Tag Archives: Industry regulation

Australia to amend legislation making Fb, Google pay for information


The creator of proposed Australian legal guidelines that may make Fb and Google pay for journalism says his draft laws might be altered to allay a few of the digital giants’ considerations, however would stay essentially unchanged

Fb has warned it would block Australian information content material reasonably than pay for it.

Google has mentioned the proposed legal guidelines would lead to “dramatically worse Google Search and YouTube,” put free providers in danger and will result in customers’ information “being handed over to large information companies.”

Sims mentioned he’s discussing the draft of his invoice with the U.S. social media platforms. It might be launched into Parliament in late October.

“Google has received considerations about it, a few of it’s that they only don’t prefer it, others are issues that we’re fortunately going to interact with them on,” Sims advised a webinar hosted by The Australia Institute, an unbiased think-tank.

“We’ll make modifications to deal with a few of these points — not all, however some,” Sims mentioned.

Among the many considerations is a concern that underneath the so-called Information Media Bargaining Code, information companies “will be capable to someway management their algorithms,” Sims mentioned.

“We’ll have interaction with them and make clear that in order that there’s no means that the information media companies can intervene with the algorithms of Google or Fb,” Sims mentioned.

He mentioned he would additionally make clear that the platforms wouldn’t need to disclose extra information about customers than they already share.

“There’s nothing within the code that forces Google or Fb to share the information from people,” Sims mentioned.

Sims was not ready to barter the “core” of the code, which he described because the “bits of glue that maintain the code collectively, that make it workable.”

These included an arbitrator to deal with the bargaining imbalance between the tech giants and information companies. If a platform and a information outlet can’t attain an settlement on worth, an arbitrator could be appointed to make a binding choice.

One other core side was a non-discrimination clause to forestall the platforms from prioritizing Australia’s state-owned Australian Broadcasting Corp. and Particular Broadcasting Service, whose information content material will stay free.

Sims mentioned he didn’t know whether or not Fb would act on its risk and block Australian information, however he suspected that to take action would “weaken” the platform.

Spain and France and have each didn’t make Fb and Google pay for information by means of copyright legislation. Sims mentioned he has spoken about Australia’s method by means of truthful buying and selling legal guidelines to regulators in america and Europe.

“They’re all wrestling with the identical drawback,” Sims mentioned.


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British MP who leads Kashmir group denied entry to India


Indian officials have denied a British lawmaker entry after she landed at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport

Indian officials denied a British lawmaker entry on Monday after she landed at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, according to an accompanying aide.

Debbie Abrahams, a Labour Party Member of Parliament who chairs a parliamentary group focused on the disputed region of Kashmir, was unable to clear customs after the Indian visa she presented was rejected, the aide, Harpreet Upal, told The Associated Press.

Abrahams and Upal arrived at the airport on an Emirates flight from Dubai at 9 a.m. Abrahams said immigration officials did not cite any reason for denying her entry, but continued to shout that she didn’t have a visa.

The visa she showed at customs, a copy of which was shared with the AP, permitted her to “attend technical/business meetings,” and expired in October 2020.

A government official who requested anonymity because it was an immigration matter said the lawmaker wasn’t allowed to enter India because her visa wasn’t valid, information the official said she had already received “in another communication sent to her.”

Abrahams , 59, has been a member of Parliament since 2011 and was on a two-day personal trip to India, to be followed by a three-day trip to the portion of Kashmir that Pakistan controls.

After India won independence from British rule in 1947, the Himalayan region of Kashmir was split between India and the newly formed country of Pakistan. The archrivals have fought two wars over the territory, both claiming it in its entirety.

In a phone interview with AP while awaiting her return flight to the U.K., Abrahams said that she’d be trying to organize a visit to India-controlled Kashmir with the India High Commission in London since October, but had been unsuccessful. She had, however, received permission to visit Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, and was planning to fly to Islamabad later this week.

“It was implied to me that it was linked to that,” Abrahams said, referring to a conversation with officials at the U.K. High Commission in New Delhi.

“They were also aware of the trip to Pakistan. It looks as though politics is playing a part in this action,” she said.

