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The Daily Beast
Aug 17, 2018

The Week in 7 Insane Photos: August 17, 2018
From Christine Hallquist's historic win in Vermont to honoring the late Queen of Soul, The Daily Beast brings you the best photos of the week.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 17, 2018

Scouted: Save Thousands On This IT Certification Training Pack
Competition is stiff to secure the highest paying gigs in Information Technology—a lucrative but increasingly demanding field. Skills certification can increase your value in the job market, and training doesn't have to be costly. The Ultimate IT Certification Training Bundle offers 11 courses and over 200 hours of premium instruction to help you ace the most reputable certification exams, and it can be yours for only $39.

This learning package preps you for a slew of challenging certification tests, including CompTIA A 220-901, Microsoft 70-740, and Cisco 200-105. You'll get lifetime access to each course, allowing you to embark on your own self-paced training without any outside pressure. You'll also be able to stream lessons via web or mobile, so you can learn anywhere, anytime.

Build a rewarding career in IT with the Ultimate IT Certification Training Bundle. Normally $3,289, you can get it on sale today for only $39 — that's an incredible 98% savings.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 17, 2018

Speed Read: The ‘Be Best' Bits From NYT's New Melania Trump Profile
Photo Illustration by The Daily BeastA New York Times profile of Melania Trump published Thursday compared the public's perception of the first lady to a Rorschach test: Americans project their feelings about the president onto her. While supporters see a dutiful wife, opponents see an enabler.

The Times seems to see her as something different: a rebel. The profile paints Melania as quietly defiant, of both her haters and her husband.

Here are the juiciest excerpts from the approximately 2,000-word piece.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 17, 2018

Kellyanne Conway to White House Press Corps: Why Are You So ‘Obsessed' With Trump?
TwitterKellyanne Conway had a curious question for the White House Press Corps when she met them on her way into the office on Friday.

Amid questions about the postponement of President Trump's military parade and the administration's decision to strip political critics of their security clearances, Conway tried to turn the tables on the reporters.

"Why is everybody so obsessed with the president of the United States that they can't even begin or finish a sentence without mentioning his name five times?" she asked them. "It's kind of weird."

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The Daily Beast
Aug 17, 2018

Scouted: Ditch the Boring Bluetooth Speakers for this Ambiance-Creating Fire-Dancing Bluetooth Speaker
Whether you're partying with friends in a weekend rental or cooking dinner for a new significant other, weekend parties are all about setting the scene. Combining the ambiance of flickering candles with the energy of a customized playlist, the Fireside Audiobox Bluetooth Speaker is definitely worthy of your fire playlists.

Powered by a propane fuel canister, the Fireside Audiobox syncs your music with real, dancing flames, providing a one-of-a-kind listening experience. Thanks to its tempered glass shield, anti-tip-over safety device, and leak detection sensor, you can enjoy the audio-visual show without worrying about potential accidents.

Get the Fireside Audiobox on sale now for $399 — 27 percent off the usual price of $549.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 17, 2018

Scouted: Make Perfect Cold Brew At Home With This Kit
We're in the middle of the dog days of summer, and with global temperatures on the rise most of us are replacing our morning cup of hot coffee with a refreshing cold brew. But spending a few dollars more for the drink isn't economical in the long run — especially if you get your cold brew fix every single morning. Grocery store cold brew brands are an okay alternative, but you have to sacrifice the exact flavor from your favorite bag of beans.

Concoct your own version of cold brew at home with the BeanPlus Cold Drip Brewer Premium Kit. This coffee maker uses a special drip method to produce a more luxurious flavor using fewer grounds and only a third of the minimum brewing time. You can adjust the nozzle depending on your desired strength. Plus, it has a built-in filter that purifies water and prevents blockages.

Refresh your mornings with this individualized cold brew machine. Regularly $130, you can snag it on sale now for $99.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 17, 2018

Scouted: Take 80% Off These Noise-Canceling Bluetooth Earbuds
If you walk to work passed noisey construction, if you want to drown out screaming toddlers on your next flight, or if you're trying to get in the zone during peak hours at the gym, noise-canceling headphones are your lifeline. If you prefer earbuds to headphones, these Magnetic Bluetooth Earbuds are a perfect choice, especially now that they're on sale for 80% off.

Engineered with Bluetooth 4.1 tech and noise-cancelation, these earbuds last up to six hours on a single charge. They're even Bluetooth magnetic—meaning they automatically activate Bluetooth when you pull the earbuds apart and shut off when you stick them back together.

You can get a pair of Magnetic Bluetooth Earbuds on sale today in the Daily Beast Shop, marked down to $24 from $129.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 17, 2018

Scouted: This Compact Emergency Escape Tool Might Save Your Life
Even the best defensive driving isn't always enough to avoid a deer jumping in front of your car or an intoxicated motorist drifting over the double yellow line. Accidents happen, and when they do the InGear AutoXcape Emergency Multi-Tool could be the tool that saves your life.

Made of Mil Standard Aluminum Alloy, this versatile tool includes double window breakers, a seatbelt cutter, and a powerful LED flashlight with SOS mode, giving you the means to escape from your vehicle in an emergency situation. The integrated blade can also slice through your seatbelt.

Ideally, you'll never need to use the AutoXcape, but you'll be glad it's by your side if you need it. The InGear AutoXcape Emergency Multi-Tool normally costs $49.99, but it's on sale today for ten dollars off.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 17, 2018

Fistful of Bourbon: Scotland's American Whiskey Gamble
United Artists/GettyA Fistful of Dollars was a 1964 film starring Clint Eastwood that launched the genre of "spaghetti westerns"—Italian produced and directed movies shot abroad but set in the 19th century American West. Naturally, Quentin Tarantino once called it "the greatest achievement in the history of cinema."

Fistful of Bourbon is set to be released in early September, starting in Texas and then rolling out nationally over time.

It is not a film, but rather a whiskey (obviously). I suppose you could call it a "haggis western"—that is, it's produced by the noted Scotch firm, William Grant & Sons, which was founded in 1887, and famously makes Glenfiddich and Balvenie single malt Scotch whiskies. (It also produces Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum and Hendrick's Gin, among many other popular spirits, including bourbons from its Hudson Whiskey line.) One early but discarded marketing idea for Fistful of Bourbon featured a silhouette of a cowboy, the drones of a bagpipe rising against the sky.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 17, 2018

‘We the Animals' Exposes the Pain and Rhapsody of Childhood
The OrchardThe first thing you notice about Jonah (Evan Rosado), the gentle 10-year-old at the center of We the Animals, are his eyes: wide and limpid and silky sky-blue. They cast about the world with a mixture of innocence and insight, like an angel with x-ray vision. Reflections of their pale shade emerge throughout the movie: on the walls of Jonah's dysfunctional family home; on the ringing corded phone his occasionally catatonic mother refuses to answer; in the thin lines dividing the notebook pages Jonah writes and sketches in every night.

A work of piercing feeling and effortless artistry, We the Animals plays like a mosaic of mood and childhood memories, charting the growth of Jonah and his rowdy older brothers, Manny (Isaiah Kristian) and Joel (Josiah Gabriel), through a casual series of vignettes. The first narrative effort from documentarian Jeremiah Zagar (In a Dream, Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart), the film is adapted from Justin Torres' lyrical, semi-autobiographical novel of the same name. Like its source material, We the Animals spins on an axis of vigorous subjectivity; we're acutely aware that everything we see is being filtered through Jonah's observant blue peepers.

When the film opens, there is little that Jonah and his brothers don't share. They eat together. They walk in tandem. They sleep entwined. "We wanted more. More volume. More muscle," Jonah's voiceover reflects, as the boys yell and run and romp. "Us three. Us kings. Us brothers." Their aquamarine house is remote and rundown and their parents glum and lethargic from working blue-collar night shifts, but their union as a

The Daily Beast
Aug 17, 2018

Under Trump and DeVos, Trans Students Face ‘Spiritual Violence' at Religious Schools
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily BeastSam Schwimmer made it through just two semesters at Biola University, a Christian evangelical school in Southern California, before leaving. For a genderqueer student who had yet to come out, that was long enough.

"I felt incredibly trapped," Schwimmer, who attended Biola during the 2015-2016 school year, told The Daily Beast. "I originally went to the school because I thought it was going to be a good community for me, until I was actually there and realized how I still had to watch everything that I was doing."

Schwimmer, who uses both gender-neutral and male pronouns, is not alone in their experience.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 17, 2018

Kasich Won't Win in 2020, but He Might Make Trump Lose
Charles Krupa/ShutterstockThe 2018 midterm elections are less than 100 days away. But get ready: The 2020 presidential contest is already gearing up. And Ohio Gov. John Kasich looks more and more like he's ready to jump into it.

Officially, Kasich is taking a "maybe yes, maybe no" stance. But his strategist, John Weaver, sure is making it sound like Kasich will get to "yes," telling the Washington Post that the Kasich team will "bring a machete to a knife fight" with Trump.

The White House counters that Kasich's machete will go unnoticed because "no one" is "showing up to that fight." Except that Trump is himself drawing spectators to the prospective fight by tweeting about Kasich. And Weaver is very, very good at getting press attention for his candidates (think of John McCain's Straight Talk Express in 2000).

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The Daily Beast
Aug 17, 2018

Who Will Give Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez the Honest Advice She Needs?
Jae C. Hong/ShutterstockWho's going to tap Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the shoulder and tell her it's time to take a breather… for her own good?

Before June 26, nobody had ever heard of the 28-year-old. But her stunning primary election upset over incumbent Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley made her an instant star on the left. Since then, however, her performance has not lived up to the hype. Now, let's recap the underwhelming rollout the socialistic wunderkind has experienced:

Cortez incorrectly claimed, "unemployment is low because everyone has two jobs," couldn't elaborate on her criticism of Israel's "occupation of Palestine" ("I'm not an expert on geopolitics" is the new "I'm not a scientist, man"), and wrongly claimed the upper-middle class doesn't exist anymore.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 17, 2018

#Resistance Twitter Hero Exposed as Pro-Trump Gamer
Photo Illustration by The Daily BeastIn the world of #Resistance Twitter, @GuardianRover was a hero. As a former intelligence operative and Delta Force soldier, the person behind the account used a cartoon secret agent avatar and the alias "Mr. Smith" to share the kind of national security expertise that anxious Democrats crave in the tumultuous Trump era.

