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OAN’s Kremlin journalist proves the ‘merger between Russian state-sponsored propaganda and American conservative media’ is complete: Former FBI special agent

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Its headlines look like they’re written to please an audience of one.

“Political Strategist: President Trump’s reelection looks good in state-by-state analysis of chances.”

“Pres. Trump touts strong approval rating as economy remains solid.”

“GOP businesswoman Scherie Murray announces campaign for AOC’s seat.”

It’s been called an “obscure” pay-cable TV station, but One America News Network, which at time feels more like Fox News than Fox News, is President Donald Trump’s new favorite news channel. It worked hard to get there, and as a 2017 Washington Post article noted its “taking ‘pro-Trump’ to new heights.”

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The President has noticed, occasionally tweeting out their stories.

On Monday The Daily Beast‘s Sr. National Security Correspondent, Kevin Poulsen, noticed another reason why OANN may be Trump’s favorite new news outlet.

“One of the on-air reporters at the 24-hour network is a Russian national on the payroll of the Kremlin’s official propaganda outlet, Sputnik.”

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Kristian Rouz, “originally from the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, has been living in San Diego, where OAN is based, since August 2017, reporting on US politics for the 24-hour news channel,” The Daily Beast reports. “For all of that time he’s been simultaneously writing for Sputnik, a Kremlin-owned newswire that played a role in Russia’s 2016 election interference operation, according to an assessment by the U.S. intelligence community.”

What kind of journalism does Rouz practice?

There’s “a wholly fabricated 2017 segment claiming Hillary Clinton is secretly bankrolling antifathrough her political action committee,” while other “smears target billionaire financier George Soros.”

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In one segment, Rouz amplified a thoroughly debunked claim that Soros collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, when the Jewish philanthropist was 14 years old. Another Rouz story accused Soros of secretly funding migrant caravans.

Former FBI Special Agent Clint Watts, who served on the Joint Terrorism Task Force and has testified before Congress, weighed in.

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“This completes the merger between Russian state-sponsored propaganda and American conservative media,” Watts, now a research fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, told The Daily Beast. “We used to think of it as, ‘They just have the same views’ or, ‘They use the same story leads.’ But now they have the same personnel.”


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John Oliver unleashes on news sites that sent out stupid push notifications

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"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver doesn't come back until Feb. 16, but he dropped a new web-exclusive video Sunday complaining to news agencies that they should stop sending out stupid push notifications on their apps.

Oliver told his audience that there are two major criteria when considering a push notification: 1. Is there something I should be doing differently?; and 2. Is this something I need to know now?

Things like declarations of war, earthquakes or acts of terrorism are all perfect examples of things news agencies should inform readers about quickly. But when CNN sent out a push notification about a 115,000 Neanderthal child that was only found "half-eaten" by a bird, Oliver was understandably frustrated.

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Billionaires are now richer than 60 percent of the world’s population: report

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The world's billionaires have doubled in the past decade and are richer than 60 percent of the global population, the charity Oxfam said Monday.

It said poor women and girls were at the bottom of the scale, putting in "12.5 billion hours of unpaid care work each and every day," estimated to be worth at least $10.8 trillion a year.

"Our broken economies are lining the pockets of billionaires and big business at the expense of ordinary men and women. No wonder people are starting to question whether billionaires should even exist," Oxfam's India head Amitabh Behar said.

"The gap between rich and poor can't be resolved without deliberate inequality-busting policies," Behar said ahead of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, where he will represent Oxfam.

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Alcohol-infused gummy bears infuriating candy giant Haribo

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Ander Mendez and his friends were hoping they'd struck it rich when they came up with the idea of selling alcohol-infused gummy bears -- until they found themselves in the sights of sweet giant Haribo.

Now, these three Spaniards say they're afraid of being shut down by the German confectionery king, which is famed for its vast array of jelly sweets and was founded 100 years ago in the western city of Bonn.

In a not-so-sweetly worded legal letter, Haribo has accused their startup of infringing its trademarked little bear.

But these graduates from the northern Spanish port city of Bilbao insist they will carry on producing their "drunken gummy bears" -- "because people like them."

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