Supreme Court, internet, social media platforms, protections
United States Supreme Court. Photo credit: Joe Ravi / Wiki (CC-BY-SA 3.0)

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Supreme Court Seems Wary of Limiting Protections for Social Media Platforms (Maria)

The author writes, “In a case with the potential to alter the very structure of the internet, the Supreme Court did not appear ready on Tuesday to limit a law that protects social media platforms from lawsuits over their users’ posts. In the course of a sprawling argument lasting almost three hours, the justices seemed to view the positions taken by the two sides as too extreme, giving them a choice between exposing search engines and Twitter shares to liability on the one hand and protecting algorithms that promote pro-ISIS content on the other. At the same time, they expressed doubts about their own competence to find a middle ground. ‘You know, these are not like the nine greatest experts on the internet,’ Justice Elena Kagan said of the Supreme Court, to laughter.”

Vote Tracking Bill Has Bipartisan Support (Al)

From Urban Milwaukee: “A Republican-authored bill with bipartisan support in the Wisconsin Legislature would allow voters to track the status of their ballots through text messages sent to their cell phones. Currently, absentee voters must log into MyVote, the Wisconsin Election Commission’s information portal, to make sure their ballots have been received by a clerk. Under Senate Bill 39 … voters who apply for absentee ballots can sign up for free text message updates letting them know when their ballots are received.”

Family: Man Shot By Police Couldn’t Hear, Speak English (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Relatives of a man who was fatally shot by St. Paul [MN] police argued Saturday that the 65-year-old struggled to understand orders to drop a traditional Hmong knife because of a language barrier and extreme hearing loss. … Police responded Feb. 12 to a report of a man threatening people with the 16-inch knife inside a community room. Investigators said St. Paul Police Officers Abdirahman Dahir and Noushue Cha encountered him in the hallway that led to his apartment. But Xiong did not respond to their commands to drop the knife, according to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.”

Leaked Document Reveals Alleged Kremlin Plan to Take Over Belarus by 2030 (Sean)

From The Kyiv Independent: “As the whole world watches Russia’s all-out war against Ukraine, the Kremlin is quietly absorbing neighboring Belarus into its orbit. Russia’s encroachment on Belarus may, however, be the result of a meticulously composed plan. A group of European and U.S. media outlets, including The Kyiv Independent, has obtained a 17-page document allegedly detailing Russia’s plans to subjugate Belarus and dismantle its independence.”

Changes Needed to Save Second-Largest US Reservoir, Experts Say (Russ)

The author writes, “Water levels in the nation’s second-largest reservoir dropped to a record low last week, raising the alarm that major changes are on the way for the seven states — and millions of Americans — relying on that system, experts say. Lake Powell, a man-made reservoir that sits along the Colorado River on the Arizona-Utah border, generates electricity for about 4.5 million people. It is also a key part of the Colorado River Basin system, which supplies water to more than 40 million people. As of last week, its water levels fell to 3,522 feet above sea level, which is the lowest seen since the structure was filled in the 1960s. It’s now just 22 percent full, and unprecedented cuts in states’ water usage are necessary to avoid dire consequences.”

9 Diseases That Keep Epidemiologists up at Night (Laura)

From NPR: “For those who study infectious diseases, talking about possible next pandemics is a necessity. That’s why the World Health Organization keeps a list of viruses and bacteria with pandemic potential. … The list helps guide scientists, governments and organizations in investing energy and funds to study the pathogens most likely to cause the greatest devastation to humans. The WHO develops ‘blueprints’ with strategic goals and research priorities for each disease on the list.”

‘Incredibly Intelligent, Highly Elusive’: US Faces New Threat From Canadian ‘Super Pig’ (Dana)

The author writes, “For decades, wild pigs have been antagonizing flora and fauna in the US: gobbling up crops, spreading disease and even killing deer and elk. Now, as fears over the potential of the pig impact in the US grow, North America is also facing a new swine-related threat, as a Canadian ‘super pig,’ a giant, ‘incredibly intelligent, highly elusive’ beast capable of surviving cold climates by tunneling under snow, is poised to infiltrate the north of the country.”


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