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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 92)

How Facebook Is Changing to Deal With Scrutiny of Its Power

SAN FRANCISCO — Senator Elizabeth Warren has called for the breakup of big tech companies like Facebook. Regulators have opened investigations into Facebook’s power in social networking. Even one of Facebook’s own founders has laid out a case for why the company needs to be split up.

Now the world’s biggest social network has started to modify its behavior — in both pre-emptive and defensive ways — to deal with those threats.

Late last year, Facebook halted acquisition talks with Houseparty, a video-focused social network in Silicon Valley, for fear of inciting antitrust concerns, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions. Acquiring another social network after Facebook was already such a dominant player in that market was too risky, said the people, who spoke on the condition they not be identified because the discussions were confidential.

Facebook has also begun internal changes that make itself harder to break up. The company has been knitting together the messaging systems of Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp and has reorganized the departments so that Facebook is more clearly in charge, said two people briefed on the matter. Executives have also worked on rebranding Instagram and WhatsApp to more prominently associate them with Facebook.

The social network’s changes are now prompting a debate about whether a more knitted-together Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram is just smart business or helps strengthen potential anticompetitive practices. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and chief executive, has repeatedly said his company faces competition on all sides and is loath to accept a fragmented version of the social giant. He does not want to lose Instagram and WhatsApp, which are enormous and have the ability to continue fueling Facebook’s $56 billion business.

“The big question is, is this a logical business plan?” said Gene Kimmelman, a former antitrust official in the Obama administration and senior adviser to Public Knowledge, a nonprofit think tank in Washington. “For a social network with enormous growth in photos and messaging, there’s probably significant business justification for combining the units.”

But Representative David Cicilline, Democrat of Rhode Island and the chairman of the House antitrust subcommittee, said Facebook’s moves needed to be scrutinized.

“The combination of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp into the single largest communications platform in history is a clear attempt to evade effective antitrust enforcement by making it harder for the company to be broken up,” he said. “We need to hit the pause button.”

Facebook has pushed back on the idea that the company’s moves — particularly in private messaging — are in anticipation of a potential breakup.

“Building more ways for people to communicate through our messaging apps has always been about creating benefits for people — plain and simple,” said Stan Chudnovsky, a vice president at Facebook overseeing messaging. “People want to be able to reach as many people as they can with the messaging app they choose.”

In Washington, Facebook has its eye particularly on the Federal Trade Commission, the agency that is now investigating it for anticompetitive practices, said two of the people with knowledge of the social network.

The F.T.C. became interested in looking at Facebook and its power last year when the agency’s investigators were separately examining the company for privacy violations, said two people close to the process. At the time, the F.T.C.’s investigators uncovered internal Facebook documents that prompted concerns around how the company was acquiring rivals, they said.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_159071241_a9788b8d-5200-46bd-9a20-21e848d9f10c-articleLarge How Facebook Is Changing to Deal With Scrutiny of Its Power Zuckerberg, Mark E WhatsApp Inc Social Media Regulation and Deregulation of Industry Prophet Brand Strategy Mobile Applications Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures Instant Messaging Instagram Inc Federal Trade Commission Facebook Inc Computers and the Internet Antitrust Laws and Competition Issues

Late last year, Facebook halted acquisition talks with Houseparty, founded in 2016 by Ben Rubin, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur. The site was especially popular with audiences under the age of 24.CreditWinni Wintermeyer, via Houseparty

Facebook’s long string of acquisitions — it bought Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014, among many others — have been targeted by academics and policymakers for reducing competition. They have argued that the company engaged in “serial defensive acquisitions” to protect its dominant position in social networking.

This year, the F.T.C. sought clearance from the Justice Department to open an antitrust investigation into potentially anticompetitive behavior at Facebook, the people close to the process said. The F.T.C. was cleared to do so, and notified Facebook in June. By late July, the agency had contacted at least a half-dozen founders of companies that Facebook had bought over the past 15 years for information on its acquisition practices, said four people with knowledge of the outreach.

Around the time that the F.T.C. activity on Facebook ramped up, the company also stepped back on at least one potential acquisition.

