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Russian Disinformation Targets Mueller

Russian disinformation teams targeted Robert S. Mueller III, says report prepared for Senate. WaPo: “Months after President Trump took office, Russia’s disinformation teams trained their sights on a new target: special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. Having worked to help get Trump into the White House, they now worked to neutralize the biggest threat to his staying there. The Russian operatives unloaded on Mueller through fake accounts on Facebook, Twitter and beyond, falsely claiming that the former FBI director was corrupt and that the allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election were crackpot conspiracies. One post on Instagram — which emerged as an especially potent weapon in the Russian social media arsenal — claimed that Mueller had worked in the past with ‘radical Islamic groups.’ Such tactics exemplified how Russian teams ranged nimbly across social media platforms in a shrewd online influence operation aimed squarely at American voters. The effort started earlier than commonly understood and lasted longer while relying on the strengths of different sites to manipulate distinct slices of the electorate, according to a pair of comprehensive new reports prepared for the Senate Intelligence Committee and released Monday.”

ICE Targets Non-Criminal Immigrants In NYC

ICE arrests of non-criminal immigrants in New York City spiked this year. ThinkProgress: “New York City has seen a significant jump in the number of immigration-related arrests conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the 2018 fiscal year, according to new data released by the New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigration Affairs. The numbers demonstrate an uptick from 2017, when 2,576 individuals were arrested. In 2018, that number jumped to 3,476. Fewer than half of the immigrants detained — roughly 1,259 of them — had no criminal convictions, an 87 percent jump from the previous fiscal year. At least 804 of those detained without a criminal conviction had pending charges, meaning ICE arrested them before they had a chance to clear their name in immigration court. Immigration lawyers in Connecticut, New York, and California say arresting immigrants with pending charges disrupts the criminal justice system. At times, immigrants are held in ICE detention centers far from the courthouse where their cases are being heard. The Denver Post noted, for instance, that some detainees had criminal cases in Utah, but Colorado authorities wouldn’t transport them because it was considered too costly. In New York City, the majority of ICE arrests occur outside courthouses. ICE agents, oftentimes in plain-clothes, target immigrants at hearings they must attend in order participate in criminal proceedings.”

House Dems Plan Action To Curb Guns

House Dems eye quick action on guns in new Congress. Politico: “House Democrats are planning to move several high-profile bills to combat gun violence soon after they take power in January, underscoring their belief that the political landscape has shifted dramatically on an issue that’s plagued American society for decades. With backing from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and key chairmen, Democrats will move to require federal background checks on all gun sales, part of a broader effort by the party to advance long-stalled gun control measures. While the proposal won’t get through the Republican-run Senate, much less become law, getting it through the House would be a win for the gun-control movement, which has had little to cheer about since President Donald Trump was sworn into office. Rep. Mike Thompson of California — head of a Democratic “gun violence prevention task force” that will have more than 140 members next year — said he will introduce the universal background checks bill early next year. ‘The new Democratic majority will act boldly and decisively to pass commonsense, life-saving background checks that are overwhelmingly supported by the American people,’ Pelosi said in a statement.”

Only U.S. And Hungary Refuse To Help Refugees

181 Nations Just Voted to Help Refugees. Only the Far-Right United States and Hungary Voted “No”. Common Dreams: “The United States was a near global outlier Monday at the United Nations General Assembly in rejecting a framework to bolster international cooperation on refugees. Only Hungary—headed by far-right Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose administration has been accused of carrying out ‘a full-frontal assault on migrants and refugees’—joined the U.S. in voting ‘no’ on the Global Compact on Refugees (pdf). One hundred eighty-one nations voted to approve it, while three—the Dominican Republic, Eritrea, and Libya—abstained. ‘The U.S. said recently that it backed most of the refugee pact, but not the part aimed at limiting detentions of asylum seekers,’ Agence France-Presse reported. The international agreement states: ‘The development of non-custodial and community-based alternatives to detention, particularly for children, will also be supported.’ ‘The responsibility for hosting refugees is now primarily shouldered by a few low- and middle-income countries close to war zones,’ noted NRC secretary general Jan Egeland. ‘The most affluent nations are neither receiving refugees nor supporting host nations in any significant way.'”

Dems Refuse Funds For Trump Wall

Democrats refuse funds for Trump wall. BBC: “A partial government shutdown is looming on Friday if Congress cannot agree funding for federal agencies. Democrats are refusing White House demands for $5bn (£3.9bn) towards constructing such a wall. Mr Trump said last week he would be “proud” to shut down his own government if he did not secure the funding.The Republican president has been unable to loosen legislative purse strings for the project, even with his party controlling both the Senate and House of Representatives for nearly two years. That challenge is only likely to get more difficult once Democrats formally regain control of the lower chamber next month, as a result of the mid-term elections in December.”

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