The Pentagon apparently has more money than it knows what to do with as tens of billions of dollars are getting left unspent
The Pentagon failed to spend an eye-popping $27.7 billion of the funds it was allocated for fiscal year 2018 even though President Donald Trump intends to give the U.S. military even more taxpayer cash to play with next year.
According to a report from the Department of Defense Inspector General on the department's first-ever audit, the unspent $27.7 billion represents 4% of the $692 billion defense budget Trump signed into law in December 2017.
How did this happen? Defense officials literally didn't spend the money fast enough. "Money appropriated by Congress expires if it isn't spent within certain time frames and typically can no longer be used for new spending," as Bloomberg Government explains. "For example, money in procurement accounts is available for three years, research accounts for two years while money in personnel and operations and maintenance accounts expires after one year."
The Parkland school shooting is not a mystery to be solved. The defendant doesn’t deny committing the crime. And there’s no sense in putting off the inevitable, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Nikolas Cruz should go to trial by the end of the year, senior prosecutor Jeff Marcus said, asking Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer to consider setting a trial date as early as September.
“It’s a pretty straightforward case that does not require years and years to prepare for,” Marcus said.
But defense lawyers balked at the idea, arguing that no matter how open-and-shut the case may be, Cruz, 20, is still entitled to the same vigorous and thorough defense as every other defendant facing execution.
Law enforcement harassing Zachary Cruz, brother of Parkland school shooter, lawyers say
“We have to do everything we have to do and depose every witness so that we are effective in our representation of Mr. Cruz. There’s higher standards of due process,” said Assistant Public Defender Melisa McNeill.
Cruz has never denied being the gunman who walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last Valentine’s Day and gunned down 14 students and three faculty members. He also shot and wounded 17 others. He’s facing charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder. If convicted on the murder charges, he could face the death penalty.
The Public Defender’s Office has repeatedly offered to have Cruz plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence, sparing the victims and the public from the need to relive the terror of the shooting day after day at trial. But prosecutors have said justice can only be served if a jury is entrusted with the decision of whether Cruz lives or dies.
Scherer did not schedule a trial date.
Parkland shooter wants new jail guard after attack
Cruz, sporting a new buzzcut and wearing eyeglasses, was in court Tuesday for what was otherwise a routine hearing, with lawyers discussing the finer points of scheduling depositions for the dozens of witnesses likely to be called whenever Cruz goes to trial.
The judge said she will hear arguments later this month over whether the jail guard who was attacked by Cruz in November can continue overseeing him at the Broward main jail. Cruz is accused of punching Broward Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Ray Beltran and removing the deputy’s stun gun during an altercation at the jail.
Typically in assault and battery cases, the defendant is ordered to have no contact with the victim. But just as prosecutors don’t want Cruz to be the one to determine his punishment, the Broward Sheriff’s Office doesn’t want Cruz to determine who oversees him at the jail.
“I will not allow any inmate in our custody the opportunity to try and manipulate who supervises them and when they do so,” Lt. Col. James Reyes wrote to McNeill on Nov. 16.
Scherer set a hearing for Jan. 16 to hear arguments on the issue.
In court on Tuesday was Cruz’s brother, Zachary, who now lives in Virginia. The brothers did not make eye contact.
Zachary Cruz, 18, has filed a federal lawsuit accusing the Broward Sheriff’s Office of harassing him after the shooting.
He was arrested days after the shooting for trespassing on the grounds of Stoneman Douglas High School, then again in late April for driving near the school — the latter arrest was purportedly a violation of the terms of his probation, but the charge was dropped as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.
On Monday, a federal judge ruled against a Broward Sheriff’s Office motion to dismiss the case, allowing it to proceed to trial at an undetermined date
Nomura Spots A Key Risk In Today's Fed Message That "Most Are Not Aware Of"
s discussed last night, going into today's Fed decision there is a concern among traders that, as Nomura's Charlie McElligott recaps today, it will be difficult for the Fed to not sound somewhat “hawkish” (relatively-speaking) and disappoint "doved-up" markets expectations following the recent policy outlook shift and the subsequent engineered market rally since the Dec meeting, where Committee members have delivered a coordinated “patience” message on further hikes (which are now largely on hold until the Summer at the earliest), as well as voiced a willingness to be open-minded regarding balance-sheet adjustments due to potential impact on the economic- and market- outlook.