Last December, Facebook executives were in advanced discussions to buy Houseparty, a social networking app that lets multiple people video chat on their mobile phones at once, said two people with knowledge of the talks. Houseparty, founded in 2016 by a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Ben Rubin, was especially popular with audiences under the age of 24. Facebook, whose members are getting older, has coveted younger users.

But weeks into the discussions, Facebook’s corporate development team killed the talks with Houseparty, the people said. Houseparty’s executives were told that a deal would draw unwelcome federal government scrutiny to Facebook, they said. Houseparty was later purchased by Epic Games, the makers of the video game Fortnite.

Facebook’s changes that appear to make a breakup of its apps more difficult began more than a year ago. Mr. Zuckerberg focused on combining the underlying infrastructure of WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger. The project, called “interoperability,” requires years of deeply technical and difficult engineering work.

The aim, in part, was to create less of a hodgepodge of companies and more of a unified network, said people briefed on the strategy. Publicly, Mr. Zuckerberg has said the initiative will help build a more “private” version of Facebook so customers can “communicate across networks easily and securely,” as users flock to messaging services en masse. People will also get a better and more streamlined user experience, he has said. Mr. Zuckerberg has added that a unified messaging system would better lend itself to moneymaking efforts on WhatsApp, which today brings in little revenue.

But the idea of “interoperability” was a departure for Facebook. While Facebook and Instagram have long shared much of the same infrastructure, its different messaging products generally operated independently.

Though employees at Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are in separate physical buildings, executives have also pushed for them to share more internal resources and have reorganized their reporting lines. In one instance, Facebook executives ordered a change in the messaging teams, two of the people said, requiring the Instagram messenger division to report to the leaders at Facebook’s Messenger app. Bloomberg earlier reported on the internal reorganization.

Last year, Facebook also began a rebranding project, tapping at least one outside agency for help, said three people familiar with the initiative. The agency, Prophet Brand Strategy, was asked to make Facebook into a “branded house,” where Facebook’s moniker always preceded the names of WhatsApp and Instagram, they said. The rebranding mandate came from Mr. Zuckerberg and Antonio Lucio, Facebook’s chief marketing officer, they said.

In March, Jane Manchun Wong, an independent security researcher, spotted the new branding “Instagram from Facebook” — in some unreleased lines of code.

Employees at both Instagram and WhatsApp, who have been accustomed to greater autonomy, have chafed at the coming changes, said three people familiar with the divisions.

In hindsight, Facebook had quietly signaled that unification was afoot more than a year ago. In June 2018, the company introduced a combined metric that drew attention away from any individual product. It tallied the number of people who used one or more of any of Facebook’s services, including WhatsApp and Instagram.

The name of the new metric? Facebook’s Family of apps.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Texas homeowner fatally shoots armed suspect during robbery attempt, cops say

Westlake Legal Group crime-scene-iStock Texas homeowner fatally shoots armed suspect during robbery attempt, cops say fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 100f1c09-93a5-58cb-a694-85f8eccc53be

A North Texas homeowner on Sunday fatally shot an alleged intruder after the suspect pulled out a gun when confronted, a report said.

The dramatic scene unfolded in Saginaw, a suburb of Forth Worth, at about 5 p.m., according to CBS local. The homeowner reportedly fetched his gun after hearing the commotion. There were reportedly two would-be burglars, according to reports.

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Authorities are investigating the scene. The homeowner is not facing any charges. Authorities are searching for the other suspect.

Westlake Legal Group crime-scene-iStock Texas homeowner fatally shoots armed suspect during robbery attempt, cops say fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 100f1c09-93a5-58cb-a694-85f8eccc53be   Westlake Legal Group crime-scene-iStock Texas homeowner fatally shoots armed suspect during robbery attempt, cops say fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 100f1c09-93a5-58cb-a694-85f8eccc53be

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Anthony Scaramucci Says GOP Could Replace ‘Chernobyl’ Trump On 2020 Ballot

Westlake Legal Group 5d5104c83b00004d00daed8c Anthony Scaramucci Says GOP Could Replace ‘Chernobyl’ Trump On 2020 Ballot

Anthony Scaramucci, who infamously lasted 10 days in the administration of President Donald Trump, on Sunday compared his old boss to the most notorious nuclear disaster in history ― and said the president’s ongoing meltdown could lead to him getting replaced on the top of the Republican ticket for the 2020 election. 

