Amazon accuses FTC of harassing Bezos in ‘burdensome’ probe | Business and Economy News

The USA Federal Commerce Fee has been probing the retail big for potential anticompetitive behaviour for a number of years.

By Bloomberg

Amazon.com Inc. accused the US Federal Commerce Fee of harassing its founder Jeff Bezos and the corporate’s Chief Govt Officer Andy Jassy because it conducts an antitrust probe of the e-commerce big’s enterprise practices.

In a submitting made public on Monday, Amazon claimed that FTC workers have made “unduly burdensome” calls for because it investigates whether or not the corporate’s subscription providers, together with Amazon Prime, violate antitrust legal guidelines. The net retailer is in search of to quash or restrict the FTC’s most up-to-date civil investigative calls for, that are much like subpoenas.

Amazon mentioned the FTC’s requests are “unworkable for Amazon to discern the knowledge workers calls for and to reply within the timeframe allowed.”

The FTC has been investigating Amazon for potential anticompetitive conduct for a number of years. The submitting affords an unusually public glimpse into the continuing battle between one of many world’s largest corporations and one in every of its regulators.

FTC Chair Lina Khan, who took over the place in June 2021, has escalated the investigation, shaking up the workforce, re-interviewing potential witnesses and asking questions in regards to the firm’s current acquisition of MGM Studios, Bloomberg reported in Might.

The Biden administration has stepped up antitrust enforcement as a keystone of its financial coverage, in search of to reverse what antitrust officers view as a long time of lax oversight over company consolidation and market energy.

The FTC served particular person data calls for to twenty present and former Amazon staff at their properties in June, in accordance with the submitting.

Bezos and Jassy are additionally petitioning to quash the FTC’s requests directed at them, arguing that the fee may acquire the identical data from the paperwork and testimony that firm executives have already supplied.

Trump refuses to answer questions in NY probe into his company | Donald Trump News

Ex-president insists he did ‘nothing flawed’ however says he invoked Fifth Modification as a result of he had ‘completely no alternative’.

Former US President Donald Trump has stated that he refused to reply questions beneath oath throughout an look earlier than the New York state legal professional basic in an investigation into his enterprise dealings.

Trump had appeared at state Lawyer Normal Letitia James’ places of work on Wednesday morning to testify in a long-running civil probe of the Trump Group’s funds.

“I declined to reply the questions beneath the rights and privileges afforded to each citizen beneath the USA Structure,” Trump stated in a press release.

The Fifth Modification of the US Structure grants the proper to stay silent when questioned by authorities to guard in opposition to self-incrimination.

Trump’s deposition in New York comes lower than two days after FBI brokers searched his residence in Florida as a part of a separate investigation wanting into attainable mishandling of labeled paperwork by the previous president, based on a number of US media retailers.

The New York legal professional basic launched the civil investigation in 2019 after Trump’s former private lawyer Michael Cohen testified in Congress that the ex-president exaggerated his property “when it served his functions”.

James has stated in court docket filings that her workplace has uncovered “vital” proof that Trump’s firm “used fraudulent or deceptive asset valuations to acquire a number of financial advantages, together with loans, insurance coverage protection, and tax deductions.”

Trump, who beforehand recommended that he’ll run for president once more in 2024, has dismissed the New York inquiry, federal probe and the congressional committee investigating the January 6, 2021 assault on the Capitol by his supporters as politically motivated.

On Wednesday, he reiterated that he did “nothing flawed”, stressing – with out proof – that federal authorities, state prosecutors and what he referred to as the “faux information media” are focusing on him with unfounded accusations.

“If there was any query in my thoughts, the raid of my residence, Mar-a-Lago, on Monday by the FBI, simply two days previous to this deposition, worn out any uncertainty,” Trump stated.

“I’ve completely no alternative as a result of the present administration and plenty of prosecutors on this Nation have misplaced all ethical and moral bounds of decency.”

