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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) speaking during a committee hearing on Sept. 28. Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP Photo/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) sent a letter to Microsoft and LinkedIn leadership on Thursday questioning why LinkedIn censored the profiles of U.S. journalists from the company's China-based platform this week, according to a letter obtained by Axios.

Driving the news: LinkedIn — which is owned by Microsoft — notified several U.S. journalists this week, including Axios' Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, that their accounts will no longer be viewable in China due to "prohibited content" on their profile.

  • In addition to Allen-Ebrahimian, affected journalists include VICE News' Melissa Chan and freelance reporter Greg Bruno. All three have reported on human rights abuses in China.

What they're saying: "I am deeply concerned that an American company is actively censoring American journalists on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party," Scott said in the letter addressed to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky.

  • "Members of the media report information that is critical to helping Americans, including members of Congress, understand the scope of Communist China’s abuses, especially its abuses against and surveillance of Uyghurs in Xinjiang," the senator continued.
  • "The censorship of these journalists raises serious questions about Microsoft’s intentions and its commitment to standing up against Communist China’s horrific human rights abuses and repeated attacks against democracy."

Previously, Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) sent a letter to LinkedIn, criticizing blocks of several profiles and asking if LinkedIn had ever handed over American user data to the Chinese government.

The big picture: LinkedIn is one of the few American social media platforms to agree to the Chinese government's demands to censor content that it views as subversive.

  • The LinkedIn profiles of numerous academics, researchers, government employees, and others around the world have also been censored in recent months.

Read the letter:

Go deeper

Oct 20, 2021 - World

Biden's ambassador nominee: "China is not an Olympian power"

Nick Burns testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee to serve as ambassador to China delivered a stark assessment of the challenges the U.S. faces in confronting Beijing, but stressed that the rising superpower is "not all-powerful" and the West retains "substantial" advantages.

The big picture: Nicholas Burns, a retired career diplomat and former U.S. ambassador to NATO, used his confirmation hearing Wednesday to echo the growing bipartisan consensus that China poses "the greatest threat to the security of our country and the democratic world" in the 21st century.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Fauci fires back at Rand Paul for slam on tonight's "Axios on HBO"

Responding to charges by Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday's "Axios on HBO," NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "ABC This Week" that it's "molecularly impossible" for U.S.-funded bat virus research in China to have produced COVID-19.

Why it matters: The issue 0f Wuhan research was reignited on the right last week with a National Institutes of Health letter to Congress disclosing more about the research.

Manchin, Schumer huddle with Biden in Delaware to discuss spending bill

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (L) and Sen. Joe Manchin (R) at the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 13, 2014. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) will meet with President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday morning in Delaware as Democrats look to reach an agreement on the massive spending measure.

Driving the news: Democrats are still negotiating what to keep in the bill and how to pay for it, with Biden saying on Thursday that the party does not have the votes to raise the corporate tax rate.

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