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1.Hasil gambar untuk Michael Cohen says he worked to silence two women ‘in coordination’ with Trump to influence 2016 election

FIXER BREAKS

Michael Cohen used to boast that he’d take a bullet for Donald Trump. Well, the Southern District of New York didn’t send a bullet. They sent prosecutors and a mountain of evidence. That was enough for the fixer to break. As part of plea deal, Cohen appeared in court and admitted, among other things, that he committed campaign finance violations “at the direction of the candidate.” In other words, we’re likely to see a presidential tweetstorm the likes of which we haven’t seen since at least last weekend. WaPo: Trump’s longtime lawyer Michael Cohen pleads guilty to eight counts.

Hasil gambar untuk Trump’s longtime lawyer Michael Cohen pleads guilty / Gif

In a guilty plea entered in a Manhattan federal courthouse, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen implicated Trump directly in some of his acts, saying he arranged to pay off two women to keep their stories of alleged affairs with Trump from becoming public before Election Day — in coordination with the then-candidate.

Hasil gambar untuk Michael Cohen / GIF

At nearly the same moment, a jury in Alexandria, Va., convicted former Trump campaign boss Paul Manafort on eight of the 18 tax- and bank-fraud charges against him and said it was deadlocked on the 10 others.

The charges in the Manafort trial involved the former campaign manager’s personal finances and were not related to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 campaign. But Manafort’s conviction on eight counts, in the first trial to emerge from Mueller’s inquiry, was a major victory for the special counsel.

NYT: “The plea agreement does not call for Mr. Cohen to cooperate with federal prosecutors in Manhattan, but it does not preclude him from providing information to the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, who is examining the Trump campaign’s possible involvement in Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign. If Mr. Cohen were to substantially assist the special counsel’s investigation, Mr. Mueller could recommend a reduction in his sentence.” (This is a fast-breaking story. For updates, you can basically check anywhere. And get comfortable, because our already insane news cycle is about hit another level.)

+ In other massive legal news, Paul Manafort has been convicted on 8 of 18 counts (5 tax fraud charges, 1 charge of hiding foreign bank accounts, and 2 counts of bank fraud). Here’s the latest. (When Trump said he was the law and order candidate, he wasn’t kidding…)

President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was found guilty on eight counts of financial crimes today.

Here’s everything you need to know:

  • The verdict: Manafort was found guilty of five tax fraud charges, one charge of hiding foreign bank accounts and two counts of bank fraud.
  • The possible sentence: Manafort faces a maximum of 80 years in prison.
  • The mistrial: Jurors were unable to reach a verdict on 10 charges, and Judge T.S. Ellis declared a mistrial on those counts.
  • What Manafort’s attorney said: Manafort’s lawyer Kevin Downing said Manafort is “disappointed” the jury did not acquit his client on all charges.
  • What Trump said: “Paul Manafort is a good man. He was with Ronald Reagan. He was with a lot of different people over the years. I feel very sad about that,” the President said.
  • And the other Trump news: The verdict came at the same time Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen was in a New York federal court to plead guilty to multiple counts of campaign finance violations, tax fraud and bank fraud.

A jury found Paul Manafort guilty on eight of 18 counts against him. Those eight counts carry a maximum sentence of 80 years.

The judge has not set a sentencing date yet.

Here’s the breakdown of the counts:

  • Count 1: Tax Fraud — Subscribing to false US individual income tax returns in 2010 (3 year maximum sentence)
  • Count 2: Tax Fraud — Subscribing to false US individual income tax returns in 2011 (3 year max sentence)
  • Count 3: Tax Fraud – Subscribing to false US individual income tax returns in 2012 (3 year maximum sentence)
  • Count 4: Tax Fraud — Subscribing to false US individual income tax returns in 2013 (3 year maximum sentence)
  • Count 5: Tax Fraud — Subscribing to false US individual income tax returns in 2014 (3 year maximum sentence)
  • Count 12: Hiding Foreign Bank Accounts — Failure to File Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts in 2012 (5 year maximum sentence)
  • Count 25: Bank Fraud — $3.4 million Citizens Bank loan (30 year maximum sentence)
  • Count 27: Bank Fraud — $1 million Bank of California loan (30 year maximum sentence)

Note: The count numbers are drawn from indictment, which is why the numbering seems off

A mistrial was declared on the remaining 10 counts: Three hiding foreign bank accounts and seven bank fraud or bank fraud conspiracy.

