Report: Google to ‘Engineer’ Russia Today, Sputnik News Out of Search Results

Google is planning to “engineer” Russian news outlets, including Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik News, out of Google News results.

“We’re well aware of this one, and we’re working on detecting this kind of scenario you’re describing and deranking those kinds of sites,” said Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google-parent Alphabet, after being asked why Google includes Russian news outlets in its results.

“It’s basically RT and Sputnik,” he continued. “We’re well aware and we’re trying to engineer the systems to prevent it.”

According to Motherboard, Schmidt is reportedly worried about the “spread of misinformation—or worse.”

Both RT and Sputnik, which are Russian state-owned companies, have repeatedly been criticized in the United States of America following conspiracy theories about Russia’s involvement in the 2016 US presidential election.

In August, Zephyr Teachout, who was fired from a Google-sponsored think tank after praising European Union fines against Google, claimed the company is “coming after critics in academia and journalism,” adding it “is forming into a government of itself.”

Charlie Nash is a reporter for Breitbart Tech. You can follow him on Twitter @MrNashington and Gab @Nash, or like his page at Facebook.

Melissa Gilbert says Oliver Stone purposely humiliated her during an audition for 'The Doors'

Former “Little House on the Prairie” actress Melissa Gilbert called out director Oliver Stone on Monday accusing him of humiliating her during an audition to settle a personal gripe.

Gilbert appeared on Andy Cohen’s SirusXM channel, Radio Andy, where the topic of sexual misconduct in Hollywood came up.

“There were moments where there were men in more powerful positions,” she revealed. “One in particular, who humiliated me at one point in an audition… and unnecessarily, because I had embarrassed him in a social situation. He got back at me and I ran out of the room crying. I’m actually sitting here telling you this story, afraid to say his name, because I’m worried about backlash.”

As she continued to speak, she eventually said “f— it” and named Stone and that the audition was for his 1991 film “The Doors.”

U.S. film director and screenwriter Oliver Stone speaks during a discussion with students at the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan November 30, 2012. REUTERS/Ana Martinez (PUERTO RICO - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT) - RTR3B2N8

 (REUTERS)

“He had me read a scene,” she said. “I had auditioned, and then he said: ‘I’ve written this special scene for you, I’d like you to do it with the actor. I want to see the chemistry with the two of you.’ And the whole scene was just my character on her hands and knees saying, ‘Do me, baby.’ Really dirty, horrible.”

Gilbert alleged that she was then asked to stage the scene, but she refused and left the room crying.

“I never really talked about it. And it was all because I had said something and embarrassed him publicly… He wrote this special scene that he wanted me to do for him physically in the casting room, and it was humiliating and horrid. He got me. I had embarrassed him and he got me back and it hurt.”

The slight in question reportedly came from a momenty in a nightclub prior to the incident. Stone was being boisterous and talking about the superiority of movies to television. Allegedly, in the middle of his tirade, young girls approached Gilbert because they were fans of “Little House on the Prairie.”

“I said: ‘You see a–hold, that’s television. That’s what television does,’” she said. “I guess he never forgot about it.”

PATRICIA ARQUETTE DESCRIBES ‘WEIRD’ OLIVER STONE ENCOUNTER

Stone, in a statement released to The Hollywood Reporter Tuesday, said that those auditioning were told that the scenes from the “raunchy” movie would be rehearsed and in the presence of the casting director.

“We auditioned dozens of actors for roles in The Doors and it was made clear from the outset that our film was going to be a raunchy, no-holds-barred rock ‘n’ roll movie,” Stone said. “Anyone auditioning was told the scenes would be rehearsed and performed from a script, with my casting director, Risa Bramon Garcia, present throughout the process to ensure a safe environment for all actors who auditioned.” 

Garcia, also in a statement, added that “no actor was forced or expected to do anything” during their audition. 

“However, every actor who auditioned came in voluntarily and was aware of the provocative material prior to engaging in their scenes,” Garcia said. “No actor was forced or expected to do anything that might have been uncomfortable, and most actors embraced the challenge, recognizing Oliver Stone’s vision and the creative process.”

“In my experience, there was no attempt to personally offend any particular actor. I always have and still do go out of my way to create a safe and creative space for actors in the audition room. It was no different on The Doors,” the statement continued.

