Donald Trump accuses Google of rigging results to show 'bad stories' when users search for him

President Donald Trump lashed out at US tech companies today, accusing Google and others of suppressing conservative voices and "hiding information" and good news.

The President took aim at Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Robert Mueller in another Twitter tirade.
Source: 1 NEWS

He cited no evidence for the claim, which echoes both his own attacks on the press and a conservative talking point.

Google, operator of the world's most popular search engine, responded by saying: "We never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment."

Trump tweeted before dawn: "This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!" Hours later, Larry Kudlow, the president's top economic adviser, said the White House is "taking a look" at whether Google searches should be subject to some government regulation.

Trump has made similar complaints before, but he carried it a step further Tuesday.

"Google search results for 'Trump News' shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake New Media. In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD. Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out. Illegal?"

He added, without offering evidence, that "96% of results on "Trump News" are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous".

A query several hours after the president tweeted showed stories from CNN, ABC News, Fox News and the MarketWatch business site, among others. A similar search later in the day for "Trump" had Fox News, the president's favoured cable network, among the top results.

Trump tweeted that Google and others "are controlling what we can & cannot see".

In response, Google said its goal is to make sure users of its search engine get the most relevant answers to their queries quickly.

"Search is not used to set a political agenda and we don't bias our results toward any political ideology," the Mountain View, California-based company said. "Every year, we issue hundreds of improvements to our algorithms to ensure they surface high-quality content in response to users' queries.

"We continually work to improve Google Search and we never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment."

Google searches aim to surface the most relevant pages in response to a user's query, even before he or she finishes typing.

The answers that appear first are the ones Google's formulas, with some help from human content reviewers, deem to be the most authoritative, informative and relevant.

Many factors help decide the initial results, including how much time people spend on a page, how many other pages link to it, how well it's designed and more.

A search for "why is the sky blue?" for example, yields initial results from NASA, universities and "Scientific American".

Similarly, entering "Trump" and clicking the "news" tab will produce results from mainstream media outlets that large swaths of the population tend to trust. That is even though Trump has derided some of these outlets as "fake news".

Trump and some supporters have long accused Silicon Valley companies of being biased against them. But, while some company executives may lean liberal, they have long asserted that their products are without political bias, and indeed no such bias has been proven.

Trump didn't say what he based his tweets on. But in a blog post over the weekend, conservative activist Paula Boylard had said she found "blatant prioritization of left-leaning and anti-Trump media outlets" in search results.

Boylard based her judgments on which media outlets were left- or right-leaning on a list by Sharyl Attkisson, host of Sinclair Television's "Full Measure" and author of "The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, Think, and How You Vote". Sinclair is a significant outlet for conservative views.

Trump began complaining about the issue earlier this month as social media companies moved to ban right-wing "Infowars" conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from their platforms.

The president also argues regularly — and falsely — that the news media avoid writing positive stories about him and his administration.

Apple, YouTube and Spotify have permanently removed some of Jones' content, Facebook has suspended him for 30 days and removed some of his pages, and Twitter gave Jones a weeklong timeout and was mulling deeper changes to try to limit the spread of fake news, misinformation and hate speech.

Trump has not named Jones, who is being sued for saying the 2012 shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School was staged, in any tweets on the issue.

Jones has since said he believes the shooting did occur and has argued that the lawsuit should be dismissed because he was acting as a journalist.

Trump has praised Jones' "amazing" reputation.


The issue is also of concern on Capitol Hill, where the House Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by Rep Greg Walden, R-Ore., recently announced that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey will testify before the panel on Sept. 5 about the platform's algorithms and content monitoring.

Google, however, denied using politics to influence its search engine. Source: Breakfast



Super Typhoon Mangkhut barrelling towards Philippines packing winds up to 325 kmh

The most powerful typhoon of the season is closing in on the northern Philippines, where officials ordered precautionary evacuations and closures of schools and offices and urged farmers to quickly harvest their crops to reduce damage.