   

2. A coal-fired power plant in Maryland.

COAL PORTER

“Called the Affordable Clean Energy rule, the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal largely defers to states on how to curb coal plant pollution, the second-largest source of climate emissions in the US.” The EPA just released its proposal to gut Obama’s Clean Air Act.

The Guadian: Arctic’s strongest sea ice breaks up for first time on record.The oldest and thickest sea ice in the Arctic has started to break up, opening waters north of Greenland that are normally frozen, even in summer.

This phenomenon – which has never been recorded before – has occurred twice this year due to warm winds and a climate-change driven heatwave in the northern hemisphere.One meteorologist described the loss of ice as “scary”. Others said it could force scientists to revise their theories about which part of the Arctic will withstand warming the longest.

The sea off the north coast of Greenland is normally so frozen that it was referred to, until recently, as “the last ice area” because it was assumed that this would be the final northern holdout against the melting effects of a hotter planet.But abnormal temperature spikes in February and earlier this month have left it vulnerable to winds, which have pushed the ice further away from the coast than at any time since satellite records began in the 1970s.

+ Want to get to the truth about the risk of climate change? Follow the science. Either that, or follow the money. “Three studies have found evidence that the threat of higher seas is also undermining coastal property values as home buyers — particularly investors — begin the retreat to higher ground.” WaPo: Sea level rise is eroding home value.

   

3. 

WHEEL OF MISFORTUNE

How bad is the housing affordability problem in major American cities? It’s so bad that it’s become a parking problem too. “More Americans are sleeping in their cars than ever before … After years of crackdowns, cities from Santa Barbara, California, to Kirkland, Washington, are trying a new strategy: safe parking programs.” Amy Pollard in Slate: Living Behind the Wheel.The program has 325 residents—more than two people share a car, in some cases—ranging from families to retirees to tech workers making nearly $100,000 a year. And they sleep in models ranging from a Honda Civic to a Lexus. “Most of the time you walk through the parking lot, you wouldn’t know that they are a parking lot full of individuals living in their cars,” said Teresa Smith, CEO of Dreams for Change.

As vehicle residency grows, local governments have largely responded by trying to legislate it out of existence: Cities are moving to tighten parking restrictions or ban vehicle residency altogether. From 2006 to 2016, the number of bans on vehicle residency increased 143 percent among 187 cities surveyed by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. Seattle has 20 ordinances criminalizing vehicle residency, according to a 2016 report from Seattle University’s Homeless Rights Advocacy Project. San Diego, too, has sought to crack down with laws that ban vehicle residency and prohibit RVs from parking on the streets between 2 and 6 a.m.But not all programs have had that level of success. Seattle’s attempts to create a safe parking program in the past two years have racked up expenses and produced few results. The first lot opened in 2016 with 25 spaces, but was shuttered that same year after the city spent $16,800 per space and found permanent housing for only 11.5 percent of the residents, according to the Seattle Times. The second lot, a “safe zone” located in the SoDo neighborhood, had 12 spaces, each costing the city $5,300. A case worker visited just once a week. Three residents died—two older men with chronic illnesses and a young woman who had struggled with a heroin addiction. The zone was scheduled to be shut down at the end of July; it’s unclear if that has happened. Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office did not respond to Slate’s repeated requests for comment.“It was a terrible site,” said Rev. Bill Kirlin-Hackett, director of the Interfaith Task Force on Homelessness, referring to the safe zone. “It had inadequate outreach to it. It really wasn’t a pathway out of homelessness for anybody there.”

+ Meanwhile, the bull market enters record territory.U.S. stocks climbed, sending the S&P 500 Index to an intraday record, as investors speculated the Trump administration would ease trade tensions with China. The yen and Treasuries pared losses after President Donald Trump’s longtime lawyer pleaded guilty to federal charges.

Michael D. Cohen’s plea deal, confirmed after the markets closed in New York, included his saying he was directed to violate campaign law at the direction of a candidate for federal office. Also following the regular session, Trump’s former campaign chairman was found guilty of tax fraud, among other charges. The news sparked mild demand for haven assets.

Earlier, the S&P 500 Index capped a fourth day of gains, while a gauge of small caps closed at an all-time high. The dollar extended its slide ahead of low-level trade talks with China, and the 10-year Treasury yield rose for first time in three days before a meeting of central bankers later in the week.“

This is an abnormally sentiment-driven market that we’ve had all year, so a new high could cause on the margin some investors to either get nervous or to get bullish,” Max Gokhman, head of asset allocation for Pacific Life Fund Advisors, which manages $40 billion, said in an interview at Bloomberg’s New York headquarters. “I would argue probably more nervousness than bullishness at this point because we’re hitting a new high amidst failing trade talks with China, amidst peaking margins.”

