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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 125)

In Its 50th Year, Davos Is Searching for Its Soul

It was just weeks before the World Economic Forum would host its 50th anniversary gathering in Davos, Switzerland, and Klaus Schwab, the event’s patrician founder, was pensive. In an interview at his organization’s midtown Manhattan offices, Mr. Schwab lamented the apparent retreat of ideals he has championed for a half-century.

Open borders, liberal democracy and free markets are under threat around the world. Instead, the moment is being shaped by rising nationalism, authoritarianism and a Chinese economic system to rival Western capitalism.

Couple this with a surge of anti-elitist sentiment, and the forum, which hosts world leaders and chief executives in mountaintop chalets under tight security, has for some become a symbol of all that is wrong with the world.

Attendees fret about inequality while hotel rooms in Davos — if you can get one — cost $500 or more a night. Many express concern about climate change, but arrive at the event in private jets. Describing the concentration of executives and heads of state there, the “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert said, “Basically, it’s what Lex Luthor would point his space laser at.” Once a beacon of international cooperation, Davos has become a punch line.

“It pains me,” Mr. Schwab said.

But it hasn’t slowed him down. At 81, Mr. Schwab remains the animating force behind W.E.F., as it is colloquially known. He will preside over the meeting in Davos, greeting dignitaries, opining from the main stage of the Congress Center and dropping in on exclusive dinner parties. A German academic who charted an unlikely path to the summit of international thought leadership, Mr. Schwab has the power to frame the debate among the world’s most influential actors, even as much of what he stands for comes under assault.

“Klaus has been so successful in bringing together these decision makers,” said David Gergen, the former White House adviser and a Davos regular. “And yet in so many ways, we’ve been going backward in terms of climate, nationalism and the health of our democracies.”

Despite the hand-wringing, everyone is still showing up to the party.

The event began in January 1971.Credit…World Economic Forum A farewell lunch at last year’s forum, which is held in the Alpine town of Davos, Switzerland.Credit…Pascal Bitz/World Economic Forum

The forum has once again charged corporations a small fortune for the privilege to send their executives tramping around Davos in snow boots and suits. Companies like Microsoft and Ikea have once again spent lavishly to transform ski town gift shops into glorified exhibition booths. World leaders, including President Trump, are expected to attend.

At a practical level, the sheer concentration of movers and shakers makes Davos an irresistible draw for other movers and shakers. Business and political leaders dice up their schedules into 30-minute increments, cramming in more than a dozen meetings a day with customers, partners, regulators and journalists.

In the evenings, masters of the universe will hop from, say, a dinner hosted by George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist, to a wine party sponsored by Anthony Scaramucci, the financier and former Trump administration official. JPMorgan’s chief executive, Jamie Dimon, is hosting a cocktail reception at a museum. Marc Benioff, the Salesforce co-founder and co-chief executive, will buy out a nightclub and fly in a pop star.

“Six days of work at Davos is easily six months of work in other places for these people,” said Ian Bremmer, the founder of the Eurasia Group, who has worked with the forum over the years. “That intensity is valuable.”

As usual, the agenda will touch upon the litany of threats to the dominant world order, including the climate crisis, rising tensions in the Middle East and income inequality. In the months before each year’s gathering, Mr. Schwab flies around the globe on an international listening tour, asking executives and world leaders what’s on their mind.

After this year’s travels, Mr. Schwab said that the top concerns included rising debt, China’s rise, Brexit and climate change. In short, the elite are worried about the demise of the very ideology long espoused by Mr. Schwab: globalism — the notion that the open exchange of people, products, ideas and services across borders will benefit all.

“That was an ideology that felt completely dominant when the Soviet Union collapsed, but today not so much,” Mr. Bremmer said. “A lot of people inside those democracies feel like that globalism has failed them.

Over the years, Davos has become the target of scrutiny. Critics have said that it allows companies to gloss over their sins with high-minded pledges to do better, and that it is insufficiently diverse. (It remains an overwhelmingly male affair, with just 22 percent of attendees women this year, a record high.) And recently, the debate about Davos has begun playing out in real time.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_167130750_d85ecd4f-bfae-462e-9244-907f6067f773-articleLarge In Its 50th Year, Davos Is Searching for Its Soul World Economic Forum Schwab, Klaus Income Inequality Global Warming Economic Conditions and Trends Davos (Switzerland) Corporate Social Responsibility Capitalism (Theory and Philosophy)

Limousines and other cars at last year’s forum.Credit…Fabrice Coffrini/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Last year, one of the most talked-about exchanges at the event was about Davos itself.

On a panel discussion featuring, among others, the conservationist Jane Goodall and Edward Felsenthal, the editor of Time magazine, Rutger Bregman, a Dutch journalist and historian, spoke about what he saw as the rampant hypocrisy on display in the Alps.

“Fifteen hundred private jets have flown in here to hear Sir David Attenborough speak about how, you know, we’re wrecking the planet,” Mr. Bregman said, eliciting nervous chuckles from the crowd. “I hear people talk in the language of participation and justice and equality and transparency, but then, I mean, almost no one raises the real issue of tax avoidance, right? And of the rich just not paying their fair share. I mean, it feels like I’m at a firefighters conference, and no one is allowed to speak about water.”

The clip went viral and seemed to confirm people’s suspicions that for all the talk of world-changing agendas in Davos, not much really happened there. Moreover, his comments echoed a broader line of criticism that the global elite are uninterested in solutions to intractable problems if those solutions threaten their dominance.

“They’d rather listen to a Buddhist monk talk about meditation or hear about power poses, but they don’t like to talk about the source of tax evasion,” Mr. Bregman said in an interview, noting that he had not been invited back to Davos this year. “They want to hear about how individuals can change their lives, rather than how structural reform can affect inequality or climate change.”

Mr. Schwab defended the substance of the event.

Other dissenting voices will be in attendance this year, including the teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, who will attend for a second time. And Mr. Schwab was an early proponent of socially responsible business, helping define the “stakeholder theory,” which holds that corporations should answer not just to shareholders, but to employees, customers and the environment.

That may not sound particularly controversial today, but Mr. Schwab was ahead of his time in the early 1970s. “Back then you had to fight against Milton Friedman, who gave a moral justification to profit maximization,” Mr. Schwab said, referring to the economist who wrote that “the social responsibility of business is to increase its profits.”

Much has changed since then.

Last year, the Business Roundtable, an influential group of American chief executives, redefined its mission statement to more closely align with what Mr. Schwab first said a half-century ago. BlackRock, the world’s largest institutional investor, recently said it would make climate change a focus of its investment strategy.

It’s hard to imagine where the world of business responsibility would be without Davos,” Mr. Gergen said.

