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Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg takes ‘full responsibility’ for anti-Semitic smears by Republican oppo firm — but won’t quit

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The social media advertising company Facebook dumped news at 5 p.m. eastern on the night before Thanksgiving.

Facebook was responding to the controversy over their hiring of a Republican opposition research firm to smear critics as anti-Antisemitic.

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg took responsibility for the scandal — but did not announce her retirement.

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Facebook head of communications and policy Elliot Schrage admitted that the corporate Goliath did hire Definers Public Affairs, an opposition research company founded and directed by Republicans.

“We hired Definers in 2017 as part of our efforts to diversify our DC advisors after the election,” Schrage wrote in a statement.

Schrage also admitted the company asked Definers Public Affairs to do work against George Soros, but denied they asked them to “distribute or create fake news.”

Sandberg took ownership of the scandal, but did not resign.

“I want to be clear that I oversee our Comms team and take full responsibility for their work and the PR firms who work with us,” she wrote. “I truly believe we have a world class Comms team and I want to acknowledge the enormous pressure the team has faced over the past year.”

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Sandberg claimed, “it was never anyone’s intention to play into an anti-Semitic narrative against Mr. Soros or anyone else.”

Yet, Sandberg only apologized for the distraction.

“I know this has been a distraction at a time when you’re all working hard to close out the year — and I am sorry,” she wrote. “Thanksgiving seems like the right time to say a big thank you once again.”

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In a secluded region in Russia’s Arctic they are rejecting Putin in rare protest

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Lyudmila Laptander, an activist advocating autonomy for her mineral-rich Nenets region in the Russian Arctic, worries authorities are planning to sacrifice its traditions for the promise of economic enrichment.

"If Nenets is merged with another region, I worry that no one will look after our language or our traditions, and that our small villages in the tundra will be forgotten," said Laptander, 61, a member of the Yasavey cultural group.

The autonomous region on the edge of the Arctic Ocean was gripped by protests in May against the government's plans to integrate it with neighbouring Arkhangelsk.

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People are paying to hire this donkey to crash their Zoom meetings

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The coronavirus pandemic has led millions of people to embrace meetings via Zoom, but admittedly, those can be as tedious as in-person conferences.

So one animal sanctuary in Canada, in dire need of cash after being forced to close to visitors, found a way to solve both problems.

Meet Buckwheat, a donkey at the Farmhouse Garden Animal Home, who is ready to inject some fun into your humdrum work-from-home office day -- for a price.

"Hello. We are crashing your meeting, we are crashing your meeting -- this is Buckwheat," says sanctuary volunteer Tim Fors, introducing the gray and white animal on a Zoom call.

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Republican senators are suddenly trying to social distance — from Trump

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There’s something interesting in today’s news:

A number of Republican Senators have said they are skipping the Republican National Convention this year. The convention was originally scheduled in Charlotte, North Carolina, but at Trump’s insistence was relocated to Jacksonville, Florida, last month. The stated reason was that Democratic North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper would not commit to permitting a full convention out of concerns about the spread of coronavirus, but the abrupt switch to Florida, less than 80 days before the convention, still seems odd to me. Regardless, the switch has created a new problem: Florida is in the midst of a dramatic spike in coronavirus cases, setting a record for new cases in a single day during the weekend —11,458—and running low of ICU beds.

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