The Daily Moth 8-20-2018

August 20, 2018

Trump Updates: White House Lawyer McGahn; Cohen Investigation; “Truth Isn’t Truth”; India Flooding Kills At Least 370; Actress Asia Argento Paid Off Young Actor Claiming Underage Sex Assault; Pope Francis Writes Letter in Response to Clergy Sex Abuse; British Woman Falls Off of Cruise Ship, Survives 10 Hours in Sea; HUD Complaint: Facebook Enables Housing Discrimination Against Deaf/Disabled People​

Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! Hope your weekend was good. It is Monday, August 20. Ready for news?




Trump Updates: White House Lawyer McGahn; Cohen Investigation; “Truth Isn’t Truth”   


Here news updates related with President Trump.


The first: an article from the New York Times said the White House counsel, Don McGahn, has been very cooperative and shared a lot of information with the Mueller Russia investigation, giving them about 30 hours of interviews with detailed information on Trump’s actions related with the investigation. He shared plenty of information.


The article said McGahn did this to protect himself from any potential criminal charges — and that Trump might not even realize how much he shared.


It also said McGahn has a secret nickname for Trump, “King Kong,” because of his anger and tantrums.


President Trump responded to the article on Twitter, saying he allowed McGahn to cooperate with Mueller, that he was aware of it. He said the article made it look like he went behind him, that the article was fake news.


The second news brief: The New York Times in another article said federal investigators are looking at $20 million in loans made by Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer, in his tax and fraud case.


Federal investigators are also looking if Cohen violated campaign finance laws when he made “hush money” payments to women who said they had affairs with Trump.


They are checking those areas. Cohen might get criminal charges at the end of the month.


The third news update: Trump’s current lawyer Rudy Giuliani, in an interview yesterday with NBC, said “truth isn’t truth.”


He said it when he tried to explain why Trump shouldn’t testify or do an interview in Mueller’s investigation. He said it is because people have different versions of the truth and that Mueller could be trying to trap Trump for perjury (lying under oath). That was his concern.


His “truth isn’t truth” statement went viral, with many people and news comparing it with White House aide Kellyanne Conway’s “alternative facts” comment last year, when she explained why former Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Trump’s inauguration crowd was the largest ever. This wasn’t true, and she said it was “alternative facts.” Now many compared this with the “truth isn’t truth” comment, saying it was similar.


Giuliani said today that he was just talking about how sometimes two people make contradictory statements -- the “he said, she said” puzzle. That’s why he said “truth isn’t truth.”


Aside from the buzz on the sentence, Giuliani’s interview is a hint that President Trump is leaning towards not giving Mueller an interview.


Trump has continued to attack Mueller, tweeting several times today that Mueller and his thugs are just looking for trouble.




India Flooding Kills At Least 370


In southern India, severe flooding has killed over 370 people, with many missing.


The flooding is the worst in 100 years and has caused over 1 million people to be homeless. Many are staying in shelters.


Reports say the area in India got 40 percent more rainfall than normal during the monsoon season, from June to September. It normally rains during that time, but it was 40% more, causing widespread flooding.


Several dams filled up, and officials had to release water from them. There are mudslides. Emergency workers and their Army/Navy have used helicopters to rescue people from rooftops or drop food areas they can’t reach.  


Officials say their biggest challenges are cleaning the homes hit by floods, the recovery process, and preventing diseases to spread.




Actress Asia Argento Paid Off Young Actor Claiming Underage Sex Assault


Asia Argento, an Italian actress and one of the leaders of the #MeToo movement with her statements saying Harvey Weinstein raped her, is now being accused of sexual assault against an underage, 17-year old teenager in 2013.


The teenager, now a 22-year old man, is Jimmy Bennett. He was a child actor and appeared in a movie with Argento, playing her son. He said Argento gave him alcohol when he was 17 and the two had sex when he was underage.


At the time in 2013, Argento posted on her Instagram account saying she was excited to meet with Bennett, saying he was her son, her love.


A reporter for The New York Times said she read legal documents of a $380,000 settlement between the two to keep this quiet, with $200,000 paid in April. There was also an image of the two in bed from 2013, and as a part of the settlement, it was given to Argento, who has the copyright.


Bennett first asked Argento for $3.5 million in November, a month after Argento’s accusations against Weinstein went public.


Bennett said the incident in 2013 caused him to have emotional distress and trauma, causing him to lose income.


At the time he reached out to her, Argento was in a relationship with Anthony Bourdain, who killed himself two months ago. Bourdain’s lawyer was one of the two lawyers who represented Argento in the settlement.


The New York Times reporter said she reached out to both Bennett and Argento for comment, but neither responded with comments.

This article has had immediate impact on the internet and on the #MeToo movement.




Pope Francis Writes Letter in Response to Clergy Sex Abuse


Pope Francis wrote a letter to respond to the report of priest sex abuse and cover up in Pennsylvania.


The Pope said he acknowledges the suffering of minors and its impact. He vowed to create a culture to prevent those situations from happening again and to prevent any cover-ups. He said he would change it.


He called the abuse crimes. He used the word, “crimes.” He said the Lord heard the cry of the victims and showed them which side he stands on (on the side of the victims).


The Pope said we showed no care for the little ones, we abandoned them.


The Pope will travel this weekend to Ireland and will meet with victims of another sex abuse scandal there. There were reports of sex abuse in 2009.


So he continues to reach out.




British Woman Falls Off of Cruise Ship, Survives 10 Hours in Sea


A 46-year old British woman, Kay Longstaff, fell off a Norwegian Cruise Line ship at midnight on Saturday in waters near Croatia.


The ship circled back around and the Croatian Coast Guard came to look for her. They found her 10 hours later and a mile away, she was alive and swimming, and was rescued.

Kay said she was sitting in the back of the ship when she fell. She treaded water and kept herself afloat.


It is unclear exactly what happened. UK tabloid “The Sun” reported that Kay was under the influence, had an argument with her boyfriend, and jumped. That’s what the article said.


The Coast Guard said it was a miracle she survived, saying her physical fitness helped her, and that she sang to keep herself going.


She was not injured, but was exhausted and had hypothermia (low body temperature).




HUD Complaint: Facebook Enables Housing Discrimination Against Deaf/Disabled People


The U.S. government is accusing Facebook of allowing people to discriminate against deaf or disabled people.


Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), has filed a discrimination complaint against Facebook.


They say Facebook allows advertisers, companies that want to place ads, allows them to -- in housing ads (renting or buying houses) -- Facebook allows them to eliminate various audiences based on their race, religion, disability, and several other identities. They are allowed to eliminate them.  


The HUD says Facebook allows advertisers to choose to not show ads to people who have shown interest in “assistance dog,” “mobility scooter,” “accessibility,” or “deaf culture.”


This means if you click on something that shows you are interested in deaf culture -- Facebook allows people who don’t want those “interested in deaf culture,” potentially deaf people themselves -- advertisers can choose to remove them, which means their ads won’t show up, because they “don’t want” deaf people to rent or buy from them. That is the accustation.


The HUD says Facebook also allows advertisers to draw a red line around zip codes where a majority of minorities live and specify to not show ads to people living in them. It is basically rejection and they can do this.


The HUD says Facebook violates the Fair Housing Act and that the discrimination is ongoing.


A spokesperson for Facebook said it would respond to the complaint in court and that they would work with HUD on their concerns.


So this means for us deaf people or disabled people, we might not realize that we experience discrimination from advertisers based on how we identify ourselves or our online activity.


There is a separate but related lawsuit against Facebook by the National Fair Housing Alliance on similar issues.




That is all for today! See you tomorrow and stay with the light!


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