Twitter

The brazen security compromise at Twitter this week underscored the broad and lingering vulnerabilities of U.S. elections to sophisticated cyberattacks.

A number of accounts of political, technology and business figures were captured apparently from within Twitter's own systems — as opposed to via individual attacks against the end users — and the social network's response included silencing nearly all of its highest-profile users for a time.

Updated 6:51 p.m. ET

Twitter is now under scrutiny from the FBI, Congress and state authorities in New York. Officials are demanding details about a breach that targeted some of the social network's most high-profile users.

Natalia Clement / WLRN

South Florida journalist Joel Franco faced heavy scrutiny in March after old tweets surfaced online. This month, a second wave of outrage was directed at him.

 

Multiple women came forward with sexual assault allegations, some of them saying the acts occurred when they were minors.

Facebook

They're a familiar sight and sound in South Florida’s Venezuelan community: videos of exiles defending themselves against accusations that they’re “Chavistas," or sympathizers of Venezuela’s authoritarian socialist regime, a government despised by almost every expat here.

But the “yo no soy Chavista” Facebook video Carmen Jaqueline Gimenez recently posted was of particular interest because she’s running for office in November – for mayor of Hallandale Beach.

Updated at 6:08 p.m. ET

President Trump on Friday evening struck a more somber tone talking about the death of George Floyd and recent protests in Minneapolis. The comments at the White House came after a day of criticism over a tweet that referred to protesters there as thugs and prompted a warning from Twitter, which said the president glorified violence.

Ariana Cubillos / AP

COMMENTARY

It’s hard to say whose anti-media rants this week are more absurd: President Trump’s, over Twitter’s decision to add fact-check notices to his factless tweets. Or socialist Venezuela’s, over DirecTV’s understandable decision to pull out of the country.

But regardless of whose authoritarian whining is more egregious, Trump’s behavior could have a more troubling effect on his administration’s campaign to restore democracy in Venezuela – or in any country like Venezuela.

America's new socially distant reality has warped the landscape of the 2020 election.

Candidates aren't out knocking on doors, and U.S. election officials are bracing for a record surge in mail ballots.

But another subtler shift is also occurring — inside people's brains.

Updated at 7:55 p.m. ET

Nearly half of the Twitter accounts spreading messages on the social media platform about the coronavirus pandemic are likely bots, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University said Wednesday.

Researchers culled through more than 200 million tweets discussing the virus since January and found that about 45% were sent by accounts that behave more like computerized robots than humans.

With Joe Biden on the ballot, so is the legacy of Barack Obama, and it appears we're about to see a throwdown between the last president and the current one — and their polar opposite worldviews.

Amid criticism of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump has been falsely laying blame on Obama for leaving the "cupboard bare" when it comes to the national stockpile of emergency medical supplies and equipment.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

President Trump said that Iran appears "to be standing down" after Tuesday night's missile attack in Iraq and that "the American people should be extremely grateful and happy no Americans were harmed."

Trump, in a nationally televised address from the White House, also announced a new round of what he termed "punishing economic sanctions" against the Iranian government. And he called on NATO to become "much more involved in the Middle East process."

Updated at 10:03 p.m. ET

Iran has launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces, targeting at least two military bases in Iraq, the U.S. Defense Department announced late Tuesday.

The strikes on military and coalition personnel at the Ain al-Assad air base in Anbar province and in Irbil — at the center of Iraq's Kurdistan region — began at approximately 5:30 p.m. ET, according to a statement.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif defended the strike, saying it was an act of "self-defense."

President Trump has been criticized after retweeting a post to his 68 million followers on Twitter that included a name linked to the alleged whistleblower whose complaint about the president's dealings with Ukraine prompted the impeachment inquiry.

At the time of the complaint, the individual was an intelligence community official who sounded the alarm about Trump's pressure campaign with Ukraine that House Democrats cited in impeaching the president for alleged abuse of power.

AP (left) and Ariana Cubillos / AP via Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

Most of America, even some Republicans, were stunned this week by President Trump’s letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. That is, the raging, six-page tirade at the articles of impeachment against him — you don’t often see “you have found NOTHING!” typed on Oval Office stationery — which the U.S. House of Representatives approved Wednesday night.

But in South Florida, people probably weren’t all that shocked.

The U.S. Navy said Thursday that it will proceed with a hearing to consider the expulsion of Special Operations Chief Eddie Gallagher from the Navy SEALs, despite his support from President Trump.

Gallagher and three supervising officers were informed of the administrative review board hearing, set for Dec. 2, on Wednesday.

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