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Zuckerberg confirms Kogan gave Facebook data to firms other than Cambridge Analytica

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during a hearing before Congress Tuesday that the information collected by a researcher and sold to political research firm was also shared with other companies.

Zuckerberg answered a question from Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin, about whether British psychologist Aleksandr Kogan sold the Facebook data he collected when he asked users to fill out a personality quiz to anyone other than Cambridge Analytica.

Zuckerberg said he had. Baldwin asked for the names of the companies it was sold to. Zuckerberg mentioned the company Eunoia Technologies, and said there were likely other companies that got the data.

Facebook officials said last week that up to 87 million of its users had information “improperly shared,” when Kogan “scraped” data from people who took an online “quiz” and provided personal information to Cambridge Analytica that used the information to profile potential voters.

There was no mention of other companies getting the data.

Cambridge Analytica is a firm that supplies psychological profiles of potential voters to political campaigns. The information is supposed to help clients target their message and win elections. One of the company’s clients was President Donald Trump’s campaign. Another client was Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

Cambridge Analytica has denied doing anything wrong, saying they broke none of Facebook’s rules.

Facebook started letting users know Monday if their information was shared with Cambridge Analytica. 

Who is Rod Rosenstein? Things to know about the deputy US attorney general

Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein personally signed off on the FBI raid of President Donald Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen, The New York Times reported Tuesday, citing unidentified sources.

>> Read more trending news

The decision enraged Trump, according to the Times, and renewed speculation that the veteran Republican prosecutor might be dismissed from the Department of Justice.

>> Related: FBI raids office of Donald Trump’s longtime attorney Michael Cohen

Rosenstein made headlines last month after a partially redacted memo surfaced showing that he authorized special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate allegations that Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort colluded with Russian government officials who interfered in the 2016 presidential election. The president has frequently railed against Mueller’s investigation, which he has said amounts to a “witch hunt.”

>> Related: Mueller investigation: DOJ OK’d probe into alleged collusion between Manafort, Russians

Here are some things to know about Rosenstein:

  • Rosenstein was sworn in on April 26, 2017, to serve as the 37th deputy attorney general of the United States.
  • He is a registered Republican.
  • Rosenstein earned his bachelor’s degree in economics at the University of Pennsylvania in 1986. He earned his law degree three years later at Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.
  • Rosenstein joined the Justice Department in 1990, through the Attorney General’s Honors program. He prosecuted public corruption cases with the Public Integrity Section of the DOJ’s Criminal Division until 1993. The division was led by Mueller, who then served as assistant attorney general.
  • Rosenstein was among the prosecutors chosen to work under independent counsel Ken Starr in the 1990s during the Whitewater investigation into then-President Bill Clinton, according to The New York Times.
  • President George W. Bush nominated Rosenstein in 2005 to serve as U.S. attorney for Maryland. His nomination was unanimously confirmed, and he took office in July 2005. He was the longest-serving U.S. attorney in the country when he left the job in 2017 following his nomination to fill the deputy attorney general position, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Mark Zuckerberg testimony live updates: Facebook CEO testifies before Congress

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg will testify at a congressional hearing Tuesday to explain why at least 87 million Americans had their information mined without their consent by a political research firm.

>>See live updates from the hearing below.

Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify at two hearings this week. Tuesday, he will appear before a joint session of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary and the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. On Wednesday, he will answer questions from the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

There are 44 senators on the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees who Zuckerberg will be testifying before Tuesday, and each is allotted four minutes for questions and answers.

Look for Zuckerberg to be pressed on data privacy following the revelation that the political research firm Cambridge Analytica was able to gain access to information about millions of Facebook users.

He will also likely be grilled on how Russian interests were able to use the social media site to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. 

His opening prepared statement has already been released.

Zuckerberg will likely also be answering questions about Facebook’s retention of data from its Messenger app and bulk harvesting of public profiles on the site

Zuckerberg’s testimony is set to begin at 2:15 p.m. ET Tuesday. Check back here beginning at 1:45 p.m. ET for live updates from his testimony.

Live updates

Who is Michael Cohen, personal attorney to Donald Trump?

FBI agents on Monday raided the office of Michael D. Cohen, President Donald Trump’s private lawyer, and, according to The New York Times, seized records of Cohen’s clients.

>> Read more trending news

Records taken include those relating to payments to Stephanie Clifford, an adult film star who goes by the name Stormy Daniels. Clifford has claimed she had an affair with the president. Trump has denied having an affair with Clifford.

Who is Cohen and how did he come to be known as Trump’s “fixer?” Here are a few things you may not have known about Cohen.

  • He was born and grew up in Long Island, New York. He is 51.
  • He has a law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Michigan.
  • He was a personal injury attorney early in his career.
  • He has been a registered Democrat and a registered Republican.
  • His father survived the Holocaust.
  • He was a volunteer for the 1988 presidential campaign of Michael Dukakis.
  • He voted for Barack Obama in 2008.
  • Cohen is known for his combative style.
  • He has had contentious exchanges with journalists. Watch his exchange  with Briana Keilar of CNN.
  •  Those around Trump say the president is close to Cohen, considering him as family.
  • Cohen acknowledged paying $130,000 to Clifford in October 2016. Cohen called the payment a “private transaction.” 
  • According to Cohen, he has spoken to the Federal Election Commission about the payment after a complaint was filed by Common Cause, a government watchdog group. Common Cause claims the payment was an in-kind contribution to the Trump campaign. Cohen denies the claim. 
  • The New York Times has reported that he carries a licensed pistol in an ankle holster. 
  • He has connections to Ukraine. He is married to a Ukrainian.
  • In 2006, Donald Trump Jr. got Cohen his job in the Trump Organization. He eventually served as co-president of Trump Entertainment.
  • On April 3, 2017, Cohen was appointed a national deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Mark Zuckerberg testimony: Here is the statement the Facebook CEO will deliver to Congress

 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify before the House of Representative’s Committee on Energy and Commerce on Tuesday.

Here, in advance of the hearing are his prepared remarks for the committee.

I. Introduction

Chairman Walden, Ranking Member Pallone, and Members of the Committee, We face a number of important issues around privacy, safety, and democracy, and you will rightfully have some hard questions for me to answer. Before I talk about the steps we’re taking to address them, I want to talk about how we got here. 

Facebook is an idealistic and optimistic company. For most of our existence, we focused on all the good that connecting people can bring. As Facebook has grown, people everywhere have gotten a powerful new tool to stay connected to the people they love, make their voices heard, and build communities and businesses. 

Just recently, we’ve seen the #metoo movement and the March for Our Lives, organized, at least in part, on Facebook. After Hurricane Harvey, people raised more than $20 million for relief. And more than 70 million small businesses now use Facebook to grow and create jobs. 

But it’s clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm as well. That goes for fake news, foreign interference in elections, and hate speech, as well as developers and data privacy. We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. 

It was my mistake, and I’m sorry. 

I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here. So now we have to go through every part of our relationship with people and make sure we’re taking a broad enough view of our responsibility. 

It’s not enough to just connect people, we have to make sure those connections are positive. It’s not enough to just give people a voice, we have to make sure people aren’t using it to hurt people or spread misinformation. It’s not enough to give people control of their information, we have to make sure developers they’ve given it to are protecting it too. 

Across the board, we have a responsibility to not just build tools, but to make sure those tools are used for good. It will take some time to work through all of the changes we need to make, but I’m committed to getting it right. That includes improving the way we protect people’s information and safeguard elections around the world. Here are a few key things we’re doing:

II. Cambridge Analytica 

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been working to understand exactly what happened with Cambridge Analytica and taking steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again. We took important actions to prevent this from happening again today four years ago, but we also made mistakes, there’s more to do, and we need to step up and do it.

1. What Happened

In 2007, we launched the Facebook Platform with the vision that more apps should be social. Your calendar should be able to show your friends’ birthdays, your maps should show where your friends live, and your address book should show their pictures. To do this, we enabled people to log into apps and share who their friends were and some information about them. 

In 2013, a Cambridge University researcher named Aleksandr Kogan created a personality quiz app. It was installed by around 300,000 people who agreed to share some of their Facebook information as well as some information from their friends whose privacy settings allowed it. 

Given the way our platform worked at the time this meant Kogan was able to access some information about tens of millions of their friends.

In 2014, to prevent abusive apps, we announced that we were changing the entire platform to dramatically limit the Facebook information apps could access. Most importantly, apps like Kogan’s could no longer ask for information about a person’s friends unless their friends had also authorized the app. We also required developers to get approval from Facebook before they could request any data beyond a user’s public profile, friend list, and email address. These actions would prevent any app like Kogan’s from being able to access as much Facebook data today. 

In 2015, we learned from journalists at The Guardian that Kogan had shared data from his app with Cambridge Analytica. It is against our policies for developers to share data without people’s consent, so we immediately banned Kogan’s app from our platform, and demanded that Kogan and other entities he gave the data to, including Cambridge Analytica, formally certify that they had deleted all improperly acquired data — which they ultimately did. 

Last month, we learned from The Guardian, The New York Times and Channel 4 that Cambridge Analytica may not have deleted the data as they had certified. We immediately banned them from using any of our services. Cambridge Analytica claims they have already deleted the data and has agreed to a forensic audit by a firm we hired to investigate this. 

We’re also working with the U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office, which has jurisdiction over Cambridge Analytica, as it completes its investigation into what happened.

2. What We Are Doing

We have a responsibility to make sure what happened with Kogan and Cambridge Analytica doesn’t happen again. Here are some of the steps we’re taking: 

Safeguarding our platform.

We need to make sure that developers like Kogan who got access to a lot of information in the past can’t get access to as much information going forward. 

