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Fight radical Islam, not Muslims: Republicans to Trump

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Washington: Republican presidential candidates joined issue with frontrunner Donald Trump’s call to ban Muslims from coming to the US, with Senator Ted Cruz citing the example of India to assert all Muslims were not jihadists.

“I understand why Donald made that proposal. I introduced legislation in the Senate that I believe is more narrowly focused at the actual threat, which is radical Islamic terrorism,” he said participating in the final Republican debate of 2015 among nine top candidates on Tuesday night.

Asked if he disagreed with Trump because he was too broad, Cruz quipped amid laughter: “Well, you know, I’m reminded of what FDR’s grandfather said. He said ‘All horse thieves are Democrats, but not all Democrats are horse thieves’.

“In this instance, there are millions of peaceful Muslims across the world, in countries like India, where there are not the problems we are seeing in nations that are controlled — have territory controlled by Al Qaeda or ISIS,” he said.

“And we should direct at the problem, focus on the problem, and defeat radical Islamic terrorism. It’s not a war on a faith; it’s a war on a political and theocratic ideology that seeks to murder us,” Cruz added.

In the debate hosted by CNN in Las Vegas, Trump defended his proposals to ban non-American Muslims from coming to the US, ban refugees fleeing ISIS, deport 11 million illegal immigrants and wall off America’s southern border.

“We are not talking about isolation; we are talking about security,” he said.

“We’re not talking about religion. We’re talking about security. Our country is out of control.”

Asked about his earlier comments calling Trump “unhinged”, former Florida governor Jeb Bush said: “Donald, you know, is great at the one-liners.”

“But he’s a chaos candidate. And he’d be a chaos president. He would not be the commander-in-chief we need to keep our country safe,” he declared.

Trump was quick to hit back, saying: “Jeb doesn’t really believe I’m unhinged. He said that very simply because he has failed in this campaign. It’s been a total disaster. Nobody cares. And, frankly, I’m the most solid person up here.”

Like Cruz, Senator Marco Rubio too declined to attack Trump outright and said: “We must deal with this threat of radical Islamists, especially from ISIS.”

Trump also reiterated his strategy to cut off the ISIS’ recruiting methods on social media, which he argued would involve collaboration with the Silicon Valley and limiting internet access.

Trump’s suggestion prompted Kentucky Senator Rand Paul to ask “if you are going to close the internet, realise America what that entails. That entails getting rid of the First Amendment. Okay. No small feat.”

He added that some of Trump’s proposals for fighting terrorism “would defy every norm that is American”.

Trump dismissed his rival’s attacks with a wave of his hand saying:

“These are people that want to kill us, folks. And you’re objecting to us infiltrating their conversations? I don’t think so. I don’t think so.”

Earlier, in the undercard debate of bottom four candidates, Senator Lindsey Graham too rebuked Trump for his controversial proposal to ban Muslims as a “coup” for ISIS.

Former New York governor George Pataki said Trump’s proposal was “unconstitutional and it is wrong”.

Senator Rick Santorum called Trump’s idea “not the right proposal” and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee described the ban as “impractical”.(IANS)

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Googling ‘idiot’ Bringing up Donald Trump Pictures Drags Google in Trouble

The House committee had also questioned YouTube, Twitter and Facebook executives at separate hearings on bias in big tech

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Sundar Pichai
Google CEO Sundar Pichai testifies at a House Judiciary Committee hearing "examining Google and its Data Collection, Use and Filtering Practices" on Capitol Hill in Washington. VOA

US Democratic Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, in an effort to understand how Google search algorithms work, asked its CEO Sundar Pichai why so many pictures of President Donald Trump appear when she does a Google search for “idiot”.

“Right now, if you Google the word ‘idiot’ under images, a picture of Donald Trump comes up. I just did that,” the California Democrat told Pichai during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday here.

“How would that happen? How does search work so that would occur?” Lofgren asked Pichai, according to the Washington Post.

The Google CEO — who was at the hearing to address allegations of political bias in his company’s widely used search engine — said the results were based on billions of keywords ranked according to over 200 factors such as relevance, popularity, how others were using the search term, to determine how to best match a query with results.

“So it’s not some little man sitting behind the curtain figuring out what we’re going to show the user?” Lofgren asked. “It’s basically a compilation of what users are generating.”

Republicans have long accused Google of political bias, which the company has strongly denied.

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Why googling ‘idiot’ brings up Trump photos, Congresswoman asks Pichai. VOA

In August, Trump said in a tweet that a Google search for “Trump News” showed only reports from “Fake News Media.” He concluded it was “rigged” against him so “almost all stories and news was bad.”

House Republicans said they wanted to hold the hearing — entitled “Transparency & Accountability: Examining Google and its Data Collection, Use and Filtering Practices” — to make sure the search giant was being impartial.

“Americans put their trust in big tech companies to honour freedom of speech and champion open dialogue,” Republican House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia said in a statement before the hearing.

The House committee had also questioned YouTube, Twitter and Facebook executives at separate hearings on bias in big tech.

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In response to Republicans who complained about Google searches, Democratic Representative Ted Lieu said: “If you want positive search results, do positive things. If you don’t want negative search results, don’t do negative things.”

“And to some of my colleagues across the aisle, if you’re getting bad press articles and bad search results, don’t blame Google or Facebook or Twitter, consider blaming yourself.” (IANS)