fbpx
Connect with us

Headlines

Biden and Harris Announce All-female Communications Team

Published

on

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris announced Sunday their White House communication team, all of whom are female. 

What We Know: 

  • The Biden-Harris Presidential Transition Twitter page posted an image of the all-woman team. The post reads, “President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris today announced new members of the White House staff who will serve in senior communications roles. For the first time in history, these communications roles will be filled entirely by women.” Not only is the team comprised of only females, but several are also are women of color. 
  • The team of seven is formed by former Obama communications director Jen Psaki as press secretary. Formally a CNN political commentator and State Department spokesperson during the Obama administration. Psaki has been involved in three presidential campaigns starting with John Kerry in 2004, then Obama-Biden in 2008 and 2012. 
  • Previously Biden’s deputy campaign manager and communications director, Kate Bedingfield, serves as the White House communications director. Bedingfield previously worked under the Obama administration as Biden’s communications director. She was vice president of corporate communications at the Motion Picture Associate of America. Bedingfield also served as a spokesperson for John Edwards’ 2008 presidential campaign and as the communications director for Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s 2008 Senate campaign in New Hampshire. 
  • Pili Tobar, the previous communications director for coalitions on Biden’s campaign, now serves as deputy White House communications director. Previous deputy director for America’s Voice and Hispanic media director for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. 
  • Karine Jean-Piere, a former senior adviser to Biden on the campaign, now serves as principal deputy press secretary. Jean-Piere formally worked on the presidential campaigns for Obama and Martin O’Malley. Other roles include chief public affairs officer at MoveOn.org and managing the American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Freedom Initiative. 
  • Symone Sanders worked on the Biden campaign as a Senior adviser. Sanders will serve as a senior adviser and chief spokesperson for the vice president. Sander’s notable work includes working as national press secretary for Bernie Sanders during his 2016 presidential campaign. She is a former member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice and is the former chair of the Coalition of Juvenile Justice Emerging Leaders Committee. 
  • Ashley Etienne joined Biden’s campaign as a senior advisor. Etienne will serve as communications director for the vice president. She previously served as Nancy Pelosi’s communications director and senior advisor. She was the first woman of color to hold this position. Additionally, Etienne served under the Obama administration as a special assistant to the President and director of communications for the Cabinet. She led Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative. 
  • Lastly, Elizabeth Alexander joins the team after working with Biden on his campaign as a Senior Advisor. Alexander will serve as communications director for the first lady. Also operating under the Obama administration, she served as Biden’s press secretary. When Biden was senator, Alexander served as his communications director. She also worked as a federal prosecutor in the US Attorneys’ offices in Washington DC and Virginia. Alexander worked as press secretary for the United Nations Foundation as well as press secretary to Terry McAuliffe. 

The team is a first for the country, just as Harris is the first woman Vice President. As Biden fills the white house, there seems to be a possibility of more firsts.

Comments

comments

Headlines

Facebook Does Not Plan to Notify Half-Billion Users Affected by Data Leak

Published

on

Facebook claims data from 530 million users was obtained by scraping and not a hack.

What We Know:

  • Data scraping is the process of importing information from a website into a spreadsheet or local file saved on a computer. The vulnerability hole was first discovered in 2019, and Facebook says it has only now just closed the flaw that allowed individuals to scrape data prior to September 2019.

“As a result of the action we took, we are confident that the specific issue that allowed them to scrape this data in 2019 no longer exists,” Mike Clark, product management director for Facebook, said in Tuesday’s blog post.

  • Personal information stolen from Facebook included names, birth dates, and phone numbers. Although the data is years old, it could still provide valuable information to identity thieves and scammers. Facebook has stated that a technical flaw found in the app’s ability to import contacts from a person’s phone was responsible for the vulnerability. Since the time of the breach, Facebook hasn’t notified any affected users and doesn’t have future plans to do so.
  • The breach did not include passwords or financial information, according to Facebook. The data had previously gone for sale on Telegram in January this year. Telegram is a freeware, cross-platform, cloud-based instant messaging software and application service. Alon Gal is a security researcher responsible for discovering the Telegram bot responsible for selling the data.
  • The bot allows a person to do two things: with someone’s Facebook ID, they can find their phone number and sell the data for a price. In this case, the Facebook data was being sold for credits equal to 20 dollars each. There’s also the option of buying in bulk, with 10,000 credits going for $5,000. Currently, it is unknown whether Telegram has been contacted on taking the bot down.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was among those who had their data stolen due to the scraping incident.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Amanda Gorman Lands Cover of Vogue’s May Issue

Published

on

This makes Amanda Gorman the first poet presented on Vogue’s cover.

