you as a salad, food science still has a long way to go. Of course, maybe that’s beside the point. “The real point of comparison is a meat burger, not a bowl of broccoli,” Weston told me. By that standard, meatless meat is perfectly fine. 5) Is meatless meat better for the environment than regular meat? Yes — meatless meat can make a huge difference for the environment by almost every metric, including land use, water use, and fighting climate change. Right now, however, it’s too small a share of the market to significantly impact those problems. A big driver of interest in meat alternatives is meat’s effect on the environment. Livestock cultivation is one of the most greenhouse gas-intensive activities out there. This is the driving motivation of Pat Brown, the CEO of Impossible Foods. In an interview last fall with Business Insider, asked why he cares so much about replacing meat, he said, “We are now in the advanced stages of the biggest environmental catastrophe that our planet has ever faced, and overwhelmingly the largest driver of that is animal-based food technology.” (In fact, about 15 percent of greenhouse gas emissions are from livestock.) Plant-based foods have the potential to have a vastly lower carbon footprint. In general, you have to feed an animal 10 calories of plants to get one calorie of meat, so you can expect plant-based foods to have about a tenth the carbon costs of animal-based foods. That’s an extremely rough guideline, but it’s surprisingly close to the results you get from a much more careful calculation. An analysis of the Impossible Burger 2.0found that its carbon footprint is 89 percent smaller than a burger made from a cow. It also uses 87 percent less water and 96 percent less land. That’s an improvement from the 1.0,and Impossible Foods hopes it can slice the carbon footprint even more as it scales its operations. So there’s potential for meatless meat to make a huge difference for the environment. But the analysts I spoke to raised one major point of skepticism: scale. Right now, the entire meatless meat industry makes up less than 1 percent of the product volume of the meat industry. Yes, it’s growing fast, and yes, it’s in the headlines, but nearly all meat sold in the US and worldwide is traditional meat. As long as meatless meat remains a niche industry, it simply can’t affect the climate because it’s too small to matter. Christie Lagally, the CEO of Seattle Food Tech, which makes meatless chicken, told me, “If you’re going to make any impact on the amount of chicken in the world, and address all the health and environmental concerns, you have to be able to make chicken at scale.” Until then, all these restaurant announcements and all these taste tests won’t have the slightest effect on climate change. “One of the big concerns in the plant-based meat industry is that it really does have to scale,” Lagally told me. “Being able to redesign how manufacturing occurs for plant-based meat is what will make it work.” Scale is the big challenge for Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat too. Both companies cited it as a motivation for their recent efforts to raise more money. “We had tough years both 2017 and 2018 because we weren’t able to keep in stock,” Seth Goldman, the executive chair of Beyond Meat, told me. “One of the reasons we raised this money” — that is, the hundreds of millions raised in Beyond Meat’s successful IPO — “was to address these problems.” If they succeed, and if meatless meat becomes a significant share of the meat market, then the returns for climate change could be enormous. But the transition from novelty product to consumer staple isn’t easy, and there’s a lot that could still go wrong along the way. 6) What about “cell-based”/“lab-grown”/“cultured” meat? How is that the same, and different, from plant-based meat? There’s another meatless meat idea that is even further from being realized, and that’s cell-based or lab-grown meat. (Producers are still trying to figure out which label accurately conveys what the product is without sounding too alien to customers.) While plant-based meat products try to imitate the overall taste and nutrition profile of meat using plants, cell-based meat uses actual animal cells, grown in a serum instead of as part of a cow or a chicken. If it succeeds, it won’t just taste like meat — such products would actually be meat on a molecular level. But unlike plant-based meats, which are already workable, cell-based meat products are still a long way away. “With the numbers we have today,” UC Berkeley’s San Martin told me, “we don’t see how [cell-based meat] can scale up and deliver products soon at a competitive price. Besides all of the technological hurdles, the scaling up can be very complex. So far, I haven’t seen a medium-sized operation cultivating these kinds of cells for this purpose. It’s very hard, and with what we know today, maybe it’s not the right approach.” There are still a number of hurdles to overcome before cell-based meat makes it into stores. First, there’s a challenge called “scaffolding” — figuring out how to shape cultured cells into tissue. Right now, cell-based meat techniques can make a decent replacement for, say, ground beef. But to replace a steak, you need to grow the cells into the tissues they grow into in living animals. Researchers are still figuring out how to do that. Once you have a product, there’s the question of scaling it. The hope for cell-based meat is that it can eventually meet all of the world’s demand for meat, which is steadily increasing as the world gets wealthier. To do that, it’s not enough to be able to make one steak — you need to be able to make steaks at the same incredible scale that factory farms do. But investors are optimistic that with enough effort, funding, and researcher attention, the remaining technical challenges will prove to have a solution. Meat producers like Tyson Foods have invested in Memphis Meats, a leading cell-based meat company, and more new companies are joining the emerging field: There are at least nine in the US and more than 20 worldwide. If cell-based meat can succeed, it will likely be able to win over some consumers who aren’t sold on anything made from plants, no matter how similar the taste. 