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The Roger Ailes scandal is ballooning into something much bigger

By JOE POMPEO 08/10/16 06:47 AM EDT
THE DAILY AILES -- The Roger Ailes scandal is ballooning into something much bigger than the initial sexual harassment allegations that ignited the controversy a little over a month ago. And those were big enough: In a little more than two weeks, they drove the longtime Fox News chief out of the cable news channel he spent 20 years molding into a media powerhouse for the right and a cash cow for parent company 21st Century Fox, which is controlled by Rupert Murdoch and his sons.

In the past few days alone, there have been reports of surveillance campaigns against journalists covering Ailes (http://nym.ag/2aDOHsD); Fox News employees who “believe our phones are tapped and that we are monitored” (http://cnnmon.ie/2aXbX4b); and incredulity that top brass at the publicly-traded 21st Century Fox were not until recently aware, as the company has said, of a $3.15 million exit package paid in 2011 to a former Fox News booker who claims Ailes manipulated and sexually harassed her for 20 years (http://on.ft.com/2aNm3Hr).

The question now being tossed around in the private conversations, Twitter exchanges, Gchats and Slack windows of the media-obsessed: How much more dirt is going to come out, and will this sordid affair eventually make the leap from scandalous to criminal? There’s been no smoking gun just yet, but there are specters. The whole thing’s beginning to feel a little Summer 2011, when the U.K. phone-hacking scandal that upended Murdoch’s other conglomerate, News Corp., was starting to catch fire. Here’s the latest that’s come across Morning Media’s desk ...

Dark arts: Ailes’ black ops tactics against New York magazine reporter and Ailes biographer Gabe Sherman were apparently more menacing than just online smears and negative Google ads. A source close to high-level Fox News executives told Morning Media that during a private conversation with Ailes at an event in the period when Sherman was reporting his 2014 book, “The Loudest Voice in the Room,” Ailes said to this source, “I know where he lives, and I'm gonna send people to beat the shit out of him.” (A second source within the Fox News orbit confirmed hearing the same account and a third said Ailes has said some version of this before.)

Read more: http://www.politico.com/media/tipsheets/morning-media/2016/08/another-ailes-spectacularsecond-amendment-sagaerstwhile-ap-power-duo-reunites-001084

U.S. will affirm its prohibition on medical marijuana

The government on Thursday will refuse again to allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes, reaffirming its conclusion that the drug's therapeutic value has not been proved scientifically, according to government officials, and defying a growing clamor to legalize it for the treatment of a variety of conditions.

In an announcement scheduled to be in the Federal Register, the Drug Enforcement Administration will turn down requests to remove marijuana from "Schedule I," which classifies it as a drug with "no currently accepted medical use" in the United States and precludes doctors from prescribing it.

The decision will keep the federal government at odds with 25 states and the District of Columbia, which have passed laws allowing medical use of marijuana to some degree. Members of Congress have called for its reclassification and on Wednesday, the National Conference of State Legislatures adopted a resolution asking the federal government to remove marijuana from Schedule I.

The agency will announce one policy change that could increase the amount of research conducted on marijuana, the officials said. The DEA will expand the number of places allowed to grow marijuana for studies of its value in chronic pain relief, as a treatment for epilepsy and other purposes. Currently, only the University of Mississippi,which holds an exclusive contract with the National Institute on Drug Abuse, is federally licensed to grow marijuana for research purposes.


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Maya 'snake dynasty' tomb uncovered holding body, treasure and hieroglyphs

Archaeologists have uncovered what may be the largest royal tomb found in more than a century of work on Maya ruins in Belize, along with a puzzling set of hieroglyphic panels that provide clues to a “snake dynasty” that conquered many of its neighbors some 1,300 years ago.

The tomb was unearthed at the ruins of Xunantunich, a city on the Mopan river in western Belize that served as a ceremonial center in the final centuries of Maya dominance around 600 to 800AD. Archaeologists found the chamber 16ft to 26ft below ground, where it had been hidden under more than a millennium of dirt and debris.

Researchers found the tomb as they excavated a central stairway of a large structure: within were the remains of a male adult, somewhere between 20 and 30 years old, lying supine with his head to the south.

The archaeologist Jaime Awe said preliminary analysis by osteologists found the man was athletic and “quite muscular” at his death, and that more analysis should provide clues about his identity, health and cause of death.

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