And even as globalism comes under attack from all sides, Mr. Schwab argues that, on balance, it has been a force for good. In the 50 years since the World Economic Forum began, life has improved for most people, he said. Even as the human population has doubled, the likelihood of child mortality, illiteracy and deaths by disease are all at record lows. And he said he believed that while, yes, governments and corporations had fallen short — and maybe even contributed to the problems — they were an integral part of whatever solutions might be possible.

“Elites have always existed,” he said. “We bring together people of influence, and we hope that they use their influence in a positive way.”

In recent years, Mr. Schwab has tried to address the criticism that Davos is out of touch. Aware of the bad optics of all those private jets, he has asked all forum members to commit to be carbon-free by 2050. He recently expressed his support for reining in executive pay. Yet he is unlikely to upset BP or Google with calls for a steep carbon tax or stricter antitrust regulation. After all, those are among the companies that pay lavishly for access to the most elite party on earth.

“Klaus is much more comfortable being an activist in the world of ideas than one in the world of action,” Mr. Gergen said.

“He doesn’t see himself as someone who needs to be in front of a parade, changing one law or another.”

To skeptics like Mr. Bregman, this is the very problem.

While Mr. Schwab fashions himself as the conscience of global capitalism, he is constrained in just how far he can go. The genial host of Davos, he must be careful not to upset his guests. If the debate about how to fix the world’s problems is unfailingly polite, it is unlikely that the hard questions will get asked. If access to the forum is restricted to those who can afford the price of admission or score a sponsored invite, the voices at the table risk an ideological homogeneity.

“Some people believe that the global elite go to Davos and plan for world domination, but it’s much scarier than that,” Mr. Bregman said.

“You go there and you find out that all those people are pretty nice. But friendliness can stand in the way of justice.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Coca-Cola reveals new ice cream-inspired Vanilla Float flavor

Is there anything better than relaxing with a cold Coca-Cola? Last summer, for the first time in over a decade, Coke released a brand-new Orange Vanilla flavor to celebrate the classic taste we all know and love. For Christmas, Cinnamon Coke hit shelves, and we seriously couldn’t get enough. Now, the best new flavor has arrived, and we’re begging to get our hands on it.

Vanilla Float Coke packs all the sweetness of summer into a beverage we can’t help but crave. Except—there’s a catch.

It’s the Creamy Goodness We All Need

Vanilla Float Coke is an ice-cream inspired delicacy you won’t be able to put down. Those lucky enough to try Coke’s latest invention have dubbed the sipper their new favorite and said it’s both sweet and subtle. Taste testers regard the flavor as having a hint of vanilla with a satisfying ice cream finish that doesn’t overpower the classic Coke taste.

Vanilla Float Coke was first shared by faithful foodie and Instagram user @JunkFoodontheGo, who couldn’t resist sharing with other fans. They described it as weaker in flavor than Vanilla Coke, but if you’re like us and prefer some subtlety in your drinks, this is the new go-to.

The best new thing to come out of 2019 was Milk Coke. We know it sounds wacky, but we promise it’s worth a try.

Book Your Plane Tickets

Unfortunately, there is a major catch that comes with Vanilla Float Coke. The flavor was released about a week ago in Japan, so it’s going to take some time to get to the U.S. On the bright side, the flavor has already hit shelves in Hong Kong, so we’ve got hope it’ll be popping up in other places, too.

Just keep your eyes on the soda aisle and cross your fingers. This is the summer hit we’re all waiting for!

Westlake Legal Group coke-cans-istock Coca-Cola reveals new ice cream-inspired Vanilla Float flavor Taste of Home Laurie Dixon fox-news/food-drink/drinks/soft-drinks fox-news/food-drink/drinks fnc/food-drink fnc article 2e5da847-f53b-5ea9-aeff-4151db683b39   Westlake Legal Group coke-cans-istock Coca-Cola reveals new ice cream-inspired Vanilla Float flavor Taste of Home Laurie Dixon fox-news/food-drink/drinks/soft-drinks fox-news/food-drink/drinks fnc/food-drink fnc article 2e5da847-f53b-5ea9-aeff-4151db683b39

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Facebook apologizes to China’s Xi Jinping for vulgar mistranslation of his name

Facebook blamed a technical glitch Saturday after the site mistranslated Burmese-to-English posts about Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit to Myanmar.

Xi’s name appeared in the English translation as “Mr. S—hole,” according to Agence France-Presse.

“We fixed the technical issue that caused incorrect translations from Burmese to English on Facebook,” a spokesman for the social networking giant said, according to AFP. “This should not have happened and we are taking steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again. We sincerely apologize for the offense it has caused.”

BUTTIGIEG SAYS FACEBOOK’S ZUCKERBERG HAS TOO MUCH POWER

Facebook said its translation system did not include an entry for “Xi Jinping,” so by default the system looked for words containing similar syllables. The errant translation came about because the system searched through terms beginning with “xi” and “shi,” AFP reported.

One headline resulting from the glitch read, “Dinner honors President S—hole,” according to reports.

One of the pages where the incorrect translation appeared was on the Facebook page of Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.

Westlake Legal Group AP20018230725768 Facebook apologizes to China’s Xi Jinping for vulgar mistranslation of his name fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox-news/tech fox-news/newsedge/business fox news fnc/tech fnc Dom Calicchio c3eb2e7a-085e-5abc-b3c7-67cf92ee54ac article

Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, right, greets Chinese President Xi Jinping at president house in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020. (Associated Press)

The error was spotted during the second day of Xi’s visit to Myanmar, in which he and Suu Kyi signed a series of deals through which China has agreed to aid Myanmar on infrastructure projects, The Guardian reported.

The same error did not appear in Google’s translation of Suu Kyi’s page, according to the outlet.

GRISHAM ON TOP DEMS KNOCKING CHINA TRADE DEAL: ‘THEY HATE TRUMP MORE THAN THEY LOVE THIS COUNTRY’

China is the No. 2 market, after the United States, from which Facebook draws revenue. The company has begun setting up a new engineering team in Singapore tasked with helping Chinese customers work around the government’s internet restrictions, known as the “great firewall,” Reuters reported.

Reactions from Xi or the Chinese government to the Facebook error were not immediately known.

Xi’s visit was also intended to mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Myanmar.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP20018230725768 Facebook apologizes to China’s Xi Jinping for vulgar mistranslation of his name fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox-news/tech fox-news/newsedge/business fox news fnc/tech fnc Dom Calicchio c3eb2e7a-085e-5abc-b3c7-67cf92ee54ac article   Westlake Legal Group AP20018230725768 Facebook apologizes to China’s Xi Jinping for vulgar mistranslation of his name fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox-news/world fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox-news/tech fox-news/newsedge/business fox news fnc/tech fnc Dom Calicchio c3eb2e7a-085e-5abc-b3c7-67cf92ee54ac article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Pam Bondi calls Democrats’ impeachment case ‘basic trash,’ says Adam Schiff could be called as witness

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6124683317001_6124686907001-vs Pam Bondi calls Democrats' impeachment case 'basic trash,' says Adam Schiff could be called as witness fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/shows/justice-with-judge-jeanine fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc e2293733-bd67-5da1-a67e-676ee8099c4f Brie Stimson article

Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who has joined President Trump’s defense team, said Saturday that although House manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., could be called as a witness, they’re ready to move on from a “basic trash” impeachment.

