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New York Post Reporter Quits After Saying She Was “Ordered To Write” False Article About VP Kamala Harris

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  • New York Post reporter Laura Italiano resigned Monday after saying she was “ordered to write” a false article, which claimed that unaccompanied migrant children were being given copies of Vice President Kamala Harris’ children’s book in “welcome kits.”
  • Amid fact-checking from other news agencies, the NYP briefly deleted the piece, then posted a revised version that accurately said only one copy of Harris’ book was spotted at a single migrant shelter. 
  • In fact, that book was confirmed to have simply been given to the shelter by an anonymous person during a donation drive. 
  • The White House has also confirmed that it did not purchase or distribute Harris’ book.

NYP Goes Live With False VP Story

A New York Post reporter has quit after she saying she was forced to write a false article that claimed “thousands” of copies of Vice President Kamala Harris’ children’s book were being handed out to migrant kids in “welcome kits.”

That article, a front-page story titled “Kam On In: Solo Kids at Border Welcomed with Copy of Veep’s Book,” was published Friday. In it, reporter Laura Italiano cited a photo that shows a copy of Harris’ 40-page children’s book, “Superheroes are Everywhere,” at a shelter in Long Beach, California.

Source: New York Post

Without any further attribution, Italiano said copies of the book were being disseminated to unaccompanied migrant children en masse. She added that the White House had “no answers” when asked if Harris was profiting off of these alleged welcome packages. 

Over the weekend, a number of notable Republicans began jumping on the story, including Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel and Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton.

“Now they’re forcing taxpayers to buy Kamala Harris’s book to give to those illegal immigrants?” Cotton tweeted.

WaPo Fact Checks the NYP’s Reporting 

On Monday, multiple other media outlets began debunking the NYP’s story, including The Washington Post, which likened the article to “a bad game of telephone.” 

That’s because, according to Long Beach city officials that the WaPo spoke with, “Harris’s book is not being handed out in welcome kits.” Instead, “a single copy of the book was donated during a citywide donation drive.”

That lone copy was then singled out after a photographer with the Southern California News Group visited the shelter and took an image of it resting atop a black backpack. That photo was later distributed by Reuters and eventually ran in the NYP alongside its faux report about Harris.

The WaPo noted that it had reached out to Italiano for comment but said it never got a response. 

It also reached out to the White House, which confirmed that it had neither purchased nor distributed Harris’ book. A spokesperson for the VP’s office even said they were unaware that the book had been donated prior to reports, which is in-line with the explanation that the book had been donated. 

Just several hours after the WaPo published its fact-check, the NYP deleted its “Kam On In” article without any sort of retraction or clarification. That said, an editor’s note was attached to a related article about the story. 

A couple more hours later, the original article was made live again, with a similar editor’s note attached. This time, the title read, “Kamala isn’t at the southern border — but at least one migrant kid got Veep’s book.”

The article remains critical of Harris, noting that the book’s presence but Harris’ physical absence at the shelter is “just the latest open-arms gesture by the Biden administration.”

Italiano Quits

Several more hours later, Italiano announced her resignation from the NYP on Twitter. 

“The Kamala Harris story — an incorrect story I was ordered to write and which I failed to push back hard enough against — was my breaking point,” she said.

Despite coming forward with that information, Italiano has still faced a hefty amount of criticism online.

“So…she drew the line after she fabricated a story, it went viral, and has yet to be retracted,” one person tweeted. “Interesting how that seems to just keep happening while these pubs rake in clicks.”

Meanwhile, sports and political commentator Keith Olbermann offered the counterargument of, “If you think [Laura Italiano] should’ve just refused to write it, consider: somebody else would’ve, and they might have punished or fired her, and we might never have known.”

“If you’ve already convinced yourself you can function within the Murdoch ethos (or lack thereof), you eventually have two choices: keep selling your soul and doing the wrong thing, or stop. I always think we should encourage and reward people who want to STOP.”

See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (The New York Times) (CNN)

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Wisconsin Police Deny Planting Evidence in Viral Video, Release Their Own Body Cam Footage

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The footage police released shows that during a search, officers found a corner tear from a plastic bag inside a backseat passenger’s pocket. An officer then discarded it into the car after determining that it was empty.


Viral Video Appears To Show Officer Planting Evidence

The Caledonia Police Department in Wisconsin has responded to a viral cell phone video that appears to show an officer planting a small plastic baggie inside of a car during a traffic stop.

The now-viral footage was posted to Facebook by a man who goes by GlockBoy Savoo.

The user, who also filmed the clip, wrote in his post’s caption that the officer did this “just to get a reason to search the car” and said the cop didn’t know he was being recorded by the passenger.

Source: Facebook/ GlockBoy Savoo

Police Shut Down Accusations With Their Own Footage

After that video spread across social media, many were outraged, calling the Caledonia police dirty for seemingly planting evidence. All the outrage eventually prompted the department to announce an investigation Saturday.

Within hours, the department provided an update, claiming that officers didn’t actually plant any evidence or do anything illegal.

Police shared a lengthy summary of events, along with two body camera clips from the incident. That statement explained that the driver of the vehicle was pulled over for going 63 in a 45mph zone.

Two passengers in the backseat who were then spotted without seatbelts were asked to identify themselves and step out of the car. During a search of one passenger’s pockets, an officer pulled out “an empty corner tear” from a plastic baggie.

