Facebook has faced backlash after fake news sites used the platform to spread misinformation about the nominees during the 2016 presidential election. But the social media giant's chief operating officer said Thursday the impact fake news had on the election has been exaggerated.
“There have been claims that it swayed the election, and we don't think it swayed the election,'' Sheryl Sandberg said in an interview on NBC's "Today" show.
Sandberg added that Facebook takes its responsibilities seriously and is looking into ways to keep fake news from spreading online without compromising freedom of expression.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has awarded 82 new vehicles as the safest picks for 2017. Of the 82 vehicles awarded, 38 earned the highest ranking of TOP SAFETY PICK+. Those vehicles not only earned good ratings in five crash test evaluations but have effective features that can prevent crashes, the IIHS said. Meanwhile, 44 vehicles were in the TOP SAFETY PICK category, one ranking lower.
Many public schools are still hostile environments for LGBT students, an international human rights organization concluded in a report released Wednesday.
The lengthy report from Human Rights Watch was based on interviews primarily with current and former high school students, parents, administrators and teachers in Alabama, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas and Utah. It documented several challenges lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender students face, including in-person and online bullying, limits on LGBT student groups, exclusion of some topics from curricula and discrimination by classmates and school personnel.
"In every state we visited, we heard stories of students who were insulted, cyber-bullied or attacked, and teachers who allowed discrimination and harassment because they see it as normal behavior," said Ryan Thoreson, a fellow in the nonprofit's LGBT Rights Program.
Thoreson said the five states provided a regionally representative and legally diverse sample.
Demand for travel to Cuba may be flattening, with soaring hotel prices on the island, American Airlines cutting some flights, and uncertainty over whether new travel restrictions could be imposed when Donald Trump takes office.
Gregory Geronemus, co-CEO of smarTours, a tour company that's taken 3,000 Americans to Cuba, confirms there has been a softening in demand.
In part he blamed hotel prices on the island, which have nearly doubled since 2015 and which are set by the government. "There's still demand but there's only so much people can afford," he said. Cheaper lodging is available through Airbnb and other services, but not all travelers want the hassles and uncertainty of traveling on their own in Cuba.
The man accused of firing an assault rifle inside a Washington restaurant said he regrets how he handled the situation but refused to completely dismiss the false online claims involving a child sex ring that brought him there. "I just wanted to do some good and went about it the wrong way,'' Edgar Maddison Welch, who's been jailed since his Sunday arrest, told The New York Times in a Wednesday videoconference. Welch, 28, told the newspaper he started driving to Washington from his Salisbury, North Carolina, home intending only to give the Comet Ping Pong pizza restaurant a "closer look.'' But while on the way, he said he felt his "heart breaking over the thought of innocent people suffering.''
Two classic American novels, "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn'' and "To Kill a Mockingbird,'' will immediately return to public school library shelves in a Virginia county.
News outlets report the Accomack County school board voted Tuesday to return the books to classrooms and libraries. The books were suspended Nov. 29 according to school policy following a formal complaint by a parent against the use of racial slurs in the books.
School board chairman Ronnie Holdman says the board agrees that some of the language used in the books is "offensive and hurtful.'' However, he says teachers and staff "have a wonderful talent for conveying the bigger meanings and messages in literature.''
A suburban Cincinnati man says someone vandalized the "Zombie Nativity" scene he puts up annually, beheading the ghoulish-looking Mary figure and flipping the greenish baby Jesus into the yard.
Jasen Dixon says someone damaged the handmade scene early Tuesday at his home in Sycamore Township, northeast of Cincinnati. He has since repaired the scene and says he'll keep rebuilding it if necessary.
Dixon tells WCPO-TV it's the first time someone has intentionally damaged the structure since he started the holiday display in 2014.
The giraffe, the tallest land animal, is now at risk of extinction, biologists say.
Because the giraffe population has shrunk nearly 40 percent in just 30 years, scientists put it on the official watch list of threatened and endangered species worldwide, calling it "vulnerable." That's two steps up the danger ladder from its previous designation of being a species of least concern. In 1985, there were between 151,000 and 163,000 giraffes but in 2015 the number was down to 97,562, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
At a biodiversity meeting Wednesday in Mexico, the IUCN increased the threat level for 35 species and lowered the threat level for seven species on its "Red List" of threatened species, considered by scientists the official list of what animals and plants are in danger of disappearing.
A campus police officer shot a knife-wielding 14-year-old student Wednesday during a confrontation witnessed by dozens of other students at a Nevada high school, according to authorities.
Reno Police Chief Jason Soto told reporters that the male student was taken to a hospital in critical condition after the shooting at Hug High School. He said the boy got into an altercation with a classmate and began threatening other students with a knife, NBC News reported.
A lockdown was lifted by mid-afternoon and students were released to their parents.
Donald Trump embraced new Cabinet officers Wednesday whose backgrounds suggest he's primed to put tough actions behind his campaign rhetoric on immigration and the environment, even as he seemed to soften his yearlong stance on immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
It's clearer by the day, underscored by Trump's at-times contradictory words, that his actual policies as president won't be settled until after he takes his seat in the Oval Office.
Retired Marine Gen. John Kelly has been selected to head the Department of Homeland Security, and Trump announced Thursday Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a climate-change denier whose policies have helped fossil fuel companies, as his pick for the head of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Pakistan said Thursday it will open an investigation into a plane crash the day before in the country's northwest that killed 47 passengers and crew, as military helicopters ferried the remains of victims to the capital.
The small, twin-propeller aircraft was travelling from the scenic mountain resort of Chitral to Islamabad on Wednesday when one of its engines failed shortly after takeoff, causing it to crash into a hillside village, according to Pervez George, an official at the Civil Aviation Authority. No one survived.
Humanitarian organizations descended on Indonesia's Aceh province Thursday as the government in Jakarta promised tons of emergency aid and officials raced to assess the full extent of damage from an earthquake that killed more than 100 people.
Search efforts involving volunteers and nearly 1,500 rescue personnel were concentrated on the hard-hit town of Meureudu in Pidie Jaya district near the epicenter of the magnitude 6.5 quake that hit before dawn Wednesday. Humanitarian assessment teams were fanning out to other areas of the district.
National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the death toll had risen to 102 and warned it could increase. Search teams were using devices that detect mobile phone signals with a 100-meter (yard) radius to help guide their efforts as they scoured the rubble, he said. Aceh's disaster mitigation agency said more than 600 people were injured.
Playworld/NBC 5 News
Playworld Systems Inc. is recalling 1,300 slides that are used in school and municipal playgrounds after a defect caused two children to suffer finger amputations.
The Lightning Slides were sold by independent distributors over the last 16 years. They are made of stainless steel and the welds on the slides can crack and separate. A child's finger can get caught in the space.
John Glenn, an astronaut who became an American hero and was later elected to the U.S. Senate, is hospitalized in Ohio.
Glenn, 95, was at The James Cancer Hospital at Ohio State University on Wednesday.