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Authorities in New Jersey are investigating after they were notified of mysterious tar balls peppering the beaches of the Jersey Shore.
The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and Monmouth County officials said that tar balls of various sizes and shapes have been found along the Jersey Shore in recent weeks.
In a press release, the USCG said that officials were first notified about the mysterious tar balls ranging in size from approximately 1–2 inches and smaller on an approximately 6-mile stretch near Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park on Tuesday morning.
The state Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Coast Guard and Monmouth County officials dispatched personnel to identify the source of pollution.
Investigators conducted a fly-over on Tuesday, but were unable to identify any oil on the surface of the water, the USCG said.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, tar balls are created when crude oil on the surface of the ocean gets formed into balls by wind and waves. The balls are sometimes created by oil spills, but can also result from natural oil seeps from the ocean floor.
The USCG said that crews are continuing to investigate the source of the tar balls and are beginning clean-up efforts along the popular beaches of the Jersey Shore.
The Coast Guard has opened the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund in order to swiftly initiate response actions, and an oil spill removal organization (OSRO) has begun shoreline assessment and clean up.
Authorities said that cleanup crews are working to assess the shoreline and waterway impacts from Sea Bright, New Jersey to Long Branch Beach, New Jersey.
“Beach goers and mariners are advised to avoid contact with the tar balls,” Coast Guard officials said. “Anyone who notices any tar balls or oil sheen in the area should contact the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802.”
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In just a moment we’re going to have a Washington report from the great Peter Doocy about Israel-related news and then Senator Eric Schmitt will be here to tell us about the Republican Senate meeting with House Speaker Mike Johnson.
Later on, we’ll be talking politics about the Gavin Newsom-Ron DeSantis debate on Sean Hannity tomorrow night and Steve Forbes will be here to lament the worst wave of antisemitism since the 1930s. First, let’s talk about the economy for a moment and the fact that the Biden administration, as always, cannot tell the truth about the American economy.
This is a long-suffering movie that we’ve all seen before, but just to refresh, here’s White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre just this past Monday. Please listen and weep:
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: “When we walked into this administration, the economy was on a tailspin. That is the fact because of the last administration, because of the Trump administration. The president came in, he passed the American Rescue Plan, which was able to get the economy back on its feet and let’s not forget what Republicans are doing…They’re trying to increase health care costs. They want to get rid of Medicare. They want to get rid of Social Security.”
I hardly know where to begin, there are so many falsehoods coming from the White House podium. First of all, there was no “tailspin.” By the first quarter of 2021, the American economy was growing at about 6.5% with an inflation rate that was less than 1.5%.
So, Joe Biden takes office January 20, essentially riding atop a soaring economy without inflation and gasoline prices were barely above $2 a gallon. Those are facts, Madam Press Secretary. F-A-C-T-S. Facts. You can look it up.
The economic rebound from the COVID collapse was a V-shaped recovery and, I can tell you, I know from experience because, as the former National Economic Council director, along with my pal Kevin Hassett at the Council of Economic Advisers, and Tyler Goodspeed at the CEA, we were touting a V-shaped recovery and took enormous flack from the liberal Washington media and the Democrats, but we were right, and they were wrong.
Trump policies of tax cuts, deregulation, and “drill baby drill” had created sound economic fundamentals. Trump’s deregulation alone put $11,000 more per year into the pockets of hard-working blue-collar Americans. So, as the COVID clouds disappeared, the pro-growth policies drove the economy right back up.
The smartest thing Joe Biden could’ve down was – wait for it – hang on a second – done nothing because if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, but no, the Bidens had to push for a $2 trillion spending plan to scratch every left-wing Democratic itch. All that did was jack up the inflation rate ultimately to 9%. By the first half of 2022, the economy was in recession with two negative GDP quarters. That’s Bidenomics. Since then, they have continued to spend, regulate and tax.
Their socialist Green New Deal war on fossil fuels has not only made all manner of energy products far more expensive here at home, but it has raised oil prices around the world, thereby benefitting our enemies like Russia and Iran – where Biden foreign policy continues to appease, rather than deter.
The same can be said for China, which is financing two wars in Ukraine and Israel with massive oil purchases from Russia and Iran. That’s Bidenomics.
As far as the charge that Republicans want to “get rid of Medicare and Social Security” – that is just stupid sophomoric malarky politics. It’s a pack of lies because the Republicans are in favor of no such thing and Biden knows this.
In fact, even in the State of the Union, when Biden tried to use the same lie about the big entitlements and every single Republican in the chamber rose up to boo him because it was completely wrong and people see right through these lies.
Biden said recently that this year’s Thanksgiving was cheaper, but in fact, the American Farm Bureau came out and said – wait a second – Thanksgiving costs were 41% higher than 2020 and, right down the line, cost after cost has risen enormously from Bidenomics.
Real wages have been falling almost steadily for three years. High energy and grocery costs, add to that soaring insurance costs, interest rates on borrowing to buy homes or cars, and don’t forget credit cards – are all soaring. That’s Bidenomics.
