FBI got secret court order in mid-2016 to monitor Carter Page as part of Russia-Trump probe

The Federal Bureau of Investigations asked for and received a secret court order last summer to eavesdrop on communications between Carter Page, then a campaign adviser to candidate Donald Trump, as part of the FBI's investigation into connections between Team Trump and Russia.

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Even by the standards of tax-havens, Gibraltar is pretty sketchy

As Brexit shambles on, UK Tory Parliamentarians and Theresa May are spoiling for a re-run of the Falklands Island debacle, this time over Gibraltar, a British outpost at the tip of Spain. Read the rest

Livejournal's Russian owners announce new anti-LGBT policy, fandom stages mass exodus

Mitch Wagner writes, "LiveJournal is a venerable online community that predates Facebook and even blogging. It got acquired by a Russian company a few years ago, but some of its American and British users hung on, including sf and fantasy writers and fans. Lately, I know one of my friends was scrambling to leave, but I'd been too busy to look into why." Read the rest

That Dr. Strangelove scene where the U.S. President phones Russia about an imminent air strike

In the War Room, the U.S President Merkin Muffley (Peter Sellers) is making a phone call to the President of the U.S.S.R. From Dr. Strangelove, directed by Stanley Kubrick (1964).

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This 'Putin as a gay clown' image is now illegal in Russia, so please do not share

This image of Russian leader and purported Donald Trump kingmaker Vladimir Putin as a gay clown is now illegal in Russia. Whatever you do, do not share this far and wide so that everyone sees it.

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Russian billionaire Deripaska paid Manafort to 'greatly benefit' Putin before Manafort joined Trump campaign

Before he worked for the Donald Trump presidential campaign, Paul Manafort worked for a Russian billionaire to help promote Russian president Vladimir Putin's agenda in the United States.

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FBI: We have evidence Trump team and Russia communicated mid-campaign, maybe to coordinate Clinton info dump

This seems like a big escalation in the Trump/Russia investigation story. Late Wednesday, the FBI said it has evidence that associates of Donald Trump communicated with Russia during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, possibly to coordinate the release of Hillary Clinton campaign info via Wikileaks.

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Russia's richest invested about $100 million in Trump Florida properties

Who are the wealthy Russian citizens who've invested a total of almost $100 million worth of properties owned by U.S. President Donald J. Trump? An investigative report by Reuters digs into that question.

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Senate Intel Committee to hold 'Disinformation' hearing on Russian hacking and Trump election win

In Washington today, members of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee said they have scheduled a hearing on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election for March 30.

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'Utterly ridiculous': GCHQ shreds Spicer's claim that UK spy agency wiretapped Trump

Officials with the British government complained to the White House today after Donald Trump's spokesliar Sean Spicer cited a bogus Fox News report claiming that former President Barack Obama got help from U.K. intelligence agency GCHQ to spy on Donald Trump.

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U.S. Senators seek answers on Russia-Trump links, and his spying accusation against Obama

U.S. Senators gathered on Capitol Hill today seeking answers on Trump's relationship with Russia, and Trump's obviously bogus claim that U.S. President Barack Obama spied on his presidential campaign.

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Justice Dept. to charge 2 Russian spies and 2 criminal hackers with 2014 Yahoo breach of 500 million accounts

Before today's anticipated announcement by the Justice Department, more details are already leaking out about who they're after: “two Russian spies, and two criminal hackers.”

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U.S. plans to indict Yahoo hack suspects, report says they're tied to Russia

Bloomberg was first to report tonight that U.S. officials plan to indict various suspects in the hacking attacks against Yahoo, perhaps as soon as Wednesday.

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Soviet Vocal-Instrumental Ensembles: the lost, terrible pop of the USSR

In order to fight the incursion of decadent western pop, the Kremlin encouraged the creation of Vocal-Instrumental Ensembles (VIAs) that performed some genuinely, delightfully awful music, stuff that puts the trololo guy to shame. Read the rest

In Russia, where wife-beating is legal, socialists celebrate Women's Day with feminist guerrilla "ads"

In January, the Russian Duma passed a law decriminalizing wife-beating, and so to celebrate International Women's Day, the Russian Socialist Movement snuck fake ads into the St Petersburg subway system highlighting violence and discrimination against women in Russia. Read the rest

Russian dissident warns that the anti-Trump movement's Russian conspiracy theories are a distraction

Masha Gessen has impeccable credentials as a Putin critic -- you may remember her from her instant classic Autocracy: Rules for Survival, but you may not know that the Jewish lesbian mother of three fled Russia in 2013 to escape the country's Putin-fueled, ultra-violent anti-LGBT movement -- and so when she tells us that the conspiracy theories about Trump and Putin are problematic, it's worth listening. Read the rest

Three kinds of propaganda, and what to do about them

Jonathan Stray summarizes three different strains of propaganda, analyzing why they work, and suggesting counter-tactics: in Russia, it's about flooding the channel with a mix of lies and truth, crowding out other stories; in China, it's about suffocating arguments with happy-talk distractions, and for trolls like Milo Yiannopoulos, it's weaponizing hate, outraging people so they spread your message to the small, diffused minority of broken people who welcome your message and would otherwise be uneconomical to reach. Read the rest

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