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Gretchen Carlson sexually harassed? | ‘Nobody would’ prosecute Hillary Clinton? | Free college again? | and more

The most talked about political and social justice news is ready for you below!

Person of the Day

EWW: Did Fox News CEO Roger Ailes sexually harass Gretchen Carlson?

Roger Ailes

There's Gretchen Carlson on "Fox & Friends." (Bloomberg/YouTube)

Gretchen Carlson, former "Fox & Friends" co-host, has filed a lawsuit against CEO Roger Ailes for sexual harassment and wrongful termination.

Carlson released a statement about Ailes through a PR firm, saying she denied Ailes advances and received disparaging and sexist treatment in the newsroom.

The lawsuit claims Ailes made “sexually charged comments” to her, including “lewd innuendo, ogling and remarks about Ms. Carlson’s body to demands for sex as a way for her to improve her job standing.”

As of June 23rd, Carlson's contract was terminated and she no longer works for Fox.

Ailes denied any wrongdoing, and even went as far to say Carlson's allegations were defamatory and based fully on retaliation:

"Gretchen Carlson’s allegations are false. This is a retaliatory suit for the network’s decision not to renew her contract, which was due to the fact that her disappointingly low ratings were dragging down the afternoon lineup.

When Fox News did not commence any negotiations to renew her contract, Ms. Carlson became aware that her career with the network was likely over and conveniently began to pursue a lawsuit ... This defamatory lawsuit is not only offensive, it is wholly without merit and will be defended vigorously.”

Here's the thing: Carlson is far from the only female to make allegations against Ailes.

One anonymous female Fox News contributor said Ailes asked her to turn around during a meeting so he could see her posterior.

Another employee said Ailes often brags that he does not choose his on-air talent by, well, their talent. Instead, he supposedly chooses his on-air talent by how sexually attracted he is to them.

An unauthorized biography of Ailes from 2014, by Gabriel Sherman, also alleged Ailes offered female news producers extra cash if they slept with him whenever he wanted.

Fox News’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, announced they would conduct an internal review based on the allegations. Meanwhile, the case against Ailes is building as more and more women are coming forward.

Quote of the Day

FBI to Republicans: ‘Nobody would’ prosecute Hillary Clinton for ‘gross negligence’


There's the FBI Director James Comey. (Brookings Institute/Flickr)

FBI Director James Comey's decision not to bring criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for her "careless" handling of classified information sparked tons of criticism.

Many #NeverHillary supporters quickly pointed out that under the Espionage Act, disclosing classified information through "gross negligence" is illegal.

Well, the GOP-led House Oversight and Government Reform Committee grilled Comey today for roughly four hours over his decision. But he stuck to his guns and insisted that Clinton shouldn't be charged with a crime because, "That's just the way it is."

He addressed the specific concerns and criticism about "gross negligence" under the Espionage Act, saying that nobody who looks through history and has reasonable judgment would ever charge her:

"No reasonable prosecutor would bring the second case in 100 years focused on gross negligence. I know that’s been a source of some confusion for folks, that’s just the way it is. I know the Department of Justice, I know no reasonable prosecutor would bring the case.

I know a lot of my former friends are out there saying, they would. I wonder where they were in the last 40 years because I’d like to see the cases they brought on gross negligence. Nobody would. Nobody did."

Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced prior to the hearing that the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee would not be criminally charged. And with that, Hillary Clinton will walk away scot free from the email scandal that has haunted her.

Image of the Day

The new Iron Man isn’t a man at all

When most people think of Iron Man, they think of an adult white male (cough Robert Downey Jr. cough).

That's no longer the case. There's a new Iron Man in town and she's actually not a man. Riri Williams, a 15-year old black girl, is taking over the Iron Man suit.

Here's what she looks like:

Riri will make her debut in the new comic series Invincible Iron Man #1. She's a teenage science genius who attends MIT and catches the attention of Tony Stark (the original Iron Man) after creating her own Iron Man suit in her dorm room.

There are some critics who say creating diverse new characters is a gimmick. But, creator and Iron Man writer, Brian Michael Bendis, addressed the critics by acknowledging the need for diversity in pop culture:

"I think what's most important is that the character is created in an organic setting. We never had a meeting saying, 'we need to create this character.' It's inspired by the world around me and not seeing that represented enough in popular culture."