We made some big changes to the Facebook platform in 2014 to dramatically restrict the amount of data that developers can access and to proactively review the apps on our platform. This makes it so a developer today can’t do what Kogan did years ago.

But there’s more we can do here to limit the information developers can access and put more safeguards in place to prevent abuse. 

We’re removing developers’ access to your data if you haven’t used their app in three months. 

We’re reducing the data you give an app when you approve it to only your name, profile photo, and email address. That’s a lot less than apps can get on any other major app platform.

We’re requiring developers to not only get approval but also to sign a contract that imposes strict requirements in order to ask anyone for access to their posts or other private data.

We’re restricting more APIs like groups and events. You should be able to sign into apps and share your public information easily, but anything that might also share other people’s information — like other posts in groups you’re in or other people going to events you’re going to — will be much more restricted.

Two weeks ago, we found out that a feature that lets you look someone up by their phone number and email was abused. This feature is useful in cases where people have the same name, but it was abused to link people’s public Facebook information to a phone number they already had. When we found out about the abuse, we shut this feature down.

Investigating other apps.

We’re in the process of investigating every app that had access to a large amount of information before we locked down our platform in 2014. If we detect suspicious activity, we’ll do a full forensic audit. And if we find that someone is improperly using data, we’ll ban them and tell everyone affected.

Building better controls.

Finally, we’re making it easier to understand which apps you’ve allowed to access your data. This week we started showing everyone a list of the apps you’ve used and an easy way to revoke their permissions to your data. You can already do this in your privacy settings, but we’re going to put it at the top of News Feed to make sure everyone sees it. And we also told everyone whose Facebook information may have been shared with Cambridge Analytica. 

Facebook’s mission is about giving people a voice and bringing people closer together. Those are deeply democratic values and we’re proud of them. I don’t want anyone to use our tools to undermine democracy. That’s not what we stand for.

We were too slow to spot and respond to Russian interference, and we’re working hard to get better. Our sophistication in handling these threats is growing and improving quickly. We will continue working with the government to understand the full extent of Russian interference, and we will do our part not only to ensure the integrity of free and fair elections around the world, but also to give everyone a voice and to be a force for good in democracy everywhere.

III. Russian election interference

1. What Happened

Elections have always been especially sensitive times for our security team, and the 2016 U.S. presidential election was no exception.

Our security team has been aware of traditional Russian cyber threats — like hacking and malware — for years. Leading up to Election Day in November 2016, we detected and dealt with several threats with ties to Russia. This included activity by a group called APT28, that the U.S. government has publicly linked to Russian military intelligence services.

But while our primary focus was on traditional threats, we also saw some new behavior in the summer of 2016 when APT28-related accounts, under the banner of DC Leaks, created fake personas that were used to seed stolen information to journalists. We shut these accounts down for violating our policies.

After the election, we continued to investigate and learn more about these new threats. What we found was that bad actors had used coordinated networks of fake accounts to interfere in the election: promoting or attacking specific candidates and causes, creating distrust in political institutions, or simply spreading confusion. Some of these bad actors also used our ads tools. We also learned about a disinformation campaign run by the Internet Research Agency (IRA) — a Russian agency that has repeatedly acted deceptively and tried to manipulate people in the US, Europe, and Russia. We found about 470 accounts and pages linked to the IRA, which generated around 80,000 Facebook posts over about a two-year period.

Our best estimate is that approximately 126 million people may have been served content from a Facebook Page associated with the IRA at some point during that period. On Instagram, where our data on reach is not as complete, we found about 120,000 pieces of content, and estimate that an additional 20 million people were likely served it.

Over the same period, the IRA also spent approximately $100,000 on more than 3,000 ads on Facebook and Instagram, which were seen by an estimated 11 million people in the United States. We shut down these IRA accounts in August 2017.

2. What We Are Doing

There’s no question that we should have spotted Russian interference earlier, and we’re working hard to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Our actions include:

Building new technology to prevent abuse. Since 2016, we have improved our techniques to prevent nation states from interfering in foreign elections, and we’ve built more advanced AI tools to remove fake accounts more generally. There have been a number of important elections since then where these new tools have been successfully deployed.

For example: 

In France, leading up to the presidential election in 2017, we found and took down 30,000 fake accounts.

In Germany, before the 2017 elections, we worked directly with the election commission to learn from them about the threats they saw and to share information.

In the U.S. Senate Alabama special election last year, we deployed new AI tools that proactively detected and removed fake accounts from Macedonia trying to spread misinformation.

We have disabled thousands of accounts tied to organized, financially motivated fake news spammers. These investigations have been used to improve our automated systems that find fake accounts.

Last week, we took down more than 270 additional pages and accounts operated by the IRA and used to target people in Russia and Russian speakers in countries like Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine. Some of the pages we removed belong to Russian news organizations that we determined were controlled by the IRA.

Significantly increasing our investment in security. We now have about 15,000 people working on security and content review. We’ll have more than 20,000 by the end of this year.

I’ve directed our teams to invest so much in security — on top of the other investments we’re making — that it will significantly impact our profitability going forward. But I want to be clear about what our priority is: protecting our community is more important than maximizing our profits.

Strengthening our advertising policies. We know some Members of Congress are exploring ways to increase transparency around political or issue advertising, and we’re happy to keep working with Congress on that. But we aren’t waiting for legislation to act.

From now on, every advertiser who wants to run political or issue ads will need to be authorized. To get authorized, advertisers will need to confirm their identity and location. Any advertiser who doesn’t pass will be prohibited from running political or issue ads. We will also label them and advertisers will have to show you who paid for them. We’re starting this in the U.S. and expanding to the rest of the world in the coming months.

For even greater political ads transparency, we have also built a tool that lets anyone see all of the ads a page is running. We’re testing this in Canada now and we’ll launch it globally this summer. We’re also creating a searchable archive of past political ads.

We will also require people who manage large pages to be verified as well. This will make it much harder for people to run pages using fake accounts, or to grow virally and spread misinformation or divisive content that way.

In order to require verification for all of these pages and advertisers, we will hire thousands of more people. We’re committed to getting this done in time for the critical months before the 2018 elections in the U.S. as well as elections in Mexico, Brazil, India, Pakistan and elsewhere in the next year.

These steps by themselves won’t stop all people trying to game the system. But they will make it a lot harder for anyone to do what the Russians did during the 2016 election and use fake accounts and pages to run ads. Election interference is a problem that’s bigger than any one platform, and that’s why we support the Honest Ads Act. This will help raise the bar for all political advertising online. 

Sharing information. We’ve been working with other technology companies to share information about threats, and we’re also cooperating with the U.S. and foreign governments on election integrity.

At the same time, it’s also important not to lose sight of the more straightforward and larger ways Facebook plays a role in elections.

In 2016, people had billions of interactions and open discussions on Facebook that may never have happened offline. Candidates had direct channels to communicate with tens of millions of citizens. Campaigns spent tens of millions of dollars organizing and advertising online to get their messages out further. And we organized “get out the vote” efforts that helped more than 2 million people register to vote who might not have voted otherwise.

Security — including around elections — isn’t a problem you ever fully solve. Organizations like the IRA are sophisticated adversaries who are constantly evolving, but we’ll keep improving our techniques to stay ahead. And we’ll also keep building tools to help more people make their voices heard in the democratic process.

IV. Conclusion

My top priority has always been our social mission of connecting people, building community and bringing the world closer together. Advertisers and developers will never take priority over that as long as I’m running Facebook.

I started Facebook when I was in college. We’ve come a long way since then. We now serve more than 2 billion people around the world, and every day, people use our services to stay connected with the people that matter to them most. I believe deeply in what we’re doing. And when we address these challenges, I know we’ll look back and view helping people connect and giving more people a voice as a positive force in the world.

I realize the issues we’re talking about today aren’t just issues for Facebook and our community — they’re challenges for all of us as Americans. Thank you for having me here today, and I’m ready to take your questions.

Facebook data breach: What you need to know before Mark Zuckerberg testifies before Congress

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify twice before Congress this week as legislators are prepared to ask him why the information of more than 80 million Americans was improperly shared with a political research firm.

Zuckerberg accepted an invitation to sit before a joint hearing of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary and the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee on Tuesday, and a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on Wednesday.

 >>Cambridge Analytica: What you need to know about the firm, Facebook and your information 

Zuckerberg will be answering questions about the abuse of user data by the political research firm Cambridge Analytica along with questions about Facebook’s retention of data from its Messenger app and bulk harvesting of public profiles on the site

>> Read more trending news

Last week Facebook officials said “malicious actors” were responsible for security breaches that allow collection of data on most of the site’s 2 billion users. 

Here’s what you need to know in advance of the hearings.

What time are the hearings:

Zuckerberg will testify before the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees at 2:15 p.m. ET Tuesday.

He will be before the House Energy and Commerce Committee at 10 a.m. ET Wednesday.

How can I watch: 

Click here to watch Mark Zuckerberg’s joint hearing before the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees on Tuesday.

Go to YouTube or C-SPAN on Wednesday to watch Zuckerberg’s hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

>>Cambridge Analytica data breach affected up to 87M Facebook users, company says

Why is he being called:

Zuckerberg was invited to testify before Congress after Facebook officials initially admitted last week that 50 million of its users had information “improperly shared” when a British psychologist “scraped” data from people who took an online “quiz” and provided personal information to a firm that used the information to profile potential voters.

A few days later, that number was amended as the company’s chief technical officer, Mike Schroepfer, said that instead of 50 million people having their information improperly shared with the political research firm Cambridge Analytica, "In total, we believe the Facebook information of up to 87 million people — mostly in the U.S. — may have been improperly shared" with the company. In addition to addressing concerns over the sharing of information, the company has faced questions about political ads and posts on the site prior to the 2016 presidential election.