McElligott has further "refined" (or perhaps simplified) this dynamic as follows: it will be difficult for the Fed to get "more dovish"— something which appears to be now priced in following last Friday's WSJ article hinting the Fed may halt an unwind to the balance sheet — without US data turning lower again, when in fact recent stabilization of both data and the market brings the "financial conditions tightening" negative feedback loop back “in-play,” as Fed tightening re-enters the picture, and the higher stocks rise, the more rate hikes will have to be priced in.
All of that was covered in our preview of why the Fed may "massively disappoint" markets today.
However, as McElligott adds in his latest daily note, "there is some VERY provocative, 11th hour talk through the 'consultant/macro advisory' circles that the Fed could state today that at a future meeting, they will lay out an actual timetable to end the balance-sheet runoff", which would be seen by the market as a clear escalation of the thought trial-ballooned in the WSJ piece last week (to end QT “sooner-than-expected”).
This raises a key question: with no catalysts to be incrementally dovish, "why would the Fed do this, and/or how could the they justify this, if at-the-same-time they have noted little evidence that the adjustment of the balance-sheet is having a significant impact on the outlook for the economy?
According to McElligott, the answer is that the Fed could say they are making this purely about "mechanics/plumbing" of the system — i.e. saying that per Primary Dealer surveys they have noted the appropriate level of Reserves in the system is ‘X’ trillion for proper function (a number much higher than the generic prior estimates from years-past that the Fed would work to get the balance sheet down to ~$1.5-$2.0T).
As we pointed out yesterday, using data from Bank of America, the market - both dealers and buyside - now sees $1 trillion as the appropriate reserve level when the Fed ends its unwind.
Assuming currency in circulation rises to $2 trillion in two years, this means that the balance sheet would shrink by another ~$1 trillion, or just over two more years of balance sheet shrinkage at the current pace of roughly $36BN per month.
As McElligott concludes, there is low, but binary risk going into today’s Fed meeting: either the first “disappoint the doves” scenario of message sounding more hawkish than anticpated currently with stocks lower as Fed-driven “FCI tightening” remains an ongoing risk, or this "fringe-potential" for a very granular dovish "end the balance-sheet run-off" market speculation which was hinted by the WSJ, and which the Nomura strategist notes could zoom the S&P to 2700-2750 fast.
There is one foonote: as Charlie adds, "for what it’s worth, we are NOT seeing new “Equities Upside” expressions in the market—in fact, WoW we have seen monetization of prior short-term upside expressions" as a result the Nomura strategist does not believe this speculation on the potential for this “hard timetable to end run-off” scenario is viewed with high conviction, or simply has not been widely disseminated.
Office of Inspector General Announces Findings of Misconduct by Three FBI Officials
The Office of Inspector General announced this week that it found misconduct by “two current senior FBI officials” and “one retired FBI official.”
The FBI officials were not named in the report.
“The Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) initiated this investigation upon the receipt of information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) concerning multiple allegations involving an FBI contractor and three FBI officials,” the investigative summary said.
“The OIG found that as a result of conduct by two current senior FBI officials, and one retired FBI official, the FBI contractor engaged in certain inherent governmental activities in contravention of Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR). Additionally, the OIG found that these three FBI officials did not adhere to Office of Management and Budget policy while managing the contractor. Further, the OIG found that the FBI contractor failed to adhere to personal conflict of interest rules under the FAR.”
The report was then provided to the FBI for appropriate action.
We’ve seen this before. No matter what type of misconduct FBI officials engage in, they will retire with a golden parachute and live happily ever after.
American citizens have completely lost trust in the FBI, the once respected premiere law enforcement agency. The agency’s reputation is in tatters because of James Comey’s corrupt directorship and the current Director, Christopher Wray has done nothing to restore confidence in the FBI.
Federal Judge Blasts "Criminal" PG&E's "Clear-Cut Pattern Of Starting Fires"
After rallying in the 'good' news that the company has entered Chapter 11, PG&E's stock is lower today, not helped by a federal judge's comments slamming the triple-bankrupt utility for serially starting fires.
Following a series of massive fires along its 125,000 miles of power lines over the last two years, Bloomberg reports that U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup - who is overseeing PG&E’s probation for safety violations that led to felony convictions for the 2010 explosion of one of its gas pipelines, which killed eight people - didn’t back down from his criticism of the utility despite being told he had overreached.