The overwhelming majority of people are super stoked about Riri:

Number of the Day

Are you happy Obama is keeping 8,400 troops in Afghanistan?


Barack Obama visits soldiers in Afghanistan in 2010. (ResoluteMedia/Flickr)

President Obama decided, once again, he will slow the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan due to the ongoing struggle. 8,400 troops will remain in Afghanistan indefinitely.

The move comes more than two years after the announcement of an official end to combat operations in Afghanistan.

The White House originally planned to reduce the number of US troops to 5,500 by the time President Obama left office.

But now the prez says 8,400 troops must stay for our "national security interest":

"It is in our national security interest ... that we give our Afghan partners the very best opportunity to succeed."

Obama cites a weak Afghan security force, a resilient Taliban insurgency, and an unruly system:

"The security situation in Afghanistan remains precarious. Even as they improve, Afghan security forces are still not as strong as they need to be. With our help, they're still working to improve critical capabilities, such as intelligence, logistics, aviation and command and control. At the same time the Taliban remains a threat. They've gained ground in some places."

Since US troops invaded Afghanistan in 2001, 2,382 soldiers have lost their lives. Just in the past 18 months, 38 military personnel and civilians have died:

"Afghanistan is not a perfect place. It is going to continue to take time for them to build up the military capacity that we sometimes take for granted. ... Given the enormous challenges they face, the Afghan people will need the support of the world, led by the United States, for many years to come."

Place of the Day

The UK’s next prime minister will almost certainly be a woman

prime minister

Home Secretary Theresa May, one of the top picks to succeed David Cameron as British PM, speaking at Unicef event in June 2014. (DFID - UK Department for International Development/Flickr)

After a complicated divorce from the European Union, the United Kingdom's Prime Minister David Cameron said peace out. This left the UK scrambling for a leader.

But now, one thing is certain: The next PM will be a woman.

Members of the ruling Conservative Party picked Home Secretary Theresa May and Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom as the final two candidates to replace Cameron.

Justice Secretary Michael Gove didn't make the last vote, leaving only two female candidates remaining.

The winner will become the UK's first female PM since Margaret Thatcher, and only the second female PM in modern history.

150,000 Conservative Party members will select their new leader on September 9th.

Word of the Day

You’ve heard Hillary Clinton’s new plan for free college before

free college

Free college at public universities? Where have we heard that before? (AsianMedia/Flickr)

Hillary Clinton has brushed off Bernie Sanders' free college tuition plan as a bad idea. Until now.

Clinton's new education platform proposes free tuition for public colleges and universities for students whose families make less than $125,000 a year (that's the majority of Americans).

Wait. Doesn't that sound a lot like Bernie Sanders' free college plan? That's because it basically is.

The Clinton campaign said a private meeting with Sanders led to her new education plan.

But let's backtrack to when she opposed Sanders’ plan:

"I disagree with free college for everybody. I don’t think taxpayers should be paying to send Donald Trump’s kids to college."

But Sanders is happy with her change of course:

Clinton's plan, like Sanders' original one, receives a great deal of support--especially from young voters. But it faces some major obstacles (AKA Congress).

Video of the Day

You must see officer Nakia Jones’ message on police brutality

An Ohio police officer has gone viral for her powerful and passionate response to the recent police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.

Officer Nakia Jones, a cop since 1996 and the first black female cop in Warrensville Heights, shares her shock and grief over police brutality. She explains how she saw the violence in those videos through the eyes of non-police officers. It's a must watch in light of the recent events.

Watch her full statement below:

Unsurprisingly, #OfficerNakiaJones started trending on Twitter almost immediately, with many reflecting on gun violence and police brutality in America.

Tweet of the Day

These protesters demand justice for Alton Sterling and Philando Castile


A protestor at a rally outside the Governor's mansion in St. Paul, Minneapolis. (Lorie Shaull/Flickr)

After the police executions of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, protests are breaking out in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, St.Paul, Minnesota, and other cities around the US.

In Baton Rouge, protestors, community members, friends, and family of Sterling gathered in the streets around the Triple S store where he was killed. Everything has been extremely peaceful and positive as the community came together to celebrate Sterling's life and hope for change.

In Minnesota, the scene was different. Angry (but peaceful) community members gathered in front of the Governor's Mansion in St. Paul early in the morning to demand justice.

