Trump Reportedly Told G7 Leaders Crimea is Part of Russia Because They Speak Russian


This post is by Ken Meyer from Mediaite


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A new report suggests that Donald Trump parroted Vladimir Putin last week when he spoke to his fellow world leaders about re-admiting Russia into the G7. Trump bemoaned Putin’s absence throughout the international gathering, which added to the contentiousness as he spoke with foreign dignitaries in Toronto. Diplomatic sources told Buzzfeed that when when Trump engaged with world leaders over dinner, he spoke of how Crimea is Russian because so many people who live there speak the language. From the report:
During the dinner, Trump also seemed to question why the G7 leaders were siding with Ukraine. The president told leaders that “Ukraine is one of the most corrupt countries in the world,” the source said.
Russia used to be part of the former G8, but they were expelled over the 2014 invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea. Putin often justifies the intervention campaign by saying Russia had to Continue reading "Trump Reportedly Told G7 Leaders Crimea is Part of Russia Because They Speak Russian"

PLOT TWIST: Russian Journo ‘Murdered’ By Kremlin Agents…Is Alive


This post is by Ken Meyer from Mediaite


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Contrary to previous reports from multiple international news sources, it seems that Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko is actually still alive. The reports of Babchenko’s assassination took off yesterday when his wife Olechka called the hospital after finding his bullet-ridden body in their Kiev apartment. However, BBC reports that Babchenko just appeared on a televised Ukranian news conference, and it appears he was part of a sting operation to expose agents who really were trying to kill him. Multiple Ukrainian officials originally blamed Babchenko’s death on Vladimir Putin because he has been criticizing Continue reading "PLOT TWIST: Russian Journo ‘Murdered’ By Kremlin Agents…Is Alive"

PLOT TWIST: Russian Journo ‘Murdered’ By Kremlin Agents…Is Alive


This post is by Ken Meyer from Mediaite


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Contrary to previous reports from multiple international news sources, it seems that Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko is actually still alive. The reports of Babchenko’s assassination took off yesterday when his wife Olechka called the hospital after finding his bullet-ridden body in their Kiev apartment. However, BBC reports that Babchenko just appeared on a televised Ukranian news conference, and it appears he was part of a sting operation to expose agents who really were trying to kill him. Multiple Ukrainian officials originally blamed Babchenko’s death on Vladimir Putin because he has been criticizing Continue reading "PLOT TWIST: Russian Journo ‘Murdered’ By Kremlin Agents…Is Alive"

Journalist and Putin-Critic Murdered in Kiev, Ukrainian Officials Blame Russia


This post is by Ken Meyer from Mediaite


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Ukrainian officials cast accusations against the Kremlin on Tuesday after prominent Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko was shot and killed in Kiev. Babchenko, a critic of Vladimir Putin, died yesterday in the hospital after his wife found him in their apartment with multiple bullet wounds in his back. Investigators and a handful of politicians suspect that Russia is connected to the murder, with Kiev Police Chief Andriy Krishchenko pointing out the nature of Babchenko’s “professional activities.” “I am confident that the Russian totalitarian machine did not forgive him his honesty and principled stance,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said in an online statement. “He was a true friend of Ukraine who told the world the truth about Russian aggression. The killers should be punished.” According to BBC, Babchenko was known for criticizing Russian policies such as the 2014 annexation of Crimea, support for Ukrainian separatist insurgency groups, Continue reading "Journalist and Putin-Critic Murdered in Kiev, Ukrainian Officials Blame Russia"

Michael Cohen Reportedly Received Secret $400k Payment to Fix Talks Between Ukraine President and Trump


This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite


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So it turns out the extent of Michael Cohen‘s financial dealings may be a smidge bigger than previously thought. The BBC is exclusively reporting this morning on $400,000 Cohen received to “fix talks between the Ukrainian president and President Trump”:
The payment was arranged by intermediaries acting for Ukraine’s leader, Petro Poroshenko, the sources said, though Cohen was not registered as a representative of Ukraine as required by US law… Shortly after the Ukrainian president returned home, his country’s anti-corruption agency stopped its investigation into Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort.
An anonymous senior Ukrainian intel officer said President Poroshenko “decided to establish a back channel to Trump” and a former aide of his got a Ukrainian MP to help out and they eventually found Cohen. Trump had met with Poroshenko last June and the report says there’s “no suggestion” he was aware of this payment. However, they Continue reading "Michael Cohen Reportedly Received Secret $400k Payment to Fix Talks Between Ukraine President and Trump"

This program made people better at identifying disinformation. (They still weren’t great at knowing what to trust.)