“If you and I were falsely accused we would want witnesses too, but now this thing has become so flimsy that there’s absolutely nothing there in the articles of impeachment,” Bondi told Judge Jeanine Pirro on “Justice with Judge Jeanine.” “It’s an insult to the American people. It certainly is to the president, but I think now we’re just ready to put this behind him.”

“This thing has become so flimsy that there’s absolutely nothing there in the articles of impeachment.”

— Pam Bondi, Trump defense team

PAM BONDI ON WHITE HOUSE STRATEGY FOR IMPEACHMENT

The House of Representatives has charged the president with two articles of impeachment for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, stemming from his July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which he allegedly asked Ukraine to investigate the Bidens and withheld U.S. aid on that condition.

“They have not charged the president with any crime because the president did nothing wrong,” Bondi said of the articles sent by the House to the Senate last week. “There was no crime. The transcript of that phone call speaks for itself.”

“They have not charged the president with any crime because the president did nothing wrong. There was no crime. The transcript of that phone call speaks for itself.”

— Pam Bondi, Trump defense team

Despite Democrats pushing for witnesses like former national security adviser John Bolton to testify in the trial, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has been adamant there will be no witnesses.

Four Senate Republicans — Susan Collins of Maine, Mitt Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Lamar Alexander of Tenn. — have all said they would potentially be open to hearing from witnesses.

Trump’s presidential legal team Saturday called the “highly partisan” impeachment articles “a brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election.”

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“And yet they’re sending this basic trash over to the U.S. Senate,” Bondi added. “The Senate’s a lot smarter than that — and especially with Adam Schiff presenting, ‘bring it on’ because we’re ready to go.”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6124683317001_6124686907001-vs Pam Bondi calls Democrats' impeachment case 'basic trash,' says Adam Schiff could be called as witness fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/shows/justice-with-judge-jeanine fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc e2293733-bd67-5da1-a67e-676ee8099c4f Brie Stimson article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6124683317001_6124686907001-vs Pam Bondi calls Democrats' impeachment case 'basic trash,' says Adam Schiff could be called as witness fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/shows/justice-with-judge-jeanine fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc e2293733-bd67-5da1-a67e-676ee8099c4f Brie Stimson article

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Dan Gainor: Trump impeachment puts him at war with much of media

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6124172211001_6124172716001-vs Dan Gainor: Trump impeachment puts him at war with much of media fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox-news/media fox news fnc/opinion fnc Dan Gainor article 601e5b92-ca58-5022-8cf7-a97c6a614c2e

The impeachment campaign against President Trump is a battle pitting the president and his supporters against much of the news media.

Forget that Republican vs. Democrat fight. This is a proxy war, like the old Soviet Union using Cubans to fight in Africa. The media that lobbied for the impeachment of Trump ever since he was elected finally got Democrats to do their bidding and try once more to take down the president.

But journalists couldn’t bring themselves to celebrate. Instead, they freaked out because a Republican senator was curt to a CNN reporter.

TRUMP LAWYERS RESPOND TO ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT: ‘CONSTITUTIONALLY INVALID’

The reason the thin-skinned press was more thin-skinned than usual was that the impeachment trial in the Senate that moves into high gear this week has about the same chance of removing Trump from office as the Cincinnati Bengals do of winning Super Bowl LIV. And the Bengals aren’t even in the playoffs.

So it was no wonder that journalists were angry when Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., called CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju a “liberal hack.” Twice. The news media responded in hilariously histrionic ways. Washington Post Media Critic Erik Wemple called the comment “vile” and “chilling.”

CNN was especially offended, pounding the story hour after hour like McSally had assaulted Raju in the hallway. Anchors practically lined up to take on McSally. Wolf Blitzer referred to her comment as “disgusting” and “awful.” Anderson Cooper called the comment a “slur” and Jake Tapper said it was “obviously indecent.”

More from Opinion

Chris Cuomo was determined to outdo them all. The foam-at-the-mouth anti-Trumper practically turned part of his show into an anti-McSally/anti-Trump commercial. He readily honored McSally’s military service, but then emphasized how she wasn’t similar to the late Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, who was also a veteran.

Cuomo told viewers that McSally “bears no resemblance to McCain’s dignity, decency, discretion.” Then he amped up the attack even more, declaring: “I can’t believe people would vote for her to fill McCain’s seat.”

Lost in the uproar was any attempt to discuss facts.

First, Raju’s employer is a major party to the three-year phony Russian collusion claim. Then Raju has his own history. He falsely reported that WikiLeaks had emailed Team Trump on September 4, 2016, with a way to access embarrassing documents. It turned out the email was dated 10 days later and Raju had to go on air and admit his error. He received no discipline.

All of that was swept under the rug and many in the press embraced the “liberal hack” label themselves. CNN Chief Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin had already given his ruling on the case. “The other thing to remember about witnesses is all the witnesses will show that the president is guilty because he is guilty.”

CNN was especially thrilled by the Democrats’ choices for impeachment managers, noting that many were people of color. And anchor Jim Sciutto was excited to show that Democrats had made their picks from many different states. He told co-anchor Poppy Harlow, “you made the point territorial, geographic diversity as well.”

Mapmaker, mapmaker, make me a map!

The media oohed and ahhed about the seriousness of the impeachment. MSNBC host Rachel Maddow scored ratings gold with a last-minute hit-job interview. Chris Matthews called the impeachment “sacramental.”

Fellow MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell claimed to “The Al Franken Podcast” that CNN isn’t Never-Trump territory after all. “One-third of the people on their payroll love Trump,” he argued, pretending that “one-third of the programming will be supportive of Trump.” (He doesn’t actually watch CNN, apparently.)

O’Donnell vowed MSNBC would be worse than CNN about Trump, saying “on MSNBC there will be no one defending him because we don’t bring on liars. I don’t bring on a liar. I won’t do that.”

The MSNBC gang was after Trump’s, his family and his supporters.  “Morning Joe” co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski joined comedian Stephen Colbert on the CBS “Late Show” Monday to bash Trump.

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Scarborough ranted, asking: “When is Donald Trump going to pay for this? When is Donald Trump going to pay for all the lies? When is he going to pay for the recklessness?” He and Brzezinski were hopeful for a Democratic landslide in the November elections.

Scarborough went further on his own show just a few days later, cautioning that “everyone who defends Donald Trump right now will be exposed.” Scarborough listed Vice President Mike Pence, Attorney General William Barr and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, warning about the “bleak” tide of history.

