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July 18, 2014

A Russia Today reported based in London resigned with immediate effect Friday morning due to the state-backed channel's "disrespect for the facts," she told the UK's Press Gazette. Sara Firth, who had been with the station for five years, said RT's coverage of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 — which was shot down over Ukrainian airspace by an anti-air missile likely obtained from Russia, killing 295 civilians — was the "straw that broke the camel's back."

Firth spent Friday tweeting, re-tweeting, and responding with surprising honesty to unflattering truths about Russia Today before revealing that she had resigned. Her tweets included the fact that the station's number one rule is that it is "always Ukraine's fault," and she even refuted one user's attempts to compliment her, insisting that because she was being paid by a government-funded station, she had to "always obey."

Firth's tweets were so shocking that one user thought her account had been hacked.

Firth also told BuzzFeed that when she went to the newsroom after the plane went down yesterday, she "saw how we were covering it already and I just knew I had to go. It was a total disregard to the facts... I couldn't do it any more. Every single day we're lying and finding sexier ways to do it." Kimberly Alters

8:44 p.m. ET
Alex Wong/Getty Images

During a meeting in the Oval Office on Tuesday afternoon, President Trump told White House physician Ronny Jackson, his nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, that he will continue to support him, two senior administration officials told CBS News.

Jackson is under fire, accused of drinking on the job, improperly dispensing drugs, and creating a hostile work environment, and his confirmation hearing has been postponed. Jackson has said he wants to share his side of the story, but the White House cannot force the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee to hold a hearing.

Earlier Tuesday, when asked about whether Jackson will pull his name from consideration, Trump told reporters he let the doctor know "if I were him, I wouldn't" go through the vetting process. Catherine Garcia

8:01 p.m. ET
Bennett Raglin/Getty Images

Rapper Meek Mill was released from prison on Tuesday, after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court directed a judge to release him immediately on unsecured bail.

Mill, whose real name is Robert Williams, was sentenced in November to two to four years in prison for violating probation stemming from a 2009 gun and drugs case. Mill was arrested in St. Louis, after allegedly getting into an altercation at the airport, and also in New York City, accused of recklessly driving a dirt bike. The prosecutor recommended not sending Mill to prison, but the judge disagreed.

The 30-year-old had a variety of public advocates, from New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft to comedian Kevin Hart. On Twitter, Mill said he plans to "work closely with my legal team to overturn this unwarranted conviction," and will use his platform to "shine a light" on the issue of people of color being unfairly sent to prison. Catherine Garcia

7:05 p.m. ET
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On Tuesday, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt proposed a rule that would restrict the scientific research used by the agency to make regulatory decisions.

Under the rule, only studies where the data is publicly available could be used, something conservatives have long wanted. "The science that we use is going to be transparent," Pruitt said. "It's going to be reproducible." Scientists and public health experts are concerned because long-standing studies on pollution and pesticides often rely on confidential personal and medical data, and they'll likely struggle to find participants if they know their information will be made public.

"The best studies follow individuals under time, so that you can control all the factors except for the ones you're measuring," former EPA head Gina McCarthy told The Washington Post. "But it means following people's personal history, their medical history. And nobody would want somebody to expose all of their private information." There will be a 30-day comment period, and if the rule goes through, it's expected to be challenged in court. Catherine Garcia

5:22 p.m. ET
iStock.

Video may have killed the radio star, but Spotify and Apple Music are poised to resurrect him.

Streaming services are bringing in more revenue than CD sales and digital downloads for the first time in recording industry history, Reuters reported Tuesday.

A trade group released an annual music industry report that showed revenues up to $17.3 billion in 2017, an 8.1 percent jump from the year before. Paid music streaming services, like Apple Music, Spotify, and Tidal, have specifically helped move music lovers away from illegal downloads, which robbed the industry of sorely needed revenue.