“We are now in the early episodes of ‘Chernobyl’ on HBO, where the reactor is melting down and the apparatchiks are trying to figure out whether to cover it up or start the clean-up process,” Scaramucci told Axios, comparing Trump’s presidency to the TV drama about the 1986 nuclear disaster in Ukraine, which was then part of the Soviet Union.  

“A couple more weeks like this and ‘country over party’ is going to require the Republicans to replace the top of the ticket in 2020,” he said.

The former White House communications director has turned into a sharp critic of his ex-boss.

He said last month that Trump’s attacks on four women of color in Congress were “racist and unacceptable.” Last week, he called Trump’s visit to El Paso, Texas, to see survivors and first responders of the mass shooting there a “catastrophe” and “a bad reflection on the country.”

And on Saturday, he warned that Trump will eventually turn on the entire country.

In his latest critique of the president, Scaramucci said that unless Trump changes his tune soon, Republicans will start to look for a “replacement” to run in 2020. 

“Right now, it’s an unspeakable thing,” he said. “But if he keeps it up, it will no longer be unspeakable.”

Stephanie Grisham, the current White House press secretary and communications director, told Axios that it sounded as if Scaramucci’s “feelings are hurt.”

Scaramucci fired back on Twitter: “I don’t get my feelings hurt.”

He also tweeted: 

Trump remains quite popular within his party, and his approval rating among Republicans rose last month after his racist attacks on the four congresswomen. 

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Emotional Serena Williams retires from tournament final, opponent comforts her

Serena Williams was brought to tears on Sunday after a back injury forced her to retire in the first set of the Rogers Cup final.

Williams, who came in second place in the Wimbledon final last month, complained of back spasms and pulled out of the tournament in Toronto.

The 23-time grand slam champion became emotional and cried.

US FENCER TAKES A KNEE DURING ANTHEM

After learning that she had won the championship due to Williams’ pull out, Canadian player Bianca Andreescu, 19, walked over to the tennis champion to comfort her.

SERENA WILLIAMS RECALLS US OPEN MELTDOWN IN ESSAY, THOUGHT SHE WAS ‘DOING THE RIGHT THING’

The two athletes hugged as the crowd cheered on the moment of sportsmanship. Williams, 37, has been on a mission to win a title since giving birth to daughter Olympia in 2017, but so far has come up short.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t do it today,” Williams said after the match. “I tried, but I couldn’t. Bianca, you’re a great sportswoman. It’s been a tough year but I’m going to keep going.”

Andreescu became the first Canadian to win the Rogers Cup since 1969 thanks to her defeat of Williams.

Westlake Legal Group Serena-Williams-Rogers-Cup-thumb Emotional Serena Williams retires from tournament final, opponent comforts her Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/sports/tennis fox-news/person/serena-williams fox news fnc/sports fnc d24cf8fd-948b-520b-9369-fc91b9a7276b article   Westlake Legal Group Serena-Williams-Rogers-Cup-thumb Emotional Serena Williams retires from tournament final, opponent comforts her Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/sports/tennis fox-news/person/serena-williams fox news fnc/sports fnc d24cf8fd-948b-520b-9369-fc91b9a7276b article

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They Died Shielding Their Baby in El Paso. Their Family’s Anguish Was Only Beginning.

EL PASO — She was a young mother, busy juggling family dinners, cheerleading practices and trips to the park with her three small children.

He was a self-starter who had opened his own business and spent months painstakingly renovating a house for his family, with three bedrooms and granite countertops in the kitchen.

Before they became the latest faces of the toll of mass shootings in America — before their names were written on crosses at a memorial in El Paso, before their orphaned infant was held up in a photo opportunity with President Trump — Jordan and Andre Anchondo were just a young couple at the start of their lives together. They had recently had a baby boy, moved into their new home and celebrated their first year of marriage.

A gunman with an AK-47-style rifle and a plan to hurt Mexicans changed all of that. While the couple was shopping at a Walmart store in El Paso, Andre Anchondo, 23, was killed jumping in front of the gunman; his wife, Jordan, 24, died shielding her infant son, relatives have said. They were among 22 people who were shot to death that day. The baby survived.

