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Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

 

Barack Obama on Friday posted a touching tribute to Anthony Bourdain, the chef, journalist, novelist and cultural ambassador who killed himself Friday at a hotel in Paris.

Obama, who appeared on an episode of Bourdain’s CNN series “Parts Unknown” set in Hanoi, Vietnam, took to Twitter to acknowledge Bourdain’s unique “ability to bring us together.”

“‘Low plastic stool, cheap but delicious noodles, cold Hanoi beer,” Obama wrote. “This is how I’ll remember Tony. He taught us about food — but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together. To make us a little less afraid of the unknown. We’ll miss him.”

Bourdain’s shocking death by hanging comes just three days after Kate Spade, the “effervescent” designer and women’s fashion icon, also committed suicide by hanging.

(If you or a loved one are struggling with thoughts of suicide or self-harm, please call the 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or start a live chat now.)

Elizabeth Preza is the Managing Editor of AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @lizacisms.

IMAGE: President Barack Obama talks with Anthony Bourdain after an interview at a shopping area of Hanoi, Vietnam May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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.)