   

4.David Xol, an indigenous farmworker from Guatemala, made his way across Mexico with his 7-year-old son, Byron. Xol was deported back to Guatemala; Byron remains in a shelter in Baytown.

CRATE AND PERIL

“David Xol and his 7-year-old son, Byron, spent three days in a wooden crate on their way to the U.S. in May. After being separated from his son at the border, Xol was sent back to a remote village in the highlands of Guatemala. He has no idea when Byron is coming home.” Texas Tribune: Where is my son?

Hasil gambar untuk "Where is my son?": A migrant father was deported in May. His son is still in a Texas shelter

The story of Byron’s separation from Xol — an illegal crossing, a mass trial, a hasty deportation — belies repeated claims by U.S. officials that the hundreds of parents removed from the country without their kids under the zero-tolerance policy chose to leave them behind.

“If any parent has been deported … without their child,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said last month, “that likely would be a scenario where the parent had actually asked that the child remain.”

The Trump administration rolled back the zero-tolerance policy in June, in response to public backlash against the more than 2,500 family separations that took place at the border during the crackdown. In recent weeks, the country’s attention has drifted away from the humanitarian crisis at the border, as hundreds of immigrant families have reunited in picture-perfect scenes at airports and government facilities across the country.

Hasil gambar untuk "Where is my son?": A migrant father was deported in May. His son is still in a Texas shelter

But with the summer drawing to a close, more than 500 migrant children remain apart from their parents, despite a court order requiring the U.S. government to reunite every separated family by July 26. Parents of 366 of the still-separated children have already been sent back to their home countries. Xol’s case highlights the legal and bureaucratic obstacles preventing the government from swiftly reuniting those families, as well as the emotional toll that the zero-tolerance policy continues to exact on separated parents and children.

“For every parent who is not located, there will be a permanently orphaned child,” U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw, who has overseen the reunification process, said in his San Diego courtroom earlier this month. “That is 100 percent the responsibility of the administration.”

   

5.

THE OLIGARCH OF JUSTICE IS LONG

“The Russian military intelligence unit that sought to influence the 2016 election appears to have a new target: conservative American think tanks that have broken with President Trump and are seeking continued sanctions against Moscow, exposing oligarchs or pressing for human rights.” NYT: New Russian Hacking Targeted Republican Groups, Microsoft Says. Until there’s a price to pay, they’re gonna keep on keepin’ on, folks.

In a report scheduled for release on Tuesday, Microsoft Corporation said that it detected and seized websites that were created in recent weeks by hackers linked to the Russian unit formerly known as the G.R.U. The sites appeared meant to trick people into thinking they were clicking through links managed by the Hudson Institute and the International Republican Institute, but were secretly redirected to web pages created by the hackers to steal passwords and other credentials.

Microsoft also found websites imitating the United States Senate, but not specific Senate offices or political campaigns.The shift to attacking conservative think tanks underscores the Russian intelligence agency’s goals: to disrupt any institutions challenging Moscow and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

“This is another demonstration of the fact that the Russians aren’t really pursuing partisan attacks, they are pursuing attacks that they perceive in their own national self-interest,” said Eric Rosenbach, the director of the Defending Digital Democracy project at Harvard University, on Monday. “It’s about disrupting and diminishing any group that challenges how Putin’s Russia is operating at home and around the world.”

The State Department has traditionally helped fund both Republican and Democratic groups that engage in promoting democracy.

Daniel Twining, the president of the International Republican Institute, called the apparent “spear phishing” attempt “consistent with the campaign of meddling that the Kremlin has waged against organizations that support democracy and human rights.”“It is clearly designed to sow confusion, conflict and fear among those who criticize Mr. Putin’s authoritarian regime,” Mr. Twining said in a statement.

The goal of the Russian hacking attempt was unclear, and Microsoft was able to catch the spoofed websites as they were set up.But Mr. Smith said that “these attempts are the newest security threats to groups connected with both American political parties” ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

In 2016, a federal judge in Virginia agreed that the group Microsoft calls “Strontium” and others call “APT 28,” for “advanced persistent threat,” would continue its attacks. The judge appointed a “special master” with the power to authorize Microsoft to seize fake websites as soon as they are registered. As a result, the hackers have lost control of many of the sites only days after creating them.

