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Revive Bill Helping Native American Women: Alaska Senator

Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents the Greywind family, told The Associated Press on Friday that the bill asks for "a minimal level of accountability''

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USA, Native
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, speaks after an order withdrawing federal protections for countless waterways and wetland was signed, at EPA headquarters in Washington, Dec. 11, 2018. VOA

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she plans to reintroduce a bill intended to help solve crimes against Native Americans. The bill received unanimous Senate approval after being introduced by North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp but was blocked by the outgoing chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

Goodlatte stops bill

Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte said he agreed with the intent of Heitkamp’s bill, which sought to expand tribal access to federal crime databases, set standards for law enforcement’s response to cases of missing or slain Native Americans, and instruct the Justice Department to increase its data collection on crimes against Native Americans.

But he said the bill would have hurt some agencies that have no link to tribal communities because they wouldn’t be able to compete for Justice Department grants that the bill sought to create, The Roanoke Times reported.

USA,  native
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., attends her last hearing with the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs as they examine concerns about investigations into the deaths and disappearance of Native American women, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 12, 2018. VOA

Goodlatte, a Republican who is retiring after 13 terms in office, said only a limited number of law enforcement organizations are eligible for those funds “so every other law enforcement organization in America is opposed to it, and the Fraternal Order of Police and groups like that because they’re getting a cut in order to do that.”

With the House adjourned until further notice, it appears that the measure known as Savanna’s Act will expire at the end of the year. Murkowski, also a Republican, has said she will take up the measure when lawmakers return to Washington.

“It’s disappointing that one Republican member of Congress blocked Savanna’s Act from passing this year,” Heitkamp, a Democrat, said in a statement. “But fortunately, Rep. Goodlatte won’t be around to block it in the new Congress. I’ve talked with Sen. Murkowski about Savanna’s Act and I’m so proud that she will reintroduce my bill in the new year.”

USA, Native
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., answers reporters’ questions in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, July 13, 2018. VOA

Bill named for slain woman

The bill is named for Savanna Greywind, a slain North Dakota woman whose baby was cut from her womb.

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Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents the Greywind family, told The Associated Press on Friday that the bill asks for “a minimal level of accountability” and the notion that it is too onerous for law enforcement is “absurd.”

“If that’s the case then this bill should be introduced as is and let them come and testify before Congress about why they don’t want an incentive for providing the appropriate data that is needed and that this bill requires,” Allred said. “Let’s see who they are. If there are any they shouldn’t be hiding behind some elected official.” (VOA)

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Facebook and Twitter Remain Divided due to Bloomberg’s Video

Facebook, Twitter divided over Bloomberg's video removal

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Facebook Twitter
A video posted by Michael Bloomberg has left Facebook and Twitter divided on whether it violates their policies. Pixabay

A video posted by Michael Bloomberg, the aspirant for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President, has left Facebook and Twitter divided on whether it violates their policies.

According to The Verge, former New York Mayor Bloomberg’s 2020 presidential campaign posted a video to Twitter that was edited to make it appear as “though there was a long, embarrassing silence from Bloomberg’s Democratic opponents after he mentioned that he was the only candidate to have ever started a business”.

While Twitter said the video would be labelled as manipulated media under the platform’s new deepfakes policy, Facebook said the same video would not violate the platform’s deepfakes rules.

Facebook’s policy “does not extend to content that is parody or satire, or video that has been edited solely to omit or change the order of words”.

Facebook Twitter
While Twitter said the video would be labelled as manipulated media under the platform’s new deepfakes policy, Facebook said the same video would not violate the platform’s deepfakes rules. Pixabay

Earlier this month, Facebook, Twitter and Google-owned YouTube refused to pull down an edited video posted by US President Donald Trump that showed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripping up a copy of the former’s State of the Union address.

The five-minute video, posted on Trump’s social media accounts, shows Pelosi tearing up the speech after Trump honoured several Americans and saluted a Tuskegee airman in the audience.

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The fact of the matter is that Pelosi ripped up the speech after Trump concluded his address on an earlier date.

Facebook and Twitter had refused to remove an earlier “deepfake” video of Pelosi that was edited to give the impression she is slurring her words. (IANS)