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Martha’s Vineyard (United States) (AFP) — President Barack Obama called Thursday for “peace and calm” in the Missouri town where the police shooting of an unarmed black youth has sparked angry protests.

Obama lamented the “heartbreaking” death of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old killed Saturday in Ferguson but urged both police and protesters to refrain from violence.

“Now is the time for peace and calm on the streets of Ferguson,” he told reporters.

Obama, vacationing on the Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard, spoke earlier with Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, who was expected to make a statement later in day about an operational shift in “tone” in the tense town.

For four nights straight, protesters have faced off with police who have responded with tear gas and the arrests Wednesday night of two reporters.

Noting the raw emotions, Obama said local authorities had a responsibility to be “open and transparent” about how they were investigating Brown’s death and protecting the community.

“There is never an excuse for violence against police or for those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism or looting,” Obama said.

“There’s also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests or to throw protesters in jail for lawfully exercising their first amendment rights,” he added.

“And here in the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who were just trying to do their jobs and report to the American people on what they see on the ground.”

AFP Photo/Scott Olson

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Actor as Donald Trump in Russia Today video ad

Screenshot from RT's 'Trump is here to make RT Great Again'

Russia Today, the network known in this country as RT, has produced a new "deep fake" video that portrays Donald Trump in post-presidential mode as an anchor for the Kremlin outlet. Using snippets of Trump's own voice and an actor in an outlandish blond wig, the ad suggests broadly that the US president is indeed a wholly owned puppet of Vladimir Putin– as he has so often given us reason to suspect.

"They're very nice. I make a lot of money with them," says the actor in Trump's own voice. "They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."

But when American journalists described the video as "disturbing," RT retorted that their aim wasn't to mock Trump, but his critics and every American who objects to the Russian manipulations that helped bring him to power.

As an ad for RT the video is amusing, but the network's description of it is just another lie. Putin's propagandists are again trolling Trump and America, as they've done many times over the past few years –- and this should be taken as a warning of what they're doing as Election Day approaches.

The Lincoln Project aptly observed that the Russians "said the quiet part out loud" this time, (Which is a bad habit they share with Trump.)