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NFL Week 3 Picks: Matchup of unbeatens when Tampa Bay visits Rams

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NFL Week 3 Picks: Matchup of unbeatens when Tampa Bay visits Rams

Game of the week

Tampa Bay at L.A. Rams

In a matchup of 2-0 teams, the Buccaneers are a 1 1/2-point road favorite. One of the best stories in the league has been tight end Rob Gronkowski turning back the clock. Gronk leads the NFL with four touchdown catches (took him until Nov. 15 last year to get four) and he wins the game in the final 30 seconds.

Buccaneers 34, Rams 31

Lock of the week

Arizona at Jacksonville

Back in the day on the Jaguars’ beat, we would look at the schedule and ask, “Who can they beat? They won’t be favored against anybody, but where can they still find a win?” That is the current predicament in Jacksonville, whose fans should be outraged. The Cardinals (minus-8) move to 3-0 as quarterback Kyler Murray accounts for four touchdowns.

Cardinals 41, Jaguars 20

Upset of the week

Indianapolis at Tennessee

The Colts’ season is on the line after home losses to Seattle and the Los Angeles Rams. We go with the desperate team (Indianapolis is plus-6) that will rally around either dinged-up quarterback Carson Wentz (bad ankles) or fill-in starter Jacob Eason. The Titans have a letdown after their miracle-gift-of-an-overtime-win at Seattle last week.

Colts 24, Titans 23


Around the NFC

Jason Behnken, The Associated Press

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Tampa, Fla.

Brady unstoppable. Is it us or is Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady on a mission to go 17-0 in the regular season and shatter the single-season touchdown pass record of 55 by the Broncos’ Peyton Manning in 2013? Sure looks like it. Brady has nine touchdown passes through two games, which puts him on pace for 76 1/ 2. OK, he won’t throw that many scores, but don’t discount him reaching 60 touchdowns because the Buccaneers’ running back duo of Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones has been underwhelming.

Paging Chase. The second overall pick in the 2020 draft, Washington defense end Chase Young, was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. But he better get his game going this year. Through two games, Young has no sacks and he was virtually invisible in the Week 2 win over the New York Giants. Let’s compare him to Lawrence Taylor and Von Miller. In the first two weeks of each of Taylor’s seasons in which sacks were an official statistic (1982-93, except for ‘88), he had 23 1/2 sacks. Miller has 19 sacks in the seasons he’s played in Weeks 1-2. Young had 2 1/2 sacks in his first two games last year.

Packers back to SF. For the fourth time since the start of 2019, Green Bay heads to Santa Clara, Calif., to face San Francisco. Packers coach Matt LaFleur is 28-7 (regular season/playoffs) against 30 teams and 1-2 against the 49ers (losses of 37-8 and 37-20 and a 34-17 win). The 2-0 49ers host the Packers then play Seattle and Arizona. The NFC West is stacked. “I know the players that they have in our division, I know the coaches in our division,” coach Kyle Shanahan said.


Around the AFC

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson scores ...

Julio Cortez, The Associated Press

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson scores a touchdown in the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Baltimore.

KC’s “D” offensive. It’s startling how badly the Chiefs defense has played during their 1-1 start (win over Cleveland/loss to Baltimore). Entering Sunday’s division game against the Chargers, Kansas City ranks last in yards per game (464.0) and per play (7.6), rushing yards per game (202.0) and per attempt (6.03) and rushing touchdowns (seven, four more than any other team) and 28th in points allowed (32.5). Patrick Mahomes is a magician but even he’ll be solved for a few possessions within a game. The only thing going the defense’s way? Takeaways (four).

Who needs a running game? Las Vegas is 2-0 and its offense is one-dimensional. In leading the league in yards per game (458.0), the Raiders are first in passing (391.0) and 31st in rushing (67.0). But when Derek Carr is throwing for this many yards and making this many big plays (12 completions of at least 20 yards), why bother running it? Miami could provide the opportunity to get the run game going, though. The Dolphins are 28th against the run (134.0). A huge game for Las Vegas, which plays at the Chargers, home to Chicago and at the Broncos in Weeks 4-6.

Bengals turnaround defense. Cincinnati uncharacteristically spent money in free agency during the offseason to sign defensive end Trey Hendrickson and nickel back Mike Hilton. The Bengals are 1-1 heading to Pittsburgh, but the statistics are greatly improved. Yards per game — 26th last year (389.2) and sixth this year (304.5). Points per game — 21st (26.5) last year and tied for 10th this year (22.0). The Bengals have six sacks and 14 total quarterback hits. If the Bengals can upset the Steelers, they have Jacksonville on Thursday night.

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Apple once threatened Facebook ban over Mideast maid abuse

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Apple once threatened Facebook ban over Mideast maid abuse

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Two years ago, Apple threatened to pull Facebook and Instagram from its app store over concerns about the platform being used as a tool to trade and sell maids in the Mideast.

After publicly promising to crack down, Facebook acknowledged in internal documents obtained by The Associated Press that it was “under-enforcing on confirmed abusive activity” that saw Filipina maids complaining on the social media site of being abused. Apple relented and Facebook and Instagram remained in the app store.