“And their families, their children, their grandchildren – everyone who has their last name – will carry that around with them,” Scarborough said.

The media made the impeachment fiasco sound so ominous.

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“Rubin Report” Host Dave Rubin mocked the inside-the-Beltway mentality on impeachment, writing: “Is there anyone outside of the media bubble who cares about impeachment? Nobody is talking about it. Nobody thinks it’s legit or worth thinking about. Just the same people who stoke the flames and consistently get everything wrong.”

Remember that as the proxy war continues.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY DAN GAINOR

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6124172211001_6124172716001-vs Dan Gainor: Trump impeachment puts him at war with much of media fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox-news/media fox news fnc/opinion fnc Dan Gainor article 601e5b92-ca58-5022-8cf7-a97c6a614c2e   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6124172211001_6124172716001-vs Dan Gainor: Trump impeachment puts him at war with much of media fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox-news/media fox news fnc/opinion fnc Dan Gainor article 601e5b92-ca58-5022-8cf7-a97c6a614c2e

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CDs and LPs go digital, snooping spouses, social media alerts and more: Tech Q&A

Each week, I receive tons of questions from my listeners about tech concerns, new products, and all things digital.

Sometimes, choosing the most interesting questions to highlight is the best part of my job.

This week, I received questions about password protection for apps, covert social media searches, smartphone tracking, converting music collections and more.

Do you have a question you’d like to ask me?

Tap or click here to email me directly.

Stop phone tracking

Q: I know my phone tracks wherever I go. How can I make it stop? It’s such an invasion of my privacy and I know Big Tech is keeping it all in some database.

A: Yes, it’s eerie that Big Data companies know your physical whereabouts, and the breadth of their knowledge is hard to even grasp. The justification is that many apps may not work correctly, including maps and Find My Friends, unless they know where you are located.

As a result, you can technically turn off the tracking mode, but you may reduce much of your smartphone’s usefulness. Conversely, many users resent the targeted advertising that results from geographic analysis, but this is something you can control without losing navigation as well.

Some folks may prefer to browse the internet from their phones in peace, and there are several ways to do so without giving away your coordinates. In short: you have several options, aside from covering your tracks altogether. Tap or click here for 8 ways to stop your phone from tracking you.

App passwords

Q: My wife knows the passcode on my phone. I have one adult-themed app that I don’t want her to access. Can I password protect just certain apps on my phone?

A: I sure hope it’s not the cheating app Ashley Madison. Lest anyone judge you for this question, there are plenty of reasons why you would want to protect an individual app. Birthday surprises come to mind, but certain professions also put a premium on privacy: Physicians and therapists may wish to lock their work apps to prevent a HIPAA violation.

You can, in fact, protect particular apps with a special passcode. There are also apps that let you hide other apps. You may want to do this anyway. If you were to lose your phone, a passcode for apps gives you an additional line of defense against cybercriminals. Tap or click here to learn more about protecting smartphone apps with a passcode.

Ask me your questions live

Q: How can I call your show and speak with you? I’d rather do that than write you an email and not know if you might answer it.

A: You can Google a lot of things, but you cannot Google trusted advice. In the long and sordid history of talk radio, listeners have called in, received a quick screening and waited to suddenly hear their own voice coming through their speakers.

During especially popular shows like mine, these waits can be hours, and there was no guarantee we’d be able to connect. I hated that. That’s why you can now simply fill out a form on my website and one of my producers will schedule a time for us to talk.

Note that we would not be arranging a private conversation; every call must be aired for the benefit of all my listeners. So what are you waiting for? Tap or click here to schedule an appointment with me today.

Digitize music

Q: I have a bunch of CDs and records that I would like to listen to now. But I don’t have a CD or record player anymore! What is a lost-in-the-’80s guy supposed to do now?

A: You’ll be happy to hear a whole industry has grown up around digitizing different audio formats. As long as you’re patient, you can expect to transfer every last song in your library onto a hard drive or cloud. One of my favorite examples is a particular Audio Technica turntable, which not only plays vinyl records but also uses Bluetooth to convert songs into mp3 files.

You can use a similar specialty device for audio cassettes, which are particularly vulnerable to deterioration over time. In the case of compact discs, the absence of CD players on computers is definitely a roadblock, but you can probably find a way to rip songs without too much hassle or expense. Tap or click here for more details about digitizing your music.

Social search alerts

Q: I looked up someone who I had a major crush on years ago. Will she get an alert that I saw her profile? That would be so awkward!

A: Rest assured, services like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram do not notify people when you look at their profiles. If she has her profile set to “public,” she is tacitly agreeing to let her information be visible to anyone, the same way she might allow lawn ornaments to be visible to passing drivers.

What she will spot is a notification; you may “like” something on her profile, then decide to take it back, but she’ll still be notified of the original like. LinkedIn does inform users of profile views, but only the last three people to look at her page — unless it is a paid account, which lets her see every visitor.

I get so many questions about social media. Keep yourself in the know. Tap or click here for more answers to social media questions you were afraid to ask.

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.

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Westlake Legal Group computer-iStock CDs and LPs go digital, snooping spouses, social media alerts and more: Tech Q&A The Kim Komando Show Kim Komando fox-news/tech fnc/tech fnc article a0f72158-2776-5187-a57c-1a7e315dae35   Westlake Legal Group computer-iStock CDs and LPs go digital, snooping spouses, social media alerts and more: Tech Q&A The Kim Komando Show Kim Komando fox-news/tech fnc/tech fnc article a0f72158-2776-5187-a57c-1a7e315dae35

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Ukraine’s President Said He’d Fight Corruption. Resistance Is Fierce.

Westlake Legal Group merlin_162479898_efd06973-9588-43d8-88c4-f9305e672361-facebookJumbo Ukraine’s President Said He’d Fight Corruption. Resistance Is Fierce. Zelensky, Volodymyr Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Russia PrivatBank London (England) Kolomoisky, Igor V International Monetary Fund embezzlement Corruption (Institutional)

KYIV, Ukraine — Kateryna Rozhkova, the first deputy governor of Ukraine’s central bank, had just about learned to live with the hundreds of protesters banging metal rods and drums outside her office when they started gathering every morning outside her house.

If that wasn’t enough, just before Christmas, a brass ensemble showed up at her home blaring funeral music in accompaniment of a horse-drawn hearse and men dressed like the grim reaper.

The protesters presented themselves as part of a grass roots effort opposing official corruption, but Ms. Rozhkova says they were anything but. She says they were sent by a billionaire accused of defrauding the government of $5 billion and who is now locked in a fierce battle with the Ukrainian central bank.

“If there is this kind of reaction,” Ms. Rozhkova said of the lawlessness she says Ukraine’s anti-corruption forces are up against, “it means that there is a fight.”

