🇲🇽 Mexico says that Russia must participate in peace talks with Ukraine at the planned Saudi Arabia peace talks on August 5. The current plan is to leave Russia out.
🇲🇲 Myanmar will pardon jailed former leader Aung San Suu Kyi on five of 19 offenses but she will remain under house arrest.
🇭🇹 The U.S. State Department says an American nurse was kidnapped in Haiti with her daughter. The timing is very interesting and we will cover this story today on Redacted's live show.
🇺🇦 The Senate passed the $886 billion defense budget without adding the requirement of an audit for aid to Ukraine.
📺 You can watch last night's full Redacted show right here.
*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 5:00pm AM.
The Lead: Elon Cuts Off Ukraine
ukraine drone strike on building in Moscow credit: getty
Ukraine has reportedly been cut off from Starlink. The military had planned to use Elon Musk’s space satellite network to drop a drone on a Russian ship in Crimea but Starlink would not allow it.
Musk has many times expressed concern about his network being used to attack instead of defend.
Meanwhile, Ukraine has stepped up attacks on Moscow, even though President Biden assured Americans that the weapons that the U.S. provided would not be used to attack Russia. Drones targeted Moscow’s financial district on Tuesday morning but most were thwarted by air defense systems. No casualties were reported.
Also on Tuesday, Russia said that it thwarted attacks on two Naval ships in the Black Sea. In response to these attacks, Russia says that it will step up strikes on Ukraine.
Hunter Biden’s former business partner testified to Congress in a closed-door hearing on Monday. Devon Archer said that President Biden did in fact have many dealings with his son Hunter’s overseas businesses despite the White House insisting that he never did.
These business dealings involve overseas companies buying access to the President when he was Vice President. There is no other way to put it.
Archer said that President Biden had been put on speakerphone with foreign companies at least 20 times and that Hunter Biden was successful precisely because he could “sell the brand” of high-ranking access.
Members of the House Oversight Committee said that this testimony was “damning” in their consideration of impeaching President Biden. Last week House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said that “this is rising to the level of an impeachment inquiry.”
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The platform formerly known as Twitter is suing the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) for attacking free speech on X. They claim that the CCDH has been “actively working to assert false and misleading claims encouraging advertisers to pause investment on the platform.”
Hate speech is protected speech and free speech purists know to protect even the speech that they don’t like. The CCDH is a non-governmental agency that seeks to silence speech that is critical about vaccines, climate and other topics that they call hateful. X claims that the agency has illegally gained access to its data and twisted that data to make “unsubstantiated assertions about X.”
The CCDH says that this legal action is “a brazen attempt to silence honest criticism and independent research in the desperate hope that he can stem the tide of negative stories and rebuild his relationship with advertisers.”
A new Senate bill would establish a new federal agency in charge of social media. Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren and Republican Senator Lindsay Graham put forward the bill. It would establish the Digital Consumer Protection Commission to police, censor and deplatform social media as the government sees fit.
Already I don’t like it.
The new commission would give the federal government the power to declare some websites as “dominant platforms” and require those platforms to have government licenses. It could also revoke that license for what it declares is repeated misconduct.
It would also give the government the power over content moderation. Given what we have seen from the Twitter Files and Facebook Files about how the government has reached into social media to demand speech censorship, it is no wonder the government wants to get rid of the middle man and just police speech itself. A recent federal ruling makes government collusion with social media illegal and the Justice Department is trying to appeal that.
A similar bill was introduced in May called the Digital Platform Commission Act of 2023. Congress is not going to stop trying to control social media.
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This newsletter is written and researched by Natali Morris.
Please feel free to reach Natali at [email protected]
for any editorial feedback.