Zuckerberg told reporters last week that he made a "huge mistake" in failing to make clear what Facebook's responsibility is to its users.>>Facebook breach: Want to leave the social media giant? Here’s how 

Who will be questioning him:

On Tuesday, Zuckerberg will be testifying at a joint hearing of the U.S. Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees. The members of those committees are:

Judiciary

Republican members

Chuck Grassley, Iowa, (chairman)

Orrin Hatch, Utah

Lindsey Graham, South Carolina

John Cornyn, Texas

Mike Lee, Utah

Ted Cruz, Texas

Ben Sasse, Nebraska

Jeff Flake, Arizona

Mike Crapo, Idaho

Thom Tillis, North Carolina

John Neely Kennedy, Louisiana

Democrat members

Dianne Feinstein, California, (ranking member)

Patrick Leahy, Vermont

Dick Durbin, Illinois

Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island

Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota

Chris Coons, Delaware

Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut

Mazie Hirono, Hawaii

Kamala Harris, California

Cory Booker, New Jersey

Commerce

Republicans

John Thune, South Dakota, (chairman)

Roger Wicker, Mississippi

Roy Blunt, Missouri

Ted Cruz, Texas

Deb Fischer, Nebraska

Jerry Moran, Kansas

Dan Sullivan, Alaska

Dean Heller, Nevada

Jim Inhofe, Oklahoma

Mike Lee, Utah

Ron Johnson, Wisconsin

Shelley Moore Capito, West Virginia

Cory Gardner, Colorado

Todd Young, Indiana

Democrats

Bill Nelson, Florida, (ranking member)

Maria Cantwell, Washington

Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota

Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut

Brian Schatz, Hawaii

Ed Markey, Massachusetts

Tom Udall, New Mexico

Gary Peters, Michigan

Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin

Tammy Duckworth, Illinois

Maggie Hassan, New Hampshire

Catherine Cortez Masto, Nevada

Jon Tester, Montana

>>Facebook alerts users if their data was compromised by Cambridge Analytica 

On Wednesday, Zuckerberg will answer questions before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee. The members of that committees are:

U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee

Republicans

Greg Walden, Oregon (chairman)

Joe Barton, Texas 

Fred Upton, Michigan

John Shimkus, Illinois

Tim Murphy, Pennsylvania

Michael C. Burgess, Texas

Marsha Blackburn, Tennessee

Steve Scalise, Louisiana

Bob Latta, Ohio

Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Washington

Gregg Harper, Mississippi

Leonard Lance, New Jersey

Brett Guthrie, Kentucky

Pete Olson, Texas

David McKinley, West Virginia

Adam Kinzinger, Illinois

Morgan Griffith, Virginia

Gus Bilirakis, Florida

Bill Johnson, Ohio

Billy Long, Missouri

Larry Bucshon, Indiana

Bill Flores, Texas

Susan Brooks, Indiana

Markwayne Mullin, Oklahoma

Richard Hudson, North Carolina

Chris Collins, New York

Kevin Cramer, North Dakota

Tim Walberg, Michigan

Mimi Walters, California

Ryan Costello, Pennsylvania

Buddy Carter, Georgia

Democrats

Frank Pallone, New Jersey, (ranking member)

Bobby Rush, Illinois

Anna Eshoo, California

Eliot Engel, New York

Gene Green, Texas

Diana DeGette, Colorado

Mike Doyle, Pennsylvania

Jan Schakowsky, Illinois

K. Butterfield, North Carolina

Doris Matsui, California

Kathy Castor, Florida 

John Sarbanes, Maryland

Jerry McNerney, California

Peter Welch, Vermont

Ben Ray Luján, New Mexico

Paul Tonko, New York

Yvette Clarke, New York

Dave Loebsack, Iowa

Kurt Schrader, Oregon

Joseph P. Kennedy III, Massachusetts

Tony Cárdenas, California

Raul Ruiz, California

Scott Peters, California

Debbie Dingell, Michigan

What will they be talking about in the hearings: 

According to the House Energy and Commerce Committee website, the hearing will “shed light on Facebook’s use and protection of user data, and will help all Americans better understand what happens to their personal information online.”

The joint hearing between the Judiciary and Commerce committees hearing is titled, “The joint hearing before the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees is titled: “Facebook, Social Media Privacy, and the Use and Abuse of Data.”

Blumentha had a more dire description of the hearing. "I think we're at a moment of reckoning. It's really high noon for Facebook and the tech industry,” Blumenthal said.

Zuckerberg will be asked how the personal information of 87 million Facebook users was mishandled, and what steps the company plans to take to try to avoid having users data “scraped.”

Another topic sure to be addressed is what Facebook needs to do to identify the source of political ads and control the spread of misinformation. Facebook announced last week that it will require buyers of political ads to verify their identity and location, and those who are unable to do so will be prohibited from running political ads on the platform.

“These steps by themselves won’t stop all people trying to game the system,” Zuckerberg said in a statement posted on Facebook. “But they will make it a lot harder for anyone to do what the Russians did during the 2016 election and use fake accounts and pages to run ads.”

Thune said in a statement that “More than any one issue, I’m interested in Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for the responsibility Facebook plans to take for what happens on its platform, how it will protect users’ data, and how it intends to proactively stop harmful conduct instead of being forced to respond to it months or years later.”

Markey told The Washington Post that he is looking for any “recourse for victims” following the revelation of the Cambridge Analytica data scrape.Sen. Kennedy said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday that he might be in favor of Congress regulating Facebook.

“I don’t want to hurt Facebook. I don’t want to regulate them half to death. But we have a problem. Our promised digital utopia has minefields in it ... . But my biggest worry with all of this is that the privacy issue and what I call the propagandist issue are both too big for Facebook to fix, and that’s the frightening part,” Kennedy said.

Here are others looking into Facebook’s operations:

Here’s a list of agencies and governments looking into Facebooks practices after the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The Federal Trade Commission will look into whether Facebook was out of compliance with a 2011 agreement over privacy issues.

Thirty-seven states and territories have signed a letter asking Facebook to explain how they monitored the data app developers collected. 

The European Union, the United Kingdom, Italy, India, Indonesia and Australia have all opened investigations into Facebook’s operating practices. 

>>Facebook tweaks security settings after privacy fallout

What has Facebook promised to do already:

In advance of his testimony this week, Zuckerberg announced several new measures to help protect the privacy of the companies 2 billion users.

Included in the new measures are requirements that people reveal their identities and verify who they are if they want to purchase ads.

To get verified, Zuckerberg wrote, “advertisers will need to confirm their identity and location. Any advertiser who doesn't pass will be prohibited from running political or issue ads.”

He went on to say that Facebook will “require people who manage large pages to be verified as well. This will make it much harder for people to run pages using fake accounts, or to grow virally and spread misinformation or divisive content that way.”

He also pledged to increase security on the site by adding employees to watch for questionable practices. “So all in, we now have about 15,000 people working on security and content review, and we’ll have more than 20,000 by the end of this year,” Zuckerberg said in a post last week.

Click here to see everything the company has proposed to do since news of the Cambridge Analytica breach was reported. 

 

 

Who is EPA chief Scott Pruitt and how did he land a top Trump administration post?

Embattled Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has been under a spotlight recently for questionable spending and management at the agency, which is charged with protecting human health and the environment.

>> Read more trending news 

Before assuming the Cabinet position with the Trump administration, Pruitt was the attorney general for Oklahoma, a state with a booming oil and gas production sector. 

Pruitt sued the EPA 14 times, according to The New York Times, including suits over the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan and over the EPA’s efforts at reducing methane emissions from oil and gas drilling. The Times also reported 13 of the lawsuits included co-parties that had donated money to Pruitt or his campaigns.

>> Related: Who is Gen. John Kelly, President Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff?

Before joining the Trump administration, Pruitt boasted on his LinkedIn page of being “a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda,” according to The Washington Post.

He was elected Oklahoma attorney general in 2010 and before that served in the state Senate for eight years.

As attorney general, he established the state’s first federalism unit to fight what he called unwarranted regulation and overreach by the federal government, according to his profile on WhiteHouse.gov.

>> Related: Trump replacing VA Sec. David Shulkin with his personal physician Admiral Ronny L. Jackson

He also helped broker an historic water rights settlement between Oklahoma, Oklahoma City and the Choctaw and Chickasaw Tribal Nations, according to his profile. The deal, which needed congressional approval, came after the tribes sued to protect their water rights, The Oklahoman reported. 

Born in 1968 in Danville, Kentucky, Pruitt earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and political science from Georgetown College and a law degree from the University of Tulsa. He practiced law at a private legal practice and specialized in constitutional law before running for office.

>> Related: National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster out; former U.S. ambassador John Bolton in

Pruitt was a co-owner and general partner in the Oklahoma City RedHawks minor league baseball team and managed the team’s marketing operations between 2003 and 2010 when it was sold, according to Oklahoma news outlets.

He’s been married for 28 years and has a son and daughter.

 

Cambridge Analytica: What you need to know about the firm, Facebook and your information

Facebook officials said Wednesday that up to 87 million of its users had information “improperly shared,” when a British psychologist “scraped” data from people who took an online “quiz” and provided personal information to a firm that used the information to profile potential voters.

In a blog post published on Wednesday, Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer said that despite initially saying 50 million people had information shared with the political research firm Cambridge Analytica, "In total, we believe the Facebook information of up to 87 million people—mostly in the US—may have been improperly shared" with the company.

>> Read more trending news

Schroepfer went on to say that almost all of Facebook’s users – some 2 billion people around the world – could have had their information improperly accessed.