“Usually a criminal on probation is forthcoming and admits what they need to admit. You haven’t admitted much,” Alsup told lawyers for the company at a hearing Wednesday in federal court in San Francisco.
“There’s a clear-cut pattern here: that PG&E is starting these fires.”
Among other suggestions, the judge proposed subjecting the company to criminal sanctions if it failed to shut off electric supply to portions of the grid on extremely windy days, trim tree branches and inspect and repair thousands of miles of power lines.
Empire’ Actor Jussie Smollett Told Police His Attackers Yelled ‘MAGA Country’
CHICAGO (AP) — A cast member on the hit television show “Empire” alleged he was physically attacked by men in Chicago who shouted racial and homophobic slurs, police said Tuesday.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that when officers first came in contact with Smollett, he still had a rope around his neck. While being interviewed by detectives, Guglielmi said Smollett told them that the attackers yelled he was in “MAGA country,” an apparent reference to the Trump campaign’s “Make America Great Again” slogan that some critics of the president have decried as racist and discriminatory.
The police spokesman added that the two men were wearing masks. Investigators have not found any surveillance video or witnesses from which they can put together a description of the offenders, he said.
Smollett was able to take himself to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He was last reported in good condition.
Guglielmi also said the FBI is investigating a threatening letter targeting Smollett that was sent to the Fox studio in Chicago last week.
Facebook paid children as young as 13 for access to monitor all their internet data
Facebook used an app to pay people as young as 13 years old to allow the company to monitor all their internet activity.
What's the story?
According to the website TechCrunch, Facebook used an iPhone and Android app called "Facebook Research" to gather data. This app would pay users, who ranged in age from 13 to 35, up to $20 a month, and in return it would send to Facebook information about that user's web activity. This has been going on since 2016.
When questioned about this, Facebook admitted to TechCrunch that these allegations were accurate. After that story broke, Facebook said it would shut down the Apple version of the app. For its part, Apple said that the app had been blocked before Facebook said that it had pulled it.
Despite discontinuing the app, Facebook has defended the app. In a statement to CNBC, the company said:
Key facts about this market research program are being ignored. Despite early reports, there was nothing "secret" about this; it was literally called the Facebook Research App. It wasn't "spying" as all of the people who signed up to participate went through a clear on-boarding process asking for their permission and were paid to participate. Finally, less than 5 percent of the people who chose to participate in this market research program were teens. All of them with signed parental consent forms.
PM May Gets Mandate For Brexit Change, But EU Leaders Reject Concessions
The European Union’s Brexit negotiators flatly refused to accommodate any sort of renegotiation of the bloc’s ‘deal’ with the United Kingdom over Brexit, just hours after the nation’s Members of Parliament (MPs) voted to give the Prime Minister a mandate for change.
EU leaders told Theresa May Wednesday morning their way was the only way — their hardline stance perhaps inadvertently drawing the United Kingdom further towards a full, no-deal freedom Brexit in March.
MPs voted Tuesday night on seven amendments to the government’s Brexit business, just two of which passed. One, from Labour MP Caroline Spelman, intended to prevent what has been called a ‘no deal Brexit’, that is to say, Britain actually leaving the European Union without being bound to European Union laws in future. While Spelman was successful, the motion is not legally binding on the government.
U.S. Border Patrol agents on Saturday arrested a Salvadoran male crossing illegally into the country form Mexico, according to Customs and Border Protection. While his arrest was in process, agents identified him as an active MS-13 gang member.
Agents on Monday caught a cluster of illegal immigrants shortly after they crossed into the U.S. Checks on their records revealed that one of them, a Guatemalan male, was previously convicted for attempted second degree murder in New York. He had been sentenced to five years confinement.
Both incidents happened in the southernmost part of Texas, in the Rio Grande Valley sector of the border, where illegal crossings are more than three times that of any other sector and where agents told me they are in dire need of a physical barrier wall.
When I paid a visit to the area two weeks ago, border patrol division chief John Morris told me that 90 percent of illegal alien apprehensions take place in the vast swaths of land where no border wall construction has been completed. In other areas, there are 25-foot-tall concrete and steel barriers that function as both reinforcement for ditches that control flooding from the Rio Grande river and as a deterrent to illegal crossers.