Many Republicans have blamed President Joe Biden for the FBI search, however the White Home has insisted that it doesn’t intervene in Justice Division-led investigations.

Trump singled out New York’s James along with his criticism on Wednesday, calling her a “failed politician” and accusing her of pursuing a “vendetta” in opposition to him.

Trump was impeached twice as president, together with in early 2021 for inciting a riot on the US Capitol as legislators had been certifying Biden’s election victory, however he was acquitted by the Senate in votes alongside occasion traces.

Trump pays $110,000 fine for failure to cooperate with NY probe | Donald Trump News

New York state is investigating former US president’s actual property firm for allegedly misstating worth of property.

Former US President Donald Trump has paid a $110,000 effective for his failure to reply to a subpoena in a civil investigation into his enterprise practices, a spokesperson for the New York legal professional normal mentioned on Friday.

Trump paid the effective on Thursday however should nonetheless submit further paperwork to be able to have the contempt order lifted, the workplace of New York Legal professional Basic Letitia James mentioned.

The fee of the effective was certainly one of three steps Trump wanted to take for a choose to raise a contempt of court docket order issued final month for his lack of cooperation with New York’s probe.

The investigation is wanting into whether or not the Trump Group gave banks and tax authorities deceptive monetary info.

In late April, New York state Decide Arthur Engoron held Trump in contempt and fined him $10,000 per day after ruling it was not clear whether or not the previous president had performed an entire seek for further paperwork that James had requested.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James speaks during a news conference.
New York State Legal professional Basic Letitia James is looking for to compel Trump to testify and launch paperwork in a civil probe of his actual property enterprise [File: Kathy Willens/AP Photo]

Engoron conditionally lifted the contempt order and the effective stopped accruing final week after Trump submitted particulars of his seek for information. However Engoron mentioned he would begin fining Trump once more if he didn’t pay by Could 20.

The choose required {that a} third-party agency employed by Trump to assist within the search, HaystackID, end going via 17 containers stored in off-site storage, and switch over any related paperwork with a report on its findings. That course of was accomplished on Thursday, James’s workplace mentioned.

Trump workers should nonetheless submit affidavits on his practices for dealing with information, the New York spokesperson mentioned. The effective cash can be held in escrow till a better court docket weighs in on Trump’s enchantment of the contempt order.

Trump’s lawyer, Alina Habba, didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark from the Reuters information company.

Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen had informed Congress in 2019 that Trump’s organisation misstated its asset values for monetary acquire.

James has mentioned her three-year civil probe has discovered proof that Trump’s firm – which manages accommodations, golf programs and different actual property – misstated asset valuations to get beneficial loans and tax breaks.

Trump has denied the allegations. He has known as James’s investigation “racist” and a politically motivated “witch hunt” whereas Trump’s legal professionals have accused her of selective prosecution. Trump can also be suing James in federal court docket, looking for to close down her probe.

Final week, a lawyer for James’s workplace mentioned that proof discovered within the probe may assist authorized motion in opposition to the previous president, his firm, or each.

The lawyer, Andrew Amer, mentioned at a listening to in Trump’s lawsuit in opposition to James that “there’s clearly been a considerable quantity of proof amassed that might assist the submitting of an enforcement continuing”, though a remaining dedication on submitting such an motion has not been made.

James has subpoenaed Trump and his two eldest kids, Donald Trump Jr and Ivanka Trump, as a part of the investigation into the previous US president’s enterprise practices.

A New York court docket submitting made public in January mentioned James issued the subpoenas looking for testimony and paperwork from the trio “in reference to an investigation into the valuation of properties owned or managed” by Trump or his firm, the Trump Group.

Syrian rights groups urge UN to probe Tadamon massacre | Syria’s War News

The SNHR calls US diplomat to the UN for ‘speedy motion’ after video seems to indicate the execution of civilians.

A number of distinguished Syrian human rights organisations and civil society teams have urged the US’ prime diplomat to the United Nations to launch an investigation into the killing of 41 civilians within the neighbourhood of Tadamon in Syria’s capital Damascus in 2013.