Schroepfer said in the blog post that “malicious actors” have abused features on the social media site to “scrape public profile information by submitting phone numbers or email addresses they already have through search and account recovery.”

“Given the scale and sophistication of the activity we’ve seen, we believe most people on Facebook could have had their public profile scraped in this way,” Schroepfer said. “So we have now disabled this feature. We’re also making changes to account recovery to reduce the risk of scraping as well.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify April 10 and April 11 on Capitol Hill after telling reporters this week that he made a "huge mistake" in failing to make clear what Facebook's responsibility is to its users.

>>Facebook breach: Want to leave the social media giant? Here’s how 

The news Wednesday came on the heels of an ongoing scandal involving Facebook and a political research firm, Cambridge Analytica. Facebook claims Cambridge improperly obtained information on millions of those using the site and used the information to profile them and target political ads toward them.

What is Cambridge Analytica, where did it get the data and what did it do with it?

Here’s a look at the firm.

What is Cambridge Analytica?

Cambridge Analytica is a firm that supplies psychological profiles of potential voters to political campaigns. The information is supposed to help clients target their message and win elections.

The company builds models that translate data into personality profiles of voters. The company’s CEO, Alexander Nix, says Cambridge Analytica has “somewhere close to 4,000 or 5,000 data points” on every adult in the United States.

The company was formed in 2013. Its parent company is Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL).

What did they do concerning Facebook?

Cambridge Analytica is accused of buying the personal information of about 87 million Facebook users. The information was gathered by a psychology professor, Aleksandr Kogan, who told Facebook he wanted to collect information on its users for academic purposes. Of the raw profiles Kogan collected, millions could be linked to records to help identify the users’ friends.

Who is Kogan, how did he get the info and what did he do with it?

Kogan is a professor at the University of Cambridge.

In 2014, he asked Facebook to allow him to collect the information by placing an app on the platform. That app was downloaded by 270,000 users, according to a story from Reuters. What most users did not realize was that once they downloaded the app, they were agreeing to share not only their information, but the information of the people they “friended” on the site.

After Kogan gathered the information, he passed it along to Cambridge Analytica. When Facebook found that Kogan had passed the information to Cambridge Analytica, company officials said they notified Kogan that he had violated its policies by sharing the information he had told the company was to be used for academic research.

Kogan, in an email to colleagues obtained by CNN, said he changed the terms and conditions of the app from its academic classification to a commercial application in the middle of the project. According to the email, Kogan said Facebook knew of the changes. Facebook denies they were told anything about changing the classification. Cambridge promised to destroy the information, however, Facebook was informed by journalists covering the story that Cambridge had kept copies of the data. Facebook banned Cambridge from the site after that

What was the app?

The app Kogan created was called "thisisyourdigitallife.” He had users take a personality test. The test required users to sign in through Facebook and agree to let their data be studied for academic purposes.

What went wrong?

The app pulled in data from users, but went a step further and gathered the information of those people the user had “friended.” It also captured other pages that users and their friends “liked.” 

What was that data used for?

After it was collected, Kogan gave the information to SCL. The information was used to profile voters in the United States and help target political ads to specific voters.

How did they use the information to make profiles?

The profiles were compiled using the research of Michal Kosinski. Kosinski developed a model that took the “likes” of Facebook users and applied it to a questionnaire that determines personalities using five dimensions – openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. The questionnaire results are called OCEAN scores, or the Big Five Personality traits.

The information gathered and matched with personality profiles gave Cambridge Analytica the opportunity to pinpoint individual messages to certain personality types. In other words, the message you would get about a candidate would be the message you most likely would like to hear. 

For instance, if you are a supporter of stronger border security, you would hear a message from the candidate on keeping undocumented aliens from coming into the United States. Or, you would hear a message about how the candidate’s opponent is soft on border measures.

How did news of the data mining become public?

The details come from a Cambridge Analytica whistleblower, Christopher Wylie. A former employee of Cambridge Analytica, Wylie said he spoke to The New York Times about the company’s practices because he felt what they were doing was wrong.

Wylie told the “Today Show,” “This was a company [Cambridge Analytica] that really took fake news to the next level by powering it with algorithms. Wylie said the company aimed to create algorithms for profiling social media users that would “allow us to explore mental vulnerabilities of people, and then map out ways to inject information into different streams or channels of content online so that people started to see things all over the place that may or may not have been true.”

What does Cambridge Analytica say about it?

The company has denied in a statement that it did anything wrong. “In 2014 we received Facebook data and derivatives of Facebook data from another company, GSR, that we engaged in good faith to legally supply data for research,” the statement reads. “After it subsequently became known that GSR had broken its contract with Cambridge Analytica because it had not adhered to data protection regulation, Cambridge Analytica deleted all the Facebook data and derivatives, in cooperation with Facebook… This Facebook data was not used by Cambridge Analytica as part of the services it provided to the Donald Trump presidential campaign.”

Cambridge suspended Nix after news of the Facebook data mining became known and a secret video was made public. The video showed Nix bragging about such campaign maneuvers as entrapping opposition candidates with offers of sexual favors and financial bribes. 

What does the Federal Trade Commission want to know?

The FTC is looking into whether Facebook violated a 2011 agreement that requires that users consent to certain changes to privacy policies. The consent decree that was agreed on in 2011 came after charges by the federal government that Facebook deceived users and forced them to share personal information they had not intended to share, according to a story from Bloomberg.

According to the Washington Post, the FTC said it would open a new investigation into the site’s practices.

How does this tie into the Trump campaign?

According to a New York Times story, Jared Kushner hired Brad Parscale, a man who had done some work for Trump before, to do digital work for Trump’s campaign. In June 2016, the Trump campaign hired Cambridge Analytica to handle all of its data operations. Cambridge got the job after making a pitch to Parscale.

The work on the digital operations went on in Texas, where Parscale was located, and soon included employees of Cambridge Analytica who were embedded with Parscale’s firm.

Cambridge Analytica was only a portion of the digital campaign plan. In addition to Cambridge, voter data from the Republican National Committee was used to create the campaign’s database. The effort was called “Project Alamo.”

Trump’s campaign recently denied Cambridge Analytica data was used to create the database, and that the campaign “used the RNC for its voter data,” and “Any claims that voter data were used from another source to support the victory in 2016 are false.”

Election finance records show the campaign (Donald J. Trump for President INC.) paid the firm $5.9 million for “data management services.”

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has asked that Cambridge Analytica turn over documents as part of his investigation into possible collusion in the 2016 presidential campaign, The Wall Street Journal reported.

What about Cambridge Analytica’s tie with Steve Bannon?

Bannon, a former White House adviser for Trump, owned a stake in Cambridge Analytica and facilitated a meeting between members of the firm and Trump’s campaign staff.

How do I know if my data has been improperly collected?

The Associated Press reports that “starting Monday, Facebook users will receive a notice on their feeds, titled "Protecting Your Information," with a link to see what apps they use and what information they have shared with those apps.”

What happened at Chappaquiddick and what does it have to do with Ted Kennedy?

The middle of July in 1969 was an exciting time in the United States.

After the traumatic and transformative year of 1968 with major turns in the Vietnam war and the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, people around the world were watching as three American astronauts were on their way to the moon in Apollo 11. 

>> Read more trending news

The spaceship was carrying the first man from Earth who would step on the lunar surface.

As the 1960s were coming to an end, the weekend of July 18 would see astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins speed closer to the moon for a scheduled landing on July 20, fulfilling the promise made by Kennedy’s brother, John F. Kennedy, to land a man on the moon and return him safely to Earth.

On that Friday night, a group of wome n – the “Boiler Room Girls” – who had worked on RFK’s presidential campaign were partying at a house on Chappaquiddick Island, off Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. The evening cookoutparty was being hosted by the youngest Kennedy brother, Sen.  Edward (Ted) Kennedy and his cousin Joe Gargan.

<<'Chappaquiddick' film highlights one of Kennedy family's darkest chapters

Kennedy made his goodbyes and left the party around 11 a.m. One of the Boiler Room Girls, a young woman named Mary Jo Kopechne, accompanied Kennedy in the car headed back to catch a ferry that would take them the 150 yards to Edgartown where they each had their own hotel room.

By morning, Kopechne would be dead and Kennedy’s aspirations to be president would be dealt an unrecoverable blow. 

A movie about the incident called “Chappaquiddick” is set to open in theaters on Friday. According to the trailer, it will take a look at the events of the evening, the life of Kopechne and the legacy of Kennedy in the aftermath of the fatal car accident. 

Here’s what we know happened that night:

The group

Kennedy and Gargan were hosting a cookout/party for the "Boiler Room Girls" a group of young women who worked on RFK’s 1968 presidential campaign. The group’s name came from the area – a windowless room – where the women worked in Kennedy’s Washington D.C. offices. 

It was the first get-together for the group and Kennedy after RFK’s assassination 13 months earlier. They came together on Chappaquiddick to watch a regatta.

The members of the Boiler Room Girls were:

Kopechne 

Mary Ellen Lyons – now an attorney

Nance Lyons – Mary’s sister, also now an attorney

Esther Newberg – now a literary agent

Susan Tannenbaum – now a retired Washington lobbyist

Rosemary Keough – now an attorney 

The senator

Edward Kennedy was the youngest child of Joseph P. and Rose Kennedy. He graduated from Harvard and the University of Virginia. His godfather was his brother, John. 

He won the Senate seat his brother John held before he resigned it to become president.

Ted Kennedy nearly died in a plane crash on June 19, 1964, seven months after JFK was assassinated in Dallas. He, Indiana Sen. Birch Bayh and Bayh’s wife Marvella survived the crash. Legislative aide Edward Moss and the plane’s pilot, Edwin Zimny died of their injuries. 

