Three CNN Employees Resign Over Retracted Story on Russia Ties

reports: Three CNN employees have handed in their resignations over a retracted story linking president Trump to Russia, the network announced Monday.

Thomas Frank, who wrote the story in question; Eric Lichtblau, an editor in the unit; and Lex Haris, who oversaw the unit, have all left CNN.

“In the aftermath of the retraction of a story published on CNN.com, CNN has accepted the resignation of the employees involved in the story’s publication,” a network spokesperson told TheWrap in a statement.

On Thursday, CNN investigative reporter Thomas Frank published a story involving an investigation into a Russian investment fund with possible ties to several Trump associates.

According to the network, an internal investigation found that “some standard editorial processes were not followed when the article was published.”

Citing a single unnamed source, the story reported that Congress was investigating a “Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials.”

CNN explained Monday that “these types of stories” usually would go through several departments, including fact-checkers, journalism standards experts and lawyers.

But the network says there was a “breakdown in editorial workflow” which “disturbed the CNN executives who learned about it.”

The network’s investigative unit was told during a meeting on Monday that the retraction did not necessarily mean the facts of the story were wrong. But, rather, “the story wasn’t solid enough to publish as-is,” according CNN.com.

The story, which only appeared on the network’s site, was quickly disputed on Friday, as one Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci — who was mentioned in the story — pushed back on  Frank’s reporting, insisting he “did nothing wrong.” Read the rest of this entry »


ISIS Militants in Syria Bitch-Slapped Back to the Stone Age by UAE’s First Female Bomber

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Maj. Mariam Al Mansouri is believed to be the first woman from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to become an Emirates Air Force pilot

Maj. Mariam Al Mansouri, 35, joined the United Arab Emirates’ air force once the military branch accepted women. 

The first female pilot in the United Arab Emirates’ air force is reportedly taking part in the coalition air strikes against ISIS militants hiding in Syria.

“A woman’s passion about something will lead her to achieving what she aspires and that’s why she should pursue her interests.”

— Maj. Mariam Al Mansouri

Maj. Mariam Al Mansouri, 35, is a squadron commander piloting an F-16 Block 60 fighter jet likely among those dropping munitions this week in coordinated attacks against Islamic State strongholds near Raqqa, Aleppo and Idlib.

Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar also provided support, logistics and aircraft in the strikes against the terrorists.

She graduated the academy in 2008 and now pilots an F-16 Block 60 fighter jet, likely among those taking part in the air strikes against Islamic State terrorists in Syria.

Al Mansouri, an Abu Dhabi native who holds an undergraduate degree in English literature, was among the first women to join the UAE Air Force academy when it finally allowed female members and she graduated in 2008, The National of UAE reported. Read the rest of this entry »


Netanyahu’s (Popularity 82%) Warns Obama (Mideast Handling Approval 39%) ‘Don’t Second Guess Me On Hamas’

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Following the quick collapse of the cease-fire in Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the White House not to force a truce with Palestinian militants on Israel.bibi-warns

[Obama Rated Poorly on Mideast Conflict]

[Netanyahu’s Popularity Soars to 82%]

Sources familiar with conversations between Netanyahu and senior U.S. officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, say the Israeli leader advised the Obama administration “not to ever second guess me again” on the matter. The officials also said Netanyahu said he should be “trusted” on the issue and about the unwillingness of Hamas to enter into and follow through on cease-fire talks.

The Obama administration on Friday condemned “outrageous” violations of an internationally brokered Gaza cease-fire by Palestinian militants and called the apparent abduction of an Israeli soldier a “barbaric” action.

The strong reaction came as top Israeli officials questioned the effort to forge the truce, accusing the U.S. and the United Nations of being naive in assuming the radical Hamas movement would adhere with its terms. The officials also blamed the Gulf state of Qatar for not forcing the militants to comply. Read the rest of this entry »


Zaha Hadid Insists–Really Insists–Al Wakrah World Cup Stadium ‘Doesn’t Resemble’ a Giant Vagina. And She’s Very Annoyed, Too.

Al-Wakrah stadiumZaha Hadid, the world’s best-known female architect, is none too pleased with critics like Jon Stewart, who have mocked her Al Wakrah Stadium—designed with AECOM for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar—and likened her to the “Georgia O’Keeffe of things you can walk inside.”

“It’s really embarrassing that they come up with nonsense like this,” Hadid tells TIME exclusively. “What are they saying? Everything with a hole in it is a vagina? That’s ridiculous.”

Really, Hadid, this is news to you? You’re shocked, shocked? Good response. How’s that working for you?  Keep doing that, see how it goes.

The curved, open roof is meant to evoke the the sail of the dhow, a traditional fishing boat common in Qatar. “Honestly, if a guy had done this project,” she adds, critics would not be making such lewd comparisons.

Honestly, Hadid, such lewd comparisons are made all the time–architecture that features blatantly phallic imagery is abundant, and it’s called out constantly. Often by female critics, as well as male, taking sarcastic glee in mocking the obvious symbolism. Regardless of the gender of the architect or designer. Buildings that resemble genitalia get attention and stir controversy. Always. So quit complaining. Your gigantic vagina stadium is getting exactly the kind of attention you designed it to get, and for the reason you designed it this way, to spark the controversy. We’re not blind. Nice work. The global attention to your design must be so inconvenient! 

Read the rest of this entry »


ESPN Removes, Apologizes for Qatar Puff Piece by Writer Who Received ‘All-Expenses Paid Trip’

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ESPN apologized for and removed a puff piece about Qatar and the 2022 World Cup by writer Phil Ball from its website on Friday after the outlet was lambasted when it was revealed that Ball, the writer, had received an “all-expenses paid” trip to Qatar to write the article.

In what read like a promotional article for the oil-rich nation amidst intense criticism Qatar is receiving for hosting the World Cup in what may be dangerous temperatures and using low-wage workers in “slave-labor conditions” to build the infrastructure, Ball wrote that the “witch hunt” against Qatar was being led an “anti-Qatari brigade” of “Western journalists who have never stepped foot in the country, according to Business Insider.

The article also mentioned that the “space-age stadium cooling system that the Qataris promise will protect players and fans from the oppressive summer heat ‘will work,'” without offering an explanation of how.

Read the rest of this entry »