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India warns citizens against social media data misuse ahead of elections

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India’s information technology minister on Wednesday warned against any abuse of social media in elections, following reports that a British consultancy improperly accessed information on millions of Facebook users to target U.S. voters.

India is due to hold a national election in 2019 and there are several states electing new assemblies this year and the next.

“Abuse of social media including Facebook cannot be allowed to impact the fairness of elections,” Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters.

“In the wake of recent data theft from Facebook, let my stern warning be heard across the Atlantic, far away in California. Any covert or overt attempt to misuse social media including Facebook to influence India’s electoral process through undesirable means will neither be tolerated, nor be permitted.”

An India-based spokeswoman for Menlo Park, California-headquartered Facebook did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

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Cambridge Analytica has denied media accusations and said it deleted the data after learning the information did not adhere to data protection rules.

Facebook has said it has tightened its controls on such practices since it discovered the alleged abuses by Cambridge Analytica in 2015, but the issue has continued to rock the companies involved as well as some political parties across the world.

Reporting by Krishna N. Das; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Nick Macfie

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Protesters take to the streets outside judge’s home after he approves controversial jail sentence for black judge

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On Monday, angry crowds of people came to the neighborhood of Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Patrick Dinkelacker after he ordered former judge Tracie Hunter to serve a six-month prison sentence for mishandling a confidential document.

The scenes from the courtroom were dramatic, with Hunter's supporters screaming as she collapsed upon Dinkelacker upholding the sentence, and officers dragging her limp figure from the courtroom:

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‘They share staff with the Kremlin’: Maddow roasts Trump’s new favorite right-wing network OANN

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow roasted One America News Network (OANN) for employing a Kremlin operative to report on United States politics.

"If the Fox News channel is insufficiently pro-Trump for you, you may or may not know there is another boutique little news outlet that is designed specifically for Trump megafans called One America, One America News Network," she explained.

"The Trump White House gave this boutique outfit a hard pass for access to the White House grounds and a permanent seat in the White House briefing room -- remember when the White House used to hold press briefings? They had a seat," she continued.

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NYT columnist says one of Trump’s friends begged him to talk him out of launching war with Iran

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On Monday, Thomas Friedman of The New York Times spoke to CNN's Anderson Cooper, following President Donald Trump's attacks on him for calling his behavior racist in a recent article. The president accused him of "kissing [his] a**" in an Oval Office phone call.

Speaking to Cooper, Friedman denied Trump's characterization of their discussion.

"The president tweeted about a private conversation we had and lobbed in a few insults," said Friedman. "Basically, my response, which I put out on Twitter is that I was encouraged by a friend of his to speak to him after the downing of the American drone, because I thought it was wise that we not retaliate, and I thought he was wise not to retaliate, and this friend of his wanted me to encourage him in that, because he was evidently agonizing a little over that not retaliating. And I did that. I began the conversation by saying that 'I disagree with you, Mr. President on many things, but I think you did the right thing on this.' We talked for about four minutes. We also talked about China and we left it at that."

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