When he wasn't meeting with Chinese freedom fighters, chatting up Ukrainian intel sources or working diplomatic security details, Smith tweeted wild claims on Twitter about collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Maybe, he posited, former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page had a tape of Trump promising to lift Russian sanctions in exchange for help with the 2016 election.

Smith regularly urged his followers to "buckle up," hinting at some kind of momentous developments in the Russia investigation just over the horizon. He also frequently claimed it would be various Trump allies' "time in the barrel," promising what he called "barrel time" for the likes of Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner or former Trump confidant Roger Stone (who before the election famously tweeted: "it will soon [be] the Podesta's time in the barrel").

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The Daily Beast
Aug 17, 2018

Catholic Church Shielded Priests Who Raped Boys, but It Helped Lock Up a Priest Who Swiped Bucks
Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero/The Daily BeastRape and molest trusting young boys for half a century, but do not touch the Catholic Church's money.

Therein lies the lesson offered in Pennsylvania by Father Francis Rogers and Monsignor William Dombrow.

Rogers' decades of depredations were detailed in a grand jury report on the Archdiocese of Philadelphia made public in 2005, and which was finally followed this week by a similar grand jury report on six other dioceses in Pennsylvania.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 17, 2018

Trump and Omarosa Had a ‘F*cking Weird' Fight With Vietnam Vets
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily BeastEarly on in the Donald Trump administration, the president vested many of his nearest and dearest with tasks they were woefully unprepared for—and Apprentice superstar Omarosa Manigault Newman was no exception.

Long before she was his chief antagonist, Manigault Newman was tapped by President Trump to handle veterans issues for the White House—causing immediate backlash from vets organizations who read this as a slap in the face and a betrayal of his campaign rhetoric about "taking care of our veterans."

After some vocal public shaming from military veterans and advocates, Trump, accompanied by Manigault Newman, met with principals from various vets organizations in the Roosevelt Room on March 17, 2017.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 17, 2018

Inside Omarosa's Ugly War Over Actor Michael Clarke Duncan's Estate
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily BeastOmarosa Manigault Newman earned her fair share of enemies long before she took her talents and tape recorder to Washington.

She was one of the greatest reality-TV villains of all time, infamous for butting heads in Donald Trump's televised boardroom on The Apprentice. But on a March 2013 episode of All-Star Celebrity Apprentice, Omarosa met her match in La Toya Jackson. After what was seen as a shocking firing, Jackson let loose post-elimination with a harsh Omarosa takedown, reportedly calling her ex-teammate a "conniving, scheming, cut-throat, (who) probably pulled the cord on Michael Duncan Clarke [sic]," adding, "Omarosa's fiancé passed away not long ago. He had a heart attack, I'm sure she gave it to him."

Michael Clarke Duncan, the Green Mile and Armageddon actor, suffered a heart attack in July 2012 and died two months later. It was revealed after the star's death that Omarosa and Duncan were secretly engaged.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 17, 2018

When Aretha Franklin's ‘Star-Spangled Banner' Drew a Torrent of Racial Abuse
SCREENCAP/ABCFifty years ago this month, Aretha Franklin was in the prime of her career. "Think" had just finished a three-week run atop the Billboard R&B charts— her third song of the year to achieve that feat—while her album Lady Soul sold more than one million copies in the U.S. alone. Franklin's notoriety and fame made the singer an ideal choice to open the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, even amidst violence in the streets and absurdity within the International Amphitheatre, where Yippies attempted to nominate a pig for U.S. president.

The Convention officially opened Monday evening, Aug. 26, 1968. Less than 24 hours earlier, riot police had moved in on protestors who had spent weeks camped out in Lincoln Park preparing for the event, throwing tear gas into the crowd. TV news coverage was spotty due to an electrical workers' strike, and so Franklin's ceremonial performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" that began the festivities was mostly observed only by those listening on the radio; as recently as 2014, a scholar who wrote a book about the U.S. national anthem believed no video of it existed.

But video does exist, and here it is:

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The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

Seth Meyers Cheers ‘Rare Moment of Honesty' From ‘Fox & Friends' About Trump and Omarosa
NBCToward the end of a "Closer Look" segment that took on the fallout from Omarosa Manigault Newman's tell-all book Unhinged, Seth Meyers came to this conclusion: "This is how Trumpism works. Everyone is conning everyone else. And in the process they're conning the rest of us too."

This led the Late Night host to note a "rare moment of honesty" on Fox & Friends this week, when the hosts "basically admitted as much."

"In order to sell a book, [Omarosa has] come out with a series of tapes and in many ways seems to have outsmarted the president who has taken the bait and gone out and tweeted directly at her," co-host Brian Kilmeade said Wednesday morning.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

Big Mistake. Huge. ‘Pretty Woman: The Musical' Has Little of the Movie's Magic.
Courtesy Matthew MurphyHeading to Pretty Woman: The Musical on Broadway, you may be thinking: when will I hear those delicious opening chords of Roy Orbison's hit song?

Brutal answer: you won't. There is none of the original music from the film, apart from a bit of La Traviata. Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance have composed the music and lyrics for the show, and if you liked Bryan Adams at his most '90s Bryan Adams-y—the plaintive wailing, the dirgey rock, the insistent twanging of guitars—then you'll love this.

The song titles drone it all: "Anywhere But Here," "Luckiest Girl in the World," "Never Give Up on a Dream," "I Can't Go Back."

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The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

Stephen Colbert Roasts Lara Trump for Omarosa Tape: ‘Send My Worst Son's Wife'
CBS"Do you ever think maybe it wasn't worth firing somebody?" Stephen Colbert asked in his monologue Thursday night. Because President Trump has "gotta be thinking that about Omarosa."

Omarosa Manigault-Newman's Unhinged book tour rolled on today with the release of yet another secretly-recorded tape, this one featuring the voice of Lara Trump, wife of Eric, who can be heard offering the fired Trump aide $15,000 a month for a job in which part of the deal would require staying "positive" about the president. In an interview with MSNBC Thursday, Omarosa described the offer as an attempt "to buy my silence, to censor me, and to pay me off."

But after listening to the tape, Colbert really only had one question: "Why is Lara Trump in charge of this?"

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The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

Aretha Franklin Bashed Trump in Private, Blew Off Inauguration Invite
Photo Illustration by The Daily BeastThe late "Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin hated the political rise of Donald Trump. But that didn't stop him from trying, and failing, to book her to perform at his 2017 inauguration.

Shortly after his shock election victory, then President-elect Trump tasked Tom Barrack, his longtime friend and the chairman of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, with reaching out to Franklin to ask if she would perform at an inaugural event and concert, according to three sources familiar with what happened. Trump had long considered the legendary singer a friend, and wanted the offer framed as an opportunity to help bring the country back together after a brutal, bruising presidential election.

However, Team Trump's contacts in Hollywood failed to secure the legendary singer for the inauguration.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

‘Criminal and Morally Reprehensible': Vatican Condemns Priest Sex Abuse in Grand-Jury Report
Franco Origlia/GettyROME—The Vatican does things in its own time, and coughing up a response to a damning grand-jury report outlining rampant abuse over seven decades involving more than 300 priests and 1,000 children was no exception. At around 9:30 p.m. in Rome on Thursday, Vatican spokesman Greg Burke issued a carefully worded statement decrying the actions described in the report as "criminal and morally reprehensible."

This is the first time the Vatican has used the word criminal when referring to sex-abuse allegations by its own clergy. In the past, they have consistently referred to these rampant abuses against children as "sins and omissions" that could be made better through "forgiveness and prayer."  

By using the word criminal, the Vatican appears to acknowledge victims' demands that clerical sex abuse be considered in secular terms, though it is yet to be seen if they agree to cooperate and allow it to be handled in secular courts. For years, the Vatican has dealt with abusers in its own way, which has generally meant moving them to new parishes or swooping them back to Rome for what amounts to protection.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

‘Criminally and Morally Reprehensible': Vatican Condemns Priest Sex Abuse in Grand-Jury Report
Franco Origlia/GettyROME—The Vatican does things in its own time, and coughing up a response to a damning grand-jury report outlining rampant abuse over seven decades involving more than 300 priests and 1,000 children was no exception. At around 9:30 p.m. in Rome on Thursday, Vatican spokesman Greg Burke issued a carefully worded statement decrying the actions described in the report as "criminal and morally reprehensible."

This is the first time the Vatican has used the word criminal when referring to sex-abuse allegations by its own clergy. In the past, they have consistently referred to these rampant abuses against children as "sins and omissions" that could be made better through "forgiveness and prayer."  

By using the word criminal, the Vatican appears to acknowledge victims' demands that clerical sex abuse be considered in secular terms, though it is yet to be seen if they agree to cooperate and allow it to be handled in secular courts. For years, the Vatican has dealt with abusers in its own way, which has generally meant moving them to new parishes or swooping them back to Rome for what amounts to protection.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

CIA Chief Gina Haspel Silent as Trump Attacks Her Predecessor and Patron
Saul Loeb/GettyThe director of the CIA is keeping her mouth shut while her boss, President Donald Trump, punishes her predecessor, John Brennan, for his vociferous criticism. It's an act that even a man who famously clashed with Brennan and his CIA calls "appalling."

Brennan, a career CIA official whom Barack Obama made the agency's director over substantial criticism from the political left, saw Trump take away his security clearance on Wednesday. Disconnected from any allegation, let alone evidence, that Brennan abused his clearance, Trump's maneuver struck many intelligence observers and former officials as a naked power play: a message to the intelligence community that the president expects their personal loyalty.