Forecasters said Typhoon Mangkhut, considered as the strongest this year, could hit northern Cagayan province on Saturday (local time).

It was located about 800 kilometres away in the Pacific with sustained winds of 265 kilometres per hour and gusts of up to 325 kmh.

It could maintain the strength of a super typhoon when it hits land in the northeastern corner of Luzon Island.

On Guam, residents woke up Tuesday to flooded streets, downed trees and widespread power outages after Mangkhut passed through overnight.

The Pacific Daily News reported government agencies were conducting damage assessments and beginning to clear roads. About 80 percent of the US territory was without power but it was restored by this morning.

With a massive rain band 900 kilometres wide, combined with seasonal monsoon rains, the storm could bring heavy to intense rains that could set off landslides and flash floods, Philippine state forecaster Meno Mendoza said.


Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba said by telephone that northern coastal and island villages in the typhoon's projected path will begin evacuating residents todayahead of the expected onslaught.

He said classes will be suspended and offices, except those involved in rescue and relief work, advised to close on Friday.

In 2016, a super typhoon lashed the southern section of Cagayan, destroying tens of thousands of houses. Mangkhut is blowing from the Pacific and forecast to directly slam the province's northeastern coastal and island municipalities, Mamba said.

"I'm stressing that this one is very different, this is more complicated because of possible storm surges," Mamba said, referring to giant waves whipped inland by a typhoon.

The typhoon is arriving at the start of the rice and corn harvest season in Cagayan, a major agricultural producer, and farmers were scrambling to save what they could of their crops, Mamba said. The Philippines has been trying to cope with rice shortages.

Filipino forecaster Meno Mendoza illustrates the path of Typhoon Mangkhut, locally named "Typhoon Ompong" as it approaches the Philippines with sustained winds of 205 kilometers per hour (127 miles per hour) and gusts of up to 255 kph (158 mph), at the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration in metropolitan Manila, Philippines on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018. Philippine officials say they plan to evacuate thousands of villagers, shut down schools and offices and scramble to harvest rice and corn as the most powerful typhoon so far this year menacingly roars toward the country's north. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
Typhoon Mangkhut. Source: Associated Press


Gunman kills five, self in Southern California rampage

A gunman killed five people, including his wife, before turning the gun on himself as a Kern County sheriff's deputy closed in today, authorities said.

There was no immediate word on what sparked the shootings that took place at a home and a business in Bakersfield, north of Los Angeles.

"Obviously, these are not random shootings," Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood told KERO-TV. Six people died in a short amount of time, he added.

The man first showed up at a trucking business with his wife shortly before 5:30pm (local time) where he confronted another man.

"The suspect, the husband, shot the person at the trucking company and then turned and shot his wife," then chased and shot another man who showed up, Youngblood said.

The gunman then went to a home where he shot two people, the sheriff said.

He then carjacked a woman who was driving her child. The woman and child escaped and the man drove to a highway where a sheriff's deputy saw him, Youngblood said.

The gunman saw the deputy and pulled into a lot. When the deputy confronted him at gunpoint the man shot himself in the chest, the sheriff said.

His identity was not immediately released.

Except for the gunman's wife, there was no immediate word on how the victims might have been related.

About 30 people saw the shootings and were being interviewed by deputies, Youngblood said.

Kern County Sheriff's deputies gather near the scene in southeast Bakersfield, Calif., where authorities say a gunman killed multiple people. Source: Associated Press

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Copy-cat fears after more needles found in Australian supermarket strawberries

Queensland police are investigating a potential copycat incident as they hunt for a culprit who put sewing needles in strawberries.

An employee at a Coles supermarket in Gatton discovered a small metal rod laying across the top of some strawberries inside a plastic punnet today, less than a day after it was revealed needles had been found hidden inside strawberries sold at Woolworths.

Police are investigating the latest incident amid the suspicion that it is an attempted copycat scenario.

Sunshine Coast strawberry farmer Adrian Schultz said with many farmers already struggling after a tough season, the fear of copycat incidents affecting sales was a concern.