EX-PLAYBOY PLAYMATE ACCUSES OLIVER STONE OF GRABBING HER BREAST, REPORT SAYS

As People notes, Stone was among the first to defend Harvey Weinstein when allegations of sexual misconduct about him broke and, arguably, began the current unprecedented conversation about sexual harassment in showbusiness. Stone initially said that it wasn’t easy what Weinstein was going through, but later posted a defense of Weinstein’s alleged victims on social media.

However, before he issued a follow up statement, he too was accused of misconduct by former Playboy model Carrie Stevens.

AP Was There: Mugabe sworn in as Zimbabwe's prime minister

On April 17, 1980, Robert Mugabe was sworn in as prime minister of the new and independent Zimbabwe. Thirty-seven years later, he is resigning after a week of immense pressure from the military, the ruling party and the people.

The Associated Press is republishing its original report about the handover, using the dateline for the capital at the time, Salisbury. It is now Harare.

___

Rhodesia, Britain’s last African colony, became the independent black-ruled nation of Zimbabwe at midnight Thursday, born in the blood of civil war and the hope of a hard-won peace.

Under the brilliant floodlights of the Rufaro soccer stadium, the British Union Jack, first planted in the territory nine decades ago at the height of Victorian expansion, was ceremoniously lowered for the last time.

In its place, Comrade Kambeu, a former black nationalist guerrilla, raised the new Zimbabwean flag, a multi-colored banner representing the land’s races and riches.

Wild cheers erupted at midnight, 5 p.m. EST, from the 40,000 mainly black guests at the stadium. Four presidents, seven prime ministers and envoys from some 100 countries were also on hand.

Prince Charles of Britain handed over power — in the form of a scrolled act of the British Parliament granting independence — to the titular president of the southern African country, Canaan Banana.

Banana, as constitutional head of state, then swore in Robert Mugabe as prime minister.

Mugabe, the former black guerrilla chief who is now Zimbabwe’s top political leader, paid tribute to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in replying to a pledge of aid to Zimbabwe read by British Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington.

“It is universally acknowledged that the initiative which led to the achievement of our final goal was made possible through her determined efforts,” Mugabe said amid cheers.

He welcomed offers of British aid, saying: “We … will strive for the closest possible ties.”

In a national broadcast on independence eve, Mugabe reached out to his white countrymen: “If yesterday you hated me, today you cannot avoid the love that binds you to me and me to you.”

Mugabe faces a daunting task: patching up an economy and a society shattered by a seven-year war that cost 20,000 lives and left hundreds of thousands homeless. Keeping the 250,000-member white minority from abandoning the effort and leaving Zimbabwe will be a key to his success.

The ceremony was a striking blend of British pomp and African tradition — a 21-gun salute from weapons used in the long and bitter bush war, tribal dancing by young women who had fought as guerrillas, brass bands and talking drums.

The delegation representing the United States included elder statesman W. Averell Harriman, former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young and Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson.

Absent was Ian Smith, the former prime minister who led Rhodesia’s whites to their unilateral declaration of independence in 1965 and symbolized their defiant stand against black-majority rule for 14 years. He was in South Africa on what aides said was a speaking tour.

Guerrillas loyal to the 56-year-old Mugabe and to black nationalist Joshua Nkomo waged their war first against Smith’s white government and then against an interim administration headed by Bishop Abel Muzorewa, the country’s first black prime minister. Muzorewa watched the ceremony on television at home, friends said.

The guerrilla leaders signed a peace treaty and constitutional agreement with Muzorewa last year, restoring British rule Dec. 12 and climaxing years of failed attempts at negotiation. Mugabe then won a landslide victory in British-supervised elections last February.

Lord Christopher Soames, the burly 59-year-old governor who brought back British control of the mutinous colony for four months, returns to England Friday, leaving the country independent and fully in the hands of its 7 million blacks for the first time.

“I was one of those who originally never trusted him,” Mugabe said of Soames in his radio-television talk. “And yet I have now ended up not only implicitly trusting but fondly loving him as well.”

Addressing the white minority that held power in Rhodesia for nine decades, Mugabe struck a chord of conciliation:

“If yesterday I fought you as an enemy, today you have become a friend and ally with the same national interest, loyalty, rights and duties as myself. If yesterday you hated me, today you cannot avoid the love that binds you to me and me to you.”

He asserted that the “wrongs of the past now stand forgiven and forgotten” and vowed that past white oppression must not be replaced black oppression.