But CIA Director Gina Haspel, whose nomination Brennan very publicly supported and whose integrity Brennan vouched for, is remaining silent, even as the White House suggests that the same fate may await other intelligence veterans who consider Trump a danger to the country.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

Aretha Franklin's Death Highlights Vicious Path of Pancreatic Cancer
Dimitrios Kambouris/GettyAretha Franklin's death from pancreatic cancer highlights the viciousness with which the disease attacks, killing tens of thousands of Americans a year.

It's not clear when the Queen of Soul was diagnosed. She had what she called a health scare in 2010, then finally stopped performing in November, and by last week celebrities were coming to pay their last respects.

Pancreatic cancer is among the nation's deadliest diseases. Here's why:

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The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

Luke Song: How I Made Aretha Franklin's Famous Obama Inauguration Hat
BloombergIt was the hat that reigned triumphant at President Obama's first inauguration in 2009.

That day, Aretha Franklin performed "My Country, 'Tis of Thee," and the world went wild for her grey felt hat with an extravagant bow that perfectly framed her face, and which was dotted with Swarovski crystals.

The hat's designer, Luke Song, told The Daily Beast that hearing of Franklin's death, aged 76, on Thursday had made it "one of the saddest days. She was an amazing woman."

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The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

GOP Senate Candidate Corey Stewart Follows Neo-Confederate Leader on Twitter
Melina Mara/GettyGOP Senate candidate Corey Stewart is following the apparent Twitter account for the leader of the neo-Confederate hate group.

Stewart is one of just 257 people following a seven-year-old Twitter account that appears to belong to Michael Hill, who leads the League of the South. The league is a racist neo-Confederate secessionist group that marched during the first Unite the Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last year, and calls for a Christian theocracy. Hill and other members have defended slavery, with Hill calling it "God-ordained.

Stewart, the Republican nominee in Virginia's upcoming Senate race, has run on a Confederate-friendly platform, appearing at pro-Confederate statue events with Unite the Right organizer Jason Kessler. Stewart has also praised southern secession and has extensive ties to League of the South associate George Randall, the pair recently posing for a picture together when Randall was wearing a League of the South shirt, Mediaite reported.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

When Aretha Franklin Sang ‘Nessun Dorma' at the Grammys: The Story Behind the Greatest Award Show Performance Ever
Marl Lennihan/APIt was 30 minutes into the 1998 Grammy Awards and Gary Simmons, the assistant to the show's co-producer, Tisha Fein, got a phone call: Luciano Pavarotti would not be performing.

The renowned opera singer was set to perform one of his most famous arias, "Nessun Dorma," in celebration of being a Grammy Living Legend honoree that night. He had been at the rehearsal, and sounded fine. Nonetheless, Pavarotti himself was on the phone, mid-telecast, telling an assistant, "I don't feel well, I can't come, I sing for you next year."

That's the beginning of what might be the greatest singing superhero origin story, and arguably the greatest award show performance of all time: Aretha Franklin's last-minute rendition of "Nessun Dorma" at the 1998 Grammy Awards.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

Olympic Gymnasts Madison Kocian and Kyla Ross Reveal Abuse by Larry Nassar
Photos by GettyOlympic gold medalists Kyla Ross and Madison Kocian on Thursday came forward as the latest of the hundreds of athletes who fell victim to serial sexual abuser and former USA Gymnastics team physician Larry Nassar, who was sentenced in February to a maximum of 235 years in prison.

The gymnasts, who are now 21 and currently members of the NCAA champion UCLA gymnastics team, appeared on CBS This Morning to tell their stories of abuse.

"Being on national team for all those years, we were really silenced," said Ross. "We didn't really have a voice and say as athletes."

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The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

Husband Arrested for Killing Pregnant Wife and Daughters After Telling TV Their Disappearance Was ‘Tearing Me Apart'
ABC 7 DenverA Colorado man is charged with the murder of his pregnant wife and two daughters, just one day after he gave a seemingly unemotional TV interview pleading for help in finding his missing family.

Police in Frederick arrested Chris Lee Watts, 33, late Wednesday night on three counts of first-degree murder in connection to the disappearances of his wife, 34-year-old Shanann Cathry Watts, and the couple's daughters: Celeste, 3, and Bella, 4. Watts also faces three counts of tampering with evidence.

Shannan and her daughters were reported missing Monday in a case that had help from the FBI and captured national attention. According to Denver7 News, Watts allegedly confessed to killing Shannan, who was 15 weeks pregnant, and two little girls—and police officials believe they know where to find their bodies.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

Top Republicans Hit Up QAnon Conspiracy Nuts for Cash
Photo Illustration by The Daily BeastThis story originally appeared in The Daily Beast newsletter PAY DIRT. Sign up here.

Some of the most prominent names in Republican politics are hitting up readers of a leading right-wing conspiracy website to raise money and build their contact lists. The latest is House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), whose campaign sent out a fundraising appeal Wednesday on the email list of the site Big League Politics.

Run by consultants for far-right Republicans such as Roy Moore, Corey Stewart, and Paul Nehlen, Big League's editorial side is overseen by Patrick Howley, a former Breitbart writer who has called Infowars leader Alex Jones "my Walter Cronkite." Under Howley's leadership, the site has given voice to an array of fringy conspiracy theories, such as the recently popularized "QAnon" movement. It has promoted claims that the late Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was murdered in 2016 due to his involvement in the hacking of Democratic National Committee email accounts, cast doubt on widely accepted findings of chemical-weapon attacks by the Syrian government,

The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

Trump Charges ‘Free Press' With ‘Collusion' Over Coordinated Editorials. As Predicted.
Carlos Barria/ReutersIn Trump's world, there's nothing wrong with "collusion" unless it's being committed by Hillary Clinton… or the media.

The president woke up on Thursday to news that nearly 350 different newspapers across the country had all published editorials denouncing his attacks against the media. The project, spearheaded by The Boston Globe, called on papers to tackle the issue in their own words.

"We propose to publish an editorial on August 16 on the dangers of the administration's assault on the press and ask others to commit to publishing their own editorials on the same date," Marjorie Pritchard, deputy managing editor of Globe, wrote in a memo to editorial boards last week.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

Keith Ellison Fights Back Tears During Interview About Abuse Allegations
WCCO-TV/ScreenshotRep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) got emotional this week during an interview with local television discussing an abuse allegation leveled against him by his ex-girlfriend.

In the chat with WCCO-TV, Ellison, who won a primary on Tuesday night in the Minnesota attorney general race, once again denied Karen Monahan's claim that he physically abused her during their relationship, which ended in 2016.

"I know I can't just run past this controversy and not address it, which is why I'm here with you today," he said, emphasizing his declared desire to try and clear the air.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

Was This Aretha Franklin's Finest Hour?
Fred A. SabineAretha Franklin spent 76 years pretending to be mortal, and she almost got away with it, until she opened her mouth and began to sing. That's when you knew without a doubt that you were in the presence of something absolutely angelic.

Mercifully, Heaven was generous. Franklin was allowed to walk this earth a good long time—long enough, at least, to leave behind a musical legacy so majestic that anyone who ever heard her sing couldn't help but come away knowing what immortality sounds like.

Franklin started out as a child singing in her father's church. You could argue that she never left. Of course, she made an entire career out of singing secular songs, but if you don't pay attention to the words, if you just listen to the spirit inside the music, you can easily hear that she was always singing gospel.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

When Aretha Franklin Proved She Was the Greatest Diva Ever
Kevin Mazur/WireImageMariah Carey tried. Carole King bravely, futilely engaged. Shania Twain and Gloria Estefan appeared to be crawling into themselves, wishing to disappear. Celine Dion came close. (Really, she did.) But no one could compete with the queen, the crowned deity of divas, Aretha Franklin.

Appearing alongside the five legends, it was Franklin who commanded the stage during VH1's inaugural Divas Live telecast in 1998. As she turned New York's Beacon Theatre into her own church, we were her compelled parishioners. To this day, we're all still devout followers of the gospel she delivered that night: Thou shalt have no divas before me.

That night, Franklin delivered one of the greatest pop-culture moments we've had, a display of vocal domination that was the stuff of history when it happened, and the stuff of memes still, 20 years later. Performing "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" amid that historic assembly of divas, she out-sang every contemporary on stage, with the confidence and attitude of a woman who knew this was the time to announce herself the one true diva: past, present, or future.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

Aretha Franklin Dead at 76: A Queen Who Embodied Black Music's Spirit and Vision
GettyShe was an icon. A legend. And so much more than that.

Aretha Franklin was one of our greatest treasures; a prodigious talent and studious craftswoman who reached the pinnacle of her profession and became a cultural avatar at a time when black women were fighting to be seen and heard on their own terms. Aretha's ascent to superstardom coincided with Black America's cultural assertion against white supremacy in the 1960s, and carried over through the disillusionment and disenfranchisement of the '70s. In the '80s, she embodied her generation's shift into newer modes of communication and higher symbols of affluence, and emerged as a venerated elder for a new wave of soul queens in the '90s. Aretha was always a voice and a mirror for where her people and her generation had been, were currently, and seemed to be going.

On Thursday morning, the news came: The Queen of Soul was dead at age 76 from advanced pancreatic cancer.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

Seeing Madonna's Michigan: A Cultural Tour of the Material Girl's Home State
Call her the Material Girl, Madge, or even her Kabbalah name Esther, but without her home state of Michigan, there would be no Madonna. While most people associate Michigan with Motown, the sound shaped by Detroit—the Motor City—it also gave rise to Madonna.

She might highlight Venice, New York and the far corners of the Earth in her videos, but her roots are based in Michigan, from the suburbs of Detroit, to the farthest reaches of the mitten-shaped Lower Peninsula. The state is strewn with Madonna sites, some of which she comes back to again and again for concerts and family.

In honor of her 60th birthday, the Daily Beast takes you on a tour of Madonna's Michigan.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

The New Slenderman Is a Japanese Monster Named Momo and He's Taking Over YouTube
via YoutubeYouTube star Jason Ethier was texting on WhatsApp with a supernatural monster named Momo. Pacing his kitchen, Ethier followed Momo's instructions, like filling a glass of water or writing Momo's name over and over.

