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Monday, Aug 03rd

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TikTok responds to Trump: We're not going anywhere

Tik Tok answers Trump threat to banTik Tok fired back at President Trump after he announced he will soon ban the Chinese-owned video app from operating in the United States, saying the company has no plans to cease operations.

In a statement, a TikTok spokesperson said the platform has provided millions of Americans with “entertainment and connection” during the coronavirus pandemic and denied criticism that its Chinese owner shares user information with Beijing.

“TikTok US user data is stored in the US, with strict controls on employee access. TikTok's biggest investors come from the US. We are committed to protecting our users' privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform,” the spokesperson said.

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Senior intelligence official warns Russia, Iran, China targeting U.S. elections

China, Iran and Russia interfering in US elections: Intel official senior intelligence official within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) on Friday warned that Russia, Iran and China were attempting to sway the 2020 elections.

William Evanina, the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, noted that the ODNI had been regularly briefing members of Congress, presidential campaigns and political committees on these foreign threats to elections “in recent months."

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U.S. orders China to shut Houston consulate in move Beijing calls 'unprecedented escalation'

Chinese Embassy in Houston ordered closed

- The United States has told China to close its consulate in Houston in a dramatic worsening of ties between the world’s two biggest economies, and a source said Beijing was considering shutting the U.S. consulate in Wuhan in retaliation.

Washington “abruptly demanded” closure of the Houston consulate on Tuesday, China’s foreign ministry said, calling the move an “unprecedented escalation”. The editor of an official Chinese media outlet said China had been given 72 hours to do so.

The State Department said the move was made “to protect American intellectual property and Americans’ private information”.

Beijing condemned the order and threatened retaliation, but did not say what measures it might take.

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Trump’s Request of an Ambassador: Get the British Open for Me

Trump with British AmbassadorThe American ambassador to Britain, Robert Wood Johnson IV, told multiple colleagues in February 2018 that President Trump had asked him to see if the British government could help steer the world-famous and lucrative British Open golf tournament to the Trump Turnberry resort in Scotland, according to three people with knowledge of the episode.

The ambassador’s deputy, Lewis A. Lukens, advised him not to do it, warning that it would be an unethical use of the presidency for private gain, these people said. But Mr. Johnson apparently felt pressured to try. A few weeks later, he raised the idea of Turnberry playing host to the Open with the secretary of state for Scotland, David Mundell.

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Pompeo 'deeply disappointed' in EU court decision to ditch trans-Atlantic data transfer deal

Pompeo disappointed on court ruling on transfer dataU.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday the United States was “deeply disappointed” in a ruling on Thursday by Europe’s highest court that a trans-Atlantic data transfer deal is invalid because of concerns about U.S. surveillance.

Pompeo said in a statement that the United States would review the consequences and implications of the decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union that could disrupt thousands of companies that rely on the agreement.

“We are deeply disappointed that the Court of Justice of the European Union ... has invalidated the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework,” Pompeo said.

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Israeli Data Show School Openings Were a Disaster That Wiped Out Lockdown Gains

israeli school openings a disasterIsrael’s unchecked resurgence of COVID-19 was propelled by the abrupt May 17 decision to reopen all schools, medical and public-health officials have told The Daily Beast.

The assessment of Israel’s trajectory has direct bearing on the heated debate underway in the United States between President Donald Trump, who is demanding a nationwide reopening of schools for what appear to be largely political reasons, and health authorities who caution it could put the wider population at risk.

Importantly, on May 17 in Israel it appeared the virus not only was under control, but defeated. Israel reported only 10 new cases of COVID-19 in the entire country that day. In the U.S., the debate often is about reopening schools where the disease is not only not in decline, but surging.

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Coronavirus live news: record 24-hour increase in global cases; Bogotá to re-enter strict lockdown

record global uptick in coronavirus casesThe World Health Organization reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases on Friday, with the total rising by 228,102 in 24 hours.

The biggest increases were from the United States, Brazil, India and South Africa, according to a daily report.The previous WHO record for new cases was 212,326 on July 4. Deaths remained steady at about 5,000 a day.

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