President Volodymyr Zelensky, a comedian, sitcom star and political neophyte, catapulted to the presidency of Ukraine last spring on a promise of sweeping away the country’s shadowy web of money and influence.

Now, as Mr. Zelensky faces pressure to deliver on his promises, he is finding that actually bringing the corrupt officials and oligarchs to heel is a lot harder than satirizing them on his former TV show, “Servant of the People.”

Previous Ukrainian presidents came to power pledging to tackle corruption, but usually with the intent of using that pose as cover for their own corrupt deals, activists say. Whether Mr. Zelensky can show that he is different from past leaders will be a decisive litmus test for his presidency — and for Ukraine’s viability as a country moving closer to the West.

Further complicating an already daunting task, Mr. Zelensky has been forced to deal with the fallout from the Trump administration’s pressure campaign in Ukraine and the impeachment trial in Washington that sprang from it.

In the past, Ukraine enjoyed the steadfast support of the United States in fighting both corruption and a war against Russian-backed separatists. Now, Ukrainians say Washington’s message has grown muddled, in part because Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, and his Ukrainian allies see the Western-backed camp of Ukrainian anticorruption reformers as their enemies.

“Giuliani flying in — rather than fighting corruption, he was supporting and meeting with all of the past corrupt people,” said Valeria Gontareva, the former head of Ukraine’s central bank. “As a result, it’s very hard to say what the message is that we now hear from America.”

Nevertheless, anticorruption activists say they see signs of progress.

Mr. Zelensky’s new prosecutor general is modernizing his corruption-plagued office and firing hundreds of prosecutors. A flurry of laws passed by Mr. Zelensky’s months-old parliamentary majority seeks to overhaul the justice system and criminalize illicit enrichment by public officials. The president has even signed legislation establishing a procedure for his own impeachment.

When it comes to enforcing the law, however, Mr. Zelensky’s tests are just beginning. Ukraine’s mafia, for example, is trying to bribe and threaten members of Mr. Zelensky’s ruling bloc in Parliament to derail legislation to crack down on organized crime, said a senior lawmaker, David Arakhamia.

“They meet them by their house and say, ‘We know where your parents live,’” said Mr. Arakhamia, the floor leader of Mr. Zelensky’s party in Parliament.

And just this week Mr. Zelensky’s handpicked prime minister, Oleksiy Honcharuk, offered his resignation after the leak of what he said was a doctored recording on which he is heard to say the president has a “primitive” understanding of economics. Mr. Honcharuk blamed the leak on forces trying to undermine the anticorruption drive. Mr. Zelensky refused his resignation.

Perhaps Mr. Zelensky’s biggest challenge lies with his erstwhile patron, Ihor Kolomoisky, one of the oligarchs that Mr. Giuliani and his associates courted and the man Ms. Rozhkova believes is responsible for trying to intimidate her and her colleagues.

Mr. Kolomoisky advanced Mr. Zelensky’s career by putting “Servant of the People” on his TV channel. Now, having returned from self-imposed exile in Israel and Switzerland, he is hoping to regain control of a bank that the government seized from him, alleging that he and his business partner siphoned billions of dollars out of it.

“Even more than getting it back, I want to punish the guilty” responsible for seizing the bank, Mr. Kolomoisky told The New York Times in November. “The guilty must be put on the spike and the death penalty brought back for them.”

In a recent phone interview, Mr. Kolomoisky denied having anything to do with the protests against the central bank, which have been covered extensively on the television channel he owns and populated by people transported in buses bearing the logo of one of his businesses. He called Mr. Giuliani an “honorable person.”

Ms. Gontareva, who nationalized Mr. Kolomoisky’s bank, PrivatBank, in 2016, says she got a sample of the oligarch’s methods last year. First, she was hit by a car while in London, where she was living at the time. Then her house in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, and her son’s car were hit by arson attacks. She decided to remain in London in self-imposed exile.

Mr. Kolomoisky dismissed Ms. Gontareva’s allegations, saying she “has to be sent to the insane asylum.”

Mr. Zelensky needs to demonstrate to Ukraine’s Western creditors that he is serious about prosecuting large-scale fraud in order to secure billions of dollars in sorely needed loans from the International Monetary Fund.

In the impeachment proceedings in Washington, Ukraine has been tarnished by corruption accusations by Republicans and Democrats alike — feeding worries that Kyiv now faces a long-term challenge in winning bipartisan support even as its conflict with neighboring Russia continues.

In America, “politicians are an extension of the electorate, and the electorate has already concluded that Ukraine is a corrupt country,” said Oleksandr Danylyuk, who resigned as Mr. Zelensky’s national security adviser in September. “In practice, I expect the support of the United States to be minimal in the next year.”

The new prosecutor general, Ruslan Ryaboshapka, this fall allowed a longstanding case to proceed against a different business tycoon, Oleg Bakhmatyuk, who is also accused of siphoning money from his bank. But the Ukrainian authorities have not brought such charges against Mr. Kolomoisky.

That has led to accusations that Mr. Zelensky is giving his media ally and former business partner special treatment — charges that both men deny.

But high-profile corruption cases “won’t be credible until there’s action taken against Kolomoisky,” said Mr. Danylyuk, the former Zelensky adviser. “Bakhmatyuk won’t cut it.”

Mr. Kolomoisky denies any wrongdoing in the PrivatBank matter. Mr. Bakhmatyuk also denies wrongdoing.

Ukraine’s problems extend beyond Mr. Kolomoisky, however. The powerful S.B.U. intelligence agency remains in dire need of changes to stop it from intervening “in all areas of social life and business,” says the Anti-Corruption Action Center, a watchdog group. Rather than functioning as a Western intelligence service, the S.B.U. is able to take advantage of its wide-ranging powers to extract bribes and exert undue influence across Ukraine, its critics say.

“Right now, corrupt elites from various agencies are trying to understand how to operate under the new political realities in Ukraine,” said the center’s executive director, Daria Kaleniuk. “They’re looking for whom to bribe, who to negotiate with.”

A representative of Andriy Bohdan, Mr. Zelensky’s chief of staff whom Mr. Bakhmatyuk blamed for his plight, did not respond to a request for comment.

Dmytro Sologub, a deputy governor of the National Bank of Ukraine, said post-Soviet Ukraine was particularly vulnerable to corruption even compared to some other post-Communist European countries. Caught between warring European powers for centuries, the country has little legacy of its own trusted institutions.

“The system we’re trying to change now was created and modified in the course of 25 years,” Mr. Sologub said. “That raises the question of how much time will be necessary to change it.”

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These Syrian Women Rarely Left the House. Then the Men Disappeared.

