Published on Jun 3, 2019
She might make grandma jokes about “wiping” her server with a cloth, but as RT’s Igor Zhdanov notes, there are few people in the world so adept at deleting information, that is potentially of state importance, off a server that even the FBI had no clue about.
And she would have managed to keep multi-million-dollar-earning Wall Street speeches a secret from the world, if it were not for the dastardly Wikileaks. So, there is a cautionary tale she can tell there.
And for the encore Clinton could explain how she cracked the Kremlin’s plan to meddle in the 2016 election and swing the result to Donald Trump, and then infiltrated the media to present her as a somewhat sore loser.
Franklin Pierce University senior Telfer took the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) women’s 400m hurdles title in dominant fashion at the end of May, setting a new personal best of 57.53 and finishing more than a second ahead of rival runners.
However, the victory was met with mixed reaction on social media, with many users insisting that Telferm should not have been allowed to compete against women.
“Cheat. It’s a shame that cheats are also given awards and celebrated,” one user wrote.
A number of fans fumed that the result of the race was highly predictable, as a mediocre male runner is stronger than even the best female athletes.
“This is getting beyond ridiculous. Natural born female sport is now in absolute crisis and if this is permitted to continue unchecked, XX chromosome World and Olympic records will shortly be consigned to history. XX female athletes cannot beat CeCe, it’s simply not a fair fight!” one person wrote.
Some users suggested that there should be a new division introduced for transgender athletes to ensure fair competition in sport.
“There needs to be men’s, women’s and ‘others’ categories then. It has to be a level playing field or it’s just not fair,” one commentator suggested.
“I am so thinking this is not fairness or sporting. Create a new category,” another user added.
“Sports need another category—men , women, and transgender. The women are competing with a biological male, in this case. In other words, more muscle just by nature’s biology,” one more comment reads.
While the docudrama has come under criticism for various historical inaccuracies, until now, the lack of racial diversity among the actors was not one of those criticisms — for the simple reason that 1980s Ukraine was not exactly a thriving hub of modern-day multiculturalism.
That should have been no reason to leave black and brown actors out though, according to actress Karla Marie Sweet, who tweeted that there are “so many great actors of colour” in the UK who “would’ve been amazing” in the series. Sweet felt “disappointed” to see “yet another hit show with a massive cast” that “makes it looks like PoC don’t exist.”
Just to clear up any confusion, the show “makes it look” like that to reflect the reality of the time and place — and the producers seem to have been at least trying to create an authentic vibe.
Needless to say, Sweet’s tweet didn’t exactly go down well on Twitter, where she was promptly told to “learn history.”
“You didn’t see PoC because they’re not there!”
One user said perhaps the actors were chosen for the same reason that Martin Luther King should probably not be played by a white person — because he was black.
Another said he was taking a screenshot of the thread because “nobody will believe” something so stupid could have been posted.
To be fair, Sweet did at least acknowledge the lack of people of color in the USSR in another tweet, but suggested that since the actors spoke with British accents (it was a British production), the creators should have just thrown accuracy completely out the window and hired a more diverse-looking cast. Emotions like fear, panic and sadness can be “communicated just as effectively” by people of color, she added, missing the point entirely.
Having actors of another race would “break immersion” for the viewers, another user tried to explain — but ultimately, Sweet didn’t seem open to criticism, later tweeting about the reactions she had received from “racist Twitter.”
By Dr. Susan Berry
Variety reported Monday Netflix intends to increase production in Egypt – where abortion is illegal – with Paranormal, directed by Amr Salama and based on the horror books by late Egyptian author Ahmed Khaled Tawfik.
“We are excited to continue our investment in Middle Eastern productions by adapting the highly acclaimed Paranormal novels into a thrilling new series,” said Kelly Luegenbiehl, Netflix vice president of international originals.
Variety reported Paranormal is the third Middle Eastern Netflix original series. It follows Jinn, a teen drama with supernatural themes that was filmed in Jordan, where abortion is illegal, except to save the life of the woman or if her health is threatened. Women as well as abortionists can be penalized for defying the law in Jordan.
Despite filming in these nations, however, on Tuesday Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, told Variety the company has “many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights … will be severely restricted” by the Georgia law that prohibits abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected.
Sarandos said Netflix would be working with the ACLU to fight the new law.
“Given the legislation has not yet been implemented, we’ll continue to film there, while also supporting partners and artists who choose not to,” he added. “Should it ever come into effect, we’d rethink our entire investment in Georgia.”
While Disney Chairman Bob Iger commented that it would not be “practical” for his company to continue to shoot in Georgia, given its new abortion law, the Washington Free Beacon reported that Disney filmed part of its 2019 film Aladdin in Jordan as well.
The Free Beacon also noted that Disney owns the Star Wars franchise. In 2015, the company distributed Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was filmed in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, where abortion is illegal except during the first 120 days of pregnancy and only when the mother’s life is threatened or the baby is diagnosed with a “lethal abnormality” that is “incompatible with life.”
Republican pollster Logan Dobson also observed on Twitter that Star Wars: The Last Jedi filmed scenes in Croatia, Ireland, and Bolivia – all nations in which abortion was highly restricted at the time of filming:
The Wall Street Journal editorial board noted the inconsistency in Disney’s policies, and specifically pointed out that the company also touts its theme park and films in China, where Turkic Muslims are being held in internment camps:
More than a few Americans may also notice the contradiction that Disney is more worried about filming in a U.S. state that has passed a law democratically than it is operating its theme park and hawking its films in China, which uses facial-recognition software to monitor its population and has a million Uighurs in re-education camps.