At the time the accident at Chappaquiddick that took Kopechne’s life happened, Kennedy was the Democratic majority whip in the Senate.

He was married twice and had three children. Two of his siblings died in plane crashes and two died after being shot in the head.

At the time of his death, Kennedy’s net worth was between $43 million and $162 million. 

Mary Jo Kopechne

Mary Jo Kopechne was the only child of Joseph and Gwen Kopechne. She grew up in New Jersey and was 28 at the time of her death.

She had worked on JFK’s 1960 campaign, and, after getting a degree in business, she got a job in RFK’s Senate office. She typed RFK’s speech announcing his run for the presidency, and worked to line up delegates to the Democratic National Convention for her boss. After Kennedy’s assassination, she rode on the train that carried his body back to Washington. 

She came to Chappaquiddick Island for a reunion of the women who worked on RFK’s campaign. According to Leo Damore’s book, “Senatorial Privilege: The Chappaquiddick Cover-Up,” Gwen Kopechne warned her daughter before she left for the trip to “be careful of the water.”

The wreck

Kennedy and Kopechne left the party around 11 p.m. and headed out on Chappaquiddick Road, the only paved road on the island. Kennedy then took a sharp turn onto Dike Road, an unpaved road, and traveled a short distance. He missed a ramp up to the bridge over Poucha Pond and the Oldsmobile Delmont 88 went off the edge of the wooden bridge and overturned in the pond.

According to Kennedy, he managed to get out of the vehicle, though he could not remember how, and to the surface of the pond. He said he repeatedly dove back down to the car in an effort to free Kopechne from the car where she was trapped, but still alive.

After “several” attempts, Kennedy said he was too exhausted to try again and made it to shore. He says he doesn’t know who long he laid on the bank before he got up and made his way back to the house where the party was being held.

He told Gargan what had happened and the two men along with Paul Markham went back to the bridge and tried to get Kopechne out of the car. They could not.

The men then went to the ferry slip that takes people from Chappaquiddick to Edgartown. Gargan would later say he believed Kennedy was going to report the accident in Edgartown. The ferry was not there, so Kennedy dove into the water at the slip and swam the 150 yards back to Edgartown.

He returned to his hotel room at the Shiretown Inn and changed clothes, he would later say. 

Around 2:25 a.m., he stepped out of his room and saw innkeeper Russell Peachey and told him he had been awakened by a noise, according to testimony at an inquest. He then returned to his room.

At 9:45 a.m., roughly 10 hours after driving off Dike Road bridge, Kennedy reported the accident to Edgartown police. He said, via a statement dictated to Markham, that he had been the driver of the car and that he believed Kopechne was still in the vehicle.

“On July 18, 1969, at approximately 11:15 p.m. in Chappaquiddick, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, I was driving my car on Main Street on my way to get the ferry back to Edgartown. I was unfamiliar with the road and turned right onto Dike Road, instead of bearing hard left on Main Street. After proceeding for approximately one-half mile on Dike Road I descended a hill and came upon a narrow bridge. The car went off the side of the bridge. There was one passenger with me, one Miss MaryKopechne, a former secretary of my brother Sen. Robert Kennedy. The car turned over and sank into the water and landed with the roof resting on the bottom. I attempted to open the door and the window of the car but have no recollection of how I got out of the car. I came to the surface and then repeatedly dove down to the car in an attempt to see if the passenger was still in the car. I was unsuccessful in the attempt. I was exhausted and in a state of shock. I recall walking back to where my friends were eating. There was a car parked in front of the cottage and I climbed into the backseat. I then asked for someone to bring me back to Edgartown. I remember walking around for a period and then going back to my hotel room. When I fully realized what had happened this morning, I immediately contacted the police.”

The aftermath

Kennedy pleaded guilty on July 25 to leaving the scene of an accident causing bodily injury. He was sentenced to 60 days of incarceration, but the sentence was suspended. The judge referred to Kennedy’s “unblemished record” in making the ruling. Kennedy also had his driver’s license suspended for one year.

He made a televised statement that evening, saying his delay in reporting the wreck was “indefensible.” He also denied any romantic involvement with Kopechne. He asked the voters of Massachusetts to let him know if they wanted him to resign.

They did not.

The inquest

The inquest into the accident was held on Jan. 5, 1970. Twenty-six witnesses in addition to Kennedy testified. In April, a grand jury was convened. The grand jury returned no indictments against Kennedy for any of his actions on that night. 

 The legacy 

While Kennedy would serve no time for the wreck that took Kopechne’s life, the specter of Chappaquiddick would haunt him until his death in 2009.

Kennedy had been moving toward a run for president, but after the accident announced he would not run in 1972. He declined to run four years later in 1976. 

In 1980, he challenged sitting Democratic President Jimmy Carter, but could not secure the votes needed at the Democratic National Convention to win the party’s nomination. 

In the years after the accident, Kennedy would, however, win every one of the Senate races he was in and earn the moniker of the “Lion of the Senate.”

MLK anniversary: What is the National Civil Rights Museum and what will be taking place there Wednesday?

Many observances will be held Wednesday on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., but one of the most stirring will take place in Memphis, Tennessee.

The National Civil Rights Museum will hold a daylong commemoration of the life and works of King, who was murdered while in Memphis in 1968 while supporting the city’s sanitation workers in their bid for safer working conditions and better pay.

>> Read more trending news

The museum, which is on the site of the Lorraine Motel where King was shot and killed, will have programs featuring, among other speakers, U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., Freedom Rider Bernard Lafayette and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who was with King in Memphis on the day he was killed.

>>Who was James Earl Ray and did he really kill Martin Luther King Jr.?

The museum was established in 1991 and houses exhibits and historic collections that chronicle the fight for civil rights in America. In 2013-2014, the center underwent a $27.5 million renovation, adding more than 40 films, oral histories and interactive media exhibits, according to the museum’s website.

Here is some information about the museum and what will be taking place Wednesday.

Where is it?

The museum is at 450 Mulberry St. in downtown Memphis. It's built around the old Lorraine Motel.

What is happening there on Wednesday?

A number of events are set for Wednesday, the anniversary of King’s assassination, and a very large crowd is expected. A commemorative ceremony, set to begin at 3:30 p.m. will take place in and around the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, at the spot where King was shot.

Here, from the museum’s website, is the schedule of events for Wednesday:

10 a.m. until close: Daylong tributes from the MLK50 Main Stage in the museum courtyard – music, dance and spoken word performances and reflections from civil rights leaders in salute to King. Free to the public.

3:30 p.m. to 6:01 p.m.: The 6:01 50th Anniversary Ceremony from the balcony of the Lorraine Motel – There will be a ceremony with the laying of a wreath, ecumenical liturgy, musical and spoken word tributes, and remarks from civil rights icons. Free to the public.

6:01 p.m.: Bell Toll – Bells ring at places of worship, college campuses or institutions 39 times across the nation to honor the number of years King lived, and to pay homage to his legacy.

6:15 p.m.: Evening of storytelling – Civil rights icons and New Movement Makers will speak about “the Movement” then and now. This is a ticketed event at Crosstown Concourse. Note: Organizers say this event is now sold out.

>>Honoring Dr. King’s legacy

What about in the museum?

The new exhibit "MLK50: A Legacy Remembered" will be opened to the public Wednesday. King’s youngest child, the Rev. Bernice King, toured the exhibit in advance of its opening. The museum also has an exhibit about the Lorraine Motel and the African-American couple, Walter and Loree Bailey, who owned it.

>>Martin Luther King Jr.: How the world heard the news of his assassination

What are the hours of operation and what does it cost?

On Wednesday, the museum will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is $16 for adults, $14 for seniors and students, $13 for children ages 5 through 17 and free for children 4 and under.

What if I’m can’t go to Memphis on Wednesday?

You can watch the events of the day via a livestream by clicking here.

YouTube shooting: Where is YouTube's headquarters and how big is the campus?

Police and the FBI are responding to “an active shooter” at Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, California.

>> Read more trending news

The San Mateo County (California) Sheriff's confirmed that an active shooter situation has taken place on the campus that is located just north of Silicon Valley in California.

Law enforcement authorities say there are injuries at the site.

Here’s what we know about the YouTube headquarters:

  • The building is located on Cherry Avenue in San Bruno.
  • About 1,700 people work at the campus.
  • A series of buildings make up 1.1-million square feet of workspace.
  • Employees tweeted Tuesday afternoon that shots were heard at the offices shortly after 1 p.m. PT
  • The building features open areas and communal workspaces.
  • YouTube is the largest private employer in the area.
  • The facilities are in San Bruno – a city about 11 miles south of downtown San Francisco. It is near the San Francisco International Airport.
  • There is a Google employee facility nearby as well as a Walmart e-commerce office.

Who was James Earl Ray, and did he really kill Martin Luther King Jr.?

Fifty years ago Tuesday, James Earl Ray, after driving his white Ford Mustang from Atlanta, checked into the New Rebel Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. 

Days before the trip, Ray had purchased a rifle in addition to a scope and a box of ammunition for the gun. On April 2, 1968, he had gathered the gun and a few belongings from his rooming house in Atlanta and set out on the trip to Tennessee.

The day after he arrived in Memphis, Ray, a small-time thief, would stand in a bathtub at a flophouse across the street from the Lorraine Hotel and fire one shot at civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., striking him in the chin and killing him.

>>Click here for a look at King’s life, death and legacy.

Ray confessed to the shooting after he was eventually caught, only to change his story three days later, saying a mystery man named “Raoul” was the real killer. In the years that followed, other conspiracy theories would be floated by Ray. None were ever proven.

Who was Ray and is there any question that he killed King? Here’s what you may not know about him.

