Fox News Brutal Report on Trump’s Syria Move: Clear He’s Not Listening to Mattis or Pompeo Anymore


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Fox News Channel national security correspondent and reporter Jennifer Griffin, reporting on President Donald Trump‘s snap decision to withdraw the United States from the fight against ISIS, noted on Thursday that the commander in chief is apparently no longer listening to his military advisers and experts, including Secretary of Defense Gen. James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The blistering report from Griffin was packed with devastating quotes about the President’s decision, starting with it having been prompted by his caving to pressure from dictatorial Turkish leader and cheerleader for Iran, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “Well, a senior U.S. Defense official tells me the president made the decision to pull out of Syria after speaking with Turkish President Erdogan last Friday, December 14th,” Griffin’s report began bleakly. “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was there at the time and was the first to be told Continue reading "Fox News Brutal Report on Trump’s Syria Move: Clear He’s Not Listening to Mattis or Pompeo Anymore"

GOP Rep. Peter King Roasts President for ‘Shielding’ Saudi Arabia… President Obama, That Is


This post is by Caleb Howe from Mediaite


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On This Week, host George Stephanopoulos spoke with both Rep. Peter King (R-NY) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) on the topic of the U.S.-Saudi relationship in the wake of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and both had choice words about the President’s actions. Just not the same president. Both Schiff and King, like Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Bob Corker, Sen. Dick Durbin, and even Newt Gingrich elsewhere today, stated that they find the explanation from the Saudi government to be not credible. King further said that while Trump is correct that the Saudis making arrests is a first step, he said it not a “believable” step. He then said that there is a necessity of maintaining a relationship with Saudi Arabia that spans administrations, including that of former President Barack Obama. “During the Obama administration, I led Continue reading "GOP Rep. Peter King Roasts President for ‘Shielding’ Saudi Arabia… President Obama, That Is"

Fox’s Harris Faulkner Caught Off-Guard as Rep Sean Duffy Warns of ‘Rush to Judgment’ on Saudis: ‘If There Was a Killing…’


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On Outnumbered Overtime on Wednesday, host Harris Faulkner interviewed Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) on the topic of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and appeared somewhat taken aback as he questioned pointing fingers at Saudi Arabia and even the very nature of the situation. “The big question today regarding Khashoggi has to be with Saudi Arabia,” said Faulkner. “How do you investigate this? And also maybe even with Turkey, who can we trust?” “Well, listen, I think we have to try to get them both to partner together to try to do this investigation but an investigation is key,” said Duffy. “I mean as a former prosecutor I want to see the facts and I want to know who is responsible, I want to know who ordered the killing, if there was a killing, and it appears that there was, so once we have those facts before, so Continue reading "Fox’s Harris Faulkner Caught Off-Guard as Rep Sean Duffy Warns of ‘Rush to Judgment’ on Saudis: ‘If There Was a Killing…’"

Trump Thanks Erdogan for His Help in Release of Detained Pastor Andrew Brunson


This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite


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Pastor Andrew Brunson is set to return to the United States soon after being detained in Turkey for two years. President Donald Trump, who tweeted earlier this week that he’s “working very hard” on the matter, celebrated his return on Twitter today, thanking President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and saying there was “NO DEAL” with Turkey:

North Carolina Pastor Andrew Brunson Reportedly Set to be Released by Turkish Government


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According to NBC News, North Carolina pastor Andrew Brunson will be released by the Turkish government and returned to the United States after years in detention for allegedly helping terrorist groups. “We continue to believe Pastor Brunson is innocent and the hearing on Friday is another opportunity for the Turkish judicial system to free an American citizen,” a senior administration official told NBC News. Brunson, who has lived in Turkey for more than 20 years and ran a protestant church in Izmir, was detained in October 2016 and accused of helping those responsible for the failed coup attempt against Continue reading "North Carolina Pastor Andrew Brunson Reportedly Set to be Released by Turkish Government"

Trump Administration Mute Amid Mounting Calls to Condemn Saudi Arabia Over Reported Murder of Journalist


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Jamal Khashoggi, Washington Post columnist and prominent Saudi dissident, walked into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last week to pick up a document needed for his marriage. He has not been seen since. Turkish investigators said they believe Khashoggi was killed and dismembered by a team of 15 Saudi agents. Saudi officials have denied they murdered the journalist. The potential assassination of a journalist on foreign soil raises questions over how the United States will confront Saudi Arabia, an ally the Trump administration has made significant outreach to. Senator Lindsey Graham said it is “imperative that we find out what happened to Mr. Khashoggi and the Saudi government give a clear answer as to their conduct and information on his whereabouts.”

