CNN host Don Lemon found himself in the uncomfortable position of defending Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who was harassed in a Montana fishing store over the weekend while shopping with his daughter. The confrontation between Carlson and another customer, who called the right-wing pundit “the worst human,” was caught on video over the weekend. “I never thought I’d be in the position to maybe somehow have to defend Tucker Carlson,” Lemon said on his Tuesday night show. But that’s what he did. In addition to undermining the seriousness of the Jan. 6 uprising at the U.S. Capitol and backing the ...
A newly discovered Vincent van Gogh drawing that has been hidden in a private collection for more than a century went on display for the first time at an Amsterdam museum on Thursday.
"Study for 'Worn Out'", which depicts an old man sitting in a chair, was sketched by van Gogh in November 1882 when he was just starting the career that would later produce masterpieces like "Sunflowers".
The owners, a Dutch family which bought the pencil drawing in around 1910, asked the Van Gogh museum to authenticate it and experts confirmed that it was indeed a "new work" by Van Gogh.
"This one has never been seen before anywhere. It's the first time that this drawing is out in the open," Teio Meedendorp, senior researcher at the Van Gogh Museum, told AFP.
"It comes from a Dutch private collection where it has been for a very long time. And this the first time and occasion that the world is able to see it."
The new drawing will be on temporary display at the museum until January 2 before returning to the owners.Visitors look at a selfportrait of Vincent Van Gogh at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD AFP
"It's quite rare for a new work to be attributed to Van Gogh," added Emilie Gordenker, the director of the Van Gogh Museum.
"We're proud to be able to share this early drawing and its story with our visitors."
- 'Lucky find' -
The drawing depicts a bald, elderly laborer from a pensioners' home dressed in a waistcoat, trousers and boots, sitting on a wooden chair with his head in his hands.
The Van Gogh museum already owns a similar drawing called "Worn Out", which the artist made at about the same time and said he preferred.
Both drawings are part of a series of "hundreds and hundreds" of sketches that Van Gogh made when he was living in The Hague and learning the artist's trade.
But while letters from Van Gogh to his beloved brother Theo indicated that there was at least one other sketch from the "Worn Out" sessions, which were on or around November 24, 1882, experts didn't know if it still existed.
Meedendorp said it was a "total surprise" to find out that it did. "
"We didn't expect it to be out there but it was out there, so this was a lucky find," he told a press conference.
The owners, who have asked not to be named, approached the museum last year after it launched an appeal to private Van Gogh owners to contribute to a digital database listing all of his works.
- 'Expressive' drawing -
Authenticating the work has been made easier by the fact that it is believed to have been bought from a well-known Van Gogh collector called Henk Bremmer in 1910, and then passed on through the family.
"Within the family it was always known as being a Van Gogh drawing -- it was bought as one, and in the collection as one, and enjoyed as such," said Meedendorp.
The drawing also "fits perfectly" with Van Gogh's "expressive" style of scratches and strokes that make deep marks in the paper.
Further evidence that it is a real Van Gogh is that the drawing uses materials he is known to have employed in the period including a carpenter's pencil, watercolor paper with a specific watermark, and traces of damage on the back from the way he used to attach paper to his drawing board.
The museum says it even knows the identity of the old man, a pensioner with a distinctive bald head and white sideburns called Jacobus Zuyderland, who was 72 at the time.
Van Gogh's vivid post-Impressionist expressionist works like "Irises" and "Starry Night" have become world famous but there has been increasing interest in his earlier, more muted Dutch period.
© 2021 AFP
Idaho, the US state with the lowest Covid vaccination rate in the country, announced Thursday it was rationing medical care and would turn patients away from ventilators if they aren't likely to recover.
The northwestern state's health department said it had enacted the measure because of "the massive increase of COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization" which had "exhausted" existing resources.
"The situation is dire," said health department director Dave Jeppesen in a statement.
"We don't have enough resources to adequately treat the patients in our hospitals, whether you are there for COVID-19 or a heart attack or because of a car accident," he added, calling on more Idaho residents to get vaccinated.
