World News

Helen Raleigh: As an immigrant, I celebrate America this July 4th and goodness of the American people

This Day In History: July 4

Patriotism seems to be out of fashion for many Americans this Fourth of July. From toppling statues to banning the national anthem, it’s hard to miss all the denunciations of America's founders, founding principles, history and even America itself.

We are told this is absolutely necessary because our nation has been irredeemably racist since its birth and that this systemic racism has suppressed the wellbeing of minorities for more than two centuries.

As an immigrant, I see America differently. I was born and raised in China. I lived through strict food rationing and witnessed my parents' having little say in their lives. They didn't get to choose where to live and for whom they wanted to work because the communist government made all the decisions for them.


I was determined to have the freedom to live the life I wanted.

As a result, I came to the U.S. in 1996 to pursue a master’s degree at the State University of New York, College of Oneonta, with less than $100 in my pocket. I had no family members in the U.S. and very few American friends back then. I also spoke limited English with an accent.

To help pay for school, I took on three part-time jobs. But hardship never bothered me. I was so thrilled that I got to be in charge of my own destiny.

From that humble beginning, I obtained two graduate degrees, worked for several Fortune 500 companies, and now I am a business owner, author and regular contributor to a number of national media outlets. I get to freely express my thoughts every day in a way that is impossible for many people around the world.

This transformation of my own life is not a unique story. Millions of immigrants who came before me have done the same and I am confident that millions more will accomplish even more in this country.

The United States is the only nation in the world that was created on a set of principles, presented as self-evident truths. These are spelled out in the Declaration of Independence and protected by the Constitution.

The universal appeal of these founding principles means that anyone – from anywhere in the world – who pledges to these principles can become an American. In President Abraham Lincoln's words, whoever does this has "a right to claim it as though they were blood of the blood, and flesh of the flesh of the men who wrote that Declaration."

When I made my choice to become a U.S. citizen I was joined by 60 new immigrants who represented 55 countries of origin at the citizenship ceremony. There were many shades of skin colors and many languages were spoken.

However, there was one thing we all had in common: overwhelming joy. Our journeys are one of the most powerful testaments that America is not a nation infested by systematic racism.

Saying America is not systemically racist doesn't mean there is no such thing as race-based discrimination in the United States. I'm no stranger to this – I’ve been on the receiving end of it.

I was once told that my English wasn't good so I wasn't eligible for the next promotion at work. A few people thought I was intellectually challenged because of my accent. Some people were just shocked that I spoke English at all.

Once, even though I was the first one at the counter, the salesperson chose to serve someone standing next to me first.

Another time when I returned from an overseas trip a young Customs agent asked me: "How long have you had the privilege of living in my country?" even though all paperwork showed that the United States is my country too.

When some readers didn't like something I wrote, they would tell me to go back to where I came from.

Yet, despite these experiences, I am still proud to say that I am an American by choice and I love this country. That’s because the ugly encounters I describe above are only a tiny portion of my overall experience. Those incidents represent individual fallibility rather than systemic racism.

The majority of Americans I’ve met over the years – regardless of race and social and economic background – are caring, generous and kind people.

Not long after I came to the U.S., one of my wisdom teeth caused me insufferable pain. Since I was a poor student who couldn't afford dental insurance, a lady from the church took me to see her dentist and she took care of all the expenses.

After college, I started my first job in a department where everyone else was a white man. All the guys treated me with nothing but respect. They patiently taught me how to do my job, tolerated many of my mistakes, introduced me to American TV sitcoms such as "Friends," and sent me an online slang dictionary so I would become familiar with terms Americans often use.

When I bought my first house, my co-workers came to help me move and even painted the kitchen.

I married into an Irish-American family. My father-in-law is a retired Marine who fought in the Vietnam War, where he was seriously injured. Before I met him for the first time, I was fully prepared that he wouldn't like me because of his war experience.

Yet both my husband’s parents have embraced me like their own daughter from Day One. They even took Chinese language lessons and learned how to use chopsticks – all part of their efforts to make me feel welcomed.

When I was seriously ill, neighbors quietly mowed our lawn and organized a meal train for three months. We never had so many apple pies in our lives!

When a severe windstorm split a tree open in the front yard, the same neighbors showed up to clean the debris as soon as the wind died down. Within a few hours, our yard was so clean that it looked as if nothing had happened.