They covered the iron gate entrance in crime scene tape and chanted, "If we don't get it, shut it down!" Police maintained a low profile but surrounded the area with squad cars blocking traffic.

Diamond "Lavish" Reynolds, the murdered Castile's girlfriend, addressed the crowd with a heavy heart:

Protests are planned in other states around the US. Chicago activists are planning at least two Thursday night protests in response to the shooting deaths.

Philadelphia protests began yesterday, and some demonstrators were arrested for disrupting rush-hour traffic.

Controversy of the Day

Alton Sterling and Philando Castile are the newest black victims of police brutality

Alton Sterling

Just stop. (Fibonacci Blue/Flickr)

Alton Sterling, a black man selling CDs outside of a convenience store early Tuesday morning, was shot dead after police pinned him to the ground. He was 37 years old, a father of five, and lived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Philando Castile, a black man driving a car with a broken tail light Wednesday night was fatally shot by a police officer after a typical traffic stop.

His girlfriend and her 4-year-old daughter were in the car as four shots were fired into Castile's right arm. He was a 32-year-old cafeteria supervisor at a Montessori School in Minnesota who worked with children.

The horrific deaths of these two men were captured on video.

WARNING: These videos are extremely graphic and heartbreaking, so watch at your own risk.

A bystander witnessed the murder of Sterling, and recorded the majority of the situation on a smartphone. Conveniently, both body cameras on the officers fell off during the incident.

Castile's girlfriend, Lavish Reynolds, livestreamed the immediate aftermath of the traffic stop. The cop can still be seen pointing a gun at Castile, who is drifting out of consciousness and covered in blood.

“I’m on Larpenteur and Fry and the Roseville Police Department just shot my boyfriend. They shot him four times. He’s licensed to carry. We had a busted tail light. And we had some weed in the car that’s about it.”

During the live video footage, Reynolds is also handcuffed and put into the back of a police car with her daughter, with no explanation.

Though both men had guns with them (they lived in concealed carry states), they were not holding them and presented no threat to the officers who shot them. That is blatantly obvious in the videos. Leaving everyone wondering: Why were they killed?

What happens to the officers?

The officers who killed Sterling--Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II--have been placed on administrative leave, as well as the officer who shot Castile (though he has yet to be identified).

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating Castile's death, and the governor has asked for an independent investigation from the US Department of Justice. The Justice Department opened a civil rights investigation into the killing of Sterling after the video went viral.

As for now, protests, vigils, and rallies are being held across Louisiana and Minnesota for the two newest black victims of police brutality.

Issue of the Day

Professors are suing Texas to get guns out of classrooms


The lawsuit comes from three female University of Texas, Austin professors. (derekskey/Flickr)

Three professors from the University of Texas at Austin just filed a federal lawsuit against SB11. SB11 would allow students to carry concealed firearms in classrooms.

The law is supposed to go into effect on August 1st. It will permit licensed gun owning students of University of Texas, aged 21 or older, to bring their guns with them to school.

Call it irony or call it fate, but the law takes effect on the 50th anniversary of one of the deadliest US shootings on a college campus. A mass shooter killed 43 on August 1st, 1966 at the University of Texas, Austin--the same school the professors teach at.

Professors Jennifer Lynn Glass, Lisa Moore, and Mia Carter filed the lawsuit in hopes of blocking the law before it goes into effect. They're also asking for the option to ban guns in their individual classrooms.

The lawsuit specifically says they're suing Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, UT-Austin President Gregory Fenves, and the university’s Board of Regents.

There are many logical reasons to not want guns in classrooms, but the professors specifically have said they are concerned about discussing controversial subjects like reproductive rights. If one student disagrees with another and the conversation gets heated, they can just pull out their guns.

The attorney general of Texas, Ken Paxton, thinks the lawsuit is insulting:

Texas officials have 20 days to respond.

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Gretchen Carlson sexually harassed? | ‘Nobody would’ prosecute Hillary Clinton? | Free college again? | and more

Christina Buff

Christina is a freelance writer from a tiny town in Southern Maryland who just can't seem to figure out whether others are being sarcastic or not. She has a degree in business communication, with a focus in writing, from Stevenson University, and has written things for Severna Park Voice, Maryland Film Festival, The Villager, and Hello Giggles. Follow her on twitter @tinaBUFF where she constantly overthinks her tweets, or read her medley of musings at touchinfinity.wordpress.com.

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