U.N. calls on social media giants to control platforms used to…

first_imgSocial media companies are “giving a turbo-charged communications channel to criminals, to smugglers, to traffickers, to exploiters”. Image courtesy: vTechno News Social media companies are “giving a turbo-charged communications channel to criminals, to smugglers, to traffickers, to exploiters”. Image courtesy: vTechno NewsThe U.N. migration agency called on social media giants on Friday to make it harder for people smugglers to use their platforms to lure West African migrants to Libya where they can face detention, torture, slavery or death.The smugglers often use Facebook to reach would-be migrants with false promises of jobs in Europe, International Organisation for Migration (IOM) spokesman Leonard Doyle said.When migrants are tortured, video is also sometimes sent back to their families over WhatsApp, as a means of extortion, he said.“We really […] ask social media companies to step up and behave in a responsible way when people are being lured to death, to their torture,” Doyle told a Geneva news briefing.There were no immediate replies from Facebook or WhatsApp to requests by Reuters for comment.Hundreds of thousands of migrants have attempted to cross the Mediterranean to Europe since 2014 and 3,091 have died en route this year alone, many after passing through Libya.This year, the number of migrants entering Europe is 165,000, about 100,000 fewer than all of last year, but the influx has presented a political problem for European countries.IOM has been in discussions with social media providers about its concerns, Doyle said, adding: ”And so far to very little effect. What they say is ‘please tell us the pages and we will shut them down’.“It is not our job to police Facebook’s pages. Facebook should police its own pages,” he said.Africa represents a big and expanding market for social media but many people are unemployed and vulnerable, he said.“Facebook is pushing out, seeking market share across West Africa and pushing out so-called free basics, which allows […] a ‘dumb phone’ to get access to Facebook. So you are one click from the smuggler, one click from the lies,” he said.Social media companies are “giving a turbo-charged communications channel to criminals, to smugglers, to traffickers, to exploiters”, he added.Images broadcast by CNN last month appeared to show migrants being auctioned off as slaves by Libyan traffickers. This sparked anger in Europe and Africa and highlighted the risks migrants face.Doyle called for social media companies to invest in civic-minded media outreach and noted that on Google, pop-up windows appear if a user is looking at pornography images, to warn of danger or criminality.The IOM has helped 13,000 migrants to return voluntarily to Nigeria, Guinea and other countries from Libya this year. It provides them with transport and pocket money and documents their often harrowing testimonies.Doyle said it was currently repatriating 4,000 migrants to Niger. Switzerland said on Friday it was willing to take in up to 80 refugees in Libya in need of protection, among 5,000 whom the U.N. refugee agency says are in a precarious position.last_img read more

Nikiski Residents Delivering Home Rule Petition Today

first_imgStacy Oliva was part of the team on the road today… Oliva says the community is already providing all of the services of a city, even over to Tyonek, so very little would change, except that the service area’s taxes would all stay in Nikiski, overseen by a Mayor, City Council, City Manager, and City Clerk. Oliva: “they determine whether or not the petition qualifies, in other words, if all the i’s are dotted, the t’s are crossed, the information that the state requires is in the petition.” After the petition is accepted, the LBC will undertake a 12 month public review process and if they’re satisfied, the question would be put to a vote of Nikiski area residents. FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Soldotna residents appear to have voted to become a home rule city in this year’s Municipal Election and next year, Nikiski residents may face the same question as a group of volunteers today deliver their petition to the Local Boundary Commission in Anchorage.center_img Oliva: “Basically to petition or ask the state if Nikiski can qualify or if they would approve us to move towards a vote to become a home rule city.” Oliva says the city’s boundaries would follow the current Nikiski Fire Service Area boundary, stretching across the west side of Cook Inlet to Tyonek. If it’s approved, that would make the City of Nikiski Alaska’s geographically largest city. The group is hoping to follow a public-private partnership model, where virtually all of the city’s services would be contracted out to private companies.last_img read more

