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Activate Magazine is an on-line publication that focuses on Social Justice, Activism and Politics but also features Music Reviews. Some of the work here may come with a defiant sneer and others with brutal cynicism but it all comes with a sense of genuity. Not all the viewpoints or perspectives here represent the values or ideals of Activate Media. That being said we try to be fair in journalistic principles.

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‘A Full on Cover-Up’: Official Testifies That Ukraine Call Transcript Trump Said Was ‘Perfect’ Left Out Key Details 

‘A Full on Cover-Up’: Official Testifies That Ukraine Call Transcript Trump Said Was ‘Perfect’ Left Out Key Details

“It was a doctored transcript. The White House cut out some of his words, refused to restore them, and hid the transcript in a secure server.”

by Jake Johnson

Bolstering allegations that the White House engaged in a cover-up to suppress evidence of wrongdoing by President Donald Trump, a National Security Council official who listened to Trump’s July conversation with Ukraine’s leader reportedly told House impeachment investigators Tuesday that the administration intentionally omitted key details from the rough transcript of the call it released last month.

The New York Times reported that Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the NSC’s top Ukraine expert, told House committees during his sworn deposition that the transcript left out “crucial words and phrases” that he unsuccessfully attempted to reinsert.

“Thanks to today’s impeachment testimony, we now know White House officials deleted key details out of the record of Trump’s Ukraine call before they released it. It was never a transcript. It was a cover-up.”
—Swing Left

“The omissions, Colonel Vindman said, included Mr. Trump’s assertion that there were recordings of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. discussing Ukraine corruption, and an explicit mention by Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, of Burisma Holdings, the energy company whose board employed Mr. Biden’s son Hunter,” according to the Times.

“Colonel Vindman did not testify to a motive behind the White House editing process,” the Times added. “But his testimony is likely to drive investigators to ask further questions about how officials handled the call, including changes to the transcript and the decision to put it into the White House’s most classified computer system.”

The details emerging from Vindman’s testimony, which lasted more than 10 hours, were viewed by lawmakers and legal experts as more damning evidence of Trump’s misconduct and of his administration’s deliberate efforts to hide the wrongdoing from the public.

“Wow. This is just stunningly bad for the White House. A full on cover-up,” tweeted CNN legal analyst Susan Hennessey. “How much longer are congressional Republicans going to continue to go along with this?”

As Common Dreams reported, the White House decided to release the rough transcript of Trump’s call with Zelensky last month in an attempt to dampen outrage over a whistleblower complaint about the conversation, during which the U.S. president pressed Zelensky to investigate Biden.

Speaking to reporters outside the White House earlier this month, Trump said he “had an absolutely perfect conversation” with Zelensky and “on top of that, and maybe less importantly, frankly, but on top of that, we have a transcript of the conversation, fortunately, that’s perfect.”

“The transcript is a perfect transcript,” Trump added. “There shouldn’t be any further questions.”

Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) pointed to the president’s characterization of the transcript in a tweet responding to the Times report.

“This is damning: for weeks Trump called the call record which showed he sought foreign influence in our elections a ‘perfect transcript,'” said Beyer. “It was a doctored transcript. The White House cut out some of his words, refused to restore them, and hid the transcript in a secure server.”

Following Vindman’s deposition Tuesday, House Democrats unveiled a resolution detailing the next steps in their impeachment inquiry into Trump. The House is scheduled to vote on the resolution Thursday.

As NBC News reported, “the eight-page resolution calls for public hearings and lays out their general format, and specifically permits staff counsels to question witnesses for periods of up to 45 minutes per side, Democrats and Republicans.”

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, said the resolution “will ensure a fair and public process for the American people to see the damning and full picture of the president’s betrayal.”

Source: ‘A Full on Cover-Up’: Official Testifies That Ukraine Call Transcript Trump Said Was ‘Perfect’ Left Out Key Details | Common Dreams News

Trump’s Glorification of ISIS Leader’s Gory Death Panned by Critics 

Trump’s Glorification of ISIS Leader’s Gory Death Panned by Critics

“Trump relishes describing ghastly violence.”

By Eoin Higgins

President Donald Trump’s announcement Sunday morning that the U.S. military killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Syria on Saturday night was peppered with glorifications of the violence that led to the militant’s death that critics found unsettling.

“He died like a dog,” said Trump of al-Baghdadi.