In the days since then, the Anchondos have been held up as symbols of tragedy, and their families have been thrust into the national spotlight — unsought attention that was made worse after Mr. Trump was photographed smiling and giving a thumbs-up alongside their baby.

The president’s visit led to an onslaught of hateful messages and a rift among grieving relatives over the past week — all while the families planned the couple’s funerals and made arrangements to care for the children: Paul, the couple’s 2-month-old son, and Jordan’s daughters from previous relationships, Skylin, 5, and Victoria, 1.

“I haven’t even had time to properly. …” said Andre’s sister, Deborah Anchondo, 39, her sentence trailing off unfinished, after a memorial at her brother’s high school, where a local school board representative urged the community to put politics aside for the family’s sake.

“I have images in my head of what could have happened,” Ms. Anchondo said. “And that haunts me.”

For Jordan and Andre Anchondo, the morning of the shooting was like many others for young families across the country: They dropped off Skylin, the 5-year-old, at cheerleading practice and then ran errands nearby at Walmart with the baby in tow. (Victoria was with her biological father.) The Anchondos planned to have family and friends over later in the day for a housewarming party, which was to double as an anniversary celebration and a party for Skylin’s birthday, relatives said.

Skylin and her friends were wrapping up practice when the coach, Jeanette Grijalva, learned there was an active shooter in the area. She quickly piled the kids in the car and drove them to her house, where she started calling parents, Ms, Grijalva recalled.

“I was able to get in contact with everybody’s family member — except for Skylin’s,” she said.

As the day went on, Ms. Grijalva started to worry. “She kept asking me, ‘Are my parents almost coming? I have my birthday today,’” she recalled.

Around midday, Ms. Grijalva said she went to a local school and learned that Skylin’s mother was on a list of shooting victims.

Her next stop was a dollar store, where she said she bought balloons, streamers and a birthday banner. At the very least, she thought, she could throw Skylin the birthday party she had been waiting for.

Deborah Anchondo was at home cleaning and talking on the phone with her mother, as they do most Saturday mornings, when they began hearing reports of a shooting.

She had no inkling her brother was involved until Jordan’s mother called her in a panic. When she tried calling her brother’s number, there was no answer.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_159069783_ab4ead05-cf3c-4c9c-81fc-f57ed6a252db-articleLarge They Died Shielding Their Baby in El Paso. Their Family’s Anguish Was Only Beginning. El Paso, Tex, Shooting (2019) El Paso (Tex)

President Trump smiled and gave a thumbs-up sign as the first lady, Melania Trump, held the 2-month-old son of Jordan and Andre Anchondo in El Paso on Wednesday. The photo and the president’s visit thrust the family into the political spotlight.CreditOfficial White House Photo by Andrea Hanks

She was still trying to figure out what had happened when she said she got a call from her father, who was at the hospital with Paul, the baby. Her father told her that she needed to get in touch with Jordan’s parents right away.

“She’s gone,” Ms. Anchondo told them. “She’s gone.”

She hung up and rushed to a family reunification center, where she said their family waited hours without any news about her brother.

The family feared that Skylin was also missing, but then learned that she had been taken to her cheerleading coach’s house, and was having an impromptu birthday party there. Ms. Grijalva said she and her family dressed the little girl in a yellow dress and painted her nails to match. They made spaghetti and bought a chocolate cake. “We yelled ‘surprise,’” her coach recalled. “We threw up the balloons.”

It was the last bit of normalcy, they knew, that the girl would have. Soon, her grandparents — Jordan’s parents — called and came to pick her up. Her grandmother started crying when she saw the girl, according to Ms. Grijalva.

“‘My daughter is dead,’” Ms. Grijalva recalled her saying as if in a trance. “‘Pray for Andre, they still haven’t found him.’”

Ms. Anchondo slept at the hospital that night with her nephew, baby Paul, she recalled. They still hadn’t heard from her brother. Even then, she was replaying in her mind the many things the siblings had shared over the years. How he had mispronounced the word “love” when he was little, and for years afterward told her “I ‘ya’ you” instead. How, at 7 years old, he had started his first business, buying lollipops from Sam’s Club and reselling them for $1 each. How he once had walked into a T-Mobile store to buy a cellphone, met a girl there and vowed to marry her — and did, in a courthouse wedding last year.

