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‘Anonymous’ topples, defaces Zimbabwe government websites

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The Zimbabwe African National Union (Zanu-PF) website, Zimbabwean government website and Zimbabwean Finance Ministry website were the target of cyber attacks on Thursday by a loose-knit group of online hacktivists known as “Anonymous.”

The websites were hit with distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks after Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s wife, Grace Mugabe, sued a newspaper for publishing a WikiLeaks cable that alleged she was connected with illicit diamond trade.

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All three websites targeted by “Anonymous” were knocked offline and the Finance Ministry website was also defaced with messages saying “We are Anonymous” and “The world hates us, we kill our own people, we have no control of the economy, we repress free speech, we kill and rape for fun, we are Zanu-PF.”

The website AnonNews announced that the group was “targeting Mugabe and his regime in the ZanuPF who have outlawed the free press and threaten to sue anyone publishing Wikileaks.”

Grace Mugabe filed a defamation lawsuit against Zimbabwe’s Standard newspaper for $15 million after the paper quoted a leaked US diplomatic cable that said she and nine other high-ranking Zimbabwean officials make “tremendous profits” from the sale of illegal diamonds.

“The CEO of a British mining company described to us how high-ranking Zimbabwean government officials and well-connected elites are generating millions of dollars in personal income by hiring teams of diggers to hand-extract diamonds from the Chiadzwa mine in eastern Zimbabwe,” the cable stated.

“They are selling the undocumented diamonds to a mix of foreign buyers including Belgians, Israelis, Lebanese, Russians and South Africans who smuggle them out of the country for cutting and resale elsewhere.”

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The Parade magazine labeled President Mugabe the worst dictator of 2009, noting that during elections in 2008, his “supporters launched attacks on the opposition, killing 163 and torturing or beating 5000.” According to the Sunday Times, Mugabe’s militia murdered the wife of his political opponent in 2008 by chopping off one of her hands and both her feet and then burning her alive.

In a campaign known as “Operation Payback” members of “Anonymous” succeeded in taking down the online operations of PayPal, MasterCard Worldwide, Visa, Swiss bank PostFinance and others after the companies dropped their financial services to WikiLeaks.

The FBI raided Dallas-based Tailor Made Services, an Internet hosting company, in mid-December seizing one of its servers as part of an international criminal investigation into cyber attacks against online payments firm PayPal.

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Rick Wilson: Doug Collins is a ‘screeching histrionic drama queen’ who’s ‘waving’ his ‘junk around’

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Republican strategist Rick Wilson had a few carefully chosen words for the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Doug Collins, Thursday night after a 13-hour day of impeachment debate that featured repeated outbursts, stonewalling, and theatrics from the Republican Member from Georgia.

"I don't want to say that Doug Collins is a screeching, histrionic drama queen, because that would insult screeching, histrionic drama queens," Wilson said on MSNBC's "The 11th Hour," "but this whole thing is a bad faith effort, performative in every way."

Wilson, author of the book, Everything Trump Touches Dies, was far from done.

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Trump is wallowing in ‘self-pity’ even though McConnell promised to protect him: Morning Joe

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Appearing on MNBC's "Morning Joe," New York Times reporter Peter Baker said Donald Trump is wallowing in "self-pity" that fluctuates with "combativeness" as he worries about the effect being impeached will have on his legacy.

Speaking with host Joe Scarborough, Baker filled in the blanks from his Times report, saying the president is obsessed with the impeachment hearings and Senate trial still to come.

Asked by host Scarborough about Trump's "humiliation," Baker said, "He can count on the Republican-controlled Senate to hold the trial where he seems almost certain to be acquitted, or at least see the charges dismissed in some fashion."

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WATCH LIVE: House holds historic vote on the impeachment of Donald Trump

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After a 14-hour House Judiciary Committee Thursday hearing considering the impeachment of Donald Trump, Democrats and Republicans on the committee will reconvene once again Friday morning where they are expected to finally vote on the articles of impeachment before sending them to the House floor for a full vote scheduled for next week.

According to NBC, "In a surprise move, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler delayed the vote until Friday morning at 10 a.m. after more than 14 hours of debate. There were five votes on Thursday: one to eliminate the first article on abuse of power, a second to strike a reference to former Vice President Joe Biden, a third to note the aid withheld from Ukraine was eventually released, a fourth to strike entire second amendment on obstruction of Congress and a fifth to strike the last lines in each article. All were voted down and along party lines."

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