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Angela Merkel, Russia Interference, Object 2018 VG183: Stories You Should Read 12/16/2018

Angela Merkel, Russia Interference, Object 2018 VG183: Stories You Should Read 12/16/2018
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In the category of:  Wonders never cease.

‘Farout,’ the most-distant solar system object discovered

 

In the category of:  The Russia hits just keep on coming.

4 main takeaways from new reports on Russia’s 2016 election interference

One includes Russia’s deliberate targeting of African Americans online.

Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 political landscape — and presidential election — was a much wider effort than previously understood.

Two new reports released on Monday, prepared for the Senate Intelligence Committee by independent researchers, reveal that Moscow’s intelligence officials reached millions of social media users between 2013 and 2017, in part by exploiting existing political and racial divisions in American society. Vox obtained the two reports before their planned release.

Using data provided by social media companies to the Senate panel, researchers from New Knowledge, Columbia University, and Canfield Research along with others from the University of Oxford and Graphika have for the first time revealed a broad extent of the years-long efforts by the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a group of Russian agents that use social media to influence politics.

Special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 IRA members in February for interfering in the 2016 presidential election.

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In the category of:  World politics matter.

How Trump Made War on Angela Merkel and Europe

The German Chancellor and other European leaders have run out of patience with the President.

The challenge from Trump has been especially personal for Germans, whose close relationship with the United States has defined their nation’s postwar renaissance. Merkel grew up in Communist East Germany and credits the United States as essential to the liberation of the East and to German reunification. As the head of Europe’s largest and wealthiest nation, she has sought to guide the Continent through the standoff with Trump, but has struggled, because the President’s harsh words reflect a painful truth: Europeans are dependent on the United States for their security and increasingly divided as Putin’s Russia threatens the nations in the east. “Not all of what he says is wrong,” said the senior German official, one of ten who spoke with me. “Europe has been free-riding for some time.” Asked for comment about Trump’s criticism of Merkel, a White House spokesperson told me, “He is often toughest on his friends, and he considers her one. He views Germany as a powerful, prosperous country that should be doing more on defense spending.” But the risks for Trump are also considerable: call your friends enemies long enough, and eventually they may start to believe you. Is this, then, finally, the end of Pax Americana?

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