HC Wake-Up Call: Rick Gates' Testimony In Manafort Trial, Iran Sanctions Restored, & InfoWars Banned From Apple, FB & YouTube

Good morning Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds—we’re all only human, after all.

But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.)

Rick Gates Testifies In Paul Manafort Trial

ICYMI: Paul Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman, is currently on trial in Virginia after being charged with 25 crimes related to his lobbying work for Ukraine's government and political leaders. The tax evasion and money laundering charges are unrelated to the separate trial he'll face in September in Washington, DC, which has to do with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential election. The latter continued on Monday, with key prosecution witness Rick Gates testifying. According to CNN, Gates admitted to committing crimes "alongside" and "at the direction of" Manafort. More specifically, Gates said that the two of them had 15 foreign accounts that they didn't report to the federal government — despite knowing that it was illegal. 

Gates also admitted to embezzling "hundreds of thousands" of dollars from Manafort. He apparently created false expense reports to steal from him, and to his knowledge, Manafort had never found out. In exchange for his testimony against Manafort, CNN reported that Gates reached a plea deal with Mueller. 

Court will reconvene at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, with Judge T.S. Ellis continuing to oversee the case. 

The US Restored Sanctions On Iran

In an apparent attempt to increase economic pressure on Iran, the Trump administration announced the reinstatement of US sanctions that were previously suspended under the Iran nuclear deal on Monday. According to The Wall Street Journal, the sanctions aren't aimed at toppling Iran's Tehran regime, but to instead change the regime's behavior. "The United States is fully committed to enforcing all of our sanctions, and we will work closely with nations conducting business with Iran to ensure complete compliance. Individuals or entities that fail to wind down activities with Iran risk severe consequences," Trump said in a statement.

The sanctions are set to go back into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday. The WSJ reported that the sanctions will remain in effect unless Tehran "meets a dozen stringent demands, including that it cease its support for militant groups in the Middle East and end its enrichment of uranium." 

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said, "If there is sincerity, Iran has always welcomed dialogue and negotiations." He added that he has no pre-conditions, and that he's willing to start talking right now if the US government is, too. In Trump's statement, he encouraged other countries to help ramp up the pressure on Iran. "We urge all nations to take such steps to make clear that the Iranian regime faces a choice: Either change its threatening, destabilizing behavior and reintegrate with the global economy, or continue down a path of economic isolation," he said. But European officials "registered their opposition to the new sanctions," the WSJ reported. 

Apple, Facebook, & YouTube Remove Alex Jones' InfoWars 

On Monday, Apple removed the entire libraries of five podcasts associated with InfoWars and its founder Alex Jones from iTunes and its podcast app. One of them, Alex Jones Show, is hosted by Jones himself on a daily basis. "Apple does not tolerate hate speech, and we have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users," the company said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. "Podcasts that violate these guidelines are removed from our directory making them no longer searchable or available for download or streaming. We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions."

Afterward, Facebook and YouTube — A.K.A. "platforms that have come under far more scrutiny for hosting Jones and his content," according to BuzzFeed News — followed suit. YouTube had one of the largest impacts on Jones' audience, as his channel had nearly 2.5 million subscribers and more than 1 billion views. Most of the videos are gone now. "When users violate ... policies repeatedly, like our policies against hate speech and harassment or our terms prohibiting circumvention of our enforcement measures, we terminate their accounts," a spokesperson for YouTube said.

According to CNN, "InfoWars is notorious for spreading demonstrably false information and conspiracy theories on a host of issues. It has suggested that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax, and that the September 11 terrorist attacks were an inside job orchestrated by the US government." Jones is currently being sued by numerous family members of Sandy Hook victims. On Monday, he encouraged his fans to continue receiving content through the InfoWars website.

What to look for...

A theater near you to see Eighth Grade for free on Wednesday.