News Outlets Correct ‘Bombshell’ Reports on Manafort, Russia
News Outlets Correct ‘Bombshell’ Reports on Manafort, Russia: Wanted Info Sent to Ukrainians AP Photo/Matt Rourke 10 Jan 2019 Trump critics were delighted after news outlets reported this week that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had shared “polling data” with a “Russian associate” to pass on to a Russian oligarch allegedly close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. However, that delight was short-lived, after those news outlets had to correct their stories.
The New York Times reported Tuesday that Manafort had given long-time business associate Konstantin V. Kilimnik “political polling data” that he wanted sent to Oleg V. Deripaska, the Russian oligarch.
Numerous other news outlets picked up the story. Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall wrote in a piece titled, “The ‘Collusion’ Debate Ended Last Night,” specifically seizing on the detail that Manafort wanted the data sent to Deripaska.
“What’s crystal clear is that the transfer to Kilimnik came with explicit instructions to give the information to Deripaska. And that’s enough,” he wrote. “Deripaska is close to Putin and he has zero use for campaign data about a US election, other than to use it for the then on-going Russian campaign to elect Donald Trump.”
However, the next day, the Times had to issue a correction.
“Correction: January 9, 2019,” it said, “A previous version of this article misidentified the people to whom Paul Manafort wanted a Russian associate to send polling data. Mr. Manafort wanted the data sent to two Ukrainian oligarchs, Serhiy Lyovochkin and Rinat Akhmetov, not to Oleg V. Deripaska, a Russian oligarch close to the Kremlin.”
TPM posted an “Editor’s Note” that said the Times had made a “major correction and a major error,” but added, “I don’t think it changes the big picture.”
It is also not clear from the reports what the “data” was. The Times acknowledged in their story that “most of the data was public, but some of it was developed by a private polling firm working for the campaign.” It is common for political campaigns to hire firms to conduct their own polling.
Even before the correction, a Republican congressional staffer involved in the Russia investigations scoffed at claims there was now evidence of collusion.
“The treasonous crime has apparently been downgraded from Trump helping Putin hack Democrat emails to Manafort showing a poll to someone. Seems like they’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of ‘smoking guns,’” the staffer said.
Democrats originally accused the Trump campaign of colluding with Russia to steal and release emails belonging to the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta in order to influence the election.
Kilimnik is a long-time associate of Manafort’s, stemming back to 2005. As a young man, he served in the Soviet Army as a linguist and later worked for the Washington-based International Republican Institute (IRI) in Moscow.
He met Manafort in 2005 and began working for his consulting firm in Ukraine, later running the office. They both did lobbying work for Ukrainian politician Viktor Yanukovych, who successfully became president of Ukraine in 2010.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted Kilimnik in June 2017, but for obstructing justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice related to charges against Manafort for his lobbying work in Ukraine.
Mueller alleged that Kilimnik had contacted two people from a PR firm that had worked with Manafort on a project to give testimony that would match Manafort’s.
Deripaska is a former client of Manafort’s also stemming back to the mid-2000s. Manafort reportedly had signed a $10 million annual contract with Deripaska, which the Russian oligarch has denied. The relationship soured, and in 2014, Deripaska sued Manafort and business partner Rick Gates for keeping $19 million meant for investment.
Manafort reportedly wanted to offer Deripaska a briefing on the 2016 elections, but the Russian businessman has denied he ever received a briefing or any polling data from Manafort, according to the Washington Post .
Last year, the Times reported that the FBI had actually tried to woo Deripaska as an informant between 2014 and 2016 in exchange for helping him obtain U.S. visas.
Politics collusion Democratic National Committee Donald Trump John Podesta Konstantin Kilimnik Oleg Deripaska Paul Manafort Robert Mueller Russia Russian collusion Ukraine Vladimir Putin
Older people, conservatives more likely to share fake news – study
Tech News Older people, conservatives more likely to share fake news – study ‘It is possible that an entire cohort of Americans, now in their 60s and beyond, lacks the level of digital media literacy necessary to reliably determine the trustworthiness of news encountered online,’ the researchers suggest Published 4:56 PM, 5:01 PM, January 10, 2019 Shutterstock photo
WASHINGTON, USA – Facebook users aged 65 plus and conservatives are more likely to share fake news on the platform than younger or more liberal counterparts, according to a new study published Wednesday, January 10.
