Transcripts of Trump calls with Mexican president and Australian prime minister surface in the media, prompting debate even among White House detractors about whether these leaks are dangerous breaches of necessary diplomatic confidentiality or whistleblowing to bring presidential competency questions into the open. As news emerges that a grand jury has been empaneled as part of the special counsel’s investigation of Russian interference with the presidential election, Trump tells West Virginia rally “they are trying to cheat you out of the leadership that you want with a fake story.” Countering denials, golf journalist stands by report that president called the White House a “dump,” saying multiple people heard him. The New York Times outlines how the far right uses YouTube. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer


Why Leaking Transcripts of Trump’s Calls Is So Dangerous
Leaking the transcript of a presidential call to a foreign leader is unprecedented, shocking, and dangerous. It is vitally important that a president be able to speak confidentially—and perhaps even more important that foreign leaders understand that they can reply in confidence.

Trump blasts Russia investigation as Mueller convenes grand jury
Trump told the crowd in Huntington, WV, on the same day news emerged that the special counsel, Robert Mueller, has convened a grand jury in the case: “Most people know there were no Russians in our campaign; there never were. We didn’t win because of Russia. We won because of you.”

Golf journalist: At least 8 people heard Trump call the White House a ‘dump’
Alan Shipnuck told Golf Magazine that a White House spokeswoman called him to demand a retraction for the statement, but that he would not do so because he heard it from multiple credible sources. “It might be inconvenient for her boss and she might wish he didn’t say it, but it’s not a lie,” he said.

For the New Far Right, YouTube Has Become the New Talk Radio
There are countless other forms of political expression on YouTube, but no bloc is as organized or as assertive as the YouTube right. Nor is there a coherent group on the platform articulating any sort of direct answer—both validating this material in the eyes of its creators and giving it room to breathe, grow and assert itself.

The Muslim Americans leading the push to ‘stand up and be leaders’ in politics
While there is not comprehensive data to provide a number of Muslims who currently hold elected office in local and state bodies around the U.S., religious discrimination and an increase in hate crimes has spurred more Muslims to explore politics. Informal surveys indicate New Jersey leading the way, with at least 14 Muslim Americans currently in public office.


China’s Internet Censors Play a Tougher Game of Cat and Mouse
China has embarked on an internet campaign that signals a profound shift in the way it thinks of online censorship. For the tech savvy or truly determined, experts say, China often tolerated a bit of wiggle room. Now the authorities are targeting the very tools many people use to vault the Great Firewall.

Rights groups criticize ‘shameful’ Russian crackdown on web VPNs
Vladimir Putin signed a law on Sunday to impose tougher restrictions on VPN providers, forcing them to comply with Russia’s list of blacklisted sites. The same law also requires messaging apps to be linked to phone numbers, making it easier to identify users.

Venezuela’s New Leaders Share a Goal: Stifle the Opposition
A 545-member constituent assembly has been created to rewrite the Constitution and govern Venezuela with virtually unlimited authority until they finish their work. At least 20 countries have objected to the assembly, which has the power to dismiss any official deemed disloyal or even disband the opposition-controlled national legislature.

A journalist’s murder underscores growing threat in Mexico
The staff of the weekly newspaper Riodoce normally meets on Wednesdays to review its coverage of organized crime, corrupt officials, and drug wars in Sinaloa state. But on this day, in the shadow of their own tragedy, they’re talking about security. It’s important to change their routines, they are told. Be more careful with social media. Don’t leave colleagues alone in the office at night.

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