Ms. Anchondo and her family waited through the night, and most of the next day. It wasn’t until Sunday afternoon, more than 24 hours after the shooting, that they got official confirmation: Andre had been killed.

The next few days were a blur of phone calls, messages and visits from people who wanted to help. The two families — Jordan’s and Andre’s — collected donations for the three children and tried to make sure they were being cared for.

The toddler, Victoria, had been staying with her biological father in the days since the shooting, according to her aunt, Lucy Coria, who said the family had been trying to keep her distracted with trips to the pool and the park.

She had been asking for her mother, Ms. Coria said: “She doesn’t understand.”

A few days after the shooting, baby Paul was dressed up and taken back to the hospital for a meeting with the president. Andre’s brother, Tito Anchondo, told NPR that Andre had been supportive of Mr. Trump; he said he wanted to sit down with the president and have a conversation face to face.

But after the White House released an image from the visit, Tito Anchondo said, his family was hounded with hate calls and messages. “This is what you voted for as a Trump supporter,” one commenter wrote in a social media post. “Your family is literally reaping what they’ve sowed.”

The Trump visit created a rift between the Anchondos and Jordan’s family, who said they wanted to remain “politically neutral” and were angry that the episode had mired them in politics on the eve of their daughter’s funeral.

“We did not want to have our precious baby Paul thrusted into a political battlefield,” Jordan’s aunt, Elizabeth Terry, wrote on Facebook. “He and his sisters have been through enough.”

But when it came time to say goodbye to Andre and Jordan, at least, there were no protests or political messages, just an outpouring of community support.

Andre’s family held a public memorial at his high school. Jordan was laid to rest in a dusty, flower-filled cemetery on the outskirts of town. Hundreds of El Pasoans stood in line to pay their respects, bearing bouquets, candles and three small stuffed bears with angel wings — one for each of the children left behind.

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Marine killed in action in Iraq is ID’d by Pentagon

The Marine who died Saturday in Iraq’s Nineveh province while assisting the country’s security forces was identified as Gunnery Sgt. Scott A. Koppenhafer, a 35-year-old from Mancos, Colo., the Pentagon said.

The highly regarded critical skills operator, who was assigned to the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion,  was struck by enemy small-arms fire. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Westlake Legal Group image Marine killed in action in Iraq is ID’d by Pentagon fox-news/tech/topics/us-marines fox news fnc/us fnc article 61abcd01-0e64-5638-9f5e-68af59dccb6b

Gunnery Sgt. Scott A. Koppenhafer is survived by a wife and his two children.

The Pentagon offered his family its “sincere thoughts” and said it is providing care. It asked for privacy on the family’s behalf.

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Stars and Stripes reported that a joint task force was established in 2014 in an effort to confront ISIS in the country. Koppenhafer reportedly enlisted in 2005 and served 10 years with the Special Operations  Command, the report said.

COAST GUARD RESCUES 37 OFF CENTRAL AMERICAN COAST

Westlake Legal Group image Marine killed in action in Iraq is ID’d by Pentagon fox-news/tech/topics/us-marines fox news fnc/us fnc article 61abcd01-0e64-5638-9f5e-68af59dccb6b   Westlake Legal Group image Marine killed in action in Iraq is ID’d by Pentagon fox-news/tech/topics/us-marines fox news fnc/us fnc article 61abcd01-0e64-5638-9f5e-68af59dccb6b

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California Lyft driver accused of raping intoxicated passenger: report

A Lyft driver in San Mateo, Calif., is accused of raping an intoxicated passenger early Saturday morning after police said he brought the woman from a bar back to his home during a trip, a report said.

Westlake Legal Group 920x920 California Lyft driver accused of raping intoxicated passenger: report fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc c7d48ecc-ffae-5d45-8fef-110f3ddb963e article

Tonye Kolokolo, 46, is accused of rape, reports said.