Reuters reports that music sales dropped by 40 percent between 1999 and 2014, when download sales from programs like iTunes didn't compensate for the sudden drop in CD purchases and rise in music piracy. Now, the industry reports that 176 million users were paying for streaming subscriptions in 2017 — funneling that cash back to the industry. Read more at Reuters. Summer Meza

4:39 p.m. ET
Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Politicon

MSNBC host Joy Reid is under fire for shockingly bigoted posts that appeared on her now-defunct blog under her byline. Reid has claimed that hackers conspired to make her appear homophobic, telling Mediaite on Monday that a trove of anti-LGBT posts on her old blog were "fabricated" by nefarious actors who want to "taint her character."

Reid apologized last December for a series of homophobic posts that were unearthed by Twitter user @Jamie_Maz from her website The Reid Report, explaining that her views on LGBT issues had changed over the years. The offending posts were written between 2007 and 2009. But last week, Maz reported finding several more anti-gay posts using the Wayback Machine, which pulls archives of old internet content even if it's been deleted. While Reid has taken her old blog off of the internet, Maz was able to find posts that included references to finding gay sex "gross," suggestions that gay men are prone to pedophilia, and lists of people in politics and media who Reid joked or suggested were gay.

Reid denied writing the posts, telling Mediaite that "an unknown, external party accessed and manipulated material" from her old blog "to include offensive and hateful references that are fabricated and run counter to my personal beliefs and ideology." Reid said she notified law enforcement officials of the activity.

But the Wayback Machine did not find any evidence of hacking, the site explained in a blog post Tuesday, after conducting a review at the request of Reid's lawyers in December. Read more at Mediaite. Summer Meza

3:50 p.m. ET
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If the U.S. pulls out of the Iran nuclear deal, there's no reason for Iran to stay in it either, the country's foreign minister told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Earlier that same day, President Trump gave every indication that the U.S. is out.

French President Emmanuel Macron lobbied Trump to preserve the deal during Macron's White House visit Tuesday, per BBC. Trump proceeded to call the deal "insane," reflecting his months-long intention to rescind the U.S.'s involvement in the 2015 deal signed by former President Barack Obama to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions.

But if the U.S. is out, "there won't be any deal for Iran to stay in," Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told AP. It'll also show that the U.S. doesn't keep its promises and could hurt talks with North Korea, he said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit the White House on Friday to hopefully convince Trump to reverse his position on the deal. British Prime Minister Theresa May could stop by too, and even Russia backs the deal, per CNN.

Trump has until May 12 to decide if the U.S. will stay in the deal or reimpose sanctions on Iran instead. Kathryn Krawczyk

3:49 p.m. ET
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

There are about 700 types of bacteria that live in the human mouth. It might seem alarming, but these microorganisms are typically harmless, and some of them even safeguard your mouth against infection. But bad news for heavy drinkers: If you're in the habit of having more than one drink per day, you might be throwing off the balance of these tiny creatures.

A study published Tuesday in the journal Microbiome revealed that over time, alcohol can permanently alter the ecosystem inside your mouth, suppressing the effects of protective bacteria while providing a convenient breeding ground for disease-causing ones, Time reported. People who consume large quantities of alcohol are additionally more likely to risk everything from gingivitis to even certain types of cancer, compared to those who don't drink.

The study observed 1,044 American adults, 270 of whom didn't drink at all, 614 of whom drank moderately, and 160 of whom drank heavily (defined as more than two drinks a day for men, and more than one drink a day for women). Drinkers had higher levels of three strains of bacteria that cause diseases "including cancers of the head, neck, esophagus, and pancreas," Time explained.

Of course, the case isn't completely solved, said study author Jiyoung Ahn, an epidemiologist at the NYU School of Medicine. Further investigation will be required, including more studies on the specific effects that beer, wine, and hard liquor have on the mouth.

But for now, it's "pretty much safe to say that alcohol influences the oral microbiome," Ahn explained. So you might want to consider taking an extra shift as designated driver soon. Read more about this study at Time. Shivani Ishwar

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