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Liz Wahl

Liz WahlLiz Wahl, born on May 27th, 1985 in Subic Bay, Philippines was a news correspondent and journalist who made a rather bold statement several years ago when she publicly announced quitting her job with the Russian government-owned news network RT, previously known as Russia Today while live on air.

Wahl announced that she was resigning in 2014, in a dramatic speech which she delivered live and on-air during a broadcast. After quitting RT Wahl continued to work as a journalist but stayed largely out of the public eye.

She was born to a Filipina mother and a father of Hungarian descent, but was raised in Connecticut. Her paternal grandparents were refugees from Hungary, who had fled the on-coming Soviet invasion during the Hungarian Uprising.

Wahl stated that her grandparents' experience was a factor in her public denunciation of RT and the network's coverage of Russian military intervention in Ukraine. She worked at the United States offices of RT for over two years.

Barbara Walters initially had voiced criticism of Wahl, saying she should not be treated like a hero, but has since recanted this statement and praised Wahl for her actions.

Then, on January 3, Wahl announced that she plans to run for a congressional seat in Texas in 2020. Wahl said she'll be running as a Democrat against Will Hurd, the Republican incumbent in the Texas 23rd Congressional District.

Liz WahlWhen interviewed, Wahl told the Houston Chronicle that she has decided to run because she believes that she could hold President Donald Trump accountable for his actions more than Will Hurd could.

Wahl noted that Hurd has differed with the president on some issues, but she said that the district needs a congressmember who can stand up to the president more aggresively and act as an effective check against him.

Wahl believes that healthcare and public education are two of the biggest issues for the district. But she also says that in Texas, and throughout America, there is a growing need for fresh faces and new leadership. Wahl wrote, on her Crowdpac page:

"Now more than ever, we need leadership that will have the courage to stand for truth and take bold steps toward healing the country and rebuilding our standing in the world."

"My experience has taught me that no matter your background, a single person that has the courage to speak up when it matters can make an enormous impact."

Her public departure from RT was due to the fact that she could not stand being a part of a system that was 'whitewashing' the actions of Vladimir Putin in Crimea, which had voted to secede from Ukraine and was quickly occupied by the Russian military.

Liz WahlWahl was aware that the station had been producing distorted coverage of the news in Crimea and Ukraine and that she no longer wanted to be a part of it.

"I can not be part of a network funded by the Russian government that whitewashes the actions of Putin. I'm proud to be an American and believe in disseminating the truth, and this is why, after this newscast, I am resigning," Wahl declared during a live broadcast on RT.

RT has since been ordered to register with the US Justice Department as a foreign agent. At the time, RT called Wahl's live on-air resignation a 'self-promotional stunt'.

"When a journalist disagrees with the editorial position of his or her organization, the usual course of action is to address those grievances with the editor, and if they cannot be resolved, to quit like a professional."

"But when someone makes a big public show of a personal decision, it is nothing more than a self-promotional stunt."

Since leaving RT, Wahl has been working as a freelance journalist and public speaker.

Wahls got married in 2015 to John Pavlus, a physician serving in the US Air Force who specializes in radiology and diagnostics. They first met in Washington DC back in 2012 because they "bonded over their love of karaoke, Disney songs, and puppies" and they eventually married in 2015.

Liz WahlWahl describes Pavlus as incredibly patient and supportive. She said that he helped give her the strength to quit RT, something which she said was a tough decision which caused enormous stress and strain.

She told the Washington Post that one morning, she had called Pavlus and told him she was planning to quit and that she planned to resign on-air, so that viewers would understand her critique of the network.

"If you feel like you need to do it, do it," he told her. "I'll be behind you 100 percent of the way."

Wahl, 33, was born in Subic Naval base to a Filipino mother and a father of Hungarian descent, but she grew up in Connecticut. Wahl said that her father's family had fled from Russian persecution and this impacted her view of RT and its coverage of Ukraine.

Wahl also said that much of her mother's family in the Philippines still live in 'grinding poverty' and that she feels lucky to live in the United States. She cited this fact as another reason why she had grown disillusioned with RT.

"As a reporter on the RT network, I faced many ethical and moral challenges, especially personally, coming from a family whose grandparents came here as refugees during the Hungarian revolution in 1956 - ironically to escape the Soviet Union forces."

"I have family on my mother's side, that see the effects of the daily grind of poverty. And I'm very lucky to have grown up here in the United States."

Liz Wahl"I am the daughter of a U.S. military veteran. My partner is a physician at a military base, where everyday he sees the firsthand accounts of the ultimate prices that people have paid for this country."

"That is why personally I cannot be part of a network funded by the Russian government that whitewashes the actions of Putin."

Her resignation came after another US-based RT host, Abby Martin, criticized the actions of pro-Russian military units on her RT show.