This post is by Laura Hazard Owen from Nieman Lab


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The success of media literacy programs is often described in terms of number of people reached, rather than by how (or if) they actually change people’s behavior in the long run. It’s not even clear what metrics to judge them on. But a new report from a media literacy course run in Ukraine suggests that the program actually was able to change participants’ behavior — even 18 months after they’d completed the course. The program was called Learn to Discern (L2D); it was run by global development and education nonprofit IREX with funding from the Canadian government and support from local organizations Academy of Ukrainian Press and StopFake (which Nieman Lab covered four years ago). First, the raw numbers: IREX says that its L2D seminars “reached more than 15,000 people of all ages and professional backgrounds” through a “train the trainers” model, in which 361 community leaders were trained
Continue reading "This program made people better at identifying disinformation. (They still weren’t great at knowing what to trust.)"

Who is Alex van der Zwaan, the First Person Sentenced in the Mueller Probe?


This post is by Amy Russo from Mediaite


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Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation just placed its first person behind bars. So, who is he? Alex van der Zwaan was served with a 30-day jail sentence on Tuesday along with a $20,000 fine after admitting to lying to special agents in Mueller’s Russia probe during November 2017. The false statements concerned e-mail communications and phone calls  between him and Richard Gates, an ex-campaign aide to President Donald Trump. Van der Zwaan is a 33-year-old Dutch attorney who is also the son-in-law of Russian oligarch German Khan, who is also linked to President Vladimir Putin. Khan is one of the individuals named in the infamous Trump-Russia dossier that suggests Trump could be open to blackmail from the Kremlin. Van der Zwaan was a London-based associate of a high-powered law firm called Skadden, Arps, Meagher & Flom in the early 2010s. At the time, Gates and Paul Manafort, another Continue reading "Who is Alex van der Zwaan, the First Person Sentenced in the Mueller Probe?"

Trump Reportedly Told Putin: ‘If You Want to Have an Arms Race We Can Do That, But I’ll Win’


This post is by Amy Russo from Mediaite


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Behind the scenes, President Donald Trump is taking a bit of a tougher stance on Russia, facing off with President Vladimir Putin, according to sources who spoke with NBC News. Two White House officials told the outlet that in a discussion with Putin last week, Trump threatened him, saying, “If you want to have an arms race we can do that, but I’ll win.” The warning is a shift in the tone of Trump’s relationship with Putin, which had bordered on chummy following the 2016 election. But sources say the tide has changed since Putin revealed Russia had the potential to hit the U.S. with nuclear-capable weapons. The implication “really got under the president’s skin,” a White House source said. Trump also reportedly asked his staffers to keep his policy moves regarding Russia under wraps. Following his signing of a weapons deal to arm Ukrainians in their country’s Continue reading "Trump Reportedly Told Putin: ‘If You Want to Have an Arms Race We Can Do That, But I’ll Win’"

Manafort Indicted on 12 Counts Including Conspiracy Against the United States


This post is by Aidan McLaughlin from Mediaite


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Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, turned himself in to the FBI Monday morning after he was told to surrender by federal authorities. Though the details of charges were initially unclear, the indictment against Manafort and Rick Gates, his former business associate, was released shortly after by the Department of Justice — and doesn’t look great for Manafort. The two were indicted on 12 counts, including “conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, false statements, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.” Per the indictment, between “at least 2006 and 2015, Manafort and Gates acted as unregistered agents of the Government of Ukraine,” generating “tens of millions of dollars in income” which they allegedly hid from US authorities by laundering it through “scores of US and Continue reading "Manafort Indicted on 12 Counts Including Conspiracy Against the United States"

Oops! Rick Perry Falls For Russian Pranksters, Gives Them 22-Minute Phony Interview


