Odds and Ends 

One-Time #Resistance Hero Rod Rosenstein Was Trumps Leak-Hunter-in-Chief

Rod Rosenstein was a #Resistance heroand one of Donald Trumps favorite whipping boysfor overseeing the Russia investigation. But Rosensteins legacy at the Justice Department shows he was more than happy to oblige the White House on one of its top priorities: spearheading the presidents war on leakers and whistleblowers. Cases involving the leak of prosecutions under Rosenstein in just two years shows how aggressively he pursued cases. In his final week in office, the Justice Department charged former intelligence analyst U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, which tracks prosecutions on behalf of…

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Trump turns on Fox News over 2020 coverage: ‘What’s going on there?’

President criticized Fox News at a rally on Monday for giving Democrats airtime after candidate Pete Buttigieg appeared on the channel Anyone watching Donald Fox News. The rightwing cable network is a well-known Trump cheerleader. Literally: in November Fox News host Sean Hannity Pennsylvania. Someones going to have to explain the whole Fox deal to me. Some of the crowd booed, a sort of Pavlovian response to Trump criticizing something or someone. But others looked confused. Could Trump really be attacking Fox News? He was. Specifically it was the appearance…

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San Francisco politicians champion civil liberties – but back police raid on journalist

After authorities seize reporters notes, Democratic leaders say they support the raid and decline to address press freedom concerns San Francisco politicians pride themselves on defending civil liberties in the face of unprecedented attacks by the White House. But when a Donald Trump-style crackdown on citizens rights took place in their own backyard, the citys Democratic leaders had a different kind of response. They supported it. San Francisco police (SFPD) uncover a police leak to the reporter. The states newspapers, along with first amendment advocates across the US, have decried…

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Fresh faces on stage at the TV industry’s upfronts this week

New York (CNN Business)A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. You can sign up for free right here. Brian Lowry emails: NBC’s three-year renewal of “This is Us” was one of the highlights of the network’s upfront announcement on Sunday, in advance of the formal presentation at Radio City on Monday. NBC called the deal “unprecedented” — which it isn’t, as anyone who remembers “Lost” can attest — but it IS emblematic of what’s become a play-it-safe approach, where stability is prized above all… >>…

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Spotify reaches 100m paying subscribers worldwide

Streaming service boosted by better-than-expected performance in US and Canada Spotify has reached 100 million paying subscribers, in a landmark for the music streaming service as it faces competition from major tech firms. The number of users willing to pay for the service soared 32% in the first three months of 2019 compared with a year earlier, Spotify said on Monday. The Swedish company, which owned by Jay-Z, Beyonc and other stars. Last month, Spotify filed a complaint against Apple with European regulators, alleging that the US tech firm limits…

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Ex-Fox News host says its reputation for racism is ‘for very good reason’

Eboni Williams, who co-hosted the show Fox News Specialists, says Roger Ailes founded network on fear of devaluation of whiteness A former Fox News host said the network was founded for the sole purpose of demonizing the other. Eboni Williams appearance on Thursday on The Breakfast Club, a nationally syndicated radio show out of New York. Fox has a reputation for being bigoted and racist all for a very good reason, she said. Williams said the key to understanding Foxs approach was to understand its founder, Roger Ailes, who laid…

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Supporters gather after reports Assange may be ousted from embassy

Fears that WikiLeaks founder will be extradited to the US if he leaves London embassy Supporters of the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gathered outside the Ecuadorian embassy in central London after the organisation said its sources in Ecuador had revealed he could be removed from the building within hours to days. Ecuadors foreign ministry released a statement saying it doesnt comment on rumours, theories or conjectures that dont have any documented backing, but a senior Ecuadorian official said no decision had been made. WikiLeaks believes Assange would be extradited to…

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New Film Shows How Bellingcat Cracks the Web’s Toughest Cases

Aric Toler’s face is illuminated only by the glow of the video playing on his laptop. It’s dashcam footage, supposedly captured by a driver in the town of Makiivka in eastern Ukraine, showing a Russian military convoy on its way to shoot down Malaysia Airlines flight 17 on July 17, 2014. At least, that’s the theory. Toler just has to prove it. To the untrained eye, the video is awfully dull. But to Toler, who’s part of a global team of digital detectives known as Bellingcat, it’s a goldmine. He…

