FaceApp is currently the most popular app in Google Plays store. The app allows users to edit their photos to make themselves appear older or younger. There are more than 100 million users after celebrities posted pictures, which used the app, on social media went viral. However the app has raised concerns over user privacy.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called for the FBI and the FTC, the US consumer protection body, to “look into the national security & privacy risks” The Russian developed app uploads users photos to their own servers raising questions as to the use the company could make to the vast amounts of data they are amassing.
“FaceApp’s location in Russia raises questions regarding how and when the company provides access to the data of U.S. citizens to third parties, including potentially foreign governments,” the New York senator said in a letter to the FBI.
“It would be deeply troubling if the sensitive personal information of US citizens was provided to a hostile foreign power actively engaged in cyber hostilities against the United States,” he added.
There has been a 36% reduction in demand for U.S. homes by foreign buyers. The plunge is due partly to tighter currency controls by the Chinese government but also due to a slump in the housing market.
“A confluence of many factors — slower economic growth abroad, tighter capital controls in China, a stronger U.S. dollar and a low inventory of homes for sale — contributed to the pullback of foreign buyers,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “However, the magnitude of the decline is quite striking, implying less confidence in owning a property in the U.S.”
The Chinese were still the largest foreign buyers of US homes for the seventh year running. However there was a 56% decline in Chinese home buying in the US in the last 12 months. Although economic factors appear to be playing a part, some are asking if the current political climate between the US and China is also fuelling the decline.
New York City have removed 110 trash cans and now the city’s rat problem is worse than ever. Since 2014 the city has seen a 38% increase in rat complaints in the city, despite Mayor de Blasio spending $32 million to try and fix the problem.
The rodents are attracted to overflowing trash cans, as it is an easy food source. Campaigners say the problem will not improve until a better system for the city’s garbage is put in place.
President Trump this week hosted a conference to promote religious liberty for all. He delivered his thoughts in the White House, whilst allowing people from across the world to share their stories to the world’s media.
The President has stepped in personally help a number of individuals who have faced persecution in their own countries since taking office.
Elon Musk’s start up Neuralink has been working on a “brain-machine interface” . This week the secretive start-up revealed it has been testing brain implants on animals, and that it has successfully placed an implant in a monkey brain allowing it to control a computer.
Musk hopes that the implant will be used initially on patients with serious brain injuries of diseases allowing them to communicate their thoughts. He plans to seek FDA approval to begin clinical trials as early as 2020.
Neuralink works by inserting thin strands into the brain, via a tiny robot controlled by a neurosurgeon. The stands then interface with the electrical activity of the brain.
Musk’s worry about the current threat AI poses to humanity is well know. And he hopes his new technology will allow humans and machines to work together in “symbiosis”, so humans will not be left behind in the AI revolution.
Scottsdale will be in court next week over its decision to block Satanists from leading invocation at the start of council meetings.
The Satanic Temple, an international Satanist group, has been asking councils across the country to lead their invocations.
Most councils have denied Satanists access to lead innovations by saying the calendar is already full, or by ending the tradition of opening with prayer. But Scottsdale council flatly refused. This has led to the lawsuit.
The Seinfeld star Jason Alexander has joined the cast of the Christian-mocking comedy Faith Based. The comedy is about two film makers who set out to make a movie about Christianity and faith with nefarious intentions.
Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green Deal” is more about the overhaul of the US economy than it is about climate change. This was the surprise admission made by Saikat Chakrabarti, Ocasio-Cortez’s Chief of Staff.
“The interesting thing about the Green New Deal, is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all,” Chakrabarti said to Inslee’s climate director, Sam Ricketts.
“Do you guys think of it as a climate thing?” Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing,” Chakrabarti added.
The “Green Deal” has some radical left-wing proposals. For example the end of fossil fuels within 10 years, a basic income program, universal health care, and job guarantees.
The proposal also calls for “social, economic, racial, regional and gender-based justice and equality and cooperative and public ownership.”
It has been estimated that the “Green Deal” could cost $98 trillion over a decade.
The American Psychological Association (APA) has set up a task force to study polygamy (or non-monogous relationships to give it its politically correct title). The APA hope the Division 44 task force, as it is called, will remove the stigma attached to such relationships.
They say on their website: “awareness and inclusivity about consensual non-monogamy and diverse expressions of intimate relationships.” Such relationships include but are not limited to: Polyamory, open relationships, swinging, relationship anarchy, and “other types of ethical, non-monogamous relationships.”
The APA have also set up another task force: the Religion and Spirituality Task Force. “The Task Force on Religion and Spirituality was created to encourage a confluence between sexual minority orientations and identities and religious experiences,” the page says. “It further attempts to create affirmation and acceptance for LGBT individuals of faith within theologically diverse ideological traditions. Given the importance of faith and even religious tradition in the lives of many LGBT individuals, the Committee seeks to reduce theological barriers often separating sexual minorities from the sources of their beliefs.”
However psychologist and member for 50 years of the APA, Daniel Boland says, “Consensual Non-Monogamy Task Force” proves that the APA has abandoned the scientific tradition in favor of prevailing political and cultural pressures.
“In this entire arena of so-called transgenderism and affiliated conditions, the APA has abandoned all respect for fact-based research and scientific tradition,” Boland said in an email. “It has capitulated to the most unstable, most radical elements in our society. It has thereby nullified its once well-founded claim to represent health service providers. It abandonment of its original professionalism renders it no longer credible to the public or to its members.”
In recent years leftist media have been seeking to normalise and promote polygamy.
The Federal Appeal court has ruled that the President’s new abortion-related restrictions can go ahead despite a number of law suits which are still being played out.
“We are greatly encouraged to see the 9th Circuit rule in favor of allowing President Trump’s Protect Life Rule to take effect while it continues to be litigated,” SBA List president Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement.
Federal Agencies have five weeks to remove Chinese security cameras in order to comply with the ban imposed by Congress on such devices.
A complex supply chain and a failure to know if cameras were made in China or have Chinese components which would violate the new laws have meant it is almost impossible to find and remove all Chinese security devices before the ban.
The National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, Included an amendment that would ban the purchase and use of Chinese security devices this fiscal year. The amendment singles out Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co. and Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co., both of which have raised security concerns with the government and surveillance agencies.
The Chinese government has a 42% stake in Hangzhou Hikvision. And Dahua devises were found in 2017 to have a hidden back doors that unauthorised persons could tap into and send data back to China.