The state of Ohio on Tuesday filed an unprecedented lawsuit calling on a local court to declare Google as much a public utility as an electric company.
Google should be designated a public utility subject to government regulation regarding its search engine and other services, Ohio attorney general Dave Yost contended in the legal filing.
Public utilities supply essential goods or services such as water or power, and are often effectively monopolies.
“When you own the railroad or the electric company or the cellphone tower, you have to treat everyone the same and give everybody access,” Yost said in a release announcing the suit.
Yost accused Google of favoring its own products, websites, and services in search results, putting competitors at a disadvantage.
Google said the lawsuit had no basis in fact and that it will defend itself in court.
“AG Yost’s lawsuit would make Google Search results worse and make it harder for small businesses to connect directly with customers,” a company spokesman said in reply to an AFP inquiry.
“Ohioans simply don’t want the government to run Google like a gas or electric company.”
Ohio late last year was among some three dozen US states that filed a federal lawsuit accusing Google of abusing its market dominance. That case is still pending.
France’s competition regulator fined Google 220 million euros ($267 million) on Monday for favoring its own services for placing online ads at the expense of rivals, as US tech giants face growing pressure in Europe and the United States.
The penalty is part of a settlement reached after three media groups — News Corp, French daily Le Figaro, and Belgium’s Groupe Rossel — accused Google in 2019 of abusing a dominant market position over ad sales for their websites and apps.
The competition authority determined that Google gave preferential treatment to its own ad inventory marketplace AdX and to the Doubleclick Ad Exchange, its real-time platform for letting clients choose and sell ads.
Google did not contest the findings, and the regulator said the company has committed to operational changes, including improved interoperability with third-party ad placement providers.
Last week, Germany’s competition regulator said it was expanding an antitrust investigation into Google and its parent company Alphabet to include Google News Showcase, a service aimed at increasing revenue for media publishers.
US President Donald Trump will address the nation on Monday after two shootings left 29 people dead and sparked accusations that his rhetoric was part of the problem.
The rampages turned innocent snippets of everyday life into nightmares of bloodshed: 20 people were shot dead while shopping at a crowded Walmart in El Paso, Texas on Saturday morning, and nine more outside a bar in a popular nightlife district in Dayton, Ohio just 13 hours later.
Trump will again find himself in the role of consoler-in-chief after a tragedy — which he has struggled with in the past — when he speaks at 10:00 am (1400 GMT).
Following the shootings, Trump said “hate has no place in our country,” but he also blamed mental illness for the violence.
“These are really people that are very, very seriously mentally ill,” he said, despite the fact that police have not confirmed this to be the case.
“We have to get it stopped. This has been going on for years… and years in our country,” he said.
In Texas, 26 people were wounded, and 27 in Ohio, where the shooter was killed in roughly 30 seconds by police who were patrolling nearby.
100-round drum magazine
Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl told a news conference that the quick police response was “crucial,” preventing the shooter from entering a bar where “there would have been… catastrophic injury and loss of life.”
Biehl said the shooter wore a mask and a bullet-proof vest and was armed with an assault rifle fitted with a 100-round drum magazine.
Police named the gunman as a 24-year-old white man called Connor Betts and said his sister was among those killed. She had gone with him to the scene of the shootings.
Six of the nine people shot dead were black, but Biehl said Betts’ motive was still unclear.
In Texas, police said the suspect surrendered on a sidewalk near the scene of the massacre. He was described in media reports as a 21-year-old white man named Patrick Crusius.
He was believed to have posted online a manifesto denouncing a “Hispanic invasion” of Texas. El Paso, on the border with Mexico, is majority Latino.
‘Amplifying and condoning’ hate
Seven of the 20 people killed in the El Paso shooting were Mexican, the country’s foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, said Sunday.
Ebrard, who will travel to El Paso Monday, said Mexico was looking at legal action which could lead to extradition of the gunman.
“For Mexico, this individual is a terrorist,” he said.
The manifesto posted shortly before the shooting also praises the killing of 51 Muslims at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand in March.
Police said the suspected shooter has been charged with murder offenses that can carry the death penalty, and a federal official said investigators are treating the El Paso shooting as a case of domestic terrorism.
At the Walmart in El Paso, terrified shoppers cowered in aisles or ran out of the store as gunfire echoed.
