News or ‘Trauma Porn’? Student Journalists Face Blowback on Campus PSP Hacks

News or ‘Trauma Porn’? Student Journalists Face Blowback on Campus PSP Hacks thumbnail

Incidents at Northwestern and Harvard reveal a growing tension between traditional journalistic practices and the demands of student activists.

Credit…Evan Jenkins for The New York Times

EVANSTON, Ill. — Jeff Sessions, President Trump’s former attorney general, was speaking to a packed lecture hall on Northwestern University’s campus last week, but the real action was unfolding offstage.

Student protesters were pushing through a back door of the building. The police confronted them and tried, unsuccessfully, to block their entrance. Colin Boyle, a student photographer for The Daily Northwestern, the campus newspaper, captured it all.

After the event, Ying Dai, one of the students, saw a photo of herself on his Twitter feed — sprawled painfully on the floor — and addressed him directly.

“Colin please can we stop this trauma porn,” she wrote on Twitter. “I was on the ground being shoved and pushed hard by the police. You don’t have to intervene but you also didn’t have to put a camera in front of me top down.”

By the end of the night, Mr. Boyle had deleted the picture, and not long after, editors at The Daily Northwestern published a statement apologizing for their journalists having posted photographs of protesters on social media, and for using the school directory to attempt to contact students.

The newspaper’s response set off a national firestorm this week. Prominent professional journalists derided the apology and weighed in to note, often incredulously, that the Northwestern journalists had been doing some of the most basic, standard work that reporters have always done — watching public events, interviewing people and describing what they saw.

“The Daily had an obligation to capture the event, both for the benefit of its current audience as well as for posterity,” Charles Whitaker, dean of Northwestern’s highly acclaimed Medill journalism school, said in a lengthy statement he issued as the debate roiled the journalism profession.

The episode was the latest in a series of flare-ups on college campuses across the country, where shifting sensibilities and heightened criticism of the media have made the environment thornier for student journalists.

In interviews, some student journalists said they had addressed the clashes by adhering to what they described as core tenets of a free press. Others said they found themselves struggling to meet two dueling goals: responding to the changing expectations of the students they cover, particularly from those on the political left, while upholding widely accepted standards of journalism.

“Nobody at this point quite knows how to do that,” said Olivia Olander, 19, a sophomore who covered the Sessions speech for Northwestern News Network, a television channel on campus. “Everybody’s trying to figure out a solution and still be good journalists along the way.”

At a time when some say heightened sensitivities have become the norm on American campuses, it is not uncommon for college newspaper editors to be confronted by students who are upset at being photographed in a public place without being asked for their permission; who view receiving a text message or phone call from a reporter as an invasion of their privacy; and who expect journalists to help assuage their concerns that graphic images in a newspaper could cause trauma to readers.

Greta Bjornson, who worked last academic year as the editor of The Vermont Cynic, a student newspaper at the University of Vermont, said that student activists sometimes raised valid points about a lack of diversity on the newspaper staff. Other times, she said, they would ask to change a headline after publication, or would decline to talk to reporters.

“It’s just changing so quickly,” said Ms. Bjornson, 22. “I think it’s just a tricky time, especially to be a student journalist. No matter what you do, I feel like you’re going to make somebody angry.”

In Evanston, the lakefront suburb of Chicago that is home to Northwestern, students who were involved in the conflict over coverage of the Sessions speech said they had endured several days of painful but ultimately fruitful discussions, culminating with The Daily’s apologetic statement on Sunday.

“Ultimately, The Daily failed to consider our impact in our reporting surrounding Jeff Sessions,” said the statement, signed by eight editors. “We know we hurt students that night, especially those who identify with marginalized groups.”

In an interview, Mr. Boyle, 21, the student photographer who deleted photographs he had posted, said that while he supported the First Amendment, he did not intend to cause trauma to the people he photographed.

“There was definitely a lot of panic,” Mr. Boyle, a senior majoring in journalism who grew up in Chicago, said of his reaction to being criticized. “There was me being worried that I’m hurting people with my coverage.”

Troy Closson, the editor in chief of The Daily Northwestern, wrote on Twitter that he felt added pressure as only the third African-American student to hold the top position at the paper in its more than 135-year history. “Being in this role and balancing our coverage and the role of this paper on campus with my racial identity — and knowing how our paper has historically failed students of color, and particularly black students, has been incredibly challenging to navigate,” he wrote.

Mr. Whitaker, the Medill dean, defended The Daily, but criticized the paper’s decision to apologize.