Margarita Simonyan, RT's editor-in-chief, posted a staunch defence of the network stating that its reporters were being persecuted in a media 'war' with the West.

"There was never such persecution of our journalists and the entire channel as there is now," wrote the 33-year-old Simonyan on her LiveJournal blog. "Abby and Liz are different, they are not Russian."

"Their motherland is now comparing my motherland to Nazi Germany. No, there is a real war, not in Crimea, thank God, but in the media," Simonyan wrote.

In 2015, Wahl appeared at a hearing of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs to talk about her experience working with Russian media.

Liz WahlThe hearing, on "Russia's Weaponization of Information" took place on April 15th of 2015, just over a year after her resignation from RT Network.

Wahl told the committee that during the war in Ukraine, the Russian-funded television channel RT was mobilized as a weapon to manipulate people into believing half-truths and lies skewing reality in the Kremlin's favor.

She argued that, through denial and deception, the Kremlin was able to shape reality - or at least make it difficult to uncover what that reality really is.

Wahl also argued that this deception made it easier for Russia to get away with sending tanks into Ukraine and to annex Crimea.

In her own words Liz Wahl says:

"Thirty years ago, my family moved from a military base overseas to the United States. Being the daughter of an immigrant and an enlisted US Navy sailor, it sometimes felt like a struggle to fit in.

But I always believed in the American dream - that through hard work, determination, and integrity, this was a nation where you could accomplish great things - no matter what your background was.

We now live in a time where American values have been shaken to the core. The very notion of truth is under attack. Politicians are trying to divide us for political gain, pitting fellow Americans against each other.

Meanwhile, these same politicians have dedicated an absurd amount of time and resources to take healthcare away from people that need it the most, including removing protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

Liz WahlEvery American should be able to see a doctor and we must work toward reducing the high maternal mortality rate in the states.

We must invest in public education, including community college and job training programs. Educated Texans are empowered Americans.

That means being empowered to acknowledge the scientific consensus that climate change is happening and working toward solutions to curtail it.

Now more than ever, we need leadership that will have the courage to stand for truth and take bold steps toward healing the country and rebuilding our standing in the world.

My experience has taught me that no matter your background, a single person that has the courage to speak up when it matters can make an enormous impact.

We need fresh and fearless faces in Congress with the audacity to speak up for what is right.

For this reason Liz Wahl decided to run for Congress for the state of Texas

Below is the text of here testimony in the US Congress:

Liz WahlWe are dealing with an organization that doesn't play by the rules, where the facts on the ground and the reality that citizens face as a result of them don't matter, at least when that reality clashes with Russia's foreign policy agenda.

In that case, one or more alternative realities are pushed, anything to deflect from the facts and confuse the public.

Of course, Russia has a history rich in propaganda but for a while it seemed to lie dormant as many hoped that a reset in diplomatic relations meant a change in direction.

But during the war in Ukraine, the Russian-funded television channel RT was mobilized as a weapon to manipulate people into believing half-truths and lies skewing reality in the Kremlin's favor.

And I saw firsthand how this was orchestrated. When the protests erupted in Maidan Square it was made to look not like a popular uprising but comprised mostly of bloodthirsty neo-Nazis and fascists.

Through misleading language, RT pinned the blame on the West for fomenting unrest in Ukraine. When Russian troops invaded Crimea, Russian media looked the other way.

Even Western media organizations indirectly gave strength to Russia's denials in the struggle to maintain balance amid the confusion.

Liz WahlBut behind the deliberately confusing rhetoric were essential facts. Russia had invaded a sovereign country and was lying about it. And when it became impossible to deny the presence of what later became known as the little green men, they were hailed as volunteers compelled to rescue fellow Russians from Ukrainian fascists.

Through denial and deception, the Kremlin was able to shape reality or at least make it difficult to uncover what that reality really is. With the international community stunned and incapacitated, Russia sent in tanks, troops and weapons.

Crimea was annexed and Russian-backed separatists gained ground in eastern Ukraine. The disinformation tactics employed by RT during the war in Ukraine I saw used before, though not as vigorously and strategically.

The most celebrated host at the channel holds staunch anti-Western views where deranged conspiracy theories are given a platform. It didn't matter how credible the voices were as long as the underlying message was reinforced--that the U.S. and West is crumbling, corrupt and hypocritical.

There was a running joke among some employees about adopting this mind set by drinking the Kool-Aid. I saw how employees and viewers eventually drank it all up. It is the result of being engrossed in an environment where hating America was rewarded.

It is a mentality that is perpetuated by Internet personalities that gain followers and a sense of belonging by spewing hate and twisting the truth.