Most of the victims were inside the store but some were also in the parking lot outside, police said.
“Shooting kids and women and men, to him it mostly mattered that they were Hispanic,” said Manuel Sanchez, a resident of the city.
These were the 250th and 251st mass shootings this year in the US, according to the Gun Violence Archive, an NGO that defines a mass shooting as an incident in which at least four people are wounded or killed.
Despite a string of horrific mass shootings in the US, where gun culture is deep-rooted, efforts to strengthen firearms regulations remain divisive.
The latest two shootings ended a particularly tragic week for gun violence in America: three people died in a shooting at a food festival last Sunday in California, and two more Tuesday in a shooting in a Walmart in Mississippi.
On Twitter, Trump described the El Paso attack as “an act of cowardice.”
But critics said the president’s habit of speaking in derogatory terms about immigrants is pushing hatred of foreigners into the political mainstream and encouraging white supremacism.
“To pretend that his administration and the hateful rhetoric it spreads doesn’t play a role in the kind of violence that we saw yesterday in El Paso is ignorant at best and irresponsible at worst,” said the Southern Poverty Law Center, a major civil rights group.
It cited Trump actions like calling Mexican migrants rapists and drug dealers and doing nothing when a crowd at a Trump rally chanted “send her back” in reference to a Somali-born congresswoman.
The Republican mayor of El Paso, Dee Margo, seemed to discount any race element to the Texas shooting, telling Fox News the gunman was “deranged.”
But multiple Democratic presidential hopefuls said Trump bears some of the blame for the violence.
“Our president isn’t just failing to confront and disarm these domestic terrorists, he is amplifying and condoning their hate,” Mayor Pete Buttigieg tweeted.
“Mr. President: stop your racist, hateful and anti-immigrant rhetoric. Your language creates a climate which emboldens violent extremists,” Senator Bernie Sanders wrote on Twitter.
Nine people were killed in a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, police said early Sunday.
“The shooter is deceased. There are nine others also deceased. At least 16 others went to area hospitals with injuries,” the police department said on Twitter. Nine people were killed in a mass shooting early Sunday in Dayton, Ohio, police said, adding that the assailant was shot dead by responding officers.
The incident occurred shortly after 1:00 am in the popular bar and nightlife Oregon district of the city, Police Lieutenant Colonel Matt Carper said.
Police in the US state of Ohio arrested a husband and wife and their two sons on Tuesday over the “meticulously planned” murder of eight people — seven members of the same family and a fiancee.
George Wagner III, Angela Wagner and their sons George Wagner IV and Edward Wagner are accused of carrying out the April 2016 massacre in Peebles, a rural village 80 miles (130 kilometers) east of Cincinnati.
“Members of one family conspired, planned, carried out and then allegedly covered up their violent act to wipe out members of another family,” Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader told a news conference.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said the motive was related to child custody, without clarifying further.
Police found seven bodies, each with a bullet to the head, in three separate homes, and an eighth at a separate site. Many were killed in their sleep.
The seven family members killed were Christopher Rhoden Sr., 40; Christopher Rhoden Jr., 16; Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 20; Dana Rhoden, 37; Gary Rhoden, 38; Hanna Rhoden, 19; and Kenneth Rhoden, 44. The other victim, 20-year-old Hannah “Hazel” Gilley, was engaged to Clarence Rhoden.
The shooters spared three young children: a newborn baby found lying next to her dead mother, as well as two others who were six months and three years old.
Officials accused the Wagners of an elaborate cover-up, including tampering with cell phones and security camera footage.
“They did this quickly, coldly, calmly and very carefully. But not carefully enough,” Reader said.
“They left traces. They left a trail: The parts to build a silencer, the forged documents, the cameras, the cellphones, all that they tampered with, and the lies, all the lies they told us.”
Each of the suspects faces eight counts of aggravated murder. If convicted, they could get the death penalty.
Police also arrested Rita Newcomb, identified as Angela Wagner’s mother, and Fredericka Wagner, George Wagner III’s mother.
They are accused of helping with the cover-up.
The killings sent shockwaves through the community, located in an economically distressed region of around 28,000 people that is home to an abandoned uranium plant.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday revived Ohio’s contentious policy of purging infrequent voters from registration rolls in a ruling powered by the five conservative justices and denounced by liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor as an endorsement of the disenfranchisement of minority and low-income people.
