Posts Tagged ‘asked’

Beware #AprilFoolsDay! Social media users rally against Covid-19 jokes and falsehoods

Posted by RT on April 1, 2020  |   Comments Off on Beware #AprilFoolsDay! Social media users rally against Covid-19 jokes and falsehoods

The coronavirus has put a damper on April Fools’ Day this year, with calls not to spread fake news about the pandemic, and people on social media urging others not to joke about Covid-19 or its possible cures.

On Wednesday, the Indian government used the hashtag #AprilFools to urge everyone not to “make #Coronavirus a joke” and stay vigilant against false rumors about the rapidly-spreading disease.

Earlier, acting in a similar vein, the Delhi police sent out a tweet asking people not to use April Fools’ Day to disseminate falsehoods (but at least did so in a humorous manner).

Not only in India, but all over the world, Twitter users say April Fools’ Day should be “cancelled” this year because it’s “not a time to joke” in the middle of a pandemic.

“Keep your jokes to yourself because this whole year has been one already. Many of us just wanna survive,” one person wrote. “No #AprilFools jokes. People are going through enough. It won’t go over well,” another said.

“April Fools Day is CANCELLED this year,” Jamaican politician Chris Tufton wrote, adding that the spread of false information “leads to public panic and unnecessary anxiety.”

Some commenters specifically asked everyone to refrain from joking about being diagnosed with Covid-19 or potential cures.

Overall, around 860,800 people have tested positive for Covid-19 worldwide, and more than 42,300 have died, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

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Okay if Israel does it? Twitter cries ‘foreign meddling’ after Netanyahu says Tel Aviv ‘promoted’ anti-boycott laws in US

Posted by RT on February 13, 2020  |   Comments Off on Okay if Israel does it? Twitter cries ‘foreign meddling’ after Netanyahu says Tel Aviv ‘promoted’ anti-boycott laws in US

While Washington’s politicians never tire in their constant search for 'foreign meddling', the Twitter crowd has pointed out that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has admitted to trying to influence US politics.

On Wednesday, Netanyahu's office quoted the PM as saying that “in recent years, we have promoted laws in most US states, which determine that strong action is to be taken against whoever tries to boycott Israel.” This came shortly after the UN Human Rights Council released a database of more than 100 companies involved in certain activities relating to settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, infuriating Israeli officials.

Netanyahu did not clarify what kind of 'promotion' he was referring to. However, in the past he has praised American politicians for taking steps against the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign for Palestinian rights, which he called “anti-Semitic” and a threat to Israel.

A total of 28 US states adopted various laws penalizing companies and individuals for supporting BDS and engaging in boycotts of Tel Aviv over the way it treats the Palestinians. On top of that, last year the US House of Representatives passed a resolution repudiating the campaign. 

Eager to bash BDS, the Israeli PM may not have been too careful about his choice of words. His comments raised eyebrows on social media and were quickly labelled as blatant meddling in US domestic affairs – something Washington usually does not tolerate when it comes from other nations.

“Imagine ANY other country doing this. Bragging about their influence over our government to get laws passed that limit American freedoms,” one person wrote. Another wondered how Washington would have reacted “if China tweeted that they were influencing legislation in most US states.”

Some found it especially ironic in the light of never-ending 'Russian meddling' scandals in the US. “Isn't this election interference? Like #Russiagate?” a Twitter user asked.

Commenters also suggested that Netanyahu may have inadvertently vindicated US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who was criticized for saying that Israel uses lobbying groups to promote its agenda in the US.

“I don't know how anyone can reasonably claim that politicians pointing out 'Israel meddles in American affairs' is untrue, let alone anti-Semitic,” wrote Isi Kirchner-Breen, media director for the Minnesota-based Jewish Community Action group.

Launched by Palestinian NGOs and activists in 2005, the BDS movement states its goal as using non-violent economic and political pressure to compel Israel into ending the “occupation and colonization” of Palestinian lands. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) argued that US anti-BDS laws are illegal because the right to boycott is protected by the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

Critics have been calling the movement anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli. Officials in Tel Aviv, meanwhile, have been alleging that the NGOs promoting BDS have ties to terrorist groups.

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Ukraine’s infamous ultra-nationalist group Azov says US lawmakers SLANDERED them by saying they inspire terrorism

Posted by RT on October 22, 2019  |   Comments Off on Ukraine’s infamous ultra-nationalist group Azov says US lawmakers SLANDERED them by saying they inspire terrorism

A state-sponsored Ukrainian ultra-nationalist paramilitary unit with neo-Nazi roots has accused a group of US lawmakers of slander after they suggested it should be listed as a terrorist organization.