Abrahams has been an outspoken critic of the Indian government’s move last August stripping Kashmir of its semi-autonomy and demoting it from a state to a federal territory.

Shortly after the changes to Kashmir’s status were passed by India’s Parliament, Abrahams wrote a letter to India’s High Commissioner to the U.K., saying the action “betrays the trust of the people” of Kashmir.

India took more than 20 foreign diplomats on a visit to Kashmir last week, the second such trip Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government has organized in six months.

Access to the region remains tight, with no foreign journalists allowed.

In a statement, Abrahams related her ordeal in Delhi.

“I tried to establish why the visa had been revoked and if I could get a ‘visa on arrival’ but no one seemed to know,” she said. “Even the person who seemed to be in charge said he didn’t know and was really sorry about what had happened. So now I am just waiting to be deported … unless the Indian Government has a change of heart. I’m prepared to let the fact that I’ve been treated like a criminal go, and I hope they will let me visit my family and friends.”


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FDA crackdown on vaping flavors has blind spot: disposables


The U.S. government on Thursday began enforcing restrictions on flavored electronic cigarettes aimed at curbing underage vaping. But some teenagers may be one step ahead of the rules.

Parents, researchers and students warn that some young people have already moved on to a newer kind of vape that isn’t covered by the flavor ban.

These disposable e-cigarettes are sold under brands like Puff Bar, Stig and Fogg in flavors such as pink lemonade, blueberry ice and tropical mango.

The Food and Drug Administration’s crackdown narrowly targets reusable vaping devices like Juul, the blockbuster brand that helped trigger the teen vaping craze in the U.S. Under the new policy, only menthol and tobacco flavors are allowed for those devices.

Critics of the FDA policy fear teens will simply switch to the cheaper disposables, which are widely available at convenience stores and gas stations.

“They are very accessible and seem to be the new buzzy product,” said Dr. Karen Wilson, a tobacco researcher and pediatrician at Mount Sinai’s medical school in New York.

The FDA confirmed that the flavor restriction won’t apply to “self-contained, disposable products,” but only to rechargeable ones that use pods or cartridges prefilled with a nicotine solution.

The agency’s rationale: Reusable vaping devices are far and away the most popular with underage users, preferred by more than 60% of high schoolers who vape, according to survey data collected last year.

The FDA’s top tobacco regulator said it can still go after any vaping product that appeals to teenagers.

“If we see a product that is targeted to kids, we will take action,” Mitch Zeller, who heads the agency’s tobacco center, said in a statement.

Thursday was the deadline for makers of reusable e-cigarettes to stop selling fruity and candy flavors. Juul was already in compliance. It dropped its best selling mint and most other flavors before the ban was announced in early January and only sells tobacco and menthol.

At a congressional hearing Wednesday, the CEO of Fontem U.S., which makes blu vapes, was pressed to drop its vivid vanilla and cherry crush disposable e-cigarettes.

Fontem chief Antoine Blonde countered that its customers are adults, not children. Less than 3% of high school students who vape reported blu as their preferred brand, according to 2019 government data.

“We’re not aware of any issue caused by our disposable flavors,” Blonde said.

Sales of disposable e-cigarettes and all other tobacco and vaping products are prohibited to teenagers under the government’s new age limit, which went from 18 to 21 late last year.

High school student Philip Fuhrman says most of his New York classmates who vape have ditched Juul for disposables like Stig, a tiny e-cigarette sold in flavors like mighty mint and mango bomb.

They’re easier to hide because “they’re smaller and when you’re done you can just throw it away,” said the 16-year-old Fuhrman, who says he no longer vapes. He’s now an anti-vaping activist and his mother is one of the founders of a parents’ group opposed to youth vaping.

At $20 for a three-pack, Stig may not seem cheap. But Fuhrman and other teens say it’s a smaller investment than the $40 or $50 needed to buy a Juul device and a four-pack of pods. Furhman says teens will instead buy a pack of Stigs “for the weekend and then just be done with it.”

The makers of Stig, Puff Bar and Fogg disposables did not respond to requests for comment.

Analysts report that disposables are still just 5% of the nearly $15 billion global vaping market, according to the firm ECigIntelligence.

