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Free Bresha Meadows, Olympic white privilege, Snowden and ShadowBrokers: ICYMI

Important news you may have missed on Friday, Aug. 19.


Dell Cameron


Posted on Aug 19, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 5:34 am CDT

Here’s some news you may have missed:

“Were it not for a new website, the citizens of Upland, California, might not be able to vote for Janice Elliot this November,” writes Layer 8 reporter Aaron Sankin. Jim Gilliam, creator of, says he hopes to level the playing field in local politics, helping ordinary citizens navigate the oft-Byzantine election process.

A movement is building to free Bresha Meadows, a 15-year-old girl now held in juvenile detention after fatally shooting her father, a man family members have accused of abuse.  A GoFundMe campaign, citing two decades of domestic violence, has raised nearly $38,000 for the family. A petition demanding authorities drop all charges against Meadows and immediate release her has so far collected more than 1,400 signatures.

Research into top-secret documents provided by Edward Snowden adds new legitimacy to the claims of ShadowBrokers: earlier this week, the hackers leaked a number of exploits allegedly stolen from an NSA-linked threat nicknamed “Equation Team.” Confirmation by the Intercept follows that of Kaspersky Lab, which first revealed ET’s existence in early 2015, and says it’s highly confident in its attribution.

Read our analysis of how the U.S. government is likely to respond to the ShadowBroker threat.

Donald Trump’s embattled campaign chairman formally resigned on Friday. Paul Manafort’s exit follows the promotion of pollster Kellyanne Conway to campaign manager, as well as the hiring of Stephen Bannon, who is executive chairman of the pro-Trump website Breitbart News. Manafort has been recently plagued by his financial ties to Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s former pro-Russian president who now resides in exile facing allegations of corruption.

Why do shot-putters Ryan Crouser and Joe Kovacs get a pass for not having their hands over their hearts but gymnast Gabby Douglas doesn’t? Learn more about the national anthem and white privilege at the Olympics.

Many people are psyched about Zendaya playing Mary Jane Watson in Marvel Studio’s latest, Spider-Man: Homecoming. Other people, however, openly said the role should be inaccessible to her because she’s black.

Finally, meet SCOTUS, the Supreme Cat of the United States. Because it’s Friday and you need this.

You don’t hear Peter Parker complaining.

Milo Yiannopoulos apparently raised between $100,000 and $250,000 after founding a college scholarship exclusively for white men. So far, no scholarships have been awarded. The alt-right icon told reporters that his attorneys are currently drafting paperwork to establish a legal charity. –via Gideon Resnick and Ben Collins, the Daily Beast

Health alert: Pregnant women and their partners are advised to avoid travel to Miami-Dade County after Florida identified a second zone of local Zika transmission. –via Lizette Alvarez and Pam Belluck, the New York Times

Thanks to Facebook, it’s easy as hell for hackers to trick facial recognition systems. –via Lily Hay Newman, Wired

This longread explores the assertion that earth’s climate crisis is in fact a human reproductive crisis. In other words: Should we be having children (or many of them) in the perilous age of climate change? –via Jennifer Ludden, National Public Radio

Trump’s new campaign CEO, Breitbart News executive Steve Bannon, led attacks against Sen. Ted Cruz during the Republican primaries. A source also claims that, Matthew Boyle, the Washington editor of Breitbart was “actively giving consulting advice to the Trump campaign staffers and strategizing with them while he was reporting on the primary.” –via Jonathan Swan, The Hill

GCHQ, Britain’s National Security Agency equivalent, has detailed a number of scenarios under which it might engage in mass hacking, or “bulk equipment interference.”via Joseph Cox, Motherboard

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*First Published: Aug 19, 2016, 8:14 pm CDT