Fired Tillerson slams growing crisis in ethics and integrity in commencement address

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Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson took an apparent jab at President Donald Trump Wednesday during a commencement speech to graduates at the Virginia Military Institute in which he deplored the nation's "growing crisis in ethics and integrity" and leaders who "conceal the truth."

Tillerson, who was fired by a Trump tweet as the country's top diplomat in March and replaced with then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo, called on the graduates to maintain a "fierce defense of the truth."

"As I reflect upon the state of our American democracy, I observe a growing crisis in ethics and integrity," he said. "If our leaders seek to conceal the truth, or we as people become accepting of alternative realities that are no longer grounded in facts, then we as American citizens are on a pathway to relinquishing our freedom."

Tillerson added, "When we as people, a free people, go wobbly on the truth, even on what may seem the most trivial of matters, we go wobbly on America."

Tillerson, who previously served as the chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, had a rocky relationship with the president during his tenure in the administration. As secretary of state, he often seemed out of the loop or in disagreement with Trump on major foreign policy decisions.

The tension between Tillerson and Trump was heightened after NBC News reported last year that he had referred to the president as a "moron" after a July meeting at the Pentagon, according to three officials familiar with the incident.



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Fox News Said To Settle Group Of Discrimination Lawsuits For About 10 Million

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A New York Times report detailed the agreement the network reached with multiple plaintiffs, including anchor Kelly Wright.

Fox News settled lawsuits with several plaintiffs suing the network for racial and gender discrimination in a deal worth about $10 million, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

The settlement is far lower than the $60 million figure the network was approached with last summer, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Among the cases reportedly settled was the class action lawsuit joined by veteran anchor Kelly Wright, who was the only black man at the network to hold such a position. The Times reported Wright’s settlement included a contractual buyout.

Last year, an emotional Wright held a press conference in which he said he was demeaned and prevented from advancing in his career due to racial bias at the network. He accused former host Bill O’Reilly, whom the network severed ties with in August amid mounting sexual harassment allegations, of refusing to air stories Wright did on the African-American community because they were “too positive.”

A Fox News representative confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that the network “resolved various cases involving Fox News employees.”

The Wall Street Journal reported the settlement was reached with 18 former Fox News employees. The onslaught of discrimination litigation grew out of multiple sexual harassment lawsuits filed against former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, who left the network amid scandal in July 2016 and died last May. 

In May 2016, 21st Century Fox, the news network’s parent company, disclosed in its quarterly report that the company had paid $45 million in costs “related to settlements of pending and potential litigations” regarding Ailes departure from the network.



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North Korea threatens to call off US summit if Washington insists on denuclearization

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 A senior North Korean official said Pyongyang isn’t interested in a summit with the U.S. focused solely on denuclearization and accused Washington of trying to “impose on our dignified state the destiny of Libya or Iraq.”

In a Wednesday statement attributed to Kim Kye Gwan, a senior foreign ministry official, North Korea said it doesn’t want to deal away its nuclear weapons for economic compensation or benefits. That cast doubt on the North’s willingness to proceed with a planned June 12 summit with President Donald Trump in Singapore.

“If the U.S. is trying to drive us into a corner to force our unilateral nuclear abandonment, we will no longer be interested in such dialogue and cannot but reconsider our proceeding to the DPRK-U.S. summit,” Kim was quoted as saying, using the acronym for North Korea’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Kim Kye Gwan, a longtime North Korean diplomat who has met frequently with U.S. negotiators and high-level officials over the years, singled out national security adviser John Bolton and his demands, which include a Libya-style denuclearization process and the disposal of biological and chemical weapons.



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