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Incoming: Mueller Testifies Today

What to expect from Mueller's testimony, Germany withholds WWF funding, the retweet button brought us here. Your BuzzFeed News newsletter, July 24.

Posted on July 24, 2019, at 8:12 a.m. ET

Robert Mueller is about to testify before Congress

Today, former special counsel Robert Mueller will testify before two congressional committees about his monthslong investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections and President Donald Trump’s efforts to obstruct the investigation.

Today’s testimony will mark the first time the public will hear Mueller speak about the investigation outside a brief public statement in May. Mueller’s spokesperson said he will not discuss anything beyond what was contained in his report.

House Democrats will hope to grill Mueller with questions that highlight the fact that Mueller’s report did not exonerate the president of wrongdoing. Meanwhile, Republicans will play up Mueller’s conclusion that there was no criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians.

Here’s everything else you need to know before Mueller takes the hot seat.

Germany has stopped funding wildlife charity WWF amid ongoing human rights investigations

The German government has stopped funding the World Wide Fund for Nature in response to BuzzFeed News revelations that the globally beloved mega-charity backs paramilitary forces accused of widespread atrocities against people living on the fringes of wildlife parks across Africa and Asia.

Three German government agencies told us that money meant for WWF is on hold pending investigation of human rights abuses at WWF-supported parks.

It’s unclear how much money is being held, but German taxpayers have given WWF tens of millions of euros over the past two decades.

SNAPSHOTS

Neighbors in Nashville formed a human chain to protect a dad and his son from ICE. As agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement sought to carry out an arrest, neighbors in Nashville’s Hermitage neighborhood formed a human chain to protect members of their community.

A black transgender woman was found fatally shot in South Carolina. Denali Berries Stuckey, 29, was found fatally shot in Charleston, the 12th black transgender woman to be killed in the US this year. Police say her death is not currently being looked at as a hate crime, but that could change later on.

Puerto Rico civil rights leaders want investigations into police using tear gas on protesters. As the island braces for an 11th consecutive night of protests calling for Gov. Ricardo Rosselló to resign, civil rights groups are concerned about police using tear gas, pepper spray, and allegedly rubber bullets against demonstrators.

A model called out a famous celeb photographer for predatory behavior — and found out she’s not the only one he’s targeted. Sunnaya Nash screenshotted and posted her exchange with celeb photographer Marcus Hyde who demanded nude photographs. Nash received a flood of messages from women who went through the same thing.

The man who built the retweet: “We handed a loaded weapon to 4-year-olds”

Twitter was launched in 2006, but one of its central functions — the retweet button, which allows you to share someone’s tweet with one click — didn’t arrive until 2009.

The arrival of the button fundamentally reshaped the platform and the internet as a whole. Alex Kantrowitz spoke with developer Chris Wetherell, who built the button a decade ago. He told us he regrets his creation: “We might have just handed a 4-year-old a loaded weapon. That’s what I think we actually did.”

The retweet would go on to play a central role in the spread of information on the internet. It was useful during, say, earthquakes — but a horror in other times. During a harassment campaign against women in the gaming industry, Wetherell noticed people using the retweet to “brigade,” or coordinate their attacks against their targets.

Ten years later, the retweet is a fundamental part of social media, and at the heart of its problems. The piece is fascinating and totally worth your time.

15 books that people said permanently scarred them

There are books that stay with you forever. And then there are books that scar you forever, and you can’t shake them off. This is a story about the latter.

It’s nice to know that you’re not alone, even in being scarred by books. A recent viral thread on Reddit had people sharing the books that affected them in a deep way. Take a look through these responses. Any of them resonate with you?

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