Dec 13, 2018

Alleged Russian spy Maria Butina pleads guilty to conspiracy charges

Maria Butina. Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images

Maria Butina has pleaded guilty in a D.C. federal court to conspiracy charges alleging that she acted as an unregistered foreign agent on behalf of the Russian government. She has agreed to cooperate with U.S. authorities and faces up to five years in prison.

The big picture: In a copy of the plea deal obtained earlier this week by ABC News, Butina admitted that she and her American boyfriend, Republican operative Paul Erickson, agreed and conspired with a Russian government official to seek to "establish unofficial lines of communication with Americans having power and influence over U.S. politics." One of the ways Butina allegedly developed relationships with American politicians was through her involvement with the NRA. She is the first Russian national convicted for seeking to influence U.S. politics during the 2016 campaign.

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12 mins ago - Technology

Cisco, Sony postpone events amid continued protests

Screenshot: Axios (via YouTube)

Cisco said Monday night that it is postponing the online version of Cisco Live, its major customer event, amid the ongoing protests that have followed the killing of George Floyd.

Why it matters: Cisco joins Sony, Electronic Arts and Google in delaying tech events planned for this week.

18 mins ago - Technology

Twitter suspends fake antifa account tied to white nationalists

Twitter said Monday that it has suspended an account named "ANTIFA_US" which it says was tied to the white nationalist group Identity Evropa. Over the weekend, the account had called for violence and its posts had widely circulated online.

Why it matters: It's the latest example of social media being used to exploit and sharpen the very real divisions in American society. It's also the latest example of Twitter more aggressively rooting out false information on its platform.

Updated 32 mins ago - Politics & Policy

The latest: George Floyd protests nationwide

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued for a seventh day across the U.S., with President Trump threatening on Monday to deploy the military if the unrest continues.

The latest: Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser criticized federal police in a tweet Monday night for using munitions earlier in the day "on peaceful protestors in front of the White House, an act that will make the job of (DC Police Department) officers more difficult." "Shameful!" she added as she urged residents to go home and stay safe.