“An evil remains an evil whether practiced by white against black or by black against white,” he said.

Mugabe has played down the Marxist image that won him arms from communist nations in the war, and is pursuing a policy mixing socialism with capitalism in a bid to prevent a flight of moneyed, skilled whites.

He has sought to establish a national-unity government, taking two whites and several opposition blacks into his Cabinet. Nkomo, his ally and rival in the nationalist movement, is the home affairs minister, in charge of police,

The new administration must re-settle up to a million victims of the conflict and follow through on pre-election promises of free health care and education, more jobs and better homes. Mugabe has said one of his first goals is to help blacks achieve greater parity with whites in pay and job opportunities, but he has said private ownership of land, homes and businesses is guaranteed.

The economy was badly damaged by the costs of war and by more than a decade of punitive trade sanctions imposed by the United Nations.

Mugabe has already won pledges of more than $200 million in aid, mostly from Britain, the United States, Europe and the United Nations.

The new nation’s name, Zimbabwe, stems from an ancient African kingdom that flourished in the region. The green of its flag represents the land, the yellow its mineral riches, the red the blood spilled in the war, the black its native people and the white its onetime colonists.

Morgan urges voters to keep steroid users out of Hall

AP Photo
AP Photo/Mike Groll

Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan is urging voters to keep “known steroid users” out of Cooperstown.

A day after the Hall revealed its 33-man ballot for the 2018 class, the 74-year-old Morgan argued against the inclusion of players implicated during baseball’s steroid era in a letter to voters with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. The letter from the vice chairman of the Hall’s board of directors was sent Tuesday using a Hall email address.

“Steroid users don’t belong here,” Morgan wrote. “What they did shouldn’t be accepted. Times shouldn’t change for the worse.”

Hall voters have been wrestling with the issue of performance-enhancing drugs for several years. Baseball held a survey drug test in 2003 and the sport began testing for banned steroids the following year with penalties. Accusations connected to some of the candidates for the Hall vary in strength from allegations with no evidence to positive tests that caused suspensions.

About 430 ballots are being sent to voters, who must have been members of the BBWAA for 10 consecutive years, and a player needs at least 75 percent for election. Ballots are due by Dec. 31 and results will be announced Jan. 24.

Writers who had not been covering the game for more than a decade were eliminated from the rolls in 2015, creating a younger electorate that has shown more willingness to vote for players tainted by accusations of steroid use. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens each received a majority of votes for the first time in 2017 in their fifth year on the ballot.

Morgan said he isn’t speaking for every Hall of Famer, but many of them feel the same way that he does.

“Players who failed drug tests, admitted using steroids, or were identified as users in Major League Baseball’s investigation into steroid abuse, known as the Mitchell Report, should not get in,” Morgan wrote. “Those are the three criteria that many of the players and I think are right.”

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were inducted into the Hall of Fame in July. They were joined by former Commissioner Bud Selig and retired Kansas City and Atlanta executive John Schuerholz, who were voted in by a veterans committee.

Some baseball writers said the election of Selig, who presided over the steroids era, influenced their view of whether tainted stars should gain entry to the Hall.

Morgan praised BBWAA voters and acknowledged they are facing a “tricky issue,” but he also warned some Hall of Famers might not make the trip to Cooperstown if steroid users are elected.

“The cheating that tainted an era now risks tainting the Hall of Fame too,” he wrote. “The Hall of Fame means too much to us to ever see that happen. If steroid users get in, it will divide and diminish the Hall, something we couldn’t bear.”

Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap

For more AP baseball coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Self-harm, suicide attempts climb among US girls, study says

CHICAGO (AP) — Attempted suicides, drug overdoses, cutting and other types of self-injury have increased substantially in U.S. girls, a 15-year study of emergency room visits found.

It’s unclear why, but some mental health experts think cyberbullying, substance abuse and economic stress from the recent recession might be contributing.

The rising rates “should be of concern to parents, teachers, and pediatricians. One important reason to focus on reducing self-harm is that it is key risk factor for suicide,” said Dr. Mark Olfson, a Columbia University psychiatry professor who was not involved in the study.

The sharpest increase occurred among girls aged 10 to 14, nearly tripling from 2009 to 2015, from about 110 visits per 100,000 to almost 318 per 100,000.

Older teen girls had the highest rates – 633 visits per 100,000 in 2015, but the increase after 2008 was less steep.

