Wed. July 25

“The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final most essential command.”
— George Orwell, 1984

Trump says Cohen tape has been “doctored”
— So-called president Trump said on Wednesday that it is “so sad” that his longtime personal attorney recorded their private conversations, suggesting that audio released Tuesday has been doctored to exclude “positive things” that he was “presumably” saying.
— “What kind of a lawyer would tape a client? So sad! Is this a first, never heard of it before? Why was the tape so abruptly terminated (cut) while I was presumably saying positive things?”

Emails suggest Stormy Daniels arrest was a set-up
The Fayette (Ohio) Advocate
— Inside the emails are news clippings discussing Daniels’ planned appearance in Columbus, pictures of Daniels with President Donald Trump, videos of her dancing, and even a map to the club where she would be performing, all sent days before she would pull into town on her tour bus.

GM cuts profit outlook amid rising tariffs
— General Motors Co. has become the highest-profile American company to fall victim to Donald Trump’s trade wars by cutting its profit forecast for this year on surging prices for steel and aluminum.
>>> Trump pushes 25% auto tariffs as advisers try to stop him (WaPost)

A crash in So-Cal home sales, usually a leading indicator

Huge wildfire shuts Yosemite Valley, campers flee
Sacramento Bee
— Yosemite Valley will shut down Wednesday as fire crews try to stop the Ferguson Fire from spreading into the national park, according to fire crews.
— A noon closure will be imposed on a portion of Highway 41 from Wawona to the tunnel entry into Yosemite Valley, according to Yosemite National Park Superintendent Michael Reynolds.
— The closure is expected to last until Sunday.
“Get yourself out of here if you can,” Reynolds told tourists and park employees.
yosemite wildfire

NJ pauses pot prosecutions, a step toward legalization
In a move that will affect thousands of defendants and millions of residents, New Jersey’s attorney general has announced an immediate adjournment of all marijuana cases in municipal courts statewide until at least September.

Is that a gun on your hip? Okey-dokey says appeals court
— A federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment guarantees a right to openly carry a gun in public for self-defense, finding that Hawaii overstepped its authority to regulate firearms possession outside the home.
— Alan Beck, a lawyer for the plaintiff in Tuesday’s ruling, said he believed the question about openly carrying firearms would eventually end up before the Supreme Court.

IBM’s Watson may win at Jeopardy,
but it sucks at diagnosing cancer
— Internal IBM documents show that its Watson supercomputer often spits out erroneous cancer treatment advice and that company medical specialists and customers identified “multiple examples of unsafe and incorrect treatment recommendations” as IBM was promoting the product to hospitals and physicians around the world.

Newly discovered: Lotsa water in Mars buried lake
Popular Science
— Mars is now a dry and dusty world, but at some point in the past it had water on it and it may still run at times today. For the first time, though, new research suggests the Red Planet might currently possess a large stable body of liquid water, one that stretches roughly a dozen miles across and is buried under nearly a mile of ice.

Migrant parents may not be reunited with kids for years
The Guardian
— “It is just so difficult, and there are so many different issues,” said John Sandweg, the acting director of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement from 2013 to 2014. “When you have one parent in Central America with no money to hire lawyers and their kids are up in the US, it is going to be years if those families are reunited, if ever.”

Big US airlines bow to China’s “Orwellian” demands
CBS News
— China is applauding international airlines for bending to its demand that they stop referring to Taiwan as an independent country on their websites.

Melania tells the Orange Bully to buzz off
First Lady will watch “any channel she wants”

Spicer, you “corrupted the discourse of the entire world”
The Hill
— “We all make mistakes,” was Spicer’s lame response.
√ This from a BBC interview. And why is it that the BBC so often has the courage that US media lack?
>>> Emails show Sarah Sanders lied to cover Trump on Syria (Raw Story)
>>>> Nobody in charge of WH cyber defenses as workers bail (Yahoo)

Woman faces 6 years in prison for posting memes mocking Christianity
Moscow Times
— A woman in Siberia reportedly faces up to six years in prison on extremism charges for posting memes on social media deemed “insulting” by Russian investigators, part of a growing trend of Russians being punished for online activity.
— Internet freedom advocates decry what they call skyrocketing government censorship under Article 232 of the Criminal Code, which targets hate speech. Russia’s Supreme Court estimated that convictions under the extremism charge more than tripled between 2012 and 2017.
>>> Feminist founder of anti-Putin movement a “suicide” at 31 (The Hill)siberia-memes.jpg

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