The department's statement explained that under the rationing guidelines, patients admitted to hospital may find beds unavailable or be treated in repurposed settings like conference rooms.
What's more, "someone who is otherwise healthy and would recover more rapidly may get treated or have access to a ventilator before someone who is not likely to recover."
Only 46 percent of Idaho's population of nearly 1.8 million have received one or more doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, according to the Covid Act Now tracker.
This puts it at the bottom of the table among 53 US states or territories. For reference, 63 percent of the US population has received one or more doses, with table topping Puerto Rico at 77 percent.
More than 630 people are hospitalized with Covid in the state, compared to around 90 in early July. Around 20 are dying per day, equal to the worst surge seen in December, and the figure could rise further.
Vaccines, as well as other Covid mitigation measures like masks and distancing, are politically polarizing issues in the United States, with uptake much lower in conservative-leaning regions.
Former president Donald Trump carried Idaho with 64 percent of the popular vote compared to Joe Biden's 33 percent in the 2020 election.
© 2021 AFP
A court has partially revived a defamation lawsuit filed by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) against reporter Ryan Lizza, who claimed in an Esquire piece that the congressman's family had abandoned California for Iowa. Nunes claims to be a dairy farmer but was accused by critics of being a "fake farmer" because the family dairy was gone. Nunes then bought a farm.
Several legal experts said the ruling was unusual.
University of Iowa law professor Cristina Tilley told USA Today that the decision represents "a fairly new and unusual position that tweeting out an article that has already been published can make a speaker vulnerable to libel liability if the subject of the article has denied the original allegations in court."
Texas Christian University professor Chip Stewart similarly told Politico that the decision was "potentially troublesome."
"It's an odd kind of bootstrapping argument," Stewart said. "Nunes claims the underlying article is false. He sues over it. Lizza tweets the exact same story after the lawsuit is filed. And what was originally not actual malice now all of a sudden is, at least plausibly enough for a lawsuit to advance to further costly litigation. All over a tweet that changed nothing about the original story."
Reason's Elizabeth Nolan Brown called the decision "a disturbing ruling for fans of free speech." First Amendment lawyer Ari Cohn, meanwhile, called it "a highly illogical and unfounded opinion that plays directly into the hands of people like Devin Nunes and his ethically-challenged lawyer that use the expense and arduous process of litigating even frivolous lawsuits."
The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit agreed with a lower court that there was no "malice" involved in the report and thus it doesn't meet the requirement for defamation.
"The Supreme Court's interpretation of the First Amendment requires a public official to prove that defamatory statements or implications are made with 'actual malice,' meaning 'with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not,'" said the court. "In this context, 'reckless conduct is not measured by whether a reasonably prudent man would have published.' Instead, 'the defendant must have made the false publication with a high degree of awareness of . . . probable falsity, or must have entertained serious doubts as to the truth of his publication.'…We agree with the district court that the complaint is insufficient to state a claim of actual malice as to the original publication."
But the court said there was a question over whether Lizza's later retweet of the article could meet the "malice" requirement.
After Nunes sued Lizza and his name was trending on Twitter, Lizza tweeted the article again saying, "I noticed that Devin Nunes is in the news. If you're interested in a strange tale about Nunes, small-town Iowa, the complexities of immigration policy, a few car chases, and lots of cows, I've got a story for you."
The court separated the article from the tweet because "there is a distinction in defamation law between an original publication and a republication."
"The complaint here adequately alleges that Lizza intended to reach and actually reached a new audience by publishing a tweet about Nunes and a link to the article," ruled the appeals court. "Although we agree that there are insufficient allegations of express defamation, we conclude that the complaint does state a claim for defamation by implication as to a republication of the article. We thus affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand for further proceedings."
So, they are likely going back to court over the tweet of the Lizza story where Nunes will have to prove the retweeting of the story meets the "malice" requirement.
"Under the appeals court's logic, a politician may declare something defamatory and sue in court and—whether there is merit to the original claim or not—the journalist or publication who so much as draws attention to the contested article could become guilty," Brown noted.
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