On Wednesday, President-elect Donald Trump and his incoming press secretary, Sean Spicer, conflated CNN's report about unverified intelligence presented to Trump about Russian blackmail material on him and BuzzFeed's publishing of the entire unsubstantiated dossier. Anderson Cooper began his heated and entertaining interview with Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway by futilely asking for clarification: "Do you acknowledge here and now that CNN did not release the 35-page unsubstantiated claims against Donald Trump and it was misleading and untrue for Sean Spicer to suggest otherwise?" She would not. "CNN went first yesterday," Conway said, "and BuzzFeed went second."
"We didn't report what BuzzFeed reported," Cooper protested. Conway said that CNN's headline on Tuesday "is just false," and to prove it she cited "NBC News reports" and "tweets from people at Politico." Cooper pointed out the NBC News article just says the dossier summary was not verbally presented to Trump, something CNN did not assert. "Anderson, CNN went first and had this breathless report, you know, everybody said it was a 'bombshell,'" Conway said, and when Cooper noted that CNN never referred to it as a bombshell, Conway said that Seth Meyers had called it that on Late Night.
"What you're saying doesn't make sense," Cooper told Conway. "On the one hand you're saying our reporting is inaccurate, on the other hand you're saying you don't know if it was in the intelligence briefing and you can't say even if you did know." "I can tell you credible news reports today say it was not in there," she replied. "An NBC News report based on one source," Cooper said. "And what is yours based on?" Conway asked. "Multiple sources, and The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal as well say it," Cooper said.
"I get why politically it makes sense for you to link CNN to what BuzzFeed did," Cooper said, but it's apples and oranges. Conway argued that CNN is complicit because a story on its website linked to the BuzzFeed article, and "I think if you link to something on your website, you're reporting it." She never did say what CNN got wrong, but she did find a way to tie up loose ends. "CNN and BuzzFeed have a lot in common," she said, because "you both were absolutely convinced and told all of your viewers that Hillary Clinton was going to win this election." Peter Weber
At least four of President Trump's golf clubs display a fake, framed Time magazine with Trump on the cover, The Washington Post reports. The issue purports to be from "March 1, 2009," even though there is no March 1, 2009 issue of Time.
"I can confirm that this is not a real Time cover," the magazine's spokeswoman, Kerri Chyka, told The Washington Post.
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) June 27, 2017
There are a number of giveaways that the cover is a fake, including its skinny border and exclamation points ("Time headlines don't yell"). "So how did Trump — who spent an entire campaign and much of his presidency accusing the mainstream media of producing 'fake news' — wind up decorating his properties with a literal piece of phony journalism?" The Washington Post asks.
It isn't clear — neither the White House nor the Trump Organization offered an answer. But Trump takes unabashed pride in his Time covers, both real and fake, boasting incorrectly on the campaign trail that "I think we have the all-time record [of cover photos] in the history of Time magazine."
Due to a lack of votes, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has decided to delay the Senate vote on the GOP health-care plan. McConnell, who was pushing for a vote this week, told senators Tuesday that he now plans to hold the vote after the July 4 recess in hopes of rallying more support in the extra time.
Six Republicans have come out against the bill, while four have expressed concerns. McConnell can only afford two defections.
Stock in an Australian biotech company that was questionably promoted to members of the House by Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) plummeted from $1.77 a share to just 5 cents on Tuesday, after the company announced its multiple sclerosis drug had failed trials, The Buffalo News reports. "The news is dire for both the company and investors," Australia's Money Morning wrote, as shareholders' hopes had hinged on the promising drug's success.
Collins is the firm's biggest shareholder; he owns about a fifth of the company, Innate Immunotherapeutics, with his two children. He personally lost $17 million Tuesday, Bloomberg reports.
"Sophisticated investors know there's a risk and as you now know, there was never any inside information that would indicate otherwise," Collins told The Buffalo News, defending his decision to promote the company's stock to his colleagues.
The Buffalo News added:
...Unusual trading activity Friday "suggests that somebody with knowledge of the results was front-running the announcement," [analyst Sean] O'Neill said. "That’s something I'd hope the regulator will be looking closer at."
Collins told The Buffalo News Tuesday morning that he did not sell any of his shares in Innate before its price collapsed. [The Buffalo News]
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, a former congressman from Georgia, invested in Innate Immunotherapeutics at Collins' suggestion, a topic that was raised and criticized during his confirmation hearing earlier this year. Collins had reportedly bragged "off the House floor … about how he had made people millionaires from a stock tip." Price sold his shares in February for $250,000. Jeva Lange
Roughly 3.3 million years after ancient humanoids invented the earliest known tools, mankind is on the cusp of perfecting sophisticated self-driving technology that has the potential to revolutionize transportation as we know it.