The woman reportedly passed out in the back of Tonye Kolokolo’s car prior to the alleged assault. The 46-year-old driver is accused of having non-consensual intercourse with the 25-year-old woman.

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The investigation is ongoing, KTVU reported.

Westlake Legal Group 920x920 California Lyft driver accused of raping intoxicated passenger: report fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc c7d48ecc-ffae-5d45-8fef-110f3ddb963e article   Westlake Legal Group 920x920 California Lyft driver accused of raping intoxicated passenger: report fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc c7d48ecc-ffae-5d45-8fef-110f3ddb963e article

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Opinion: Simone Biles isn't just best gymnast of her time, she's an athlete for the ages

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Opinion: Simone Biles isn't just best gymnast of her time, she's an athlete for the ages
CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Opinion: Simone Biles isn't just best gymnast of her time, she's an athlete for the ages

SportsPulse: Simone Biles is the greatest gymnast her sport has ever seen and over the weekend she further cemented herself alone at the top. USA TODAY

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Simone Biles is human, after all.

Like the rest of America, Biles wanted to get another look at her historic triple twisting-double somersault pass on floor exercise, and she didn’t really want to wait another two hours to do it. So with time to kill until the rest of the rotation was complete, she dug her phone out of her gym bag, went on Twitter and found NBC’s video of it.

And then she retweeted it.

“I didn’t want to be the last person to see it!” Biles said, laughing.

“I just made sure I landed it OK,” she added. “I wanted to see how it looked.”

There is where her mere mortality ends, however.

It is easy to lose sight of just how spectacular Biles is, because she routinely does what was once considered impossible — and not that long ago, at that. When she came back to gymnastics after taking a year off following the Rio Olympics, it wasn’t for more titles or medals. It was because she wanted to push herself, to see just how much she could wring out of her considerable talents, and she’s done that.

Repeatedly.

But then there are nights like Sunday, when she does something so amazing, so awe-inspiring, that you are reminded we are watching greatness before our eyes.

And not greatness in the way that’s tossed around for every above-average athlete. True greatness that people will remember decades from now, recalling the details as if it happened only a year or two ago. Think Muhammad Ali’s Rumble in the Jungle, Michael Jordan’s flu game, Serena Williams’ win at the Australian Open when she was pregnant or Michael Phelps’ out-touching Milorad Cavic to win his seventh gold medal at the Beijing Olympics.

The triple-double is so difficult no other woman has ever done it, and few men even try it. Yet Biles got so much height Sunday the folks in the first half-dozen rows had to crane their necks to see her. The NBC replay showed she was actually above its boom camera, which means someone could have parked an SUV on the floor and Biles would have cleared it easily.

Take that, NBA Dunk Contest participants.

“You can tell from the crowd’s reaction when her name is mentioned. She’s such a draw,” said Tom Forster, the women’s national team coordinator. “Our sport hasn’t had one person, really, in that iconic role in a really long time.”

What makes it all the better is that Biles doesn’t fully appreciate just how big a deal she is.

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Oh, sure. She recognizes there is a “Simone division,” as Aly Raisman coined it, and one for everybody else. How could she not? Biles has won every meet she’s entered since the 2013 national championships, often by large margins. She was almost five points ahead of second-place Sunisa Lee on Sunday night, a gap comparable to those non-conference routs by the SEC’s football powerhouses.

Biles won five medals at the Rio Olympics, four of them gold, and has more world titles than any other gymnast, male or female.

But in Biles’ mind, as a gymnast, she’s a small fish in the sports world’s big pond. Told that Mikaela Shiffrin, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in Alpine skiing, had retweeted the video of the triple-double with a crown emoji, Biles’ eyes widened.

“Whenever they retweet it or I see they reach out on Instagram, I feel like my heart stops because I’m like, ‘Wow, they actually notice me,’ ” she said.

Game recognizes game, as the saying goes, and there is an argument to be made that Biles is the best athlete in the world right now. Yes, better than Shiffrin, better than Williams, better than LeBron James, better than — you get the picture.

Every time she takes the floor, she changes her sport. Dazzling as her triple-double was, it wasn’t her only first this weekend. On Friday, she did a double-twisting, double somersault off balance beam. When coach Laurent Landi was asked if she would be bringing back “the Biles,” he grinned and asked, “Which one?”