“I have also offered that it is naïve, not to mention wrongheaded, to declare, as many of our student activists have, that The Daily staff and other student journalists had somehow violated the personal space of the protesters by reporting on the proceedings, which were conducted in the open and were designed, ostensibly, to garner attention,” he said.

In a coffee shop in Evanston on Tuesday, Ms. Dai, 23, the student who had questioned Mr. Boyle’s photograph of her, said that she and other activists were trying to challenge journalistic norms and push for a more sensitive approach to reporting that considers the vulnerability of the people whose lives are portrayed.

“We weren’t there to get in the newspaper,” she said of the protest at the Sessions event. “We weren’t there to get national attention. People still hold dear that their journalistic duty is the most important thing, and that’s not the case.”

Campus activists and student journalists have long wrestled with tensions. In 1990, students burned copies of The University Daily Kansan after an editor changed the publication’s style for referring to African-American students from “Black” to “black.” At the time, the change brought the newspaper in line with the style of The Associated Press, but it was seen as offensive by some on campus.

In 2015, students at Wesleyan University petitioned to deny funds to the campus paper after a student wrote a column voicing skepticism about the Black Lives Matter movement. And at the University of Missouri that year, an assistant professor called for “some muscle” to remove a journalist who was trying to photograph an encampment of protesters seeking action to address racial issues.

At Harvard this year, more than a dozen student groups have joined a boycott of a student-run newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, over its coverage of a student protest calling for the abolition of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

The controversy centered on the reporters’ decision to contact ICE officials for comment after the rally. Groups like Act on a Dream, the immigrants’ rights advocacy group that organized the rally, criticized the paper on social media for reaching out to the federal agency, saying that doing so had put undocumented students who participated in the rally in danger.

In a note to readers, The Crimson’s president, Kristine E. Guillaume, and its managing editor, Angela N. Fu, said that in their view a core principle of journalism was at stake in the dispute — that of contacting every person or organization relevant to a story to seek their comment.

While The Crimson’s top editors have stood their ground, Act on a Dream and others have posted an online petition demanding that the paper apologize for “the harm they inflicted on the undocumented community” and that it change its policies. The groups have said they will boycott The Crimson by declining any interview requests until the paper changes its practices.

Those signing the petition included the Harvard College Democrats; the Phillips Brooks House Association, Harvard’s largest community service organization; and several groups representing Latino and black students.

The debate has reached the student government, which voted narrowly to issue a statement criticizing The Crimson and expressing solidarity with Act on a Dream.

And there has been dissent within The Crimson. Danu Mudannayake, 21, a senior who is an illustrator at the paper, said in an interview, “We just internally want to see more done to address the concerns on campus and not uphold this quite cold front that ‘We are a newspaper at the end of the day, and that is before anything else.’”

She suggested that the era called for a different kind of journalism, particularly for student journalists.

“We can still be serious student journalists, but still have more empathy,” she said. “I think the question of empathetic journalism is, at least for us on the inside, what’s at the heart of it.”

Hadar Harris, the executive director of the Washington-based Student Press Law Center, said she saw the incidents at Harvard and Northwestern as a reflection of a polarized society beyond colleges. She said student journalists often face the pressure of reporting in real time to a wider audience, and may not have all the training and support they need.

On most large college campuses, including Northwestern’s, students manage, write and publish newspapers independently. Some publications have faculty advisers, but the final editorial decisions are generally made by students.

“No one wants to be sexist or racist or homophobic,” Ms. Harris said. “There needs to be training to enable student journalists to really cover these complicated issues without being buffeted by political concerns.”

For Robyn Cawley, editor in chief of The Daily Cardinal at the University of Wisconsin, it was a small relief that the confrontation in Evanston had happened far away from her turf in Madison.

“I was thinking, like, imagine if this had happened on our campus,” she said. “We would have sent somebody to the protest. We wouldn’t have given it a second thought. You’re out in public, you’re protesting, it’s very likely you’re going to have some sort of media coverage there.”

Ms. Cawley, who is majoring in English and environmental studies, said she had occasionally felt pressure from fellow students who have tried to exert control over the paper’s coverage. Once, she said, a former volunteer with the College Democrats urged her to take down an article, arguing that it presented them in an unflattering light.

“I was like, of course you’re not going to like it,” she said. “Good for you. That’s the point of journalism.”

Julie Bosman reported from Evanston, Mitch Smith from Chicago and Kate Taylor from Cambridge, Mass. Susan Beachy contributed research from New York.

