Sep 6, 2017

Dem has "more questions" after Facebook discloses Russian-bought ads

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The top Democrat in a congressional investigation of Russia's influence on the election wants more information from Facebook following the social giant's disclosure that thousands of ads focused on divisive issues were likely purchased by a Russian operator between mid-2015 and earlier this year.

"I'd like to get a more comprehensive look than perhaps what we got today," said Mark Warner, the lead Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. "I think today was a good first step, but I think there's more to come."

Why it matters: Warner and others have raised questions about whether digital ad targeting systems were used to distribute "fake news" meant to tilt the results of the election and if Trump campaign could have aided Russian operatives in such an effort. Today shows the pressure isn't letting up on some of the biggest companies in Silicon Valley to account for their role in last year's tumultuous campaign.

Take note: "My hope is that we would even at some point get Facebook, Twitter and some of the other social media firms in for a public hearing," he said, adding that Twitter would be briefing committee staff in the future.

Bigger picture: Warner also said the there should be greater transparency about who is buying political ads online. The companies, he said, have "got to follow the law, and if the law needs to be changed to meet ... 21st century standards, let's have at it."

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Trump touts press briefing "ratings" as U.S. coronavirus case surge

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

President Trump sent about a half-dozen tweets on Sunday touting the high television ratings that his coronavirus press briefings have received, selectively citing a New York Times article that compared them to "The Bachelor" and "Monday Night Football."

Why it matters: The president has been holding daily press briefings in the weeks since the coronavirus pandemic was declared, but news outlets have struggled with how to cover them live — as Trump has repeatedly been found to spread misinformation and contradict public health officials.

World coronavirus updates: Total cases surge to over 700,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

There are now than more than 700,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins. The virus has now killed more than 32,000 people — with Italy alone reporting over 10,000 deaths.

The big picture: Governments around the world have stepped up public health and economic measures to stop the spread of the virus and soften the financial impact. In the U.S., now the site of the largest outbreak in the world, President Trump said Saturday he would issue a "strong" travel advisory for New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 43 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 704,095 — Total deaths: 33,509 — Total recoveries: 148,824.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 132,637 — Total deaths: 2,351 — Total recoveries: 2,612.
  3. Federal government latest: The first federal prisoner to die from coronavirus was reported from a correctional facility in Louisiana on Sunday.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week — Cuomo says Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "really panicked" people
  6. World updates: Italy on Sunday reported 756 new deaths, bringing its total 10,779. Spain reported almost 840 dead, another new daily record that bring its total to over 6,500.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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