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Pregnant Highland cow mauled to death by Rottweiler who escaped owners’ home - metro

Pregnant Highland cow mauled to death by Rottweiler who escaped owners’ home

The dog ripped the cow's tongue out.
metro - 10 hours ago
The UK now has the highest Covid death rate in the world - metro

The UK now has the highest Covid death rate in the world

Around 16 people in every million are dying from the virus, new data has revealed.
metro - 10 hours ago

'Global pandemic alert system not fit for purpose': WHO report critical of China's & its own responses to Covid crisis

China, other governments and the WHO itself didn't act fast and decisively enough against the novel coronavirus, allowing it to become a pandemic, an interim report by an independent WHO panel on the handling of the crisis states.
rt - 10 hours ago
Russia opposition activist Alexei Navalny jailed for 30 days - channel 4

Russia opposition activist Alexei Navalny jailed for 30 days

A Russian judge has imprisoned the opposition leader Alexei Navalny for 30 days. The hearing took place not in court, but a police station, with Navalny’s lawyer given barely any notice. The UK and other European countries are understood to be weighing possible further sanctions.
channel 4 - 10 hours ago
How has Trump’s talk of ‘fake news’ undermined US democracy? - channel 4

How has Trump’s talk of ‘fake news’ undermined US democracy?

In just over 40 hours, on Wednesday early morning, President Trump will leave the White House to fly to West Palm Beach in Florida, skipping the inauguration ceremony of his successor – the first outgoing President to do so since Andrew Johnson in 1869.  If there has been an element of continuity in Trump’s presidency,…
channel 4 - 10 hours ago
MPs vote to extend universal credit increase - channel 4

MPs vote to extend universal credit increase

In the last few minutes MPs have voted to support the extension of the temporary £20 a week increase in universal credit.
channel 4 - 11 hours ago
Trump presidency ‘an aberration’ – Lewis Lukens, former US deputy chief of mission to UK - channel 4

Trump presidency ‘an aberration’ – Lewis Lukens, former US deputy chief of mission to UK

With a new incoming President in the White House, that is also going to mean a new US ambassador in the United Kingdom. Like Donald Trump, the man who’s been in charge of the embassy for the past three years has proved to be a controversial figure. The former deputy chief of mission at the…
channel 4 - 11 hours ago
FBI investigates background of troops guarding Capitol ahead of Biden inauguration - channel 4

FBI investigates background of troops guarding Capitol ahead of Biden inauguration

There is a vaccine story in Washington too – 30 million doses delivered so far, but only 12 million have ended up in people’s arms. President-elect Biden intends to change that quickly. Today, he visited a food bank as Americans celebrate the birth of Martin Luther King Jr. King was assassinated and there are fears of similar…
channel 4 - 11 hours ago
Over-70s and clinically extremely vulnerable offered Covid jabs in England - channel 4

Over-70s and clinically extremely vulnerable offered Covid jabs in England

ore than four million people have had a first dose and from today the over-70s in England are being offered jabs.
channel 4 - 11 hours ago
Hospitals under intense pressure as vaccinations pass four million mark - channel 4

Hospitals under intense pressure as vaccinations pass four million mark

Although vaccination numbers are rising sharply, hospitals remain under intense pressure. The number of patients with coronavirus in UK hospitals is the highest that it's been throughout the pandemic.
channel 4 - 11 hours ago
Guatemala police start clearing US-bound migrant caravan camp after violent clashes (VIDEOS) - rt

Guatemala police start clearing US-bound migrant caravan camp after violent clashes (VIDEOS)

Police in Guatemala have started breaking up a caravan of hundreds of mostly Honduran migrants who had camped on a street while trying to reach the US, after their journey was halted by officials, migration authorities have said.
rt - 11 hours ago

'Deepest concerns': South Africa Covid-19 variant binds more easily to human cells, making it more infectious, govt adviser says

The so-called South Africa Covid-19 variant binds more easily to human cells with a stronger mechanism, allowing it to spread more easily between its human hosts, the government's advising chief epidemiologist said on Monday.
rt - 13 hours ago
Most ancient supermassive black hole ever discovered powers distant quasar and sheds light on early universe - rt

Most ancient supermassive black hole ever discovered powers distant quasar and sheds light on early universe

In a milestone breakthrough, astronomers have discovered the oldest supermassive black hole ever seen. The extraordinary find dates back to the early days of the universe and fuels the most distant quasar yet known.
rt - 13 hours ago
China

China's Hebei province to reexamine Covid-19 test results after lab caught out over positive cases

Health officials in the Chinese province of Hebei will review hundreds of thousands of Covid-19 tests carried out by third-party agencies after it was revealed that one laboratory allegedly hid positive cases of the disease.
rt - 14 hours ago
The FBI Is Vetting 25,000 Inauguration Troops Over Fears of an Inside Attack - vice

The FBI Is Vetting 25,000 Inauguration Troops Over Fears of an Inside Attack

The FBI is reportedly concerned about National Guard troops with far-right and extremist views and affiliations.
vice - 14 hours ago
Canada to allow return of Boeing 737 MAX service by lifting flight ban imposed after devastating crashes - rt

Canada to allow return of Boeing 737 MAX service by lifting flight ban imposed after devastating crashes

The Boeing 737 MAX aircraft is set to return to service in Canada following a flight ban of almost two years, which was imposed after crashes that killed hundreds of people, the country's transport regulator said on Monday.
rt - 14 hours ago
Indian TV anchor’s texts spark cries for security leak inquiry after he discussed Pakistan airstrikes before they happened - rt