The monster seemed to know everything about Ethier, who has more than two million YouTube subscribers on his "ImJayStation" account. But when it came to Momo's ultimate demand—that Ethier put a bloody kitchen knife to his own neck—Ethier refused.

"I can't do it!" Ethier cried, throwing the knife to the ground.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

Did Trump Curse New York's Tiki Bars?
Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily BeastDuring the winter of 1989, Donald Trump went to war with Trader Vic's.

The New York outpost of the famous tiki bar chain was located in the legendary Plaza Hotel, which Trump owned at the time. In an attempt to close the establishment, he reportedly said it had "gotten tacky." He continued by saying "Trader Vic's does not fit in with the image of the hotel that I want to achieve."

This lead to an uproar with even former President Richard Nixon issuing a statement about how much the bar meant to him and his family. Ultimately, Trader Vic's closed and ever since the city can't seem to sustain a tiki bar scene despite the success of tropical-themed watering holes in other cities.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

‘BlacKkKlansman's' Badass Revolutionary: Laura Harrier on Trump, Colorism, and Hollywood
Kevin Tachman/amfAR/GettyLaura Harrier had been unwinding in Greece last summer when a number she didn't recognize lit up her phone: This is Spike Lee, a voice on the other end announced. The auteur had just caught her blockbuster debut as Peter Parker's brainy love interest in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and wanted her to audition for a role in his new film. The hitch: The audition would be in New York. "Like, the next day."

"I didn't really believe it was him at first," Harrier says, looking only faintly harrowed by the waking stress dream she relives next. In the span of a day, she'd had to "get off this island somehow," fly back to New York, and square off with Spike, performing scenes and improv for an hour with the director himself, whom she evidently impressed. He offered her the part the next day. She relays it all with an unblinking matter-of-factness, the kind she frequently deploys as Patrice Dumas, the black student activist whose fight for liberation makes her a target of white supremacist hatred in Lee's searing new film, BlacKkKlansman.

Equipped with the Afro and scholarly appetite for revolution of a young Angela Davis, Patrice becomes the film's uncompromising (and unwitting) moral backbone. The undercover cop Ron Stallworth (the real-life black det

The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

Suicidal Vet Calls MDMA Treatment ‘a Miracle'
Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily BeastJonathan Lubecky is a 41-year-old veteran who, until a few years ago, suffered from a severe form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Lubecky attempted suicide five times after he was discharged from the Army in 2009.

"My unit there knew there was something off with me while I was deployed, but it didn't really become noticeable to me until after I got home. That's when I started having a lot of problems," Lubecky told The Daily Beast. "My first suicide attempt was on Christmas Eve/Christmas morning in 2006—right after I got back."

Lubecky felt hopeless, so the drug he credits for saving his life might come as a surprise: MDMA, the purest form of the club drug often referred to as ecstasy, or molly.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

Trump Would Have Banned Ilhan Omar From the U.S.—Now She's Headed to Congress
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily BeastIlhan Omar is almost all the things Donald Trump has demonized and demeaned rolled into one person. Omar, for starters, is an outspoken woman. Clearly Trump, who has ridiculed  the #MeToo movement, called women who accused him of sexual misconduct "liars," just called Omarosa a "dog," and defended men who were physically abusive to women like his former aide Rob Porter, doesn't stand on the side of women who speak out.

Omar is also black and born in Africa, a place Trump has referred to as a "shithole." Add to that, not only is she from Africa, Omar is from Somalia and is Muslim, meaning if she had been trying to come to America when Trump was president, his Muslim ban would have barred her, as Somalia is one of the seven countries on Trump's list.   

But on Tuesday, Omar did something historic. She won the Democratic nomination for Congress in Minnesota's heavily Democratic 5th district. That means come January, Trump will almost assuredly have to deal with this outspoken, hijab-wearing, very progressive, Muslim Somali refugee as a member of Congress. Ahh, karma.



The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

Language Barriers Lead ICE to Rip Children From Their Indigenous Parents
Photo Illustration by The Daily BeastWhen he was arrested at the U.S.-Mexico border in early June, 24-year-old Mario Perez-Domingo was hoping to save himself and his young daughter from rampant persecution against indigenous communities in his native Guatemala.

But Mario was nearly permanently separated from his 2-year-old child, the kind of terror he couldn't imagine even in his home country, simply because no one could understand his plight.

When he was apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection near McAllen, Texas, Mario was almost immediately separated from his daughter by the arresting agent, despite the birth certificate stating their kinship and his desperate pleas that she was his child.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

Republicans Don't Just Want to Win—They Want to Rig the Game
Isaac Brekken/GettySome friends and I were musing in this post-Omarosa moment about what Republicans would do if a tape in fact emerged of Donald Trump saying the n-word. They'd denounce him, of course. And I'm sure that on some level, most of them would find it genuinely offensive.

But what would they, you know, do? One assumes that Tim Scott and Mia Love, the two African American Republicans on Capitol Hill, would be awfully worked up. Among the remaining 285 white ones, a couple would give thundering floor speeches, probably the same old suspects, Flake and Corker, who are retiring. Ben Sasse would hit social media, as is his ineffectual custom. Then, if recent history is any guide, they'd do… nothing. Another controversy would erupt, the n-word story would move out of the cable-news cycle, and the Republicans would skate away.

The question is why. The conventional wisdom answer, one I've believed myself, is "they're afraid of Trump's base." That's kind of true, but I have come to believe that isn't the reason.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

‘Trump Is Ours': Kremlin Media Fear Democratic Victory in November Midterm Elections
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily BeastDuring any other presidency, it would be highly unusual for the Russian media to be preoccupied with the American midterm elections, but in the time of Donald Trump, Russian politicians and pundits have taken a keen interest in the races for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

As the realization dawns on them that the Putin-friendly president cannot or will not lift past and future sanctions on the faltering Russian economy, as many had expected, they appear to be focusing their hopes—and fears—on the Hill.

Reports in the state-controlled media betray the Kremlin's apparent concern that President Trump will be impeached if the Democrats win control of the House. They describe the midterms as "the electoral death match." Evgeny Popov, the host of the Russian state TV show 60 Minutes, posed a provocative question to Sergei Kislyak, the former Russian ambassador to the United States: "Will anything change in November? Let's jokingly assume that we interfere and all goes well for Trump." Kislyak tergiversates about the potential outcome and cautiously warns Popov: "Let's not joke about that. Americans have lost their sense of humor."

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The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

The Masterpiece Baker Is Back. Now He Won't Make a Trans-Themed Cake.
Photo Illustration by The Daily BeastAll along, Jack Phillips, the Christian baker at the heart of the Masterpiece Cakeshop Supreme Court case has claimed that he doesn't deny service to specific people—just to individuals looking for cakes for specific events, like same-sex weddings.

"I don't discriminate against anybody—I serve everybody that comes in my shop," he told NBC in June, after the Supreme Court ruled that the state of Colorado had been hostile toward his religious beliefs. "I don't create cakes for every message that people ask me to create."

But in the latest legal drama involving Phillips and the anti-LGBT legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, that distinction between person and event is getting harder to maintain. It's almost as if it was a spurious one to begin with.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Want Thomas Markle to Talk to Them, Not the Tabloids
Photo Illustration by The Daily BeastHas the royal family had enough of Thomas Markle?

Possibly.

On Wednesday, Samantha Markle, Meghan Markle's half-sister, revealed that their dad, Thomas, is about to launch a clothing line. (Every time you think the Thomas Markle/royal family story can't get any weirder, it does.)

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The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

Growing Up in Harrisburg, Us Kids Knew Some Priests Were Monsters. So Did the Bishops Who Are Still Pretending Otherwise.
Photo Illustration by The Daily BeastThe grand jury in Harrisburg, PA, where I attended Catholic school for 12 years, released a searing report on how evil men perpetrated horrible acts on innocent children, how other evil men protected them, and how yet other evil men moved them to new parishes where they harmed again.

These evil men are Catholic priests and those who protected them are bishops, protected by an even more powerful man, Pope Francis, who promised to find the real killer, or killers, and has failed miserably.  In fact, the church didn't undertake the investigation released Tuesday that found 300 priests over 70 years abused 1,000 children in Pennsylvania. A grand jury did.

The report reads like the script for a horror movie. One priest arranged an abortion for the 17-year old girl he'd raped, and the "grief" described in an interview at the time was for the priest. Another groomed his altar boys before oral sex and another bought a boat with a friend for the purpose of molesting boys away from prying eyes. When a priest made his rounds visiting the sick in a hospital, he stopped to rape a 7-year-old who'd had her tonsils removed.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

Melissa Schuman Accused Backstreet Boy Nick Carter of Rape. And Then ‘the Vultures Came Out.'
Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily BeastWhen she was 12, Melissa Schuman earned a place in Dream, a girl band that made its mark in the early aughts with hits like "This Is Me" and "He Loves U Not." None other than Diddy signed Dream to Bad Boy Records, and they joined a pantheon of pop groups that were peaking in the 2000s. It was a whirlwind. "Basically, I was in Dream from 12 to 18," Schuman told The Daily Beast during a recent Skype call from Los Angeles.

The all-American boys and girls who were being mass marketed to middle schoolers across the country made up a tight-knit community. "We all knew each other or knew of each other, we all toured together," Schuman explained. "In regards to the industry and the people who were working behind the scenes, it's all the same people. People don't realize that there's a very small group of managers that are reputable, that can really get you where it is that you hope to go. It's a very small industry, everybody knows each other, and it's very interconnected."

Schuman's group toured more with *NSYNC and Britney Spears than they did with Nick Carter's group, the Backstreet Boys, "So my encounters with BSB were pretty limited. There were maybe a few times, I think at one point I bumped into them on the red carpet." But one day, as Schuman writes on her blog, Melissa Explains It All, she and Carter were set up on a phone call—literally.



