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Jeff Chiu / AP

Russian operatives with reported links to the Russian government remotely organized anti-immigrant rallies in the U.S. by using Facebook Events, The Daily Beast reports.

The events reportedly included an August 2016 anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rally in Idaho. The Facebook page behind that event had 133,000 followers when the social network shut it down last month.

This comes after Facebook last week confirmed a Russian company with links to the Kremlin was spreading politically aligned ads to Americans before and after the election using a $100,000 ad buy.

A Facebook spokesperson told Axios it "shut down several promoted events as part of the takedown we described last week." The company didn't explicitly confirm The Daily Beast's reporting, including on the contents of the events they took down. And as Gizmodo reports, it's not clear if these ads actually resulted in people showing up at these events.

Facebook is cooperating with the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and last week staff members briefed Senate and House committees on the $100,000 ad buy. Right now, Facebook is not required to attach disclaimers for political dollars funneling into the platform.

The big picture: This is raising questions about whether media is capable of manipulating democracy, as Axios' Sara Fischer reports.

Go deeper: Russia revelations spark demands for new media revelations.

Go deeper

13 mins ago - World

Palestinian Authority announces new COVID restrictions as cases surge

A nurse administers the COVID-19 vaccine to a Palestinian in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron. Photo: Hazem Bader/AFP via Getty Images

The Palestinian Authority on Saturday announced fresh coronavirus restrictions, including a partial lockdown, for the occupied West Bank as COVID-19 cases surge.

The big picture: The new measures come as Israel, which leads the world in vaccinations, faces increased pressure to ensure Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip have equal access to vaccines.

55 mins ago - World

Myanmar military fires UN ambassador after anti-coup speech

Photo: Peerapon Boonyakiat/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Myanmar's military regime on Saturday fired the country's Ambassador to the United Nations, Kyaw Moe Tun, a day after he gave a pro-democracy speech asking UN member nations to publicly condemn the Feb. 1 coup, The New York Times reports.

Details: State television said the ambassador had "betrayed the country and spoken for an unofficial organization which doesn’t represent the country and had abused the power and responsibilities of an ambassador."

Scoop: Biden admin call on Putin pipeline provokes GOP anger

Putin chairs a video meeting in July 2020. Photo: Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

A briefing between the State Department and congressional staff over Vladimir Putin's Russia-Germany gas pipeline got tense this week, with Biden officials deflecting questions about why they hadn't moved faster and more aggressively with sanctions to stop its completion.

  • The Biden officials also denied negotiating with the Germans over a potential side deal to allow the pipeline to be finished.