Ancelotti struggling for response to masterful Atletico

first_imgBy Iain RogersREAL Madrid’s King’s Cup exit to Atletico on Thursday was more evidence Diego Simeone’s side have the measure of the European champions this season and left Real coach Carlo Ancelotti scratching his head for a solution.A resurgent Fernando Torres struck twice in a 2-2 draw with the holders at the Bernabeu that sent Atletico through 4-2 on aggregate and set up a clash against record winners Barcelona in this month’s quarter-finals.The Torres goals, his first against Real at their giant arena in the Spanish capital, came in the first minute of each half following the kind of defensive errors Real rarely commit.First, Pepe let Antoine Griezmann skip past him with a badly-timed lunge and then a wayward Sergio Ramos pass gifted possession to the France forward in central midfield.Real have played five matches against Atletico this season, losing 2-1 on aggregate in the Spanish Super Cup and 2-1 at the Bernabeu in La Liga.Ancelotti said he was still searching for a way to get the better of Simeone this term, in contrast to last season when Real knocked Atletico out of the Cup and beat them in the Champions League final.“The key to the match was the two mistakes and that is something we have to correct,” Ancelotti told a news conference.“We found the right formula (against Atletico) last season but not yet this one,” added the Italian.“We know that they are a very strong team and we will try to plan the next game against them in the best way possible.”Real’s next outing is a La Liga game at Getafe on Sunday, when they will be seeking to protect their one-point lead over second-placed Barca with a game in hand.Atletico, who host Real in La Liga at the Calderon next month, are three points behind Barca in third after Sunday’s 3-1 defeat at the Nou Camp.Real are also through to the last 16 of the Champions League, the competition they won for a record-extending 10th time last season, and will play Schalke 04.They could meet Atletico, who were drawn against Schalke’s Bundesliga rivals Bayer Leverkusen, in April’s quarter-finals.“We made mistakes that we don’t usually make and we had problems bringing the ball out of our own half,” Ancelotti said.“It’s the first time this has happened and I don’t think it will happen again.”last_img read more

Gunners make improved Suarez offer

first_imgHiguain, meanwhile, has reportedly agreed to personal terms in principal, but has been ordered to attend pre-season training in Madrid on Monday, fuelling speculation the protracted move to the Emirates is on the cusp on collapse.Wenger is under pressure to spend big on a few key targets this summer, but insists he remains committed to a “healthy” balance on transfer fees.“If you look closely, it looks to me that there are very high transfers now,” Wenger told the Guardian.“There is a dual speed now. A very high level or no level at all. That’s a big, worrying truth. Until now [this summer] you had £40 million, £50 million, £60 million [fees] or nothing at all. It’s been under £10 million or around the big numbers. I don’t think that’s very healthy.”Meanwhile, former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann believes Suarez will be sold this summer.When asked whether he expected the Reds to sell Suarez if the price is right, Hamann was quick to give talkSPORT a definitive answer: “One hundred percent yes, they’ve made that clear,” stated the German.“Liverpool will have a price in mind and if someone comes in and pays it he’ll go. I’m a believer that you shouldn’t try to keep players from leaving for the sake of it. If he doesn’t leave now, who’s to say he won’t leave in 12 months time.“It is probably out of Brendan Rodgers’ hands. He’s made it clear he wants to leave and he’s talked about the options he’s got. He’s a player I would pay to watch because he’s an exciting player, but it’s important to not forget that that he missed 20 games in the past two seasons through suspension.“I would like someone to come in with a big £40 million or £45 million offer for him. I wouldn’t want to see him go but if he wants to I think it’s best for both parties that he does leave.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000LONDON, England, July 15- Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is set to launch a £35 million bid for Liverpool’s Luis Suarez as a deal for Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain stalls, according to a report in the Guardian.It is reported the Gunners have contacted Suarez’s current employers to indicate a willingness to pay £30 million for the Uruguay international. However, Wenger has been told an offer would need to be closer to £40 million in order to be accepted.last_img read more