This post is by Justin Baragona from Mediaite


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Apparently, there is a pair of pranksters known as the “Jerky Boys of Russia” who were able to arrange a call with Secretary of Energy Rick Perry last week. And they were straight up punked the former Governor of Texas by conducting a 22-minute phony interview with him. According to E&E News, Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov posed as Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman and attempted to pitch Perry on a new biofuel made from alcohol and manure. Beyond talking about this new fuel option, the pranksters also discussed the Trump administration’s decision to exit the Paris Climate Accord. Perry told the pranksters that America stepping away from the agreement shouldn’t damage the relationship with Ukraine. “I hope that stepping away from the Paris accord will not have any negative impact with our relationship with the Ukraine,” Perry stated. “We tried to divorce the politics from this and really Continue reading "Oops! Rick Perry Falls For Russian Pranksters, Gives Them 22-Minute Phony Interview"

Former Clinton Campaign Spokesperson Karen Finney Denies DNC Collusion with Ukraine


This post is by Colby Hall from Mediaite


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A common refrain among Trump supporters defending the previously undisclosed meeting between a Russian lawyer (among others) and Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner has been “but what about the DNC meeting with Ukraine officials!?” This is in reference to a mid-January report in Politico titled “Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire.” The nut of that article reads:
Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.
While there are some obvious similarities between the theories of collusion between Russian interference (and the Trump campaign) and  the Clinton campaign ostensibly working with Ukraine, Continue reading "Former Clinton Campaign Spokesperson Karen Finney Denies DNC Collusion with Ukraine"

Ukraine Launches Simpsons GIF in Bizarre Twitter War With Russia


This post is by Matthew Balan from Mediaite


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Simpsons_Soviet_Union The government of Ukraine’s official Twitter account targeted Vladimir Putin on Tuesday over a historical reference that the Russian president made during a recent press conference, and included an animated GIF from an episode of The Simpsons. According to a Tuesday report from CNN, Putin had mentioned during a joint appearance with French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday that the wife of King Henry I of France was “Russian Anne.” Of course, this labeling didn’t sit well with the Ukrainian government, as Anne Yaroslavna was from Kiev, the capital of present-day Ukraine. Anne was the granddaughter of Vladimir the Great, a prominent historical figure in both Russia and Ukraine. They protested Putin’s reference in their initial Twitter post. The forest graphic points
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Continue reading "Ukraine Launches Simpsons GIF in Bizarre Twitter War With Russia"

Netizen Report: Chelsea Manning and the Power of Transparency


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. U.S. Army officer Chelsea Manning was released from military prison on May 17 after spending nearly seven years behind bars for sharing with Wikileaks thousands of classified military and government files that exposed human rights violations and corruption committed by the US government and numerous others. The U.S. government pursued 22 charges against Manning, including “aiding the enemy.” Although prosecutors were never able to prove that Manning’s actions had caused the United States material harm, she was sentenced to 35 years in prison in a case rife with political controversy and seen by civil and human rights advocates as an attempt to set a severe precedent for sentencing in cases involving the leaking of classified digital documents. Her sentence was commuted by Barack Obama in the final days
Continue reading "Netizen Report: Chelsea Manning and the Power of Transparency"

Paul Manafort Registering with US Government as Foreign Agent


This post is by David Bixenspan from Mediaite


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manafort The entanglements between President Donald Trump campaign staff and the Russian Federation got even more twisted on Wednesday afternoon. The Associated Press reported that Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, is registering with the United States government as a foreign agent. This comes less than 24 hours after the report that former Trump campaign foreign policy Carter Page was investigated by the FBI as an agent of Russian intelligence. Manafort’s spokesperson told the AP that he had been in contact with the federal government about registering before the elections, but is now “taking appropriate steps” after receiving “formal guidance” about what to do. The same spokesperson added that the work was not for the Russian government (presumably, this is regarding his work for pro-Russian factions in Ukraine) and started before he joined the campaign. There’s no word yet as to if Trump knew about this when he hired Manafort. [image via screengrab]

Netizen Report: Social Media Users Arrested for Political Speech in Myanmar, Palestine, Turkey


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. In mid-February, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg laid out a sweeping vision of the social network’s role in “bringing us all together as a global community.” It echoed a 2015 Facebook ad that promised, “the more we connect, the better it gets.” Of course, the ubiquitous connectedness to which Zuckerberg aspires can serve the interests of many different actors — including governments seeking to keep a clean, positive image online and to quiet their critics. Highlighted below are a few such examples from February 2017. A man in Myanmar was sentenced to six months in prison for defaming State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi on Facebook. Activists from Myanmar are calling for amendments to section 66D of the Telecommunications Law, which criminalizes defamation. According to PEN Myanmar,
Continue reading "Netizen Report: Social Media Users Arrested for Political Speech in Myanmar, Palestine, Turkey"

Follow the Money


This post is by WNYC Studios from On the Media


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As the Trump-Russia saga continues to unfold, how the Obama administration spent its final days scrambling to preserve evidence of Russian interference in the election. Also, the old Soviet-era art of "kremlinology" is back -- but does it really help us understand what Putin is thinking? Plus, a potential key to unveiling Trump’s tax returns, how our understanding of corruption has strayed from the vision of the founders, and more.        