The Daily Beast
Aug 16, 2018

Jimmy Kimmel Grills Tom Arnold: When Will We See Trump's ‘N-Word' Tape?
ABCWhen The Daily Beast sat down with Jimmy Kimmel for a wide-ranging talk this week, the host joked that the timing of his interview with Tom Arnold Wednesday night "turned out OK."

That's because, long before Omarosa Manigault Newman started talking about the alleged tape of Donald Trump using the "N-word," Arnold had been hyping the very same thing. He even has a new show about it called The Hunt for the Trump Tapes premiering next month on Viceland.

"I don't think he has the tape, I think he's heard the tape," Kimmel told me the day before their interview. "I think if Tom Arnold had that tape we would have heard it within four seconds of him getting it."

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The Daily Beast
Aug 15, 2018

Dane Cook's Creepy Romantic Relationship With a Teenager Raises Serious Red Flags
InstagramThere are some things—Walkmans, frosted tips and cargo shorts, to name a few—that are best left in the early 2000s where they belong.

Dane Cook is, ostensibly, part of this group. The 46-year-old washed-up comedian hasn't done anything noteworthy since the days when puka shell necklaces were in vogue—instead spending his time making misogynistic, distasteful jokes (including one mocking victims of the 2012 movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado) whenever he does perform at a venue.

But as unlikely as it may sound in 2018, Cook is back making headlines—this time after details of his new relationship became public, following a Q&A session on Instagram. ICYMI, Cook's currently dating 19-year-old Kelsi Taylor, a self-styled singer-songwriter who's 27 years his junior.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Aug 15, 2018

‘Daily Show's' 'N-Word Expert' Roy Wood Jr.: Don't Need a ‘Secret Tape to Prove Trump's a Racist'
Comedy CentralWith Omarosa Manigault-Newman out there promoting her new book by teasing an alleged tape of Donald Trump saying the "N-word" during his Apprentice days, Trevor Noah brought out The Daily Show's "very own ‘N-word' expert" Roy Wood Jr. Wednesday night to make sense of the controversy.

Wood began by saying he feels like "we've come full circle." Whereas now he's hoping Trump didn't say the "N-Word," he spent "eight years hoping Obama would." He apparently doesn't count the time Obama talked about the word on Marc Maron's podcast.

"But for President Trump, if a recording came out of him using the ‘N-word,' the fallout would be catastrophic," Noah suggested.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 15, 2018

Stephen Colbert Rips Sarah Huckabee Sanders for Defending Trump's ‘Racism'
CBSThe release of Omarosa Manigault-Newman's new book Unhinged has reignited the somehow still-raging debate over whether or not President Donald Trump is a "racist." The issue made its way to the White House Press Room this week, where Sarah Huckabee Sanders couldn't "guarantee" that there is not a tape of Trump saying the "N-word" and cited the fact that the Clintons attended his third wedding as evidence that he's not a bigot.

"Yeah, he can't be a racist. Some of his best friends are people who have black friends," Stephen Colbert joked in his monologue Wednesday night. But rather than just take his press secretary's word for it, the Late Show host said, "Take it from Trump's biggest defender."

With that, Colbert cut to an alarmingly long montage of Trump declaring that he is the "least racist person" who exists. Paraphrasing Shakespeare, the host said, "You can tell somebody's not something when they protest exactly the right amount."

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The Daily Beast
Aug 15, 2018

Trump Staffer Tried to Recruit Lobbyists for Russian Oligarch Roman Abramovich
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily BeastIn the time since the election, a little-known Trump campaign staffer named Daniel Gelbinovich reached out to a number of Washington lobbyists with an eyebrow-raising ask: to shield a Putin ally from U.S. sanctions.

Two lobbyists—speaking anonymously because of the sensitivity of the matter—told The Daily Beast that Gelbinovich approached them and told them he was trying to help Roman Abramovich, a Russian oligarch worth more than $11 billion, find a lobbyist to help keep him from being added to the Treasury Department's sanctions list.

Gelbinovich confirmed this reporting.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 15, 2018

Exclusive: Trump Staffer Says He Recruited Lobbyists for Russian Oligarch
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily BeastIn the time since the election, a little-known Trump campaign staffer named Daniel Gelbinovich reached out to a number of Washington lobbyists with an eyebrow-raising ask: to shield a Putin ally from U.S. sanctions.

Two lobbyists—speaking anonymously because of the sensitivity of the matter—told The Daily Beast that Gelbinovich approached them and told them he was trying to help Roman Abramovich, a Russian oligarch worth more than $11 billion, find a lobbyist to help keep him from being added to the Treasury Department's sanctions list.

Gelbinovich confirmed this reporting.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 15, 2018

Exclusive: Trump Staffer Says He Recruited Lobbyists for Russian Oligarch Roman Abramovich
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily BeastIn the time since the election, a little-known Trump campaign staffer named Daniel Gelbinovich reached out to a number of Washington lobbyists with an eyebrow-raising ask: to shield a Putin ally from U.S. sanctions.

Two lobbyists—speaking anonymously because of the sensitivity of the matter—told The Daily Beast that Gelbinovich approached them and told them he was trying to help Roman Abramovich, a Russian oligarch worth more than $11 billion, find a lobbyist to help keep him from being added to the Treasury Department's sanctions list.

Gelbinovich confirmed this reporting.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 15, 2018

U.S. Immigration Agency Chief Spoke at Anti-Immigrant ‘Hate Group' Event
Aaron P. BernsteinThe head of the federal agency overseeing the U.S. immigration system spoke at an event hosted by an anti-immigrant organization that has routinely published false information about immigration and has been deemed a "hate group."

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Lee Francis Cissna appeared Wednesday at the anti-immigration think-tank Center for Immigration Studies' (CIS) annual "Immigration Newsmakers" event.

Founded by John Tanton, a member of the white nationalist movement who believes maintaining an American culture requires "a European-American majority," the Center for Immigration Studies describes itself as an "an independent, nonpartisan research organization." Their agenda focuses on reduced legal immigration and are a vocal supporter of increased detention and deportation of undocumented immigrants.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 15, 2018

Former CIA Chiefs Blast Trump's ‘Outrageous' Move on Brennan
Alex WongPresident Donald Trump struck back at one of his sharpest critics from the Obama administration, stripping former CIA director John Brennan of his security clearance Wednesday, and instantly drawing fire for setting a de facto political loyalty test for who gets to keep security clearances after government service.

"This action is part of a broader effort by Mr. Trump to suppress freedom of speech & punish critics," Brennan responded by tweet Wednesday. "It should gravely worry all Americans, including intelligence professionals, about the cost of speaking out. My principles are worth far more than clearances. I will not relent."

White House press spokesman Sarah Huckabee Sanders made the announcement from the press-room podium, instantly changing the channel from the non-stop coverage of Omarosa Manigault-Newman's book and tape revelations, and replacing it with charges of presidential overreach.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 15, 2018

War Correspondent: The Last Time I Was Called ‘An Enemy of the People'
Chip Somodevilla/GettyI remember the last time I was thought of as the "enemy of the people," or at least the last time a U.S. administration thought so. It was 2003 through 2006, when I was a CBS News correspondent spending the bulk of my time in Iraq.

Many in the U.S. military saw us as tearing down their efforts to rebuild the country, as our reporting on their earnest and dangerous reconstruction efforts gave way to daily headlines about massive car bombs, roadside bombs, and U.S. casualties. When then-CBS News anchor Dan Rather reported the abuses at Abu Ghraib, the blowback from U.S. troops on the ground meant embeds were tough, and met with an initially frosty reception. It felt like I was wearing a hairshirt under my flak jacket.

U.S. officials in the Green Zone, who were trying to stand up a new Iraqi government, could be equally chilly. (In the early years of the war, reporters lived in the red zone, contrary to frequent misreporting; we were only allowed in the Green Zone with an official escort. Security for our CBS "compound" inside a former Saddam hotel cost the network hundreds of thousands of dollars a month.)

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The Daily Beast
Aug 15, 2018

The Last Time I Was Called ‘an Enemy of the People'
Chip Somodevilla/GettyI remember the last time I was thought of as the "enemy of the people," or at least the last time a U.S. administration thought so. It was 2003 through 2006, when I was a CBS News correspondent spending the bulk of my time in Iraq.

Many in the U.S. military saw us as tearing down their efforts to rebuild the country, as our reporting on their earnest and dangerous reconstruction efforts gave way to daily headlines about massive car bombs, roadside bombs, and U.S. casualties. When then-CBS News anchor Dan Rather reported the abuses at Abu Ghraib, the blowback from U.S. troops on the ground meant embeds were tough, and met with an initially frosty reception. It felt like I was wearing a hairshirt under my flak jacket.

U.S. officials in the Green Zone, who were trying to stand up a new Iraqi government, could be equally chilly. (In the early years of the war, reporters lived in the red zone, contrary to frequent misreporting; we were only allowed in the Green Zone with an official escort. Security for our CBS "compound" inside a former Saddam hotel cost the network hundreds of thousands of dollars a month.)

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 15, 2018

Keith Ellison on Abuse Allegations: ‘We Will Handle It Head On'
Joshua Roberts/ReutersAfter coasting to victory in the Democratic primary for Minnesota's attorney general race on Tuesday evening, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) directly referred to a recent abuse allegation and once again denied that it ever occurred.

In his victory speech, according to reported remarks, Ellison said, "We had a very unexpected event at the end of this campaign that happened. I want to assure you that it is not true. We are going to keep on fighting all the way through. We are going to be respectful to all, and we are going to stand like steeples, and insist upon the truth."

That allegation was made by Karen Monahan, the congressman's ex-girlfriend. This past weekend, her son shared a Facebook post—allegedly without his mother's knowledge—claiming he discovered a video on his mother's computer allegedly showing a physical altercation in which Ellison pulled her off of a bed and yelled obscenities at her.



The Daily Beast
Aug 15, 2018

Keith Ellison on Abuse Allegations: ‘We Will Handle It Head-On'
Joshua RobertsAfter coasting to victory in the Democratic primary for Minnesota's attorney general race on Tuesday evening, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) directly referred to a recent abuse allegation and once again denied that it ever occurred.