Two key Senate Democrats back Mukasey

first_imgWASHINGTON – Michael Mukasey drew closer to becoming attorney general Friday after two key Senate Democrats said they would vote for him despite his refusal to say whether waterboarding is torture. The decision by Sens. Charles Schumer and Dianne Feinstein to back President Bush’s nominee came shortly after the chairman of the committee, Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., announced that he would vote against Mukasey, a former federal judge. “This is an extremely difficult decision,” Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement, adding that Mukasey “is not my ideal choice.” In announcing her support for Mukasey, Feinstein, D-Calif., said “first and foremost, Michael Mukasey is not Alberto Gonzales,” referring to the former attorney general who resigned in September after months of questions about his honesty. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Including Leahy, five of the Judiciary Committee’s 10 Democrats had said they would vote against Mukasey’s confirmation after the nominee earlier this week refused to say that waterboarding, an interrogation technique that simulates drowning, is torture and therefore illegal. But with nine Republicans on the panel, Schumer and Feinstein’s support for Mukasey virtually guarantees that a majority of the committee will recommend his confirmation when it votes on it Tuesday. Leaders in both parties have said they expect Mukasey to get at least 70 votes when the full 100-member Senate votes on his confirmation. But Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., had said he would not bring it up for a vote without Judiciary Committee action first. Schumer’s announcement followed a private meeting Friday with Mukasey to discuss waterboarding. “I deeply oppose it,” Schumer said of waterboarding. “Unfortunately, this nominee, indeed any proposed by President Bush, will not agree with this. I am, however, confident that this nominee would enforce a law that bans waterboarding.” Schumer, who was Mukasey’s chief Democratic sponsor, said the retired judge told him that if Congress passes a law banning waterboarding “the president would have absolutely no legal authority to ignore such a law.” Schumer said Mukasey said he would enforce any congressional ban on the controversial interrogation method. Human Rights Watch called Schumer’s and Feinstein’s support for Mukasey “extremely disappointing.” Jennifer Daskal, the group’s senior counterterrorism counsel, criticized the two senators for “supporting a nominee for the position of America’s chief law enforcement officer who refuses to call waterboarding, which has been prosecuted as torture for over a hundred years, illegal.” “Mukasey appears more interested in protecting administration officials from possible prosecution than in providing a straight answer on the law – hardly the kind of independent legal adviser that America needs,” Daskal said. Additionally, the American Civil Liberties Union urged its supporters to call their senators and demand a vote against Mukasey. Torture is considered a war crime by the international community and waterboarding has been banned by the U.S. military, but CIA interrogators are believed to have used the technique on terror detainees as recently as a few years ago. Mukasey has called waterboarding personally “repugnant,” and in a letter to senators this week said he did not know enough about how it has been used to define it as torture. He also said he thought it would be irresponsible to discuss it since doing so could make interrogators and other government officials vulnerable to lawsuits.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino apologises for recent comments

first_img1 Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has apologised to Rochdale after he claimed their pitch was “not in a condition to play football” and posed a “massive risk” to his players.Spurs, who turned in a tremendous fightback to draw 2-2 with Italian champions Juventus in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash earlier this week, will head to the more humble surroundings of Rochdale’s Crown Oil Arena in the Emirates FA Cup on Sunday.Pochettino had expressed his concerns over the turf at the League One club but they have since spent £500,000 re-laying their pitch to ensure the surface is ready for the visit of his high-flying Premier League side.“I want to apologise to the people in Rochdale, the chairman, and the people who took my comment the wrong way,” Pochettino said.“My comment was about the care, first of all for the Rochdale players, our players, and the competition that all of England watches on TV.“After the replay against Newport, I was with my coaching staff and they showed me a picture from Rochdale’s pitch after their tie against Millwall and it was not in a great condition.“I was conscious about the FA Cup, the football, and the image that we are going to sell, but the care for the players, too.“Now, when I see the pictures and videos of the pitch on the Rochdale website, I need to congratulate them because the effort was massive to get it in the best condition to play without risk.“The conditions are fantastic so I congratulate them. The effort has been massive, and again, I apologise if someone took my words in the wrong way.”Pochettino is set to ring the changes for the trip to Spotland, with Harry Kane, who has scored an incredible 33 goals this season, an injury doubt.Following victories against Manchester United and Arsenal, and their Champions League draw in Turin, Spurs will be expected to comfortably seal their progression through to the quarter-finals.But Pochettino is expecting Rochdale to provide a sterner test of his in-form side’s credentials than their north London rivals or indeed Juventus.“What is important is to forget what happened in Turin or against Arsenal,” Pochettino added. “We don’t have time to enjoy that we won the derby, or our draw in Turin and how we played in the Champions League on Tuesday night.“This is a different game, a different competition and it will be tough.“For me it will be a tougher game than Juventus or Arsenal because it is a challenge to be motivated in a competition that we want to go far in, but you have to perform at your best if you want to win.” Pochettino insists his initially critical comments came from a good place last_img read more