Trump Goes on Rant Comparing ‘Deals’ to His Mother’s Turkey, Which Was ‘The Greatest’


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Speaking to an enthusiastic rally crowd in West Virginia on Tuesday, President Donald Trump said deals have to “gestate” just like his beloved mother’s Thanksgiving turkeys. It all started when Trump was talking about China. “I have tremendous respect for China. I mean, the energy, the genius…it’s incredible what they have done. We can’t do it, it’s got to be a two-way street. We have only one-way streets,” Trump opined. “You know what bothers me? I have people coming to me, some people in Congress ‘sir, can you get this deal done immediately?'” He then said that the deal wouldn’t be any good if he did that because “it’s gotta gestate. The word ‘gestate.'” The president continued on, “Like when you are cooking a chicken. Time…Time… Turkey for Thanksgiving.” Then Trump said this: “My mother would say 8 hours. I said ‘8 hours?’… She made the greatest Continue reading "Trump Goes on Rant Comparing ‘Deals’ to His Mother’s Turkey, Which Was ‘The Greatest’"

Summer Series Episode 2: Military Coup Edition


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Back in the summer of 2016, as Turkish putschists shut down highways, attacked government buildings and took broadcasters hostage, world media outlets struggled to provide sober reports of the coup. During the chaos, some listeners told us on Twitter that they’d appreciate an On the Media Breaking News Consumers Handbook coup edition. Coups are especially tricky to report on because they're mainly about perception and narrative. Plotters and the government are both trying to establish dominance, and misreporting can determine whether the attempt succeeds or not.  Naunihal Singh, author of Seizing Power: The Strategic Logic of Military Coups, says the first step for a successful military coup is to take control of radio and tv broadcasters. From there, they can literally and figuratively control the narrative.  Brooke spoke to Singh about how to understand coups through the media, and how to understand whether an attempt will succeed or fail. 

Trump Goes After Turkey, Announces Doubling of Tariffs: Our Relations ‘Are Not Good!’


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Early in his administration, President Donald Trump was criticized for placing a congratulatory call to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan — an authoritarian leader. But now, the relationship appears to have gone sideways. Amid a steep drop in Turkey’s currency, the Lira, the president announced on Twitter Friday that he has given the greenlight to sharply increased tariffs. “I have just authorized a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar!” Trump wrote. “Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%. Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!”

Netizen Report: The Rising Cost of Cameroon’s Internet Shutdowns


This post is by Global Voices Advocacy Netizen Report Team from MediaShift


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The Advox Netizen Report offers an international snapshot of challenges, victories, and emerging trends in Internet rights around the world. Two digital rights NGOs are suing the Cameroonian government for imposing an internet shutdown on the country’s two Anglophone regions for more than three months in 2017, just before both regions planned to make a symbolic declaration of independence. Besides imposing the long-term internet shutdown (along with several shorter shutdowns of platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp), the government deployed security forces who clashed violently with Anglophone activists. The two NGOs leading the lawsuit, Internet Sans Frontières and Access Now, aim to not only seek reparations for the shutdown, but also help counter the growing trend of using internet shutdowns for political gain. Peter Micek, General Counsel of Access Now, said of the suit, “Cameroon’s courts have the opportunity to set a global precedent in favor of human rights
Continue reading "Netizen Report: The Rising Cost of Cameroon’s Internet Shutdowns"

CPJ Presents the Press Oppressors Awards


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A version of this post originally appeared on CPJ’s website. Amid the public discourse of fake news and President Trump’s announcement via Twitter about his planned “fake news” awards ceremony, CPJ is recognizing world leaders who have gone out of their way to attack the press and undermine the norms that support freedom of the media. From an unparalleled fear of their critics and the truth, to a relentless commitment to censorship, these five leaders and the runner-ups in their categories have gone above and beyond to silence critical voices and weaken democracy.