Read More

New CDC Report on Superbugs Is Full of Bad News PSP Hacks

New CDC Report on Superbugs Is Full of Bad News PSP Hacks thumbnail

The U.S. and the world continue to lose ground against antibiotic resistance, according to a new report out this week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And among other things, the number of superbugs that pose a dire threat to the health of Americans has only gotten larger in the past half decade.

In 2013, the CDC issued a first of its kind report on antibiotic resistant infections in the U.S. It provided a conservative estimate of how often these infections sicken and kill Americans every year, as well as listed off a rogues gallery’s of resistant fungi and bacteria that were becoming common problems. These microbes were ranked by threat level, from concerning to urgent. Back then, the CDC estimated that more than 2 million people in the U.S. contracted these infections annually, while at least 23,000 died as a result.

By 2019, the situation has only gotten worse. The CDC’s latest estimates are that nearly 3 million people get infected by superbugs annually, while 35,900 die. And not only is the overall health impact of these infections growing, so are the dangerous pathogens that cause them.

“This report should raise the alarm for everyone concerned about protecting and improving health against infectious diseases. While its focus is on the United States, the findings will echo around the world,” Tim Jinks, head of the UK-based research charity Wellcome Trust’s Drug-Resistant Infections Program, said in a statement provided to Gizmodo.

Indeed, the CDC report comes on the heels of a similarly depressing report from Canadian experts also released this week. It found that 26 percent of infections suffered by Canadians every year resist the front-line antibiotics used to treat them—and that number may rise to 40 percent by 2050.

Two new infections have been added to the CDC’s urgent list of resistant infections since 2013: a hardy type of fungi called Candida auris (C. auris) and Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter, a gram negative bacteria that’s often harmless to healthy people but dangerous to hospital patients. These infections join Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile), a group of bacteria called Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), and drug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the bug that causes the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea.

Of these urgent infections, C. difficile is thought to cause the lion’s share of harm, with 223,900 estimated cases in hospitalized patients along with 12,800 deaths annually (the CDC report is even dedicated to the families of people killed by C. difficile). But there’s also CRE, given the charming nickname of “nightmare bacteria” because many infections already resist nearly every available antibiotic used against it. Gonorrhea, too, is on the short list of bacteria that may soon become resistant to all of the front-line drugs we have for it.

Along with the categories of risk included in the 2013 report, the 2019 version has also now added a “Watch List” of potential threats. These include strains of the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus resistant to the azole class of antifungals, resistant Mycoplasma genitalium, another sexually transmitted disease, and resistant Bordetella pertussis, the bacteria that causes pertussis, or whooping cough (unlike most of the bugs on the list, there’s an effective childhood vaccine for the disease, but people might lose their immunity to it quicker than we thought).

“The report reiterates that this is not a stagnant problem—that we have to be ever vigilant because it does change,” Kathy Talkington, project director of the Antibiotic Resistance Project at Pew Charitable Trusts, told Gizmodo by phone.

Talkington noted that the U.S. has made some small progress in combating the risk factors that promote antibiotic resistance.

In 2017, for instance, the Food and Drug Administration instituted restrictions on the use of antibiotics for livestock, such as mandating that any use is first signed off by a veterinarian. Following the new rules, sales of livestock antibiotics have seemingly declined, though the latest data won’t be available until the end of this year. The vast majority of hospitals in the U.S. have also implemented stewardship programs meant to reduce the overprescription of antibiotics to outpatients and children, and there’s evidence that prescription rates have decreased among both groups in recent years, according to the CDC.

But the somber truth is that these minor victories are just that. Rampant antibiotic overuse continues unimpeded in many areas of the world. And the development pipeline of new antibiotics and other therapies that can treat resistant infections has slowed to a crawl, as many pharmaceutical companies have decided to abandon antibiotic research altogether due to a lack of profitability. And while governments and private organizations have created new funding models that are starting to convince some companies to pursue antibiotic research, it’s unclear whether these efforts will be timely or large enough as things stand.

“We’ve succeeded in the past. In the early 1980s, we had the heyday of antibiotic development and we were able to stay ahead of this issue,” Talkington said. “We still have the capacity and the ability to do it today, but we need the political will and adequate resources—because currently, we are losing the battle.”

There’s no immediate future where antibiotics stop working for all infections. But our lives and those of our loved ones will change for the worse long before we reach that point. Everything from giving birth to receiving a life-saving transplant depends on antibiotics to keep people safe. Without any significant advances against antibiotic resistance in the years to come, more of us will needlessly suffer and die.