"A copycat scenario could exacerbate the situation ... with an event like this, it could see everybody stop picking."

Police have also confirmed a fourth case relating to the needles after a young boy in Gladstone ended up with a needle in his mouth on Tuesday after taking strawberries to school.

Angela Stevenson says she was chopping up fruit for her baby when she found a needle embedded in a berry. Realising her son had strawberries in his lunch box she immediately called his school.

"I said I need you to stop him from eating the strawberries. It wasn't five minutes later they rang back and said it was too late, he'd actually bitten into it," she told ABC radio.

"Luckily he pulled it back out of his mouth and told the teacher."

Queensland man Hoani Hearne wound up in hospital after swallowing part of a needle and developing severe abdominal pain on Sunday.

"I bit straight in - kneejerk reaction was to swallow - and yeah it wasn't a pleasant surprise," the 21-year-old has told Nine Network.

So far four contaminated punnets have been found - two in Queensland and two in Victoria.

The Queensland Strawberry Growers Association says a disgruntled farm worker may be responsible, as the two brands affected, Berry

Obsession and Berrylicious, came from the same farm. But police doubt that theory.

"We're not agreeing with that at all at this particular point in time," Queensland Acting Chief Superintendent Terry Lawrence said.

"We're not going to get into speculation. We're keeping a very open mind as to where this may have occurred somewhere between the actual growing of the strawberry through to the completion of the production line and going even further through to distribution and going on to the shelves."

Health authorities are urging people to cut up strawberries to make sure they are safe to eat and police want anyone who finds a needle to contact them.



Watch: Rihanna unveils Savage x Fenty at New York Fashion Week, Gigi and Bella Hadid model in show

Rihanna unleashed the wild beast in a lush tropical land that turned to arid desert with women of all shapes, sizes and colours writhing, cackling, frolicking and stalking like animals for her second season of Savage x Fenty.

Her exotic world of bralettes, undies and pajamas was shown off in 50 looks amid a pond, hydroponics, moveable botanical biodomes and a plant growing station constructed deep inside a cavernous building in the Brooklyn Navy Yard as New York Fashion Week came to a close today.

"My mission is to just have women all over the world feel comfortable and sexy and have fun with lingerie," the pop star, fashion maven and beauty mogul told The Associated Press backstage after the unique show that had her crowd cheering.

"I think tonight was just one of those experiences that I wanted people to feel that energy. I wanted them to feel all the different body types, all the different women in different stages of their womanhood."

Rihanna's "beasts" came tattooed. They included two pregnant women showing off their swelled bellies with pride. Another was a nymph in neon green.

The famous model sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid were there, the former in browns, Bella in a soft blue.

All moved slowly through choreography at times, some beneath a waterfall, amid a set alive with fauna, greenery wending up two dome structures that moved slowly around as Rihanna's women slinked in and out.

At other times, women grouped together exploring their bodies as trios. One was very, very good at the splits.

"When you hear the word savage, it's pretty self-explanatory," Rihanna explained. "It's a confident word. It's a word that is fearless, and I feel like the women here tonight represented that word, savage, and I feel every woman has a savage inside of them, whether they found it or not. It's there."

The Savage x Fenty collection for fall-winter, fusing street style with bedroom ready for anything sexy, was available for purchase immediately after the show.

It comes in a range of neons, animal prints, nudes and neutrals, and tones of emerald, ruby and amethyst. There were new silhouettes when compared with her first highly successful season, cut high on the leg.

Bralettes and underwear were done in mesh, fishnet and lace. Pyjamas were oversized to be worn for day or night. Bodysuits ranged from knitted to barely there string options that revealed all, pasties in place. At least sometimes.

This savage world is available at SavageX.com, HarveyNichols.com, Zalendo.com and a pop-up shop in New York, with the Mall of America to follow.

The singer’s exotic world of bralettes, undies and pyjamas were shown off in 50 looks. Source: Associated Press