NPR defends Declaration of Independence tweets after confused Trump supporters brand as ‘propaganda’

When NPR tweeted out the Declaration of Independence on July 4, many Trump supporters thought the media organisation was provoking violence and even revolution against the President.

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For nearly three decades NPR’s ‘Morning Edition’ has broadcast a reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 4.

It’s a national holiday in the United States where many Americans eat hotdogs, drink beer and wear their flag with pride.

The US Independence Day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of the Independence in 1776.

For the first time, NPR tweeted out the lines from the Declaration of Independence. But due to Twitter’s 140 character limit, some of the declaration had to be broken down.

In total 113 consecutive tweets were sent out to complete the reading.

In Congress, July 4, 1776.

— NPR (@NPR) July 4, 2017

During the section which outlined all the ways Britian’s George III had wronged the then- colonies, many Trump supporters believed the media organisation was tweeting about their President.

Trump supporters thought NPR was tweeting “propaganda” on 4th of July Turned out it was the Declaration of Independence.😂🤣😂 pic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/bqXO9W6GVr

— Facts Do Matter (@WilDonnelly) July 5, 2017

Many Trump supporters have since deleted their tweets, but not before some US writers were able to screenshoot them and post it for all to see. 

there’s nothing more american than getting pissed because you think the declaration of independence is shitting on the president pic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/gkWSTR8SIY

— Goth Ms. Frizzle (@spookperson) July 4, 2017*heavy sigh* pic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/Pb35SNdKqe

— Melissa Martin (@DoubleEmMartin) July 4, 2017this whole thread is an indictment of American reading comprehension 😛

— Boo Radley 🇺🇸 (@wibrr) July 5, 2017Trump supporters who thought that @NPR tweeting the Declaration of Independence was dig @ The Don, not understanding they read it EVERY YEAR pic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/QWfrxbSPkJ

— Joke Man Movie Man (@SupermanParadis) July 5, 2017

One journalist got fed up with the notifications. 

This is spam I get alerts for NPR tweets because they are important My device is alarming nonstop. unfollowing.

— Brandon Travan (@btravan_IT) July 4, 2017

But one Trump supporter admitted he was wrong. 

So, NPR is calling for revolution.

Interesting way to condone the violence while trying to sound “patriotic”.

Your implications are clear.

— D.G.Davies (@JustEsrafel) July 4, 2017I Tweeted a VERY dumb comment. But ask yourselves; if read to the average American, would they know that you were reading the DOI? I do now.

— D.G.Davies (@JustEsrafel) July 5, 2017I can’t reply to you all. But stay tuned.

To those that want to mock me…go for it. I deserve it.

To those that forgive my “sin”, thank you

— D.G.Davies (@JustEsrafel) July 5, 2017

One online user criticised the tweets as “trash”.

Seriously, this is the dumbest idea I have ever seen on twitter. Literally no one is going to read 5000 tweets about this trash.

— Darren Mills 🇺🇸 (@darren_mills) July 4, 2017

A spokeswoman for NPR, Allyssa Pollard, said the tweets were shared by thousands of people and generated “a lively conversation.”

In a statement published by The Washington Post, the organisation said the purpose of the tweets was to extend their 29 year broadcast tradition to social media.

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Witnesses claim Venezuelan police chase protesters into mall, then tear gas them

The violent round of cat-and-mouse came a day after one of the most stunning episodes in three months of unrest: a pro-government, stick-wielding mob overrunning Congress.

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The malaise has cost the lives of 91 people as opposition activists who blame President Nicolas Maduro for the country’s descent into food shortages and other economic chaos press on with nearly daily street protests.

On Thursday they tried to march on the Supreme Court, which the opposition says is stacked with pro-Maduro lackies. But police firing tear gas pushed them back and even chased some fleeing demonstrators into a huge shopping mall and shot the stinging gas in there, too.

A total of 45 people in the mall, including 17 children, received emergency medical treatment, said Ramon Muchacho, mayor of the Caracas district Chacao, which is an opposition stronghold.

“We came here to get an ice cream and see a movie, and look at this disaster,” said adolescent Alejandra Vargas, her eyes red from the tear gas. Nearby, a woman carrying a baby was escorted out by firefighters.  

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Protester Rosa Rivas, 43, taking part in the rally with her 15-year-old daughter, said when the police forced the crowd to disperse, some went into the mall, either through the main entrance or a parking garage.

“But they chased us. People were running for their lives,” Rivas told AFP. The entire mall — 531 stores — was later evacuated as a precaution.

The unrest came a day after some 100 government supporters armed with sticks and pipes stormed the opposition-dominated National Assembly. They beat lawmakers, injuring seven, as police stood by and watched. 

The pro-Maduro people then stood guard outside the assembly for nine hours, screaming insults at lawmakers and preventing them from leaving until police finally intervened and set up a security cordon to let them out.

Maduro condemned the assault and promised an investigation but did not publicly acknowledge the intruders were his supporters. The attack drew condemnation from the United States, France, the European Union and the Organization of American States.

Maduro, a former bus driver handpicked by the late socialist firebrand Hugo Chavez as his successor, is wildly unpopular among everyday people but still retains the key support of the military.