Read More

There’s Weirdly a Lot of *Game of Thrones* News Right Now PSP Hacks

There's Weirdly a Lot of *Game of Thrones* News Right Now PSP Hacks thumbnail

Happy Halloween, ghouls and goblins! Welcome to a (possibly) spooky edition of The Monitor, WIRED’s culture news roundup. What do we have in store for you this holiday? Let’s just say if you didn’t dress up as Jon Snow today because you thought the costume would be out of vogue, you needn’t have worried. Game of Thrones, despite having ended five months ago, is once again all over the news. Don’t know why? Read on.

HBO Isn’t Moving Forward With Game of Thrones Prequel Starring Naomi Watts

Less than a day after news broke that Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss were stepping away from their planned Star Wars movie trilogy, Deadline reported that a prequel for their show was also on ice. Per the report, the crew and cast of the show’s pilot, which included Naomi Watts, were told recently that HBO was passing on the show. The series, co-created by Kingsman writer Jane Goldman and George R. R. Martin, was intended to take place thousands of years before the events in Game of Thrones.

But Wait! A Different Game of Thrones Prequel Is Happening

OK, so one Game of Thrones show may have been burned, but another is rising from its ashes. During WarnerMedia’s HBO Max presentation to investors this week, the company revealed that it had ordered 10 episodes of a different GoT prequel. House of the Dragon, based on George R. R. Martin’s Fire & Blood, will be set 300 years before Thrones and will tell the origin story of House Targaryen. No word yet on when it’ll hit HBO.

You Might Be Getting HBO Max for Free

Speaking of HBO, the network’s parent companies, WarnerMedia and AT&T, have finally revealed the launch date for the new streaming service HBO Max. The service will come online in May 2020, and while it’s set to cost $14.99 per month, you just might get it for free. If you already subscribe to HBO Now and are billed directly through HBO (and not, say, Amazon Prime), you’ll get a free year. The same goes for folks who currently get HBO through one of AT&T’s video services, like AT&T TV or U-Verse TV. Happy streaming!


More Great WIRED Stories

Read More

Star Wars News: ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ Will Address the Toxic Rey-Kylo Relationship PSP Hacks

Star Wars News: 'The Rise of Skywalker' Will Address the Toxic Rey-Kylo Relationship PSP Hacks thumbnail

First, the news you really want: The new trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will debut tonight during ABC’s Monday night football game. Actually, if you’re reading this in the evening, you might want to check to see if the trailer has dropped already. Go look. It’s OK; we’ll wait.

Back? Great, we’ll continue. Here are some of the other things that have been happening in the Star Wars universe.

The Ballad of Rey and Ren Will Conclude in Rise of Skywalker

The source: Daisy Ridley herself

Probability of accuracy: If Rey doesn’t know what her character is doing in a movie that’s already finished shooting, then something really problematic is going down in the editing bay.

The real deal: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is either going to be a shipper’s dream or their nightmare. As Daisy Ridley told Entertainment Weekly recently, the movie will properly address the relationship between Rey and Kylo Ren. “Obviously, there’s this whole Reylo thing and some people are very passionate about it, some aren’t,” she said. “J.J. does deal with [it] … It’s a very complex issue. People talk about toxic relationships and whatever it is. It’s no joke and I think it’s dealt with really well because it’s not skimmed over.” Well, that surely gives fans a lot to ponder, and fight over, for the next few months.

Does the Force Control Star Wars?

The source: Former Star Wars voice actor Freddie Prinze Jr.

Probability of accuracy: This one is very, very difficult to nail down. Trust your instincts.

The real deal: Could an interview from May—recently uploaded in new form on Instagram—hold the key to how the story will end in The Rise of Skywalker? That’s what many are wondering after an interview with Star Wars: Rebels voice actor Freddie Prinze Jr. from Jeff Dye’s Friendship Podcast re-emerged, with the actor holding court on just how the Force works, as explained to him by George Lucas acolyte Dave Filoni. “Luke’s skill doesn’t dictate whether he wins or loses [in the original trilogy],” he said. “The Emperor doesn’t dictate whether he wins or loses. The Force dictates who wins and loses based on balance.” Indeed, the Force is so focused on balance, he explained, that when Anakin Skywalker went over to the Dark Side, doubling the power of the Sith, the Force responded in an unexpected manner. “It gives us twins. Luke and Leia. Two and fucking two. Balance. And if you look at the movie through just that simple perspective, you will not only know why every single bad guy loses and every single good guy loses, you’ll know who’s going to win and lose in the next fucking movies,” he added. By that logic, it should be remembered that Luke’s death in The Last Jedi left things in balance as Rey stepped up to even things out against Kylo Ren … but what will the rumored return of Palpatine do to that status quo?

