This story is developing and will be updated throughout the day.
If there is an area where some Democrats and Republicans can find some common ground in these divisive days, may be the extraordinary power and reach of big tech companies and social media giants.
On Wednesday, some of the biggest tech giants, to include Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg; Amazon’s Jeff Bezos; and Google’s Sudar Pichai are squaring off with members of Congress in a highly anticipated antitrust subcommittee hearing.
Their testimony is crucial. And they answers they give to Congressional lawmakers will have to keep opponents in both political parties satisfied. The stakes are high, as members of Congress and the public have become more concerned about civil liberties and the partisan behavior of companies that once promised to be platforms for free thought.
Chairman David Cicilline, a Rhode Island Democrat ,has been leading an investigation into the tech giants for more than a year. He said “any single action by one of these companies can affect hundreds of millions of us in profound and lasting ways…Simply put: They have too much power.”
Cicilline made that comment in his opening statement and as the hearing goes on it’s easy to gauge why as the powerful tech bosses discuss the extensive role their companies now play in the lives of everyday Americans, from food delivery, medical necessities, as well as privacy issues that are cause for concern with modern technologies.
Watch the hearing live:
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Kyle Rittenhouse Found ‘Not Guilty’ On All Counts
After three and a half days of deliberation, the jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse on all counts. “Jurors in the polarizing case said they had voted to acquit Rittenhouse, 18, of homicide, attempted homicide and other charges related to the August 2020 shootings in Kenosha, Wisconsin” reports The Washington Post.
Rittenhouse testified during the trial during which he became so emotional he was unable to speak in between sobs as he attempted to describe the shootings. The judge called a brief recess for Rittenhouse to regain composure.
“I didn’t do anything wrong,” Rittenhouse said on the stand. “I defended myself.”
National Review reports “As the verdict was announced, Rittenhouse, overwhelmed with emotion, burst into tears and dropped to the ground, struggling to breathe. After collecting himself, he embraced the defense counsel who represented him throughout the trial.”
Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and injured Gaige Grosskreutz, who was 26 at the time. Rittenhouse testified that he fired in self-defense and pleaded not guilty to all counts.
National Review reports:
“Rittenhouse was arrested on August 26, 2020, after shooting three people during the riots that followed the police killing of Jacob Blake, a black man who was brandishing a knife and in the process of violating a restraining order when police arrived on scene.
He was initially indicted on charges of first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, attempted first-degree intentional reckless homicide, failure to comply with an emergency order from a local government, and possession of a dangerous weapon.”
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