One of the many things I came to find troubling was the surprising amount of people prone to being manipulated. Part of it is that with this explosion of information constantly generated online it had become difficult to tell fact from fiction, to sift through it all.

Liz WahlAnother part of it is the trend of thinking it is hip to believe in any anti-establishment alternative theory. Russia is aware of this population of paranoid skeptics and plays them like a fiddle.

Those that challenge any narrative against Russia are branded CIA agents, of being puppets for neo-conservatives intent on reigniting a cold war and face the ire of seemingly countless paid and volunteer online trolls.

I was accused of being all of these things and faced the constant stream of cyber hate for being perceived as such. Now, this is just a minor example of this new propaganda technique in action.

The Russian bosses say that the organization is simply providing another perspective, one that is ignored in Western media. The implication there is that there is no such thing as an objective truth.

But let us not get duped by this falsehood. Someone is responsible for pulling the trigger that killed Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov.

Someone is responsible for launching the BUK missile that downed MH-17, killing all 298 passengers on board.

This is not open to interpretation because behind the strategically false finger pointing there is a true story and in both cases the story is still unclear and there is someone that prefers it stays that way.

Liz WahlWe shouldn't let it slide. We need to take notice and take action and the best weapon against this rapidly expanding propaganda campaign is the truth. We just need to fight for it.

We fight it by refusing to look the other way when a lie is told and by spreading awareness about this new disinformation stream that is polluting the airwaves and online discussions that shape our perception of world events.

We fight it by thinking before clicking, tweeting or sharing an article that aims to deceive, and while it is true that the truth can be difficult to uncover, we should seek to find it, spread it and learn from it whatever that truth may be.

You can donate to Liz Wahl's Congressional Campaign by giving your contribution to her campaign HERE
(https://secure.actblue.com/donate/lizwahl)

You can follow her on Facebook below
www.facebook.com/Liz-Wahl-153834974631959



Liz Wahl on Fake News and The Hope for Democracy | Full Interview with Delfi

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Bonesetters Waiting Room

In the Bonesetter's Waiting Room:
Travels Through Indian Medicine

BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week India defies definition, and the story of medicine in India is similarly rich and complex: shaped by unique challenges and opportunities, uniting cutting-edge technological developments with ancient cultural traditions, fuelled by political changes which transformed the lives of millions and moulded by the energy of forceful individuals. Here, Aarathi Prasad investigates how Indian medicine came to be the way it is. Her travels will take her to bonesetter clinics in Jaipur and Hyderabad and the waiting-rooms of Bollywood's best plastic surgeons, and introduce her to traditional healers as well as the world-beating heart surgeon who is revolutionising treatment of the poor around the globe.

Like a Virgin

LIKE A VIRGIN
Exploring the Frontiers of Conception

Sexual evolution is a slippery business. Like all mammals, we humans seem to have been left no choice in the matter: even though it is costly, inefficient and dangerous, if we want to reproduce we simply have to have sex. Yet most human cultures tell the tale of a maiden who gives birth untouched by a man; and in the wild there are plenty of creatures – such as turkeys, komodo dragons, sharks and the ‘Jesus Christ’ lizard (which walks on water, too) – that take various approaches to reproducing without sex.

In LIKE A VIRGIN, the biology writer Aarathi Prasad discusses how reproduction without sex is achieved in animals and explores why evolution hasn’t made it an option for humans – yet. In doing so, she provides a quirky, entertaining and perceptive overview of the mysteries of evolutionary biology, sex and reproduction – past, present and future.

It’s a remarkable story that ranges across Greek mythology, natural history, agriculture, conservation and medicine; takes in some of the most exciting areas of developmental genetics and molecular biology that other popular science books largely ignore; and is packed full of a cast of amazing characters, be they obscure animals or eccentric scientists such as the respected geneticist Dr Helen Spurway who in the UK in the 1950s unwittingly sparked a nationwide search for a virgin mother.

There is now a plethora of strategies being developed in reproductive medicine that could ultimately keep our species going in a world of embellished sex: the creation of artificial eggs and sperm from bone marrow, labs-on-chips on which eggs are fertilized, silicone wombs and artificial wombs (where fetuses can spend their full nine months), and even research to prepare us for reproduction in space. What’s more, we are finally beginning to understand what genetic modifications are needed to allow for the creation of women who could have babies without having sex. Now that we have the competent hand of science in our lives, will girls still need men?

Publisher: Oneworld (UK/US)
Pub Date: 16 August 2012
Status: Draft manuscript
Length: 288 pages


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Yabanci

Yabanci is a book by a Dutch woman who moved from Holland to Turkey to start a new life in a Turkish village overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. A great read for those who are considering a move abroad or have lived in a different culture. Available in English as an ebook or in Dutch in both print and popular ebook formats... take a look


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