Tony Gilroy Is Joining the Cassian Andor Disney+ Show

The source: Online reporting

Probability of accuracy: This appears to be legitimate information.

The real deal: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story‘s secret weapon, Tony Gilroy—who wrote and directed the reshoots that significantly changed portions of the finished feature—will be returning to a galaxy far, far away with the news that he’ll write the pilot and direct multiple episodes of the in-development Cassian Andor prequel series being made for Disney+. Gilroy will work beside showrunner Stephen Schiff (The Americans). The series doesn’t have a premiere date yet, which means there’s plenty of time for Disney and Lucasfilm to try and bring Rogue One director Gareth Edwards on board for an episode or two.

Now ‘Jedi’ Can Finally Be Used in Scrabble

The source: The OED

Probability of accuracy: This is as real as it gets; it’s in a dictionary.

The real deal: Meanwhile, in the real world, a Star Wars fan has clearly started working at the Oxford English Dictionary, which just added a bunch of new words to future editions, including “Jedi,” “Padawan” and even “lightsabre”—yes, the spelling is wrong, but what can you do? Interestingly enough, the OED also added an additional meaning for the word “force,” which begins, “In the fictional universe of the Star Wars films: a mystical universal energy field …” Yoda would be proud.


More Great WIRED Stories

Read More

A “Safe” Smoking Gadget, Vodka Made From Air, and More News PSP Hacks

A “Safe” Smoking Gadget, Vodka Made From Air, and More News PSP Hacks thumbnail

Tobacco is warming and new alcohols are forming, but first, a cartoon about the dangers of self-diagnosis.

Here’s the news you need to know, in two minutes or less.

Want to receive this two-minute roundup as an email every weekday? Sign up here!

Today’s Headlines

A new smoking gadget says its safe. Should you trust it?

A new product is vying to be your vice: the Iqos. The Iqos warms—instead of burning—the tobacco. By mixing it with other solvents, it creates a more pure form of nicotine that avoids the tar that contributes to lung disease. While the FDA approved the device, it also approved previous devices that have put American lungs in danger, and scientists say the device may present unique challenges that haven’t been studied all that much.

This martini wants to kill climate change one sip at a time

An invention that electrolyzes carbon dioxide and a dose of water into ethanol has a new function: making vodka out of thin air. The topically named Air vodka doesn’t require resources typical vodka would, and the manufacturing process takes CO2 right out of the air. Little by little, Air could get you drunk and kill climate change.

Fast Fact: 550 Million Metric Tons

That’s how much methane is emitted each year on Earth, a little more than half of which is human-caused. Identifying the top offenders helps control the leaks, so California sent planes to the sky to investigate.

WIRED Recommends: Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition

Your kid is ready for a device, but you’re not quite ready to unleash the full power of the internet upon them. Take a peek at our favorite kids tablet. (Disclaimer: There was a $40 off deal earlier today, but it’s over now. Strap in for Black Friday, shoppers!)

News You Can Use

Here’s how to opt out of the sites that sell your personal data.

This daily roundup is available as a newsletter. You can sign up right here to make sure you get the news delivered fresh to your inbox every weekday!

Read More

A Mind-Boggling Uber Oversight, a Firefox Scam, and More News PSP Hacks

A Mind-Boggling Uber Oversight, a Firefox Scam, and More News PSP Hacks thumbnail

Firefox users are gettin’ scammed and Uber is gettin’ slammed—but first, a cartoon about not liking what you see in the mirror.

Here’s the news you need to know, in two minutes or less.

Want to receive this two-minute roundup as an email every weekday? Sign up here!

Today’s Headlines

Uber’s self-driving car didn’t know pedestrians could jaywalk

New documents released as part of a federal investigation reveal that the self-driving car that killed an Arizona woman last year was not designed to detect pedestrians outside of a crosswalk. It is the most damning of a set of details that show Uber’s failures to consider how humans actually do things.

Scammers are exploiting a Firefox bug to freeze your browser

Scammers are taking advantage of a Firefox bug that causes your browser to lock up and display this message:

Please stop and do not close the PC … The registry key of your computer is locked. Why did we block your computer? The Windows registry key is illegal. The Windows desktop is using pirated software. The Window desktop sends viruses over the Internet. This Windows desktop is hacked. We block this computer for your safety.