Westlake Legal Group 23syria-women1-facebookJumbo These Syrian Women Rarely Left the House. Then the Men Disappeared. Women and Girls Syria Social Conditions and Trends Marriages Latakia (Syria) Aleppo (Syria)

ALEPPO, Syria — The women of eastern Aleppo were rarely visible before the war, but now they shape the bitter peace. In the poor, conservative districts of Syria’s ancient commercial capital, many women seldom used to leave the house, and only with their husbands if they did; the men not only won the bread, but also went out to buy it.

Then came the civil war.

Eight years and counting of bloodshed have condemned a generation of Syrian men to their deaths, to prison or to precarious lives as refugees. Now, with most of the country once again under government control, yet ruptured beyond recognition, moving forward is up to the women left behind: part survivors, part mourners, part mop-up crew.

Grandmothers are raising orphaned grandchildren. Single women worry they will never find husbands. Widows are supporting families gutted by losses that once seemed unendurable, and that the world now treats as routine.

In many cases, women are leaving the house on their own and working for the first time, old customs succumbing to the extremities of war and an economy in collapse — nothing new in large cities like Damascus, the capital, but a swift transformation for some of the more traditional corners of this socially and religiously conservative country.

“Before, women were afraid of everything,” said Fatima Rawass, 32, who opened a beauty salon for veiled women in May, three years after her husband died in the war. “But now, there’s nothing to be afraid of.”

Ms. Rawass had never met a man outside her immediate family when, at 19, she found out she was engaged to a cousin, she says. No one had consulted her. Born stubborn, with a barbed tongue that would later win her a reputation as a neighborhood brawler, she informed her parents she wasn’t interested.

“You can say ‘no’ if you don’t like him,” her mother was finally hounded into saying. Then her fiancé started calling her three times a day. By the time they married, she was in love.

After they settled in east Aleppo, Ms. Rawass said, she left the house so infrequently that she could wear high heels under her abaya — the long black robelike gown worn by many conservative Muslim women — all day. It was much the same as in other conservative parts of Syria, which is mostly Sunni Muslim, marbled with religious minorities: Her husband did the grocery shopping and the errands. She minded the children.

Ms. Rawass had begged to flee, but her husband insisted on staying to guard his carpentry workshop. He refused to join the rebels, who eventually threw him in prison.

Fifteen days later, the children were hungry, and, with trepidation drumming in her veins, Ms. Rawass resolved to go out to buy some milk for what would be her first time. Government bombs and shells were falling outside, some targeting hospitals; snipers stalked the streets. It was, she recalled later, “a very long, hard walk” — the first of many.

To pay her husband’s way out of jail, she sold everything she could, took in sewing work and borrowed.

“I hope I die before you,” she remembered him telling her one day in July 2016, after his release, “because you’re stronger than I am.”

The next day, they heard explosions. When he ran outside, flying shrapnel killed him on the spot.

Ms. Rawass said she soon discarded the heels she had worn even during the war.

She walked to the store through still-unfamiliar streets, dodging the glances of male strangers. She walked to the doctor who treated her for exhaustion and depression and to the beauty school where she eventually started taking classes. She saved up and got a loan from the Red Crescent. And in May, she opened a salon in her partly ruined upstairs room and hung up a sign with her name on it.

“When you work, you don’t have to ask anyone for anything,” she said. “Women who need things can be taken advantage of.”

She offered makeup, eyebrow and hair services to veiled women like her. They continued to attend to appearances, despite everything (“Should we die after our husbands die?”).

Although she had grown up cutting hair for friends and family, her father never let her make money from it, saying employment would expose her to the predations of men. Now, her parents wanted her to quit and come live with them. She refused.

Ms. Rawass had fallen in love again, she said, but she dared not defy her father’s prohibition against remarrying; he believed a widow should devote herself to her children, and her children only. If she disobeyed, he could take them away.

If only she were childless, she sometimes thought. Then she would have to worry only about herself.

What she had was work. It helped her forget.

“It’s only at night,” she said, “that I remember all the bad things that happened.”

A few hours south of Aleppo, in the coastal city of Latakia, Lekaa al-Shaekh and her fiancé were being photographed inside the ancient Egypt-themed wedding hall where they had met, and where — finally! — they would be married. They posed on a white sofa bathed in neon-pink light and crowned with fake white flowers, a fluorescent bridal fantasia.

“I’ve been waiting so long to sit on this couch,” she said, rolling her eyes.

She and her friends used to expect a great deal from future husbands. Traditionally, Syrian grooms paid a bride-price: a car, a house and cash in Latakia; a kilogram of gold jewelry in Aleppo.

Then the fighting came, and Latakia, an area dominated by President Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite minority religious sect, sent thousands of young men to battle. All over Syria, the economy buckled. Ms. al-Shaekh, 34, decided she could not afford prewar standards.

“There are so few men; that’s the problem now,” she explained. “Some of my friends are waiting for men to give them everything, but it’s tough. We’re in a war, after all.” (Not, she hastened to add, that she had compromised in choosing her fiancé, a soldier she described as kind, handsome and responsible.)

She had advised single friends to make concessions to the emergency, yet many remained disappointed. Some had resorted to adding eligible-looking strangers on Facebook, a stratagem unheard-of before the war. It had even worked for a few.

It was rare to find a single woman who did not survey the field with some despair.

“There are no men in Syria,” said Afraa Dagher, 36, a Latakian who said she had many friends in the same, perpetually solo boat. “At my age, they’re all martyrs or soldiers.”

How did she meet men now?

“I don’t know,” she said, with a brief, tired smile. “Leave it to God.”

Paro Clothes’s business card proclaimed the Aleppo garment workshop “different & fashionable,” and its owner was both. Paro Manoukian, 44, was an Armenian Christian and a woman in a male-dominated industry. In her windowless basement headquarters, the June heat had bargained her down to a red tank top, red lipstick, red nails and a profusion of gold jewelry.

Ms. Manoukian opened the workshop after getting divorced in 2011. Half her all-female work force had surrendered husbands, brothers or sons to the war. A few dozen toiled at home, applying furbelows to garments; three more worked in the back, shielded from male eyes by a teal plastic curtain.

“I asked for the divorce, but I’m sure if I got married now, my husband would want a divorce because I work all day,” Ms. Manoukian said, laughing throatily.

In the back, three employees chatted about their troubles — money, men, children — as their fingers disciplined the cloth. They tried not to talk too much about the people they had lost.

Hayat Kashkash’s husband had forbidden her to work, but after his government salary fell behind rising prices last year, Ms. Kashkash, 53, got hired without asking permission.

“I found a job,” she told him. “I’m going to work.”

“O.K.,” he said. “Go.”

This was sometimes as much burden as triumph.

“Now you have to cook, wash, clean and take care of the kids, plus work,” she said. “Before you leave the house, you have to clean it. After work, you go home and cook.”

But with two sons conscripted into the army, she wanted to keep busy.

“I come to escape,” she said.