In the 5-4 decision in a closely watched voting rights case in which all four liberal justices dissented, the high court overturned a lower court’s ruling that Ohio’s policy violated the National Voter Registration Act, a 1993 federal law that forbade removing voters from registration lists for failing to vote.
Voters purged from registration rolls who sued to challenge the policy in the Republican-governed state argued that the practice illegally erased thousands of voters from registration rolls and disproportionately impacted racial minorities and poor people who tend to back Democratic candidates.
The state said the policy was needed to keep voting rolls current, clearing out people who have moved away or died.
Under Ohio’s policy, if registered voters miss voting for two years, they are sent registration confirmation notices. If they do not respond and do not vote over the following four years, they are purged.
Republican President Donald Trump’s administration backed Ohio, reversing the stance taken by Democratic former President Barack Obama’s administration against the policy.
“This decision is validation of Ohio’s efforts to clean up the voter rolls and now with the blessing (of the) nation’s highest court, it can serve as a model for other states to use,” Republican Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said.
Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito said the court was not deciding whether Ohio’s policy “is the ideal method for keeping its voting rolls up to date. The only question before us is whether it violates federal law. It does not.”
Democrats have accused Republicans of taking steps at the state level, including laws requiring certain types of government-issued identification, intended to suppress the vote of minorities, poor people and others who generally favor Democratic candidates.
The challengers criticized what they called Ohio’s “use it or lose it” policy that they said violated registered voters’ right to choose when to vote, noting that some voters do not cast a ballot when they do not support any of the candidates running.
The 1993 federal law, known by its acronym NVRA, was enacted to make it easier to register. Many states over the decades had erected to voting, sometimes targeting black voters.
In a dissenting opinion, Sotomayor said the ruling “ignores the history of voter suppression against which the NVRA was enacted and upholds a program that appears to further the very disenfranchisement of minority and low-income voters that Congress set out to eradicate.”
The Chief Medical Director of Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Chukwu Abali Chukwu has said that the hospital has concluded collaborations with the University of Toledo, Ohio, United State on the renal treatment.
Briefing Journalists on Monday, Dr. Chukwu stated that adequate medical facilities have been put in place to achieve the feat, hinting that this collaboration would also consider other areas that include research, training of health personnel and other areas of medical expertise.
According to him, the desire to initiate further and explore, collaborate, exchange of faculty, staff, and students for experiences involving health sciences; advanced studies; possible and collaboration in areas of research; and engaging in discussions on topics of mutual interest.
“This September, 2017, I wish to tell you that we would explore the area of kidney transplant in the medical centre, to make that possible, the University of Toledo, Ohio, United States of America has been supportive in accepting a Memorandum of Understanding.
“With the MOU, we hope to start with that area of kidney treatment and have concluded all that is required for the collaboration to yield the desired result”.
Meanwhile, the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, under President Buhari’s Rapid Results Initiative has concluded the arrangement that would offer 1000 screening of Hepatitis B Free of charge for inhabitants of Abians.
The aim is to create awareness on the deadly disease which is of public health concern and to bring health care services closer to the people.
The President-elect of the United States of America, Donald Trump, says he will uphold a united America and reclaim the nation’s destiny when he takes over.
After an election campaign that has been described as divisive and intensely contested; Donald Trump will become the 45th US president following a stunning victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton..
In his victory speech, Mr Trump hailed his opponent saying; “she fought very hard. She has worked very long and hard over a long period of time. We have a sense of gratitude for her service”.
At the Trump campaign centre in New York, the President-elect pledged to be a President of all American people.
President To All Americans
He says he will rebuild the nation’s infrastructure.
“Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division. We have to get together. To all Republicans, Democrats and independence across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.
“I pledge to every citizens of our land that I will be president to all Americans and this is so important to me.
“Working together, we will begin the process of rebuilding the nation.
“We will rebuild our infrastructure which will become by the way second to none and we will put many of our people to work as we rebuild it.
“We will embark upon a project of national growth and I will harness the creative talent of our people and we will call upon the best and brightest to leverage on their tremendous talent for the benefit of all.
“We have a great economic plan. We will double our growth and have the strongest economy anywhere in the world. At the same time, we will get along with all other nations willing to get along with us.