Researchers from Princeton University and New York University analyzed the Facebook posts of nearly 1,200 people who agreed to share their data in the aftermath of the 2016 US presidential election.
They then compared links the respondents had shared on Facebook with several lists – including one compiled by BuzzFeed – of websites known to share false information.
The study, published in Science Advances , found less than only 8.5% of respondents shared a link from one of these websites.
However, those that did tended to be older and self-identified as being on the conservative end of the political spectrum.
In fact, users over 65 – regardless of political affiliations – shared “nearly 7 times as many articles from fake news domains” as 18 to 29-year-olds, the youngest age group studied.
“No other demographic characteristic seems to have a consistent effect on sharing fake news,” the authors reported.
“It is possible that an entire cohort of Americans, now in their 60s and beyond, lacks the level of digital media literacy necessary to reliably determine the trustworthiness of news encountered online,” they suggested.
The authors also suggested the impact of aging on memory could have an effect.
“Under this account, memory deteriorates with age in a way that particularly undermines resistance to ‘illusions of truth,'” they wrote.
Although the study found that Republicans shared more fake news than Democrats, and ideologically, conservatives shared the most fake news stories – this could be due to the fact that most fake news articles produced during the 2016 presidential campaign favored US President Donald Trump.
“Had the slant of fake news been pro-Clinton instead of pro-Trump, it is possible that more liberals than conservatives would have shared this content,” the authors wrote in a Washington Post op-ed.
Facebook has been hammered for failing to stop information manipulation and misinformation, including from Russian organizations during the 2016 US election .
Its leaders have promised more transparency in hearings in the US Congress and elsewhere, and the network has stepped up efforts to find and root out fake accounts and foreign influence campaigns. – Rappler.com
Megyn Kelly Leaves NBC with $69 Million Payout
Megyn Kelly Leaves NBC with $69 Million Payout Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Fortune 12 Jan 2019 NEW YORK (AP) — NBC News announced its professional divorce agreement with Megyn Kelly late Friday, ending an association with the former Fox News Channel star whose attempt to become a network morning television star as part of the “Today” show floundered. Terms were not disclosed. Kelly was in the second of a three-year contract that reportedly paid her more than $20 million a year.
She’s been off the air since October after creating a furor by suggesting that it was OK for white people to wear blackface on Halloween, and exit negotiations had dragged for two months over the holidays. Even before the controversial commentary, her future was considered limited at NBC News.
“The parties have resolved their differences, and Megyn Kelly is no longer an employee of NBC,” the network said in a statement Friday night.
NBC says she’ll be replaced in the third hour of the “Today” show by anchors Craig Melvin, Al Roker, Dylan Dreyer and Sheinelle Jones.
Her tenure was also a failure for NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack, who lured her from Fox News Channel with the type of big-money contract that was once standard in television news but now is less so with financial constrictions and less viewership. In a sense, Kelly was caught in a no-woman’s land: some at NBC were suspicious of her because of the Fox News background, while her former audience at Fox resented her for tough questioning of Donald Trump on the presidential campaign trail.
While at Fox, her accusations of unwanted sexual advances by the network’s late chief executive, Roger Ailes, helped lead to his firing.
She made news at NBC when interviewing women who accused Trump of inappropriate behavior and s poke with accusers of Harvey Weinstein, Bill O’Reilly, Roy Moore and others, as well as women who say they were harassed on Capitol Hill. The episode with Trump accusers had more than 2.9 million viewers, one of her biggest audiences on the network.
Time magazine, which honored “The Silence Breakers” as its Person of the Year in 2017, cited Kelly as the group’s leader in the entertainment field.
