Rudy Giuliani cancels paid appearance at a pro-Russia conference

Rudy Giuliani, personal lawyer to Donald Trump and a key figure in the Ukraine scandal, will no longer make a paid appearance at a Russia sponsored conference in Armenia, according to The Washington Post.

Giuliani has faced increasing scrutiny in recent weeks over his role in promoting a conspiracy theory at the heart of a whistleblower complaint that has roiled Washington and left Trump the subject of an impeachment inquiry. That conspiracy theory maintains — without any evidence — that former Vice President Joe Biden pressured Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor in order to protect his son. …

Trump reportedly told Russia he didn’t care about 2016 election interference — and aides buried the meeting notes

In 2017, President Donald Trump told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak he believed Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential to be unimportant, according to a report from the Washington Post — and access to the memo describing the meeting was restricted to very few people, out of fear that the president’s comments would be made public.

Trump has repeatedly downplayed fears about Russian election interference in public. But the Post’s report, from Shane Harris, Josh Dawsey, and Ellen Nakashima, is the latest allegation that the White House has treated potentially embarrassing records about Trump’s conversations …

One House Republican now favors the impeachment inquiry

Rep. Mark Amodei (R-NV) became the first Republican in the House of Representatives to support an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Friday — placing him in stark contrast with the majority of Republicans on the Hill.

During a conference call with local reporters reporters, Amodei said he read both the whistleblower complaint and the White House’s memo on President Donald Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, according to The Nevada Independent. During the now infamous July phone call, Trump asked Zelensky to launch an investigation into fellow presidential candidate Joe Biden as a “favor.”

The …

The BBC proclaims Catcher in the Rye no longer cool

Welcome to Vox’s weekly book link roundup, a curated selection of the internet’s best writing on books and related subjects. Here’s the best the web has to offer for the week of September 22, 2019.

On the third floor of Hauteville House, a Georgian villa on the British Channel Island of Guernsey, a man’s head, carved from the faux ivory top of a walking stick, hovers ominously above an ornately carved bed. To the right of the bed is a red curtain, which conceals a secret hidden passage. A short flight of stairs behind the curtain leads to a “crystal

Vox Sentences: A cloud of concern over vaping

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Reports of vaping-linked illness rise; upcoming Afghan elections are met with security apprehensions.

Vaping-linked illnesses climb in CDC report

Getty Images
  • A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report shows a rise in vaping-linked illnesses, now with 805 registered cases and 12 deaths. [NPR / Emily Vaughn]
  • Doctors are not entirely certain the exact cause of the illness, but every

Mobsters, Teamsters, history, guilt, and salvation: Martin Scorsese’s terrific The Irishman

Late in The Irishman, Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) says that “you don’t know how fast time goes by until you get there,” and there’s just a twinkle of irony mixed into the melancholy. After all, by then, the movie is past the three-hour mark. (It ultimately tops out at 209 minutes.)

But that’s sort of the point. Time telescopes in Martin Scorsese’s newest movie, shifting back and forth through decades as old, wistful Frank narrates the tale of his life as a hitman for crime syndicate boss Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci) and then for Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa …

Netflix’s The Politician is a mess. But it may be a deeply meaningful one.

Late in her new book God Land, author Lyz Lenz articulates the particular relationship that people who grew up in the Midwest have to the power structures of the Midwest as well as anybody I’ve ever seen.

Lenz’s book is an attempt to understand the results of the 2016 election — and the dissolution of Lenz’s own marriage in the wake thereof — by researching the decay of the Midwestern church. She hoped to discern why these stalwart heralds of tiny farm towns are hollowing out like so many other things in the region where I grew up and …

DIY vape juice mixing is on the rise in the face of a federal vaping crackdown

In the past two months, a sudden outbreak of vaping-related illnesses has placed e-cigarette use under a critical spotlight. Millions of American adults vape, and a subset gravitate to online communities to share their habit. They congregate on online message boards like Reddit and the comments section of popular YouTube “vape influencers,” discussing their favorite products and flavors.

Inside this vaping community, there is a niche group of vapers who’ve adopted a do-it-yourself mentality when it comes to creating their own vape juice — a flavored nicotine mixture sometimes referred to as e-juice or e-liquid. It’s the modern equivalent of …

Storm Area 51 weekend had neither raids nor aliens. But it wasn’t a bust.

Despite what I was promised by the meme that inspired the trip, I did not “see them aliens” in the middle of nowhere, Nevada.

Storm Area 51 weekend was the IRL outgrowth of a viral Facebook joke that implored all interested parties to “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All Of Us” — but all I found were the offline remains of an online phenomenon. An ever-dwindling number of people who were committed enough to trek out into the Nevada desert, some 100 miles away from urbanity, spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday dithering around the near-empty towns of Rachel and …

The Good Place sets up its endgame in its final season premiere

Somehow, as The Good Place kicks off its fourth and final season, the fate of the human race has come down to four weirdos, a genderless being of pure creation, and a reformed demon. If someone had told you is how season four would begin back when the show debuted, you would have said, “What?” but here in “A Girl from Arizona, Part 1” (the season four premiere), it’s more, “Sure. Sounds about right.”

As always with this funny, frenetic show, The Good Place treats its premiere as a hard reboot, doing everything it can to slide certain elements of …