In Today’s Issue 💬
- White House gets a woke-appropriate press secretary
- New details about Facebook’s war against Australia
- Corporations will fund employee abortion travels
- Some headlines to keep you in the loop
White House gets a woke-appropriate press secretary.
Jen Psaki plans to leave the White House next week after a year and a half at the podium. She’ll join MSNBC and host a show for the network’s streaming platform.
Karine Jean Pierre will be her replacement. She’s a gay black woman. For progressives and the Biden administration, who has prioritized diversity, this is a “historic moment.” Psaki referred to her successor as her “partner in truth.” She was also a director of Obama's presidential campaigns.
“She will be the first black woman and the first openly LGBTQ+ person to serve as the White House Press Secretary,” Psaki tweeted. “Representation matters and she will give a voice to many, but also make many dream big about what is truly possible.”
Deep insights: Both the Vice President and their Supreme Court pick were chosen because of their diversity (black women). While the Press Secretary is a less important role, it continues the trend.
New details about Facebook’s war against Australia
Australia’s legislation: Last year, Australia wanted to pass legislation to require platforms to pay publishers for content. They believed Facebook’s business model was unfair toward news outlets.
Facebook’s retaliation: The platform blocked news in Australia, even taking down pages of Australian hospitals, emergency services, and charities. New details show that they used algorithms to automate the removal of specific pages and target government ones. The strategy was designed to cause chaos.
Australia caves: Five days after the chaos campaign, Australia’s Parliament backed down. Zuckerberg celebrated the “precision of execution” in the strategy.
Deep insights: The story exemplifies the power that Big-tech companies like Facebook and Google have amassed over the past two decades. In situations like these, they have more leverage and ability to exert their will than even established nations like Australia.
Corporations will fund employee abortion travels.
Nationwide, companies are announcing plans to help workers who live in states with abortion restrictions to obtain abortions.
Apple will cover medical expenses for employees who need to travel outside Texas.
Tesla said it would cover travel costs for its employees.
Amazon will cover up to $4,000 in travel for workers seeking abortions.
Uber and Lyft will cover all legal fees of drivers who help citizens obtain abortions.
Levi Strauss & Co will reimburse travel expenses for abortions.
Salesforce is willing to relocate workers from Texas because of the restrictions.
Other notables include Citigroup and Yelp. Read more here.
🗞 In the loop
🔪 No felony charges for Chapelle attacker: Los Angeles County prosecutors declined Thursday to pursue any felony charges against a man who rushed the stage at the Hollywood Bowl and tackled comedian Dave Chappelle. Read more.
📱 Elon Musk is expected to serve as temporary Twitter CEO after the deal closes. Read more.
💉 FDA restricts Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine due to blood clot risk. Read more.
💊 Trump vs. Mexico drug labs: Former President Donald Trump consulted Defense Secretary Mark Esper in 2020 about secretly launching a missile strike on Mexico to “destroy the drug labs,” Esper claims in his upcoming memoir, the New York Times reported Thursday. Read more.
⛑ U.S. offers assurances to Sweden and Finland over NATO application. The United States is confident it can address any security concerns Sweden and Finland may have about the period after they apply for NATO membership before they are accepted into the alliance, the White House said on Thursday. Read more.
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