7) Does all this progress on meat alternatives signal the end of meat? In a word, no — not yet, anyway. Demand for meat actually grew last year. And demand is projected to grow even further. “As emerging economies grow and become wealthier,” Weston told me, “one of the first things that changes is that their diet becomes more like the Western diet.” That means more meat. It’s a great thing that the rest of the world is becoming richer, and it isn’t surprising that they’d want the same luxuries that people in wealthy countries enjoy. But the increasing demand for meat poses a lot of challenges. One is antibiotic resistance. Animals in factory farms are mass-fed antibiotics to limit the sicknesses that would otherwise sweep through animals in such close quarters. But that means that bacteria develop resistance to the antibiotics. This is a huge problem in the United States, and an even bigger problem in emerging economies like China, which haven’t agreed to US restrictions on antibiotics being fed to animals. And then, of course, there’s climate change. Eating more meat is just one of the ways consumers in the developing world cause more greenhouse gas emissions as they become wealthier. All of these are reasons why it would be a huge deal if we could meet the increasing demand for meat — or even just some of it — with meatless meat. So far, prospects look pretty good. Surveys find consumers in India and China — two of the biggest markets in the world — eager to try cell-based meat products once those exist, and broadly enthusiastic about plant-based meat too. In fact, by one survey, they’re way more interested in plant-based meat than Americans are: Javier Zarracina/Vox It looks like there’s a large share of American consumers who refuse to purchase plant-based meat products, and there’s no similar contingent among consumers in India or China. There are more consumers who say they’re very likely or extremely likely to buy, too. But it’s not all bad news in the U.S., either. Recent Gallup surveys have found that 40% of Americans have tried them, with interest from men and women and from people all over the country. Plant-based meat products might not be universal yet, but they’re not niche anymore either. That suggests it might be possible for plant-based meat to absorb much of the increase in demand for meat. That’d make a huge difference all by itself. But replacing meat entirely doesn’t look like it’s on the horizon anytime soon. 8) Are there other ways to reduce meat consumption? The rise of meatless meat has accompanied a lot of other interesting trends in vegan and vegetarian advocacy. For decades, advocates have tried to raise awareness of factory farming and convince people to go vegetarian or vegan. But rates of vegetarianism and veganism remain pretty low, surveys find that many vegetarians still eat meat sometimes, and advocates have begun looking at other ways to combat factory farming. That’s the change in thinking that has driven the rise of Meatless Mondays, campaigns to serve meat-free meals once a week in schools and offices. The idea is that going meatless one day a week does a seventh as much good as going meatless full time — and if you can persuade seven times as many people to commit to it, then it’s a better bet. The same idea is behind the rise of the awkwardly named “reducetarianism.” As Brian Kateman, founder and CEO of the Reducetarian Foundation, told Vox, we tend to see meat as an “all-or-nothing premise.” Either you’re a good vegetarian or you don’t think about meat in your diet. But if you eat a lot of meat, cutting back that quantity by half does a lot more for the environment — and a lot more to combat the harms of factory farming — than cutting that last favorite food out of a mostly vegetarian diet. Another proposal to reduce meat consumption is taxing meat, which would allow us to accurately account for its effects on the environment but which would disproportionately affect low-income people. A more moderate version of the proposal is to just stop subsidizing meat. Currently, the US spends an estimated $20billion a year on subsidizing agribusinesses, and much of that goes toward feed for animals. Commentators on both the left and the right have called for an end to this giveaway. But there is, as you might have noticed, a common thread here. Many of these other approaches to reducing meat consumption work a lot better if there’s a good alternative right there for consumers to switch to. Increasing costs of beef will affect consumers less if there are cheap products nearly identical to beef. Voluntary diet change to stop climate change is a lot easier if people can replace favorite foods with options that are just as tasty. “Consumers want to make healthier choices, they want to make sustainable choices, but the product has to taste great,” Bushnell told me. Ultimately, all the ways of reducing meat consumption are much simpler to make progress on if there are good meat alternatives. 