Skills are named for the first gymnast who competes them at a world championships or an Olympics. Biles has so many, she’s lost count of them.

(For the record, the question to Landi was about her signature vault.)

“She’s crazy good,” Lee said. “She does stuff that I never thought people could do.”

To be clear, most people can’t. But Biles isn’t most people. She’s a special athlete who does spectacular things. Appreciate her singular greatness while you can because it won’t last forever, and we won’t see anyone like her again.

Follow USA TODAY Sports columnist Nancy Armour on Twitter @nrarmour.

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Priyanka Chopra called out as ‘hyprocrite’ by audience member during panel

Priyanka Chopra was called a “hypocrite” on Saturday during a Beautycon panel talk in Los Angeles by an audience member who accused her of encouraging war in the India-Pakistan conflict.

Ayesha Malik, who is Pakistani, was handed the microphone during a Q&A portion of Chopra’s panel discussion on global beauty standards.

“It was kind of hard hearing you talk about humanity because as your neighbor, a Pakistani, I know you’re a bit of a hypocrite,” Malik said to the Indian actress and film producer.

The woman referred to a Feb. 26 tweet in which Chopra wrote, “Jai Hind,” which means “Victory to India,” and the hashtag #IndianArmedForces.

“You are a UNICEF ambassador for peace and you’re encouraging nuclear war against Pakistan. There’s no winner in this. As a Pakistani, millions of people like me have supported you in your business of Bollywood —” Malik continued before the microphone was grabbed away.

PRIYANKA CHOPRA SAYS SHE WAS BULLIED FOR HER RACE IN HIGH SCHOOL: ‘IT AFFECTED MY SELF-ESTEEM’

Chopra quickly responded to the woman, saying, “I hear you. Whenever you’re done venting. Got it? Done? OK, cool.”

“I have many, many friends from Pakistan and I am from India,” she continued.

“And war is not something that I’m really fond of, but I am patriotic, so I’m sorry if I hurt sentiments to people who do love me and have loved me, but I think that all of us have a sort of middle ground that we all have to walk, just like you probably do as well.”

Chopra then criticized Malik’s approach in the way that she addressed her.

“The way you came at me right now, girl, don’t yell. We’re all here for love. Don’t yell. Don’t embarrass yourself,” she said. “Thank you for your enthusiasm and your question and your voice.”

On Sunday, a Twitter account identified as Malik addressed the controversial moment.

“Hi, I’m the girl that ‘yelled’ at Priyanka Chopra. It was hard listening to her say, ‘we should be neighbors and love each other’ — swing that advice over to your PM,” she tweeted.

“Both India and Pakistan were in danger. And instead she tweeted out in favor for nuclear war.”

Malik accused Chopra of gaslighting her, tweeting, “She gaslit me and turned the narrative around on me being the ‘bad guy’ — as a UN ambassador this was so irresponsible.”

Westlake Legal Group Priyanka-Chopra-Selfie-thumb Priyanka Chopra called out as 'hyprocrite' by audience member during panel Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/world/world-regions/pakistan fox-news/world/world-regions/india fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 6f7f8277-e1eb-581c-80f7-7b0214d11196   Westlake Legal Group Priyanka-Chopra-Selfie-thumb Priyanka Chopra called out as 'hyprocrite' by audience member during panel Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/world/world-regions/pakistan fox-news/world/world-regions/india fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 6f7f8277-e1eb-581c-80f7-7b0214d11196

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With Epstein’s Death, Accusers Seek New Legal Recourse

Westlake Legal Group ap_19222471790918_wide-eb267cbdb381d4181060fbd8b3e3b411b5fbda18-s1100-c15 With Epstein's Death, Accusers Seek New Legal Recourse

This March 28, 2017, photo, provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry, shows Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein died by apparent suicide while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. AP hide caption

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AP

Westlake Legal Group  With Epstein's Death, Accusers Seek New Legal Recourse

This March 28, 2017, photo, provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry, shows Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein died by apparent suicide while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

AP

With Jeffrey Epstein’s death by apparent suicide on Saturday, his accusers lost any chance to watch him stand trial for the sex trafficking and conspiracy charges brought by federal prosecutors in Manhattan last month.