Well done Patriots! White House Petition To Impeach Nancy Pelosi Passes 100,000 Signature Goal
Nancy Pelosi may be riding high after her draw with Trump over border security but the writing is on the wall for the Speaker.
The polls show she is still underwater with most of America, her numbers shockingly low and consistently bad over the last so many years is never good news.
The border fight is really just beginning and while she held the Democrats together there are signs they bare cracking with moderate Dems growing nervous over another shutdown.
And now she is facing another attack this time from the White House website. They have a feature where you can petition for action and quite a few people want Pelosi impeached.
From Big League Politics: A White House ‘We the People’ petition calling for the impeachment of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is quickly approaching 100,000 online signatures as of Monday.
The petition, created by a citizen who provided no information other than the initials of “M.G,” accuses Pelosi of being a traitor to the American people who is beholden to the interests of illegal immigrants.
Pelosi led the recent government shutdown, refusing to work with President Trump to provide wall funding while making federal workers go unpaid for their services for more than a month.
“Illegal aliens are enemies that invade our country with drugs, human trafficking, and terrorist causing death and crime to American citizens.
Nancy Pelosi adheres to these enemies by voting for and providing them aid and comfort through Sanctuary policies funded by US citizen tax dollars, and refuses to protect American people by refusing to fund our border wall, leaving our borders open and unsafe.
Pelosi refused to meet with Angel families, caused the government shut down then traveled on US dollars to Hawaii and Puerto Rico while 800,000 Fed workers don’t get paid, and uninvited Trump for SOTU. IMPEACH Pelosi for treason!”
The process for impeaching a Speaker of the House is theoretically the same for every single member of the chamber.
It takes a 2/3rds majority vote to strip membership in the House from an elected member- making it unlikely that the Democrat-controlled house could act upon this petition, regardless of its popularity among the American public.
First this: The Conservative Opposition is accusing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of trying to bribe Canadian media to secure favourable media coverage in the run-up to next year's federal election.
The accusations came a day after Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced in the fall economic update that the government was introducing $600 million in tax credits and incentives to help the media industry over the next five years.
"Justin Trudeau thinks it is the job of the media to shower him with praise and coincidentally, in an election year, he's forcing Canadian taxpayers to dole out $600 million in order to try and buy Trudeau the media's support as he goes to the polls," Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre told reporters Thursday.
"When the media, or media organizations, or in fact, individual journalist jobs are dependent on government subsidies that is the antithesis of a free and independent press,
Now this: Canadian government implimenting program to teach Canadians how to spot "fake news"
To enhance citizen preparedness, the Government of Canada is implementing a Critical Election Incident Public Protocol ahead of the 2019 General Election. This is a simple, clear and non-partisan process for informing Canadians if serious incidents threaten the integrity of the 2019 General Election. It would be used to respond to egregious incidents that meet a high threshold, occurring during the writ period, and that do not fall within Elections Canada’s areas of responsibility for the effective administration of the election.
In addition, the Government is dedicating $7M towards digital, news and civic literacy programming. Helping Canadians better understand online deceptive practices can reduce the impact of efforts by malicious actors.
The Government will support skills development, awareness sessions, workshops and learning material for Canadians. These activities would help citizens to:
critically assess online news reporting and editorials;
recognize how and when malicious actors exploit online platforms; and,
acquire skills on how to avoid being susceptible to online manipulation.
Virginia's abortion bill that would allow abortions up until birth has just been defeated!
" … will not move forward. Live Action News reached out to Rep. C. Todd Gilbert’s office who said the bill will not leave the subcommittee and no action will be taken on it. The Washington Free Beacon said the Repeal Act “when put to a vote… was defeated” and The Daily Progress reports that it was killed. The Washington Times and other sources are reporting that the bill has been tabled or suspended. Nearly half of the Democratic caucus supported it, despite the fact that it allowed for the abortion of viable babies even if the mother was in active labor."
Canadian Government creates a tasks force to combat Fake News in upcoming election
OTTAWA – The federal government is unveiling a "sweeping series" of new measures aimed at further shoring up Canada's electoral system from foreign interference, and enhancing Canada's readiness to defend the democratic process from cyber threats and disinformation.
This includes spelling out how Canadians will be informed about serious meddling attempts during the campaign. In order to meet the threshold for the five-person group of senior bureaucrats to go public about these attempts, they must be considered "disruptive" and seen to have an impact on Canada's ability to hold a free and fair election.
Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan are unveiling these next steps, with the next federal election just nine months away.
A senior official speaking with reporters on background prior to the ministers' announcement said the "sweeping series" of new measures are the result of "unprecedented" collaboration between Canada's national and cyber security bodies, intelligence agencies, and federal departments including Global Affairs Canada.
Among what's new:
-A security and foreign-focused Security and Intelligence Threats to Elections (SITE) Task Force, to prevent "covert, clandestine, or criminal" attempts to interfere in elections;
-A new campaign for citizen-literacy about misinformation online;
-A restated expectation that social media platforms crack down on disinformation and enhance their transparency;
-Advising political parties about enhancing their security and offering classified threat briefings to senior party leadership’
-A new cross-department senior level "Critical Election Incident Public Protocol" to inform Canadians during a campaign period about meddling attempts in an impartial way; and
Activating the "rapid response mechanism" at Global Affairs to identify, respond, and share information about threats.
The "rapid response mechanism" was a new initiative that Canada signed on to at the G7 meeting in Charlevoix. It was part of a multi-pronged commitment on defending democracy from foreign threats. It will include monitoring foreign social media activity to look at trends and identify where Canada might be vulnerable.
These measures are in addition to ongoing efforts to secure Canada’s electoral system, such as: passing Bill C-76 prohibits foreign spending; working with Elections Canada to prevent voting infrastructure from being hacked; and, collaborating with social media companies on plans to combat fake news and disinformation from interfering with public opinion during the campaign.
Bill C-76 also gave Canada’s Elections Commissioner new powers to conduct investigations into election interference, and compels social media platforms to create databases of their advertising during the campaign.
The Communications Security Establishment will also be publishing an update to its report on cyber threats to Canada’s democratic process — including threats to political parties, politicians, and media — in the coming months.
GENEVA (Reuters) - Iran has sent a large batch of mined uranium “yellow cake” for processing ahead of shipment to its main enrichment facility, Iran’s state news agency reported on Wednesday in the latest sign of plans to step up its atomic activities.
Yellow cake, or uranium ore, can be further processed into enriched uranium to make fuel for nuclear power plants, Iran’s stated aim, or to provide material for atomic bombs if refined much more, which the West fears may be the Islamic Republic’s ultimate goal.
U.S.-Iranian tensions have resurged since President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the 2015 nuclear accord, calling it deeply flawed. Under the deal, Iran restricted its enrichment programme to ease concerns it could not be put to developing nuclear weapons and in return won relief from sanctions.
Thirty tons of yellow cake from a production plant in the city of Ardakan in central Iran was sent to a uranium conversion facility in Isfahan on Wednesday, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported….
Is this battlefront that is being pointedly ignored by the Mockingbirds starting to bear any fruit?
Since the Chinese lost their NKorean foil, they have resorted to direct sabre rattling: AKA panic…
And Trump called their bluff
21. Is Trump winning a battle nobody knew was being fought?
Why is the Deep State going full scorched earth to stop Trump…
From fighting for America?
22. this is POTUS's way for China to save face (trade war) stop and reverse what they were doing… show China that if you negotiate on trade you'll still play a world roll alibi fair and even.. if you don't we will let your economy crash
Nellie Ohr, the wife of Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, told Congress in October that she investigated President Donald Trump’s children on behalf of Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm behind the Steele dossier.
Ohr also testified that during a meeting in July 2016, Christopher Steele passed her husband materials from his infamous dossier.
Nellie Ohr, who worked as a contractor for Fusion GPS, looking into Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump’s business dealings and their travel.
The wife of a Justice Department official who worked for Fusion GPS during the 2016 campaign told Congress in 2018 that one of her tasks at the opposition research firm was to research President Donald Trump’s children, including their business activities and travel.
Nellie Ohr, a former contractor for Fusion GPS, also told lawmakers during an Oct. 19 deposition that she recalls that Christopher Steele gave her husband, Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, materials from the infamous anti-Trump dossier funded by Democrats.
Ohr said during the testimony that Steele, who like her was a contractor for Fusion GPS, hoped that her husband would pass the materials to the FBI.