“We’re writing to demand speedy motion to deal with this bloodbath, which quantities to a conflict crime, and maintain perpetrators accountable on the UN Safety Council,” learn a letter to Linda Thomas-Greenfield and printed by the Syrian Community for Human Rights (SNHR) on Monday.

The community additionally referred to as on the US to convene a gathering on the Council throughout its presidency in Might and launch an impartial probe.

The SNHR’s attraction comes almost two weeks after a leaked video appeared to indicate proof of grotesque crimes dedicated by Syrian forces.

The distressing footage exhibits blindfolded and handcuffed civilians being informed to run in direction of an execution ditch mendacity simply in entrance of them in one of many capital’s southern suburbs.

It additionally exhibits intelligence officers of the notorious Department 227 smiling and laughing as they assassinate the lads earlier than pouring gasoline over their our bodies within the pit and setting it ablaze to cover the proof.

The Tadamon district on the time was a battlefront between Syrian authorities forces in opposition to opposition forces.

A horrified navy recruit filmed the vicious incident and leaked the video, date-stamped April 16, 2013, after fleeing war-torn Syria.

Syrian activists and worldwide human rights organisations have accused the Syrian government and its allies of committing atrocities within the nation’s rebellion turned-civil conflict.

All through the 11-year-long conflict, an estimated 500,000 folks have been killed and thousands and thousands displaced. Syria at this time is reeling from a crippling financial disaster, whereas President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus stays in energy with navy help from Russia, Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah.

“By no means earlier than have we seen such clear proof of a conflict crime dedicated and videotaped by Assad’s intelligence companies in broad daylight, in chilly blood, with no regard for the humanity of the victims or concern for penalties,” learn the SNHR assertion.

The discharge of the video footage has triggered an outcry, with some families recognising their relatives being executed within the video.

“Many Syrians are rightfully expressing outrage concerning the lack of response from the worldwide group to such a stunning report, particularly within the context of comparable crimes being dedicated by Russian forces in Ukraine,” the SNHR added, referring to the alleged conflict crimes dedicated since Russia invaded its neighbouring nation on February 24.

“It’s excessive time that the worldwide group realized that impunity for grave human rights violations in Syria has far-reaching penalties past its borders,” the SNHR mentioned.

Greater than 100,000 Syrians are lacking, in accordance with advocacy teams, together with tens of hundreds of youngsters. The Syrian authorities holds nearly all of them, however many households await the destiny of lacking family members who ISIL (ISIS) and different armed teams detained.

Minneapolis police engaged in racial discrimination, probe finds | Police News

Investigation by Minnesota state authorities after George Floyd killing finds ‘sample or apply’ of discrimination.

The Minneapolis Police Division has engaged in an unlawful “sample or apply” of racial discrimination, in line with a state investigation that began after George Floyd was killed by an officer within the US metropolis in 2020.

In a report launched on Wednesday detailing the findings of an almost two-year probe, the Minnesota Division of Human Rights concluded that Minneapolis police discriminated towards Black folks through the previous decade.

Officers mentioned they might be in search of to enter a court-ordered settlement with town of Minneapolis to halt the practices and implement modifications within the police division requiring impartial oversight.

“Race-based policing is illegal and harms everybody, particularly folks of shade and Indigenous group members – generally costing group members their lives,” Rebecca Lucero, commissioner of the Minnesota Division of Human Rights, mentioned in a statement.

image from police body camera video shown as evidence in court, paramedics arrive as Minneapolis police officers, including Derick Chauvin, second from left, and J. Alexander Kueng restrain George Floyd in Minneapolis, on May 25, 2020.
The investigation was launched after George Floyd was killed throughout an arrest in Minneapolis in 2020 [File: Minneapolis Police Department via AP]

The division started its investigation after former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin pinned his knee to Floyd’s neck for a number of minutes because the unarmed Black man lay handcuffed and face down on the pavement in Could 2020.