9) What should we be on the lookout for next? So what’s next for meat alternatives? There’s actually a lot to look forward to in the coming months. If you’re trying to get a sense of the destiny of the meatless meat movement, one place to look is agreements between Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, and major chain restaurants. As discussed earlier, these agreements expose more consumers to the products, and if there are more such agreements over the next few months, that’d be a good sign that offering meatless meat continues to look to retailers like a smart business decision. For example, check out how Dennys and KFC trialed plant-based meat on a small scale before expanding their offerings. If that keeps happening, it’s a good sign. Another thing to look out for is competition. Major meat companies, such as Tyson and Purdue Farms, are launching their own plant-based meat products. Those launches might be bad for Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, but they’re almost definitely great news for the industry. More competition keeps prices down and makes it likelier that the industry can scale up to meet the growing demand for meat. Finally, the most important thing to look out for is one you can check for yourself at a Burger King, Qdoba, Del Taco, or grocery store near you. How does meatless meat measure up? How does it compete on taste? On price? On availability? Ultimately, it’s consumers who will decide whether meatless meat is up to the task in front of it. Sign up for the Future Perfect newsletter and we’ll send you a roundup of ideas and solutions for tackling the world’s biggest challenges — and how to get better at doing good. Future Perfect is funded in part by individual contributions, grants, and sponsorships. Learn more here. Listen to Today, Explained Burger King announced it’s going nationwide with a meatless Whopper that tastes like the real thing. Is this the end for Big Meat? Looking for a quick way to keep up with the never-ending news cycle? Host Sean Rameswaram will guide you through the most important stories at the end of each day. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
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Mike Bloomberg tweeted a doctored debate video. Is it political spin or disinformation?
Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg is shown on a screen during a Democratic debate watch party at the candidate’s field office on February 19, 2020. | Jeenah Moon/Getty Images “This video is deceptive and misleading,” an expert told Vox. Following his lackluster performance in Wednesday’s Democratic presidential debate, former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg tweeted out a doctored video that made it look like he had a hugely successful moment on the debate stage, even though he didn’t. And while politicians putting out campaign ads that take their opponents’ words out of context or are selectively edited to misconstrue their opponents’ positions is a practice basically as old as time itself, some experts are calling the Bloomberg video dangerous and unethical in a digital age rife with disinformation. The 25-second clip starts with the mayor asking a question he really did pose in the debate: “I’m the only one here that I think has ever started a business — is that fair?” What follows is a series of close-ups on everyone from former Vice President Joe Biden to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) keeping quiet, looking confused and uncomfortable, all backed by background noise of crickets chirping. Put together, it makes it look like Bloomberg had an epic mic-drop moment in which he thoroughly owned all of his opponents on the debate stage. Anyone?— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) February 20, 2020 But that’s not what really happened. In reality, there was a brief awkward silence after Bloomberg asked the question, but then he proceeded to talk about his vision for mentorship programs for young entrepreneurs. When he finished, one of his opponents — Sanders — actually went on the attack to complain about a “corrupt political system, bought by billionaires like Mr. Bloomberg” that help the richest people pay fewer taxes. Here, I made the clip of what actually happened when Bloomberg asked who else had started a business. It was not 20 seconds of dumbfounded silence.— Dominic Holden (@dominicholden) February 20, 2020 Of course, every campaign makes videos and ads that make their candidate look good. Stretching the truth is a normal practice in politics, and it’s no surprise that Bloomberg’s or anybody’s team would put out a slickly edited, somewhat humorous video like that one. And, yes, it’s also incumbent on the public to be discerning when a politician says or does anything. But at a time when foreign governments are actively trying to spread disinformation in US elections and President Donald Trump frequently shares manipulated video clips on Twitter to attack his political opponents, all candidates need to be wary of what gets released in their name. “In this digital age, campaigns need to be more careful than ever before,” Cindy Otis, a former CIA analyst and disinformation expert, told me. “There needs to be a higher standard.” Doing this sort of thing could also get candidates in hot water with the social media platform itself. Starting on March 5, Twitter will begin a new policy of labeling tweets that mislead the public. A spokesperson for the company told Vox that if Bloomberg’s tweet had come out after the new policy was in place, it likely would have been labeled as containing manipulated media. However, the policy is not retroactive, so Bloomberg’s video can live forever on the internet without any indication it was doctored. Bloomberg’s campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment. The problem with Bloomberg’s “Anyone?” tweet Emerson Brooking, a disinformation expert at the Atlantic Council think tank in Washington, explained some of the specific problems with Bloomberg’s video. “There is no watermark to indicate that it has been edited, nor any disclosure that it was produced by the Bloomberg