But they may still have other ways to pursue justice.

The wealthy financier was found unresponsive in his jail cell while awaiting trial at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. Epstein had been put on special observation status, under which he would be housed with a cell mate and receive check-ins from prison staff every 30 minutes. In the hours leading up to Epstein’s death, that was not happening, a person familiar with the investigation told NPR’s Ryan Lucas.

Epstein’s death “effectively ends” the criminal case against him, says Kerry Lawrence, who spent a decade as a federal prosecutor in the same office that brought charges against Epstein in July.

That leaves Epstein’s accusers with the option of pursuing civil cases against his estate, Laurie Levenson, a former federal prosecutor and Loyola Law School professor, told NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday.

“The recourse is through the civil cases, the lawsuits against his estate,” said Levenson.

That’s a direction that at least some of Epstein’s accusers appear to be heading toward. On Saturday, Lisa Bloom, an attorney for several of Epstein’s accusers, posted to Twitter calling for the administrators of Epstein’s estate to “freeze all his assets and hold them for his victims who are filing civil cases.”

“Our civil cases can still proceed against his estate … We’re just getting started,” she wrote.

The exact size of Epstein’s estate remains a mystery, but according to Bloomberg, the estate included a $77 million mansion on New York’s Upper East Side, an island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, a ranch in New Mexico and homes in Paris and Palm Beach, Fla. He had a net worth of at least $500 million, according to Bloomberg.

Lawrence says he thinks it will be difficult to proceed with a civil action since Epstein can’t be put on trial for his alleged crimes. “He wasn’t deposed, and now he’s not available to defend himself,” he says. “Any restitution that they might have sought for victims or forfeiture of assets in connection with the prosecution all effectively disappear.”

The strength of any potential civil cases could hinge on what federal prosecutors uncover in what they say will be an ongoing investigation.

In a statement released Saturday, Geoffrey S. Berman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said the investigation into Epstein’s sex trafficking case will continue. Berman said his office’s investigation into the “conduct charged in the Indictment — which included a conspiracy count — remains ongoing.” The mention of the conspiracy count suggested prosecutors may be turning their focus to Epstein’s past associates.

It remains unclear who, if anyone, might become the focus of any widening investigation. Just one day before Epstein was found dead, court filings in a lawsuit against one of his longtime confidantes, Ghislaine Maxwell, were unsealed. According to the Miami Herald, in a deposition Maxwell denied allegations that she helped Epstein acquire girls or young women.

“The prosecutors have said that they’re continuing to investigate. Now, they didn’t bring charges against any of the co-conspirators when they did charge Epstein, so I’m not sure how likely it will be,” said Levenson. “But there’s a lot of pressure on them now, given that Epstein’s gone, to find out who else was involved and whether they can be criminally charged.”

While federal prosecutors press ahead with their investigation, Paul Cassell, a law professor at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, says he intends to double down on the work he’s been doing for the last 11 years — trying to make it possible for federal prosecutors in Florida to go after certain alleged co-conspirators in what he calls the financier’s “large criminal apparatus.”

In 2008, Epstein was convicted in state court but shielded from federal prosecution under a plea deal that granted him — as well as four unnamed co-conspirators and “any potential co-conspirators” — immunity from all criminal charges, the Miami Herald reported.

Epstein pleaded guilty to two counts of solicitation of prostitution, including one with a minor, and was sentenced to 18 months in jail, but was allowed to leave for work five days a week and was released five months early. Former U.S. Labor Secretary Alex Acosta resigned from his post last month after facing scrutiny for his role in brokering the deal during his time as a U.S. attorney.

Cassell, who represents four of Epstein’s alleged victims, is pushing to get the non-prosecution agreement thrown out — a move that could expose any of Epstein’s alleged co-conspirators to federal prosecution in Florida. He says it could also open doors for federal prosecutors in New York.

In February, a judge ruled that the agreement had violated the victims’ rights. Now, says Cassell, the judge must decide what the remedy for that violation should be. If the judge decides to toss out the agreement, prosecutors in Florida could have a new path toward pursuing charges against Epstein’s associates.

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