The incident sparked nationwide protests towards police racism and brutality, and Chauvin was convicted of murder final 12 months.

Three different officers have been convicted in federal court docket earlier this 12 months of violating Floyd’s civil rights.

The Human Rights Division mentioned in its 75-page report on Wednesday that Minneapolis police arrest and use pressure towards folks of color, notably Black people, extra often than white folks in comparable settings.

Minneapolis police additionally use covert social media to surveil Black folks and Black organisations unrelated to any legal exercise.

The investigation additionally discovered that town’s police constantly use racist, misogynistic and disrespectful language; officers and supervisors obtain poor coaching that emphasised a paramilitary strategy, and there’s a lack of accountability for officers who have interaction in misconduct.

Furthermore, they mentioned former and present Minneapolis leaders “haven’t collectively acted with the urgency, coordination and intentionality crucial to deal with racial disparities in policing to enhance public security and enhance group belief”.

State investigators reviewed a decade of information on site visitors stops, searches, arrests and use-of-force incidents, and examined insurance policies and coaching. They invited residents to submit their very own tales of encounters with Minneapolis police.

Minneapolis metropolis council members and residents had pushed to interchange the division with a brand new public security unit that may take a public well being strategy to policing, together with dropping a required minimal variety of law enforcement officials.

However native voters rejected the proposal final 12 months.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, earlier than his retirement in January, mentioned they have been making modifications within the division, together with requiring officers to doc makes an attempt to de-escalate conditions and to now not cease motorists for minor site visitors violations.

A protester holds a sign demanding justice for Amir Locke at a rally in Minneapolis.
A protester holds an indication demanding justice for Amir Locke at a rally on February 5 in Minneapolis. A SWAT workforce shot and killed Locke, aged 22, whereas conducting a no-knock drug raid [Christian Monterrosa/AP Photo]

However anger at police flared anew in February when Minneapolis law enforcement officials serving a no-knock warrant shot and killed Amir Locke, a 22-year-old Black man who was sleeping on a sofa in his cousin’s house on the time of the taking pictures.

Prosecutors declined to charge the officer who shot Locke, saying physique digicam video confirmed him pointing a gun on the officer, a declare Locke’s household has disputed. The town has since banned no-knock warrants besides in essentially the most excessive circumstances, similar to a hostage scenario.

The US Division of Justice can be investigating Minneapolis policing practices.

Canada to probe use of emergency measures to end trucker protests | Police News

Emergencies Act requires gov’t to arrange inquiry into circumstances resulting in its use, actions taken throughout emergency.

An unbiased public inquiry will probably be held into the Canadian authorities’s use of emergency powers to disperse anti-vaccine trucker protests and border blockades earlier this 12 months, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has introduced.

In a statement on Monday, Trudeau mentioned the Public Order Emergency Fee would study the circumstances that led him to invoke the Emergencies Act, and what actions have been taken to reply to the so-called “Freedom Convoy“.

“This contains the evolution of the convoy, the impression of funding and disinformation, the financial impression, and efforts of police and different responders previous to and after the declaration,” the assertion mentioned.

The Emergencies Act itself requires the federal government to determine an unbiased inquiry into its use. A former Ontario decide, Paul Rouleau, will head up the brand new fee and current his findings and proposals to parliament by February 20 subsequent 12 months.

Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act on February 14 in response to demonstrations by Canadian truckers and their supporters, who had blocked key commerce routes with the USA and disrupted each day life in downtown Ottawa, the nation’s capital.

Police finally dispersed members of the “Freedom Convoy” – organised by some far-right activists – and arrested a number of of its leaders. Some have been charged with mischief, intimidation and different offences.

“Invoking the Emergencies Act was a choice taken solely after cautious consideration and with important warning,” Invoice Blair, Canada’s minister of emergency preparedness, mentioned within the assertion.

“As we mirror on the circumstances that led to this motion, Canadians can trust this Fee will probably be undertaken in a radical and unbiased method, because the Act itself requires.”