It then tells you to call a toll-free number—but you know the drill: Don’t call the number, and force-quit the browser. Mozilla says it’s actively working on a fix.

Fast Fact: $60 Million

That’s how much AT&T was fined for throttling “unlimited” plans in 2011. The FTC says the company slowed unlimited plans that went over as little as 2 GB per month down to a crawl, and never told the customers. The money from the fine will be used to give partial refunds to those affected.

WIRED Recommends: The Best Robot Vacuums

If you’re still vacuuming your house yourself, get with the times and let the robots take over. Not sure which to get? Our reviewers have you covered.

News You Can Use

Here’s a book list on how to manage your time.

This daily roundup is available as a newsletter. You can sign up right here to make sure you get the news delivered fresh to your inbox every weekday!

Read More

Playstation 5 Is Coming, Elon’s in Trouble Again, and More News PSP Hacks

Playstation 5 Is Coming, Elon’s in Trouble Again, and More News PSP Hacks thumbnail

We’ve finally got details on the next PlayStation, Elon Musk is in trouble again, and tiny keyboards are having a moment. Here’s the news you need to know, in two minutes or less.

Want to receive this two-minute roundup as an email every weekday? Sign up here!

Today’s Headlines

A deeper look at the PlayStation 5

Yes, the PlayStation 5 is real, and it’s coming next year. The PS5 is set to come with a lightning-fast solid-state drive (bye-bye, loading screens), a next-gen controller that has “adaptive triggers” offering varying degrees of resistance (so shooting a bow and arrow might actually feel like shooting a bow and arrow), and a much-improved UI. “We’re stepping into the generation of immediacy. In mobile games, we expect a game to download in moments, and to be just a few taps from jumping right in,” says Laura Miele, chief studio officer for EA. “Now we’re able to tackle that in a big way.” The console is expected to be available toward the end of 2020.

Elon Musk’s mouth, and tweets, land him in trouble again

Months after Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted an unfounded claim insinuating a British cave expert was a pedophile to his millions of followers, court filings reveal a behind-the-scenes scramble, and even more drama. One nugget from the files: Musk hired a convicted felon posing as a private investigator to probe said cave expert. But according to emails also in the filing, Musk has regrets. “I’m a fucking idiot,” he wrote to a public relations adviser in September 2018.

Fast Fact: 614 Horsepower

That’s how much power two new dual-engined electric Bollinger vehicles will boast. The rugged vehicles—an SUV and a truck—are specifically designed for off-roading, can carry a 5,000-pound payload, and go 200 miles on a charge.

WIRED Recommends: Tiny Keyboards

All those gizmos and gadgets stacked up on your desk mean you’ll do anything for more space. Enter the tiny keyboard movement, where custom configurations and fewer keys can shrink your keyboard to the size of a king-size candy bar.

News You Can Use

Here’s how to donate or recycle your old Lego bricks.

This daily roundup is available as a newsletter. You can sign up right here to make sure you get the news delivered fresh to your inbox every weekday!

Read More

CNN is prepping an online news aggregator to counter tech giants PSP Hacks

Other possible stand-out features could include fostering communities for events and issues as as know-how from local affiliates and news outlets. It’s not certain when the service might launch.

Morse wasn’t shy about the reasoning: this is about preventing the tech world from having too much clout in news. He also argued that CNN had an inherent edge as a news organization. This is the company’s focus, not electronics or social networking.

Whether or not this works is another matter. Apple, Facebook and now Amazon have inherent advantages. Apple and Amazon can bundle and promote their apps with their hardware while CNN has to ask people to download an app. And when many people already use Facebook for daily updates even before the News Tab arrives, it may be difficult to tear them away. Moreover, CNN might not be alone when WSJ owner News Corp is developing its own service. The broadcaster is entering an increasingly crowded field with participants from both tech and traditional news, and it’s not guaranteed that CNN’s offering will rise above the rest.

Read More

The Trump Impeachment Inquiry: Latest News PSP Hacks

The Trump Impeachment Inquiry: Latest News PSP Hacks thumbnail

Politics|The Trump Impeachment Inquiry: What Happened Today

A remarkable news conference seemed to confirm a central premise of the House’s investigation.

