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AM News Brief: Antitrust Lawsuit Against Google, New Slacklining Rules In Grand County & State Job Fair

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Utah is leading a group of states in a lawsuit against big tech. Attorney General Sean Reyes filed an antitrust lawsuit Wednesday against Google. That story and more in this morning's news brief.

Thursday morning, July 8, 2021

State

Timing Ranked-Choice Voting

More than 20 Utah cities are embarking on a journey to try a new form of voting this year: ranked-choice voting. But some local officials are questioning whether now is the right time for election innovation when the majority of Republicans voters across the country have doubts about the security of the 2020 presidential election. “It's very difficult to convince voters that moving votes after the election from one candidate to another is a trustworthy and safe process,” said Weber County Clerk/Auditor Ricky Hatch. But Nibley Mayor Shaun Dustin said he can’t let false statements about election fraud keep the city from trying to reap the benefits of RCV. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson

Utah Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against Google

Utah is leading a group of states in a lawsuit against big tech. Attorney General Sean Reyes filed an antitrust lawsuit Wednesday against Google, accusing the tech giant of restricting competition in its app store by limiting choices and increasing prices. In a statement, Reyes said that Google was imposing hidden fees on in-app purchases, ultimately breaking its promise to provide a more open-source platform. According to the New York Times, William White of Google said the company offers, "openness and choice that other platforms simply don't." — Roddy Nikpour

State Hosts Virtual Job Fair

The Utah Department of Workforce Services hosted a virtual job fair Thursday, July 8, with more than a hundred Utah companies. Many are hiring for healthcare positions, though engineering, retail, customer service, manufacturing and other industries are also represented. The free event included part-time, some full-time and even some remote positions. The event was from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. — Roddy Nikpour

Southern Utah

New Grand County Laws For Slackliners On Public Lands

It’s now illegal for slackliners to attach ropes to man made structures on public lands in Grand County. Slacklining looks similar to tightrope walking with a flat webbing tied to two anchor points. Community radio station KZMU in Moab reported the county commission voted 4-3 on the measure earlier this week. Law enforcement may now cite slackliners for attaching to bridges, communication towers and any other essential infrastructure. Grand County’s new code also prohibits people from encouraging others to engage in any illegal activity on public lands. — Molly Marcello, KZMU

Region/Nation

Meat And Meat Substitutes Not Interchangeable

Manufacturers of plant-based meat substitutes have found ways to make their products closely resemble meat — at least on a sensory level. But according to a study from Duke University out this week, the two are not exactly nutritional equals. Researchers compared a popular plant-based meat alternative to ground beef from a ranch in Idaho. They found that beef contained metabolites that the plant substitute did not, but the opposite was also true — the plant-based alternative also had metabolites that the beef did not. Lead researcher Stephan van Vliet said the products should not be viewed as nutritionally interchangeable. — Maggie Mullen, Mountain West News Bureau