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Trump says U.S. reaches trade deals with Japan, no word on cars

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday Washington had struck trade agreements with Tokyo that could be implemented without congressional approval, but stopped short of assuring Japan that new tariffs would not be slapped on vital auto exports.
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Americans Don't Trust Congress to Contain Coronavirus Outbreak, 74% Concerned About Infection Spreading: Poll
The Morning Consult poll found Congress to be the least-trusted of U.S. institutions to contain the deadly coronavirus.
6 m
newsweek.com
LeBron James ‘heartbroken and devastated’ by the death of Kobe Bryant
The Lakers’ star mourns the death of on one of greatest ones in a crash that claimed the lives of his daughter and seven others.
9 m
washingtonpost.com
GOP senator questions if Iowa Democrats will support Biden after impeachment trial
Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa suggested Monday that President Donald Trump's impeachment trial could damage Joe Biden's presidential campaign in Iowa as the state's caucuses are less than a week away.
edition.cnn.com
The Energy 202: The Trump administration is forcing these workers out West. Now they want to unionize.
The Bureau of Land Management must respond to the petition within a few days.
washingtonpost.com
The Doomsday Clock ticks closer to midnight
We're facing two existential dangers simultaneously: nuclear war and climate change.
washingtonpost.com
Sam Mendes' 'perfect storm'
Oscar-nominated director Sam Mendes talks about his film "1917" launching at the perfect time in the awards season calendar and how that's helped its box office takings. (Jan. 28)       
usatoday.com
The Bucket List: Making Nashville hot chicken with Howlin' Ray's and Hotville
Kim Prince of Hotville and Johnny Ray Zone of Howlin' Ray's share hot chicken insights in the premiere of our 'Bucket List' fried chicken show.
latimes.com
9-year-old charged with attempted murder after stabbing little sister multiple times
A 9-year-old boy has been arrested and charged with attempted first-degree murder after allegedly stabbing his 5-year-old sister multiple times.
abcnews.go.com
Riot Games accuses regulators of 'questionable tactics' to block gender bias settlement
California state agencies argue that women who worked at the video game company could deserve up to $400 million. The company—and the lawyers for women who worked there—strongly disagree.
latimes.com
What you need to know before clicking 'I agree' on that terms of service agreement or privacy policy
Practice privacy policy hygiene for Data Privacy Day: Here's what to do before blindly handing out your sensitive information.       
usatoday.com
Coronavirus update
Asia sell-off continues — Impeachment update
politico.com
Impeachment trial live updates: Trump defense team to conclude opening arguments as debate rages over calling witnesses
A leaked book manuscript by former national security adviser John Bolton has ramped up pressure on Republicans to hear testimony before the president’s trial wraps up.
washingtonpost.com
In a Global Crisis, Maybe Don’t Turn to Twitter
A few minutes before 11 p.m. on January 20, Eric Fiegl-Ding was pretty much just another guy on the internet. Sure, he is a Harvard-affiliated public-health researcher who lives in Washington, D.C. and has two Ph.D.s, but his account was nothing special. He had about 2,000 followers—a modest count on the scale that reaches into the millions—and his average tweet got around one retweet and five likes.That all changed when Fiegl-Ding read a paper about the new coronavirus spreading out of Wuhan, China, and spotted an eye-popping stat. The paper estimated that the virus’s contagiousness, which is captured in a variable called R0 was 3.8—meaning that for every person who caught the disease, they’d give it to almost 4 other people. The paper cautioned that there was “considerable uncertainty associated with the outbreak,” but Fiegl-Ding still worried that such a highly transmissible disease would be a key ingredient in the recipe for a major pandemic. “I read that 3.8 value and I was like: ‘Oh my gosh!’” he told me. “I tweeted it out.”That’s an understatement. “HOLY MOTHER OF GOD—the new coronavirus is a 3.8!!!” Fiegl-Ding’s tweet read. “How bad is that reproductive R0 value? It is thermonuclear pandemic level bad—never seen an actual virality coefficient outside of Twitter in my entire career. I’m not exaggerating.” Over the next five minutes, Fiegl-Ding put together a thread on Twitter, mostly quoting the paper itself, that declared we were “faced with the most virulent virus epidemic the world has ever seen.”Twitter ate it up. Many people seemed to be experiencing the outbreak, especially from afar, as some kind of distributed movie, watched in grainy cellphone videos sent out of China and populated by Twitter heads filling in the backstory. The thread soon had thousands of retweets. Fiegl-Ding’s account flooded with new followers. Here was a Harvard epidemiologist naming the world’s darkest fear about the new disease and confirming it.And yet, there were problems with Fiegl-Ding’s analysis, even if they were not immediately apparent to the people simply scrolling through Twitter. The thread embodied a deep problem on Twitter: the most extreme statements can be amplified far more than more measured messages. In the information sphere, while