Most Thin-skinned

Winner: President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey
Turkish authorities have repeatedly charged journalists, news outlets, and social media users for insulting Erdoğan, insulting other Turkish leaders, and insulting “Turkishness” in general. Over the course of 2016, the Turkish judicial system handled 46,193 cases of “insulting the president” or “insulting the Turkish nation, the Republic
Continue reading "CPJ Presents the Press Oppressors Awards"

In Turkey, use of Facebook and Twitter for news is falling, and WhatsApp is rising


This post is by Laura Hazard Owen from Nieman Lab


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The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism released a Turkey-specific supplement to its annual Digital News Report. The supplement, by Servet Yanatma, offers a look at what it’s like to be a media consumer in a highly polarized environment, where roughly the same percentage of people trust the news overall (40 percent) and distrust it overall (38 percent). In the U.S., meanwhile, Reuters found that 38 percent of people trust the news overall — but Turkey’s national situation is currently quite different, as outlined in the report:
Turkey has been under a state of emergency since a failed coup in July 2016, in which 248 people were killed and hundreds injured, and the political turmoil has had a significant effect on the freedom and independence of the Turkish media. Turkish authorities have shut down over 160 media outlets, including 56 newspapers, 5 news agencies, 27 TV channels,
Continue reading "In Turkey, use of Facebook and Twitter for news is falling, and WhatsApp is rising"

Mueller Reportedly Investigating Michael Flynn Plot to Kidnap Cleric For $15 Million


This post is by Justin Baragona from Mediaite


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Just when you thought it couldn’t get any nuttier. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating an alleged proposal involving ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn forcibly removing a muslim cleric from the United States and returning the cleric to Turkey in exchange for millions of dollars.
Under the alleged proposal, Mr. Flynn and his son, Michael Flynn Jr., were to be paid as much as $15 million for delivering Fethullah Gulen to the Turkish government, according to people with knowledge of discussions Mr. Flynn had with Turkish representatives. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has pressed the U.S. to extradite him, views the cleric as a political enemy.
Per the WSJ, the FBI has spoken to a number of individuals about a New York City meeting in December 2016 where Flynn and his representatives met with Turkish officials to discuss the removal of Continue reading "Mueller Reportedly Investigating Michael Flynn Plot to Kidnap Cleric For $15 Million"

Netizen Report: Authorities in China and Indonesia Threaten Whatsapp, Telegram Over Political Content


This post is by Global Voices Advocacy Netizen Report Team from MediaShift


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Global Voices Advocacy’s Netizen Report offers an international snapshot of challenges, victories, and emerging trends in Internet rights around the world.

Indonesia’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology threatened to ban the secure messaging app Telegram on July 15, reasoning that it is being used to “recruit Indonesians into militant groups and to spread hate and methods for carrying out attacks…” As a partial measure, the government has already blocked access to 11 URLs offering the web version of Telegram. In response, Telegram has vowed to double its efforts to remove “terrorist” content from the platform by forming a team of moderators tasked with monitoring networks in Indonesia and removing such content as swiftly as possible.

Flock of birds. Photo by Christoffer A Rasmussen, via Wikimedia. Licensed to public domain.

Although Telegram may prefer this solution to being banned altogether, it may also increase the likelihood of overcompliance by the company, which
Continue reading "Netizen Report: Authorities in China and Indonesia Threaten Whatsapp, Telegram Over Political Content"

Netizen Report: Colombian Court Demands Password to Journalist’s Facebook Account


This post is by Global Voices Advocacy Netizen Report Team from MediaShift


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Global Voices Advocacy’s Netizen Report offers an international snapshot of challenges, victories, and emerging trends in Internet rights around the world.

Colombian investigative journalist William Solano is being prosecuted for slander after writing multiple articles for independent news site DCERCA on administrative corruption in his home municipality of Buga. Solano has also received personal threats in response to his work. In the journalist’s ongoing trial, the local district attorney has sought access to Solano’s communications in order to identify key sources in his reporting, who until now have remained anonymous. In late June, a judge Buga authorized the district attorney to search Solano’s Facebook account. The prosecutor is now demanding the journalist’s account password. The Foundation for Press Freedom in Colombia says the order violates constitutional protections for the anonymity of journalists’ sources and has filed an action seeking to protect Solano from the search. Civil liberties advocates at Bogotá’s Fundación Karisma
Continue reading "Netizen Report: Colombian Court Demands Password to Journalist’s Facebook Account"