U.S. Justice Dept accuses Google of evidence destruction in antitrust case
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US Justice Dept Accuses Google of Evidence Destruction In Antitrust Case (Maria)

The author writes, “U.S. Justice Department lawyers say that Alphabet Inc’s Google destroyed internal corporate communications and have asked a federal judge to sanction the company as part of the government’s antitrust case over its search business. The DOJ asserted in a court filing unsealed in a Washington, D.C., federal court on Thursday that Google failed to timely suspend a policy allowing the automatic, permanent deletion of employees’ chat logs. The government said Google ‘falsely’ told the U.S. in 2019 that it had suspended ‘auto-deletion’ and was preserving chat communications as it was required to do.”

How the West May Have Helped Build China’s Spy Balloons (Sean)

From Defense One: “China’s high-altitude spy balloons took Western politicians and publics by surprise, but they really shouldn’t have. Chinese strategists and industry have worked for more than a decade on 21st-century applications of the 18th-century invention — with some assistance from the West. Aerostats — the word encompasses powered airships (‘blimps’) as well as unpowered balloons — have long been associated with military applications, particularly information-gathering activities. They hold numerous advantages in persistence and cost, and thus many of the Chinese organizations that produce them are directly funded by China’s military industry.” 

Lawsuit: Steve Bannon Owes $480K for Unpaid Legal Bills (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “Steve Bannon’s latest legal trouble: a lawsuit alleging he stiffed his former lawyers out of more than $480,000. Bannon, a conservative strategist and longtime ally of former President Donald Trump, was sued for breach of contract last week by a Manhattan law firm that defended him in several recent high-profile legal battles. The firm, Davidoff Hutcher & Citron LLP, represented Bannon from 2020 to 2022 in matters including criminal cases stemming from his refusal to comply with a congressional subpoena and from allegations that he duped donors who gave money to build a wall on the southern U.S. border.”

Bosses Want to Pay You More But Give You Less (Al)

From Vox: “[Companies are] increasingly incorporating the use of high-skilled, high-paid contractors — IT managers, software engineers, data analysts, accountants, nurses, lawyers, finance professionals — into their business plans, as a less expensive way to get talent with in-demand skill sets who typically have lots of options in a tight hiring market. Companies are often willing to pay these people more on an hourly basis in exchange for getting to hire them for short-term contracts.”

Plant-Based Meat Sales Fell Significantly Last Year. What Does That Mean for Climate Change? (Laura)

From Inside Climate News: “With livestock accounting for nearly 15 percent of global climate emissions, fake meat was hailed as a solution. But high costs and health concerns remain big barriers.”

2.9-Million-Year-Old Butchery Site Reopens Case of Who Made First Stone Tools (Mili)

The author writes, “Along the shores of Africa’s Lake Victoria in Kenya roughly 2.9 million years ago, early human ancestors used some of the oldest stone tools ever found to butcher hippos and pound plant material, according to new research. The study presents what are likely to be the oldest examples of a hugely important stone-age innovation known to scientists as the Oldowan toolkit, as well as the oldest evidence of hominins consuming very large animals.”

Scientists Sleuth Out Meteorite Crater at a French Winery (Dana)

The author writes, “The Domaine du Meteore winery in southern France got its name from a dramatic depression in the ground where it grows grape vines. Turns out the name is more than a marketing ploy. Geologist and cosmochemist Frank Brenker from Goethe University Frankfurt says it’s proved to be true. Decades ago, geologists had a disagreement about how the 720-foot-wide (220 meters) and 100-foot-deep (30 meters) depression was formed. Some thought it might be from a meteorite impact. But others said no, thanks in part to the depression’s lack of a raised rim around its edge, and everyone just went with that. Until now.” 


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