public-health researchers are doing their best to put out scientific evidence, viral Twitter threads, context-free videos, and even conspiracy theories are reaching far more people.The coronavirus outbreak is a serious public-health problem. While reports began to surface in early January, the Chinese government has massively escalated its response over the last few days, calling for an unprecedented quarantine of tens of millions of people. The outbreak struck within a fraught set of geopolitical circumstances. There is the history of the respiratory illness SARS. There is the lack of clarity about how transparent the factions of the the Chinese government are being about the severity of the outbreak. There is the sheer size of China—and the appearance of the disease in the weeks leading up to the new year, which sends hundreds of millions of people traveling across the country. And, of course, there is global competition between the U.S. and China, which provides a little extra incentive (and prospective attention) for Americans on Twitter trying to garner an audience.Most Americans cannot read Chinese, nor are they present in large numbers on Chinese social-media sites like Weibo and WeChat. The internet has fractured over the last decade, with American and Chinese social-media companies carving up distinct parts of the world. While that makes it difficult for many Americans to parse what’s happening on Chinese social media, it also creates an opportunity for people who are tapped in on both sides. They can arbitrage from the Chinese to the American internet, turning WeChat videos into Twitter gold. Accounts big and small have whipped up quite an apocalyptic fervor in the past weeks, posting scary videos of dubious provenance and veracity. The mainstream media has proceeded carefully, and reporters’ stories seemingly have been unable to satiate the rising hunger for more information about coronavirus.This was the ecosystem in which Fiegl-Ding’s thread landed. No wonder it took off. Unfortunately, there were some mistakes. While Fiegl-Ding included quotes and screenshots of the paper, which was preliminary and not peer-reviewed, he omitted some context, primarily that other infectious diseases like measles also have very high R0 numbers. He also made a clear error: “Ding claimed that the new virus was 8 times as infectious as SARS, when in fact SARS had an R0 ranging from 2 - 5, very comparable with these estimates for the new coronavirus,” the science journalist Ferris Jabr, who watched Fiegl-Ding’s thread wing around the internet that Friday night, told me. Fiegl-Ding deleted the SARS tweet once he realized the mistake. [Read: The deceptively simple number sparking coronavirus fears]The problems didn’t end there, though. Fiegl-Ding hadn’t known that by the time he tweeted about the paper, the researchers had already lowered their estimate to 2.5. And R0, for that matter, is not the be-all and end-all of the danger of a virus. Some highly transmissible diseases are not actually that dangerous. Other experts chimed in to chide his characterizations (and some of his Harvard colleagues talked directly to him, he told me). One epidemiologist, Michael Bazaco, quote-tweeted Fiegl-Ding and proclaimed, “This is fearmongering hyperbole, and borderline public health malpractice.” The tone was clearly not straight out of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nor was the form of the tweets.When Jabr began to add up all the issues, he realized that he should create his own corrective thread. “I decided to counter with a thread that filled in the missing context and collated some of the known facts at the time, along with their sources,” he said. “By the next morning both our threads had been amplified, but his had still been RTed and liked at least twice as many times.”By the time of this writing, Fiegl-Ding’s thread has roughly triple the likes and retweets of Jabr’s. This is one of the realities of the current information ecosystem: While out-and-out conspiracies and hoaxes will draw some attention, it’s really the stuff that’s close to the boundaries of discourse that grabs the most eyeballs. This is the information that's plausible, and that fits into a narrative mounting outside the mainstream that gets the most clicks, likes, and retweets. Bonus points if it’s sensational or something that someone might want to censor. After all, what’s more interesting: “HOLY MOTHER OF GOD” or “the essential data are still being collected and assessed,” as Jabr ended his thread?In 2018, after years of research into the trouble Facebook was having moderating material on its platform, the company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, identified a dark pattern in Facebook’s data around what he called “borderline content”—stuff that was almost prohibited by Facebook, but not quite. He made this chart.FacebookFiegl-Ding’s tweets seem to approach the line of what professional ethics would permit public-health authorities to say. He certainly wasn’t endorsing full-on conspiracy theories about bioweapons and zombies, as some people have suggested during the coronavirus outbreak. But he also was far from the calm, slow-down-there stance of the vast majority of other officials. And, of course, that’s what made his message so irresistible.Twitter has made some effort to slow the spread of misinformation on its platform. Searches for “coronavirus” now produce a link to the CDC with the message “Know the facts.”Fiegl-Ding, for his