But Facebook’s crackdown seems to have had a limited effect. Even today, a quick search for “khadima,” or “maids” in Arabic, will bring up accounts featuring posed photographs of Africans and South Asians with ages and prices listed next to their images. That’s even as the Philippines government has a team of workers that do nothing but scour Facebook posts each day to try and protect desperate job seekers from criminal gangs and unscrupulous recruiters using the site.

While the Mideast remains a crucial source of work for women in Asia and Africa hoping to provide for their families back home, Facebook acknowledged some countries across the region have “especially egregious” human rights issues when it comes to laborers’ protection.

“In our investigation, domestic workers frequently complained to their recruitment agencies of being locked in their homes, starved, forced to extend their contracts indefinitely, unpaid, and repeatedly sold to other employers without their consent,” one Facebook document read. “In response, agencies commonly told them to be more agreeable.”

The report added: “We also found recruitment agencies dismissing more serious crimes, such as physical or sexual assault, rather than helping domestic workers.”

In a statement to the AP, Facebook said it took the problem seriously, despite the continued spread of ads exploiting foreign workers in the Mideast.

“We prohibit human exploitation in no uncertain terms,” Facebook said. “We’ve been combating human trafficking on our platform for many years and our goal remains to prevent anyone who seeks to exploit others from having a home on our platform.”

This story, along with others published Monday, is based on disclosures made to the Securities and Exchange Commission and provided to Congress in redacted form by former Facebook employee-turned-whistleblower Frances Haugen’s legal counsel. The redacted versions were obtained by a consortium of news organizations, including the AP.

Taken as a whole, the trove of documents show that Facebook’s daunting size and user base around the world — a key factor in its rapid ascent and near trillion-dollar valuation — also proves to be its greatest weakness in trying to police illicit activity, such as the sale of drugs, and suspected human rights and labor abuses on its site.

Activists say Facebook, based in Menlo Park, California, has both an obligation and likely the means to fully crack down on the abuses their services facilitate as it earns tens of billions of dollars a year in revenue.

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HelloFresh, EveryPlate and more now part of extended onion recall

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You may need to toss your onions as salmonella outbreak has been linked to the vegetable

If you haven’t already thrown out your onions, you should check your vegetables again.

The Food and Drug Administration has extended the onion recall, caused by a salmonella outbreak, to several more brands. The salmonella outbreak was first reported last week and initially only included fresh whole red, white or yellow onions imported from Chihuahua, Mexico and distributed by ProSource.

The recall now includes onions from HelloFresh, EveryPlate, Potandon Produce LLC and Keeler Family Farms.

HelloFresh said in a statement on Saturday they recommended disposing of onions received during the specified time period

“HelloFresh has been informed by one of its ingredient suppliers that it is conducting a voluntary recall of its onions due to the potential presence of salmonella bacteria,” the company said. “Please discard all onions received from July 7, 2021, through Sept. 8, 2021.”

The CDC is still working to determine if other onions and suppliers are linked to the outbreak.

Officials said recently both individuals and businesses should check onions and if it is unknown where they are from, throw them away. It is also recommended to wash and sanitize any surfaces that may have come in contact with these onions.

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Just what are “The Facebook Papers,” anyway?

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Just what are “The Facebook Papers,” anyway?

The Facebook Papers project represents a unique collaboration among 17 American news organizations, including The Associated Press. Journalists from a variety of newsrooms, large and small, worked together to gain access to thousands of pages of internal company documents obtained by Frances Haugen, the former Facebook product manager-turned-whistleblower.

A separate consortium of European news outlets had access to the same set of documents, and members of both groups began publishing content related to their analysis of the materials at 7 a.m. EDT on Monday, Oct. 25. That date and time was set by the partner news organizations to give everyone in the consortium an opportunity to fully analyze the documents, report out relevant details, and to give Facebook’s public relations staff ample time to respond to questions and inquiries raised by that reporting.

Each member of the consortium pursued its own independent reporting on the document contents and their significance. Every member also had the opportunity to attend group briefings to gain information and context about the documents.

The launch of The Facebook Papers project follows similar reporting by The Wall Street Journal, sourced from the same documents, as well as Haugen’s appearance on the CBS television show “60 Minutes” and her Oct. 5 Capitol Hill testimony before a U.S. Senate subcommittee.

The papers themselves are redacted versions of disclosures that Haugen has made over several months to the Securities and Exchange Commission, alleging Facebook was prioritizing profits over safety and hiding its own research from investors and the public.

These complaints cover a range of topics, from its efforts to continue growing its audience, to how its platforms might harm children, to its alleged role in inciting political violence. The same redacted versions of those filings are being provided to members of Congress as part of its investigation. And that process continues as Haugen’s legal team goes through the process of redacting the SEC filings by removing the names of Facebook users and lower-level employees and turns them over to Congress.

The Facebook Papers consortium will continue to report on these documents as more become available in the coming days and weeks.

“AP regularly teams up with other news organizations to bring important journalism to the world,” said Julie Pace, senior vice president and executive editor. “The Facebook Papers project is in keeping with that mission. In all collaborations, AP maintains its editorial independence.”

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