Noah Weiland

  • Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, told reporters that the Trump administration withheld nearly $400 million in military aid to pressure Ukraine to investigate an unfounded conspiracy theory about the 2016 election. That effectively confirmed a premise of the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

  • Asked whether he had just admitted to a quid pro quo, Mr. Mulvaney said, “We do that all the time with foreign policy.” Hours later, he tried to reverse his statement, saying, “There was absolutely no quid pro quo.” (Read his conflicting statements here.)

  • In testimony before impeachment investigators, President Trump’s ambassador to the E.U., Gordon Sondland, said the president had essentially delegated American foreign policy on Ukraine to Rudy Giuliani, and had refused the counsel of his top diplomats. Mr. Giuliani’s goal, Mr. Sondland said, may have been “to involve Ukrainians, directly or indirectly, in the president’s 2020 re-election campaign.”


Video

Video player loading

The acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, told reporters that military aid was held back in part to prod Ukraine to investigate Democrats, undercutting President Trump’s denial of a quid pro quo.CreditCredit…Leigh Vogel for The New York Times

Impeachment investigators have been gathering evidence for weeks to prove what Mr. Mulvaney freely admitted to reporters in the White House Briefing Room. I talked to my colleague Maggie Haberman about why he said something so stunning.

Maggie, whoa. That happened in front of reporters at the White House.

The briefing was jaw-dropping by any metric. He admitted to a quid pro quo. But it showed once again something you and I talked about two weeks ago: Mr. Trump tries to shift the window on conduct by revealing stuff publicly to take the sting out of its discovery. Mr. Mulvaney insisted the terminology doesn’t matter, but he bluntly acknowledged that aid was withheld from Ukraine to get a desired outcome on an investigation. That is at the heart of what Democrats have been trying to ascertain.

Was it actually the plan for him to do this?

I do think it was, yes — at least in part. Remember, this happened as Mr. Sondland was on the Hill giving a closed-door deposition. So I think Mr. Mulvaney was trying to rob House Democrats of a headline and frame the events on his own, to take the air out of the sails by saying it out loud. But it’s not clear that he was actually supposed to say there was a quid pro quo. It’s breathtaking that he’s the first person they’ve sent out to expressly discuss these issues and that he said so much.

How might this affect the impeachment investigation?

He came out and admitted to a lot of what House Democrats were hoping to get from him in a deposition! I can’t imagine the White House counsel and others were thrilled. Mr. Mulvaney and the counsel’s office have been at odds lately.

Since we’re talking about Mr. Mulvaney, why is he the guy Mr. Trump has wanted as his air traffic controller with Ukraine and now impeachment?

He’s what Mr. Trump thinks he needs. When he sold himself to Mr. Trump as chief of staff, part of his pitch was that he had run two agencies and that both were drama-free. But the president grinds down guardrails, and Mr. Mulvaney wants job security. He has the same problem the other Trump chiefs of staff have had, which is this concern about self-preservation that can be at odds with the needs of the president. I think he was willing to go out and be the “human hand grenade,” to borrow a turn of phrase from the Fiona Hill testimony.

I’m sensing some irony in the outcome, then.

Mr. Mulvaney’s job has been perceived as being in jeopardy. There isn’t a clear replacement for him right now, but he may not have helped himself today. We don’t yet know how Mr. Trump feels about what Mr. Mulvaney said. But if past is prelude, if it proves problematic, the president will blame Mr. Mulvaney.


On Thursday, the president was in Texas, the vice president and secretary of state in Turkey, and Mr. Mulvaney on his own in the briefing room. One of Mr. Trump’s personal lawyers even put out a statement saying the president’s legal team “was not involved.” Here’s how my colleague Katie Rogers, who was in the room, described the scene:

Reporters knew this was big news right away, and I think you saw the incredulity in the questions that were asked of him. We kept asking the same question in different ways, which was essentially: “How is what you’re telling us not an acknowledgment of something the president has outright denied?” The first time he said it, I emailed our White House team saying, “Did he actually just link Ukraine conspiracy theories to withholding aid?” All of us in the room were trying to figure out if what we were watching was actually happening.


  • Representative Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat hailed as a powerful moral voice in American politics, died Thursday at the age of 68. His death left a void in the impeachment investigation: Mr. Cummings was chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, one of the committees leading the inquiry.

  • Rick Perry told the president today that he would resign from his position as energy secretary. His resignation had long been anticipated, even before news emerged of his involvement in efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate the energy company Hunter Biden worked for.

  • The Washington Post looked into the taxpayer-funded renovation of Mr. Sondland’s residence in Brussels, which includes more than $400,000 to remodel the kitchen and a $95,000 outdoor “living pod.”


