Day in 10

#AleppoBoy | #SaysWho | #LochteGate | and more

Person of the Day

Meet Donald Trump’s new campaign CEO

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Steve Bannon. (Karl Heubaum/Flickr)

Donald Trump's named Stephen K. Bannon, the CEO of ultra-conservative outlet Breitbart, as his newest (remember Corey Lewandowski?) campaign CEO, following the demotion of veteran Paul Manafort.

The Republican party has been trying to tone down his rhetoric, but Bannon's appointment is more in sync with Trump's preferred tone.

The Trump campaign also appointed Roger Ailes, the ousted Fox News chairman, in an advisory role, and conservative pollster Kellyanne Conway is now campaign manager.

Bannon, though, is getting the most criticism, as he recently led a campaign, albeit a failed one, to oust House speaker Paul Ryan. Party veterans weren't stoked by this, as Dan Senor, a longtime Republican strategist expressed:

“If Trump were actually trying to antagonize supporters and antagonize new, reachable supporters, what exactly would he be doing differently?” 

Conway responded to the shakeup and said it was a non-issue:

“This is an expansion at an incredibly busy time, the last 12-week homestretch for the campaign. We look at personnel more and more. With Paul continuing as our chairman and Rick Gates as his deputy, Stephen Bannon and I have been added to what I would call the ‘core four’ of that senior team and we’re going to divide responsibilities according to our best an highest uses."

Recent polls have shown Trump's lead flagging and it was evident that he was trying to raise those numbers. However, Conway rejected those rumors too.

“Two or three things we’ve all learned about Donald Trump is, No 1: don’t underestimate him. No 2: you know he exceeds expectations. And No 3: he also exceeds the metrics that are usually at play, meaning he over-performed many of his polling averages in the primaries and the caucuses.”

A poor dad in Scotland did get a lot of hate directed at him though, and it's all thanks to Trump.

Quote of the Day

Jill Stein will have nightmares if either Trump or Clinton wins

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Jill Stein. (aapimediacenter/Flickr)

Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein and her vice presidential nominee Ajamu Baraka introduced themselves to the world this week at a CNN town hall.

Stein expressed her distrust with both mainstream candidates and said she's not super fond of either of them:

"I will have trouble sleeping at night if Donald Trump is elected. I will also have trouble sleeping at night if Hillary Clinton is elected. And as despicable as Donald Trump's words are, I find Hillary Clinton's actions and track record is very troubling."

Stein also shared her love for Senator Bernie Sanders, who she had been trying to woo to join the Green Party ticket.

"Thank you so much for changing the political landscape forever. The political system will never be the same."

She blasted people who were discounting her candidacy as she pointed out, they were the real deal.

"We have the unique ability to actually stand up for what it is that the American people want, what everyday people want."

She also attacked Clinton's track record, calling the Democratic primary rigged in her favor:

"Bernie did everything right, and his supporters did everything right, but the playing field was really, steeply, unfairly tilted against you, from superdelegates to Super Tuesdays to voting irregularities to the emails that show how the DNC was colluding behind closed doors with Hillary Clinton's campaign to smear Bernie Sanders in the press."

According to CNN Poll of Polls, Stein is currently at 5% support nationwide. You can watch the entire town hall here.

Now she has gained a lot of supporters though, at least on social media.

Image of the Day

The #AleppoBoy just made the Syrian war very real

A jarring photo of an injured five-year-old boy who rescued from a destroyed building in Aleppo, Syria has made the world question what's actually being done in Syria to stop the war.

Omran Daqneesh was injured during a military strike in a rebel-held neighborhood, even after the UN had demanded a ceasefire in the city.

[Warning: The image and video might be a little disturbing]

The injured boy was brought to an underground medical facility called M10 after medical facilities moved away to avoid being targeted by the government's forces. The boy had a head injury. His entire family had also escaped major injury and were safe.

Volunteers in the country said it was pure luck that the image caught the public eye.

"My heart breaks for Omran, but people need to know this happens everyday. Every day we rescue children and families. Every day I meet traumatized parents for losing a child or even not being able to find the body under the rubble. Just this time it was caught on camera."

The UN is frustrated with what's going on in Syria and has suspended its humanitarian task force. This follows news that Russia is cooperating with Iran in Syria because both support President Bashar al-Assad.

As you may recall, it was a photo of a young boy that focused the world's attention on the refugee crisis a few months ago.

Number of the Day

The Blue Cut Fire has spread to more than 31,600 acres in just two days

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California has a lot of summertime forest fires. The Blue Cut fire is raging right now. (Russ Allison Loar/Flickr)

More than 1,500 firefighters are battling the Blue Cut Fire that has already scorched more than 31,600 acres in San Bernardino County in California in just two days.

Only 4% of the wildfire has been contained so far as it continues to blaze along the I15 through the Cajon Pass.

And the images coming from there are not pretty.

