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July 17, 2017
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The highly-respected eye surgeon and former dean of the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine, Dr. Carmen A. Puliafito, lived a secret double life in which he cavorted with escorts and drug addicts, the Los Angeles Times reports. While Puliafito, 66, publicly raked in an estimated $1 billion or more in donations for the school and is credited for its ascent up the list of the country's top medical programs, on the side he reportedly used methamphetamine and other drugs with young adults such as Sarah Warren, whom he met on an escort website when she was 20:

The images viewed by the Times reflect an easy familiarity between Warren and Puliafito. In the video that shows him smoking from a large glass pipe while she heats a piece of foil and inhales, Warren calls Puliafito "Tony," short for Anthony, his middle name.

Looking into the camera, Warren says she and Puliafito are making a "good old-fashioned doing-drugs video" to send to a friend.

[...] In another video, Warren takes a drag from a meth pipe, and as she exhales, Puliafito inhales the smoke from her mouth, a technique known as "shotgunning."

In a separate series of photos, Warren sits on Puliafito's lap as she smokes meth. [Los Angeles Times]

Warren, who is no longer in touch with Puliafito, said the medical school dean paid for her apartments and gave her spending money, although "it was never enough for me to save up and leave." She overdosed while with Puliafito at a party in 2016, and was rushed to the hospital despite Puliafito's insistence to a dispatcher that she was unconscious from "the alcohol." Warren said she and Puliafito had been partying for two days at that point and six hours later, when she woke up, "we went back to the hotel and got another room and continued the party."

Puliafito resigned from his post as dean of the medical school three weeks later, claiming he wanted to explore "outside opportunities," the Times reports.

"He was always with me," Warren recalled in her interviews. "It was as if he had nothing else to do." Read the full, gripping report here. Jeva Lange

11:48 a.m. ET
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Four seats in the House of Representatives have swung right and are more likely to be filled by Republicans, the Cook Political Report predicted on Tuesday.

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report analyzed upcoming races in California, South Carolina, and Nebraska, and found that the landscape surrounding high-stakes primaries is rapidly changing.

California's 39th and 49th districts both shifted from "lean Democratic" to "toss up," as a crowded field of Democratic candidates threaten to splice the share of votes. The open ballot policy in California means its possible for two Republicans and no Democrats to make it through the primaries to the general election.

In South Carolina's 5th district, ratings shifted from "likely Republican" to "solid Republican." South Carolina's race has been impacted by recent allegations that Democrat Archie Parnell assaulted his ex-wife in the 1970s — Parnell has so far opted to stay in the race even though top Democrats and his own staffers have renounced support.

Nebraska's 2nd district went from "toss up" to "lean Republican." After progressive candidate Kara Eastman beat out the Democratic Party's moderate pick in Nebraska's primary, analysts say Eastman may be too liberal for the district as she goes up against incumbent Rep. Don Bacon (R).

Read more analysis at the Cook Political Report. Summer Meza

10:56 a.m. ET
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Amazon has reportedly spent several years hawking its facial recognition technology to law enforcement agencies, prompting the American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday to accuse the company of having "officially entered the surveillance business," The New York Times reports. Amazon's service, called "Rekogniton," was developed in late 2016, and it identifies "faces and other objects in images," the Times writes. Amazon has promoted the technology to police departments, noting that officers can use it to aid investigations — or, say, track "undocumented immigrants or black activists," as the ACLU warns.

In one extreme case, in Orlando, police are apparently using Rekognition to search for "people of interest" in surveillance cameras "all over the city," the ACLU alleges. (A spokesman for the Orlando Police Department told the Times that it is not at this time using Rekogniton in investigations or public spaces). Amazon's promotional materials also suggest using Rekognition in police body cameras.

A spokesperson for Amazon Web Services told the Times that the company requires users of Rekognition to follow the law and "be responsible," and that the deployment of the technology is not so unlike other image recognition programs already used around the country. That isn't reassuring for many critics, though.

"People should be free to walk down the street without being watched by the government," the ACLU writes. "[A]utomating mass surveillance, facial recognition systems like Rekognition threaten this freedom, posing a particular threat to communities already unjustly targeted in the current political climate. Once powerful surveillance systems like these are built and deployed, the harm will be extremely difficult to undo." Jeva Lange

10:30 a.m. ET

The government of Sweden has updated a Cold War-era pamphlet guiding residents on what to do "if crisis or war comes" and "their everyday life [is] turned upside down." The revised pamphlet is being distributed to every household in Sweden for the first time in more than three decades.

