Six In The Morning Saturday 22 June 2019


Trump warns Iran of ‘obliteration’ in event of war

President Trump has said he does not want war but warned Iran it would face “obliteration” if conflict broke out.

Speaking to NBC on Friday, he said the US was open to talks but would not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons.

He also expanded on his last-minute decision to call off strikes planned in response to the shooting down of a US unmanned drone this week, saying he had been told 150 Iranians would be killed.

“I didn’t like it. I didn’t think it was proportionate,” he said.

Tehran says the unmanned US aircraft entered Iranian airspace early on Thursday morning. The US maintains it was shot down in international airspace.

The rise of the deepfake and the threat to democracy

O4 May 2016, Jimmy Fallon, the host of NBC’s The Tonight Show, appeared in a sketch dressed as Donald Trump, then the Republican presidential nominee. Wearing a blond wig and three coats of bronzer, he pretended to phone Barack Obama – played by Dion Flynn – to brag about his latest primary win in Indiana. Both men appeared side by side in split screen, facing the camera. Flynn’s straight-man impression of Obama, particularly his soothing, expectant voice, was convincing, while Fallon played the exaggerated caricature that all of Trump’s mimics – and the man himself – settle into.
Three years later, on 5 March 2019, footage of the sketch was posted on the YouTube channel derpfakes under the title The Presidents. The first half of the clip shows the opening 10 seconds or so of the sketch as it originally aired. Then the footage is replayed, except the faces of Fallon and Flynn have been transformed into, seemingly, the real Trump and Obama, delivering the same lines in the same voices, but with features rendered almost indistinguishable from those of the presidents.

Missouri refuses to renew licence for state’s last abortion provider

Clinic has been existing through series of shot measure legal reprieves
Jim SalterSt Louis

Missouri’s only abortion clinic has lost its licence to perform the procedure, though it remains open at least temporarily under a judge’s order.

The state health department notified the Planned Parenthood clinic in St Louis on Friday its abortion licence will not be renewed. A letter from the state cited “serious and extensive” deficiencies.

The state’s decision came at the deadline set by St. Louis Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer. During a brief hearing, Stelzer said a preliminary injunction he previously issued would remain in place, meaning the clinic can continue to perform abortions at least until he issues a final ruling outlining the next steps. He offered no timetable for that ruling.

Fashion world shaken by cultural appropriation claims

The women embroiderers of the remote Mexican mountain village of Tenango de Doria made worldwide headlines this week when their government went to war with an American designer for “plagiarising” their patterns.

Wes Gordon, the artistic director of the New York label founded by Venezuelan designer Carolina Herrera, found himself accused of cultural appropriation.

The women of the indigenous community in the east of the country told AFP how they felt cheated of their traditional motifs where “each element has a personal, family or community meaning”.

The Istanbul race is personal for Erdoğan. The result could transform Turkey

Updated 0342 GMT (1142 HKT) June 22, 2019

On a recent afternoon at a coffee house in the Istanbul neighborhood where Turkey’s president grew up, Güngör Saytuğ was ruminating on his old friend’s rise to power.

Decades ago, Saytuğ and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan were sitting in the locker room after an amateur soccer game when Erdoğan announced out of the blue that he would someday become prime minister, and then president.
Not long after that, Erdoğan launched his political career as a self-styled man of the people, playing on his “Kasımpaşalı” roots to rocket from relative obscurity to mayor of Istanbul in 1994. To many voters here, he is still the local boy from Kasımpaşa, a working-class neighborhood known for its naval tradition and its top-flight soccer team. Erdoğan never made it to the pros, but the stadium now bears his name.

The Supreme Court overturned Curtis Flowers’s murder conviction, citing racial bias

Doug Evans, a white prosecutor from Mississippi, deliberately excluded black potential jurors from a black man’s case, the court ruled.

The Supreme Court has overturned a murder conviction for Curtis Flowers, a Mississippi man who has been tried for murder six times, saying that the prosecutor violated the Constitution by excluding black potential jurors from the trial.

The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 Friday that Doug Evans, a white prosecutor, unconstitutionally excluded eligible black jurors from Flowers’s trial for murdering four people in 1996 inside a furniture store. Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch dissented.

This isn’t the first time Flowers, who was featured on the second season of the In the Darkpodcast from American Public Media, has had his conviction overturned in court. In fact, Evans has tried Flowers six times — 1997, 1999, 2004, 2007, 2008, and 2010 — and, each time, the jury has either failed to reach a verdict or the conviction was thrown out on appeal. In his last trial, in 2010, the jury, made up of one black and 11 white jurors, sentenced him to death.