Here's the fire in numbers as of early morning on August 18th:

That's right, 80,000 people have been evacuated. Firefighters are calling this fire abnormal because of the speed at which it has spread. The smoke from the blaze is visible in Las Vegas, 60 miles away, and even from space.

San Bernardino County fire chief summed it up when he said:

“It hit hard, it hit fast – it hit with an intensity that we haven’t seen before. There will be a lot of families that will come home to nothing.”

People are now questioning whether climate change is to blame for the rising incidents of wildfires. Drier winters in California, warmer springs and higher than average temperatures in summer are to blame, said some people. This fire is more a characteristic of fall when the dry trees are fuel for the fire and low humidity and high winds are the norm, said Richard Guyette, a man who has studied forest fires for more than 40 years.

“I would say we’re going to see them all around in the United States. It’s unfortunate.”

Place of the Day

Why are you ignoring the historic floods in Louisiana?

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The devastation in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (cizauskas/Flickr)

At least 13 people are dead and tens of thousands of people have been affected by the historic floods in southern Louisiana that the Red Cross is calling the worst disaster in the country since Hurricane Sandy.

"This disaster is the worst to hit the United States since Superstorm Sandy, and we anticipate it will cost at least $30 million -- a number which may grow as we learn more about the scope and magnitude of the devastation."

More than 20,000 people have been rescued, plus about 1,000 pets. It all happened suddenly when the rain just ... refused to stop.

In a part of Livingston Parish, more than 31 inches of rain fell in 15 hours. In one week, between August 8th and 14th, the entire state received 6.9 trillion gallons of rain. This is enough water to fill 10.4 million Olympic-size swimming pools.

People are really upset about the government's response. The state's leading newspaper, The Advocate, asked President Obama to cut his Martha's Vineyard vacation short.

"And if the president can interrupt his vacation for a swanky fundraiser for fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton, as he did on Monday, then surely he can make time to show up for a catastrophe that’s displaced thousands."

Presidential candidates have also not mentioned the state at all, other than a lone tweet by Clinton's campaign.

Donald Trump hasn't responded at all.

The White House has declared several parishes a disaster zone and asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist in the response and recovery. US Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson also visited the state to analyze the situation.

This is what the state is going through right now.

And here's what you can do to help:

Word of the Day

Um, Ryan Lochte made up that story about getting robbed in Brazil

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Ryan Lochte. (jdlasica/Flickr)

Surely Ryan Lochte's pants are on fire after the Brazilian police said Lochte lied about getting robbed at a gas station. #LochteGate all started when the Olympic swimmer, along with teammates James Feigen, Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz, claimed they were robbed at gunpoint while leaving a party at Club France early on August 14th by people posing as police officers. Apparently the swimmers had been en route to the Olympic Village and were drunk.

But they didn't have their stories straight. At one point, Lochte said a gun was pointed right at his head, but when he retold the story, the gun was just pointing in his general direction. Hmm.

Brazilian authorities looked at their claims because it says loads about their hospitality and security if Olympic athletes -- gold medalists, at that -- claim to have been robbed at gunpoint.

Not only did the swimmers make it all up, but one of the swimmers had vandalized a gas station in a Rio suburb by breaking down the door. A security guard had then stopped them and demanded money for the damages. There are varying accounts of whether the swimmers got into a fight with the guard and if he was armed.

Surveillance footage through the evening shows the intoxicated swimmers leaving the party, entering and leaving the gas station and then calmly going through security to enter the Olympic Village.

It's not just a goofy story that can be shrugged off -- giving false testimony and filing false police report are punishable offenses.

A Brazilian judge ordered the three other swimmers to be detained. Conger and Bentz were pulled off their US-bound flight and have admitted the robbery was a lie. Feigen still has to give a statement to the police.

Lochte, meanwhile, has flown back to the US, and Brazilian authorities are in talks with the FBI about how to handle this situation.

Video of the Day

Trump campaign’s #SaysWho goes viral to hilarious reactions

Donald Trump's campaign refuses to believe that they are slowing down. His chief counsel, Michael Cohen, just demonstrated that when anchor Brianna Keilar asked him about Trump's negative poll numbers, and his reply was... uncomfortably like that of a kindergartner.

The reaction was in keeping with the Trump campaign's general policy of being a little heavy handed with the truth and the internet had a happy time reacting to this latest gaffe.

Keilar is right about those polls. The most recent Quinnipiac University polls show Hillary Clinton leading in Virginia, Colorado and Iowa.

#SaysWho is now everyone's favorite response to ... everything.

Tweet of the Day

Thanks, Peter Thiel and Hulk Hogan–Gawker is shutting down


The lights are being turned off at the Gawker offices next week. (Scott Beale/Flickr)

Gawker is shutting down.

The website announced that they would be shutting down next week because their new owner, Univision, said so. The US Spanish-language network, which also owns Fusion, has decided to keep the media companies' other six sites alive, but not the flagship brand.