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Will Ferrell brings back Ron Burgundy for iHeartRadio podcast

Now even podcasts are adding to the stress of information overload.Image: Bob Al-Greene/Mashable In an era when there’s so much information — so much content — that we can never, ever be bored, I’ve come to a breaking point: I’m giving up podcasts. My brain is melted from an onslaught of news and takes. I’ve come to realize that I’m overwhelmed and the only way to catch my breath is to cut something out. So I’ve cracked open my podcast app for the last time for the foreseeable future. SEE…

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Google CEO admits company must better address the spread of conspiracy theories on YouTube

Google CEO Sundar Pichai admitted today that YouTube needs to do better in dealing with conspiracy content on its site that can lead to real-world violence. During his testimony on Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee, the exec was questioned on how YouTube handles extremist content that promotes conspiracy theories like Pizzagate and, more recently, a Hillary Clinton-focused conspiracy theory dubbed Frazzledrip. According to an article in Monday’s Washington Post, Frazzledrip is a variation on Pizzagate that began spreading on YouTube this spring. In a bizarre series of questions, Rep. Jamie Raskin…

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‘Crazy Rich Asians’ had a crazy bad opening weekend in China

Hong Kong (CNN Business)Turns out China isn’t so crazy about “Crazy Rich Asians.” “Comedies are tricky films to handle in foreign markets, including China, because their appeal can be nuanced,” said Rance Pow, CEO of Shanghai-based cinema consulting firm Artisan Gateway. In the United States, the movie was lauded for featuring an all-Asian cast at a time when Hollywood has come under fire for its lack of diversity. But “a romantic comedy with an all-Asian cast is not a unique selling point in China,” Pow said. The last rom-com smash…

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Judge orders White House to return Jim Acosta’s press pass

(CNN)CNN’s Jim Acosta has returned to his post at the White House following a court ruling that forced the Trump administration to reinstate his press pass. Kelly did not rule on the underlying case on Friday. But he granted CNN’s request for a temporary restraining order on Fifth Amendment grounds. And he said he believes that CNN and Acosta are likely to prevail in the case overall. “Let’s go back to work,” Acosta said in brief comments outside the courthouse. Later in the day he arrived at the White House…

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NBC and Fox finally stop running Trump’s racist ad after it was viewed by millions

(CNN)NBC and Fox News said in separate statements on Monday that their networks will no longer air the Trump campaign’s racist anti-immigrant advertisement. “Upon further review, Fox News pulled the ad yesterday and it will not appear on either Fox News Channel or Fox Business Network,” ad sales president Marianne Gambelli told CNN in a statement. The ad ran about a dozen times on Fox News and Fox Business, combined, before being pulled. Facebook also came under scrutiny for letting the Trump campaign run the ad on its platform. On…

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Italian deputy PM threatens ‘polluting’ press with ad boycott

M5Ss Luigi Di Maio could ask state-run companies to stop placing adverts in newspapers Italys deputy prime minister has threatened to pull advertising by state-run companies in newspapers as he accused them of polluting the political debate every day. The intervention by Luigi Di Maio, who leads the Five Star Movement (M5S), was the latest in a long-running series of attacks by the party on the media, and echoed tirades by Donald Trump, who has called American journalists enemies of the people. Di Maio said the government was preparing a…

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Serial is back but can it make a difference in the gritty new era of true-crime podcasting?

From The Teachers Pet to Spr, true crime is making a real dent in the criminal justice system worldwide. Can the third series of the pioneering podcast Serial keep up? On paper, the first season of Serial, launched in 2014, didnt exactly scream hit. Who would have bet on aThis American Life spin-off podcast that investigates a 16-year-old murder case in 12 episodes of excruciating detail without ever reaching a definite conclusion about who was guilty? Yet the host, Sarah Koenig, correctly judged the publics appetite for true-crime stories, and…

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