Russian Bots, Trolls Test Waters Ahead of US Midterms

Posted: July 15, 2018, 7:48 pm

Russian Bots, Trolls Test Waters Ahead of US Midterms In this photo taken July 15, 2018, the USAReally website is seen on an iPhone screen in Moscow, Russia. The site appears oddly amateurish and obviously Russian, with grammatical flubs and links to Russian social networks. ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA — The sponsors of the Russian “troll factory” that meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign have launched a new American website ahead of the U.S. midterm election in November. A Russian oligarch has links to Maryland's election services. Russian bots and trolls are deploying increasingly sophisticated, targeted tools. And a new indictment suggests the Kremlin itself was behind previous hacking efforts in support of Donald Trump.
As the U.S. leader prepares to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday, many Americans are wondering: Is the Kremlin trying yet again to derail a U.S. election?
While U.S. intelligence officials call it a top concern, they haven'..

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Trump Unleashes New Attacks on US Media, Democrats

Posted: July 15, 2018, 3:16 pm

Trump Unleashes New Attacks on US Media, Democrats U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at the airport in Helsinki, Finland, July 15, 2018, on the eve of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. WASHINGTON — As he headed to the Helsinki summit with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, U.S. President Donald Trump unleashed a new attack Sunday on two of his favorite targets, the U.S. news media and opposition Democrats.
The U.S. leader contended on Twitter that the American news media “is indeed the enemy of the people and all the Dems know how to do is resist and obstruct. This is why there is such hatred and dissension in our country – but at some point, it will heal!”
The U.S. leader said he was looking forward to meeting Putin in the Finnish capital, but said, “Unfortunately, no matter how well I do at the Summit, if I was given the great city of Moscow as retribution for all of the sins and evils committed by Russia over the years, I would return to criticism that it wasn’t goo..

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Indictment Undercuts Assange on Source of Hacked Emails

Posted: July 15, 2018, 12:04 am

Indictment Undercuts Assange on Source of Hacked Emails FILE – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks from the balcony of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, Feb. 5, 2016. WASHINGTON — At the beginning of 2017, one of Julian Assange’s biggest media boosters traveled to the WikiLeaks founder’s refuge inside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London and asked him where he got the leaks that shook up the U.S. presidential election months earlier.
Fox News host Sean Hannity pointed straight to the purloined emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.
“Can you say to the American people, unequivocally, that you did not get this information about the DNC, John Podesta’s emails, can you tell the American people 1,000 percent you did not get it from Russia or anybody associated with Russia?”
“Yes,” Assange said. “We can say — we have said repeatedly — over the last two months that our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party.”
FILE -..

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Judge Criticizes Plan to Use Shortcuts to Reunite Families

Posted: July 14, 2018, 10:51 pm

Judge Criticizes Plan to Use Shortcuts to Reunite Families FILE – Immigrant families leave a United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility after they were reunited in San Antonio, July 11, 2018. SAN DIEGO — A federal judge, responding to a plan to reunify children separated at the border, said he was having second thoughts about his belief that the Trump administration was acting in good faith to comply with his orders.
The Justice Department on Friday filed a plan to reunify more than 2,500 children age 5 and older by a court-imposed deadline of July 26 using “truncated” procedures to verify parentage and perform background checks, which exclude DNA testing and other steps it took to reunify children younger than 5.
The administration said the abbreviated vetting puts children at significant safety risk but is needed to meet the deadline. Chris Meekins, the deputy assistant Health and Human Services secretary for preparedness and response, filed a declaration that he is..

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Twitter Suspends 2 Accounts in Mueller Indictments

Posted: July 14, 2018, 9:55 pm

Twitter Suspends 2 Accounts in Mueller Indictments FILE – The Twitter application is seen on a phone screen. WASHINGTON — Social networking site Twitter Saturday suspended two accounts linked to 12 Russian spies indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
On Friday, a federal grand jury charged the 12 Russian intelligence officers with hacking Democratic computer networks in 2016 in the most detailed U.S. accusation yet that Moscow meddled in the election to help Republican Donald Trump.
Twitter said Saturday it had suspended the accounts @DCLeaks_ and @Guccifer_2 that were named in the indictment, which alleges a wide-ranging conspiracy involving sophisticated hacking and staged release of documents.
The indictment alleges that from around June 2016 the conspirators released tens of thousands of stolen emails and documents “using fictitious online personas, including ‘DCLeaks’ and ‘Guccifer 2.0.’”
In a statement Saturday, a Tw..

