Columbia Journalism Review: The social network’s increasing threat to journalism – “At some point over the past decade, Facebook stopped being a mostly harmless social network filled with baby photos and became one of the most powerful forces in media—with more than 2 billion users every month and a growing lock on the ad revenue that used to underpin most of the media industry. When it comes to threats to journalism, in other words, Facebook qualifies as one, whether it wants to admit it or not…The fact that even Facebook’s closest media partners like BuzzFeed are struggling financially highlights the most obvious threat: Since many media companies still rely on advertising revenue to support their journalism, Facebook’s increasing dominance of that industry poses an existential threat to their business models…”
Four Chicago Blackhawks fans were ejected from their home arena for racially taunting a black player from the visiting Washington Capitals.
(Image credit: Jeff Haynes/AP)
Christian Science Monitor – “Struggling to keep up with the increasing digitization of academia, libraries are purging older volumes to make way for study spaces and coffee shops. The act is a radical shift from when the value of a library was measured by the scope of its books…Libraries are putting books in storage, contracting with resellers, or simply recycling them. An ever-increasing number of books exist in the cloud, and libraries are banding together to ensure print copies are retained by someone, somewhere. Still, that doesn’t always sit well with academics who practically live in the library and argue that large, readily available print collections are vital to research…”
Federal grand jury indictment – 13 Russian nationals, 3 Russian entities accused of violating U.S. criminal laws
DOJ News Release: “The Department of Justice announced that a grand jury in the District of Columbia today returned an indictment presented by the Special Counsel’s Office. The indictment charges thirteen Russian nationals and three Russian companies for committing federal crimes while seeking to interfere in the United States political system, including the 2016 Presidential election. The defendants allegedly conducted what they called “information warfare against the United States,” with the stated goal of “spread[ing] distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general…”
U.S. v. Internet Research Agency, et al (1:18-cr-32, District of Columbia) – “A federal grand jury in the District of Columbia returned an indictment on Feb. 16, 2018, against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities accused of violating U.S. criminal laws in order to interfere with U.S. elections and political processes. The indictment charges all of the defendants with conspiracy to defraud the United States, three defendants with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and five defendants with aggravated identity theft.” Indictment
DOJ – U.S. v. Richard Pinedo, et al (1:18-cr-24, District of Columbia) Richard Pinedo, of Santa Paula, Calif., pleaded guilty on Feb. 12, 2018, to identity fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1028. Criminal Information
Axios Commentary: “DOJ charges 13 Russian nationals with interfering in 2016 election”: KEY LINES … “Some Defendants, posing as U.S. persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities. “They engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump.” — SEE PAGE 20 for a list of advertisements the group ran… THE INDICTMENT ALLEGES that the defendants used Twitter and Facebook to organize pro-Trump and anti-Clinton rallies in New York and Florida in the summer of 2016. The indictment also alleges that the Russians “used false U.S. personas to organize and coordinate U.S. political rallies in support of then president-elect Trump, while simultaneously using other false U.S. personas to organize and coordinate U.S. political rallies protesting the results of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.” — AP “The alleged scheme was run by the Internet Research Agency, a troll farm based in St. Petersburg, Russia, which used bogus social media postings and advertisements fraudulently purchased in the name of Americans to try to influence the White House race.”
The New York Times – How Unwitting Americans Were Deceived by Russian Trolls
A New York Times investigation has found new details about an ambush in Niger last year that left four U.S. soldiers dead. Host Ari Shapiro talks with Rukmini Callimachi who reported the story.
The Regulatory Review, David Zaring: “Congress’s use of the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to reverse a panoply of Obama Administration rules has been the most important way it has pursued deregulation in the first year of the Trump Administration. But the effort to keep using it to deregulate—which is ongoing—would really take the statute beyond anywhere it has been used before. The CRA provides a streamlined legislative process for overturning rules adopted in opposition to the legislature’s wishes. Congress last used the tool to reverse a rule adopted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that would have allowed consumer class actions against banks. The most important facet of the act for regulators is that, once used, it “salts the earth.” No “substantially similar” rule can be subsequently adopted by regulators once Congress has reversed a rule under the CRA. The CFPB, for example, will no longer be able to adopt another, even somewhat different, consumer class action rule without getting legislative approval…”
“Between fall 2016 and spring 2017, End of Term (EOT) Web Archive partners conducted outreach and archiving efforts to preserve and document the U.S. Government web presence at the end of the Obama Presidential term. Due to an increased public interest in preserving U.S. Government web content and press regarding the project, the EOT Nomination Tool saw almost 11,400 nominated. In addition to this, through collaboration with DataRefuge, Environmental Data and Governance Initiative (EDGI), and other efforts, there were over 100,000 additional web pages or datasets nominated. The 2016 EOT crawl contains over 200 Terabytes of websites and data, which includes over 350 URLs/files. Access to this content is available through the EOT Web Archive project page, which contains over 50,000 records available for searching and browsing, or through the Internet Archive Collection page. GPO is proud to be a partner in this important initiative.”
Pennsylvania's Supreme Court has decided what the state's congressional map will be after declaring the current outlines an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander.
(Image credit: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania)
In Dalton, Ga., the self-proclaimed "carpet capital of the world," business leaders are worried about what will happen if DACA protections disappear.
(Image credit: Kevin D. Liles for NPR)
In Rio de Janeiro, thieves are robbing banks by blowing them up. The country's president is putting the military in charge of security there.
The U.S. is trying to get Pakistan put on a global terror watch list in the latest sign of tensions between the two countries.
In Wisconsin, President Donald Trump's controversial comments and policies are figuring into the normally quiet, nominally nonpartisan race for state Supreme Court justice.
Dwayne Wright, chairman of the San Jacinto County Republican Party, discovered a photo of his was shared by the web based group Heart of Texas part of Russia's campaign to influence the 2016 election.
The Parkland, Florida school shooting has spurred student activists into action advocating gun control. But some people believe the problem is with society breakdown not guns.
NPR's Ari Shapiro talks to Rep. Jared Moskowitz who represents Parkland where last week's fatal school shootings occurred about whether any new gun regulations will go anywhere.
They're not the Zamboni drivers. These skilled technicians know how to make ice for figure skating, speedskating, hockey and curling — each requiring different temperatures, textures and hardness.
(Image credit: Amin Mohammad Jamali/Getty Images)
People are leaving Venezuela due to hardships in the country that include food and medicine shortages as well as hyperinflation. Many are crossing the border into Colombia.
Last month, a shooter killed two students and injured 18 other people in a Kentucky high school. In response, the state legislature is considering arming school staff.
NPR's Ari Shapiro speaks with Vermont Secretary of State and President-elect of the National Association of Secretaries of State Jin Condos, about state's efforts to protect elections from hacking.