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The Atlantic reports the Justice Department in Eastern District of Virginia unsealed a criminal complaint against Russian nationalist Elena Khusyaynova on Friday. She is alleged to have managed the finances of a campaign of US election interference dubbed with a code-name “Project Lakhta.” She is the first Russian to be charged for 2018 election interference.

Natasha Bertrand
Writer for The Atlantic
Oct 19 2018

The Russian conspirators waging an ongoing disinformation and propaganda campaign targeting American voters directed their trolls on social media to call the late Arizona Senator John McCain an “old geezer” and Special Counsel Robert Mueller “a puppet of the establishment.” President Donald Trump, the trolls were told to say, “deserves a Nobel Peace Prize” for meeting with the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Those are just a few of the messages that Russian trolls were tasked with spreading on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram between 2016 and 2018 to sow discord and influence U.S. elections, according to a criminal complaint unsealed on Friday.

The Atlantic; Oct 19 201

Investigative Journalist
Julia Davis
Oct 16 2018

Members of the Myanmar military were the prime operatives behind a systematic campaign on Facebook that stretched back half a decade and that targeted the country’s mostly Muslim Rohingya minority group, the people said. The military exploited Facebook’s wide reach in Myanmar, where it is so broadly used that many of the country’s 18 million internet users confuse the Silicon Valley social media platform with the internet. Human rights groups blame the anti-Rohingya propaganda for inciting murders, rapes and the largest forced human migration in recent history.

While Facebook took down the official accounts of senior Myanmar military leaders in August, the breadth and details of the propaganda campaign — which was hidden behind fake names and sham accounts — went undetected. The campaign, described by five people who asked for anonymity because they feared for their safety, included hundreds of military personnel who created troll accounts and news and celebrity pages on Facebook and then flooded them with incendiary comments and posts timed for peak viewership.

New York Times; Oct 15 2018


On September 26 TNB brought readers the story about New Ebola Outbreak Spreading in Congo “Active War Zone.”

In May, there was an Ebola outbreak in the northwestern region in the Equator Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. By July, the Congo’s Health Ministry were hopeful it had been contained as there were no new reported cases reported in 42 days, two cycles through the 21-day incubation period. Reports were at that time 53 people were infected and 33 died.

By August, only days after the last outbreak was reported contained, a new Ebola outbreak was reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but this one on the other side of the country separated by over 1,500 miles in the eastern region which borders with Uganda.

However, this is the first time Ebola has been seen in this part of the country, but “lab tests confirmed it is the same strain as the previous outbreak, which started in early May,” according to a Washington Post report on August 8.

TNB; Sept 26 2018

By mid-August WHO had reported 51 confirmed cases and 44 having died, but “because security cocerns were preventing aid workers from reaching certain areas” it was making the spread of the virus more possible. WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic their worst-case scenario that “at least 1,500 people could be exposed to the virus” because of “blind-spots where the epidemic could take hold.”

By September’s end reports were “about 100 people have died and 150 cases of the virus have been confirmed across two vast provinces, North Kivu and Ituri.” As civilians flee conflict, worst fears were being confirmed as an escaped infected Ebola patient turned up in the town of Tchomia, which serves as a disembarking point for fleeing refugees “who pack onto boats that take them to Uganda, on the other side.”

The Associated Press reported Monday the WHO would be convening a meeting that Wednesday “to determine whether Congo’s latest Ebola outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of international concern” as alarm grows over the fact that “new cases have more than doubled in the month of October and that “community resistance to Ebola containment efforts in some cases has turned violent” and the area still remains an active threat from rebels attacking health care workers and has compared the area to a ‘war zone.’

In Case You Missed It ….Stephen Hawking’s and collaborator Thomas Hertog’s final paper, titled, A Smooth Exit from Eternal Inflation? was published this past April by the Journal of High Energy Physics. It deals with “the nature of the cosmos,” according to this Gizmodo report posted in May. The paper was first submitted July 24, 2017 and underwent revision on March 4, 2018. Hawking passed away on March 14.

May 2 2018

Big h/t to JKuriako’s retweet … On the lighter side of things, check out Far & Wide’s Hilarious Terrible Yelp Reviews of National Parks.

Far & Wide
Sept 13 2018

Far & Wide’s contributor Lindsay VanSomeren’s responses are as hilarious as the Yelp reviews.

2 Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

“Paid $20 to get in. Didn’t even get to touch lava.”

You can do a lot of things in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. You can check out the Thurston Lava Tube. You can hike more than 100 miles of trails. You can wince at the smell of sulphur banks. You can even ogle at volcano art.

But you cannot touch the lava.


9 Big Ben National Park

“They didn’t expect to get any electricity for at least half a week. Have you ever camped with a woman for half a week where there is no available warm running water anywhere? They start to stink. And complain. And to top it off we never got to see any bears or mountain lions.

Thanks a lot Obama.”

True, camping isn’t exactly known to be the most hygienic of activities. But perhaps the best way to deal with this isn’t by complaining about your partner’s stench in a public forum on the internet?

In any case, I think we can all agree that Obama is to blame.

Far & Wide; Sept 9 2018

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