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Facebook removes Chinese accounts active in Philippines and US politics

Philippines|Americas|Companies|: Facebook Inc said Tuesday it had removed a network of inauthentic Chinese accounts that were interfering in Asian and American politics, including some that posted material supporting and opposing US President Donald Trump. The social networking company said it suspended 155 accounts on its main platform along with six Instagram accounts. The most widely followed accounts and pages were in the Philippines, where they shared content supporting China’s actions in the contested South China Sea and President Rodrigo Duterte. See more What's happening in India, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Philippines, Europe? News in pictures from East to West today India-China app war, US marine in Philippines jail, Thai royal consort, Pliscova out of US Open, Facebook grilled – top news in pictures today Suicide bombers strike in Southern Philippines : Aftermath of the attack in Sulu province The US accounts had fewer followers and posted content fueling both sides of the American election that will be held on November 3, the company said. Facebook cybersecurity policy chief Nathaniel Gleicher said that the takedown was the company’s first of Chinese-based accounts on foreign-interference grounds with any engagement in U.S. politics. But he said the American accounts and groups seemed aimed mainly at building an audience. “The volume of content is so low, it’s very hard to assess what their goal is,” Gleicher said. Trump and his intelligence officials have said China was favoring Democratic challenger Joe Biden, while Democrats in Congress have said Russia is being more aggressive. The Chinese embassy in Washington did not respond immediately to an email seeking comment. The network of accounts, pages and groups used virtual private networks and other tools to make it appear they were operated from somewhere other than China, Facebook said. Fewer than 3,000 people followed the fake American pages, while more than 100,000 accounts tracked those in Philippines. The operation’s US assets, added between May and August, included a group called Biden Harris 2020 that had around 1,400 members and one called Trump KAG 2020 that said it supported Trump’s re-election and had just three members, according to analysis firm Graphika, which studied material from Facebook. In Philippines, accounts supported both Duterte and his daughter, who might run to succeed him in 2022. They also criticized Rappler, an independent media group that is a frequent target of the Duterte government.

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Video of biker in Colombia saving toddler rolling down steep road goes viral

World|Offbeat|Americas|: A video of a man jumping off his motorcycle to save a baby rolling down a steep road in a walker taken on September 14 has gone viral online and is earning the ‘hero’ praise internationally. According to news reports, the clip was taken in the Rincon de la Estrella neighbourhood of the city of Florencia in Colombia. See more 7 of our favourite Bollywood throwback pictures 7 Easy ways to reduce your toddler's sugar intake 10 tips for teaching your toddler to talk Photos: Animal baby boom at Palestinian zoo after people disappear In the widely shared clip, the man is seen riding his motorcycle when he notices the toddler rolling down a steep slope at high speed while still secured to his or her walker. Closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage shows the motorcyclist stopping his bike in the middle of the road, throwing his bag away and running to catch the baby. Seconds after he managed to stop the speeding walker and saved the toddler, a woman is seen running towards the two and the man hands her the baby. The biker is then seen holding the walker and helping the woman as the clip ends. See more Singapore artist channels 'creepy-cute' with baby heads in sushi rolls Photo essay: At home with couple who saved baby kangaroos from the bushfires Photos: 'Baby dragons' go on display in Slovenia How to throw a virtual baby shower in times of COVID-19 On Twitter, one of the posts of the video has garnered over 1.7 million views. Social media users appreciated the man’s quick thinking skills and called him a ‘hero’. Tweep @Bramsraja wrote: “He didn't care about his bike. He didn't care about his bag. He even didn't care about whether the vehicles are coming in [from the] other end or not. He just cares about the baby. To save the baby. Massive. Great heart.” Twitter user @whitecrescent posted: “Great presence of mind. Most of us would have taken some time to know what's happening.” According to a news website, the baby was not hurt in the incident.