But tough segments on accusations against former NBC anchor Matt Lauer didn’t win her friends internally, as did her public call for Lack to appoint outside investigators to look into why the network didn’t air Ronan Farrow’s stories about Harvey Weinstein and allowed Farrow to take his story to The New Yorker.
When those stories began to fade, Kelly had trouble attracting an audience in the soft-focus world of morning television. She also briefly hosted an evening newsmagazine that didn’t catch on with viewers.
Kelly made a tearful apology to viewers following her blackface comments, but it proved to be her last appearance on NBC News.
“What is racist?” she said on the show. “Truly, you do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface on Halloween or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid, that was OK, as long as you were dressing up as a character.”
Critics accused her of ignoring the ugly history of minstrel shows and movies in which whites applied blackface to mock blacks.
It’s not immediately clear what’s next for Kelly. NBC would not comment Friday on whether the separation agreement allows her to write about her experiences at the network.
There’s no non-compete clause, meaning Kelly is free to seek other television work if she wants to.
Entertainment Media Andrew Lack Fox News Megyn Kelly NBC Today
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Rahaf al-Qunun flying to Canada in asylum bid – BBC News
Saudi women to get divorce notice by text
Thai officials initially described her case as a “family problem” and said she would be repatriated back to Kuwait the next day.
However, Ms Qunun sent a series of tweets pleading for help from her airport hotel room, and her case was picked up by Human Rights Watch and journalists.
A number of countries, including Australia, have considered her case for asylum. ‘Threats to her life’
Analysis by Jonathan Head, BBC south east Asia correspondent Image copyright UNHCR Image caption Ms Qunun, seen here at a UN building before leaving Bangkok, is en route to Toronto via Seoul
After days of speculation that she would move to Australia, Rahaf al-Qunun found herself on a flight in the opposite direction, to Canada. She was seen briefly, being escorted to the departure gate by UN officials.
As her plane took off Police General Surachate Hakparn, the immigration chief whose change of heart on Monday allowed her temporary asylum in Thailand, told journalists she had left the country cheerful and grateful to those who looked after her here.
Her father and brother, he said, who had come on what turned out to be a futile visit to try to persuade her to return to Saudi Arabia with them, would be leaving Thailand shortly after her.
It is only two days since the Australian government announced that it had been approached to take Ms Qunun, and that it would treat her request sympathetically. The UN usually approaches only one country at a time to seek asylum.
It is not clear why the Australian option fell through, and the UN switched to Canada. It might be that Australia’s tough line towards refugees, and the insistence of its Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton that she would get no special treatment, threatened to slow down the processing of her application.
The UN was concerned about her safety, following online threats to her life, and Canada may have been able to process her resettlement more quickly. Why did she flee?
Renunciation of Islam is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia.
Under Saudi Arabia’s “male guardianship system”, a Saudi woman is required to obtain a male relative’s approval to apply for a passport, travel outside the country, study abroad on a government scholarship, get married, leave prison, or even exit a shelter for abuse victims.
Ms Qunun told the BBC: “I shared my story and my pictures on social media and my father is so angry because I did this… I can’t study and work in my country, so I want to be free and study and work as I want.”
She also said she was afraid her family would kill her.
Separately, she told AFP she had suffered physical and psychological abuse from her family, including being locked in her room for six months for cutting her hair.
A spokesperson for her family told the BBC that they did not wish to comment and all they cared about was the young woman’s safety.
On Friday, Ms Qunun wrote on Twitter that she had “some good news and some bad news”, before deleting her account. Her friends said she had received death threats online. Has anything like this happened before?
Yes. Ms Qunun’s case echoes that of another Saudi woman who was in transit to Australia in April 2017.
Dina Ali Lasloom, 24, was en route from Kuwait via the Philippines but was taken back to Saudi Arabia from Manila airport by her family.
She used a Canadian tourist’s phone to send a message, a video of which was posted to Twitter, saying her family would kill her. Her fate on arriving back in Saudi Arabia remains unknown.