The Impeachment Briefing is also available as a newsletter. Sign up here to get it in your inbox every weeknight.

Read More

Late Night Pokes Holes in Fox News’ Attempts to Discredit Decorated Soldier PSP Hacks

Late Night Pokes Holes in Fox News’ Attempts to Discredit Decorated Soldier PSP Hacks thumbnail

Television|Late Night Pokes Holes in Fox News’ Attempts to Discredit Decorated Soldier

Best of Late Night

Credit…NBC

Welcome to Best of Late Night, a rundown of the previous night’s highlights that lets you sleep — and lets us get paid to watch comedy. If you’re interested in hearing from The Times regularly about great TV, sign up for our Watching newsletter and get recommendations straight to your inbox.

Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, told House impeachment investigators on Tuesday that the White House stymied his efforts to ensure that a transcript of a July call between President Trump and Ukraine’s president did not omit crucial details. Some conservatives, including the Fox News host Laura Ingraham, cast aspersions on Colonel Vindman’s loyalties because he emigrated from Ukraine as young child.

Credit…CreditVideo by The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

[Imitating Trump] What do you mean, he’s an immigrant? I didn’t know those came in white. You know what? He must be — it must be some sort of Man-lania.” — STEPHEN COLBERT

“He says he reported it out of a ‘sense of duty’ to the country. To which Trump said, ‘a sense of what to the who?’” — JAMES CORDEN

“He has a Purple Heart and he has a Harvard degree — or as Trump put it, ‘Psh, who are you going to believe: him or me?’” — JIMMY FALLON

“But what does he know? He’s just a decorated war veteran. He’s never even bankrupted a casino.” — JAMES CORDEN

“So of course the first question for these Republicans is ‘How do we destroy this man?’ The patriots over at Fox News found it very suspicious that our top Ukraine expert is from Ukraine. And it is suspicious when you learn someone in the Trump administration has actual expertise in his field.” — JIMMY KIMMEL

“Now, mind you, uh, he was 3 years old when he came to the U.S., so he didn’t move here — he was moved here by his parents. Right? Because now they’re making it seem like he was like a double agent for Ukraine. Like, what kind of baby spy thriller were you watching?” — TREVOR NOAH

“Hey, Laura Ingraham, you’re attacking a decorated veteran to protect Donald Trump. Who do you think you are, Donald Trump? And by the way, yes, Colonel Vindman emigrated from Ukraine when he was 3. Nobody even remembers where they were when they were 3, with the possible exception of you. I’m sure when you were 3 you were already at Saks Fifth Avenue making a salesperson cry.” — SETH MEYERS

“And hey, do you really think it’s smart to attack veterans on Fox News? Veterans make up a pretty good chunk of your audience. I think it goes veterans, people visiting their elderly relatives, and rage-aholic golfers age 73 and up.” — SETH MEYERS

“Somehow the Ukrainians managed to indoctrinate a toddler to use our potties and do their bidding to one day bring down the president of the United States.” — JIMMY KIMMEL

“The president and first lady were handing out candy. What kind of music do you play when you have a bunch of little kids coming over? That’s right — Michael Jackson. I guess — maybe they don’t get HBO at the White House.” — JIMMY KIMMEL

“As you can see, Trump is dressed in the same unconvincing president costume he’s had on since 2016.” — JAMES CORDEN

“And the kids were super excited, until they got the bill.” — SETH MEYERS

“It’s true — yesterday, kids trick-or-treated at the White House. Yeah, Trump only gave the kids candy if they promised to investigate Joe Biden.” — CONAN O’BRIEN

“Some of them were disappointed and asked, ‘What happened to that nice family that used to live here?’” — CONAN O’BRIEN

“Melania handed out candy, while Trump took it back. [As Trump] ‘Sorry, kid, executive privilege.’” — SETH MEYERS

“What a spooky experience for those children. ‘It’s that big creepy house on the end of the block. They say the old man who lives there wears hair made from dead people.” — STEPHEN COLBERT

“But the kids got candy, songs, the rare opportunity to see Rudy Giuliani bite the head off a pigeon.” — JIMMY KIMMEL

The “Tonight Show” guest Reese Witherspoon joined Fallon in a game of “Can You Feel It?”

Senator Amy Klobuchar will stop by “The Daily Show” to talk about her presidential campaign and inevitably weigh in on the impeachment proceedings.

Tricia Tait loves the Broadway revival of “Oklahoma!” so much, she’s seen it live 55 times (so far). At the 50th, the cast gave her a standing ovation.

Read More