In terms of the next 12 months or so, the reliable Conference Board’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators has fallen 19 consecutive months, nearly as bad as anything we’ve seen since World War II. The threat of a recession next year is rising. That’s why Americans are so unhappy with the economy.
The recent New York Times-Siena College poll shows overwhelmingly that people rate the economy “poor” or “only fair” – including: 70% of those making less than $50,000; 61% making $50,000 to $100,000; 89% of young people aged 18-29; 75% of Blacks and Hispanics; and 65% of women.
That is a vote of no confidence in Bidenomics. Nobody cares about a bunch of phony lies coming from a press secretary who has no clue about the subject matter. Most disturbing of all, the same lies come from the commander-in-chief who is trying to lie his way through a botched left-wing, big government, socialist policy that has utterly failed the vast majority of working folks in this country.
Indeed, the reason Donald Trump is soaring in the polls and now running ahead of Biden as well as Trump’s primary opponents, is that working folks of all incomes, no matter their ethnicity or color or sex, want a return to the peace and prosperity of the Trump years. That’s what’s really going on out there, no matter how many fibs Karine Jean-Pierre tries to sell.
This article is adapted from Larry Kudlow’s opening commentary on the November 29, 2023, edition of “Kudlow.”
A lawsuit filed by a group of popular authors against OpenAI alleging that their copyrighted works were infringed through their use in training ChatGPT moved forward on Wednesday in what will be a significant case for artificial intelligence (AI) and copyright law.
The Authors Guild filed the suit in federal court with the fiction authors seeking class-action status. Plaintiffs include several prominent authors such as David Baldacci, John Grisham, George R.R. Martin and Jodi Picoult. The first pre-trial conference hearing in the case was scheduled for Wednesday before a federal judge in the Southern District of New York.
The authors allege that OpenAI infringed their copyright works by feeding those novels into the large language models (LLMs) used to train ChatGPT, the groundbreaking generative AI chatbot. These LLMs allow the AI tool, such as ChatGPT, to learn from the concepts and content that it later uses to generate content in response to users’ prompts.
“These algorithms are at the heart of Defendants’ massive commercial enterprise,” their suit states. “And at the heart of these algorithms is systematic theft on a mass scale.”
Their suit also claims that OpenAI’s LLMs “endanger fiction writers’ ability to make a living, in that the LLMs allow anyone to generate — automatically and freely (or very cheaply) — texts that they would otherwise pay writers to create. Moreover, Defendants’ LLMs can spit out derivative works: material that is based on, mimics, summarizes, or paraphrases Plaintiff’s works, and harms the market for them.”
OpenAI declined to comment on the pending litigation.
A report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) updated in August on the subject of AI and copyright law notes that OpenAI acknowledged in a filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that its programs are trained with the “use of large, publicly available datasets that include copyrighted works.”
Within that document, OpenAI asserted that the fair use doctrine protects the training of AI systems under current law. Among the elements of OpenAI’s arguments include that the training of AI systems uses original works in a “highly transformative” way to train the systems on the patterns of human-generated content so that it can provide more useful AI-generated content and that the generated content is different from what it was trained on.
The CRS noted that whether the copyrighted content can be used under the fair use doctrine depends on four legal factors, including whether the use is for commercial or nonprofit educational purposes, the nature of the copyrighted work, the amount and substantiality of the copyrighted work used and the effect of its use on the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
The legal team representing the fiction authors provided a supplemental filing on Tuesday notifying the court that they intend to amend the complaint to add Microsoft “in light of recent developments — including those over the last week — in connection with Microsoft’s role in and relationship to OpenAI.”
Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
OpenAI and Microsoft were involved in a whirlwind week of corporate turbulence, as OpenAI CEO Sam Altman was ousted by the company’s board, prompting an employee revolt and leading to his hiring by Microsoft — which is a significant investor in OpenAI. Eventually, Altman returned to OpenAI as CEO after several board members were replaced, leaving the company’s partnership with Microsoft intact.
A similar lawsuit was filed against OpenAI last week by Julian Sancton, a nonfiction author who is seeking to mount a similar class action suit against OpenAI and Microsoft over alleged copyright infringement. Sancton’s legal counsel notified the Southern District of New York noting that the case hasn’t been assigned and that the counsel plans to attend the Authors Guild pre-conference hearing given the related nature of the case.
Google has apologized to travelers who were directed to the Mojave Desert in California while traveling from Las Vegas to Los Angeles.
“We apologize for the incident and will no longer route drivers traveling between Las Vegas and Barstow down those roads,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement to FOX Business.
In the video, Easler posted that the suggested route had her driving “straight into the desert with no road.”
“Going like 2 mph bc our cars are being destroyed,” she wrote.
The footage then showed several cars stopped, with Easler saying all the vehicles, who apparently followed the same route from the same Google Maps directions, got stuck on the dirt road.
Easler said they waited hours for a tow truck because of damage to her car.
The California Highway Patrol was dealing with accidents on the freeway and couldn’t get to her and the other vehicles in the desert, she said.