The president recounted the militant leader’s last moments in detail in a Sunday morning news conference:

He died after running into a dead-end tunnel, whimpering and crying and screaming. The compound had been cleared by this time, with people either surrendering or being shot and killed. Eleven young children were moved out of the house un-injured. The only ones remaining were Baghdadi in the tunnel, who had dragged three children with him to certain death. He reached the end of the tunnel, as our dogs chased him down. He ignited his vest, killing himself and the three children. His body was mutilated by the blast, but test results gave certain and positive identification.

“Trump relishes describing ghastly violence,” tweeted CNBC reporter John Harwood.

Trump in his comments celebrated the courage of a military dog that assisted in the raid—a sharp contrast to how the president normally treats the four-legged animals in his rhetoric and in how he described the death of al-Baghdadi. 

“He both praised a dog and described Baghdadi as having died ‘like a dog,'” The Intercept‘s Medhi Hasan told Common Dreams. “Tells you much about his thought process—or lack thereof.”

In an apparent attempt to mimic former President Barack Obama’s iconic photo of the 2011 raid that killed 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden, the White House released a photo showing Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and assorted generals sitting around a table. Hasan’s Intercept colleague Glenn Greenwald mocked the photo on Twitter.

The picture’s metadata, said photojournalist Pete Souza, indicates it was posed well after the fact, not taken live.

“The raid, as reported, took place at 3:30pm Washington time,” Souza tweeted. “The photo, as shown in the camera IPTC data, was taken at ’17:05:24.'”

Trump did not notify Democratic congressional leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, of the raid beforehand, claiming he was concerned about “leaks.” Pelosi, in response, demanded the administration brief the House on the action.

Greenwald, on Twitter, wondered how the tension between Democrats’ instinct to criticize the president would reconcile with their past praise of Obama’s bin Laden raid. 

“It’s genuinely fascinating watching Democrats in real time struggle to figure out what to say about this,” said Greenwald. “They want to be patriotic and anti-ISIS, but also need a way to malign Trump without contradicting their gushing Obama praise over OBL: not an easy balancing act. Good luck!”

Source: Trump’s Glorification of ISIS Leader’s Gory Death Panned by Critics | Common Dreams News

‘We Should Be Worried’: Study Confirms Fear That Intense Ocean Acidification Portends Ecological Collapse 

‘We Should Be Worried’: Study Confirms Fear That Intense Ocean Acidification Portends Ecological Collapse”

We have been warned.”

By Julia Conley

The acidification of the Earth’s oceans, which climate scientists warn is a dangerous effect of continued carbon emissions, was behind a mass extinction event 66 million years ago, according to a new study.

Small-shelled marine organisms survived the meteorite that struck the Earth and wiped out the dinosaurs, according to researchers at the GFZ geosciences research center in Potsdam, Germany, but the subsequent sharp drop in pH levels in the ocean caused the marine life to go extinct.

“We show ocean acidification can precipitate ecological collapse,” Michael Henehan, who led the study, told The Guardian.

Researchers examined shell fossils in sediment dating back to the time period just after the meteorite struck the planet, which showed that the oceans’ pH dropped by about 0.25 units in the 100 to 1,000 years after the strike.

“In the boundary clay, we managed to capture them just limping on past the asteroid impact,” Henehan said.

But, the newspaper reported, “It was the knock-on effects of acidification and other stresses, such as the ‘nuclear winter’ that followed the impact, that finally drove these foraminifera to extinction.”

“We have been warned,” climate campaigner Ed Matthew tweeted with a link to the research, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Today, climate scientists warn that the continued burning of oil, gas, and coal is causing ocean acidification that, left unchecked, could cause a pH drop of 0.4 units.

If policymakers are able to help limit the warming of the globe to two degrees Celsius by ordering that fossil fuels be left in the ground and shifting to a renewable energy economy, the ocean’s pH level could drop just 0.15 units.

“If 0.25 was enough to precipitate a mass extinction, we should be worried,” Henahan told The Guardian.

As Common Dreams reported in July, MIT researchers also recently turned their attention to ocean acidification as well. The researchers released data showing that today’s carbon levels could be fast approaching a tipping point threshold that could trigger extreme ocean acidification similar to the kind that contributed to the Permian–Triassic mass extinction, which occurred about 250 million years ago.

 

Source: ‘We Should Be Worried’: Study Confirms Fear That Intense Ocean Acidification Portends Ecological Collapse | Common Dreams News