Early years

Ray was born in 1928 in Alton, Illinois, a city about 15 miles north of St. Louis. When Ray was 2, the family moved to Bowling Green, Missouri. When he was 6, his family moved to Ewing, Missouri after his father passed a bad check in Alton. The family went by the name of Raynes to avoid being tracked by police for the check.

>> Read more trending news

Ray had a run-in with Ewing police when he was 14 -- he stole some newspapers to sell -- and ended up leaving school when he was 15.

He joined the U.S. Army in the days following World War II and was stationed in Germany.

He did not stay long in the Army. He was court-martialed for drunkenness and given a general discharge for "ineptness and lack of adaptability."

Ray took a job at a Chicago rubber company in 1948 and stayed there for several months before heading to California. By December of 1949, he was in jail, serving a three-month sentence for burglary.

Back home, but soon serving time

The arrest in California marked the beginning of Ray’s string of incarcerations across the country. In 1952, he was sentenced to two years for armed robbery in Chicago; in 1955, he was sentenced to four years in a Leavenworth, Kansas, prison for robbing a post office. In 1960, an armed robbery netted Ray a 20-year-sentence in the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City.

Officials at that prison would be the first to learn that Ray was not one to meekly accept time locked up in a jail cell. While he was a marginal thief at best, Ray did seem to have a talent for escaping incarceration -- at least for periods of time.

On April 23, 1967, Ray escaped the Missouri State Penitentiary by hiding in a truck that transported bread from the prison bakery. It was his third attempt at escape from the prison.

After the escape

Ray would be on the run after his escape from prison in Missouri. He went to St. Louis and Chicago and then to Toronto and Montreal before heading to Birmingham, Alabama. In Birmingham, he got an Alabama driver’s license and purchased a white 1966 Ford Mustang.

He left Birmingham in the Mustang and headed to Acapulco, Mexico. After a short stay, he left Acapulco and drove back north to Puerto Vallarta on Oct. 19, 1967 -- five months before he would head to Memphis.

Once in Mexico, Ray decided on another line of work. He went by the name Eric Stravo Galt and took up a career as a pornographic film editor. When he realizes he has no skill in film work, he leaves Mexico around Nov. 16, 1967.

Ray went to Los Angeles that fall and worked odd jobs through the winter. He volunteered to work on the presidential campaign of Alabama Gov. George Wallace. On March 5, 1968, he had surgery on his nose. Two weeks later he would leave L.A., headed for Atlanta.

Tracking King

Ray arrived in Atlanta on March 18, checked into a rooming house on 14th Street near Peachtree, and purchased a map of the city. After King was killed, the FBI would find the map on which Ray had circled the locations of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, the headquarters of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the civil rights leader's home on Sunset Avenue in Vine City.

Ray was in Atlanta only two days before he left for a trip to Birmingham. There, giving the name of Harvey Lowmeyer, Ray would purchase a Remington .30-06-caliber rifle -- the Model 760 “Gamemaster” -- a Redfield 2x-7x rifle scope and a box of ammunition from the Aeromarine Supply company.

Someone who worked at the store would remember Ray saying he was going hunting with his brother.

He returned to Atlanta after purchasing the rifle and it was there that he heard news reports that King would be going to Memphis to support sanitation workers in their fight for better pay and safer working conditions.

On April 2, Ray packed a bag and his newly-purchased rifle and drove to Memphis. 

Ray would later tell his lawyer that as he got near Corinth, Mississippi, he pulled the white Mustang off a stretch of abandoned road and tested the .30.06.

Killing King

A little after 7 p.m. on April 3, 1968, Ray, arriving at the New Rebel Motor Hotel in Whitehaven, Tennessee, used the name Eric S. Galt to check into room 34.

The next morning, Ray read in the Memphis Commercial that King was staying at the Lorraine Hotel.

>>Martin Luther King Jr.: How the world heard the news of his assassination

Around 3 p.m., Ray left the New Rebel Motel and checked into a rooming house across a parking lot from the Lorraine Hotel. He was first shown a room facing west. He declined that room and was given instead a second-story room on the back of the building. It faces the parking lot, and beyond the parking lot, the Lorraine.

He paid Bessie Brewer $8.50 in advance for a week’s rent. He signed in using the name John Willard.

Around 4 p.m., Ray left the hotel and bought a pair of binoculars.

It is not known what Ray did in the two hours in between, but at about 5:55 p.m., using the binoculars he had just purchased, Ray spotted King on the balcony of the Lorraine. In a five-minute period, Ray got the rifle which was wrapped in a bedspread, went down the hall to the shared bathroom, goes in and locks the door.

Then, according to his confession, he stood in the bathroom’s bathtub and knocked out the screen on the window that faced the Lorraine. He lined King up in the sites of the rifle, he said.

At 6:01 p.m., as King’s driver, Solomon Jones, called out, “Dr. King, it’s getting cool. You better get a coat,” the crack of a rifle shot is heard.

The bullet hit King on the tip of the chin, fractured his jaw then exited his face. It reentered his body in his neck area. The soft-point, metal-jacketed bullet then fractured his spine in several places and came to rest in the left side of his back.

On the run

After the single shot was fired, Ray headed out of the rooming house and to the white Mustang. A package, the contents of which would later be used to help convict Ray, was left on the ground near the Canipe's Amusement Co. on South Main Street. In the package were a rifle and a pair of binoculars. Both had Ray’s fingerprints on them.

Police radio broadcasts shortly after the assassination warned officers to be on the lookout for a white Mustang with a single white occupant who had been seen fleeing the scene of the shooting. Ray headed south and east, back to Atlanta to gather some belongings from the 14th Street rooming house. In Atlanta, he abandoned the Mustang and boarded a Greyhound bus heading to Detroit. He then took a taxi north to Canada.

He arrived in Toronto on April 7 and hid in the city for more than a month. During that time, he was able to get a Canadian passport using the stolen identity of a man named Ramon George Sneyd.

He left Toronto for England on May 6. He traveled to Lisbon, Portugal, then returned to England on May 17.

Ray was arrested on June 8 at London’s Heathrow Airport as he attempted to board a flight to Brussels. An airport employee recognized the name on the Canadian passport the Ray had been traveling under and noticed that Ray had two passports on him. He detained Ray who was then arrested.

Ray was extradited to the United States where he was taken to Tennessee and charged with King’s murder.

Caught, confessed, convicted

On Ray’s 41st birthday, March 10, 1969, he confessed to killing King. He told the judge that he understood he was giving up his right to a trial and would accept a 99-year prison sentence -- an arrangement his lawyer secured before his plea. The sentence for first-degree murder in Tennessee at the time was death by electrocution.

Three days after he entered his plea, Ray sent a letter to Shelby County, Tennessee, Criminal Court Judge W. Preston Battle, saying that he was recanting his confession and requesting a trial.

He did not receive a response from Battle, so he sent a second letter dated March 26, 1969. Ray did not receive a response from Battle concerning the second letter, either. 

On March 31, Battle died. A week later, Ray filed a formal motion with the court requesting a trial. That motion was denied.

After a series of appeals, and a denial from the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s decision that Ray’s rights had not been violated.

Ray was going to jail on a 99-year sentence.

Escape

Ray was sent to the Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary in Petros, Tennessee, to serve his term. Ray would attempt to escape prison on several occasions, and on June 10, 1977, Ray and six others escaped from Brushy Mountain. With the help of hundreds of law enforcement officials and two bloodhounds, Sandy and Little Red, in particular, Ray was recaptured. He had a year added to his sentence. He tried to escape one more time, in 1979, but was quickly caught by guards.

Conspiracy theories

Through the years, Ray would tell a familiar tale -- that he was a patsy, set up to take the fall for the assassination of a national figure.

Despite initially confessing that he had shot King, Ray would quickly change his story saying a man who went by the name “Raoul” was the mastermind behind the murder. Ray wrote a book in 1992 that claimed the shadowy figure had provided the gun and set him up on that day in Memphis.

According to his attorney, in 1977 Ray took a polygraph test was part of an interview with Playboy magazine. The test results, according to Playboy, showed that Ray had killed King and that he had acted alone.

Ray did have supporters in his claim that the assassination was a conspiracy to silence King -- namely, King's family. King’s family members said publicly that they believe King was a victim of a government conspiracy. “The economic movement was why he was killed, frankly,” said Martin Luther King III in a 1998 interview with Newsweek. “That was frightening to the powers that be.”

King’s family also backed Ray, publicly saying they believe he was innocent of the slaying. Ray met with Dexter King, King’s second son, in March 1997. Ray told Dexter King, “I had nothing to do with shooting your father.”

Later, King asked Ray directly, "I want to ask for the record: Did you kill my father?" ''No, no, I didn't, no,” Ray said. “But like I say, sometimes these questions are difficult to answer, and you have to make a personal evaluation.''

“Well, as awkward as this may seem, I want you to know that I believe you and my family believes you, and we are going to do everything in our power to try and make sure that justice will prevail,” King said. “And while it's at the 11th hour, I've always been a spiritual person and I believe in Providence.''

The King family would call for a murder trial that would never come.

In 1998, the King family asked President Bill Clinton to reopen the case. He agreed and asked Attorney General Janet Reno to handle the investigation. Reno assigned civil rights special counsel Barry Kowalski to head up the new investigation. In 2000, Kowalski released the findings of the investigation -- Ray, alone, was guilty and there was no government conspiracy.

In 1999, the King family won a civil lawsuit that had been filed against Memphis restaurateur Loyd Jowers. Jowers claimed that he hired a Memphis policeman to kill King at the behest of members of the mafia.

The family collected $100. They said they wanted to prove they were not trying to get money, only the truth about the assassination.