campaign,” he told me. Even though the video was tweeted out by Bloomberg’s official Twitter account, it’s conceivable someone might see it or share it without realizing the doctored clip came from the mayor’s team. And if a viewer doesn’t have that context, they might think what they’re seeing truly happened. “This video is deceptive and misleading,” Brooking said. Otis, who authored a book titled True Or False: A CIA Analyst’s Guide to Spotting Fake News, said a campaign’s intent when releasing content also matters. “Was the goal to mislead or hide a connection to any piece of disinformation? Not being up front about an edited video or other changed content runs a big risk since people spread things quickly without verification,” she told me. How people online receive the information matters, too. A glance at replies to the tweet show most people realized it was manipulated. But as of this writing, the video was shared over 4,000 times and viewed about 2 million times, and it’s unclear how many of those people discerned that the content was fake. Brooking doesn’t believe the Bloomberg campaign aimed to really trick voters. “Although it uses common disinformation techniques, I do not think the intention is to deceive,” he said. “Rather, their intention is to draw a contrast between candidates.” But, he added, “Based on the lack of watermark or attribution, it’s clear the Bloomberg campaign does not care if people are fooled in the process.” Should Bloomberg’s tweet stay up? It depends on who you ask. There’s a raging debate over what to do with videos like the Bloomberg campaign’s, Irene Pasquetto, a disinformation expert at Harvard University, told me. One side argues that “cheap fakes” — easily doctored videos — should stay online no matter how harmful or misleading they might be. Take what happened earlier this month: Trump tweeted out a video that had been edited to make it look like Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was ripping up the president’s State of the Union speech during touching moments, such as the introduction of a Tuskegee airman. That’s not what transpired: Pelosi did rip up the speech, but only at the end of the full address. Jonathan Zittrain, a legal expert at Harvard, argues that tweet shouldn’t be taken down, even though it’s misleading, because it’s protected by free speech.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 6, 2020 “It’s political expression that could be said to be rearranging the video sequence in order to make a point that ripping up the speech at the end was, in effect, ripping up every topic that the speech had covered,” he wrote on Medium on February 10. “And to show it in a video conveys a message far more powerful than just saying it — something First Amendment values protect and celebrate, at least if people aren’t mistakenly thinking it is real,” Zittrain wrote. But another side argues the simplicity of manipulating a video in the way Bloomberg did — in the midst of a political campaign, no less — is problematic. It doesn’t take extensive technical skills to edit a video favorably, and that fact alone stops social media giants from pulling easily doctored content down. That arguably makes this kind of disinformation more effective in the long term. “There is no doubt that these videos are manipulated and dangerous, but whether they are dangerous or fake ‘enough’ to be removed is not clear — for now,” Pasquetto told me. Which means it’s only up to the Bloomberg campaign to decide what to do with the video. Let it stay up and potentially misinform voters, or take it down because it flirts with disinformation? Whatever the decision, it could weigh greatly on the rest of his campaign and the way candidates release content throughout the election. Shirin Ghaffary contributed reporting to this piece.
Minnesota’s Democratic attorney general asks for examples of ‘bad’ Sanders supporters. Steve Scalise says he knows one.
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A tanker truck has overturned causing a huge fire on a highway in Indianapolis, Indiana. The driver was rescued by passersby and rushed to a hospital with serious injuries. (Feb 20)
Edmen Shahbazyan vs. Derek Brunson off UFC 248, shifts to UFC on ESPN+ 30 in Portland
Edmen Shahbazyan and Derek Brunson will have to wait longer to fight each other.        Related Stories'Shogun' Rua vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira trilogy on tap for UFC 250Michael Chiesa knew pre-fight of Diego Sanchez's deadly submission: 'I immediately started laughing'UFC 249: Islam Makhachev takes a more humorous approach in callout of Al Iaquinta
Debate moderator Chuck Todd was Amy Klobuchar’s landlord in Arlington
A source said while it's not a secret in D.C., the fact that Todd rented a home to Klobuchar has not been publicly disclosed.
Mom shares heartbreaking video of bullied son: ‘I want someone to kill me’
In the heart-wrenching video, Yarraka Bayles' son Quaden Bayles, who was born with Achondroplasia dwarfism, sobs in the family's car after a schoolmate taunted him for his height.
Coronavirus fears create ghost town in South Korea after church 'super-spreader'
The streets of South Korea's fourth-largest city were abandoned on Thursday, with residents holed up indoors after dozens of people caught the new coronavirus in what authorities described as a "super-spreading event" at a church.
China's Hubei province reports 411 new coronavirus cases on Feb 20
China's central Hubei province had 411 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections on Thursday, the province's health commission said on Friday, up from 349 cases a day earlier.
Matthew Broderick, SJP revive Neil Simon comedy ‘Plaza Suite’
Boston theatergoers recently said they had “the best time of their lives” at the play.