Researchers who study e-cigarette trash around high schools say they have noticed a shift in what teens are vaping. Jeremiah Mock, of the University of California, San Francisco, has been finding discarded Puff Bars in local school parking lots over the last three months.

Vape shop owners also say the market is changing.

Since the FDA announcement, distributors and manufacturers have ramped up their disposable offerings, according to Vapewerks owner Jeremy Gardner in Cumberland, Maryland.

“How do disposables get a free pass when they’re essentially the same thing as a Juul or anything else that comes with a prefilled pod?” he asked.

Gardner doesn’t stock his most requested brand, Puff Bar, but sells a rival disposable. Most of his business comes from larger, tank-based vapes, which are more popular with adults and allow users to customize flavors and nicotine concentrations. Those products are exempt from government flavor restrictions.

E-cigarettes, which heat a nicotine solution into a vapor, are often promoted as a less harmful alternative to traditional cigarettes but the FDA has not approved any vaping product to help smokers quit. The makers of all vaping products face a May deadline to submit applications for government health and safety review.

Mike Chang, owner of Master Piece Smoke Shop in New York City, says most of his customers who buy disposables switched from Juul after the company pulled its mint, mango and dessert flavors last fall. The company took that voluntary step under pressure from multiple federal investigations and lawsuits from state and local authorities.

The San Francisco company’s retail sales have fallen 35% since their peak last July, driven by the loss of flavors, according to Wall Street research firm Piper Sandler. Juul does not sell disposable e-cigarettes.

In a government survey last year, more than 1 in 4 high school students reported using e-cigarettes in the prior month. The next federal study begins this spring.


AP videojournalist Marshall Ritzel in New York contributed to this report.


Follow Matthew Perrone on Twitter: @AP—FDAwriter


The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.


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Schumer requires federal probe of contaminated child meals


The Senate’s prime Democrat is asking on the Meals and Drug Administration to look at a report that discovered dozens of child meals merchandise contaminated with lead and different metals.

Sen. Chuck Schumer says Sunday the FDA should take extra motion to control the infant meals trade. A research by Wholesome Infants Shiny Futures discovered the presence of heavy metals in 95% of the 168 child meals that have been examined.

The research discovered 95% of the meals examined contained lead, arsenic, mercury or cadmium. It discovered one in 4 child meals that have been examined contained all 4 metals.

The New York senator says shoppers “rightfully anticipate these meals to be undeniably protected, appropriately regulated and nutritiously sustaining.”

He says federal regulators ought to look at the research and launch a public assertion of their findings.


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Senate tech critic to Fb CEO: Promote WhatsApp, Instagram


As Fb CEO Mark Zuckerberg met Thursday with President Donald Trump and different critics of the tech business, the Senate’s most vocal detractor supplied a problem: Promote your WhatsApp and Instagram properties to show you are severe about defending knowledge privateness.

It might have been greater than Zuckerberg anticipated from his personal assembly with Sen. Josh Hawley, a conservative Republican from Missouri, in his Capitol Hill workplace. Zuckerberg left the hourlong assembly — one in all a number of with lawmakers on Capitol Hill — with out answering questions from a throng of reporters and photographers pursuing him down a hallway.

Hawley, although, had loads to say. “The corporate talks so much. I would wish to see some motion,” he advised reporters. “I’ll imagine Fb once I see some actual motion out of Fb.”

Reasonably than shifting customers’ private knowledge from properties similar to WhatsApp and Instagram to the core Fb platform, the corporate ought to put a wall across the companies or, higher but, promote them off, Hawley stated he advised Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg, who requested the assembly, “didn’t suppose that was an excellent concept,” he stated.

Zuckerberg “had , constructive assembly with President Trump on the White Home in the present day,” a Fb spokesman stated. On Fb and Twitter, Trump posted a photograph with the caption, “Good assembly with Mark Zuckerberg of Fb within the Oval Workplace in the present day.”

No particulars got on the assembly, first reported by the Axios web site.

Trump has persistently criticized social media firms like Fb, Google, Amazon and his platform of selection, Twitter, embracing conservative critics’ accusations that they censor non secular, anti-abortion and politically conservative views. Trump has claimed, with out proof, that the businesses are “in opposition to me” and even prompt U.S. regulators ought to sue them on grounds of anti-conservative bias.

