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PBC News & Comment: Oliver Stone Challenges Russophobia

Interview series with Vladimir Putin displays a smart, well-informed leader and presents his perspective on US and world issues….--Stone is quirky and egotistical, but asks some good questions and lets Putin talk

--in Colbert interview, Stone says Israel had more involvement in US election than Russia, drawing false charges of anti-Semitism

--Stone recently received the Gary Webb Award from editor Robert Parry, who posted comments on Putin’s version of Ukraine coup

--based on US intel “assessments”, Buzzfeed says Putin likely ordered assassination of Russian financier in England in 2012

--Senate approves new sanctions on Russia 97-2, based on intel “assessments” and no public evidence of election interference; Rand Paul and Mike Lee voted No

--Washington Post uses unnamed FBI sources to report that special counsel Mueller is investigating Trump for obstruction of justice in Comey firing

--NY Times is more circumspect, saying there are “indications” of Trump probe

--and, of course, Trump compulsively tweets insult at Mueller, appearing to confirm the reports

--AG Jeff Sessions channeled his GOP predecessor, Alberto Gonzalez, in ducking questions at Senate hearing, as US lobbyist for Russia contradicts Sessions

--NSA Director Mike Rogers is on Mueller interview list, and in May he told NSA meeting that he had rebuffed Trump request to exonerate him, Daily Mail reports

--Human Rights Watch levels fresh allegations of US using white phosphorous in Iraq and Syria

--last week, Trump joined Saudi Arabia in slamming Qatar for funding terrorists, and today it’s announced that US will sell $12 billion worth of fighter jets to….Qatar

--in defending his first travel ban decree, Trump said he wanted to protect Christians from persecution….but ICE just rounded up 200 Iraqi Christians for deportation

--father of student release by North Korea expresses outrage over his treatment, and Obama’s failure to bring home Otto Warmbier

--alt-diplomat Dennis Rodman brought Kim Jong Un a copy of Art of the Deal, but hasn’t met with Kim yet

--some US troops reported in Philippines conflict zone

--federal judge orders review of permit for Dakota Access Pipeline

--another Mexican journalist has been murdered for covering drug cartels

--History Channel is airing 3-part series, America’s War on Drugs, starting Sunday June 18 at 9pm EDT

--PBS propaganda alert: funded by conservative foundations, the public network is airing 3-part series on Betsy DeVos agenda to privatize schools