What We Know:

  • Gorman emphasized her excitement on Wednesday when Vogue broke the news on Twitter. She said she was “honored” in her response. Not only is the 23-year-old the cover girl, but she is also the subject of the profile “The Rise and Rise of Amanda Gorman.” In the issue, she shares lessons from her inauguration appearance, a modeling contract with IMG, and her thoughts on certain Democratic figures.
  • Gorman also recalls her family history. She specifically mentions how it helped her get to where she is today. She says her mother, a middle-school English teacher in Watts, taught her the importance of maintaining a wholesome image. Gorman notes her family has a united vision of literary and social success. Her family believes that one is successful if one inspires as many readers as possible.

“It took so much labor, not only on behalf of me, but also of my family and of my village, to get here,” Gorman told Doreen St. Felix.

  • Additionally, Gorman voices her emotions before presenting at the inauguration of President Joe Biden. The Biden Inaugural Committee told her they wanted her to perform at the event in late December. At first, she felt flattered. She automatically began research on past poets like Maya Angelou and Elizabeth Alexander. Afterward, she became concerned. She worried about the coronavirus pandemic and the aftermath of the Jan. 6 insurrections. However, she felt the words of another poet would have been as inspiring.
  • St. Felix allows Gorman to recount how advisors motivated her before her reading. Oprah Winfrey told her she needed to look to Maya Angelou as an example. Joan Wicks, Gorman’s mother, told St. Felix she encouraged Gorman to perform. Wicks says she sees her daughter as a writer whose duty is to serve democracy.
  • Gorman read her poem “The Hill We Climb” at the Jan. 20 presidential event. After this, Gorman finalized a contract with IMG Models, which had been in the works before her social debut. The partnership has presented her with more opportunities. These include having Penguin Random House as a publisher and being on the cover of TIME. However, she is wary about being categorized as a model. Since starting her career, she has rejected $17 million in offers. She proclaims she needs to be conscious of taking commissions that speak to her. Gorman affirms a campaign “isn’t my body. It’s my voice.”

Besides being an up-and-coming model, Gorman has completed many literary and academic accomplishments. In 2014, she became the first Los Angeles poet laureate. She also won the title of first national youth poet laureate in 2017. In 2020, she graduated from Harvard University with cum laude honors and a Bachelor’s degree in sociology. Gorman’s future is preparing her for a legacy of inspiration for others.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Headlines

Rep. Alcee Hastings, Barrier-Breaking Florida Democrat, Dies at 84

Published

on

The trailblazing Florida congressman and former civil-rights activist, who was serving his 15th term, died Tuesday morning.

What We Know:

  • Hastings represented Florida’s 20th Congressional District, which covers some of Palm Beach and Broward Counties. He has served as a Democrat in the House since 1993. In 1979, Hastings became the state’s first black federal judge when President Jimmy Carter named him to Florida’s Southern U.S. District Court.
  • He began his career as a civil rights lawyer, working towards the desegregation of Broward County schools. After being named a federal judge, Hastings was indicted on charges of conspiracy to solicit a bribe in 1981. He was impeached by the House in 1988 and removed as a federal judge the following year.
  • Despite the setback, Hastings was able to win an election to the House of Representatives, where he served until his death. In a statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Hastings “leaves behind a powerful legacy of activism and action on behalf of Floridians and all Americans.”
  • Other Democrats echoed those sentiments: Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Hastings “fought tirelessly for the civil rights of all Americans.” Ted Deutch, a fellow Florida Rep., mourned his passing, noting his passion for fighting injustice.

  • Hastings was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer in late 2018. He continued to work and make public appearances for the next two years, until recently when he was placed under hospice care.

Alcee Lamar Hastings was born on Sept. 5th, 1936, in Altamonte Springs, Florida. He received his law degree from Florida A&M in 1963 and is survived by his four children and wife, Patricia Williams.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

LIVE TALK RADIO

BNA DAILY PODCAST

Trending