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Tech firm busts Russian operatives for setting up new website to interfere with midterm elections: report

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Russian operatives with ties to a notorious “troll factory” under indictment by special counsel Robert Mueller may be preparing to launch an influence operation to interfere in the 2018 U.S. midterm elections, McClatchy reports.

Speaking at the end of the Fifth Annual Government Forum on Cyber Threat Intelligence, researchers at the cybersecurity firm FireEye warned of a new effort that mimics the information warfare campaign that U.S. intelligence has concluded Russia conducted to help Donald Trump during his successful 2016 presidential campaign.

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FireEye, which was a sponsor of the conference, warned of a new website, usareally.com, that appeared on the internet on May 17. The site has posted an average of nine articles a day, in broken english.

On May 25, the website teased that their “USA Really” campaign would officially launch on June 14.

“June 14th isn’t just Trump’s birthday. It’s not just Flag Day, either,” the post read. “This is the day when we officially launch our project, ‘USA Really’, which is an honest media outlet that tells you what’s really happening in America.”

“Our slogan is ‘The USA As It Really Is!’ We invite everyone who care (sic) about America to come and celebrate with us outside the White House on June 14th at 2pm to congratulate the rest of the country on this triply important day,” the post continued.

“We’re all patriots, and we all want everyone else to finally wake up!” they added.

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https://twitter.com/USA_Really/status/999944627770810369

The researchers at the cybersecurity firm warned the website’s operators once worked out of the same St. Petersburg “troll factory” known as the Internet Research Agency. Special counsel Mueller indicted the company on February 16.

“We’re not saying it (USA Really) is the Internet Research Agency but there are a number of indicators that suggest it is,” said Lee Foster, manager of information operations analysis for FireEye iSIGHT Intelligence.

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The Russian operatives behind the website reported work for the Federal News Agency (FAN), whose ownership is unknown.

“There are a bunch of other domains as well that play on USA Really that we are monitoring that haven’t launched,” Foster explained.

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“It’s not always easy to change an outcome (of an election) but they can delegitimize the process and create doubt,” said John Hultquist, director of intelligence analysis at FireEye iSIGHT.

Facebook disabled the group’s Facebook page after a McClatchy reporter requested comment. They are still active on Twitter.

A YouTube video says the, “Federal News Agency has plans for a similar English news platform like Sputnik” that is hiring “English speaking journalists.”

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The coronavirus pandemic has exposed some disturbing truths about capitalism

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The desperate policies of panic-driven governments involve throwing huge amounts of money at the economies collapsed in response to the coronavirus threat. Monetary authorities create money and lend it at extremely low interest rates to the major corporations and especially big banks "to get them through the crisis." Government treasuries borrow vast sums to get the collapsed economy back into what they imagine is "the normal, pre-virus economy." Capitalism's leaders are rushing into policy failures because of their ideological blinders.

?The problem of policies aimed to return the economy to what it was before the virus hit is this: Global capitalism, by 2019, was itself a major cause of the collapse in 2020. Capitalism's scars from the crashes of 2000 and 2008-2009 had not healed. Years of low interest rates had enabled corporations and governments to "solve" all their problems by borrowing limitlessly at almost zero interest rate cost. All the new money pumped into economies by central banks had indeed caused the feared inflation, but chiefly in stock markets whose prices consequently spiraled dangerously far away from underlying economic values and realities. Inequalities of income and wealth reached historic highs.

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Amazon gives neo-Nazis banned from other platforms unprecedented access to a mainstream audience — and even promotes their books.

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“Give me, a white man, a reason to live,” a user posted to the anonymous message board 4chan in the summer of 2017. “Should I get a hobby. What interests can I pursue to save myself from total despair. How do you go on living.”

A fellow user had a suggestion: “Please write a concise book of only factual indisputable information exposing the Jews,” focusing on “their selling of our high tech secrets to China/Russia” and “their long track record of pedophilia and perversion etc.”

The man seeking advice was intrigued. “And who would publish it and who would put it in their bookstores that would make it worth the trouble,” he asked.

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Trump’s acting Navy secretary had to be ordered to apologize for his profane rant against fired captain: report

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Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly was ordered to apologize on Monday night for his profane rant against Capt. Brett Crozier, who was relieved from his command of the USS Theodore Roosevelt after his dire warnings about COVID-19 infections aboard the ship leaked to the media.

According to Fox News national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper "directed acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly last night to write a letter of apology to the sailors onboard the USS Roosevelt just hours after the acting Navy Secretary said he stood by his profanity laced remarks."

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