“My understanding was that Chris Steele was hoping that Bruce could put in a word with the FBI to follow up in some way,” Ohr testified to members of the House Oversight and House Judiciary Committees, according to transcripts confirmed by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
The Ohrs met with Steele and an unidentified British associate on July 30, 2016 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Bruce Ohr testified to Congress on Aug. 28 that the meeting covered three main topics. He said Steele claimed that a former official with Russia’s SVR claimed that the Kremlin had Trump “over a barrel.”
Steele also relayed information about Carter Page, the former Trump campaign adviser who Steele claims in his dossier met with two Kremlin insiders during a trip to Moscow in early July 2016. Page has denied Steele’s allegations, saying he did not meet with the two Kremlin officials.
Steele, a former MI6 officer who operates out of London, also told Ohr that a lawyer for Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska was investigating Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort over a business deal gone south. Steele reportedly worked at one point for one of Deripaska’s companies. The link is ironic given that Deripaska is considered a close ally of Vladimir Putin’s.
Nellie Ohr testified that the materials that were handed over were from the dossier but that she did not learn the information was contained in the dossier until much later. She testified that she did not see the complete dossier until it was published by BuzzFeed on Jan. 10, 2017.
“And you hadn’t seen it or its portions during the time that you were employed, correct?” one lawmaker asked.
“If I recall correctly, I may have seen…maybe a page or something of it at the breakfast,” Ohr replied.
Ohr, a trained Russian linguist, also detailed some of the topics she worked on for Fusion GPS, which was hired by the law firm that represented the Clinton campaign and DNC to investigate Trump.
One area of focus was Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, President Trump’s two oldest children.
Chaos Erupts Inside Facebook HQ As Employees Blocked From Opening Apps On Their iPhones
It has been a tumultuous day for Facebook and its investors after Apple revoked the company's iOS enterprise developer certificates due to damning revelations about Facebook bribing teens into supplying the company with reams of personal data, which it is believed to have used to improve its ad microtargeting and keep tabs on its rivals. This news, and the slight hit to FB stock that followed, was soon followed by a solid earnings report, which sent FB shares higher in after-hours trading.
But employees at Facebook's office may have been distracted from all of the goings-on on Wednesday. Why? Because Apple's ban reportedly unleashed chaos inside FB HQ as employees suddenly found it impossible to open the company's internal apps on their iPhones, according to Business Insider.
Facebook's thousands of employees are reportedly unable to use the company's internal iOS apps after it was caught running a data-gathering research app that violated Apple's developer policies.
Apple said on Wednesday that it had revoked Facebook's certificates giving it access to a special enterprise program that companies can use to distribute internal apps and tools outside the public App Store.
While that has made for a hectic day for Facebook employees, Apple's revocation of Facebook's enterprise certificates hasn't affected the public's ability to download and use the Facebook app on iOS devices.
That followed an initial report from the Verge claiming that the revocation of FB's developer certificate - in retribution for abusing the license, which is supposed to be for employee-only internal apps, to bribe kids into handing over all their private data - included shutting down all of Facebook's internal apps.
Apple has shut down Facebook’s ability to distribute internal iOS apps, from early releases of the Facebook app to basic tools like a lunch menu. A person familiar with the situation tells The Verge that early versions of Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and other pre-release "dogfood" (beta) apps have stopped working, as have other employee apps, like one for transportation. Facebook is treating this as a critical problem internally, we’re told, as the affected apps simply don’t launch on employees’ phones anymore.
The shutdown comes in response to news that Facebook has been using Apple’s program for internal app distribution to track teenage customers with a "research" app.
Facebook initially defended the research app that was at the center of TechCrunch's report, but later opted to shut down the iOS version of the program.
Facebook has a semi-official ban on employees using Apple’s iPhones
— allegedly because of Mark Zuckerberg’s ire at Apple CEO Tim Cook.
According to the New York Times’ damning report on Facebook’s tactics targeting company critics and stonewalling on dealing with multiple scandals, Zuckerberg ordered his management team to use only Android smartphones. Per the NYT, that came in response to comments Cook make slamming Facebook in an MSNBC interview earlier this year in the wake of revelations that Cambridge Analytica improperly obtained info on millions of Facebook users. Cook said “privacy to us is a human right” and added that Apple could “make a ton of money” if it chose to monetize customer data as Facebook does.
Facebook, as part of its response to the Times piece, acknowledged that it has a policy of promoting usage of Android phones over Apple’s iPhones.