His death

Ray would live out his years in prison still claiming his innocence. In June 1981, Ray was attacked in the prison library and stabbed 22 times by three black inmates. He recovered, but required a blood transfusion. Doctors would later say he contracted hepatitis C from the transfusion.

In 1998, Ray died in prison of complications due to chronic hepatitis C infection. He had served 29 years in prison at the time of his death.

Sources: The Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionThe Associated PressThe New York TimesThe Washington PostThe Knoxville News-SentinelThe Commercial AppealThe National ArchivesNotable Biographies 

When are the Final Four, National Championship games?

March Madness has made its way down to almost April and four teams looking at a shot at the national championship. 

The Final Four teams will play Saturday in San Antonio, with the winners meeting for the National Championship game is Monday. 

>> Read more trending news

Here is the schedule:

Here is the schedule for the Final Four, the times and the channel they are being broadcast on. Times are Eastern.

Final Four: Saturday, March 31

6 p.m. -- Michigan vs. Loyola-Chicago (TBS)

8:30 p.m. -- Kansas vs. Villanova(TBS) 

National Championship: Monday, April 2

9 p.m. -- Final Four winners (TBS)

Decorating Easter eggs? Here are 11 colorful ideas

Plain dyed Easter eggs? That’s so 1960s.

Why not take your egg decorating to a whole new level?

Below are a few suggestions on dying, marbling, polka-dotting, speckling and other kinds of Easter egg embellishment.

Before you start, use this tutorial to get the perfect hard-boiled egg.1. Paint-splattered eggsDo you like the splattered paint look? It’s easy, albeit a bit messy, to do. Think paint on a small paintbrush and lots of flicking.

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2. The rice and food coloring method.This is easier than flicking paint with just as interesting a result. Put about a cup of rice in a sandwich bag, add a few drops of food coloring – five or six drops – then close the bag tight. Let the kids shake the bag to coat the egg. Use gloves to get the egg out of the bag.3. The Sharpie methodWho says you have to use dye to decorate an egg?4. The polka dots methodDye eggs your favorite color then glam them up by putting dots of glue all over them and sprinkling them with glitter. Shake off the excess glitter after they dry.5. All-natural eggsYou do not have to use commercial dye pellets to color your eggs. You can use food, spices and peelings to get a more mellow-looking Easter egg.

>>Easter 101: Chart shows you how to get perfectly colored Easter eggs

6. Yarn-wrapped eggsWrap plastic eggs with colorful yarn in different patterns. You need eggs, glue and yarn.

7. Shaving cream eggsA little shaving cream plus some dye and you can make Easter egg magic.

8. Emoji eggsLet your inner texting Easter self out. Smiley face? Slightly grinning? Thumbs up? The sky is the limit when you have a yellow egg and some black paint.9. Kool-Aid eggsYou can use liquid Kool-Aid mix to dye eggs in a swirling pattern. Kids will love it. 10.  Sprinkles eggsThink cupcake decorations – edible sprinkles – and you get the idea. Take your eggs, paint them with glue then roll them in sprinkles.11. Dip-dyed eggsLike that rainbow look on your Easter eggs? Here’s how you can get it.

Who is John Huber, the man appointed to investigate GOP concerns about FBI, Justice Department

In a letter to congressional leaders released on Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions revealed that the United States attorney for Utah has been investigating whether the Justice Department and the FBI abused its authority in surveilling an adviser to President Donald Trump’s campaign.

In addition to an investigation into the request for a warrant to surveil Carter Page, U.S. Attorney John Huber has been looking into whether the Justice Department ignored allegations of Hillary Clinton’s ties to the sale of U.S. uranium rights to Uranium One, whose parent company is Rosatom, a Russian nuclear energy company. He also could be looking into the investigation of Clinton’s use of a personal email server and the workings of her family’s foundation, according to a story by The Salt Lake Tribune

>> Read more trending news

The letter sent by Sessions to Senate Judiciary chairman Chuck Grassley, (R-Iowa), House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte, (R-Virginia) and House Oversight Committee chairman Trey Gowdy, (R-South Carolina), revealed that he had asked Huber to lead the investigation into issues raised by the congressmen in recent months. 

Last fall, the lawmakers had asked Sessions to appoint a special counsel to investigate the response by the FBI to investigations related to Clinton in addition to the way the agency handled the request for surveillance of Page.

Sessions explained in the letter that their request, at this time, did not warrant the appointment of a special counsel.

“I am confident that Mr. Huber’s review will include a full, complete, and objective evaluation of these matters in a manner that is consistent with the law and the facts,” Sessions wrote. “I receive regular updates from Mr. Huber and upon the conclusion of his review, will receive his recommendations as to whether any matters not currently under investigation require further resources, or whether any merit the appointment of a Special Counsel.”

Huber has apparently been working on the investigation since November.

Who is Huber? Here’s what we know about the U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah.

  • He was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is 50 years old.
  • He earned a bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Utah, where he also graduated from the S.J. Quinney College of Law with a juris doctor degree.
  • He worked in the Weber County (Utah) Attorney’s Office, and as chief prosecutor for West Valley City. 
  • He worked in the U.S. Attorney’s Office as the National Security Section chief and the executive assistant U.S. attorney. 
  • He served as the United States attorney and lead federal law enforcement official in Utah since June 2015. 
  • He was first appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as U.S. attorney. 
  • In March 2017, Sessions appointed Huber to continue to serve as U.S. attorney in Utah.
  • In June 2017, Trump nominated Huber to serve as U.S. attorney for the District of Utah. In August 2017, the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Huber’s appointment.
  • He was honored by both Attorney General John Ashcroft and Attorney General Eric Holder for his work.
  • He is serving as vice chairman of the U.S. Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC).

 

Easter 2018: Which grocery stores are open; which are closed?

Easter is a time for family and friends, and that means good food, too. 

If you plan to cook a meal at home and realize you need an ingredient at the last minute, here is a list of grocery stores open on Sunday. Below is a list of stores that will be closed on Easter.

>> Read more trending news  

Some stores may close early on Easter. Check with your local store.

Open

  • Albertson’s
  • Kroger  
  • Sav-A-Lot  

>>Easter 2018: How to make perfect hard-boiled eggs for Easter egg dyeing

  • Stop & Shop 
  • Trader Joe’s  
  • Walmart  
  • Western Supermarkets  
  • Whole Foods  
  • Winn Dixie  

>>Are Macy’s, Walmart, Kohl’s or Target open on Easter 2018? Which stores are closed?

Closed

  • Aldi  
  • Costco  
  • Food Giant  
  • Fresh Market  
  • Piggly Wiggly  

>>Easter 2018: When is it; what is it; why isn't it on the same date every year?

  • Publix  
  • Sam’s Club  
  • Target    

Are Macy’s, Walmart, Kohl’s or Target open on Easter 2018? Which stores are closed?

Here is a look at the stores planning to be open and those planning to close on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

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Be sure to check with local retailers for Easter hours, some national chains set their own hours.

Easter/Good Friday openings and closings

Stock Market

The Stock Market is closed on Friday. 

Retail

  • Academy Sports: Open Easter Sunday and Good Friday.
  • Bed Bath & Beyond: Open Easter Sunday and Good Friday
  • Belk: Closed Easter Sunday and Good Friday.
  • Best Buy: Closed Easter Sunday; regular hours on Good Friday.
  • CVS: Open Easter Sunday and Good Friday.
  • Dillards: Closed Easter Sunday; regular hours on Good Friday.
  • Dollar General: Open Easter Sunday and Good Friday.
  • Family Dollar: Open Easter Sunday and Good Friday.
  • Fred Meyer: Open Easter Sunday and Good Friday
  • Home Depot: Open Easter Sunday and Good Friday.
  • J.C. Penney: Closed Easter Sunday; regular hours on Good Friday.
  • Kmart: Open Easter Sunday and Good Friday.
  • Kohl's: Closed on Easter Sunday; regular hours on Good Friday.
  • Lowes: Open Easter Sunday and Good Friday.
  • Macy’s: Closed on Easter Sunday; regular hours on Good Friday
  • Neiman Marcus: Closed Easter Sunday; regular hours on Good Friday.
  • Office Depot: Closed Easter Sunday; regular hours on Good Friday.
  • Office Max: Closed Easter Sunday; regular hours on Good Friday.

>>How did crucifixion kill Jesus?

  • Old Navy: Open on Easter Sunday and Good Friday.
  • Rite Aid: Open Easter Sunday and Good Friday.
  • Sears: Open Easter Sunday and Good Friday.
  • Target: Closed Easter Sunday; regular hours on Good Friday.
  • Wal-Mart: Open Easter Sunday and Good Friday.
  • Walgreens: Open Easter Sunday and Good Friday.

Click here to see which grocery stores will be open on Sunday.

What is free-range parenting and why did Utah pass a bill on it?

Are you a neglectful parent if you leave your child alone in the car when you run into a grocery store? How about letting your little one walk to school alone?

In many states, you can be prosecuted for such activities, but not in Utah. At least not as of May.

Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert signed into law earlier this month a bill that is being called the country’s first “free-range parenting” bill. The bill amends certain activities previously considered negligent in the state’s legal definition of child neglect. Activities such as letting a child “walk, run or bike to and from school,” or “remain home unattended” are addressed in the new language of the law.

The law does say children must be of “sufficient age,” but does not spell out what that age is. 

>> Read more trending news

“Absence evidence of clear danger, abuse or neglect, we believe that parents have the best sense of how to teach responsibility to their children” Herbert said in a statement.

What is “free-range parenting?” Here is some background.

What is it?

Free-range parenting defines a way of child rearing that encourages independence and less parental supervision. It encourages age-appropriate freedoms, such as playing outside without supervision and walking to school or stores.

How did it start?