Police claim the corner tear did not contain any illegal substances, though they said this type of packaging is a common method for holding illegal drugs.

In one body cam clip, an officer can be heard briefly questioning the backseat passenger about the baggie. Then, that piece of plastic gets handed off to different officers who also determined it as empty before the officer in the original viral video discarded it into the back of the car.

The officer can also be seen explaining where the plastic came from to the passenger recording him.

“Aye, bro you just threw that in here!” the front seat passenger says, as heard in his version of the events.

“Yeah, cause it was in his pocket and I don’t want to hold onto it. It’s on their body cam that they took it off of him…I’m telling you where it came from, so. It’s an empty baggie at the moment too, so,” the officer replies.

The department went on to explain that while it would discourage officers from discarding items into a citizen’s car, this footage proves that evidence was not planted.

Authorities also noted that no arrests were made in this incident and the driver was the only one issued a citation for speeding. The statement added that since four officers were present at the scene, police have more than six hours of footage to review but they promised to release the footage in full in the near future.

See what others are saying: (Heavy)(CBS 58) (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

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Medical Groups, Local Leaders Push for Healthcare Workers and Public Employees To Get Vaccinated

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The move comes as COVID cases have nearly quadrupled in the last month due to the rapid spread of the highly infectious delta variant.


Increased Calls for Mandatory Vaccinations in Certain Sectors

More than 50 of America’s largest medical groups representing millions of healthcare workers issued a statement Monday calling for employers of all health and long-term care providers to require mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations.

The groups, which included the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, and 55 others, cited contagious new variants — including delta — and low vaccination rates.

“Vaccination is the primary way to put the pandemic behind us and avoid the return of stringent public health measures,” they wrote.

The call to action comes as new COVID cases have almost quadrupled during the month of July, jumping from just around 13,000 infections a day at the beginning of this month to more than 50,000.

While the vast majority of new infections and hospitalizations are among those who have not received the vaccines, many healthcare workers remain unvaccinated. According to data collected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, over 38% of nursing home staff were not fully vaccinated as of July 11. 

An analysis by WebMD and Medscape Medical News found that around 25% of hospital workers who were in contact with patients had not been vaccinated by the end of May when vaccinations became widely available.

In addition to calls for medical professionals to get vaccinated, some local leaders have also begun to impose mandates for public employees as cases continue spiking.

Last month, San Francisco announced that it was requiring all city workers to get vaccinated. Also on Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that all municipal employees — including police officers and teachers — must either get the jab or agree to weekly testing by the time school starts in September.

Dr. Fauci Says U.S. Officials Are Considering Revising Mask Guidance for Vaccinated People

Numerous top U.S. health officials have applauded efforts by local leaders to mitigate further spread of the coronavirus, including the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who confirmed Sunday that federal officials are actively considering whether to revise federal masking guidelines to recommend that vaccinated Americans wear face coverings in public settings.

In May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said people who are vaccinated do not need to mask in public. Although that was a non-binding recommendation, many states and cities that had not already lifted restrictions on masking began to do so shortly after.

But now, local leaders in areas seeing big spikes have begun reimposing mask mandates — even for those who are vaccinated — including major counties like Los Angeles and St. Louis.

In his remarks Sunday, Fauci also emphasized that, despite claims from many conservatives, those efforts are in line with the federal recommendations, which leave space for local leaders to issue their own rules.

While Fauci and other top U.S. public health officials have encouraged local governments to take action, Republican lawmakers in several states are taking steps to limit the ability of local leaders and public health officials to take certain mitigation measures.

According to the Network for Public Health Law, at least 15 state legislatures have passed or are considering bills to limit the legal authority of public health agencies — and that does not even include unilateral action taken by governors.

Some of the leaders of states suffering the biggest spikes have banned local officials from imposing their own mask mandates, like Arkansas, which has the highest per capita cases in the country right now, as well as Florida, which currently ranks third.

Notably, some of the laws proposed or passed by Republicans could go beyond just preventing local officials from trying to mitigate surges in COVID cases and may have major implications for other public health crises.

For example, according to The Washington Post, a North Dakota law that bans mask mandates applies to other breakouts — even tuberculosis — while a new Montana law also bars the use of quarantine for people who have been exposed to an infectious disease but have not yet tested positive.

See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (The New York Times) (The Guardian)

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Couple Slammed Over Slavery-Themed Pre-Wedding Photoshoot

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Many have expressed outrage at the duo for trying to romanticize slavery while others were left completely dumbfounded by the entire ordeal.


Photoshoot Goes Viral

A couple has come under fire after sharing images on Instagram from their slavery-themed pre-wedding photoshoot.


The photos show a Black man in shackles looking deeply into his white fiancé’s eyes before she works to releases him.


1842. Days passed and everything changed, our love got stronger and stronger, he was no longer a slave, he was part of the family,” the post’s caption reads.


To indicate his transition from “slave” to family, a fourth image shows him wearing a long coat and top hat with well-shined shoes, as opposed to the white shirt, trousers, and straw hat he wore in the previous images.

Social Media Users React

It’s not immediately clear who these people are since the social media handle is redacted in the images circulating online.

Still, many have expressed outrage at the duo for trying to romanticize slavery while others were left just completely dumbfounded by this entire ordeal. Some also directed criticism at the photographer who agreed to the shoot, along with the hundreds of Instagram users who liked the original posts.

See what others are saying: (The Daily Dot) (Black Enterprise) (BET)

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