Cuba’s New Regime? Exemptions for Facebook Users? Someone Streamed During the Southwest Crash? More…

Transcript from The Morning Brew on April 19, 2018

You can catch the edited version of the stream here:

Or the archived stream on Twitch for a limited time here.

Cuba Heads Toward a Post-Castro future

Cuba pic


It’s an end of an era in Havana. On Wednesday, Cuba’s National Assembly convened a session that will culminate in President Raúl Castro stepping down from his post in favor of his first vice president, Miguel Diaz-Canel. The move sets the stage for a startling reality: Diaz-Canel will become the first non-Castro to lead the Caribbean nation since Marxist revolutionaries swept to power almost six decades ago. Castro, 86, will remain head of the country’s Communist Party, although he is in the twilight of his career. His brother Fidel Castro, architect of the regime that has withstood decades of American blockade, stepped down in his favor in 2008 and died two years ago. And while the ascension of Diaz-Canel — a handpicked successor plucked from the ranks of the Communist leadership — has been telegraphed for months, it still presents a dramatic inflection point. Diaz-Canel, 57, is from a generation of Cuban politicos who never manned the guerrilla front lines alongside Fidel, Che Guevara or other figures from the halcyon days of revolution. Instead, he cut his political teeth in the 1990’s as Cuba reckoned with the economic catastrophe that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. He is seen as something of a pragmatist and a proponent of new technology. But his assumption of the presidency is also a mark of his closeness to the prevailing order. Diaz-Canel faces pressure to bolster Cuba’s flagging economy, which can no longer count on being buttressed by Venezuela’s petro-wealth. He may have to spearhead monetary reform and push for further foreign investment, calibrating the imperative for loosening up against the fears of the Communist establishment. This could end up just as more of the same old, same old or a new Cuba that will rise up and take the reigns of her now kinda bright future. Either way, this does provide a glimmer of hope for the people of Cuba who have suffered for over 6 decades of Castro rule.


Thousands of immigrants could benefit from Supreme Court ruling, lawyers say

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A Supreme Court ruling on immigration this week is igniting a new political battle over federal officials’ power to deport foreigners who have been convicted of certain crimes. The White House and the nation’s top immigration official said the 5-to-4 ruling will make it harder for the Trump administration to deport people convicted of some sexual offenses and kidnapping crimes, as well as burglary in some states, among other offenses. Immigration lawyers countered that the federal law makes clear that foreigners convicted of murder, rape and other violent offenses can be deported. They say the ruling offers important protections to immigrants whom the Department of Homeland Security has portrayed as “aggravated felons” based on a broad and vaguely defined category called “crimes of violence,” which may not have resulted in physical harm. In all, thousands of immigrants could be affected, immigration lawyers say, particularly green-card holders, who are lawful permanent residents on a path to U.S. citizenship. But they say the decision could also aid undocumented immigrants, who, depending on the severity of their crime, may now have a chance to plead their case to stay (Even though it is against the law to Federally Trespass on US land without the proper paper work as in green cards and Visas).  The Supreme Court ruling involved James Dimaya, a green-card holder from the Philippines who has lived in the United States since 1992. He was convicted of home burglaries in 2007 and 2009. The immigration courts stripped him of his green card and ordered him deported, concluding that in California, first-degree burglary is tantamount to a “crime of violence.” The Supreme court in favor said that the statute was too vague for the immigration courts to reach that conclusion. Trump administration officials disagreed, saying that the court ruling means that burglary in many states, drug trafficking in Florida and sexual abuse of a minor in New Jersey will no longer be considered aggravated felonies.


Facebook Is Trying to Exclude 1.5 Billion Users From Stricter Privacy Regulations

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The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a strict set of laws governing what data tech companies can collect on users, requiring them to seek explicit opt-in consent before doing so, and promptly disclose breaches, goes into effect on May 25th, 2018. Currently, the GDPR would require Facebook to apply these changes to 1.9 billion users. It wants to exclude 1.5 billion of those users. Facebook users outside the US and Canada are currently subject to whatever regulations apply to the company’s foreign headquarters in Ireland. But the company is planning to try and exempt all of those users outside the EU, Reuters reported on Wednesday, in what seems like an attempt to make an end run around the privacy rules and dodge potential fines as well (that could cost them billions). GDPR-style regulations would make such future Cambridge Analyticas a lot less likely to happen, but also might threaten Facebook’s bottom line. So Facebook predictably downplayed its attempt to dodge them by trotting out a line it’s used before when talking about the potential application of GDPR-style protections in the US: Those 1.4 billion users will have their data treated the same as EU users in spirit. “We apply the same privacy protections everywhere, regardless of whether your agreement is with Facebook Inc or Facebook Ireland,” Facebook told Reuters in a statement. If the company succeeds in dodging the GDPR outside the EU, users will be subject to lax US privacy standards, which would allow the company to continue collecting data like web histories it collects via the “Like” and “Share” buttons embedded on innumerable websites. According to Reuters, the change would ultimately exclude 1.52 billion users, or over 70 percent of people with accounts, based on December 2017 user statistics.


Southwest passenger trolled for live-streaming stricken flight

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If you want a detailed discussion into the engine that failed on this flight, how it works and why it failed click this link, it was very informative and kinda interesting

The first reaction of Southwest Airlines passenger Marty Martinez when an engine exploded on the plane on Tuesday was to live stream what he feared might be his last minutes of life. Martinez lived. One passenger, bank executive Jennifer Riordan, was killed when she was partially pulled through a shattered plane window. Martinez said on Wednesday he wanted to communicate with loved ones, many social media users attacked him in expletive-laced postings, with one saying Martinez himself should have been the one who died. “Trying to contact loved ones is one thing, but to morbidly video and take pictures to post publicly is completely disgusting. Evidently the wrong person was taken from that flight,” Dennis Miller said on Facebook in a posting that included colorful language to describe Martinez. Many social media users defended Martinez’s use of Facebook Live, but some said he violated passengers’ privacy and sought cheap fame (HE THOUGHT HE WAS GOING TO DIE IDGITS!!!). Others said he was selfish to focus on messaging instead of on the critically injured passenger a few rows away. “You represent the worst of social media,” Tom Burke said on Facebook. Martinez explained on Wednesday why he opened his laptop and fumbled for his credit card to pay $8 for Wi-Fi while other passengers were grabbing oxygen masks. Heidi Julien, a professor of information studies at University at Buffalo, New York, said it was inevitable people would use technology to show such events. Some of the negative responses to Martinez’s videos – with dozens of users picking fault with how he wore his oxygen mask – showed a desensitization to what people saw live.

It’s a sad day when we don’t care what happens to a human life and well criticize someone who thinks he is going to perish. The mind under panic and distress does strange things we might not do under other circumstances. I would love to ask all these Idgits out there, what would you have done? Oh wait you never lived through something like this? Then shut the heck up, and talk to me when you have something like this happens in your life and then let’s see how asinine you are by this guys actions – Hi! Im a Merlin, just had to respond.


All news stories are edited by Merlin Wolfhoud.

Show produced and run by Maddy.

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Categories: Morning Brew Archives

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