The content is both practical (buy lots of tortillas) and strategic: "If Sweden is attacked by another country, we will never give up," it says. "All information to the effect that resistance is to cease is false."

"We all have a responsibility for our country's safety and preparedness, so it's important for everyone to also have knowledge on how we can contribute if something serious occurs," said Dan Eliasson, director of the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), which is sending the pamphlets. "Sweden is safer than many other countries but threats exist."

Sweden is not a member of NATO and has not been at war for two centuries. However, an MSB statement to CNN indicated the pamphlet distribution is prompted by the "security situation in our neighborhood," referring to Russian activity in the Baltic region. Bonnie Kristian

10:19 a.m. ET

Taking a page from National Security Adviser John Bolton's playbook, Vice President Mike Pence threatened North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with regime change and a violent death if he does not cooperate with U.S. demands in his upcoming talks with President Trump.

If Kim does not make a deal, Pence said, U.S.-North Korea conflict will "end like the Libya model ended." In Pence's telling, this is not a "threat" so much as a "fact," but it is unlikely Kim will hear it that way. His regime views Libya as a negative object lesson for cooperation with Washington, as after voluntarily relinquishing his nuclear weapons program, Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi was deposed with U.S. help and brutally killed. Bonnie Kristian

10:11 a.m. ET

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight on Monday for a contentious debate over the basis for the investigation into whether President Trump's campaign colluded with Russian meddling during the 2016 election.

Host Tucker Carlson asked how Swalwell would feel about an informant reporting to the FBI about one of his political campaigns, referring to recent reporting that an FBI informant spoke to two Trump campaign advisers to ask about suspicious contacts. "If they didn't have probable cause, I'd be pissed," said Swalwell, a member of the House Intelligence Committee. However, Swalwell argued, the FBI did have probable cause to investigate the Trump campaign.

"Of the evidence I've seen, there were very good reasons to be concerned about the contacts that the Trump campaign had," said the congressman, who insisted that investigators had acted appropriately in launching the probe. Carlson disagreed with just about everything Swalwell said, laughing at the notion that "probable cause" meant anything and accusing Swalwell of lacking common sense.

The two continued to spar as Swalwell presented unclassified evidence that the Trump campaign's actions merited an investigation, with Carlson demanding a "smoking gun" to prove collusion and Swalwell suggesting Trump was dumb enough to admit his crimes in public. Watch the full combative interview below, via Fox News. Summer Meza

9:43 a.m. ET

Less than three months ago, NRA spokesperson and radio host Dana Loesch was sparring at a CNN townhall with Parkland shooting survivors and a mother who had lost her child. On Tuesday, she was once again on television to respond to the latest school shooting, although this time she had a rather unusual proposal for stemming the epidemic of violence.

Speaking on Fox & Friends, Loesch said "we need to make sure we are funding security measures" in schools, and to do that she suggested, "How about we take the half a billion dollars from Planned Parenthood and redirect that into making sure that our schools are secure, and that we have armed security and metal detectors?"

Many advocates for gun reform have protested against "armed security," arguing that more guns in schools is not the solution. "In the event an armed guard actually did intervene [in an active shooting], more deaths or injuries would likely be the result," writes Slate. "Armed guards exchanging fire with one or more shooters would result in a chaotic scene filled with deadly crossfire, and would complicate any law enforcement response too." Additionally, armed teachers and security guards have been known to leave loaded guns behind in the bathroom.

Watch Loesch's appearance on Fox News below, via ThinkProgress' Aaron Rupar. Jeva Lange

9:25 a.m. ET

If Trump is "crossing a line" by going after the Justice Department investigation of him and his campaign, "will his own party speak up?" CNN's Chris Cuomo asked Tuesday morning, posing the question to recently retired Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), making his New Day debut. "Forgive me if this seems cynical, call it out if so, but I think that's a rhetorical question: Will Republicans stand up against the president? The answer is no, they are assisting him, Devin Nunes, other members of this kind of formative cabal. ... Your party's going to let him do what he wants to do here, yes of no?"

"Well, for the moment I think that's true, but the midterms will be a seminal test," Dent said. "I mean, this could be a very difficult midterm election and I suspect after that election, I think some views might change. I think we have to conduct much more rigorous oversight, and I've been concerned about this."

Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), who is still in Congress and on the House Intelligence Committee with Nunes, said "of course" he's not comfortable with what Nunes and Trump are doing on the investigation, and "nobody should be." Nunes is essentially "sending a signal around the world that some quirky, completely factless investigation may cause you as an informant or you as a CIA asset to be exposed, and that is going to make us profoundly less safe." Watch below. Peter Weber

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