When I reflect on my own American experiences, this caring, generous and kind America is what I appreciate most. Our country does have many problems such as crumbling public schools, inner city poverty, drug abuse, overcrowded prisons and racial disparities in health care outcomes.

For example, African-American, Native American and Alaska Native women die of pregnancy-related causes at a rate about three times higher than those of white women, in spite of advances in medicine and expanded access to health care.

But toppling statues and condemning America's founders and founding principles will not make these problems go away. Solving these serious problems requires somber and honest discussions, meaningful policy changes and joint efforts from all Americans.


On our nation's 244th birthday, it's important to remember that America’s founding principles are not empty promises but a guiding North Star. We should be proud of the progress we have achieved, learn from the mistakes we made along the way, and be keenly aware that there is still more that needs to be done.

Whether you were born in the U.S.A. or you are an immigrant like me, being an American is always a choice. On this Independence Day, let's once again choose to do as the signers of the Declaration of Independence did and "mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor" to make our nation a better place for all Americans.


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World News

CNN slights Mount Rushmore as 'slave owners' in 2020, but called it 'monument to 4 great presidents' in 2016

Fox News Flash top headlines for July 3

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CNN on Friday depicted Mount Rushmore as "slave owners" situated on stolen land, after praising the monument for its cultural significance back in 2016, during a segment with then-presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

Grabien's Tom Elliot tweeted a clip of network correspondent Leyla Santiago saying Mount Rushmore sits on land that was stolen from Native Americans, just hours ahead of a speech by President Trump.

"President Trump will be at Mount Rushmore, where he’ll be standing in front of a monument of two slave owners and on land wrestled away from Native Americans," she said. "I'm told that, uh, he'll be focusing on the effort to 'tear down our country's history.'"


This clashes, however, with a CNN segment from 2016 in which Sanders marveled at the structure, saying that it represents the best of what the United States has to offer.

"This is our country at it's very best," he said. "What an incredible achievement."

A CNN reporter's voice can then be heard talking about the "majesty of the moment," before calling Mount Rushmore a "monument to four great American presidents."


Sanders added, "Just the accomplishment and the beauty — it really does make one very proud to be an American."

Trump is scheduled to speak at Mount Rushmore Friday night, where he is expected to address various protests throughout the United States that have resulted in riots and the tearing down of historical monuments.

Fox News reached out to CNN about the discrepancy but did not receive a reply to the request for comment.

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World News

Facebook responds as ad boycott begins: Platform 'does not profit from hate'

200+ brands boycotting ads on Facebook

FOX Business’ Susan Li says the Clorox Company, along with other companies, are pausing advertisements on Facebook in an effort to target the social media platform for reported hate speech.

Facebook Vice President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg published an open letter Wednesday saying the social media platform "does not profit from hate."

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The letter comes as major companies including Coca-Cola, Ford, Microsoft and most recently, Lego, announced that they would pull ads from Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram to boycott hate speech on the platform starting Wednesday.

"I want to be unambiguous: Facebook does not profit from hate. Billions of people use Facebook and Instagram because they have good experiences — they don't want to see hateful content, our advertisers don't want to see it, and we don't want to see it. There is no incentive for us to do anything but remove it," Clegg wrote.

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Clegg said "everything that is good, bad and ugly in our societies will find expression on our platform," which has more than 3 billion active users.


Activist groups including the ADL, NAACP and more are urging major companies to pull ads from Facebook as part of their #StopHateForProfit campaign. The groups allege that Facebook turns a "blind eye to voter suppression" and gives white supremacists a place to spread hate speech.

But Clegg argued in the letter that Facebook removes hate speech faster than YouTube and Twitter.

"A recent European Commission report found that Facebook assessed 95.7 [percent] of hate speech reports in less than 24 hours, faster than YouTube and Twitter. Last month, we reported that we find nearly 90 [percent] of the hate speech we remove before someone reports it — up from 24 [percent] little over two years ago," Clegg wrote.


Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has come under fire for promoting the idea of free speech and for not taking action against posts from President Trump that Twitter decided to label.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

"We have a different policy than, I think, Twitter on this," Zuckerberg said in a May 27 interview with Fox News. "I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn't be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online. In general, private companies probably shouldn't be – especially these platform companies – shouldn't be in the position of doing that.”


Facebook has since updated its policies, saying in a June 26 blog post that the website will start labeling content it previously would not have flagged if they were deemed "newsworthy," including posts from politicians.


