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Facebook announced Tuesday it had removed 51 accounts, 36 pages, 7 groups and 3 Instagram accounts that it said originated in Iran and were responsible for "coordinated inauthentic behavior."

Why it matters: The announcement comes as tensions between the U.S. and Iran have escalated in the wake of the Trump administration's withdrawal from a multinational agreement aimed at controlling Iran's nuclear program.

Details: The cybersecurity firm FireEye, which Facebook said first flagged the operation, issued a report that detailed "inauthentic social media accounts posing as everyday Americans that were used to promote content from inauthentic news sites."

  • "In addition to utilizing fake American personas that espoused both progressive and conservative political stances," according to FireEye, "some accounts impersonated real American individuals, including a handful of Republican political candidates that ran for House of Representatives seats in 2018."

Go deeper

51 mins ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to actually deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine. The Pentagon warned that Russia has shown "no signs of de-escalating," and continues to amass troops on Ukraine's borders.

Updated 1 hour ago - Economy & Business

S&P 500 on track for worst-ever start to year

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Stocks suffered their steepest drop of the year early Monday, putting the S&P 500 on course for its worst-ever start to a year.

Driving the news: The benchmark S&P 500 dropped for its fifth straight day, with losses nearing 3% in early trading, momentarily putting it on track to fall into a "correction." Some of the steepest losses were recovered in early afternoon trading.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
2 hours ago - Health

Health care workers hit new breaking point

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The ranks of health care workers are dwindling and stretching what it means to be reaching their "breaking points," particularly at small nonprofit hospitals.

The big picture: Even as Omicron cases have begun to wane in some places, many hospitals are still fielding a crush of patients amid record employee callouts.