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Russia-linked posts ‘reached 126m US Facebook users’
Russia has repeatedly denied claims that it attempted to influence the last US presidential election in favour of Donald Trump. But Facebook has revealed that about 80,000 posts, produced before and after last November’s vote, were the work of a company with links to the Kremlin. As many as 126 million American users may have seen the content, the social media giant added.
Facebook released the figures ahead of a Senate hearing, the company saying the actions run counter to “everything we stand for”. On Monday, Google revealed Russian trolls had added more than 1,000 YouTube videos on 18 different channels, while Twitter has found and suspended 2,752 accounts linked to a Russia-based firm, a source said.
“It’s quite staggering,” writes BBC technology reporter Dave Lee, “how the problem dismissed just over a year ago by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as ‘crazy talk’ has exploded into a crisis at the world’s biggest social network.”
The news comes after Mr Trump’s election adviser George Papadopoulos admitted lying to the FBI about the timing of meetings with alleged go-betweens for Russia.
Bank prepares for Brexit job losses
The BBC has learned that the Bank of England believes up to 75,000 jobs could be lost in financial services after the UK leaves the European Union in 2019. Our economics editor, Kamal Ahmed, said senior figures regarded this as a “reasonable scenario”, especially if no UK-EU financial services deal is reached. But a report by the Bank also argued there could be opportunities from Brexit, including those involving economies across the Middle East and Asia. Even with job losses, London would remain by far the largest financial centre in Europe, our correspondent adds.
Fallon ‘apologised for touching journalist’s knee’
Sources close to the defence secretary have confirmed that he was once rebuked by the journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer for putting his hand on her knee during dinner. A spokesman for Sir Michael Fallon said he would have apologised over the incident, at the 2002 Conservative Party conference. Ms Hartley-Brewer said she had not been “distressed”, adding: “I calmly and politely explained to him that, if he did it again, I would ‘punch him in the face’.” This comes amid allegations about sexual harassment at Westminster. where House of Commons Speaker John Bercow has promised “zero tolerance” for those responsible.
Spacey claims: Netflix drops House of Cards
Netflix has said it will drop its critically acclaimed drama House of Cards after its lead actor Kevin Spacey was accused of sexually harassing a 14-year-old boy in the mid-1980s. The company said it was “deeply troubled” by the allegations made by actor Anthony Rapp. Mr Spacey, who has said he owes Mr Rapp a “sincere apology”, has also been criticised for choosing this moment to come out as gay.
Has Channel 4’s Bake Off risk paid off?
By Amol Rajan, media editor
Conventional thinking has a habit of being wrong. It also has a seductive appeal. It is absolutely true that Channel 4 was taking a huge punt in buying the show without three quarters of its stars. That is why the reward it is now getting must taste particularly good. The numbers are, to those in Horseferry Road, where Channel 4 is headquartered, the stuff of dreams.
What the papers say
Several newspapers lead on allegations of sexual harassment at Westminster, with the Daily Telegraph reporting that the scandal could be greater than the one over MPs’ expenses. The Times says new rules to combat the problem could be introduced within days. Meanwhile, the Guardian says Donald Trump is “under new pressure” after a former election aide admitted lying to the FBI about the timings of the meetings with alleged go-betweens for Russia.
Human remains found Man arrested over discovery of parts of nine bodies in flat near Tokyo
Fixed-odds betting Gambling industry braced for government review’s findings
‘Alzheimer’s milkshake’ Nutrient drink being sold online falters in clinical trial
Catalan crisis Independence leader Carles Puigdemont has gone to Belgium, lawyer says
Family horror “My ancestor was burned as a witch”
If you watch one thing today
If you listen to one thing today
If you read one thing today
11:00 Comedian and writer Billy Connolly receives his knighthood for services to entertainment and charity.
12:00 A service takes place at Westminster Abbey to mark the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation.
20:40 The winner of the RIBA Stirling Prize for architecture is announced.
On this day
1984 Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is shot dead by assassins in New Delhi.