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Author: Dan Perlman

Why did Russian social media swarm the digital conversation about Catalan independence?

Anti-secession demonstrators shout slogans and wave Spanish and Catalonia flags as they march in Barcelona on Nov. 18. (Manu Fernandez/AP) On Oct. 1, the hashtag #Catalanreferendum took you to the world’s most popular conversation on Twitter. For more than 12 hours, Catalonia’s independence referendum became a trending topic worldwide. As would be expected, links, posts and articles from two Spanish media companies were the most virally distributed in the digital conversation. More surprisingly, the Russian media conglomerate formed by RT and Sputnik was the fourth most-used source, its content virally distributed as part of the digital debate. How did...

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The Guardian view on Mugabe’s resignation: the end of an era in Zimbabwe | Editorial

Zimbabweans cheered and sang as they learned that their president’s 37-year rule was over. But they understand the dangers ahead Robert Mugabe’s removal from power on Tuesday was greeted as his ascension to it 37 years earlier had been: with jubilation. In Harare there was dancing and singing, honks and cheers, and tears of joy. Many of those celebrating have known no other ruler. Once he was a liberation hero to his people. When he lost their support he hung on by every means at his disposal. Now his brutal reign is over. But the hope is shaded this...

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Chile just went to the polls — and transformed its legislature

Presidential candidate Sebastián Piñera waves to a crowd while holding a flag at the party headquarters during elections in Santiago, Chile, on Nov. 19. (Cristobal Olivares/Bloomberg) On Sunday, for the seventh time since Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship ended, Chileans went to the polls to elect a president and National Congress. Only 46 percent of those eligible to vote actually did so, one of the lowest turnouts in the country’s history. In the presidential race, no candidate won a full majority, which means there will be a runoff, scheduled for Dec. 17. Although most opinion polls had shown right-wing billionaire and...

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Would cyberattacks be likely in a U.S.-North Korea conflict? Here’s what we know.

Monday’s announcement that the United States would label North Korea a “state sponsor of terrorism” may see a heated response from Pyongyang. For months, President Trump and North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un have been trading insults and threats, raising concerns about an open military confrontation to halt Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear programs. Most of the discussion about potential war scenarios has focused on North Korea’s formidable ground force (the fourth largest in the world), its 11,000 pieces of artillery threatening Seoul, and its emerging nuclear capability. There’s another threat: Pyongyang’s rapidly expanding cyber-capabilities. North Korea’s 3,000 to 6,000...

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