Concern about Russian influence in British politics has intensified as it emerged that more than 400 fake Twitter accounts believed to be run from St Petersburg published posts about Brexit. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh identified 419 accounts operating from the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA) attempting to influence UK politics out of 2,752 accounts suspended by Twitter in the US.
The developments come after the US Congress intelligence committee investigated Russian troll campaigning in the US election of November 2016. Twitter told the House committee that it had suspended 2,752 accounts which were tweeting about the US election because it believed they were controlled from Russia. The committee said it “may well be just the tip of the iceberg”.
Hundreds of paid bloggers work round the clock at the IRA to flood Russian internet forums, social networks and the comments sections of western publications ? sowing disinformation, praising the country’s president, Vladimir Putin, and raging at the west. The agency has been linked to a businessman who was once Putin’s favourite chef.
Prof Laura Cram, director of neuropolitics research at the University of Edinburgh, told the Guardian that at least 419 of those accounts tweeted about Brexit a total of 3,468 times ? mostly after the referendum had taken place.
At the time, the former US ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, said the vote to leave the EU was “a giant victory for Putin’s foreign policy objectives”. The US Congressional investigation into Russian meddling through social media also gathered evidence from Facebook that between June 2015-August 2017 there were 470 accounts on the platform associated with the IRA and that 126 million Americans are likely to have seen content from an IRA page.
President Robert Mugabe is preparing to step down, a few hours after the Zimbabwean military took over power, a leading South African news website has reported. "Mugabe 'preparing to step down' - senior source," News24 website posted, without giving any further details. Political tensions have been rising since President Mugabe recently sacked Emmerson Mnangagwa, a long-time ally, as vice-president.
A senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC) is scheduled to visit North Korea on Friday to inform Pyongyang about the 19th CPC National Congress, which experts believe will be a party-to-party exchange between the two countries, but they did not rule out talks on the Korean nuclear issue.
"To carry out mutual briefings after the national congress of political parties has been a standard practice for years between the CPC and North Korea's Workers' Party, as well as with political parties of socialist countries. So it's normal," Geng said when asked whether the trip was related to US President Donald Trump's recent trip to China.
The two sides will also exchange views on relations between the two parties and countries, as well as on other issues of mutual concern, Geng said.
"The biggest divergence in party-to-party relations between China and North Korea is the nuclear issue, and we hope that this visit could narrow the divergence by reaching some consensus such as having dialogues on the dual-track approach," Lu Chao, a researcher on North Korea at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.
"North Korea has received unprecedented pressure and may expect Song's visit to improve relations with China as well as help them get out of trouble, and the two sides may consider resuming the dialogue mechanism on the issue," said Jin Qiangyi, director of Yanbian University's Asia Research Center.
WASHINGTON?Sen. Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) said he opposes the Senate Republican tax package, becoming the first GOP voice of dissent that, if it gains momentum, could force significant changes or jeopardize the party’s goal to pass the bill before the end of the year.
“If they can pass it without me, let them,” Mr. Johnson said in an interview Wednesday, adding that the plan unfairly benefits corporations more than other types of businesses. “I’m not going to vote for this tax package.”
?●Sweet and sour Douglas Paal, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said he sees a domestic political strategy in the broader message that Trump conveyed during his trip. By saying that China is not to blame and that it is doing what any country should do to protect its interests, Trump has given himself license to do for America what other leaders have not done.
Paal notes that early next month two key trade investigation reports are due and, unless something knocks them off course, they are going to lead to high tariffs on some products and maybe even outright bans. カーネギー平和財団の副代表であるダグラス・パールは中国との通商関係について来月 初旬の2つのキイとなる調査があって、このままでゆくと一部製品への高率関税や輸入 禁止の措置さえ予想されるという。
And the Chinese will retaliate as they feel appropriate, he said. “So we will go from the good feeling, high emotions of this state visit, which we’d call the sweet, to sour in December on trade. And that would be more suitable to the way Trump thinks about his political constituency and the debt he owes that constituency for his election,” Paal said. 今月の大統領の訪問への歓迎で米中関係が良い雰囲気であったものが来月にはsweet to sour に変わるだろう。それは大統領が有権者に約束してきたことの反映
Paal added the outcome of such an approach and impact on America is widely uncertain, but what is clear is that Trump will stick to his domestic political calculation until it proves to be wrong.
The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. The name of the issuing body has been omitted to protect the source. 政府が国内メデイアに命令したトランプ訪中時の報道規制
１．Include the following in front page lead stories, including for mobile apps, cellphone browser and WAP sites: Xi Jinping Holds Welcoming Ceremony For U.S. President Donald Trump ２．All sites, please include the following in front page lead stories, including for mobile apps, cellphone browser and WAP sites: [Exclusive V Outlook] Xi Jinping: Maintain the Strategic Leading Role of Head-of-State Diplomacy in Developing Bilateral Relations ３．Demote images, and clean up comment threads: With Haze Off Charts, Delhi State Chief Minister Self-deprecatingly Says New Delhi Has Become "a Gas Chamber" ４．Do not send any more push notifications concerning the Ctrip daycare abuse incident. Related news must be moved out of immediate sight ５．Do not send push notifications for negative human interest, crime, or entertainment stories ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Wang Feng @ulywang My social media editor tells me Weibo and Wechat heavily censored content in past week related to Trump visit to Beijing. In particular, stories & comments critical of Trump were blocked, deleted & stopped from being shared. Wasn't that the Beijing welcome! 5:00 PM - Nov 13, 2017
Three former secretaries of defense are warning lawmakers not to enact proposed Republican tax restructuring plans, arguing they will jeopardize future military spending. Former defense secretaries Leon E. Panetta, Chuck Hagel and Ash Carter told senior congressional leaders in a letter Wednesday that because the tax plan is expected to increase the debt, passing it will probably mean future cuts to Pentagon budgets “for training, maintenance, force structure, flight missions, procurement and other key programs.”
“The result is the growing danger of a ‘hollowed out’ military force that lacks the ability to sustain the intensive deployment requirements of our global defense mission,”（ry