part, admits that he wishes he’d worded things a little differently. “I really wish Twitter was like Facebook and you could edit,” he told me. Since his thread went big, he’s moderated the tone of his tweets considerably and hewed closer to the public-health consensus on how to describe the situation.Still, Fiegl-Ding is just one guy on the internet. Many people have been tweeting into the borderline space, and not everyone shows signs of remorse.Misinformation has always been an element of people’s response to disease; we didn't have to wait around for social media to be invented to spread rumors or contest facts. But the fundamental difference today is the scope and speed by which social-media platforms enable this to happen—and the strangeness of the information networks that are formed in crisis.One user in particular, @howroute, has had tremendously viral tweets about the terrible danger the world faces. These have drawn more likes and retweets than anything from Fiegl-Ding or Jabr. One shows people in hazmats suits on an airplane. “BREAKING NEWS: This is not a scene from some apocalyptic horror movie, this is a #coronavirus outbreak in China,” @howroute posted. The tweet has been retweeted and faved around 50,000 times. “The SARS like virus has already spread to four countries and infected more than 1700 people. US airports are monitored. Be on alert, stay safe!”The account has also posted videos supposedly showing people dead in the hallways of hospitals and someone twitching under a hospital sheet. Most of the videos seem to be real, but the context is missing. Within the apocalyptic frame that they’ve been given, they are terrifying.The name on the account is Max Howroute, but I’ve been unable to find any person by that name in public-records searches. There’s no record of Max Howroute working at a publication or producing work other than some satirical YouTube videos, and yet, the account describes Howroute as a “journalist.” Before the Wuhan crisis, @Howroute had mostly posted anti-Trump memes. Since the viral hit, the account has gone all in tweeting completely context-free videos and charging its critics of being Chinese Communist Party trolls. “You’re liar and I will report you to Twitter,” @howroute tweeted at the Hong Kong dissident artist Badiucao. “You’re obviously new here. I’m one of the most trusted sources on coronavirus reporting on Twitter. How dare are you to question my reporting!!”It’s not clear what @howroute is doing, nor who they are. The account—it often posts using “we”—has not responded to my requests for an interview, and studiously maintains that everything it has posted has been verified. According to Buzzfeed’s Jane Lytvynenko’s fact-checking efforts, that is not true.Is @howroute someone seeking global attention, someone who believes what they are doing is righteous, someone who’s simply exploitative grifter? Perhaps the only thing clear about the account is that it has shaped the online conversation around the coronavirus outbreak, regardless of its intentions. It may be that @howroute is “one of the most trusted sources on coronavirus reporting on Twitter,” which is exactly the problem. Some entity with no discernible knowledge about China, epidemiology, or infectious disease working from a pseudonymous account has become a leading source for people across the world about a global pandemic.
theatlantic.com
Report alleges killings in Burundi as elections draw near
A research group says repression has intensified in Burundi ahead of presidential polls in May
Politica
'Apex Legends' Charm Location - How to Get the Forge Steel Cut Charm for Free
"Apex Legends" players may have said goodbye to Forge, but you can still get his Steel Cut weapon charm using this guide.
newsweek.com
LeBron James makes "promise" to Kobe Bryant in emotional post
"Man I love you big bro," said James, who spoke with Bryant hours before his death
cbsnews.com
Tearful Djokovic pays tribute to Bryant after Australian Open victory
Novak Djokovic broke down in tears while reflecting on his friendship with Kobe Bryant at the Australian Open.
edition.cnn.com
Car thief locks himself inside car, is 'saved' by police
At least he got the breaking IN part right.
foxnews.com
Living in harmony with nature in Kerala
The northern reaches of Kerala, one of India's greenest and most beautiful states, is a peaceful place where local people live and work closely with their natural environment.
edition.cnn.com
GOP Rep. Doug Collins to run for Georgia Senate seat
Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., who has been one of President Trump's staunchest defenders through the impeachment process, is expected to announce that he will run for U.S. Senate. 
foxnews.com
Culture and trade thrive in Kerala's Kochi
Kerala's fascinating port city of Kochi is home to landmarks representing settlers from its past, but traditional culture is still alive and well.
edition.cnn.com
'1917' stars' first Oscar luncheon
Actors George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman joke about the starry encounters they could have had at the Oscar Luncheon in Los Angeles (Jan. 28)       
usatoday.com
Coronavirus, impeachment stoke Wall Street paranoia
Michigan is a battleground state for the Trump reelection bid — and automakers are watching the coronavirus, as uncertainty drags down stock prices.       
usatoday.com
Boris Johnson allows Huawei to build parts of U.K. 5G network
President Trump had urged Britain to ban the Chinese tech giant.
