Monday, 19 February 2018

How Russians influence other people's politics and other news and views. Will Australia be the next target?

Russia Wanted Trump to Win. And It Wanted to Get Caught. - New York Times
If there were any lingering doubts that Russia’s intervention was aimed at harming Hillary Clinton’s campaign and bolstering Donald Trump’s, an internal directive quoted in the indictment spells it out explicitly: “use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump — we support them).”
That Russia should have preferred Mr. Trump’s victory to Mrs. Clinton’s is hardly a surprise: The real estate mogul had long been open in his fawning admiration for autocratic leaders generally and Mr. Putin in particular. But in any game of strategy, the best moves are those that accomplish multiple objectives. Friday’s indictment should serve as a reminder that Project Latkha didn’t merely aim to influence the outcome of the election, but also its tone, and Americans’ attitudes toward their own democratic institutions.
As An American Tragedy Unfolds, Russian Agents Sow Discord Online - NPR
As the news broke of a school shooting in Parkland, Fla., on Wednesday, hundreds of Twitter accounts believed to be under Russian sway pivoted.
Many had been tweeting about places like Syria and Ukraine — countries where Russia is seeking to strengthen its influence. Suddenly the accounts shifted to hashtags like #guncontrol, #guncontrolnow and #gunreformnow. Tweets mentioning Nikolas Cruz, the name of the shooting suspect, spiked.
For Bret Schafer, an analyst with Hamilton 68, a site tracking Russian influence on Twitter, the pattern is becoming all too familiar. Hamilton 68 follows 600 accounts run by the Russian government, Russian trolls, bots and individuals sympathetic to the Russian point of view. Data collected by the site over the past few months suggests that Russian social media accounts are now regularly seizing on divisive or tragic news to rile up segments of American society.
We need relief from Barnaby Joyce's public, not private, self - Jack Waterford in the Canberra Times
Joyce richly deserves to be thrown out of public life as a terrible party leader, a terrible politician and a person who habitually demonstrates an incapacity for judgment about the public interest – all matters richly on display in this affair.
German Politics Enters Era of Instability - Der Spiegel
Germany's big-tent parties have ensured political stability for decades. But they are rapidly losing power and influence. The Social Democrats are witnessing an open rebellion against party leadership while many conservatives are beginning to doubt Merkel's abilities.
WJC President Lauder condemns Polish PM’s ‘absurd and unconscionable’ claim of Jewish responsibility for Holocaust - J Wire
World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder has strongly condemned Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s “absurd and unconscionable” allegation at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday that Jews could be counted among the perpetrators of the Holocaust, and demanded an immediate retraction and apology from the Polish government.
The Gospel According to Oprah - Wall Street Journal magazine
Whether or not she ever runs for office, Oprah Winfrey is on a mission to make America listen again
Six journalists given life sentences in Turkish court, local media reports - PrssGazette
A court in Istanbul has sentenced six journalists accused of involvement in a 2016 coup attempt to life prison terms, according to Turkey‘s state-run news agency.
Anadolu said those sentenced on Friday include Ahmet Altan, former editor-in-chief of Taraf newspaper, his brother, journalist and academic Mehmet Altan, and prominent journalist Nazli Ilicak.
The journalists were accused of links to US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey blames for the failed coup against President Tayyip Erdogan (pictured) on July 15 2016. Gulen denies the accusation.
The defendants were charged with attempts against Turkey‘s constitution and membership of a terror organisation.
The group were employed by Gulen-linked media organisations but have rejected the charges, denying any involvement in the coup attempt.
Mehmet Altan’s lawyer, Ergin Cinmen, said: “Of course we are going to appeal the verdict. It’s a decision of the century and will need to be taught in law faculties.

 isn’t actually their belief in God

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