However, Maduro now faces criticism even within his own camp, namely from Attorney General Luisa Ortega. The Supreme Court could soon fire her.

Emissions cheating: Audi engineer charged

US authorities have accused a former executive of Volkswagen’s Audi luxury brand of giving orders to program diesel engines to cheat on emissions tests.

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Giovanni Pamio, 60, an Italian citizen, is accused of being a leader in a conspiracy that was part of an embarrassing scandal that has cost VW more than $US20 billion ($A26 billion) in criminal penalties and lawsuit settlements. He’s the seventh ex-VW employee charged in the case that is being investigated by the FBI and the Environmental Protection Agency’s criminal unit.

One of the employees is scheduled for sentencing later this month, another is in custody in the US and four others are German citizens.

Volkswagen has admitted that VW, Porsche and Audi vehicles with two-litre and three-litre diesel engines were programmed to turn pollution controls on during government treadmill tests and turn them off while on the road. The scheme went on for years before being discovered in tests conducted by West Virginia University.

According to a criminal complaint filed on Thursday in Detroit, Pamio is charged with conspiracy, wire fraud and violating the Clean Air Act. Gina Balaya, spokeswoman for the US Attorney’s Office in Detroit, said she could not comment on whether he is in custody.

The complaint says Pamio was head of Thermodynamics in Audi’s Diesel Development Department in Neckarsulm, Germany, leading a team of engineers who designed emissions controls from 2006 through November of 2015.

He and other unidentified conspirators determined it was impossible to calibrate a three-litre diesel engine to meet US nitrogen oxide emissions standards within design constraints imposed by other VW departments. So Pamio “directed Audi employees to design and implement software functions to cheat the standard US emissions tests,” the US Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

Pamio and others then failed to disclose the software and knowingly misrepresented that the engines complied with US pollution standards, according to the complaint.

VW already has pleaded guilty to criminal charges and agreed to pay a $US2.8 billion ($A3.7 billion) penalty.

Hawks backing Vickery after police drama

Hawthorn are confident ruck-forward Ty Vickery can remain focused on football despite being subject to an ongoing police investigation.

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Vickery and former Richmond AFL teammate Jake King were arrested on Wednesday as part of an extortion investigation.

King, whose AFL career ended three years ago, was charged with six offences and released on bail.

Hawks recruit Vickery was released without charge, pending further police investigation, and will play for VFL affiliates Box Hill on Sunday.

Coach Alastair Clarkson says Vickery is co-operating fully with police and has the full support of the club.

“He’s okay. It’s been a big week for him,” Clarkson said at Melbourne Airport on Friday.

“He’ll get through this police investigation but we can’t really comment too much on it. It’s a little bit like the umpires – you’re not meant to speak about that sort of stuff.

“He’s got the support of his teammates and his footy club, and his family and friends, and that’s all that’s important at this point in time.”

Box Hill named Vickery at full forward for Sunday’s home game against Williamstown.

Vickery most recently played at senior level in round 11, but kicked three goals last weekend in the VFL.

He has played just six AFL matches this season after joining the Hawks from Richmond.

“Outside of it being quite a serious matter involving the police, he’s tried to live his life as normally as possibly as he can and just co-operate with police in terms of what their requirements are,” Clarkson said.

“He’s done that outstandingly well over the last two days and everything else we’ve just got to compartmentalise – footy here, deal with the stuff that he’s got to deal with outside of that.

Fairfax Media has reported Vickery is set to take legal action against a former business partner over an alleged six-figure debt.

That debt is said to be at the heart of the extortion claims.

Barrett denies Manly salary cap problems

Manly coach Trent Barrett insists the Sea Eagles will be cleared of an NRL investigation into the club’s salary cap.

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Barrett has sought out assurances from Sea Eagles chairman Scott Penn, amid reports that landed the club at the front and centre of alleged breaches across multiple clubs.

“I’ve spoken to Scott Penn who has assured us that everything is fine,” Barrett said.

“We were audited a couple of weeks ago so if there was anything there it would have been brought up.”

Manly have shot from pre-season wooden-spoon contenders to premiership chances, on the back of a five-game winning streak taking them to third on the ladder.

Severe salary cap breaches in previous years have results in points penalties to clubs – which has not yet been threatened by the NRL

However when asked whether he was concerned, Barrett was defiant.

“I know how we operate here and we’ve got nothing to worry about,” he said.

The Fairfax Media allegations on Wednesday suggested a former Sea Eagles player was connected to a cash handover in a car park.

They also pointed to top-up payments by multiple unnamed clubs, as well as the skirting of NRL salary cap laws by undisclosed cash payments from third-party sponsors to players.

Barrett has only been at the Sea Eagles since the beginning of last year, and was unwilling to comment on matters before his arrival at the club.

But he pointed to the club’s financial position and roster of toilers as further proof his team had no right to be concerned.

“We’re not a club that has a lot of money,” he said.

“We get by on a shoestring and that’s why it’s pretty laughable in our playing group because we have to kick and scratch for everything.

“We’re a privately owned club, we don’t have a leagues club. We do it tough at times.

“Seriously, if you look through our roster, we’ve got a lot of younger players in there who are really doing their best at the moment.”