Drug overdoses and other self-poisonings were the most common method among girls and boys, followed by intentional cutting with sharp objects. The study doesn’t include information on which methods were most common by age nor on how many injuries were severe or required hospitalization.

Not all were intentional, but the study lacks information on how many were accidental.

The study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The trend parallels rising reports of teen depression and suicide, the researchers noted..

The researchers analyzed 2001-2015 data on nonfatal self-inflicted injuries treated in emergency rooms among ages 10 to 24. Nearly 29,000 girls with self-inflicted injuries and about 14,000 boys were treated in emergency rooms during the study years.

Rates among boys didn’t change much during those years. Rates in girls were also stable until around 2008. ER visits for self-injury among young women aged 20 to 24 also increased but at a slower pace, rising from 228 per 100,000 in 2001 to 346 per 100,000 in 2015.

The results underestimate the problem since they don’t include self-injuries treated in doctors’ offices or elsewhere, said lead author Melissa Mercado.

Researchers said the findings underscore the need to beef up prevention efforts including finding ways to help at-risk kids feel less isolated and more connected to their peers, and teaching coping and problem-solving skills.

Follow Lindsey Tanner on Twitter: @LindseyTanner. Her work can be found here .

Exclusive — Alabama Poll: Judge Roy Moore Leads Radical Democrat Doug Jones by Six Points

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Judge Roy Moore, the conservative GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate in Alabama, maintains a solid lead over Democrat Doug Jones, a new poll obtained exclusively by Breitbart News shows.

The poll from WT&S Consulting of 11,641 likely voters conducted from Nov. 18 to Nov. 20 with a margin of error of 1.2 percent has Moore at 46.4 percent—towering six points over Jones, who is stuck down at 40.5 percent—while 13.1 percent are undecided.

The survey includes 60.9 percent Republicans and 39.1 percent Democrats—approximately the margins by which President Donald Trump defeated failed 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton in Alabama.

“This survey shows Roy Moore tracking down slightly since the allegations were released by the Washington Post, but still holding a 5.9% lead,” pollster John Wahl told Breitbart News. “Undecided had the most significant increase while Doug Jones also gained some support over the last 10 days. Polling has been all over the place in this special election for U.S. Senate. I have seen numbers ranging from Roy Moore being 10 points up to him being 8 points down, and that’s surveys conducted during the same time frame. There have even been polls where Barack Obama had a higher favorable rating than Donald Trump. Clearly that does not properly represent the voting history we have seen in Alabama’s past elections. My objective with this survey was to get some clarity on where this race actually is. I wanted to survey a massive sampling of registered voters and let them speak for themselves. With 11,641 respondents I feel we have accomplished that mission.”

Wahl’s firm has done some work for the Moore campaign this election cycle, but before the runoff in the GOP primary where Moore smoked appointed incumbent Sen. Luther Strange to win the nomination by nearly double digits.

This survey comes on the heels of a handful of others showing a closer race—or a Jones lead. A Fox News survey showed Jones with an eight-point lead, but that poll—which Wahl referenced in his quote—showed former President Barack Obama’s favorability as higher than Trump’s in Alabama, something entirely inaccurate. Online surveys that showed a tie between Strange and Moore walking into the runoff now also show a tie between Moore and Jones, even though their track record is not the best. Wahl’s polls in Alabama proved to be the most accurate ahead of the runoff, as they came within a percentage point of nailing the outcome—his last poll predicted Moore would win by 8.6 percent, and Moore actually won by 9.2 percent.

This survey comes after Moore has weathered one of the biggest scandals in recent GOP senatorial history, where Moore has been hit with allegations of sexual misconduct in recent weeks by the Washington Post and by Gloria Allred. Several holes and inconsistencies in those stories have emerged, however, and Moore has powered through—all while Jones’ radical positions on major campaign issues have come to the forefront. Jones, who has attempted to present himself as a moderate, opposes President Trump’s border wall, plans to vote against tax cuts, supports full-term abortion and amnesty for illegal aliens, and believes in “limitations” on the Second Amendment—all while wrapping himself up in the LGBTQ community’s activist agenda—something that puts him at odds with mainstream voters in Alabama.