But it is a constant cat-and-mouse game, as the Russian hackers seek new vectors of attack while Microsoft and others seek to cut them off.“These attacks keep happening because they work. They are successful again and again,” said Thomas Rid, a professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University, who doubts whether anyone can stay ahead of the hackers.“Microsoft is playing whack-a-mole here,” Mr. Rid said. “These sites are easy to register and bring back up, and so they will keep doing so.”

Hasil gambar untuk New Russian Hacking Targeted Republican Groups, Microsoft Says

Last month, Microsoft announced that it had detected and helped block similar attacks against two senators who are up for re-election. Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri, who faces one of the toughest political challenges this year, acknowledged that her campaign was among them after months of keeping the news quiet — apparently to avoid alienating voters who doubt the Russian role in election interference.

Microsoft says it is expanding its effort to help political candidates counter foreign influence. It is starting an initiative it calls “AccountGuard” to bolster protections to candidates and campaign offices at the federal, state and local level, as well as think tanks and political organizations.

With the midterms less than three months away, Microsoft said greater cooperation was needed between tech companies and the federal government over efforts to interfere in the American elections.

“Over the last year, the larger tech companies, in particular, have put into place stronger information-sharing practices where we have seen these threats emerge,” Mr. Smith said. “Those agreements, however, are informal.”

   

6.

SELF STORAGE, IN. SELF CONTROL, OUT.

“At the same time we are amassing all this stuff, Americans are taking up more space. Last year, the average size of a single-family house in America was 2,426 square feet, a 23 percent increase in size from two decades ago … The number of self-storage units is rapidly increasing, too: There are around 52,000 such facilities nationally; two decades ago, there were half that number.” The Atlantic’s Alana Semuels: How online shopping, Amazon, and cheap prices are turning Americans into hoarders. (Yeah, I buy that…)

   

7.

PRISON BREAK

With thousands of prisoners fighting fires in California and many more participating in various industries across the country, America’s prisoners are going on strike in at least 17 states. “Every single field and industry is affected on some level by prisons, from our license plates to the fast food that we eat to the stores that we shop at. So we really need to recognize how we are supporting the prison industrial complex through the dollars that we spend.”

Prison labor issues recently received attention in California, where inmates have been voluntarily recruited to fight the state’s record wildfires — for the paltry pay of just $1 an hour plus $2 per day. But the practice of using prison inmates for cheap or free labor is fairly widespread in the US, due to an exemption in the 13th Amendment, which abolished chattel slavery but allows involuntary servitude as part of a punishment for a crime.

For Sawari and the inmates participating in the protests, the sometimes forced labor and poor pay is effectively “modern slavery.” That, along with poor prison conditions that inmates blame for a deadly South Carolina prison riot earlier this year, have led to protests.

For prisons, though, fixing the problems raised by the demonstrations will require money — something that cash-strapped state governments may not be willing to put up. That raises real questions about whether the inmates’ demands can or will be heard.

The demonstrations come two years after what was then the largest prison strike in US history, with protests breaking out in at least 12 states in 2016. The new demonstrations could end up even larger than those previous protests.

Hasil gambar untuk America’s prisoners are going on strike in at least 17 states

There’s no hard estimate for how many inmates and prisons are taking part in the protests, as organizers continue to recruit more and more inmates and word of mouth spreads. But demonstrations are expected across at least 17 states.

The inmates will take part in work strikes, hunger strikes, and sit-ins. They are also calling for boycotts against agencies and companies that benefit from prisons and prison labor.

“The main leverage that an inmate has is their own body,” Sawari said. “If they choose not to go to work and just sit in in the main area or the eating area, and all the prisoners choose to sit there and not go to the kitchen for lunchtime or dinnertime, if they choose not to clean or do the yardwork, this is the leverage that they have. Prisons cannot run without prisoners’ work.”

   

8.Hasil gambar untuk Asia Argento Is Denying Sexually Assaulting Jimmy Bennett

ASIA SPECIFIC

“I am deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false. I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett.” Hold your think-pieces. Asia Argento denies she had a sexual relationship with James Bennett and says Anthony Bourdain paid Bennett off because he was “afraid of the possible negative publicity that such a person, whom he considered dangerous, could have brought upon us.”Bourdain killed himself in a French hotel in June.Representatives for Argento and Bennett didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment

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Argento also hinted she would pursue her legal options.”This is, therefore, the umpteenth development of a sequence of events that brings me great sadness and that constitutes a long-standing persecution,” Argento said.”I have therefore no other choice but to oppose such false allegations and will assume in the short term all necessary initiatives for my protection before all competent venues.”

