Tech Giants Ready for 2016-Style Meddling. But the Threat Has Changed.

Trump Rule Could Kill Billions of Birds ; How H-E-B Prepared for the Pandemic ; and More Picks

US elections, big tech, meddling
The authors write, “Facebook, Twitter, Google and other big tech companies have spent the past three years working to avoid a repeat of 2016, when their platforms were overrun by Russian trolls and used to amplify America's partisan divide. The internet giants have since collectively spent billions of dollars hiring staff, fortifying their systems and developing new policies to prevent election meddling. But as the events of just one day — Feb. 12 — at Facebook showed, although the companies are better equipped to deal with the types of interference they faced in 2016, they are struggling to handle the new challenges of 2020.” Photo credit: Anthony Quintano / Wikimedia (CC BY 2.0)
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Expert Says Trump Rule Could Kill Billions of Birds (Chris) 

The author writes, “The 1918 migratory bird act came after many U.S. bird populations had been decimated by hunting and poaching, much of it for feathers for women’s hats. Over the past half-century, the law also was applied against companies that failed to prevent foreseeable bird deaths. However, the Trump administration says deaths of birds that fly into oil pits, mining sites, telecommunications towers, wind turbines and other hazards should be treated as accidents not subject to prosecution. An Interior Department proposal would cement that into federal regulation.”

What Explains COVID-19’s Lethality for the Elderly? Scientists Look to ‘Twilight’ of the Immune System (Judy) 

From STAT News: “The explanation for the generally heightened risk to the elderly, but also for the fact that Covid-19 kills many younger people even as some seniors survive, lies in a growing understanding of ‘immunosenescence.’ Immunologists have identified some of the specific ways the immune system changes with age, allowing them to go beyond the simple assertion that it weakens.”

Defiant Megachurch Pastors Show ‘Reckless Disregard for Human Life’ (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “The coronavirus pandemic … has spurred most houses of worship to go online. But several megachurches have revolted.”

Inside the Story of How H-E-B Prepared for the Pandemic (Dana)

From Texas Monthly: “The grocer started communicating with Chinese counterparts in January and was running tabletop simulations a few weeks later. (But nothing prepared it for the rush on toilet paper.)”

Man Teaching Dog How to Drive Arrested After High-Speed Chase (Chris)

The author writes, “A Washington state man was arrested following a high-speed chase that left officers dumbfounded after they found the man’s pit bull behind the wheel.”

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