A Fb spokesman declined to touch upon Hawley’s remarks regarding his assembly with Zuckerberg.

The favored companies WhatsApp and Instagram are amongst some 70 firms that Fb has acquired over the previous 15 years or so, giving it what critics say is very large market energy that has allowed it to snuff out competitors.

Zuckerberg’s dialogue with Hawley touched on business competitors, knowledge privateness laws, election safety and accusations by conservatives that Fb and different social media giants are biased in opposition to right-leaning content material.

Throughout his go to, Zuckerberg additionally met with different senators together with Mark Warner, D-Va., vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mike Lee, R-Utah, a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, and John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Tom Cotton, R-Ark. He additionally declined to reply reporters’ questions when he left Lee’s workplace earlier within the afternoon.

Lee’s workplace stated the 2 mentioned bias in opposition to conservatives on Fb’s platform, regulation of on-line companies, enforcement of antitrust legal guidelines within the tech business and knowledge privateness points.

Congress has been debating a privateness regulation that might sharply rein within the capacity of firms like Fb, Google, Amazon and Apple to gather and earn a living off customers’ private knowledge. A nationwide regulation, which might be the primary of its type within the U.S., may enable individuals to see or prohibit use of their knowledge.

Performing preemptively, Zuckerberg final spring referred to as for tighter rules to guard shoppers’ knowledge, management dangerous on-line content material and guarantee election integrity and knowledge portability. The web “wants new guidelines,” he stated.

It was Zuckerberg’s first public go to to Washington since he testified earlier than Congress final spring about privateness, election interference and different points.

Fb, a social media large primarily based in Menlo Park, California, with almost 2.5 billion customers, is underneath heavy scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators following a collection of privateness scandals and amid accusations of abuse of its market energy to squash competitors.

The Justice Division, the Federal Commerce Fee and the Home Judiciary antitrust subcommittee are all conducting antitrust investigations of the large tech firms, and a bipartisan group of state attorneys common has opened a contest probe particularly of Fb.

At Fb’s request, Warner helped manage a dinner assembly in Washington on Wednesday evening for Zuckerberg and a bunch of senators.

Warner advised The Related Press he wished Zuckerberg to listen to his Senate colleagues’ “monumental issues about privateness and about defending the integrity of our political system.”

Their message for the Fb chief was “self-regulation is just not going to be the reply,” Warner stated. “I believe Zuckerberg understood that.”

Warner and Hawley have proposed laws that might power the tech giants to inform customers what knowledge they’re accumulating and the way a lot it is value. The proposal goes to the center of Massive Tech’s massively worthwhile enterprise mannequin of commerce in customers’ private knowledge. The businesses collect huge knowledge on what customers learn and like, and leverage it to assist advertisers goal their messages to people they wish to attain.

The tech firms view with explicit alarm a separate legislative proposal from Hawley that might require them to show to regulators that they are not utilizing political bias to filter content material. Failing to safe a bias-free audit from the federal government would imply a social media platform loses its long-held immunity from authorized motion.


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Japanese officers cautious on prospects for US commerce deal


Officers in Japan appeared cautious over the prospects for a commerce cope with the U.S. after President Donald Trump mentioned he was ready to signal a pact quickly.

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Japan’s chief authorities spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, mentioned Tuesday that the 2 sides are nonetheless finalizing particulars after reaching a primary settlement in late August on commerce in farm merchandise, digital commerce and different industries.

Suga mentioned Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are contemplating signing a deal in late September after they attend the U.N. Normal Meeting in New York.

“We’re accelerating the work that also stays,” he mentioned. “However I decline to remark additional as a result of now we have not reached a proper settlement.”

Trump’s discover to Congress, launched by the White Home on Monday, didn’t point out tariffs on autos and elements, lengthy a sticking level between the 2 nations.

It mentioned his administration was wanting ahead to collaborating with lawmakers on a deal that will lead to “extra honest and reciprocal commerce” between the 2 nations.

Toshimitsu Motegi, who turned overseas minister final week after negotiating the deal as financial system minister, mentioned Japan should watch fastidiously to forestall Washington from forcing any last-minute adjustments, Kyodo Information company reported.

