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Why experts say you shouldn’t give Houston money to the Red Cross — and 5 orgs to whom you could

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As with every disaster both man-made and natural, people outside of Houston are scouring the web for charities to whom they can donate in the wake of the deadly Hurricane Harvey. Through the chatter, however, one theme has emerged — news organizations urging readers to avoid donating to the American Red Cross.

News sites across the political spectrum, from Slate to the New York Times and Democracy Now! to Bloomberg, have published editorials in recent days detailing the reasons users shouldn’t give their hard-earned cash to the well-known and mostly-beloved charity. Their main evidence? The organization’s terrible response to Hurricane Katrina in 2006, the Haitian earthquake in 2010 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

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In an article published on Wednesday, Bloomberg noted that ProPublica has uncovered the ARC’s shady spending practices.

“Not only is the charity less than transparent with how it has used donors’ money,” the Bloomberg report reads, “it has been intentionally misleading. Its claim that 91 cents of every dollar goes to disaster victims was called ‘not true‘ by NPR and ProPublica. The organization even went so far as to say its spending practices were ‘a trade secret.'”

Beyond criticism of their financial structure, the organization has always been criticized for the way they handled the many climate change-fueled disasters in recent years. One of the widest-shared figures recounts how the organization claimed to have provided housing for 130,000 people in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, but had only built six houses.

https://twitter.com/EternalBolshie/status/902721741419630595

Journalists who witnessed the ARC’s poor responses to natural disasters. Dan Gillimor, a veteran reporter and professor at Arizona State’s Walter Kronkite School of Journalism, advised people not support the organization based on their poor track record, as did Slate’s Jonathan Katz.

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“ARC was roundly blasted in the U.S. for its shambolic response to 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, with international observers warning that elements were so bad that they verged on criminal wrongdoing,” Katz, who was on the ground in Haiti when the earthquate hit, wrote. “Seven years later, despite an internal retooling effort, it failed again in 2012’s Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Isaac. (The response was ‘worse than the storm,’ one Red Cross driver told ProPublica during its jaw-dropping investigation.)”

The good news is that the ARC is far from the only organization providing relief to Harvey’s continuously-growing list of victims. As NPR reports, there are dozens of organizations, many specialized, that are on the ground in Houston.

Raw Story’s picks for some of the most worthy local and national charities responding to Harvey are The Center for Disaster Philanthropy, The Greater Houston Community Foundation, Feeding Texas, the Texas Diaper Bank and Austin Pets Alive!.

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In addition to monetary donations, many people are working to donate menstrual products to people in Houston who have had to do without since the storm hit.

You can find a search through a large list of charity organizations to donate to via Charity Navigator as well.

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Trump declares impeachment ‘dead’ — and demands apology — in late night Twitter outburst

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President Donald Trump lashed out on his favorite social media platform late Thursday evening.

Eight minutes before midnight eastern time, Trump unloaded.

Trump wrote, "Democrats must apologize to USA: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said that 'United States Ambassador Gordon Sondland did NOT link financial military assistance to a request for Ukraine to open up an investigation into former V.P. Joe Biden & his son, Hunter Biden. Ambassador Sondland did not tell us, and certainly did not tell me, about a connection between the assistance and the investigation.'”

Trump did not say why he was taking the word of a foreign official over multiple sworn testimonies from members of his own administration.

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Pelosi is ‘marrying up the facts and the law’: Ex-prosecutor says ‘bribery’ is a critical indictment of Trump

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Speaker Nancy Pelosi was masterful in using the word "bribery" to describe President Donald Trump's actions with Ukraine that are at the heart of the impeachment inquiry, according to a former federal prosecutor.

MSNBC anchor Brian Williams interviewed former Assistant U.S. Attorney Berit Berger on Thursday evening's "The Last Word."

Please expand for us on why it is significant and why is it important to label this bribery," Williams said.

"So I think Nancy Pelosi was very specific in calling this bribery for two reasons," Berger replied.

"The first is that -- unlike quid pro quo -- ribery is something that most people understand, especially people who have children," she said, with a chuckle. "We all sort of have a general understanding of that."

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Giuliani henchmen showered Republican with cash — and Trump almost made him ambassador to Ukraine: report

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Yet another bombshell report has shed new light on President Donald Trump's suspicious Ukraine policies.

"At the same time that Rudy Giuliani and his now-indicted pals were pushing for President Donald Trump to remove Amb. Marie Yovanovitch from her post in Ukraine, Trump administration officials were eyeing potential contenders to take over her job. One of the people in the mix, according to three sources familiar with the discussions, was Rep. Pete Sessions, a former Congressman who called for Yovanovitch’s firing," The Daily Beast reported Thursday night. "He is also a longtime ally of the former New York Mayor, and is believed to have taken millions of dollars from Giuliani’s indicted cronies."

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