Trump Lawyer Gives Two Contradicting Stories When Asked If He Delivered Secret Russia Doc


This post is by Alex Griswold from Mediaite


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Michael Cohen President Donald Trump‘s personal lawyer and confidante Michael Cohen gave two contradictory answers to two different outlets when asked whether he delivered a back-channel document from Russian mob-connected businessman to then-Trump advisor General Michael Flynn. The New York Times reported Sunday that a week before Flynn’s ouster, “a sealed proposal was hand-delivered to his office, outlining a way for President Trump to lift sanctions against Russia.” The proposal included a peace plan for settling the Ukraine crisis and was reportedly drafted by Cohen, Ukrainian politician Andrii V. Artemenko, and businessman Felix H. Sater. Sater and Artemenko have both been convicted of white-collar crimes; Sater in particular pleaded guilty to a stock manipulation scheme masterminded by the mafia. When contacted by The Times, Cohen initially admitted he had delivered the secret document to Flynn’s office:

He said Mr. Sater had given him the written proposal in a sealed envelope. When Continue reading "Trump Lawyer Gives Two Contradicting Stories When Asked If He Delivered Secret Russia Doc"

Ghosts


This post is by WNYC Studios from On the Media


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This election season, the media frequently looked to history in an attempt to explain the rise of Donald Trump. We consider how historical parallels don't always serve us well. Plus, revisiting a notorious murder that the press got wrong; the long reach of a WWII slogan; and attempts in Ukraine to whitewash the nation's history. A special hour on memory, both historical and personal, and how what we remember shapes our world.

Watch This Incredible Footage of a Fistfight Breaking Out in a Government Meeting


This post is by Joe DePaolo from Mediaite


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screen-shot-2016-11-14-at-1-55-59-pm-1Two Ukrainian lawmakers came to blows in what was a wild scene during a parliament meeting in Kiev on Monday. According to Reuters, Radical party leader Yuriy Boyko cold-cocked Opposition party leader Oleh Lyashko after Lyashko accused Boyko of taking orders from the Russian government. “By the way, I also want to ask the (Security Service of Ukraine) why they visit Moscow and are not yet in jail?” Lyashko said — prompting Boyko to jump to his feet, grab Lyashko behind the head, and land a crushing right hand blow to the face. After the two were broken up, Lyashko eventually resumed speaking — with Boyko, remarkably, sitting next to him once again. Lyashko once again drew Boyko’s ire, and again, Boyko punched Lyashko in the face. Parliament fights are nothing new in Ukraine. In both 2010 and 2012, there were violent brawls right on the Parliament floor. Ukrainian lawmakers, however, Continue reading "Watch This Incredible Footage of a Fistfight Breaking Out in a Government Meeting"

Pence Says Trump Knew That Russia Invaded Crimea. Here’s What Trump Actually Said.


This post is by Sam Reisman from Mediaite


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trumpDuring the vice presidential debate Tuesday night, Gov. Mike Pence affirmed that his running mate was fully aware that Russia had invaded the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine. Trump invited scorn back in July when he said that Putin was “not going into Ukraine” even though Russia had established control of Crimea since 2014. “Donald Trump knew that happened,” Pence said. “He basically was saying it’s going to happen again.”
Here were Trump’s remarks on the matter when ABC’s George Stephanopoulos apparently stumped Trump by mentioning that Russia had, in fact, already invaded Crimea after Trump said Putin was “not going into Ukraine.” “He’s not going into Ukraine,” Trump said. “He’s not going to go into Ukraine. You can mark it down. You can put it down. You can take it anywhere you want.” “He’s already there isn’t he? Continue reading "Pence Says Trump Knew That Russia Invaded Crimea. Here’s What Trump Actually Said."