Dec 19, 2017

Net neutrality fight heads back to Congress

Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn leads a key tech subcommittee. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn announced legislation Tuesday that bans internet providers from blocking or slowing down the delivery of content. It also looks to block states from making their own net neutrality rules.

But, but, but: It does not stop providers from establishing fast lanes that would give priority to some types web traffic or content over others.

The other side: The Internet Association, which represents Google, Facebook and other tech companies, said that the "proposal circulated today does not meet the criteria for basic net neutrality protections – including bright-line rules and a ban on paid prioritization – and will not provide consumers the protections they need to have guaranteed access to the entire internet."

  • Public Knowledge, a public interest group, said in a statement that the bill would also "remove almost all other FCC consumer protection authority over broadband networks."

The bigger picture: This bill isn't likely going to attract much support from Democrats, who are starting to warm to the idea of trying to undo the FCC's net neutrality repeal. That effort, however, would need Republican support. Other bills on the issue are said to be in the works.

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In photos: Deadly Storm Dennis lashes U.K., Ireland and western France

A family is rescued from a property in Nantgarw, Wales, on Sunday. The storm comes a week after the U.K. was battered by storm Ciara, which killed two people, per the BBC. Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Storm Dennis continued to pummel parts of England, Wales and Ireland over Sunday night with heavy rain after battering Northern Ireland and Scotland, per the official British weather agency the Met Office.

Why it matters: It's the second-strongest nontropical storm ever recorded in the North Atlantic Ocean, with its hurricane-force winds and heavy rains that caused widespread flooding across the U.K., the Washington Post notes. Police in Wales confirmed Sunday they found the body of a man who fell into a river as the storm lashed Ystradgynlais.

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Sanders accuses Bloomberg of trying to "buy" the 2020 election

Sen. Bernie Sanders and Mike Bloomberg. Photos: Drew Angerer; Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders tore into 2020 rival Michael Bloomberg at a Las Vegas campaign event Saturday, saying the billionaire and former New York mayor is trying to "buy the presidency" by paying millions of dollars in advertising.

Why it matters: Bloomberg has surged in national polling recently, having poured millions of dollars into campaign ads largely targeting Trump. His candidacy has become an obvious foil for Sanders, whose grassroots campaign railing against billionaires and the establishment has vaulted him to front-runner status.

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Coronavirus cases rise, as more Americans on cruise confirmed ill

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

A U.S. public health official confirms more than 40 Americans on the Diamond Princess cruise ship off Japan have coronavirus, while the remaining U.S. citizens without symptoms are being evacuated.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,770 people and infected almost 70,000 others. Most cases and all but five of the deaths have occurred in mainland China. Taiwan confirmed its first death on Sunday, per multiple reports, in a 61-year-old man with underlying health conditions. Health officials were investigating how he became ill.

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