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Russian Twitter accounts promoted Brexit ahead of EU referendum: Times newspaper

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Russian Twitter accounts posted almost 45,000 messages about Brexit in the 48 hours around last year’s referendum in an attempt to sow discord during the vote on whether to leave the European Union, the Times newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The Times cited research from an upcoming paper by data scientists at Swansea University and the University of California, Berkeley, which it said showed accounts based in Russia had tweeted about Brexit in the days leading up to the June 23 vote.

The Times said most of the tweets seen by the newspaper encouraged people to vote for Brexit, although a number advocated remaining in the EU. It quoted Tho Pham, one of the paper’s authors, as saying “the main conclusion is that bots were used on purpose and had influence”.

The research tracked 156,252 Russian accounts that mentioned #Brexit, including one, Svetal1972 which posted 92 tweets between June 20 and 24, including one calling for Britain to “make June the 23rd our Independence Day”.

It said many of the messages appear to have come from automated accounts known as bots or from cyborg accounts which are heavily automated but have some human involvement.

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In the June 23, 2016 referendum, 17.4 million votes, or 51.9 percent of votes cast, backed leaving the EU while 16.1 million votes, or 48.1 percent of votes cast, backed staying.

Russia has repeatedly denied meddling in Brexit. Russian officials say the West is whipping up anti-Russian hysteria around Moscow’s alleged involvement in both the U.S. presidential election and Brexit.

In Britain, a parliamentary committee has written to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg asking for information on any paid-for activity by Russian-linked Facebook accounts around the EU referendum and the 2017 national election.

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British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday accused Russia of meddling in elections and said the government would maintain its commitment to protecting Europe after Brexit.

“We will take the necessary actions to counter Russian activity,” she said.

(Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)


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Democrat moves to impeach Trump immediately following House condemning president’s racism

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Immediately following the House of Representatives voting to condemn racist remarks by President Donald Trump, a Democrat introduced a privileged motion to impeach the president.

Rep. Al Green (D-TX) gave an impassioned speech to begin impeachment proceedings for Trump committing high crimes and misdemeanors.

"Therefore, Donald John Trump, by causing such harm to the society of the United States, is unfit to be president and warrants impeachment, trial and removal from office," he said.

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Trump ‘reached into the Genesis chapter of the bigot’s bible’ to attack the Squad: journalist

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On Tuesday, journalist Jamil Smith wrote a column scorching President Donald Trump's attacks on "The Squad," as an act of utmost bigotry — and narcissism.

"Trump would surely love to run against these four women in 2020 rather than an actual opponent, positioning them all as racial bogeymen," wrote Smith. "It's a royal flush for his racist campaign: two black women, including one who wears a hijab and is a Somali refugee; a boricua from the Bronx; and a first-generation Palestinian-American from Detroit."

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House of Representatives votes for resolution condemning President Donald Trump’s racism

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President Donald Trump was condemned by the House of Representatives on Tuesday for his racist attacks on young women of color in Congress.

The resolution was passed with the support of every Democrat. The final vote was 240-187.

The text said "Trump’s racist comments have legitimized fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color."

The resolved that the body "strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color by saying that our fellow Americans who are immigrants, and those who may look to the President like immigrants, should “go back” to other countries, by referring to immigrants and asylum seekers as “invaders,” and by saying that Members of Congress who are immigrants (or those of our colleagues who are wrongly assumed to be immigrants) do not belong in Congress or in the United States of America."

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