In his victory speech, according to reported remarks, Ellison said, "We had a very unexpected event at the end of this campaign that happened. I want to assure you that it is not true. We are going to keep on fighting all the way through. We are going to be respectful to all, and we are going to stand like steeples, and insist upon the truth."

That allegation was made by Karen Monahan, the congressman's ex-girlfriend. This past weekend, her son shared a Facebook post—allegedly without his mother's knowledge—claiming he discovered a video on his mother's computer allegedly showing a physical altercation in which Ellison pulled her off of a bed and yelled obscenities at her.



The Daily Beast
Aug 15, 2018

Parkland Students Return to School: ‘It's Never Going to Be Normal Again'
Joe Raedle/GettySix months after 17 people were killed on their campus, the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School returned on Wednesday for another year of class.

The massacre sparked the March for Our Lives movement, which culminated in March when thousands of students rallied for tighter gun-control laws in Washington, D.C.

That demonstration inspired 800 similar events throughout the country, with many of the Parkland, Florida student survivors spending their summers working as full-time activists on a "Road to Change" tour.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Aug 15, 2018

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Defends Alex Jones ‘Time Out'
NBCAfter first defending his decision not to remove Infowars conspiracy monger Alex Jones from Twitter during a radio interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity last week, CEO Jack Dorsey has now sat down with NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt to explain why he eventually decided to give Jones a "time out."

Holt confronted Dorsey with details of a recent video Jones posted on Twitter that called for people to get their "battle rifles and everything ready at their bedsides" for potential war against the media. "It sent a chill up my spine, how about yours?" the anchor asked.

"It did," Dorsey replied, saying that a "call to incitement to violence" is not acceptable on his platform and requires "action." And yet instead of permanently deleting Jones' account—as every other major social media company has done in recent weeks—Dorsey described the action Twitter has taken against Jones as a "time out."

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Aug 15, 2018

Vatican's Response to 1,000 Children Abused by Priests? ‘No Comment.'
Win McNamee/GettyROME—On Wednesday morning, Pope Francis stood in the window of the apostolic palace looking over St. Peter's Square and blessed the crowds that had gathered for the Catholic celebration of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven. He talked about saints and heaven and sent his prayers to the victims of the bridge collapse in the northern Italian city of Genoa the day before.

But the pope didn't mention the latest horrific news revealed about his church: that a Pennsylvania grand jury had just handed down a damning 1,356-page account of rampant abuse that involved 1,000 kids, 300 priests, and 70 years of silence. "We, the members of this grand jury, need you to hear this," the report began. But there was no sign Wednesday that Pope Francis was listening. He offered no prayer for the victims of his own churchmen who have been suffocated under a veil of complicity and shame for decades.

The Pennsylvania report outlines decades of violent abuse against both boys and girls. When some of those girls got pregnant by their priests, they were forced to have abortions. Alcohol was often used to prime the victims who were humiliated and made to feel guilty for their predators' sins.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Aug 15, 2018

Pope Francis Silent About 1,000 Children Abused by Priests in Pennsylvania
Win McNamee/GettyROME — On Wednesday morning, Pope Francis stood in the window of the apostolic palace looking over St. Peter's square and blessed the crowds that had gathered for the Catholic celebration of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven. He talked about saints and heaven and sent his prayers to the victims of the bridge collapse in the northern Italian city of Genoa the day before.

But the pope didn't mention the latest horrific news revealed about his church: that a Pennsylvania grand jury had just handed down a damning 1,356 page account of rampant abuse that involved 1,000 kids, 300 priests and 70 years of silence. "We, the members of this grand jury, need you to hear this," the report began. But there was no sign Wednesday that Pope Francis was listening. He offered no prayer for the victims of his own churchmen who have been suffocated under a veil of complicity and shame for decades.

The Pennsylvania report outlines decades of violent abuse against both boys and girls. When some of those girls got pregnant by their priests they were forced to have abortions. Alcohol was often used to prime the victims who were humiliated and made to feel guilty for their predators' sins.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Aug 15, 2018

‘Fox & Friends': Trump ‘Outsmarted' by Omarosa
Shannon Stapleton/ReutersPresident Donald Trump was mocked by one of his favorite TV shows Wednesday morning when the hosts of Fox & Friends criticized him for his foolish handling of the Omarosa Manigault-Newman book launch.

Trump is known to be an avid viewer of the show but it's not yet clear if he began his Wednesday morning being chided to his face.

Commenting on the ongoing public showdown between the president and his former White House adviser, host Brian Kilmeade said it was obvious who was getting the upper hand.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 15, 2018

Don't Overpay for Liquor: 8 Undervalued Bottles
Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily BeastThere's no easy way to say this, but hard alcohol is getting ever more expensive. Some of my favorites are now favorites of many, many, many other drinkers, which has had the result of driving retail prices to new stratospheric levels and forcing brands to limit their supply to just a few bottles per store in a handful of key select markets.

This premiumization started years ago and I really have myself to blame. Nearly ten years ago, I wrote a story for Money magazine called The Intelligent Investor's Guide to Spirits. In the article, I revealed some of my favorite undervalued bottles. That certainly didn't help keep their demand or prices down.

While many of my picks are no longer bargains, I do think there are still some spirits out there that are a great buy. Don't worry I've stocked up. I would suggest you do the same, since prices are surely going to keep going up.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Aug 15, 2018

Former U.S. Officials Taking China's Side in Trade Fights
Photo Illustration by The Daily BeastThis year, President Donald Trump has made good on his promises to take a hard line on China, ratcheting up tariffs on Chinese goods, cracking down on steel and aluminum imports, and implementing a short-lived ban on Chinese tech firm ZTE.

Beijing has responded in kind, levying retaliatory tariffs on billions of dollars of U.S. goods. "China could be a little bit upset about trade because we are very strongly clamping down on trade," Trump said in June.

But Chinese companies have become increasingly savvy at hiring U.S. firms to help them fight battles in Washington—and some former U.S. trade officials and lawyers are happy to help.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 15, 2018

Fox News Hosts and the Rest of the American Elite Don't Know the First Thing About Farm Work
Timothy A. Clary/AFP/GettyCOALINGA, Calif.—It's taken the better part of my life, but I've come to acknowledge the soil in my veins. Despite living in a half dozen major cities over the years, I'm a country boy—born and raised in the farmland of Central California.

I don't speak for farmers and ranchers. I just listen carefully when they speak to me, as a group of them did recently in a gathering at a cattle ranch in this rural town.  

The farmers tell me that not many journalists venture out into the fields to see for themselves how farming works. Farmers don't get many visitors. What they do get is plenty of free advice from the uninformed about how to do their jobs, treat their workers, bring in their crops, sell their products and provide for their families.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 15, 2018

Pinterest Moms Share Parfait Recipes Next to QAnon Memes
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast8chan is an anarchic web forum that has historically played host to trolls, meme-makers, pornographers, and racists. Pinterest is a photo-cataloguing site beloved by moms saving weeknight dinner recipes.

At least that's how it used to be.

But as a series of fringe-right conspiracy theories—particularly the bizarre and baseless QAnon conspiracy—find a growing audience in America's baby boomer set, the boundaries between the "normie" web and the internet's underbelly are bleeding. Nowhere is the strange alliance more visible than on Pinterest, where users share QAnon memes alongside pancake recipes, and on 8chan where irony-poisoned young trolls are mollified by an influx of earnest, middle-aged conspiracy fans.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 15, 2018

Did I Join a Movement That Naturally Attracts Extremists and Kooks?
Diana Walker/GettyThis week's news about Omarosa secretly taping chief of staff John Kelly and President Donald Trump is yet another reminder of something about Trumpworld: Politics has always attracted eccentric opportunists, but people in this administration are especially weird.

In the case of Omarosa Manigault Newman, we are talking about a melodramatic reality star who lies constantly and brought a recording device into the Situation Room. But she's just the latest example of the motley crew Trump has made famous.

Take, for example, the president's campaign manager, Paul Manafort, who is currently on trial for tax and bank fraud and reportedly paid more than $18,000 for a python jacket. Or Trump's former senior adviser, Steve Bannon, who studies obscure Italian fascists and insists on wearing multiple layers of clothing yet doesn't seem to own a comb or a razor.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 15, 2018

Stephen Miller's Great-Grandfather Sam Was a ‘Chain Migrant' and a Fine American
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily BeastA Russian immigrant in steerage had given birth aboard the S.S. Ryndam on an earlier run from Rotterdam to New York, and the first-class passengers had taken up a cash collection for the mother, then baptized the baby in champagne.

The captain pronounced the birth a good omen, offsetting the ill fortune of having run aground the year before. He declared the Ryndam a lucky ship as it made two more runs, arriving with its latest load of immigrants on July 9, 1906.

The ship docked at a Manhattan pier with a light breeze and the temperature in the high 60s. The first- and second-class passengers were cleared onboard by immigration officers and allowed to go on their way. Those in steerage were transported by ferry to Ellis Island, where they stepped off as others had in a Biograph film shot there exactly two months before.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 15, 2018

Stephen Miller's Great-Grandfather Sam Was a Chain Migrant and a Fine American
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily BeastA Russian immigrant in steerage had given birth aboard the S.S. Ryndam on an earlier run from Rotterdam to New York, and the first-class passengers had taken up a cash collection for the mother, then baptized the baby in champagne.

The captain pronounced the birth a good omen, offsetting the ill fortune of having run aground the year before. He declared the Ryndam a lucky ship as it made two more runs, arriving with its latest load of immigrants on July 9, 1906.

The ship docked at a Manhattan pier with a light breeze and the temperature in the high 60s. The first- and second-class passengers were cleared onboard by immigration officers and allowed to go on their way. Those in steerage were transported by ferry to Ellis Island, where they stepped off as others had in a Biograph film shot there exactly two months before.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 15, 2018

It's Hollywood That Has a Big LGBT Problem—Not Ruby Rose
Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily BeastBefore fighting over crumbs, you might ask where the loaf is.