While the movement’s origins can be traced back decades to pediatrician Benjamin Spock, the most recent iteration is linked to a column written by Lenore Skenazy, a New York mother and television host. Skenazy wrote about allowing her 9-year-old to make his way home from Bloomingdale’s in New York City by himself on the New York subway system. Skenazy was roundly criticized – some called her the worst mother in the United States – after she left her son in the department store with $20 and instructions on how to use public transit to get home.  

Skenazy’s column and its criticism led to the book, “Free-Range Kids.” She is the president of letgrow.org, a website that advocates for the end of “the culture of overprotection” of children.

What does the Utah law mean for parents?

The bill signed into law in Utah is more a rewriting of the definitions of what constitutes child neglect in the state. Sen. Lincoln Fillmore added and deleted language in existing law to allow parents to give children more freedom without being concerned about being charged with child neglect. 

The law permits a child “whose basic needs are met and who is of sufficient age and maturity to avoid harm or unreasonable risk of harm, to engage in independent activities, including: (A) traveling to and from school, including by walking, running, or bicycling; (B) traveling to and from nearby commercial or recreational facilities; (C) engaging in outdoor play; (D) remaining in a vehicle unattended, except under the conditions described in 323 Subsection 76-10-2202(2); (E) remaining at home unattended; or (F) engaging in a similar independent activity.”

“Kids need to wonder about the world, explore and play in it, and by doing so learn the skills of self-reliance and problem-solving they’ll need as adults," Fillmore said.

Any other states considering such laws?

Utah is the only state that has passed a “free-range parenting” law. Arkansas legislators tried to pass a similar bill in 2017, but it died  in the state’s House of Representatives.

Other states legislators have talked about such bills, particularly after a Silver Spring, Maryland, couple was investigated by child protective services after allowing their 10- and-6-year-old children to walk home alone from a park in 2015.

Easter Sunday brunch 2018: What’s open, where are the best deals?

While some families gather to share a meal to celebrate Easter, others take advantage of special Easter lunches and brunches offered at local restaurants.

Here are a few options if you want to enjoy a meal out and skip all that cooking and cleaning up.

>> Read more trending news

Some restaurants require reservations. Some of the deals below will not be offered at every location, not every franchise honors the deals. Call ahead to your local restaurant to make sure they are honoring the offer.

Where to eat on Easter:

Baskin-Robbins – Bunny-shaped, chick and spring flower cakes are available. 

Bob Evans – The restaurant features the Farmhouse Feast, a complete meal packed cold and ready to heat and serve. The price ranges from $49.99 to $109.99, depending on what you choose.

Boston Market- You can dine in or carry out on Easter at Boston Market. Heat-and-serve meals must be ordered and picked up on March 30, March 31 or April 1; in some areas, home delivery is available. Home deliveries must be ordered by Tuesday (March 27) for delivery between March 28 and 30). A full menu is available for dine-in on Easter.

>>Easter 2018: When is it; what is it; why isn't it on the same date every year?

Buca di Beppo – The restaurant is open at 11 a.m. on Easter. You can make reservations by clicking here.

The Capital Grille – An Easter brunch with appetizer, entrée and dessert will be served Sunday. Cost for adults is $49, for children it’s $15.

Claim Jumper – An Easter brunch with omelet bar, breakfast items, a carving station, pizzas and desserts will be served on Sunday. 

Cracker Barrel – Another to-go Easter option is available at Cracker Barrel. You can get the Heat n’ Serve Easter Family Meal that includes spiral sliced ham, sides, blackberry cobbler and iced tea. You must order 24 hours in advance and pick up between Friday and Sunday. The meals serves up to 10.

Eddie V’s Prime Seafood – Eddie V’s is serving brunch on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Adults pay $49, while the kids’ price is $15. The menu features three courses plus some warm cinnamon rolls to start. You can also order off the dinner menu.

>>Easter 2018: How to make perfect hard-boiled eggs for Easter egg dyeing

Fleming’s – Fleming’s will host an Easter brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Price for a three-course meal is $47. Kids’ meals are $16.

Hometown Buffet – Hometown Buffet has an “Easter Family Pack-To-Go” meal for $89.99. You get ham and turkey, sides and dessert. You have to order by Friday. The restaurant will also serve a dine-in Easter brunch with carved ham, steak, carved roast beef, fried chicken vegetables and desserts.

>>Easter 2018: Quotes about the holiest day on the Christian calendar

Krispy Kreme – What is better than an Easter egg? An Easter-themed doughnut. Look for the yellow chick doughnut and a Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg doughnut (filled with peanut butter “Kreme” then topped with chocolate icing and nuts.

Legal Sea Foods – Most locations will be open Easter and will have some special holiday offerings along with the regular menu items.

Maggiano’s – The restaurant is featuring a Family Style menu on Easter that includes lunch, dinner and/or brunch items.

Marie Callender’s – You can feed up to six people with one of several take-home Easter Feast options. The price for the meal that includes entrees, sides and desserts, ranges from $99.99 to $139.99.

McCormick & Schmick’s – A brunch and an Easter dinner will be available Sunday. Reservations are recommended.

Mimi’s Cafe – Feed six to eight guests with the Take-Home Easter Feast for $99.99. The meal includes smoked ham with an orange-Dijon herb glaze, sides and salad. You must reserve the meal and pick it up between Friday and Sunday. The restaurant will be open on Sunday.

Morton’s The Steakhouse – Morton’s will feature a steak and lobster special for $59. The restaurant’s full menu will also be available. 

Country Buffet – Country Buffet has an “Easter Family Pack-To-Go” meal for $89.99. You get ham and turkey, sides and dessert. You have to order by Friday. The restaurant will also serve a dine-in Easter brunch with carved ham, steak, carved roast beef, fried chicken vegetables and desserts.

Ruth’s Chris – Participating locations will be serving Easter dinner along with a seasonal three-course spring menu.

Ryan’s – Ryan’s will be serving an Easter menu along with an Easter Family Pack To Go ($89.99). It includes a variety of entrees, sides and pies. The Family Pack must be ordered by Friday.

>>How did crucifixion kill Jesus?

Shoney’s – Shoney’s will be serving a special Easter buffet that includes sliced ham with apples, turkey breast, fried chicken, green beans, sweet potato casserole, peach cobbler and more. 

Tony Roma’s – Tony Roma’s is offering a $23 Easter menu with boneless beef short rib, a choice of soup or salad, mashed potatoes and vegetables.

Waffle House – As always, Waffle House will be open 24 hours. 

Martin Luther King Jr.: How the world heard the news of his assassination

April 4 will mark the 50th anniversary of the day Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. King, the leader of the non-violent movement for civil rights in the 1960s, had come to Memphis the day before to help sanitation workers rally for better wages and safer working conditions.

That evening, as King stood on a balcony at the Loraine Motel, he was mortally wounded by a bullet from a rifle believed to have been fired from a rooming house across the street from the Loraine. King was hit in the jaw and knocked unconscious. He was pronounced dead at the St. Joseph’s Hospital about an hour later, having never regained consciousness.

Here is how the world learned and reacted to the news of King’s assassination:

What King said night before he was murdered:

King came to Memphis in early April 1968 to help striking sanitation workers in their protests for better wages and safer working conditions. On April 3, King addressed a gathering at the Mason Temple in Memphis. He said he did not feel well and did not want to go, but went anyway on the urging of his aides. King stood before the crowd and spoke extemporaneously for more than 40 minutes. The speech turned out to be prophetic as King told those gathered he had “been to the mountaintop,” but that he may not “get there with you.” Here is that speech:

Click here for a look at King’s life, death and legacy.

The obituariesFrom the New York Times:

Martin Luther King Jr.: Leader of Millions in Nonviolent Drive for Racial Justice

“To many million of American Negroes, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the prophet of their crusade for racial equality. He was their voice of anguish, their eloquence in humiliation, their battle cry for human dignity. He forged for them the weapons of nonviolence that withstood and blunted the ferocity of segregation.

“And to many millions of American whites, he was one of a group of Negroes who preserved the bridge of communication between races when racial warfare threatened the United States in the nineteen-sixties, as Negroes sought the full emancipation pledged to them a century before by Abraham Lincoln.

“To the world, Dr. King had the stature that accrued to a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, a man with access to the White House and the Vatican; a veritable hero in the African states that were just emerging from colonialism.” (Click here to continue reading)

From the Chicago Tribune

Riots follow killing of Martin Luther King Jr.

“Before darkness fell on this day, a Friday, the plumes of smoke from the West Side already were visible to Loop office workers. In Chicago and across the nation, rioting was breaking out in response to the news that Martin Luther King Jr. had been gunned down in Memphis the day before.” (Click here to continue reading)

Robert Kennedy breaking the news

On April 4, 1968, Robert F. Kennedy was in Indianapolis, campaigning for the Democratic nomination for president when he was told of the assassination of King. His staff tried to dissuade Kennedy from going to speak to the crowd in a predominately black neighborhood in the city, as news of riots were beginning to spread.

Kennedy insisted on going to the corner of 17th Avenue and Broadway and talking with the people gathered there. Kennedy began by breaking the news that King had been shot and killed, then called for calm and reminded those gathered that he, too, had had a family member killed and that his family member (his brother, John F. Kennedy) was killed by a white man.

Here is Kennedy’s speech that night.

President Lyndon Johnson’s response

Johnson was notified of King’s assassination as he readied for a trip to Hawaii. He postponed the trip, called King’s wife to offer condolences and declared April 7 a national day of mourning.

The front pages

To see how the world reacted to King’s assassination, click here.

From television:

Walter Cronkite on CBS  

ABC News

NBC News

WBS radio tribute

Coretta Scot King two days after her husband’s assassination

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