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Trump at stake? Investigation into US Capitol riot ramps up

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Phone records of congress members requested as part of congressional committee inquest into #StoptheSteal January 6 riot.

Pro-Trump supporters stormed the capitol on Jan 6

The congressional committee launching an inquest into the deadly January 6 riot has requested phone records originating from a selected group of republican congress members.

Former US president Donald Trump and his family are among those under investigation for the “Stop the Steal” rally which took the lives of four individuals.  

The committee has requested records from 35 telecommunication and social media companies for the investigation as they work to source witnesses, Committee spokesperson Tim Mulvey says. 

“The Select Committee is at this point gathering facts, not alleging wrongdoing by any individual.”

Tim Mulvey

Who are the committee targeting?

Social media platforms Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Signal have received the request to reserve any data relating to the inquiry.

Telecommunication companies Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile were also approached. 

The committee is collecting metadata, subscriber information, technical usage information and content of communications from specific individuals as part of the inquiry.

Anyone involved in “organising, funding or speaking” at the rally or “challenging, delaying or interfering” with the electoral certification process are being investigated.

While the committee does possess subpoena power, obtaining the records of congress members could have legal ramifications. 

This is the third request for information as the committee works to speed up the investigation into the riot which saw 600 people arrested

Rioters taking to the streets

Could Trump be to blame?

“Stop the Steal” was coined in the 2016 presidential election by Roger Stone, a longtime Trump associate. 

The phrase has been a tagline through Trump’s political career, with pro-Trump activists adopting the movement. 

It was also a key focal point during the January 6 riot which saw pro-trump supporters storm the US Capitol. 

Trump allegedly “stirred the pot” prior to the riots, telling his supporters at an earlier rally that they should “never concede” defeat.

“Our country has had enough, and we will not take it anymore.”

Donald Trump

 “We will stop the steal.”

Written by Rebecca Borg

Tech

Porn floods Twitter “China” search

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Twitter users have been finding it hard to search for information on the social media platform due to an explosion of pornographic spam.

While thousands of protests against extended lockdowns, a digital bot army has roared into action on Twitter, with long-dormant Chinese language accounts suddenly tweeting links to escort services and other adult content.

Anyone trying to track the spontaneous protest movement on Twitter complained about the deluge of spam pornographic content making flooding the search for information.

The China protests come at a time when Twitter’s content and moderation teams have been pared back drastically following Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover of the social media giant.

Twitter, along with other international social media services like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, is blocked by Beijing’s internet censors within Mainland China.

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World

Biden silence on China protests

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As citizens across China revolt against the country’s “zero Covid” policy, the White House issued a statement about the growing protests.

“‘We’ve long said everyone has the right to peacefully protest, in the United States and around the world,’ a White House National Security Council spokesperson said in a statement.

‘This includes in the [People’s Republic of China.]’

“‘Zero COVID is not a policy we are pursuing here,’ the spokesperson said.

‘And as we’ve said, we think it’s going to be very difficult for the People’s Republic of China to be able to contain this virus through their zero COVID strategy.’”

Commentators have noted that the statement came from the White House, and not President Biden himself.

Demonstrators are calling on President Joe Biden to take a stance and publicly support their cause.

The protests have continued despite numerous attempts by the Chinese government to quell them.

 

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Business

China protests hit global markets, crypto

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Investor watches markets

The protests in China are having a negative impact on cryptocurrencies and markets around the world.

Bitcoin failed to break its descent and fell more than 3 percent.

The global crypto market cap fell over 2%, sending major cryptos into the red.

Over the last 24 hours, overall crypto market volume grew by 22%.

It comes amid a round of investor nervousness in global markets spurred by protests in China against Covid restrictions.

Protesters outraged by harsh COVID-19 regulations called for China’s strong leader to quit.

China is the world’s second-largest economy and has a significant impact on global financial markets.

Stocks and cryptos aren’t considered safe havens, leading to bearing price action.

Analysts are hoping for a sharp bullish reversal if and when the protests end.

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