LGBT people are long used to questioning representations of LGBT characters in movies and TV. There are not nearly enough LGBT characters and stories on screen, and not enough out LGBT actors either—and so the attention paid to LGBT-themed shows and films, and LGBT actors, is intense.

The characters that are on our screens are rightly studied, then praised and criticized according to their depth, and the level of intimacy they're allowed to share with on-screen partners.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 15, 2018

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Risking Her Reputation Before She Gets to Congress
GettySince her remarkable Democratic primary win on June 26, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has toured the country, done Sunday shows, appeared on late-night TV and raised money for like-minded candidates.

It has been a stunning rise for a 28-year-old self-described Democratic Socialist who emerged from relatively anonymity to become, barring something extraordinary, the next member of Congress from New York's 14th Congressional District. But it hasn't been without a share of hiccups.

As fast as she's become politically ubiquitous, Ocasio-Cortez has discovered the perils of that fame. She has been turned into a boogeyman for conservatives and found herself the object of mockery after getting tripped up on several policy questions during some of her recent interviews. Those missteps have raised questions about what, exactly, her endgame is and whether she's spending her political capital wisely.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 15, 2018

Trump Wants to Make Asbestos Great Again
Photo Illustration by The Daily BeastIn the Russian city of Asbest in the Ural Mountains, life and work revolves around a dark pit more than 1,000 feet deep and six miles long, the largest asbestos-producing mine in the world. The future of every household in this community of about 70,000 people depends on chrysotile, the white mineral from which asbestos fibers are extracted—fibers so extremely carcinogenic that 65 countries have banned them.

The World Health Organization is unequivocal: "Exposure to asbestos, including chrysotile, causes cancer of the lung, larynx and ovary, mesothelioma (a cancer of the pleural and peritoneal linings) and asbestosis (fibrosis of the lungs)." The WHO estimated in 2014 that 107,000 people die each year because of asbestos related diseases (PDF). Worldwide, asbestos is responsible for about half of all the work-related deaths from cancer. In the United States every year mesothelioma kills from 12,000 to 15,000 Americans.

Not surprisingly, given such statistics, the company that operates the enormous mine, Uralasbest (also written as Ural Asbest), has lost many of its buyers and significantly cut down both its production volume and staff. Since 2013 more than 1,000 of some 5,000 workers have lost their jobs, and panic has gripped the city like an epidemic.

Read more at The Da

The Daily Beast
Aug 15, 2018

‘Pose' Star Mj Rodriguez on the Future of Trans Hollywood: ‘I'm Trying to Change the World'
Photo lllustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily BeastWe're just over halfway through the year, but it's hard to imagine any TV series beating the leading contender for the year's most moving scene.

On the fifth episode of the groundbreaking FX series Pose, star Mj Rodriguez, one of the show's history-making transgender leads who plays the character Blanca, sings the ballad "Home" from The Wiz in the AIDS ward of a hospital. The boyfriend of Pray Tell (the transcendent Tony-winner Billy Porter), Blanca's own combination brother-father figure, is one of the dying patients. When it seems as if Blanca is going to break down midway through the song, Pray Tell joins her at the microphone, and together their duet becomes a rallying cry for hope and resilience.

The scene encompasses what, for all the importance of its historic casting and storytelling, is its most progressive mission. Set against the backdrop of the AIDS crisis in 1987 New York, Pose is, at its heart, a radical celebration of joy, hope, dreams, and resilience. The performance of "Home" is the perfect embodiment of that.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 15, 2018

Seth Meyers: Trump Is a ‘Racist With a Rotted-Out Soul' for Calling Omarosa a ‘Dog'
NBCOn Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump praised his chief of staff John Kelly for firing White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman "like a dog."

"This isn't the first time Donald Trump has referred to firing and dogs in a tweet," Seth Meyers said on his Late Night program. "He has done it multiple times, and it's strange because most people when they think of dogs don't think of firing them."

In addition to his tweet about firing Omarosa "like a dog," Trump has made similar comments about Glenn Beck, Chuck Todd, Bill Maher, Kristen Stewart and several others.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 15, 2018

Why Transgender Candidate Christine Hallquist's Win Is a ‘Defining Moment'
Wilson Ring/APAfter winning her Democratic primary in Vermont on Tuesday night, Christine Hallquist could become the first transgender governor in United States history—if she manages to overtake incumbent Republican Gov. Phil Scott in a challenging race.

But Hallquist managing to land a gubernatorial nomination from a major political party is itself historic, LGBT advocates say. Indeed, one year after Danica Roem was elected to the Virginia state legislature, Hallquist's primary win is being seen as further proof that transgender candidates can succeed.

"Christine's victory is a defining moment in the movement for trans equality and is especially remarkable given how few out trans elected officials there are at any level of government," Annise Parker, president of the advocacy group Victory Fund, said in a statement. "Many thought it unthinkable a viable trans gubernatorial candidate like Christine would emerge so soon."

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The Daily Beast
Aug 14, 2018

Christine Hallquist and Two More Democratic Women Seal Historic Primary Victories
Photo Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily BeastDemocrats on Tuesday chose the first transgender gubernatorial nominee in history, the first Somali-American legislator, and a first-time candidate and National Teacher of the Year recipient who would be the first black Democrat elected to Congress in her state.

It was a sign of the continued strength of Democratic women in primaries, who by some estimates have a win rate of 46 percent in contests this cycle, including gubernatorial and congressional races.

Christine Hallquist passed the first major hurdle in her quest to become the nation's first transgender governor on Tuesday, beating three primary challengers in Vermont, including a 14-year-old named Ethan Sonneborn. Running on a progressive platform that includes advocacy for a universal health care system and a $15 minimum wage, the former CEO of an electric company will face incumbent Republican Gov. Phil Scott, who has earned a positive reputation in the state for working alongside Democrats.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 14, 2018

Omarosa's ‘Daily Show' Confession: ‘I Look Like the Biggest Dummy' for Following ‘Racist' Trump
Comedy CentralAfter making the rounds on some serious news shows over the past few days, Omarosa Manigault-Newman's book tour took its next logical step Tuesday night with a stop at The Daily Show.

Trevor Noah scored the first late-night interview with the author of Unhinged since she started publicly flaming her former boss, President Donald Trump. "You are one of the first people who I would say has managed to out-Trump Trump," the host began, prompting some awkward laughter from his guest.

If Noah didn't know anything about the president, he said he would assume everything in Omarosa's book is "wildly untrue," but instead he said, "It doesn't seem like there's anything new in the book," so "why write it?" On top of that, her credibility has been questioned by friends and foes alike.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 14, 2018

Jimmy Kimmel on the Time Omarosa ‘Stormed Out' on Him: ‘There's Clearly Something Wrong With Her'
Photo Illustration by The Daily BeastIt was April 2004, and a 30-year-old Omarosa Manigault was minutes away from making her Jimmy Kimmel Live! debut. The first season of Donald Trump's The Apprentice had just ended and she had emerged as the hit reality show's villainous star. But before Kimmel even had a chance to announce her name, Omarosa fled the building, afraid that the host would subject her to a lie detector test.

"Oh, I've been thinking about that a lot lately," Kimmel tells me more than 14 years later in his office a few hours before Tuesday night's show.

"What happened was, my Uncle Frank lied about something," Kimmel recalls, referring to the one-time fixture on his show who passed away several years ago. "And I thought it would be funny to give him a fake lie detector test on the air, something that he thought was real."

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The Daily Beast
Aug 14, 2018

‘The First Thing I Heard Was the Explosion'
Massoud Hossaini/APMilitary contractors in war zones often make headlines for all the wrong reasons: allegations of money misspent, or lives lost. Tuesday, the Pentagon honored three retired special operators-turned-contractors Tuesday who saved multiple lives and risked their own in two fierce firefights in Afghanistan.

Michael "Tony" Dunne, 45, and William (Tim) Nix, 63, ran to the sound of the explosion when insurgents attacked Camp Integrity in 2015, the heavily fortified U.S. special operations base in the center of Kabul. Insurgents had blown the main gate, collapsing the guard tower and killing at least eight local guards, the men said.

"I was at work, and the first thing I heard was the explosion that killed...about nine," at the front gate, said Nix of the attack. Dunne and Nix ran to the sounds of gunfire and joined a handful of U.S. special operators who were fighting at second wave of attackers who had penetrated the compound. The attackers killed U.S. First Sgt. Peter Andrew McKenna Jr., who led the fightback.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 14, 2018

Trump Is In Such Deep Sh*t, Omarosa Is Almost a Relief
Mandel Ngan/GettyIn Trump's world, it's hard to tell sometimes where the con ends and reality begins, but when you apply the simplest cui bono test (who benefits?), you'll view the Don and Omarosa show through a very, very jaundiced eye. Their very loud, very messy, very public spat has everything but an out-of-wedlock child and an evil twin. It's the unspeakable in pursuit of the insufferable, and if it's hard to tell which is which, that's by design.

Though the explosive fight between these two heels may have a nugget of genuine, reciprocal anger and betrayal in the center, the cautious money is that it is almost entirely boob-bait for the easily-gulled Trumpentariat, mere mummery and distraction from the widening gyre of legal, political, and economic trouble looming for the star of our national reality TV show. This week's episode consists of the usual kayfabe, with secret recordings, Presidential shitter-tweeted rage, and the apparatus of the President's media sycophants turning their fire on another of Donald's once-beloved now-reviled ex-besties.

In Trump's world today, the living envy the dead. For the unlucky White House survivors clinging to the wreckage, it's a race against the clock.  

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Aug 14, 2018

Sarah Huckabee Sanders ‘Can't Guarantee' Trump Hasn't Used ‘N-Word'
Leah MillisIt was a relatively simple question from NBC News' Kristen Welker.

"Can you stand at the podium and guarantee the American people will never hear Donald Trump utter the ‘n-word' on a recording in any context?" Welker asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders during Tuesday afternoon's briefing.