Clegg added in his letter that Facebook still errs "on the side of free expression because, ultimately, the best way to counter hurtful, divisive, offensive speech, is more speech. Exposing it to sunlight is better than hiding it in the shadows."

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World News

As PPP borrowers become public, will they also become targets?

Mnuchin: PPP loan recipients will be released by end of the week

FOX Business’ Edward Lawrence gives details on Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s testimony before Congress on economic recovery efforts.

The Trump administration has agreed to publicize details about Paycheck Protection Program loan recipients, which could make them targets for scammers and marketers, experts say.

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An administration source told FOX Business the information is expected to be posted online this week, potentially Thursday.

Borrowers with loans valued at more than $150,000 will have their business names, addresses and loan ranges disclosed, among other information.

Personal and private confidential details will be circulated among some members of Congress and select government agencies.


Tom Miller, CEO of risk management firm ClearForce, told FOX Business that piecing together those bits of information into list form allows “bad guys to understand the value of a target.”

He added that personally identifiable information can be used for phishing schemes and other ways to target individuals.

Many of these small businesses are private companies, which means they aren’t regularly required to disclose financial information.


“The first thing that came to mind for me was … okay, who would want that information and how would they use it,” L.J. Suzuki, founder of, told FOX Business. “Obviously we live in an era where hackers and con artists are kind of abundant.”

While Suzuki said it is hard to predict what the fallout will be, he said the public information is a marketer’s “dream,” and “at the very least” business owners should be prepared for an onslaught of spam.

As previously reported by FOX Business, the SBA and Treasury Department announced last week that they would enhance the transparency of the program by releasing additional data about borrowers. That information includes business names, addresses, NAIC codes, business type, demographic data, nonprofit information, jobs supported and loan amount ranges for people who received more than $150,000. About 75 percent of loan dollars approved were above $150,000.


Meanwhile, both Miller and Suzuki said that remote workforces have brought on their own sets of security challenges for businesses.

Miller noted that the rapid transition to tens of millions of workers telecommuting means that companies may not have been able to properly prepare for the fact that employees would be using their home Wi-Fi connections, which could be less secure.

Suzuki added that many people do not have complex passwords, and neighbors or hackers may be able to tap into the network gaining access to emails, passwords or login credentials.

Additionally, even trained workers may be more likely to click on phishing emails, with added stress causing people to make inadvertent mistakes.


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IMF Downgrades, Pandemic Tightens Grip, U.S. Tariffs: Eco Day

Welcome to Thursday, Asia. Here’s the latest news and analysis from Bloomberg Economics to help you start the day:

  • The International Monetary Fund downgraded its outlook for the coronavirus-ravaged world economy, projecting a significantly deeper recession and slower recovery than it anticipated just two months ago
  • The Covid-19 pandemic is now predicted to kill 180,000 Americans by October, adding to dire signs that prompted a stock-market selloff and drastic measures from government leaders
  • The U.S. is weighing new tariffs on $3.1 billion of exports from France, Germany, Spain and the U.K., adding to an arsenal the Trump administration is threatening to use against Europe
  • Recurring coronavirus outbreaks will probably hold back U.S. economic growth and leave unemployment at elevated levels in the coming years, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to make India more self-reliant, but if the experience over the past few years is anything to go by, it’s not going to be easy
  • Fitch Ratings stripped Canada of its AAA status amid a spike in emergency spending for Covid-19, making it the first top-rated country to be downgraded by the ratings agency during the pandemic
  • U.S. health and agricultural authorities issued thinly veiled criticism of new demands from China that food exporters sign documents stating that they comply with safety standards to prevent transmission of Covid-19
  • Egypt’s central bank will probably preserve one of the world’s highest real interest rates when it meets on Thursday, which has drawn investors back to the nation’s assets
  • Global central banks have developed a “concrete toolbox” to better prepare for the risks climate change. A group of central banks known as the Network for Greening the Financial System says its new reference scenarios will help them navigate the implications of global warming

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Stocks tumble as coronavirus spike taints US reopening

Could lose 25% of restaurants to coronavirus: ‘Bar Rescue’ host Jon Taffer

Bar Rescue host Jon Taffer discusses changes to restaurant dining regarding coronavirus safety measures and how businesses are struggling to stay afloat.

Stocks tumbled Wednesday as new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. rebounded to highs not seen since the peak of the outbreak, raising fresh doubts about the strength and longevity of an economic recovery.