“I’m here to escape my kids,” put in Fatima Kelzy, who was hot-gluing pom-poms onto a T-shirt, a cigarette dangling from one corner of her flashing smile. Everyone laughed. She was the joker, the one who got up and danced when they needed a pick-me-up.

Married at 11, she had never imagined any career but housewife. Now, at 44, she was a working widow with six unmarried daughters to feed.

“Actually, I’m working for my kids,” she said, serious now, “because I’m both mom and dad.”

The streets around Paro Clothes were wallpapered with signs recruiting female tailors.

Muhammad Dagher, 38, was surprised to be swarmed by calls from widows seeking employment when he reopened his factory three years ago. Now several women labored there in a curtained-off section, snipping extra threads, checking stitching.

But he paid them less than men, judging them too inexperienced to sew. Why?

“They’re slow, they’re weak,” he said. “It’s new for them.”

Reading his audience, he course-corrected.

“The women are becoming equal to men,” he declared. added. “They work just as hard.”

Samia Hanuf, 39, was not brought up to work. She left school at 15 and married at 19, settling in Latakia. Three children followed before a sniper’s bullet killed her husband, a government soldier, in 2013.

She still talked to his photo all the time, telling him everything: about how, without child care options when she started shifts at a dairy factory, she would make breakfast for the children, lock them in and hope for the best; about accidentally buying spoiled vegetables on her very first grocery run.

As soon as they finished school, she vowed, their daughters would work.

“I don’t want them to be like me,” she said, “not being able to take care of themselves.”

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How 17 Outsize Portraits Rattled a Small Southern Town

[To read more provocative stories on race from The New York Times, sign up for our Race/Related newsletter here.]

NEWNAN, Ga. — It was the Saturday afternoon that this small Southern city had been dreading. A group of neo-Nazis promised to hold a rally in downtown Newnan to celebrate Adolf Hitler’s birthday and rail against illegal immigration and the removal of Confederate monuments.

Newnan had prided itself on its quiet charm. It offered small-town living just 40 miles southwest of Atlanta and had earned the nickname “City of Homes” for its antebellum architecture. Now, on a spring day in April 2018, a neo-Nazi group had assembled in a park near the courthouse, the leader having said the group preferred to hold rallies in predominantly white towns.

But it turned out that only a few dozen white nationalists attended the rally, and the Newnan they had imagined no longer existed. Its population had more than doubled in less than 20 years, drawing an increasingly diverse collection of newcomers. Newnan was changing and many in the community wanted to embrace that change more openly. A year after the white nationalist rally, the town made an effort to do so by putting up 17 large-scale banner portraits, images of the ordinary people who make up Newnan.

They hang from the perches of brick buildings around downtown. There’s Helen Berry, an African-American woman who for years worked at a sewing factory. Wiley Driver, a white worker who folded and packed blankets at a local mill before his death in 2017. Jineet Blanco, a waitress who arrived in Newnan carrying her Mexican traditions and dreams. And then there were the Shah sisters.

A portrait of Aatika and Zahraw Shah wearing hijabs was displayed on the side of an empty building in downtown Newnan. The sisters were born in Georgia and had lived in Newnan since 2012, after they moved from Athens, Ga. They attended a local high school in the county. Their father, an engineer, moved to the United States from Pakistan, as did their mother.

The reaction to their portrait was fast and intense. James Shelnutt was driving through downtown when he saw it. “I feel like Islam is a threat to the American way of life,” he said. “There should be no positive portrayals of it.” Mr. Shelnutt turned to Facebook, encouraging residents to complain. The thread quickly devolved into anti-Muslim attacks and name-calling. Some posters referred to Sept. 11 and argued that believers of Islam were violent.

One woman said there were not enough Muslims in Newnan for the Shahs to be included in the art installation in the first place.

The portraits were meant to be inclusive, upend stubborn preconceptions and unravel the cocoons people had created within the community. And they did — but they also exposed how immigration and demographic change have recast the racial dynamics that once defined America, adding new layers of anxiety on the old tensions that persist across the country and in small towns like Newnan.

“I do not know if Newnan had looked at itself this closely before now,” said Robert Hancock, a lawyer and real estate consultant who, as president of Newnan’s Artist in Residence program, helped commission the installation.

Newnan was a hospital town that treated soldiers on both sides of the Civil War. The town found its prosperity, in part, in the cotton industry, and at one point, Newnan was one of the wealthiest towns per capita in the United States.

When Mr. Hancock moved to town in 1986 there were about 12,000 people. The population today is pushing 40,000, with the biggest growth spurt occurring between 2000 and 2010. In that decade alone, the population doubled.

White people still make up more than half the population, but the newcomers are largely from other backgrounds. The share of Hispanics has more than doubled, while the Asian population, although still small, grew more than fivefold between 2000 and 2017. In that same period, the black population dropped from about 42 percent of the population to 28 percent.

The sheer size of the town’s growth has led some to bristle. “People are wrestling with the numbers, asking themselves, ‘Is this going to make us more like the big city we don’t like?’ and ‘How can we keep this small-town feeling?’” said Cynthia Jenkins, the first African-American woman elected to the City Council, in 2003. “If there are less people in the grocery store I recognize, then are we getting too big?”

“Seeing Newnan,” as the art installation is called, was created by the photographer Mary Beth Meehan. Mr. Hancock and Chad Davidson, director of the University of West Georgia’s School of the Arts, were in Providence, R.I., for an art conference in 2015 when they saw one of Ms. Meehan’s installations.

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William Widmer for The New York Times

Clifton Fisher and Monique Bentley

Jane Bass

Rev. Jimmy Patterson

Rev. Rufus Smith Sr.

Mr. Hancock was drawn to the beauty of the portraits, but he was also thinking about his almost exclusively white world in Newnan. “My children told me, ‘Dad, you are so open, but your circle is not inclusive,’” he said. “When I thought about it, they were right.” So he reached out to Ms. Meehan and told her about Newnan.

He told her about the town’s race and class tensions, about the old Newnan versus the new Newnan, how residents who grew up here have watched the population explode. And yet, “I just felt like we were living apart,” Mr. Hancock said. “We were in these little bubbles. I thought this project could pierce the bubbles.”

Ms. Meehan arrived in Newnan in 2016 as part of the Artist in Residence program. She had done similar portraiture projects in her hometown, Brockton, Mass., and most recently in Silicon Valley. In Newnan, she was met with both open arms and some suspicion — she was a white liberal from the North who had not spent much time in the South.

“The thinking was, Is this person going to portray us as a bunch of racist rednecks?” Mr. Hancock said. He even remembers wondering out loud more than once if he had done the right thing by hosting the project. Would it celebrate Newnan’s growth and diversity, or reinforce its differences?

