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January 23, 2020

America Wants Impeachment Witnesses

This Day in History | 1957

Toy company Wham-O releases the frisbee flying disc. 

Good Morning Middle Americans, 

Are you like most of America? Do you want to hear from former White House National Security Advisor John Bolton? Or perhaps some of the other people involved in the now infamous Ukraine phone call.  We will now have to see if the public’s opinion will be enough to sway at least four GOP senators back the idea of having witnesses testify at the impeachment trial of President Trump. 

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, a titan of the tech world, had his phone hacked by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salmon. Not only that, but some reports indicate that MBS taunted Bezos with pics and other info that he picked up from the hack. The UN is now involved. 

You’ve probably seen the massive fires covering huge portions of Australia. Sadly, three American fire fighters who traveled to help died in a plane crash while on the job. The C-130 was being used as a water tanker. 

Finally today, there’s an interesting battle brewing between Apple and Google. Apple wants to be the tech company that’s all about privacy. Google wants all your data. Apple engineers wrote a piece of software that helps mask their on-line tracks and Google is freaking out about it. 

Really all about it!

– Fraser Bachman

Most Americans Want Witnesses in Trump Impeachment Trial

(Reuters) – A bipartisan majority of Americans want to see new witnesses testify in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, and the public appears to be largely following the proceedings even after a bruising congressional inquiry that lasted several months, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling released Wednesday.

About 72% agreed that the trial “should allow witnesses with firsthand knowledge of the impeachment charges to testify,” including 84% of Democrats and 69% of Republicans. And 70% of the public, including 80% of Democrats and 73% of Republicans, said senators should “act as impartial jurors” during the trial.

Trump so far has blocked the Democrats’ requests for documents related to the administration’s activities in Ukraine last year. He has also urged officials like former national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to participate.

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Saudi Crown Prince’s WhatsApp Linked to Bezos Phone Hack

(AP) — The cellphone of Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos was hacked in what appeared to be an attempt by Saudi Arabia’s crown prince to “influence, if not silence” the newspaper’s reporting on the kingdom, two U.N. human rights experts said Wednesday.

The U.N. experts called for an “immediate investigation” by the United States into a report commissioned by Bezos that showed the billionaire technology mogul’s phone was likely hacked after he received an MP4 video file sent from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s WhatsApp account after the two men exchanged phone numbers during a dinner in Los Angeles in 2018.

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Three Americans Fire Fighters Die in Plane Crash in Australia

(Fox News) – Three American firefighters died in a water tanker plane crash Thursday while battling wildfires in Australia, New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed.

Rural Fire Service officials said they had located the plane, a C-130 Hercules, that crashed in the Snowy Monaro region of New South Wales state.

Coulson Aviation in Oregon said in a statement that one of its C-130 Lockheed large air tankers was lost after it left Richmond in New South Wales with retardant for a firebombing mission. It said the accident was “extensive” but had few other details.

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Google and Apple Clash Over Web Browser Privacy

(Bloomberg) — Google engineers said a tool Apple Inc. developed to help users avoid web tracking is fundamentally flawed and creates more problems than it solves.

The Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature on Apple’s Safari web browser, which is meant to block tracking software used by digital advertisers, can be abused to do the exact opposite, according to a paper released Wednesday by Google researchers. Google told Apple about the problem in August, and in December the iPhone maker published a blog post saying it had fixed the issues and thanking Google for its help.

But Wednesday’s paper concluded that the problems go beyond the issues that Apple addressed. Instead of making a big list of cookies to block, Apple’s ITP continuously learns what websites users visit and which kinds of cookies try to hitch a ride. Over time, this creates unique cookie-blocking algorithms for each web surfer that can be used to identify and track them, according to the paper.

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