"I can't guarantee anything," Sanders replied, "but I can tell you that the president addressed this question directly. I can tell you that I've never heard it. I can also tell you that if myself or the people that are in this building serving this country every single day doing our very best to serve our country and make it better, if at any point we felt that the president was who some of his critics claim him to be, we certainly wouldn't be here."

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The Daily Beast
Aug 14, 2018

‘Systematic Cover-Up': Over 300 ‘Predator' Priests Accused of Sexually Abusing Children in Pennsylvania
GettyA harrowing, 1,356-page grand jury report on sexual abuse in Pennsylvania's Catholic Church was released Tuesday by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, detailing decades of abuse, sexual assault, and attempted cover-ups.  

The numbers are simply staggering, as the report—which is the result of an 18-month investigation into six of Pennsylvania's eight dioceses—lists more than 300 "predator priests" who are accused of preying on more than 1,000 victims over the last several decades.

"The pattern was abuse, deny, and cover up," Attorney General Josh Shapiro said during a press conference, calling it a "systematic cover-up." "It served a legal purpose. The longer they covered it up, the less chance there was that law enforcement could prosecute these predators."

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The Daily Beast
Aug 14, 2018

GOP Candidate Melissa Howard, Who Admitted to Lying About Her Degree, Finally Drops Out of Race
Facebook/Melissa Howard CampaignA Republican candidate for Florida's State House dropped out Tuesday, just one day after admitting she lied about having a college degree and announcing she'd stay in the race.

"I have come to the realization that the right thing to do for my community is to withdraw from the race. I will do so today," Melissa Howard, the candidate, told ABC7.

Howard's exit comes after a week of swirling questions around her academic credentials. On the Florida candidate's campaign website, she claimed to be a graduate of the Miami University in Ohio.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 14, 2018

Gary Johnson Jumps Into New Mexico Senate Race
Jim Young2016 Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson has entered the New Mexico Senate race, throwing a curveball into a contest that was deemed safe for Democratic incumbent Sen. Martin Heinrich.

Johnson, who served two terms from 1995 to 2003 as a Republican governor of the state, tweeted on Tuesday that "New Mexico deserves a strong, independent voice in the U.S. Senate," accompanied by a campaign video put together by Elect Liberty PAC.

In the video, Johnson's gubernatorial accomplishments are described in detail as well as his climb up Mount Everest. "He's fiscally conservative and socially cool," the video says over a stock-sounding bass thrum.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 14, 2018

Student Sought Help After Rape and Suicide Attempt. Then Her Counselor's Son Raped Her: Lawsuit
Photo Illustration by The Daily BeastStockton University—which boasts a tree-studded, seemingly idyllic campus in Atlantic County, New Jersey—has left students exposed to a "violent environment of sexual assault," one of five federal lawsuits filed against the school this summer alleges.

Over the past few months, the school—which has an enrollment of 9,500 students—has faced a litany of graphic allegations accompanied by photos of bruised victims.

A fifth civil suit filed Sunday against the school claims that a young woman sought counseling on campus after she attempted suicide—and that the counselor's son eventually raped and bit her in a vicious assault that left her bruised and traumatized. She has demanded compensatory and punitive damages to be determined at a jury trial.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 14, 2018

Michael Avenatti Releases Political Platform for Possible 2020 Run
Mark Ralston/GettyMichael Avenatti, attorney for adult-film star Stormy Daniels, took his presidential campaign ambitions to the next level on Tuesday morning by releasing a "summary" of where he stood on political issues du jour.

Could this been the first official step towards answering the question on everyone's mind: Is he running?

"Many have asked me my position on various issues. Below is a summary of where I stand. This is not an exhaustive list and more positions & details will follow," he wrote in a tweet accompanying the multi-page platform. "Most importantly, I didn't have to hire a pollster or political consultant to tell me what to say or what to believe."

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The Daily Beast
Aug 14, 2018

Sex-Trafficking Case Against Harvey Weinstein Can Proceed, Judge Rules
Seth Wenig/ShutterstockA federal judge in New York on Tuesday ruled to allow a sex-trafficking case against Harvey Weinstein to proceed.

In a move that could set new legal precedent, U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet ruled in favor of aspiring actress Kadian Noble, who alleged that Weinstein sexual assaulted her in 2014. In the court filing, Sweet wrote that although the act was "not an archetypal sex trafficking action… the allegations plausibly establish" Weinstein may have violated the statute.

"Harvey Weinstein...recruited and enticed a young aspiring actress..knowing he would use means of force, fraud, or coercion to cause her to engage in a sex act," the judge wrote in the ruling.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 14, 2018

Sex-Trafficking Lawsuit Against Harvey Weinstein Can Proceed, Judge Rules
Seth Wenig/ShutterstockA federal judge in New York on Tuesday ruled to allow a sex-trafficking lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein to proceed.

In a move that could set new legal precedent, U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet ruled in favor of aspiring actress Kadian Noble, who alleged that Weinstein sexual assaulted her in 2014. In the court filing, Sweet wrote that although the act was "not an archetypal sex trafficking action… the allegations plausibly establish" Weinstein may have violated the statute.

"Harvey Weinstein...recruited and enticed a young aspiring actress..knowing he would use means of force, fraud, or coercion to cause her to engage in a sex act," the judge wrote in the ruling.

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The Daily Beast
Aug 14, 2018

Kellyanne Conway Refuses to Defend Trump Calling Omarosa ‘Dog'
Fox News/ScreenshotKellyanne Conway is still, after all these many months, one of President Donald Trump's most loyal mouthpieces. And yet there are still some things she cannot abide.

Earlier this month, Conway broke with the president by saying something neither he nor his press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been willing to admit out loud: "I don't believe journalists are the enemy of the people." Now, she seems to be having trouble going as hard against her former colleague and friend Omarosa Manigault-Newman as her boss has been on Twitter.

Just as Manigault-Newman's tell-all book Unhinged hits shelves on Tuesday, her war of words with the president has been heating up. After the former Apprentice contestant accused him of being a straight-up "racist," Trump tweeted, "When you give a crazed, crying lowlife a break, and give her a job at the White House, I guess it just didn't work out. Good work by General Kelly for quickly firing that dog!"

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The Daily Beast
Aug 14, 2018

The Carson McCullers Play That Could Have Been Written Today
Near the end of the second act of The Member of the Wedding, a play adapted from the Carson McCullers 1946 novel of the same name and running all week at this summer's Williamstown Theatre Festival, a 12-year-old white girl named Frankie (Tavi Gevinson) climbs onto the lap of her caretaker, a middle-aged black woman named Berenice Sadie Brown (Roslyn Ruff).

"Have you ever thought about this? Here we are—right now. This very minute. Now." Frankie says. "But while we're talking right now, this minute is passing. And it will never come again. Never in all the world. When it is gone, it is gone. No power on earth could bring it back again."

Frankie, an androgynous misfit on the cusps of teendom, is filled with observations like these: trite, but cutting—the kind of theatrical philosophizing usually reserved for stoners, cult members or anyone else unburdened by fear of cliche.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Aug 14, 2018

Jeremy Corbyn, U.K. Labour Leader, Refuses to Apologize for Yet Another Anti-Semitism Row
Toby Melville / ReutersThe two main parties in British politics appear to be locked in a battle to see who can get the most terrible press coverage.

While senior Conservative lawmaker Boris Johnson is hiding out after comparing Muslim women who wear burqas to letterboxes, and desperately trying to win sympathy by offering journalists cups of tea, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is being attacked by his own side for first denying, then admitting, and then refusing to apologize for attending a wreath-laying for a Palestinian leader linked to the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972.

On Tuesday—rather than admitting to a mistake—Corbyn became frustrated and ostentatiously rolled his eyes at a reporter for asking about an incident that most consider to be a pretty major error of judgment.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Aug 14, 2018

Katrina Pierson Responds to Omarosa: I Humored Her About Trump N-Word Tape
Photo Illustration by The Daily BeastOmarosa week may never die and it's causing mass hysteria in Trumpland.

As The Daily Beast first reported last week, former senior Trump administration official and former senior Apprentice villain Omarosa Manigault Newman had secretly recorded President Donald Trump and has played the audio for others. She leveraged these conversations and secret audio while shopping her forthcoming supposedly "tell-all" book UNHINGED.

This week, Manigault Newman made clear that she has recordings of her conversations with several other high-ranking figures in the Trump orbit—including White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, senior adviser on the Trump reelection campaign Katrina Pierson, and HUD official Lynne Patton—by making the audio available to the media.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Aug 14, 2018

Bridge Collapse Kills 20 During Holiday Rush in Italy
Stefano Rellandini/ReutersROME—A busy overpass in the northern port town of Genoa collapsed shortly before noon on Tuesday, sending more than 30 cars, campers and semi trucks nearly 300 feet down to the ground below.

The horrific accident happened during a torrential rainstorm on the even of Italy's biggest summer holiday "Ferragosto" on August 15. Several witnesses reported seeing lightning strike the area just before the accident. Police said violent winds and lightning may have contributed to the collapse.

Dozens of cars screeched to a stop on both sides of the dual carriageway highway at the edge of the breaking points. The bridge, which was built in the 1970s, was being repaired over the last several weeks.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



The Daily Beast
Aug 14, 2018

Bridge Collapse Kills 35 During Holiday Rush in Italy
Stefano Rellandini/ReutersROME—A busy overpass in the northern port town of Genoa collapsed shortly before noon Tuesday, sending more than 30 cars, campers, and semi trucks nearly 300 feet down to the ground below.

The horrific accident happened during a torrential rainstorm on the eve of Italy's biggest summer holiday, "Ferragosto," on Aug. 15. Several witnesses reported seeing lightning strike the area just before the accident. Police said violent winds and lightning may have contributed to the collapse.

Dozens of cars screeched to a stop on both sides of the dual carriageway highway at the edge of the breaking points. The bridge, which was built in the 1970s, was being repaired over the last several weeks.

Read more at The Daily Beast.



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