Mitch McConnell Moves to Expand Bill Barr's Surveillance Powers ; Who Let the Goats Out? ; and More Picks 5/13

Mitch McConnell Moves to Expand Bill Barr’s Surveillance Powers (Chris)

From the Daily Beast: “Under cover of redressing what President Donald Trump and his allies call the FBI’s ‘witch hunt’ over collusion with the Kremlin, McConnell, via an amendment to the PATRIOT Act, will expressly permit the FBI to warrantlessly collect records on Americans’ web browsing and search histories. In a different amendment, McConnell also proposes giving the attorney general visibility into the ‘accuracy and completeness’ of FBI surveillance submissions to the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court.”

FBI Accidentally Reveals Name of Saudi Official Suspected of Directing Support for 9/11 Hijackers (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “The FBI inadvertently revealed one of the U.S. government’s most sensitive secrets about the Sept. 11 terror attacks: the identity of a mysterious Saudi Embassy official in Washington who agents suspected had directed crucial support to two of the al-Qaida hijackers. The disclosure came in a new declaration filed in federal court by a senior FBI official in response to a lawsuit brought by families of 9/11 victims that accuses the Saudi government of complicity in the terrorist attacks.”

Facebook Will Pay $52M in Settlement With Moderators Who Developed PTSD on the Job (DonkeyHotey)

From The Verge: “In a preliminary settlement filed on Friday in San Mateo Superior Court, the social network agreed to pay damages to American moderators and provide more counseling to them while they work. Each moderator will receive a minimum of $1,000.” 

Alabama Senate Leaders Want to Use Coronavirus Aid Money to Build New State House (Celia)

The author writes, “Alabama lawmakers have proposed allocating $200 million of the state’s coronavirus relief funding toward construction of a new State House. The legislature’s intended budget breakdown drew criticism from Alabama Governor Kay Ivey last week.”

Why It Takes Local Journalism to Uncover Scandals Like the Boeing 737 Max Disaster (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “In the case of the Boeing crashes, strong, locally based reporting has not only informed the public but has helped prompt congressional hearings, corporate housecleaning and demands for greater federal oversight of air safety.”

About 200 Goats Escape, Roam the Streets of East San Jose (Chris)

From NBC: “On Tuesday evening, one of the goats was eating flowers over a fence and somehow tapped one of the electric fences, causing it and others to break the boards on the fence.”

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