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Examples of ads purchased by Russian actors that appeared on Facebook during 2016. Images: House Intelligence Committee

Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee released examples of Facebook ads paid for by Russian actors during this afternoon's hearing with Facebook, Google and Twitter. Ads were displayed in the hearing room to drive home their concern about foreign governments "weaponizing" social media content.

The details: According to the metadata attached to the ads, they targeted both Republicans and Democrats and were paid for in rubles. The ads were intended to stoke discord on divisive issues such as religion, racial issues and immigration.

Facebook's chief lawyer said Wednesday afternoon that the company had not found overlap between the targeting used by Russian trolls meddling in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign. His remarks were in response to questions at the third hearing of the last 48 hours for Facebook, Twitter and Google on how Russia-bought ads and content spread on their platforms.

"We have not seen overlap in the targeting that was relatively rudimentary used in the [Russian troll farm Internet Research Agency] ads that we've disclosed and any other advertiser that's been operative on the site, including the Trump campaign," said Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch. Twitter and Google didn't provide definitive answers.

Go deeper: Politico breaks down the individual ads with corresponding specifics of when they ran, where they were targeted, and how many people saw them and clicked on them.

What's next: Lawmakers have pushed the companies to make more information about the foreign-bought ads public. House Intelligence Committee leaders plan to release the Russian-bought ads that appeared on Twitter and Google. The companies said they would benefit from the government sharing information with them as well in order to effectively identify inappropriate content and ads.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

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Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Texas governor: "All hostages are out alive and safe"

SWAT team members deploy near the Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue in Colleyville, Texas. Photo: Andy Jacobsohn/AFP via Getty Images

All four hostages have been safely released after a day-long standoff at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said on Saturday night.

The latest: "Around 9 p.m., the HRT — hostage rescue team — breached the synagogue, they rescued the three [remaining] hostages, the suspect is deceased," said police chief Michael Miller of Colleyville, located roughly 15 miles northeast of Fort Worth. The other hostage had been released earlier Saturday.

The new normal: Google searches reveal America's COVID shopping habits

Data: The New Normal; Google Trends; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

As the pandemic enters its third year, some of America's COVID-era shopping habits — including strong demand for tequila and sweatpants — are here to stay.

Driving the news: Axios worked with Google Trends and the Schema Design firm to create The New Normal, which analyzes the products Americans have Googled since 2020. Items with a lasting increase in search interest help fill in the details of what our "new normal" looks like.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines — Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron — WHO recommends 2 new treatments — What "mild" really means when it comes to Omicron — Deaths are climbing as cases skyrocket.
  2. Vaccines: America's vaccination drive runs out of gas— Puerto Rico expands booster shot requirements— Supreme Court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for large employers.
  3. Politics: You can start ordering free COVID tests Wednesday — Focus group says Biden weak on COVID response, strong on democracy — Biden deploying military medical staff to help overwhelmed hospitals.
  4. Economy: America's labor shortage is bigger than the pandemic— Nurses across the U.S. strike against COVID working conditions— CDC COVID guidance for cruise ships to be optional starting Saturday — The cost of testing.
  5. States: Biden admin threatens to take back Arizona's COVID aid over anti-mask rules — Students across U.S. walkout of classes to demand safer COVID protocols — West Virginia governor feeling "extremely unwell" after positive test — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers.
  6. World: Beijing reports first local Omicron case weeks before Winter Olympics — Teachers in France stage mass walkout over COVID protocols.
  7. Variant tracker