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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Photo: Richard Drew / AP

Twitter said Thursday it would "off-board" ads linked to Russian state outlets Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik over concerns they tried to influence the 2016 election. The move comes less than a week before the company sends a lawyer to testify on Russian election meddling on Capitol Hill, where he'll join colleagues from Google and Facebook.

Why it matters: The implications for tech companies of possible Russian election meddling go far beyond those ads purchased by a notorious "troll farm" that have already been disclosed.

The details:

  • "This decision was based on the retrospective work we've been doing around the 2016 U.S. election and the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that both RT and Sputnik attempted to interfere with the election on behalf of the Russian government," the company said in a blog post.
  • Both outlets can continue to use the platform — just not advertise on it — "in accordance with the Twitter Rules."
  • The company will donate an estimated $1.9 million earned from RT ads since 2011 to "support external research into the use of Twitter in civic engagement and elections, including use of malicious automation and misinformation, with an initial focus on elections and automation."

What's next: Facebook and Google (which owns YouTube) are likely to face more questions about their relationships with RT.

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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

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  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

3 hours ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.