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Homeland Security: Russia Targeting Midterms With Social Media

Posted: July 14, 2018, 9:38 pm

Homeland Security: Russia Targeting Midterms With Social Media Computer mouse pads with Secure the Vote logo are seen on a vendor's table at a convention of state secretaries of state, July 14, 2018, in Philadelphia. PHILADELPHIA — The U.S. homeland security secretary said on Saturday there are no signs that Russia is targeting this year’s midterm elections with the same “scale or scope” it targeted the 2016 presidential election.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen spoke at a convention of state secretaries of state, an event that’s usually a low-key affair highlighting voter registration, balloting devices and election security issues that don’t get much public attention. But coming amid fresh allegations into Russia’s attempts to sway the 2016 election, the sessions on election security have a higher level of urgency and interest.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen addresses a convention of state secretaries of state, July 1..

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Border Measures Part of Trump’s Bigger Immigration Crackdown

Posted: July 14, 2018, 9:28 pm

Border Measures Part of Trump’s Bigger Immigration Crackdown A U.S. Border Patrol truck enters the Port Isabel Detention Center, which holds detainees of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, June 26, 2018, in Los Fresnos, Texas. WASHINGTON — The separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border caught the attention of the world and prompted mass outrage, but it's only a small part of the Trump administration’s immigration policy.
The government is working to harden the system on multiple fronts to curb immigration, carving a path around various court rulings to do so. The administration is seeking to lock up families indefinitely, expand detention space, tighten asylum rules and apply more scrutiny to green card applications.
Many of the initiatives received little attention during the chaos over separated families, but they show how determined President Donald Trump is to stop immigrants from coming — both legally and illegally — even in cases where the administration has b..

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Trump Talks Re-Election, His Brexit Chat with Queen

Posted: July 14, 2018, 8:56 pm

Trump Talks Re-Election, His Brexit Chat with Queen U.S. President Donald Trump gestures as he walks on the course of his golf resort, in Turnberry, Scotland July 14, 2018. LONDON — U.S. President Donald Trump said he intends to run for re-election in 2020 because “everybody wants me to” and there are no Democratic candidates who could defeat him, the Mail on Sunday newspaper reported.
Asked by British journalist Piers Morgan in an interview Friday whether he was going to run in 2020, Trump was quoted by the Mail on Sunday as saying: “Well I fully intend to. It seems like everybody wants me to.”
Trump said he did not see any Democrat who could beat him: “I don’t see anybody. I know them all and I don’t see anybody.”
U.S. President Donald Trump with Queen Elizabeth II inspects the Guard of Honour at Windsor Castle in Windsor, England, July 13, 2018. Conversation with the queen
Before leaving Britain for a summit in Finland with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump breached Britis..

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Lobbying Firm Sought Envoys’ Help to Save Russian Firm

Posted: July 14, 2018, 7:42 pm

Lobbying Firm Sought Envoys' Help to Save Russian Firm FILE – An employee removes a covering of 13-meter aluminium ingots at the foundry shop of the Rusal Krasnoyarsk aluminium smelter in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, July 27, 2016. Rusal has been sanctioned by the U.S. government. WASHINGTON — A U.S. lobbying firm sought to recruit the ambassadors of France, Germany and several other countries to demonstrate international support for severing Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska's control of Rusal, the aluminum manufacturing giant sanctioned by Washington.
Documents made public by the Justice Department show that Mercury LLC drafted messages for at least six envoys to send to senior U.S. government officials that expressed support for a plan to eliminate Deripaska's majority stake in the EN+ Group, the holding company that owns nearly 50 percent of Rusal.
The records are the latest installment in a drama full of international intrigue.
Deripaska's close ties to Russian Presi..

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US Intel Chief Warns of Devastating Cyber Threat to US Infrastructure

Posted: July 14, 2018, 12:05 pm

US Intel Chief Warns of Devastating Cyber Threat to US Infrastructure Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. WASHINGTON — The U.S. intelligence chief warned on Friday that the threat was growing for a devastating cyber assault on critical U.S. infrastructure, saying the “warning lights are blinking red again” nearly two decades after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Russia, China, Iran and North Korea are launching daily cyber strikes on the computer networks of federal, state and local government agencies, U.S. corporations, and academic institutions, said Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.
Of the four, “Russia has been the most aggressive foreign actor, no question,” he said.
Coats spoke at the Hudson Institute think tank shortly after the Department of Justice announced the indictment of 12 Russian military intelligence officers on charges of hacking into the computers of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton and Democratic Party organizations.
The indic..

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