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EU has proof of Russian disinformation activity targeting elections

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EU officials, ahead of May’s European Parliament elections, warned of Russian interference, and the bloc bolstered its capacities to track fake news and debunk disinformation.

The European Commission wrote in a report evidence collected in recent months has revealed a continued and sustained disinformation activity by Russian sources aiming to suppress turnout and influence voter preferences.

“However, the available evidence has not allowed us to identify a distinct cross-border disinformation campaign from external sources specifically targeting the European elections.

“Malign activities ranged from challenging the EU’s democratic legitimacy to exploiting divisive debates on issues such as migration,’’ the report said.

It cited the example of the fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, which was used by malicious actors to illustrate the alleged decline of Western and Christian values in the EU.

The commission said its efforts, which include signing up internet giants Facebook, Google, Twitter and Mozilla to a voluntary code of conduct, had helped reduce the amount of disinformation appearing online.

The report found out more must be done though.

Edited by Abiodun Oluleye

Foreign

G7 protesters throw stones, French police respond with tear gas 

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Clashes

Protesters threw stones at police who were blocking access to a bridge in the neighbouring town of Bayonne, a dpa reporter observed.

The Police responded with tear gas and water cannon.

Some 68 people were arrested, with 38 of them detained for questioning, news agency AFP reported citing local authorities.

The organisers of a larger and calmer protest earlier in the day subsequently cancelled protest actions scheduled for the perimeter of the summit security zone on Sunday.

Citing what they said was an excessive police presence and heavy-handed security, they said they could not guarantee the safety of protesters at the actions.

They instead called for a “people’s wall” in protest at “the state of siege in the Basque Country,” but without specifying a location.

The evening’s clashes came soon after the summit between leaders of major Western powers and Japan, hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron, kicked off.

The earlier protest, in the towns of Hendaye and Irun on either side of the Franco-Spanish border some 20 kilometres away, passed off peacefully, with the organizers claiming 15,000 people had taken part.

The activists, who also held a counter-summit with lectures and workshops, argue that while Macron says the G7 should tackle inequality, the main cause of the problem is hardline free-market policies implemented by the leaders of wealthy countries.

French authorities have barred access to much of Biarritz except to residents and local workers for the duration of the three-day summit.

YEE

(Edited by Emmanuel Yashim)

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Foreign

U.S. officials criticise Macron for putting pressure on Trump ahead of G7 Summit – Reports

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Pressure

According to the publication, a flurry of criticism hit Macron after he had invited Trump to an impromptu lunch, during which the parties discussed a number of issues, including Iran and Amazon wildfires.

 Such a one-on-one lunch was not planned in advance, the newspaper stressed.

Members of the U.S. presidential administration accused the French president of focusing on such “niche” issues as climate change and the development of Africa, which meet his own political interests, the publication said.

According to a senior French official, the French president used lunch to explain his position on controversial issues, in particular, tensions in world trade.

The Group of Seven (G7) Summit officially opened in the city of Biarritz in southwestern France.

YEE

(Edited by Emmanuel Yashim)

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Foreign

Trump notes progress on opening day of G7 Summit

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Progress

“France and President @EmmanuelMacron have done a really great job thus far with a very important G-7.

Lunch with Emmanuel was the best meeting we have yet had.

Likewise, evening meeting with World Leaders went very well. Progress being made!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

Before the summit, the French leader invited Trump to an impromptu lunch, during which the parties discussed a number of issues, including trade, tensions in the Persian Gulf, the situation in Libya and Iran.

The Group of Seven (G7) Summit officially opened in the city of Biarritz in southwestern France.

YEE

(Edited by Emmanuel Yashim)

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Foreign

Police hose G7 protesters in south France as summit begins

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Protesters

A few hundred people, many of whom have covered their faces with masks and scarves, have been marching though the city, screaming anti-police slogans.

The march is occurring in the part of the city surrounded by rivers from both sides, with bridges blocked by the police.

At one of the bridges protesters began provoking the police, who hosed them four times in response and then fired teargas at the crowd.

The procession is currently repeating its previous route.

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Star chef serves G7 leaders endangered bluefin tuna for dinner 

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Dinner

Star chef Cedric Bechade’s first course was a piperade, a typical dish of peppers, onions and tomatoes, and then a “marmitako,” a traditional fish stew made with fresh bluefin tuna that was caught by fishermen in the town of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, south of Biarritz.

The Atlantic bluefin tuna is an increasingly endangered species due to overfishing and is on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species.

YEE

(Edited by Emmanuel Yashim)

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