politico.com
Bolton adds fuel to the impeachment fire
politico.com
'AGT: The Champions': Silhouettes' 'fake' dog act makes Heidi Klum cry, earns Golden Buzzer
A dog is a man's best friend and apparently the key to a Golden Buzzer on "America's Got Talent: The Champions."      
usatoday.com
What travelers need to know as TSA, airports brace for Super Bowl LIV travelers
Long before the final matchup was set for Super Bowl LIV, airports and security officials were making game plans for dealing with an influx of flyers.       
usatoday.com
Hotel offers free stays for couples who make babies
Hotel Zed is offering a four-hour Valentine's Day "Nooner" special for its fifth year in a row, but this year, the Canadian hotel chain has upped the ante.
edition.cnn.com
Hotel offers free stays for couples who make babies
For Valentine's Day this year, you could indulge in a cocktail-paired tasting menu at a top Vancouver restaurant, jet off to Whistler for a ski holiday or book a cozy lodge on the west coast of Vancouver Island to storm watch.
edition.cnn.com
Kobe Bryant mourned by Lower Merion, his former high school
Kobe Bryant is being remembered as a living legend in the Philadelphia suburb where he first noticed his basketball skill. He went straight from Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, to the NBA. Years later, he made a large donation to help build the school’s new gym, which was named for him. Jericka Duncan shares the emotional reaction from students and Bryant’s former classmates.
cbsnews.com
U.K. Government Approves Huawei For 5G Mobile Networks, With Some Restrictions
It's a pivotal decision with implications for Britain's diplomatic relations with the United States and China
time.com
Roy Moore sues conservative outlet for $40 million alleging 'fake news'
Scandal-ridden GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore is suing a conservative media outlet for $40 million, alleging "fake news" as he runs his second campaign in three years for the same Alabama seat.
foxnews.com
Wisconsin family trapped in Wuhan amid coronavirus outbreak
The United States will evacuate some Americans in Wuhan on a flight out of the quarantined city Wednesday morning.
cbsnews.com
Netanyahu formally indicted in court on corruption charges
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was formally indicted in court on Tuesday on corruption charges after he withdrew his request for parliamentary immunity from prosecution.
reuters.com
The Cybersecurity 202: Mike Rogers, former Republican House Intel chief, blasts Congress for not taking action on Huawei
His old panel is “just broken” amid partisan warfare, Rogers says.
washingtonpost.com
Mississippi governor to close notorious prison unit after string of inmate deaths
Gov. Tate Reeves told lawmakers Monday he has ordered the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman's notorious Unit 29 closed.        
usatoday.com
No witness trades: Senate Republicans have lost leverage
From denial to bargaining, Republicans moving through stages to accept Trump's political demise
washingtonpost.com
How are Iowa voters picking candidates?
You've probably never thought about this quality.
washingtonpost.com
A fan's homage to Kobe Bryant
I've been overwhelmed with messages from family and friends about Kobe Bryant's death.
edition.cnn.com
Coronavirus Now Spread to Over a Dozen Countries As WHO Declares Outbreak 'High Risk' on Global Level
The death toll has hit over 100, according to health officials.
newsweek.com
Israel's Netanyahu will fly to Moscow on Wednesday: aide
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in Washington for the unveiling of a U.S. plan for Middle East peace, will fly to Moscow on Wednesday, an Israeli official said.
reuters.com
Pfizer profit misses as breast cancer drug sales fall short of estimates
Pfizer Inc posted a quarterly profit on Tuesday that came in below Wall Street estimates, as sales of breast cancer drug Ibrance fell short of expectations.
reuters.com
Benjamin Netanyahu indicted on corruption charges after withdrawing immunity bid
The Knesset was widely expected to reject his immunity request.
nypost.com
Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Fallon choke up while paying tribute to Kobe Bryant
Late night hosts are paying tribute to Kobe Bryant, including Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel, who all choked up remembering the star.      
usatoday.com
UPDATE 2-Man in Germany contracts coronavirus in one of first cases of transmission outside China
Germany has declared its first confirmed case of the coronavirus after a 33-year-old man contracted it from a colleague visiting his workplace from Shanghai, in one of the first few cases of person-to-person transmission outside China.
reuters.com
Super Bowl LIV, by the numbers
From Kittle to Kelce to Bosa to Mahomes, here are the key figures to know.
washingtonpost.com
Biden says Ernst ‘spilled the beans’ with caucus comments amid impeachment fight
“Iowa caucus-goers take note,” the former vice president tweeted.
politico.com
Reaction to UK allowing Huawei a role in 5G network
Britain will allow "high risk vendors" like Chinese telecoms giant Huawei [HWT.UL] a limited role in building its 5G networks, the government said on Tuesday.
reuters.com