For decades, China also attempted to force control of its population with its “one-child policy,” which restricted the number of children a couple could have to only one.
Georgia’s Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act (HB 481) prohibits abortions in the state after a heartbeat is detected, usually at about six or seven weeks of pregnancy. Cases of rape, incest, or if the life of the mother is in danger are exceptions to the law.
Georgia is the third largest production hub in the country, due to its generous tax incentives.
Actress and political activist Alyssa Milano called for a Hollywood boycott of Georgia if Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed the bill into law. Milano then followed with a call for a sex strike – urging women to engage in abstinence from sex – to protest the end to “reproductive rights.”
The ultra-secretive meeting will take place from Thursday to Sunday in Montreux, Switzerland. Founded in 1954, the notorious meeting is ostensibly aimed at improving relations between the US and Europe, though the event has long been shrouded in mystery and conspiracy theories as attendees are forbidden from disclosing what was discussed.
Many contend it has a far more sinister purpose than mere international relations. Theories range from far-left worries that the group’s aim is to impose eternal capitalist domination, while some on the right have expressed concerns about the establishment of a world government named the New World Order.
Top politicians, business leaders, financiers and academics usually traditionally rank among the invitees. Among the confirmed 2019 attendees are some powerful titans of the tech industry including Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, leading bankers from Goldman Sachs and the Bank of England as well as Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam, and notable world leaders and former politicians including former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
Trump adviser Jared Kushner also features on the confirmed guest list while rumors circulate that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo might make an appearance, reportedly to discuss the Iran situation with Swiss Finance Minister Ueli Maurer, though he does not appear on the official guest list. The Swiss Finance Ministry has denied such reports but Switzerland often represents US interests in Iran as a go-between.
The published 2019 talking points include topics such as Brexit, the ethics of Artificial Intelligence (AI), climate change and sustainability, and the future of space exploration. Russia, China, the future of capitalism, and the weaponization of social media also feature among the loose list of discussion topics. However, meetings are held under the Chatham House Rule, meaning participants may use any information gleaned therein but may not disclose its source or their affiliations, so that discussion may take place in a ‘free-fire’ zone away from the scrutiny of public discourse. No votes are taken, no policies set and no statements are made at the meeting.
One of the founders of the group, Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, said the extreme secrecy was necessary so that “severe economic dips like the Great Depressions could be avoided if responsible and influential leaders could manage world events behind their necessary public posturing.”
Confirmed past luminaries who have graced the top secret meeting include: Bill Clinton (1991), David Cameron (2013), Bill Gates (2010), Prince Charles (1986), Jeff Bezos (2011, 2013), Margaret Thatcher (1975, 1976 and 1986) and banker David Rockefeller (2008, 2009, 2011).
Accounts of the civil rights hero’s infidelity and voracious sexual appetite date back to his lifetime, but the latest accusations, presented by his esteemed biographer David Garrow on the basis of FBI surveillance tapes, won’t disappear neatly under the carpet.
They are too graphic, including orgies and boasts about founding the “International Association for the Advancement of Pussy-Eaters.” They are too criminal, cheering a fellow pastor as he allegedly raped a woman in a hotel room. And most importantly, they are the first ones to surface since #MeToo.
Some on the right have called for vengeance, just as for historic figures, some of them dead for centuries like Robert E Lee, who have been punished for failing to adhere to present day liberal views. And celebrities, who have been branded as anything from sex pests to rapists to pedophiles on much thinner evidence.
But what if instead, we break the cycle of cultural violence?
Surely this is the moment when even the most passionate cancel-happy #TimesUp activists can admit that King’s contribution to the civil rights movement, both as a person and a symbol, is such that no amount of private misdeeds will detract from it.
And perhaps as well as learning not to judge too harshly, Americans will be wary of erecting more idols. After all, we have been here before with Mahatma Gandhi’s naked sleeping with teen relatives, Mother Teresa’s refusal to apply modern medicine that could have saved lives, Nelson Mandela’s role in violent resistance, Aung San Suu Kyi’s rule, and even MLK’s own undeniable plagiarism in academic texts and speeches.
This is an opportunity not only to step back from the Manichean hysteria, but perhaps even a chance to reach across the political divide tearing America apart daily. By treating MLK with humanity and a sense of proportion, the same generosity could then be extended to other “sinners,” even those who do not share the same values.
MLK was flawed, Ronald Reagan was flawed, as were John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Henry Kissinger, Malcolm X, and George W. Bush. Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi, Brett Kavanaugh and Barack Obama and other recent media punching bags are not personifications of evil, but merely public servants trying to do what they believe is best for the country.
But this reads like a naive fantasy.
This is what will more likely happen: excuses will be made for King – the subconsciously racist lower standards of sexual propriety will be applied to a black man. Or perhaps doubt will be cast on the veracity and provenance of the information; focus shifted to the villainy of the FBI that traced MLK’s every step, but did not protect him or his alleged victims.
At worst, MLK’s reputation will take a battering but retain its overall shape. But most likely of all, the impolitic truths will be double-thought out of existence, both acknowledged and forgotten at the same time. Congress will again keep official full FBI records that should have been long opened – and that could confirm or disprove Garrow’s claims – sealed until 2027 and beyond, prolonging the timer on the bomb.
And the same unyielding standards will continue to be applied from the vanguard of the left to the usual targets on the right. The political imperatives are too strong. Because when the big social confrontations are at stake, the heroes must always be saints, and the enemies devils.
By Igor Ogorodnev