There is only one problem: kangaroos.
Volvo's new self-driving technology uses a "large animal detection" system to prevent its S90 and XC90 car models from plowing into deer or moose while on the go, the BBC reports. But during tests in Australia, researchers realized the technology is completely befuddled by the hops of kangaroos.
"We've noticed with the kangaroo being in mid-flight when it's in the air, it actually looks like it's further away, then it lands and it looks closer," Volvo Australia's technical manager, David Pickett, told ABC.
To fix the problem, Volvo first needs to "start identifying the roo," Pickett explained. That would make sense, seeing as the company initially developed its large animal detection software by dodging moose in Sweden.
Determined, Volvo has spent the past 18 months in Australia teaching its software not to hit kangaroos. The company needs to get it exactly right, after all, as there are more than 16,000 roo collisions a year in the country, NRMA Insurance reports.
"We identify what a human looks like by how a human walks, because it's not only the one type of human — you've got short people, tall people, people wearing coats," Pickett explained. "The same applies to a roo." Jeva Lange
Trump just promised to 'prioritize' HIV/AIDS treatment. His budget slashes funding for related programs by $1.1 billion.
Trump in the statement encouraged people to "take the first step — discovery — in fighting" HIV and expressed gratitude for the "concerted efforts to diagnose and treat more and more people," which have allowed Americans with HIV to live "longer, healthier lives than ever before." He vowed his administration would "build upon those improvements and continue supporting domestic and global health programs that prioritize testing and treatment for HIV/AIDS."
However, The New York Times reported in May that the Trump administration has proposed slashing funding for "programs that buy antiretroviral drugs for about 11.5 million people worldwide who are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, by "at least $1.1 billion — nearly a fifth of current funding." The Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) estimated that the proposed budget cuts to AIDS programs could "cost more than 1 million lives and orphan more than 300,000 children."
BuzzFeed News reported earlier this month that six members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS resigned because they felt Trump "simply does not care" about combating the disease. On Tuesday, Trump said AIDS "has been one of the world's most significant health challenges." Becca Stanek
A massive worldwide cyberattack is causing disruptions from Spain to India, with Ukraine the heaviest hit and the apparent initial target, The Independent reports.
The attack is the biggest in Ukraine's history, affecting everything from the banks to the electricity grids and metro. Ukraine's prime minister called the attack "unprecedented," but clarified that "vital systems haven't been affected."
Ukraine has faced a history of cyberattacks or hacking attempts in the past several years. The country has blamed such attacks, including one on its power grid in 2015, on Russia, The Guardian reports. Russia has denied the charges.
Some of our gov agencies, private firms were hit by a virus. No need to panic, we’re putting utmost efforts to tackle the issue pic.twitter.com/RsDnwZD5Oj
— Ukraine / Україна (@Ukraine) June 27, 2017
Abroad, other companies, including Russia's Rosneft oil company and the Danish shipping company AP Moller-Maersk, have also reported being hacked. Security experts believe the virus is a variant of the "Petya" ransomware and are already likening the attack to the WannaCry ransomware attack in May, which infected an estimated 230,000 computers in more than 150 countries.
— 0x09AL (@0x09AL) June 27, 2017
I'm just confused how there is any global corporate outbreak of MS17-010 in June 2017, after WannaCry. I'm kinda in disbelief.
— SwiftOnSecurity (@SwiftOnSecurity) June 27, 2017
Some already fear the Petya attack could be even bigger than the WannaCry attack. Jeva Lange
After Monday's news that Seattle's $15 minimum wage experiment is actually lowering low-wage employees' income, restaurant workers in Maine must be feeling pretty prescient. Their minimum wage saga started back in November, when voters approved a referendum raising their minimum wage from $3.75 an hour in 2016 to $12 by 2024.
The intention was to lessen servers' reliance on tips, a plan that only sounded good to people who aren't servers. Since that vote, restaurant workers have lobbied the state legislature to undo the change, arguing it will mean lower income and preferring to maintain the tips system instead. This month, lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in their favor, and Gov. Paul LePage (R) signed the bill into law late last week.
The servers' stance has them at odds with labor activists who insist tipped wages expose restaurant workers to exploitation. "I don't need to be 'saved' [by activists], and I’ll be damned if small groups of uninformed people are voting on my livelihood," said Sue Vallenza, a Maine bartender who saw her tips decrease after the referendum. "You can't cut someone off at the knees like that."