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Putin’s chef, a troll farm and Russia's plot to hijack US democracy

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Robert Mueller has revealed audacious meddling in the 2016 election. Can he link it to Trump?

The plot against America began in 2014. Thousands of miles away, in a drab office building in St Petersburg, Russia, a fake newsroom was under construction with its own graphics, data analysis, search engine optimisation, IT and finance departments. Its mission: ”information warfare against the United States of America”.

What followed, according to an indictment brought by the US special counsel, Robert Mueller, on Friday, was a stunningly successful attack on the most powerful democracy in the world. It involved stolen identities, fake social media accounts, rallies organised from afar, US citizens duped into doing Moscow’s bidding, and two Russians going undercover in a ruse reminiscent of The Americans, a TV drama about KGB spies in suburban Washington during the cold war.

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murphpj
1594 days ago
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Bristol, UK
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Japanese astronaut who's grown 3-1/2 inches in space hopes he'll fit in vehicle that takes him back home

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It's typical for astronauts in space to grow in height up to two inches. But 3-1/2 inches? Not so common, according to NASA.

However, Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai, who is currently at the International Space Station, tweeted this morning that he's grown 9 centimeters, or 3-1/2 inches, in space, and that he's "a little worried" that he won't be able to fit into the tight quarters of the vehicle used to transport him from the ISS back to Earth's atmosphere.

“Good morning, everyone. Today I share some serious news. Since coming to space, I have grown 9 centimeters. This is the most I’ve grown in 3 weeks since junior high school. I am a little worried I won’t fit in my seat on the return trip on Soyuz." [This translation is from The Washington Post.]

Kanai is mostly likely just kidding about being too tall to travel back to Earth (Hollywood, take notes for your next screenplay!), but growing too many inches in space could potentially cause problems for astronauts once its time to head back home. According to the Washington Post:

While it is temporary, and astronauts return to their normal height when they slip the bonds of space and return home, the height difference has an immediate impact on the dimensions of space suits, stations and vehicles. Space is a premium in, well, space, with each inch scrutinized to pack in instruments, tools, plants and insects for experiments and other essentials like food and water. That means living and working quarters are tight. On the Russian Soyuz TMA spacecraft station, the vehicle used to get astronauts to and from the ISS, personnel are limited to 6 feet 3 so they can fit inside the seats. That means anyone at that limit on Earth would be restricted from ISS operations. “I am a little worried I won’t fit in my seat on the return trip on Soyuz,” Kanai said, though he was probably joking. Each seat liner on the vehicle is customized and molded to the body of each astronaut and taken to the Soyuz to ensure a tight fit during the violent reintroduction to gravity.

Image: NASA

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murphpj
1633 days ago
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"Hollywood, take notes for your next screenplay!" -
Bristol, UK
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Amazon is making a ‘Lord of the Rings’ prequel series

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 Amazon is making a Lord of the Rings TV show, but it isn’t a straight adaptation of the greatest fantasy series of all time — it’s a prequel. The show, which already carries a multi-season commitment, will “explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring.” Read More






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murphpj
1690 days ago
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Will it be LotR or Hobbit though?
Bristol, UK
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A pot-smoking bus tour with Pat Butcher ... how did that show get made?

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Gone to Pot, a show in which Pam St Clement travels the US smoking joints in a psychedelic bus with Bobby George, sounds like monkey-tennis commissioning gone mad. How did the show make it on to air? Read on …

The following transcript is taken from the pitching meeting for ITV’s Gone to Pot. Present are three commissioning editors and a producer.

Editor one: So we’re here to discuss our new show, which promises to explore America’s ongoing marijuana legalisation and offer a balanced debate about whether or not the drug’s medicinal benefits can outweigh its apparent risks. Is that something you feel might interest you?

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murphpj
1690 days ago
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Very good but now I feel like I have to watch it..
Bristol, UK
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Provident Financial in free fall as shares plummet 70%

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A total of £1.7 billion was wiped off the value of the doorstep lender – leaving it worth just £874 million – as investors rushed to dump shares in the increasingly toxic company.

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murphpj
1772 days ago
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Bristol, UK
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Theresa May attempts the wave, fails, becomes meme

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To say British Prime Minister Theresa May hasn't had the best week would be something of an understatement.

First she lost seats in last week's general election (the same general election that she herself called for the sole purpose of gaining more seats), then she was forced to start talks with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party in order to keep her majority, and now — as if things couldn't get any worse — she's been caught on camera failing to complete a Mexican Wave.

Here she is, mid-wave:

Theresa May does Mexican wave. Amazing pic.twitter.com/C8faSRC4sJ

— Mark Hughes (@Hughes_Mark) June 13, 2017 Read more...

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murphpj
1842 days ago
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joke
Bristol, UK
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