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Photo: Betye Saar at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in LA. (Photo by Gina Pollack)

Russian meddling probe now includes Trump's banking activities 10 MIN, 11 SEC

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has expanded his Russian meddling inquiry to include years of President Trump’s banking transactions, Bloomberg reports today. Trump’s longtime and most supportive lender -- Deutsche Bank -- is facing new scrutiny over its loans to Trump. The bank may soon be involved in Mueller’s investigation.

Ben Protess, New York Times (@benprotess)

Big German Bank, Key to Trump’s Finances, Faces New Scrutiny

California GOP congressman is in middle of his own Russia scandal 9 MIN, 22 SEC

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of Huntington Beach, who has long held pro-Russian positions, is under scrutiny for his efforts to discredit a leading advocate of U.S. sanctions on Russia. A member of Rohrabacher’s staff has been removed from his role at the Subcommittee on Foreign Affairs Rohrabacher chairs. Some of the people Rohrabacher and his aide were working with are connected to the group that met with Donald Trump Jr. and others at Trump Tower in June 2016.

Nico Hines, The Daily Beast (@NicoHines)

GOP Lawmaker Got Direction From Moscow, Took It Back to D.C.
A Top Rohrabacher Aide Is Ousted After Russia Revelations

How the feds could seize suspects' property even before they're accused of a crime 6 MIN, 36 SEC

Jeff Sessions is restarting part of the federal program called civil asset forfeiture. When law enforcement finds reason to believe that some cash, a house, or other valuable asset has been used in illegal activities, they seize it, and it becomes government property. In 2014, the government took more property from American citizens than burglars did. After an outcry from civil rights groups, then-Attorney General Eric Holder stopped part of the program.

Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post (@_cingraham)

Jeff Sessions’s Justice Department turns a $65 million asset forfeiture spigot back on
Jeff Sessions wants police to take more cash from American citizens

At 90, Betye Saar still makes political art about race in America 16 MIN, 3 SEC

Betye Saar creates art out of objects she finds at flea markets and junk stores. In 1972 she made her name with a piece called “The Liberation of Aunt Jemima,” in which she reconfigured a mammy figurine to hold a broom in one hand and a shotgun in the other. Now she has a new exhibition called “Keepin’ It Clean” at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in LA.

Betye Saar at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in LA
(Photo by Gina Pollack)

Saar says this white christening dress symbolizes the loss of innocence.
It has words stitched to the bottom-- racist slurs for black children.
(Credit: Craft and Folk Art Museum)

Saar's "The Liberation of Aunt Jemima," 1972.
(Credit: Collection of the Berkeley Art Museum)

Betye Saar, artist (@betyesaar)


Why free payment apps like Venmo are really not-so-free 8 MIN, 15 SEC

The free peer-to-peer payment app Venmo has a social element that other similar apps don’t have. How secure is your personal data and the money you send. How does Venmo make money, anyway? Also, the Dept. of Justice announced today that the black market site AlphaBay has been busted up. Finally, Apple announced new emoji this week.

Xeni Jardin, BoingBoing.net (@xeni)

How in the World Does Venmo Make Money?
Justice Department announces takedown of AlphaBay, the largest dark web market
Meet Apple’s New Emojis: Zombies, Hijabs and Sandwiches Included

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