The agricultural minister, Taku Eto, cautioned towards letting down Tokyo’s guard till the ultimate settlement is reached, it mentioned.

A protracted-sought commerce settlement with Japan was scrapped when Trump withdrew the U.S. from a pan-Pacific commerce settlement shortly after taking workplace in 2017.

Japan and the opposite 10 remaining members of the commerce pact, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, then renegotiated their very own deal with out the U.S.

Trump mentioned he most popular that Washington and Tokyo strike a bilateral deal.

That resurrected the longtime concern of tariffs on Japanese automotive and auto elements exports to the U.S. and of stiffer duties on U.S. exports of farm and different merchandise to Japan.


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Lawmakers ask four large tech firms for paperwork in probe


Lawmakers investigating the market dominance of Huge Tech on Friday requested Google, Fb, Amazon and Apple for a broad vary of paperwork, marking a step ahead in Congress’ bipartisan probe of the businesses.

Letters went out to the 4 firms from the leaders of the Home Judiciary Committee and its subcommittee on antitrust, which has been conducting a sweeping investigation of the businesses and their affect on competitors and customers. The lawmakers are in search of an in depth and broad vary of paperwork associated to the businesses’ sprawling operations, together with high executives’ inner communications.

The transfer comes as scrutiny of the massive tech firms deepens and widens throughout the federal authorities and U.S. states and overseas. The Justice Division and the Federal Commerce Fee are conducting competitors investigations of the businesses, and state attorneys normal from each main political events have opened antitrust investigations of Google and Fb. The probe of Google has drawn participation by 50 states and territories.

“We’ve got to behave if we see that they are breaking the regulation,” Rohit Chopra, one of many FTC commissioners, stated Friday in an interview on CNBC. Chopra, a Democrat, would not affirm particularly names of firms that might be below investigation, however he stated the company is consulting intently with the Justice Division and the state attorneys normal as their work proceeds.

Additionally Friday, the European Union’s highly effective competitors chief indicated that she’s increasing rules on private knowledge, dropping an preliminary trace about how she plans to make use of new powers towards tech firms. Margrethe Vestager stated that whereas Europeans have management over their very own knowledge by the EU’s world-leading knowledge privateness guidelines, they do not tackle issues stemming from the way in which firms use different individuals’s knowledge “to attract conclusions about me or to undermine democracy.”

The bipartisan accord marking the Judiciary antitrust inquiry contrasts with the bitter divide within the panel over the difficulty of impeachment of President Donald Trump. Republicans denounced the committee Democrats’ approval Thursday of floor guidelines for hearings, which set the stage to launch an impeachment investigation.

“Democrats adopted the yellow brick street, and now they’re absolutely misplaced in Impeachment Oz,” stated Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the committee’s senior Republican.

The lawmakers set an Oct. 14 deadline for the tech firms to offer the paperwork.

Spokesmen for Fb, Apple and Amazon did not reply to requests for remark Friday. Google referred to a latest weblog submit by its senior vice chairman for world affairs, Kent Walker, saying the corporate is anticipating further questions from investigations and that “We’ve got all the time labored constructively with regulators and we’ll proceed to take action.”

The businesses have stated they’re going to cooperate absolutely with the congressional investigation.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., stated the paperwork will assist the committee perceive “whether or not they’re utilizing their market energy in ways in which have harmed customers and competitors and the way Congress ought to reply.”

The letters went to the 4 firms’ CEOs: Larry Web page of Google’s dad or mum firm Alphabet Inc.; Mark Zuckerberg of Fb; Jeff Bezos of Amazon; and Tim Cook dinner of Apple. They had been signed by Nadler and Collins; Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., who heads the antitrust subcommittee main the investigation; and Rep. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, the subcommittee’s senior Republican.

Cicilline has stated Congress and antitrust regulators wrongly allowed the massive tech firms to manage themselves, enabling them to function uncontrolled, dominating the web and choking off on-line innovation and entrepreneurship. He has urged legislative modifications could also be wanted, although he has known as breaking apart the businesses a final resort.

At a listening to of the antitrust panel in July, executives of the 4 firms pushed again towards lawmakers’ accusations that they function as monopolies, laying out methods wherein they are saying they compete pretty but vigorously towards rivals within the market.