Indian TV anchor’s texts spark cries for security leak inquiry after he discussed Pakistan airstrikes before they happened

Opposition politicians in India have called for an investigation into a potential national security leak after a TV anchor’s messages showed he had prior knowledge of airstrikes launched against Pakistan in February 2019.
rt - 15 hours ago
Top Iranian commander mocks Washington as US armed forces on alert for American attackers during Biden’s inauguration - rt

Top Iranian commander mocks Washington as US armed forces on alert for American attackers during Biden’s inauguration

Iran’s most senior general has ridiculed the US after American armed forces and the national guard were brought in to protect Washington from any further violence during the week of Joe Biden’s inauguration as president.
rt - 15 hours ago
Germany considers extended lockdown as new Covid-19 variants emerge, Merkel spokesperson warns of

Germany considers extended lockdown as new Covid-19 variants emerge, Merkel spokesperson warns of 'risk of mutation'

The German government is considering the extension of the country's lockdown into February following the detection of new variants of Covid-19 and persistently high numbers of infections.
rt - 15 hours ago
‘Predator’ who got three children pregnant raped fourth child after being freed - metro

‘Predator’ who got three children pregnant raped fourth child after being freed

Travis Butler has now been jailed for life after molesting an underage girl he met on Facebook
metro - 15 hours ago
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vice
Trump’s QAnon Lawyer Inspired Even More George Soros Disinformation

Trump’s QAnon Lawyer Inspired Even More George Soros Disinformation

vice - 1 month ago

Last week Sidney Powell, the QAnon-supporting lawyer representing President Donald Trump, claimed that a group run by billionaire philanthropist George Soros was sharing office space with the company at the center of baseless accusations that the presidential election had been rigged, Dominion Voting Systems.

The claim was a lie, but that didn’t matter, and now, days later, disinformation claiming Soros has been arrested for election interference is flooding social media.

The incident is the latest example of how fringe conspiracy theories are given credence by Trump and his allies, who have embraced ever wilder conspiracy theories as legal avenues towards an election victory disappear.

Not only are they boosting already existing disinformation, they are also inspiring the creation of new narratives to poison the public discourse. Here’s how it works:

Last week, Rebel News, a far-right Candian website described as a “global platform” for anti-Muslim ideology, published a breathless “investigation” that revealed that Dominion Voting Systems had offices in the same building in Toronto as Make Way, a charity focused on environmental and societal issues. 

The report described the group as “an extreme left eco-radical charity that directs cash supplied by George Soros to smaller groups and organizations.”

The link was used as some sort of evidence that Soros had interfered in the election. 

The report flagged that charity had removed its name from the list of the building’s occupants, saying the removal was “an admission that something a little bit distasteful was going on.”

But the actual reason Make Way took its name off the list is that it moved out of the building in downtown Toronto last year. And, the charity further pointed out in a statement, it also doesn’t take any money from Soros.

Unfortunately, it seems that Sidney Powell, a QAnon supporting-lawyer who was part of Trump’s legal team — until she was fired on Sunday — missed those crucial updates. Which is why, at an unhinged press conference last Thursday, she said the following:

“Notably the Dominion executives are nowhere to be found now. They are moving their offices overnight to different places. Their office in Toronto was shared with one of the Soros entities.”

Powell’s deranged speech was full of conspiracy theories and dog whistles towards the QAnon community, but any mention of Soros elicits a Pavlovian response among these groups, who have chosen the Hungarian philanthropist as their all-encompassing bogeyman who is controlling global schemes and plotting everything from mind-control to child sex trafficking.

And so it should have come as no surprise that Powell’s dangerous and baseless accusations about Soros would spark even more disinformation.

Cue YourNewWire, a website with a track record of spreading misinformation, publishing a story on Monday with the headline: “George Soros Arrested in Philadelphia For Election Interference – Judge Orders Media Blackout.”

The report cites Rebel News’ false report about Dominion and Make Way as “evidence” that Soros was working with the voting machine company to undermine the legitimacy of the election.

It also published a fake indictment with Soros’ name on it, saying he was charged with conspiracy, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, computer damages, aggravated identity theft and aiding and abetting.

As debunking website Snopes pointed out, the document is an altered version of a real indictment that involved six Russian hackers charged with computer attacks “intended to support Russian government efforts to undermine, retaliate against, or otherwise destabilize” various foreign entities.

The story has already been shared by almost 5,000 and racked up over 12,000 interactions on Facebook alone, according to data from analytics tool CrowdTangle.

CrowdTangle

But that’s just the start. Another bogus website, the Conservative Beaver, has published a similar story based on YourNewsWire’s report, which has racked up even more engagement, including 8,500 shares and over 23,000 interactions on Facebook.

CrowdTangle

Trump may not have directly shared the story about Soros being arrested, but because his administration and campaign have embraced conspiracy theories and employed people who are willing to repeat outright lies, it lends a sheen of credibility to fake news websites that would otherwise be dismissed.

Here’s what else is happening in the world of disinformation.

Trump’s disinformation-filled Facebook page is so hot right now

What do three weeks of sharing undiluted disinformation on Facebook get you? Well, if you’re the president of the United States, it means unprecedented engagement and popularity.

On Monday, Natalie Martinez, a disinformation researcher with the non-profit progressive public policy advocacy group MoveOn, tweeted a graph that shows just how much more engagement Trump is getting on Facebook since he fully embraced election conspiracy theories.

Even though engagement is dropping, it is still way above what it has been for the rest of the year, and when you look at Facebook as a whole, Trump is dominating everything.

sauce: vice
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