ImageWestlake Legal Group 00newnan-02-articleLarge How 17 Outsize Portraits Rattled a Small Southern Town Race and Ethnicity Population Photography Newnan, Ga. Muslims and Islam Minorities Meehan, Mary Beth Art

Mary Beth Meehan’s portrait installation posed questions about Newnan’s changing identity.Credit…William Widmer for The New York Times

Ms. Meehan was in Newnan for the big moments and the small. A fall high school homecoming. The reunion of a class from 1954 who attended an all-black high school. Sunday morning services at a church attended by descendants of early settlers. The 2016 election night that ushered in President Trump.

She spent more than two years visiting Newnan, witnessing the kind of moments that offer hints about a community’s identity. Newnan was the right place for the project. “Newnan was ready to begin this conversation, and the evidence is that despite the tensions and difficulties, the people ultimately didn’t shut me down,” she said. “They kept inviting me back.”

Ms. Meehan had already started editing several of the photos in the series when she made one of her last trips to Newnan in October 2018. Zahraw and Aatika were among the subjects she photographed during that trip, and when she showed their portrait to Mr. Hancock a day later, he paused.

He thought about Newnan’s conservative culture — Mr. Trump carried the county by about 70 percent. “I knew instinctively that the picture was going to be controversial,” he said. But Mr. Hancock decided that he did not want to pander to irrational fears and that the sisters would be among the portraits to make the final cut. “People needed to open their eyes and see what a beautiful, diverse place we live in,” he said.

The Shahs had lived with stares and insensitive questions about their religion and traditional hijabs since they began wearing them in the sixth grade. But much of Newnan had welcomed them, they said. “I can’t tell you how many times a person would say that we are literally the first Muslims they have ever met,” said Zahraw, 20. “We did a lot of teaching.”

A few Newnan residents protested the sisters’ banner in Mr. Shelnutt’s Facebook post, questioning whether they were actual Newnan residents or if they were even American.

Westlake Legal Group 00newnan-12-mobileMasterAt3x How 17 Outsize Portraits Rattled a Small Southern Town Race and Ethnicity Population Photography Newnan, Ga. Muslims and Islam Minorities Meehan, Mary Beth Art   Westlake Legal Group 00newnan-06-mobileMasterAt3x How 17 Outsize Portraits Rattled a Small Southern Town Race and Ethnicity Population Photography Newnan, Ga. Muslims and Islam Minorities Meehan, Mary Beth Art   Westlake Legal Group 00newnan-05-mobileMasterAt3x How 17 Outsize Portraits Rattled a Small Southern Town Race and Ethnicity Population Photography Newnan, Ga. Muslims and Islam Minorities Meehan, Mary Beth Art

Mary Beth Meehan

Zahraw and Aatika Shah

“I knew instinctively that the picture was going to be controversial,” Robert Hancock, one of the community leaders who commissioned the installation, said.

“But people needed to open their eyes and see what a beautiful, diverse place we live in.”

The post drew nearly 1,000 responses, most of them defending the sisters and accusing Mr. Shelnutt and others of being out-of-touch racists who were resistant to change and religious freedom. Mr. Shelnutt, who grew up in Newnan and owns a small construction company, denied being racist. “I do not feel like the two women in the photo are radical or dangerous,” he said. “I just do not think Newnan should be pushed to embrace Islam.”

The backlash made the sisters realize that much of Newnan didn’t know Newnan. They said it felt especially painful to be singled out. “We have been here seven years,” said Aatika Shah, 22, “and now because they have never seen us and then saw our picture, they somehow think we don’t belong.”

Ms. Meehan had hoped her portraits would force people to see one another, perhaps for the first time. But she also knew there were risks if the portraits did not match a viewer’s perception of Newnan. She spent hundreds of hours talking to residents, and so often the conversations veered toward race.

When Ms. Meehan met the Rev. Jimmy Patterson, whose portrait drapes a building just off the court square, he told her about his own epiphany related to race. As the pastor of First Baptist Church of Newnan, he was one of several ministers who led a unity service to protest the neo-Nazi rally in 2018.

He used that occasion to apologize for a dark chapter in his family’s history: One of his ancestors had owned enslaved people in a nearby county, and in researching his genealogy, Mr. Patterson, who is white, found a will bequeathing them to family members. He kept the will secret for 13 years, telling his family about it only days before going public. Mr. Patterson believed the time had come for him to reconcile with the past.

One by one, he began to read the names in the will, humans considered property, lumped in the same category as cattle and furniture. Some people in the church gasped. Some began to cry as Mr. Patterson talked about the sin of racism, passed down almost like an heirloom, and all the years it had taken him to unlearn his own prejudices. And then he asked for forgiveness.

Ms. Meehan’s portraits, which will come down in June, have already had a lasting effect on the town. They have prompted deep conversations between people who had never met. “The truth is, these conversations are hard and uncomfortable and awkward but we need to lean into it,” said the Rev. David Jones II, the pastor of Newnan Presbyterian Church, who plans to use the art installation to organize a retreat about race, gender and identity this year. “We need to talk about who lives in our community and if they are different, why does that make us uncomfortable?”

Alain Delaquérière contributed research from New York.

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Aaron Carter Has Meltdown After Artist Accuses Him Of Ripping Off Work To Promote Clothing

Aaron Carter tore into a 25-year-old Berlin artist who accused the musician of helping himself one of his works to promote his clothing line.

“You are using my artwork to promote your merchandise,” German artist Jonas Jödicke tweeted at Carter on Friday. “I have not given you permission to do so. We artists have rights, too!”

The piece in question is called “Brotherhood” and features two lions touching foreheads. Carter posted the image without attribution — or compensation or permission — to promote his hoodies.

Westlake Legal Group 5e23fe3822000031003f7b94 Aaron Carter Has Meltdown After Artist Accuses Him Of Ripping Off Work To Promote Clothing

Screen Shot/Twitter/Aaron Carter Art by Jonas Jödicke turns up in Aaron Carter post promoting his hoodies.

Carter blasted back after Jödicke’s complaint: “You should’ve taken it as a compliment dick.” The singer tweeted that a “fan of MINE sent this to me” — though that wouldn’t impact a possible copyright violation. But Carter claimed he had the the right to use the image because it was in the public domain. “Guess I’ll see you in small claims court FUCKERY,” he snapped.

In another tweet, Carter called Jödicke “absolutely immature” and said he should “stop trying to get clout of my name from a picture I posted. oh and fuck you and have a nice day.”

Carter later deleted the image of Jödicke’s art, but Jödicke said Carter went on to attack him in a YouTube livestream.

Some people on Twitter were stunned by Cart’s rude response to another artist, and asked the singer how he would feel if someone helped themselves to his music. 

As for Jödicke, he thanked supporters on Twitter for having his back. He tweeted that he had been contacted by several lawyers and was considering his options.

Carter has appeared increasingly erratic over time. His brother, Nick Carter, obtained a restraining order against him last year because of his “increasingly alarming behavior” and threats.

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