Moore’s team has battled the allegations vociferously by framing this as a fight between him and the Washington establishment led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and now heading into Thanksgiving—with two full weeks of campaigning left after the holidays before the Dec. 12 runoff—is aiming for something of a reset in the final weeks to focus on the agenda issues that matter to the voters rather than unfounded allegations with no evidence from decades ago.

WT&S’s last survey, conducted in the thick of the scandal, had Moore up 10 percent over Jones–something that was in line with Emerson College Polling Society numbers released about the same time. Emerson similarly correctly predicted the runoff results.

Caregiver accused of trying to suffocate 88-year-old patient

A New Hampshire nursing assistant has been charged with pouring water over the head of a skilled nursing center patient and trying to suffocate her.

Police on Tuesday said 50-year-old Kareen McGregor, of Lebanon, was arrested Saturday.

They say McGregor assaulted the 88-year-old patient at the Lebanon Center by pouring water on her and placing clothing around her head and neck “to impede her breathing.” It was not clear if the patient was hurt.

The center is operated by Kennett Square, Pennsylvania-based Genesis HealthCare. A spokeswoman for Genesis says McGregor was no longer employed there. The Associated Press was unable to locate a phone number for McGregor.

She is charged with assault. She was released on $7,500 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 4.

US slaps new sanctions on North Korea after designating it sponsor of terror

The U.S. Department of the Treasury slapped new sanctions on North Korea Tuesday, one day after President Trump declared the rogue nation a state sponsor of terrorism.

The new measures included sanctions on one individual, 13 entities, and 20 vessels as the U.S. continues to take action “multilaterally and unilaterally” to disrupt North Korea’s funding of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Tuesday’s sanctions, according to the Treasury Department, target third-country persons with long-standing commercial ties to North Korea, as well as the transportation networks that facilitate North Korea’s revenue generation and operations.

“As North Korea continues to threaten international peace and security, we are steadfast in our determination to maximize economic pressure to isolate it from outside sources of trade and revenue while exposing its evasive tactics,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement Tuesday.

Steven Mnuchin FBN AP

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin imposed new sanctions on Tuesday, November 21, 2017, after President Trump designated North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism.  (AP)

Mnuchin said that the latest designations include companies that have engaged in trade with North Korea “cumulatively worth hundreds of millions of dollars.”

“We are also sanctioning the shipping and transportation companies, and their vessels, that facilitate North Korea’s trade and its deceptive maneuvers,” Mnuchin said.

The sanctions are on four Chinese trading companies and a Chinese national said to have conducted hundreds of millions of dollars in business dealings with North Korea.

Those sanctioned are barred from holding U.S. assets or doing business with Americans.

Trump, upon designating the Hermit Kingdom a state sponsor of terror, vowed would receive the “highest level of sanctions” which would be imposed over a two-week period.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on "The Authorizations for the Use of Military Force: Administration Perspective" on Capitol Hiill in Washington, Monday, Oct. 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that despite the designation, the Trump administration still hopes for “diplomacy” with North Korea.  (AP)

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters Monday that the move underscores “North Korea’s illicit, unlawful behaviors internationally.”

TRUMP DESIGNATES NORTH KOREA AS STATE SPONSOR OF TERROR

But the “symbolic” designation of North Korea does not mean the Trump administration is abandoning the push for peaceful negotiations, Tillerson added.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrives for the official opening of the Ryomyong residential area, a collection of more than a dozen apartment buildings, on Thursday, April 13, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

The Trump administration’s sanctions will “tighten the pressure” on Kim Jong Un’s rogue regime, Tillerson said.  (AP)

“We still hope for diplomacy,” Tillerson said. “This is all part of continuing to turn this pressure up and we’ve continued to turn the pressure up on North Korea by getting other countries to join in and take actions on their own.”

Tillerson said these new sanctions would “tighten the pressure” on dictator Kim Jong Un’s regime.

“It is very symbolic on the one hand—it points out again what a rogue regime this is, and how brutal of a regime it is and how little they care about the value of human life,” Tillerson aid. “That makes a strong statement. Practice effects may be limited, but hopefully we’re closing off a few loopholes with this.”

According to the State Department, once designated, a country or nation state faces sanctions resulting in restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance; a ban on defense exports and sales; certain controls over exports of dual use items; and miscellaneous financial and other restrictions.

North Korea will join Sudan, Syria, and Iran as designated state sponsors of terrorism. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Brooke Singman is a Politics Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @brookefoxnews.