Cicilline stated he was dissatisfied with the solutions the executives gave to lawmakers’ questions, calling their testimony “evasive.”

The letter to Fb requests a breakdown of firm earnings since 2016 on its high merchandise — together with Fb Adverts, Instagram and WhatsApp. It additionally seeks communications from Zuckerberg and different high executives associated to a California courtroom case wherein plaintiffs accuse the corporate of deceptively crushing hundreds of apps in 2015 whose companies had relied on their platform. Amongst different inner communications the letter seeks are these associated to 6 messaging, video- and photo-sharing apps particularly that Fb reduce off.

The lawmakers are in search of Fb executives’ emails on the choice to disclaim any particular apps or classes of apps entry to Fb knowledge about or shared by customers. This can be a concern as a result of critics say the corporate deliberately walled itself off from different on-line apps, enabling it to amass almost 2.5 billion customers with no clear competitor.

The letter to Alphabet seeks detailed monetary data and names of main rivals for Google’s huge operations, together with search, video service YouTube, the Android cellphone working system and Gmail. Inside communications the lawmakers are in search of embody these associated to Google’s 2007 acquisition of internet advertising firm DoubleClick — which critics usually level to as pivotal to Google’s promoting dominance.

For Amazon, the lawmakers search monetary knowledge and competitor names for Amazon Internet Companies, sensible audio system Alexa and Echo, Amazon Prime, Entire Meals and different properties, in addition to on its on-line retail, on-demand film and music streaming, digital promoting and cloud computing operations. A 2018 settlement with Apple to promote Apple merchandise on Amazon and to restrict the resellers that may promote Apple merchandise on Amazon is among the many selections being examined.

Monetary data and rivals are hunted for Apple’s App Retailer, iPhone, iPad, Mac, Siri, Apple Pay, Apple TV and Apple Watch. The lawmakers are enthusiastic about Apple’s determination to take away from the App Retailer or to impose restrictions on some screen-time and parental-control apps, and on the App Retailer algorithm that determines the ranked order of search apps on the positioning, amongst different areas.


AP Know-how Author Frank Bajak in Boston contributed to this report.

Comply with Gordon on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/mgordonap


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New York strikes to enact statewide flavored e-cig ban


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pushing to enact a statewide ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes amid rising well being issues linked to vaping, particularly amongst younger folks.

The Democrat introduced Sunday that the state well being commissioner can be making a advice this week to the state Public Well being and Well being Planning Council. The council can challenge emergency laws that might go into impact as quickly as they’re voted on and begin being enforced in as quickly as two weeks, following a brief grace interval for retailers, officers mentioned.

In asserting the motion, Cuomo sharply criticized the flavors which can be on the market, like bubble gum and cotton sweet.

“These are clearly focused to younger folks and extremely efficient at concentrating on younger folks,” he mentioned.

The largest participant within the trade, Juul Labs Inc., mentioned it was reviewing the announcement, however agreed with the necessity for motion.

The ban wouldn’t impression tobacco- and menthol-flavored e-cigarettes, however Cuomo mentioned the Division of Well being would proceed evaluating and that might change.

Cuomo signed laws earlier this 12 months elevating the statewide smoking age to 21, and earlier this month signed a mandate that requires state anti-tobacco campaigns to additionally embrace vaping.

Vaping can also be beneath a federal highlight , as well being authorities look into lots of of respiratory sicknesses reported in individuals who have used e-cigarettes and different vaping units.

In his first public feedback on vaping, President Donald Trump proposed the same federal ban final week.

The FDA has been in a position to ban vaping flavors since 2016, however hasn’t taken the step, with officers wanting into whether or not flavors may assist cigarette people who smoke to give up.

The worldwide market is estimated to have a price of as a lot as $11 billion. The trade has spent some huge cash in states across the nation to foyer towards state-level flavored e-cigarette bans, in states together with Hawaii, California, Maine and Connecticut.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer earlier this month ordered that state’s well being division to come back out with emergency guidelines to ban flavored e-cigarette gross sales.

Juul reiterated Sunday the agreeable stance it had taken following Trump’s proposal.

