By Jane Ross and Sandra Stojanovic LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Known for their perfectly glazed sugary treats, people now have another reason to appreciate doughnut chain Krispy Kreme. Starting Monday, anyone who shows a valid COVID-19 vaccination card at a Krispy Kreme store in the United States will receive a free glazed doughnut. "I came straight to Krispy Kreme after I heard the news," said Tae Kim, 32, who wasted no time in claiming his free doughnut in the Los Angeles suburb of Burbank after being vaccinated on Monday. The free treats will be available to every vaccinated person every day un...
Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is cooperating with the committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, CNN reports.
"Mr. Meadows has been engaging with the Select Committee through his attorney," Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) said in a statement. "He has produced records to the committee and will soon appear for an initial deposition. The Select Committee expects all witnesses, including Mr. Meadows, to provide all information requested and that the Select Committee is lawfully entitled to receive. The Committee will continue to assess his degree of compliance with our subpoena after the deposition."
Speaking to CNN, Meadow's lawyer George Terwilliger said that Democrats and Republicans have reached an understanding on the exchange of information moving forward.
"As we have from the beginning, we continue to work with the Select Committee and its staff to see if we can reach an accommodation that does not require Mr. Meadows to waive Executive Privilege or to forfeit the long-standing position that senior White House aides cannot be compelled to testify before Congress," Terwilliger said. "We appreciate the Select Committee's openness to receiving voluntary responses on non-privileged topics."
While Meadow's cooperation is welcome news, the extent of his cooperation remains to be seen.
"It's not incorrect to say he has cooperated to some extent, but he hasn't completely fulfilled his obligation and we need to see what happens. But Meadows doesn't want to be held in contempt," a source told CNN.
Read more at CNN.
Facebook documents reveal staff was furious over Zuckerberg's decision to protect Trump's call for violence
New disclosures from Facebook to the Securities and Exchanges Commission revealed opinion polls among employees who disagreed with the company's decision not to put a label on former President Donald Trump's post saying "when the looting starts the shooting starts."
According to Slate, the documents revealed charts showing the results from internal surveys over a two-year period, Jan. 2019 to Dec. 2020. Those surveys of employees ask "how optimistic employees felt regarding the company, how confident they were in the executive leadership, how proud they were to work at Facebook, and how much of a social good they felt the platform offered."
The results showed that enthusiasm for the company soared as the pandemic got worse and worse. Slate said that the assumption is that employees were proud about Facebook's place in providing COVID-19 news, promotion of health care workers and advice. In March 2020, the New York Times reported that “big tech could emerge from [the] coronavirus crisis stronger than ever.”
But as the summer came, optimism began to sink, with a sharp decline in Dec. 2020 ahead of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. In an examination of the Facebook Papers, the Washington Post reported Facebook played a role in helping anti-government attackers organize their actions.
"Though it is difficult to declare causation, the timing across all four charts clearly suggests one turning point: Facebook executives’ inaction on Trump’s 'looting/shooting' post after May 29, 2020," said the report. "These internal surveys demonstrate that Facebook quickly squandered the goodwill it had rebuilt for itself in the early months of the pandemic, very likely due to its ambivalence regarding Trump’s Facebook-supported and -spread rhetoric—especially in comparison with Twitter’s actions for the same post."
Staffers cited in the Facebook Papers show specific examples of the impact of Trump's comments and the company's lack of a response.
"In September 2020, the first results of a survey of Facebook users that 'measures [the] perceived legitimacy' of the platform’s harm-reduction efforts, was published internally to FB’s Integrity team," whistleblower Frances Haugen was part of that team at the time.
The survey showed three "beliefs" that "led to users undermining the legitimacy of Integrity’s work." One even said that “FB is complicit in perpetuating societal harm, including ruining Democracy + offline violence.” It cited the Trump "looting+shooting" post led to the belief. It goes on to give further examples for how Facebook poorly handled the racial issues as more and more people of color were killed or harmed by police.
One employee even posted a Google document online for anyone with the link detailing their reasons for leaving the company.
"Working on Violence and Incitement throughout the US election year was taxing. We made some decisions during this time, particularly in the months leading up to the election starting in around May, that I vehemently disagree with, and that did make work during this time even more challenging," the employee's document explains. "Trump’s 'Looting and Shooting' post was viewed orders of magnitude times more than the total number of views that we prevent in a day, and it was incitement of violence in the clearest sense of the term. It’s not hard to draw a straight line from that post to actual shootings that took place at protests."
The employee said that they wrote a June post "We're Not Allies Until We Do Something," and that the company agreed, but then did nothing to back it up. It was the same time that Trump posted the "looting/shooting" post. The employee confessed that they had a difficult time looking their Black colleagues in the eye when the system they contribute to is being used to incite violence against them.
So, while Zuckerberg may have had no problems with Trump's call to violence, the employees certainly did and some resigned because of it.
This anti-cult activist is devoting himself to ‘deprogramming’ Americans stuck in the ‘cult of Trump’
Steven Hassan, an ex-member of the Unification Church who is now an anti-cult activist, has had a lot to say about Donald Trump’s presidency — arguing that the MAGA movement has become a cult and that Trump’s unquestioning devotees act like cult members. Hassan’s book, “The Cult of Trump: A Leading Cult Expert Explains How the President Uses Mind Control,” was published in October 2019. And ten months into Joe Biden’s presidency, the 67-year-old Hassan is still sounding the alarm about the cult-like behavior of Trump worshippers.
Journalist Rachael Allen took an in-depth look at Hassan’s anti-Trump work in an article published by Slate on June 1, pointing out that Hassan has been applying his anti-cult “methods to politics.”
“Since the January 6 insurrection, Hassan’s profile has risen dramatically,” Allen observes. “Publications like the Boston Globe, the L.A. Times and Vanity Fair have turned to him for articles about how to move past the ‘cult of Trump’ and rescue loved ones.”
Hassan, however, doesn’t consider all Trump supporters to be cult members. Some Republicans have voiced their support for Trump simply because it is politically expedient. Rather, Hassan has focused on a certain type of Trump supporter: those who blindly worship the ex-president and refuse to question him in any way.
“Building on the work of cult researchers and psychiatrists,” Allen writes, “Hassan has developed a model for evaluating whether people are unduly influenced, eliciting controversy along the way not just for his expansive definition of cult, but his use of scientifically debated terms like brainwashing. After the Capitol riot, his platform is bigger than ever. But applying the framework of cults to politics is a complicated maneuver — and some worry that, in its sensationalism, it risks dividing the nation even further.”
Hassan, Allen notes, has “argued that Trump exhibits the personality traits and behaviors of a cult leader” and “thinks Trump controls, for example, his followers’ behavior by shunning those who don’t promise absolute loyalty, short-circuiting critical thinking with phrases like ‘fake news,’ and instilling phobias such as fear of immigrants.”
Allen points out that Hassan doesn’t believe that all Trump supporters need deprogramming, only the ones who exhibit more extreme behavior.
“While he says he understands the dangers of overstating the influence of a group like QAnon,” Allen writes, “(Hassan) sees his own media appearances as a way of countering news stories that dismiss Trumpists as crazy…. Even with all his publicity, Hassan has had only a few paying clients reach out to him about a loved one swept away by Trump or QAnon, and only one has materialized into an actual conversation with the devotee: a man who approached him last year about his wife, an ardent QAnon supporter. Hassan spoke with the woman, and she agreed to stop going to QAnon websites and said that if Trump wasn’t reelected, she would leave the group.”