The company's problems started when the editors published a video of wrestler Hulk Hogan and he claimed a breach of privacy and sued the website. A Florida jury ruled in his favor and awarded him $140 million in damages -- money that Gawker didn't have, prompting them to declare bankruptcy.

Then it came out that Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel had funded Hogan's lawsuit because Gawker had outed him as gay. The company was put up for auction and was bought by Univision.

Univision just decided to get rid of all the negative aspect of the sale by shuttering Gawker. This also does mean that Thiel and Hogan got what they wanted, and quite a few people are unhappy about this. Some see this as problematic for First Amendment rights, while others love Gawker and will miss it.


Some people are not upset at all though.

Controversy of the Day

Is this former writer for Amy Schumer a rape apologist?

amy schumer

Amy Schumer. (92YTribeca/Flickr)

Amy Schumer has apologized for comments made by a former writer for her show, "Inside Amy Schumer," Kurt Metzger.

Metzger, 39, spoke out about rape victims not going to the authorities in a since-deleted Facebook post and was slammed with hate mail.

Then Schumer clarified that Metzger isn't really related to her work right now.

What prompted the incident was a post on a private Facebook group for female comedians. A New York City comic had warned them about comedian Aaron Glaser and alleged that he had sexually assaulted her:

"Posting this on behalf on a woman in the community, who would like to remain anonymous, but wants to warn other women, and let other women who may have raped by this man know that they're not alone."

The post goes on to say how Glaser was banned from the Upright Citizens Brigade theater after an investigation.

Glaser denied these allegations on Facebook too, in since deleted posts.

Metzger jumped in and said:

"Guys I have just heard some disturbing news, this guy Jiff Dilfyberg is a rapist! I know because women said it and that’s all I need! Never you mind who they are. They are women! ALL women are as reliable as my bible! A book that, much like a women, is incapable of lying!
You think I would dare ask my God, Lord Jesus Christ the Nazarene to provide any “details” or “evidence” of any kind before I believe in him? Or a woman? No, because that be that would be like hammering the nails into Jesus My Lord’s feet! … Or asking for proof in a murder trial!
Anyway Jiff Dilfyberg is dangerous! So … dangerous that we can’t go to the police to report his many rapes! That would just be tooooo rapey, and the women are too brave for that. If we ask them to even merely also post a vague account of what happened before asking us to believe that would like re-raping their rape! These women are as BRAVE as they are sore!
Now for the good news! [He] … is now banned from the Times Square Art Center And Halloween Adventure! Yeah let’s see you try and rape anyone without specifically being at The Times Square Art Center and Halloween Adventure, now, you … rapist! BAM! Lady Ghostbusters! Little girl looks up at us! Tear. “I WILL go to college after all!” Don’t mention it, little girl. Just knowing I got to be part of an unthinking herd of mewling progressive cattle is reward enough!”

People branded him a rape apologist, which just made him angrier, and his next few posts (also deleted) just made things worse. (He has since put up numerous expletive-filled posts on Facebook defending himself and sharing comments from people he says have written in to support him.) So people kicked it up to Schumer.

(On a side note for her fans: the show isn't cancelled forever.)

Issue of the Day

The State Dept admits the $400 million paid to Iran was kinda like ransom but not quite

iran hostages

The former US embassy in Tehran, Iran. (Örlygur Hnefill/Flickr)

So back in January 2016, the State Department paid Iran $400 million in January 2016 -- and they just admitted what the money was for: "leverage" to make sure Iran released the four American prisoners they had.

So like ransom, but not totally? President Obama insisted that the money was not for ransom on August 4th.

“We do not pay ransom. We didn’t here, and we won’t in the future."

State Department Spokesman John Kirby said the exchange of prisoners and the US' return of Iranian money from frozen accounts happened on the same day, but the decision was made in two different talks.

This is how it all went down:
- The U.S. loaded the euros, Swiss francs and other foreign currency from the accounts on an Iranian plane in Geneva, Switzerland.
- Similarly the Iranian government loaded the American prisoners, including Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, on a Swiss Air Force plane in Tehran.
- Only when the plane with the prisoners had departed was the Iranian plane allowed to depart.

Some people are calling it ransom.

An administration official just called it shrewd negotiating.

"With concerns Iran may renege on the prisoner release given unnecessary delays regarding persons in Iran who could not be located, as well as mutual mistrust between Iran and the United States, we of course sought to retain maximum leverage until after American citizens were released -- our top priority."

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Anugya Chitransh

Anugya is originally from New Delhi, India. She studied journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York, graduating with a master's in international reporting. She plans to travel one day to all the places she reads about. She likes reading fiction, pop music, and going to the beach, but absolutely hates anyone mangling or shortening her name (which is quite common). She binge watches Korean dramas and anime series. She's a freelance writer and has produced content that has appeared in NBC, The Times of India, Time Out Delhi, and other publications.

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