Facebook shuts hundreds of Russia-linked pages, accounts

File photo showing the logo for Facebook on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square. (AP)
Updated 17 January 2019
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Facebook shuts hundreds of Russia-linked pages, accounts

LONDON: Facebook says it has removed hundreds of Russia-linked pages, groups, and accounts that it says were part of two big disinformation operations, in its latest effort to fight fake news.
The social media company said Thursday it took action after finding two networks “that engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior” on its Facebook and Instagram platforms.
Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, said in a blog post that one network operated in countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the other focused on Ukraine.
The people running the accounts represented themselves as independent news sources and posted on topics like anti-NATO sentiment and protest movements.
Gleicher says one network of 364 pages and accounts were linked to employees of Sputnik, a Russian state-run English-language news site.
Sputnik did not reply to emailed requests for comment.


Google Doodle serves up falafel in quirky animation

Updated 18 June 2019
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Google Doodle serves up falafel in quirky animation

  • It is believed falafels originated in Egypt, where they were called ta’ameya and made of fava beans
  • The popularity of falafel then moved towards the Levant area, where the use of chickpea became a staple

DUBAI: One of the Middle East’s favorite dishes has been featured in a Google Doodle as the site apparently took a break from the Women’s World Cup.

Google had been running a series of doodles about the major sporting event, but on Tuesday – apparently randomly - focused on what the search giant described as the “best thing that ever happened to chickpeas.”

We don’t know why they chose Tuesday to run the Doodle – June 12 having been International Falafel Day.  

But the Middle East’s claim to these mouthwatering balls of chickpeas, onions, herbs and spices is undeniable.

Here's a simple step-by-step guide to making falafels, posted by food blog Food Wishes:

It is believed falafels originated in Egypt, where they were called ta’ameya and made of fava beans, about a thousand years ago, by Coptic Christians who ate them during lent as a meat substitute.

Another version of the story suggests that it goes further back to Pharaonic times – traces of fava beans were said to be found in the tombs of the Pharaohs, according to website Egyptian Streets, and that there were paintings from ancient Egypt showing people making the food.

The popularity of falafel then moved towards the Levant area, where the use of chickpea became a staple.

Over the years, many variations of falafel were invented, with global fast food chain McDonalds joining in the falafel craze with its McFalafel.

Popular Iraqi-American comedian Remy Munasifi, attracted more than 1.5 million views for a song about falafels he posted on his YouTube account “GoRemy.’