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Russian hopes for closing ceremony fade as OAR athlete banned from Games

Russian bobsleigh pilot Nadezhda Sergeeva has been banned from the Winter Olympics for doping – just a day before Olympic chiefs meet to discuss lifting sanctions on her country. The International Olympic Committee banned Russia over “systemic” doping at Sochi 2014, which the country hosted. However, 168 athletes who proved they were clean were allowed to compete as neutrals at the Pyeongchang Games. Sergeeva is the second of those 168 to have failed a doping test. The IOC’s executive board met on Saturday, when a discussion on whether to maintain…

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Winter Olympics: Second Russian athlete tests positive for doping

A second Russian athlete competing at the Winter Olympics has tested positive for a banned substance. Nadezhda Sergeeva, 30, is one of 168 Russians allowed to compete as neutrals at the Games despite the country being banned for previous doping offences. She finished 12th in the two-woman bobsleigh event in Pyeongchang. On Thursday, Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky was stripped of his bronze medal after being found guilty of doping. The Russian Bobsleigh Federation said Sergeeva had tested positive for “a heart drug” that “was not prescribed” by its medical team….

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Russian bots debate US gun control laws

Twitter accounts suspected of links to Russia have turned their attention to the contentious issue of US gun control in the wake of the mass shooting in Florida, researchers suggest. Two companies which track online disinformation have found that bots began tweeting about the Parkland shooting shortly after the tragedy. It included tweets about the mental health of suspect Nikolas Cruz. Gun control is one of the most divisive issues in America. Experts from New Knowledge – which tracks disinformation campaigns – said that suspected Russian bots are increasingly picking…

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YouTube and Instagram face Russian bans

YouTube and Instagram face being blocked by Russian internet service providers as a result of a standoff between one of the country’s richest businessmen and an opposition leader. Russia’s internet censor blacklisted material on both services after a court ruled that it violated billionaire Oleg Deripaska’s privacy rights. However, Alexei Navalny has refused to remove the videos and photos, which he claims are evidence of corruption. A Wednesday deadline has been set. If neither Mr Navalny nor the US tech firms involved delete or otherwise block local access to the…

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News: Scores feared dead following Russian plane crash

As many as 71 people are feared dead following a plane crash on the outskirts of Moscow. A aircraft, an An-148, took off from Domodedovo airport in the Russian capital before disappearing from radar screens. It came down near the village of Argunovo, some 85 kilometres south-east of Moscow. The aircraft was operated by Saratov Airlines, with all on-board believed dead. The plane was en route to the city of Orsk in the Urals, near the border with Kazakhstan. Saratov Airlines is based in Saratov, nearly 1,000 kilometres south-east of…

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Russian jet 'crashes' after Moscow take-off

A Russian airliner carrying 71 passengers and crew has crashed after vanishing from radar screens as it left a Moscow airport for the Urals, media say. The Saratov Airlines An-148 regional jet was en route to the city of Orsk when it went missing. An emergency services source has told Interfax news agency the plane crashed and there was “no chance” of survivors. It reportedly fell near Argunovo, about 80km (50 miles) south-east of Moscow. According to another news agency, the jet vanished from radar screens two minutes after it…

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Technology 

Russian Tumblr trolls pose as black activists, says Buzzfeed

Russian trolls posed as black activists on Tumblr to share political messages before the US presidential election, according to a Buzzfeed investigation. The accounts allegedly shared content on issues such as police violence to appeal to young African-Americans. Buzzfeed says it has tied them to the Internet Research Agency, a group known for its pro-Kremlin social media posts. A researcher at the University of Oxford said there were “parallels” with Russian activity on Facebook. Jonathan Albright of the Tow Centre for Digital Journalism, who worked with Buzzfeed on the investigation,…

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