In an emailed assertion, spokesman Austin Finan mentioned, “We strongly agree with the necessity for aggressive category-wide motion on flavored merchandise,” and “will totally adjust to native legal guidelines and the ultimate FDA coverage when efficient.”


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Big Tech faces a new set of foes: nearly all 50 US states


Big tech companies have long rebuffed attempts by the U.S. federal government to scrutinize or scale back their market power.

Now they face a new coalition of antitrust enforcers: prosecutors from nearly all 50 states.

In a rare show of bipartisan force, attorneys general from 48 states along with Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia are teaming up to open an investigation into whether Google’s huge online search and advertising business is engaging in monopolistic behavior.

The Texas-led antitrust investigation of Google was announced Monday on the steps of the Supreme Court. It follows a separate multistate investigation of Facebook’s market dominance that was revealed Friday.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, a Republican, says it’s an unprecedented effort by states to tackle an antitrust case involving the tech industry.


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California governor signs vaccine bills he demanded


California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed bills Monday to crack down on doctors who write fraudulent medical exemptions for school children’s vaccinations.

The Democratic governor quietly acted less than an hour after lawmakers sent him changes he demanded as a condition of approving the bills, even as protesters outside his office chanted for him to veto the measures.

Legislators approved the changes as protests by hundreds of emotional opponents boiled over, with dissenters delaying Senate debate for nearly two hours by shouting and pounding on walls and doors.

Others were detained by police earlier while blocking entrances to the Capitol as lawmakers scrambled to act on bills before their scheduled adjournment on Friday.

“This legislation provides new tools to better protect public health, and does so in a way that ensures parents, doctors, public health officials and school administrators all know the rules of the road moving forward,” Newsom said in a statement.

Lawmakers sent Newsom the initial bill last week aimed at doctors who sell fraudulent medical exemptions. Democratic Sen. Richard Pan of San Francisco agreed to also carry follow-up legislation that among other things would give school children grace periods that could last several years on existing medical exemptions.

The two bills are needed to “keep children safe from preventable diseases,” Pan said.

The effort was co-sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the California Medical Association and the advocacy group Vaccinate California, all of which hailed their final approval.

Protesters forced delays in both the Assembly and Senate. They unfurled an upside-down American flag from the Senate’s public gallery in a traditional signal of distress and chanted “My kids, my choice” and “We will not comply.”

They later returned to the Assembly, where they continued shouting “Kill the bill” and “Protect our children” as lawmakers considered other legislation.

Republicans in both chambers objected that there were no public committee hearings before the Assembly approved the measure with a 43-14 vote and the Senate followed on a 27-11 roll call.

“This goes past vaccines and is again a major government overreach,” said Republican Assemblyman Devon Mathis of Visalia, adding that, “Our medically fragile children are what are at stake.”

Newsom demanded a phase-out period for medical exemptions similar to one allowed when California eliminated personal belief vaccine exemptions in 2015. A kindergartener with an exemption could retain it through sixth grade, for instance, while a seventh grader could be exempted through high school.

The companion bill also would allow officials to revoke any medical exemptions written by a doctor who has faced disciplinary action.

The bill would make it clear that enforcement will start next year, meaning doctors who previously granted a high number of medical exemptions won’t face scrutiny.

Republican Sen. John Moorlach of Costa Mesa grew emotional as he recalled a developmentally disabled cousin who died at a young age.

“That’s what these people fear,” Moorlach said of protesters. “We’ve got to hit the pause button.”

Republican Sen. Jeff Stone of Temecula asked protesters to “watch your democratic process with respect” after a shouting opponent was removed from the gallery by officers. B

He also said it is unfair to label dissenters as “extremists” and “antivaxers” when they are concerned about the health and welfare of their children.

Several opponents of the bill were detained before the legislative session as they blocked entrances to the Capitol, including two women who briefly chained themselves to outside doorways.

About 200 opponents earlier filled the hallway in front of the governor’s office, asking Newsom to veto both vaccine bills. They later chanted “Where is Newsom?” and “Veto the bill” from the Senate gallery before leaving when they were threatened with being arrested for an unlawful protest.


Associated Press Writer Adam Beam contributed to this story.


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