WASHINGTON – The Senate released Monday a pair of reports that found Russia engaged in an all-out social media campaign on Donald Trump's behalf during the 2016 election and continued to support him after he took office. One report, compiled by Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Project and a social media analysis firm called Graphika, looked at millions of posts on every popular social media platform from Facebook to Pinterest that were provided to the Senate and House Intelligence Committees.
U.S. and Taliban officials have discussed proposals for a six-month ceasefire in Afghanistan and a future withdrawal of foreign troops as talks aimed at setting up peace negotiations went into a second day, Taliban sources said. The meeting in Abu Dhabi is at least the third time that U.S. special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has met Taliban representatives as diplomatic efforts to end the 17-year war have intensified this year. Taliban officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the U.S. delegation was pressing for a six-month truce as well as an agreement to name Taliban representatives to a future caretaker government.
Guatemalan children caught in Mexico while trying to migrate into the US, queue before climbing into a minibus at Aurora international airport in Guatemala City. For years, Dora waited impatiently to turn 15, the age her mother had agreed she would be old enough to leave their home in El Salvador – where she suffered physical and sexual abuse at the hands of her grandfather – and head to the US, in search of a new life. “Seeing them leave together … that gave me hope and gave me the courage to finally leave,” said Dora, who is now living at a children’s shelter in Tijuana, on the border with California.
Overall, an estimated 37% of adults and 58% of children received a flu shot during the 2017-2018 flu season, according to the CDC. The CDC’s latest data, which was based on surveys with adults and parents of children ages six months to 17 years, doesn’t explain why vaccination rates are up over last year, but it’s possible that the unusually severe 2017-2018 flu season, which killed about 80,000 people, motivated more people to get their shots this year. However, the data deals only with early-season coverage, so it’s also possible that some people simply got vaccinated earlier this year than last.
The Super Sonic Car was set to raise the land speed record bar with the vehicle finished and undergoing final testing, but the project was stopped in its tracks when funding ran out. Related Video: Watch the Bloodhound SSC Team Show off Car Months of administration failed to find an investor willing to supply the £25 million ($31.5 million) required to set what might be the last record of this kind. Time was called on Bloodhound and we all shed a tear over a hard-fought challenge that seemingly fell at the final hurdle.
New Zealand warned Google to "take responsibility" for its news content Wednesday, after the internet giant broke a court order suppressing the name of a man charged with murdering a British backpacker. An Auckland court granted the man interim name suppression this month but Google revealed his identity in an email to subscribers of its "what's trending in New Zealand?" service. Justice Minister Andrew Little said the breach was unacceptable and he had made his views known to Google executives at a meeting in parliament on Tuesday night.
AAA predicts that more than one-third of Americans will travel this holiday season, so knowing the best and worst times for traffic and weather can cut down your trip time. According to AAA, the record-breaking 112.5 million travelers taking to the nation's runways, roads and rails for the year-end holidays represents a 4.4 percent increase over last year and the most since AAA has been tracking holiday travel. "'Tis the season for holiday travel, and more Americans than ever will journey to spend time with friends and family or choose to take a vacation," said Bryan Shilling, managing director, AAA Travel products and services.
Canada is looking for a way out of a $13 billion deal to export armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia -- a move the company warns could leave the government liable for billions. In a television interview Sunday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the government was looking for a way to halt the sale of armored vehicles manufactured by a unit of U.S.-based General Dynamics Corp. We are engaged with the export permits to try and see if there is a way of no longer exporting these vehicles to Saudi Arabia,” Trudeau told CTV, without elaborating.
Special counsel Robert Mueller released a memo Monday summarizing the FBI’s January 2017 interview with President Donald Trump’s then-national security adviser, Michael Flynn. In the interview, Flynn, who was also a senior adviser to Trump’s presidential campaign, lied about his conversations with then-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. He is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday for lying to the FBI.
Delta Air Lines will add nonstop service to Mexico City from its Minneapolis/St. Paul hub. Daily service will begin June 8, with Delta offering one daily round-trip flight on 132-seat Airbus A319 aircraft. Minneapolis/St. Paul will become the sixth city to get nonstop service to Mexico City on Delta.
Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin on Monday announced he's continuing his effort to have Maine's new election system used for the first time in a congressional race declared unconstitutional. Poliquin, who lost his re-election bid to Democrat Jared Golden, tweeted Monday evening that a formal appeal will be filed with the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, dragging on the longshot legal process. "Rank voting came to Maine due to a largely out-of-state-funded push to change our election system that has worked well for one hundred years," he said in a statement.
Authorities are searching for a man who went missing from a cruise ship bound for Mexico.