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The country reported 34,700 new cases of the virus on Tuesday as cases surged in states that reopened early from lockdowns intended to curb the disease's spread. Higher numbers have been reported on only two other days: April 9 and April 24, when a record 36,400 cases were logged.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 233 points, or 0.89 percent, while the broader S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 0.68 percent and 0.33 percent, respectively.

The new coronavirus data came just a day after Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told a House committee that the next few weeks may be critical in combatting a spike in states such as Arizona and North Carolina as businesses and recreational gathering spots nationwide resume operations.


"Getting back to normality is going to be a step-by-step process and not throwing caution to the wind," he said. "Plan A, don't go into a crowd. Plan B, if you do, make sure you wear a mask."

In the health care sector, hospital operators such as HCA Healthcare and Community Health Systems were under pressure after a federal judge ruled in favor of a Trump administration plan requiring them to disclose the actual costs of routine tests and procedures, an initiative meant to lower prices for patients. An appeal is planned.

In transportation, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors, two of the Big 3 U.S. automakers, were ordered by a federal judge to meet and settle a lawsuit over whether one company got a competitive edge when union leaders were showered with cash and other perks.

GM has accused Fiat Chrysler of racketeering, saying the rival won labor concessions during contract talks because United Auto Workers officials were bribed with money from a job training center.

U.S. District Judge Paul Borman ordered GM chief executive Mary Barra and her Fiat Chrysler counterpart, Mike Manley, to meet in person by July 1 “to reach a sensible resolution of this huge legal distraction."


In Silicon Valley, where Apple and Amazon helped drive the Nasdaq to its 21st record close of the year on Tuesday, the iPhone maker was under pressure after wire services cited a report in Politico on a potential investigation of its App Store by the U.S. Department of Justice and state attorneys general.

Social media giant Facebook, meanwhile, risks losing advertising from ice-cream maker Ben & Jerry's as companies ramp up pressure over misinformation and hate speech on the platform and its competitors, the Wall Street Journal reported.

In commodities, West Text Intermediate crude oil, the U.S. benchmark, tumbled 1.6 percent to $39.74, while gold dropped 0.2 percent to $1,778 an ounce.

Equity markets were lower across the board in Europe, with Britain's FTSE falling 2.06 percent and France's CAC 40 and Germany's DAX each down 1.82 percent.

In Asia, China's Shanghai Composite rose 0.3 percent, while Japan's benchmark Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 0.07 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.

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World News

OnePlus Z ‘confirmed’ as a new cheap smartphone to rival iPhone SE

ONEPLUS has confirmed it's working on a new affordable smartphone.

We don't yet know its name but rumours have been calling it the OnePlus Z, OnePlus 8 Lite, or OnePlus Nord for a while now.

The 'OnePlus Z' still remains a big smartphone mystery of 2020.

CEO Pete Lau confirmed the company is working on a new device in a forum post.

It reads: "Today, I’m very excited to announce that we are bringing the premium, flagship experience that you’ve come to expect from OnePlus to a new, more affordable smartphone product line.

"I know this is something many of you have been wanting for a long time."

We don't know many more details about the phone and its specs, just that it will be coming to Europe and India first.

However, the company is looking to bring its affordable smartphones to North America in the future.

Lau noted in a media statement: "to be clear, this is not a reactionary attempt to 'go back to our roots,' as some people have speculated. 

"Our goal has always been to build leading products that provide the best user experience at a comparatively affordable price point.

"And since our 'roots' are actually in creating the best flagship smartphones, I see this part of our strategy as an important extension of the OnePlus value proposition."

This implies that the new phone won't be super cheap but will likely be more mid-range like older OnePlus devices.

The term 'product line' also implies that we could be getting multiple new phones.

At the same time OnePlus made the announcement an Instagram account was spotted called OnePlusLiteZThing.

It's bio states: "It’s been a while since we’ve done anything like this. #NewBeginnings".

If this account is anything to go by, it's looking more likely that the phone will be called OnePlus Z or something similar.

Currently, most things we hear about the smartphone are speculation.

OnePlus fans are anticipating more announcements soon to see if any more rumours can be confirmed.

In other news, Apple is giving the iPhone homescreen a huge makeover with iOS14.

Kim Kardashian West has entered an exclusive deal with Spotify to produce and host a new podcast.

And, recent leaks suggest Samsung could be announcing its latest flagship phone and iPhone rival as early as August 5.

What's your favourite phone brand? Let us know in the comments…

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