Weinstein lawyer Ben Brafman said Monday that the payoff to Bennett “reveals a stunning level of hypocrisy” from Argento. “The sheer duplicity of her conduct is quite extraordinary and should demonstrate to everyone how poorly the allegations against Mr. Weinstein were actually vetted,” he said.

More than 70 other women have accused the former Hollywood mogul of sexual misconduct.

   

9.

CAST IRON

“Maxine’s gift quickly became apparent. In the same way that tennis prodigies are somehow able to get extra spin and power on the ball from their first days on a court, Maxine could make the fly come off the tip of her rod with a zip and efficiency that young casters rarely have.” The NYT on the 14 year-old Mozart of Fly Casting.

The competition has learned not to dismiss her because she is so young.“Just ’cause of the title, of being world champion,” she said.

During a recent training session with Korich at the Oakland Casting Club, Maxine worked on her distance-casting technique: She stood with her left foot in front of her dominant, right foot as she arced the long, flexible rod above her head.

There are times when she doesn’t feel like casting, when she wishes she were hanging out with friends, or maybe watching a movie. It’s hard being the only young person in a sea of baby boomer men. At this year’s national championships in Indiana, she and her little brother, 7-year-old Tobias, who is also a burgeoning caster, were the only kids around.

Maxine is not sure what the future holds. There is no clear path for fly casting superstars the way there is for other sports. She loved being a counselor in training at fly fishing camp this summer. She might teach more.

But first, there was a world championship to take care of. She was mainly focused on beating her own scores, she said — and of course, those of her father, her coach and Rajeff. “I’m pretty competitive,” she said with a giggle. “I don’t like to lose.”

   

10.Watch out - the wild beasts on the front of Barnum’s Animal Crackers are finally free of their cages.

BOTTOM OF THE NEWS

“Mondelez International, the parent company of Nabisco, has redesigned the packaging of its Barnum’s Animals crackers after relenting to pressure from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.” Animal cracker boxes will no longer feature cages. (So now the animal crackers are free. Inside a small box. Until we eat them.)


NYT: Happy Children Do Chores.Children should do chores. That’s a controversial premise, though not everyone will admit it. A few parents will declare outright that their children are “too busy for chores” or that “their job is school.” Many more of us assign chores, or say we believe in them, but the chores just don’t get done.

That’s a problem. For starters, chores are good for kids. Being a part of the routine work of running a household helps children develop an awareness of the needs of others, while at the same time contributing to their emotional well-being. Children who consider themselves necessary to the family are less likely to feel adrift in a world where everyone wants to feel needed.

One small longitudinal study, done over a period of 25 years, found that the best predictor for young adults’ success in their mid-20s was whether they participated in household tasks at age 3 or 4. Those early shared responsibilities extended to a sense of responsibility in other areas of their lives.


+ VMAs: 10 Memorable Moments From the MTV Awards Show. (In other news, MTV exists.)A few of the highlights include a showstopping performance from Jennifer Lopez, a teaser for an upcoming reboot of ‘The Hills’ and a controversial Aretha Franklin tribute from Madonna. 

The 2018 Video Music Awards aired Monday night from New York’s Radio City Music Hall, and featured several memorable, moving and entertaining moments.

Hasil gambar untuk Moments From the MTV Awards Show 2018 / Gif

Notable events at the show include a showstopping performance by Jennifer Lopez, who was also honored with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. She sang a compilation of her greatest hits, including “On the Floor”; “Love Don’t Cost a Thing”; “Booty”; “Dance Again”; and her most recent single featuring DJ Khaled, “Dinero.”

Hasil gambar untuk Moments From the MTV Awards Show 2018 / Gif

Castmembers of MTV’s reality hit The Hills — including Heidi Montag, Spencer Pratt, Audrina Patridge, Jason Wahler, Frankie Delgado, Justin Bobby Brescia and Stephanie Pratt — appeared on the red carpet to tease big news, which later in the show was revealed to be a reboot of the program, titled The Hills: New Beginnings. A teaser aired during a commercial break.

Hasil gambar untuk Moments From the MTV Awards Show 2018 / GifHasil gambar untuk Moments From the MTV Awards Show 2018 / Gif

Toward the end of the show, Madonna detailed what the late Aretha Franklin, who died Aug. 16, meant to her and her career. Critics and Twitter users slammed the singer for telling a self-indulgent story, rather than truly honoring Franklin’s legacy, and Madonna’s traditional African garb sparked accusations of cultural appropriation.

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The show also featured performances by Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes, Post Malone, Logic featuring Ryan Tedder, Travis Scott and Panic! At the Disco.

   

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