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Russia plane crash: DNA samples of Kerala couples’ kin sent

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Kochi: The blood samples of the parents of the Kerala couple killed in an air crash in Russia last week have been taken to conduct a DNA test to identify the bodies, an official said.

Speaking to the agencies on Monday, an official of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s office said that the samples have been sent to Delhi from Kochi. From Delhi, the Russian embassy will take steps to send them to Russia.

Shyam Mohan and his wife K.A. Anju, both aged 27, hailing from near Kochi, worked at an ayurvedic resort in the country.

They were on the ill-fated flight that crashed in Russia’s Rostov-on-Don city on Saturday.

“Blood samples have been collected from Mohan’s parents and Anju’s mother. The Russian embassy will make arrangements to send them to Russia and the DNA testing would be done to identify the bodies of the Kerala couple, so as to get them transported from there to here,” said an official, who did not wish to be identified.

“The chief minister is in contact with the ministry of external affairs to speed this up,” the official added.

Anju was working in Russia since 2011 and after her marriage with Mohan in 2014, he also joined her there.

A Boeing 737-800 passenger jet operated by low-cost airline FlyDubai crashed while attempting to land in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don on Saturday, killing all 62 passengers, including two Indians.

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Facebook Kills 300 Fake Pages and Accounts Linked To Russia

The individuals handling these accounts primarily represented themselves as Ukrainian and they operated a variety of fake accounts while sharing local Ukrainian news stories

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Facebook, social media
Facebook kills over 300 Russia-linked fake accounts, Pages, (VOA)

Social networking giant Facebook on Thursday killed over 300 fake Pages and accounts linked to Russia that it said was “engaging in coordinated inauthentic behaviour”, almost two years after the US presidential election.

The social media giant removed 364 Pages and accounts as part of a network that originated in Russia and operated in the Baltics, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Central and Eastern European countries.

“The two operations we found originated in Russia, and one was active in a variety of countries while the other was specific to Ukraine.

“Despite their misrepresentations of their identities, we found that these Pages and accounts were linked to employees of Sputnik, a news agency based in Moscow, and that some of the Pages frequently posted about topics like anti-NATO sentiment, protest movements, and anti-corruption,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy, Facebook, wrote in a blog post.

Facebook, photos
This photograph taken on May 16, 2018, shows a figurine standing in front of the logo of social network Facebook on a cracked screen of a smartphone in Paris. VOA

About $135,000 were spent in ads, and paid for in euros, roubles and dollars, over a time span from October 2013 to now.

Around 790,000 accounts followed one or more of these Pages (now taken down) on the social media platform.

“We’re taking down these Pages and accounts based on their behaviour, not the content they post. In these cases, the people behind this activity coordinated with one another and used fake accounts to misrepresent themselves,” Gleicher added.

The pages hosted about 190 events, with the most recent scheduled for January 2019, and about 1,200 people expressing interest in them.

We cannot confirm whether any of these events actually occurred, the company added.

Facebook, data
Facebook staring at bigger problems this year, warns analyst. VOA

Separately, the social networking giant removed another 107 pages, groups and accounts as well as 41 Instagram accounts that were designed to look like they were operating from Ukraine, but were in fact part of a network that originated in Russia.

Also Read: Facebook Violated Cyber Security Law: Vietnam

The individuals handling these accounts primarily represented themselves as Ukrainian and they operated a variety of fake accounts while sharing local Ukrainian news stories on topics ranging from weather, protests, NATO to health conditions at schools.

“We identified some technical overlap with Russia-based activity we saw prior to the US midterm elections, including behaviour that shared characteristics with previous Internet Research Agency (IRA) activity,” the company said. (IANS)