May 11, 2021

Review Category : People

Mueller told Trump team he would not indict Trump: Giuliani told CNN

Mueller told Trump team he would not indict Trump: Giuliani told CNNSpecial Counsel Robert Mueller has told President Donald Trump's legal team he would follow Justice Department guidance that a president cannot be indicted, CNN reported, citing an interview with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani. "All they get to do is write a report," Giuliani said, according to the network. At least they acknowledged that to us after some battling, they acknowledged that to us." A spokesman for Mueller, Peter Carr, did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Read More →

Senate panel reveals details from Trump Tower meeting probe

Senate panel reveals details from Trump Tower meeting probeBy Jonathan Landay and Karen Freifeld WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An intermediary of a Russian oligarch and associates of then-U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump coordinated responses to revelations of a meeting in which Trump's eldest son expected to get "dirt" on Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, documents released by a U.S. Senate panel showed on Wednesday. Many of the documents made public by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley focused on the June 9, 2016, meeting at the Trump Tower in New York between Donald Trump, Jr. and Nataliya Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer and acknowledged Kremlin informant.

Read More →

Ex-Trump aide Bannon promoted 'culture war': Cambridge Analytica whistleblower

Ex-Trump aide Bannon promoted 'culture war': Cambridge Analytica whistleblowerBy Mark Hosenball WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump's former aide Steve Bannon sought to use personal information collected online to promote "a culture war," a whistleblower on now-defunct political data firm Cambridge Analytica told U.S. senators on Wednesday. Bannon, a former Cambridge Analytica vice president, "saw cultural warfare as a means to create enduring change in American politics," testified Christopher Wylie, who says information about tens of millions of Facebook users ended up in Cambridge Analytica's hands.

Read More →

What Yanny vs. Laurel taught us: We yearn to be divided

What Yanny vs. Laurel taught us: We yearn to be dividedRemember the optical illusion known simply as the dress? Sure you do. Black and blue or white and gold? This was the question that divided the internet back in the more innocent time of February 2015. The fault lines ran through marriages and  friendships: We simply could not believe that someone so close to us could see things so differently when the truth, as we saw it, seemed so obvious.  Then came the candidacy and presidency of one Donald J. Trump, and we discovered what divided perceptions really looked like online. And now, the Trump effect seems to have settled a bit. At this point, you've probably blocked and unfriended everyone whose mind could not be changed, or you've become numb to the constant lies and corruption, or maybe we're just in the calm before the Mueller and midterm storms.  Clearly, we needed a new thing that could tear us apart in a safer, more innocent way. Something that would break through the social media filter bubbles we've built around ourselves to avoid hearing aggravating opinions. And into that cultural vacuum stepped Yanny vs. Laurel.  SEE ALSO: The original Yanny vs. Laurel audio will finally settle this once and for all This time it was an audio illusion rather than an optical one. In a one-second clip, some heard the name Yanny, some heard Laurel. The clip spread in just as viral a manner as the dress. In a matter of hours it hopped the barrier from Twitter and Facebook sensation to old-school media curiosity. Local news loved it. The New York Times produced a slider tool that changed the frequency from high to low, helping you hear one sound or the other. As with the dress, our obsession with this test appeared to be derived from its unpredictability. In 2018, cultural bubbles have become almost boringly impenetrable. Tell me how someone voted at the last presidential election, and I've got a pretty good chance at guessing their positions on gun control or immigration — and at assessing whether real debate is even possible.  But with Yanny v. Laurel, there's no telling what a given ear will hear. Anecdotal evidence suggested offices were about equally divided. The controversy was tailor-made for watercooler chatter. "Team Yanny" and "Team Laurel" quickly emerged (as did the smaller subset of us that could hear both and wondered what all the fuss was about). "Our marriage is a lie!" joked a friend on Facebook of her spouse hearing things differently. The subtext of all this: how nice it is to find a vast gulf of difference between friends, especially a difference that doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. This need seems to be something new in the world. It isn't quite the same impetus that divides us as sports fans; the teams we choose have more to do with our birthplace and family background than anything else. Debates between fandoms — Star Trek and Star Wars, say — are an endless set of questions with no objective answers. Fans who loved or hated The Last Jedi are almost as immovable as the pro- and anti-Trumpers.  SEE ALSO: 'Last Jedi' gets thumbs up from 89% of viewers, says new poll So a big part of what made the divisions over the dress and the audio clip so satisfying is that both controversies had definitive answers that were discovered within 24 hours. Widespread curiosity over such a small thing mandated that we would find the truth sooner rather than later. The dress was black and blue. The audio clip turned out to be from a recording for, and the word was "laurel." Sorry about that, Team Yanny.  In the era of fake news, when our country can't agree on a single political reality even when presented with evidence, how nice it is to have that level of certainty! Sports fans never have this sense of closure: Win the World Series or the Super Bowl and you're still open to the charge that the victory was a fluke. You still have to defend it endlessly. Again, the fact that the stakes are so low is helpful. We'll remember the controversy, we'll devour the science on why we hear differently, but there isn't going to be an online industry of Yanny truthers.  Info Wars (probably) isn't going to bother insisting that the Deep State is trying to make us hear Laurel. The game is definitively over, but thanks for playing! What does it say about us that we're so eager for this kind of division? One explanation is the rule of 150, also known as Dunbar's Number. Turns out our brains have a hard time handling more than this number of friendships, because that's the rough size of the tribal groups we evolved in. We see the 150 limit cropping up in military units, small businesses, Christmas card lists, and even the number of Facebook friends we actually interact with. But the modern world, driven by social media, bombards us with more friends than we can handle, some of whom we never see. We may live in cultural bubbles, but the bubbles are generally huge.  How can our brains make sense of this? How can they impose the 150 limit again? By latching onto any potential differences that mark people out as members of our tribe. This explains the enduring popularity of online quizzes and the Harry Potter house-sorting: We're desperate to know where our fellow Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws are at.  The dress and Yanny vs. Laurel are both low-grade versions of this urge. Few people are going to fall out over hearing an audio clip differently, but it scratches the sorting itch in a mostly harmless way. Now that it's over, we shuffle back to our bubbles — ready to fight the next culture war, hoping we soon get to fight over a sensual illusion instead.  WATCH: The face behind the #unibrowmovement

Read More →