“Nothing we want for our future is beyond our reach. America will no longer settle for anything less than the best.
“We must reclaim our country’s destiny and dream big and bold and daring. We have to do that and we are going to dream of beautiful and successful things for our country,” he stressed.
Mr Trump further highlighted his commitment to his nation, saying; “while we will always put America’s interest first, we will deal fairly with everyone.
“We will seek common ground, not hostility… partnership not conflict”.
He acknowledged that it was a tough race to the White House and described politics as a nasty and tough affair.
The President-elect also said he would repeal most policies of the ruling democratic party.
“It has been what they call a historic event and to be really historic, we have to do a great job.
“While the campaign is over, our work or this movement has just begun. We will get to work immediately for all Americans. We are going to be doing a job that hopefully you will be so proud of your President.
“I love this country,” Mr Trump told the gathering.
He is set to become the 45th President of the United States and he won with 289 electoral college seats. It is the first time that a political outsider [a business man] will win the US presidential election.
The Republican candidate won key battleground states – Florida, North Carolina and Ohio.
Before Mr Trump was declared winner, Mrs Clinton had called him to concede election and congratulate him few minutes before the last result that gave him victory was declared.
Mrs Clinton who got 218 votes, had asked her supporters to go home and that she was not speaking tonight, after results were clear Mr Trump would win.
It was a different Trump that was seen delivering the victory speech, political analysts have said.
He had during campaigns said he would ensure that the nation’s borders were protected from migrants that come into US through them, emphasising that Mexican border would have a wall.
Few weeks to the election several allegations of sexual assault were put forward against him, but he denied the claims, saying they were made to tarnish his image.
The president-elect had raised concerns that the electoral process was already rigged in favour of Mrs Clinton, saying he will not commit to accepting the results of the election.
“I will accept the result only if i win,” he had said.
Donald Trump’s Profile
Mr Trump, born on June 14, 1946, is scheduled to take office as the 45th President on January 20, 2017.
Trump is a businessman and the chairman and president of the Trump Organisation, which is the principal holding company for his real estate ventures and other business interests – a position he has said he will vacate prior to his assumption of the presidency.
During his career, Trump has built office towers, hotels, casinos, golf courses, and other branded facilities worldwide.
Trump was born and raised in New York City and received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1968.
In 1971 he was given control of his father Fred Trump’s real estate and construction firm and later renamed it The Trump Organisation, rising to public prominence shortly thereafter.
He has appeared at the Miss USA pageants, which he owned from 1996 to 2015, and has made cameo appearances in films and television series. He sought the Reform Party presidential nomination in 2000, but withdrew before voting began. He hosted and co-produced The Apprentice, a reality television series on NBC, from 2004 to 2015. As of 2016, he was listed by Forbes as the 324th wealthiest person in the world, and 156th in the United States.
Former world number one golf player, Tiger Woods could return to the PGA Tour after a back surgery, as he confirms accommodation plans for the Memorial tournament in Ohio.
Although Woods has made no commitment to the Memorial, and his plans remain fluid as he rehabilitates his body after a back surgery, it makes sense that he would want to compete in at least one tournament before the year’s second major, the US Open.
The Memorial tournament, to be played from June 2-5 on the Muirfield Village course in Dublin, a suburb of state capital Columbus, is held two weeks before the US Open.
Woods entered the US Open before the April 27 deadline, though his registration does not obligate him to play.
The deadline for regular PGA Tour events such as the Memorial is the Friday before the first round.
Woods is believed to have also made proactive accommodation plans for the May 12-15 Players Championship in Florida, though that might be a little too soon for his return.
He routinely skipped the two PGA Tour events in north Texas that followed, suggesting that the Memorial was the most likely comeback venue, assuming his recovery continued on schedule.
His agent, Mark Steinberg, did not immediately respond to an email requesting confirmation of his client’s Memorial accommodation booking.
Woods, 40, is a five-time Memorial winner, though his most recent memory there from last year was not a good one as he shot 85 in the third round.
He has won 14 major championships, and it would be a nice touch of symbolism, should he make his comeback at the tournament hosted by Nicklaus, the only man with more major titles (18).
Woods has not competed anywhere since the Wyndham Championship in North Carolina last August.