Civil rights teams had raised alarm at Trudeau’s resolution to invoke the emergency measure, which was in place for simply over per week.

Critics had questioned whether or not the federal government had met the strict, authorized threshold required to invoke the act, whereas others additionally argued that police and different authorities had the required instruments at their disposal to finish the blockades however simply lacked the will to make use of them.

However the prime minister defended his resolution, saying it aimed to offer extra assist to regulation enforcement. He additionally promised that the scope of the measures can be “time-limited, geographically focused, in addition to affordable and proportionate to the threats they’re meant to deal with”.

Residents and politicians in Ottawa, the place convoy individuals harassed people within the downtown core for a number of weeks, have demanded a radical and unbiased probe into the selections made in any respect ranges throughout what they dubbed an “occupation”.

UK lawmakers approve probe into PM Boris Johnson’s ‘Partygate’ | Boris Johnson News

Lawmakers triggered an investigation into whether or not Johnson lied to the UK Parliament about breaking COVID-19 lockdown guidelines.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered a blow to his authority when lawmakers ordered a parliamentary investigation into his previous denials that he broke coronavirus restrictions by attending unlawful gatherings through the pandemic.

Johnson on Thursday confronted stinging criticism from his personal Conservative social gathering and an influential former ally known as on him to stop over what has turn out to be often known as the “Partygate” scandal, which has brought on widespread public anger.

The investigation will look into whether or not Johnson knowingly misled the Parliament of the UK – ordinarily a resigning offence if confirmed. However a bullish Johnson – on a two-day trip to India – insisted he was not going wherever.

In India, Johnson vowed he wouldn’t stop and supposed to battle the following basic election – nonetheless seemingly at the least two years away. “I perceive folks’s emotions,” he instructed Sky Information.

However he stated of stepping apart: “I don’t suppose that’s the proper factor to do. What I’m decided to do is make certain we proceed with our agenda.”

The investigation by Parliament’s privileges committee will start as soon as London police have completed their very own probe and an inside report on the scandal is revealed in full.

The parliamentary probe piles extra stress on the prime minister, whose grip on energy has been shaken by claims he flouted the pandemic guidelines he imposed on the nation, then repeatedly did not uphold them.

One nationwide survey this week discovered about two-thirds of the general public spoke negatively about Johnson, in comparison with simply 16 p.c positively, with the phrase “liar” essentially the most generally shared response.

‘Precept below assault’

The transfer was instigated by the opposition Labour Celebration and handed after the federal government deserted efforts to get Conservative lawmakers to dam it. Johnson’s Conservatives have a considerable majority in Parliament, however many lawmakers are uneasy with the prime minister’s behaviour.

Labour chief Keir Starmer stated the transfer sought to uphold “the straightforward precept that honesty, integrity and telling the reality matter in our politics”.

“It’s a British precept … guiding members from each political social gathering on this Home,” Starmer stated. “However it’s a precept below assault.”

Johnson was fined 50 kilos ($65) by police final week for attending his personal celebration in his workplace in June 2020, when folks in Britain have been barred from assembly up with family and friends, and even visiting dying family. Johnson is the primary British prime minister ever discovered to have damaged the legislation whereas in workplace.

Additional penalties for different occasions might observe, however police stated on Thursday that they won’t announce any new fines issued till after native elections on Might 5.

Johnson has since apologised however denied he knowingly broke the principles. His shifting defence – initially saying there have been no unlawful gatherings, then claiming it “didn’t happen to me” that his birthday occasion was a celebration – has drawn derision and outrage from opponents who known as for him to stop.

“The reality is easy and it’s this – he lied to keep away from getting caught and as soon as he obtained caught he lied once more,” Scottish Nationwide Celebration lawmaker Ian Blackford stated within the Home of Commons.

To mount a problem to Johnson’s management, 54 Conservative lawmakers should write letters expressing no confidence in him. That will result in a confidence vote and, if he misplaced, a contest to exchange him.