Chili’s social media department is getting ribbed after it weighed in on North Carolina’s election fraud scandal ― without really understanding it. It all started Monday when Andrew Bates, a spokesperson for the progressive super PAC American Bridge, offered a Chili’s gift certificate to North Carolina GOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse with a caveat: Stop trying to seat Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris, whose election has been marred by ballot fraud allegations. Woodhouse didn’t respond, but Chili’s social media person did and aggressively attempted to do some promotion piggybacking on Bates’ tweet.
In a story Dec. 13 about the pope's May travel schedule, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Bulgaria is a former Soviet republic. During the Cold War, Bulgaria was one of the Soviet allies that formed the Warsaw Pact. A corrected version of the story is below: Pope to visit Bulgaria, Macedonia in May in busy travel year Pope Francis is travelling in May to the Orthodox countries of Bulgaria and Macedonia, where he will pay tribute to Macedonian-born Mother Teresa, officials said Thursday VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is travelling in May to the Orthodox countries of Bulgaria and Macedonia, where he will pay tribute to Macedonian-born Mother Teresa, officials said Thursday.
Switzerland and Britain signed an agreement Monday guaranteeing that flights between the two countries can continue uninterrupted even if London opts to leave the European Union without a deal with Brussels. "We have managed to ensure a flawless transition, which is in the interest of both of our countries," Swiss Transportation Minister Doris Leuthard said in a statement after signing the deal in Zurich with her British counterpart Chris Grayling. Switzerland is not a member of the EU, but its relations with Britain are based on a long line of bilateral agreements between Bern and the bloc.
In the words of architect Robert Venturi, we believe these buildings will allow you to “see familiar things in an unfamiliar way”
The Russian Internet Research Agency, the troll farm that has sought to divide Americans with misinformation and meme content around the 2016 election, received more engagement on Instagram than it did on any other social media platform, including Facebook, according to a joint report by three groups of researchers. “Instagram was a significant front in the IRA’s influence operation, something that Facebook executives appear to have avoided mentioning in Congressional testimony,” the report says. IRA activity shifted there after the media began to write about Russian activity on Twitter and Facebook.
Russia special counsel Robert Mueller urged that Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump's former national security adviser, serve no prison time for his communication with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Flynn stepped to the lectern in federal court Tuesday to declare he was ready to accept responsibility for his crimes and proceed to sentencing. Nobody in the packed courtroom – especially Flynn – expected the blistering rebuke unleashed by U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, who went as far as to question the patriotism of the retired three-star Army general, wheeling to face the courtroom’s American flag to suggest that Flynn’s conduct “undermined” all the banner stood for.
Russia's Ministry of Defence said it planned to shift troops next week into four housing complexes on two of the four disputed islands, known as the Southern Kurils in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan. Japan's defense ministry says 3,500 Russian troops are deployed on the two larger islands as part of a military buildup. The news came after the Kremlin said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe might visit Russia on Jan. 21 as the two countries step up efforts to defuse the territorial dispute that has prevented them from signing a World War Two peace treaty.
Russia has cut its military flights in Syria from more than 100 per day to fewer than four a week, the defence minister said Tuesday, in another sign the country's conflict is winding down. Russia launched air strikes in Syria in support of long-term ally President Bashar al-Assad in September 2015. Russian support helped Assad's forces reclaim swathes of territory once in the hands of opposition fighters and Islamic extremists.
A student has lost her pet fish after it was banned from the Southwest Airlines flight she booked on. According to USA Today, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs student Lanice Powless was traveling from the Denver airport to her home in California when she said a Southwest employee told her she could not bring her pink pet Betta fish, Cassie, on the flight. Powless had researched TSA policy about bringing fish on flights ahead of getting Cassie and was pleased to note that live fish are allowed on flights if they’re in a carry-on bag.
Shortly before a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl died in U.S. custody, her father signed a form stating that his daughter was in good health. But it's unclear how much the man understood on the form, which was written in English and read to him in Spanish by Border Patrol agents. The death of Jakelin Caal highlights the communication challenges along the U.S.-Mexico border as agents come in contact with an increasing number of migrants who speak neither English nor Spanish.
As kids grow up, many parents like to update their relatives and friends about their family in the form of picture-perfect Christmas cards. The glossy images are no doubt a fun way to keep up with people, but it’s a running joke among caretakers that getting kids to pose for such pics can be a nightmare. And ultimately, the photos that get chosen for holiday cards are the results of a rare moment in an otherwise chaotic day.
Question: Owners of cars, trucks and motorcycles, especially older models, learn the quirks of their vehicles and how to safely compensate for them while driving. Are modern commercial aircraft maintained so precisely that individual airplanes of the same model do not have unique mechanical or electrical quirks that pilots notice in flight? Answer: Pilots fly many different airplanes of the same model within a fleet.