The notorious Ukrainian paramilitary group Azov took offense after 40 US Democratic representatives called it just that in a letter to the State Department. Led by Max Rose (D-NY), the lawmakers asked why a “violent white supremacist” group “that openly welcomes neo-Nazis into its ranks” has still not been officially listed as a foreign terrorist organization by the US government.

They wrote that the shooter in Christchurch, New Zealand had ties with Azov and “routinely wore a neo-Nazi symbol associated with them.” The massacre, which left 51 people dead, directly inspired the recent mass shootings in Poway, California and El Paso, Texas, the lawmakers said, accusing Azov of “radicalizing” American citizens.

The link between Azov and acts of terror in America is clear.

Azov quickly jumped to dismiss these claims as “nothing more than an informational attack against Ukraine, its sovereignty and state security.” The group also seized the opportunity to boast about being “one of the most well-known and most capable Ukrainian units,” and having earned respect at home and abroad for its “glory in combat.”

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Formed shortly after a civil war broke out in eastern Ukraine in 2014, the Azov Regiment is mostly comprised of far-right volunteers, many of whom openly express white nationalist and neo-Nazi beliefs. The unit’s logo is the ‘Wolfsangel’ rune used by the German 2nd SS Panzer Division ‘Das Reich’ in WWII. Its members regularly participate in torchlight processions, honoring the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), which fought alongside Hitler.

Azov’s commander Andriy Biletsky once said that Ukraine’s historical mission is to lead “the white nations of the world into the last crusade” against “the Semite Untermenschen.” Biletsky has toned down his nationalistic rhetoric in recent years and denies that his regiment has any ties to anti-Semitism.

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Azov Battalion volunteers in training © Reuters / Valentyn Ogirenko
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The regiment was eventually incorporated into the Ukrainian National Guard, retaining its symbols. With some rare exceptions, the Western mainstream media and politicians have paid little or no attention to Azov and similar far-right units supported by Kiev.

The attitude towards the unit in the US started to shift somewhat in recent years. In 2018, Congress voted to ban military aid to Azov fighters. In the same year, 56 lawmakers signed a letter, condemning the unit for promoting neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic views.

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‘No better than monkey chants’: Thuram blasted for claiming racism is part of ‘white culture’

Posted by RT on September 6, 2019  |   Comments Off on ‘No better than monkey chants’: Thuram blasted for claiming racism is part of ‘white culture’

French football veteran Lilian Thuram is facing an online backlash after seemingly claiming that white people are inherently racist. Some anti-racism activists accused him of undermining the fight against racism.

Sports newspaper ‘Corriere dello Sport – Stadio’ asked the retired French defender, who is black, whether racist behavior is wired into the “mentality” of Italian football. He responded by saying that the problem is not with the game but “white culture.”

“When we talk about racism, we need to understand that the football world is not racist, but racism is present in Italian, French, European, and – more generally – in white culture,” Thuram said. “The whites have decided they are superior to blacks and can do anything to them.”

“Blacks would never treat whites this way, for whatever reason. History proves this.

The interview took place several days after some fans from Italian club Cagliari made ‘monkey chants’ towards a black footballer, Belgian-born striker Romelu Lukaku, who plays for Inter Milan.

Thuram, in turn, seemed to be the right person to ask about the issue as he frequently campaigned against racism in football and founded an NGO to fight against it.

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Thuram’s comments, however, immediately triggered a backlash on social media. Many argued that his own words were racist to whites. “A racist response to a racist question,” one person wrote on Twitter, as another sarcastically asked if “Thuram believes he is superior to whites.”

The commenters blasted the former player for treating whites “as a unified bloc.” They also pointed out that this is what racists do to black people.

“Too bad Thuram reacts just like the white racists – by putting everyone in the same basket,” one Twitter user noted. “We don’t fight racism with racism,” another wrote, adding that Thuram’s words put him “on the same level with those who shout monkey chants at stadiums.”

The retired footballer also took flak for seemingly suggesting that racist sentiments are somehow endemic to whites and Europe, and not present among blacks. “He still believes that racism is uniquely white-on-black… It’s not the 18th century anymore,” one poster said.

Some people sided with the player. “It’s not racist to see that white people are raised in an environment, where everything conforms their feeling of superiority,” writer and journalist Rokhaya Diallo wrote. “This is not a genetic defect but a consequence of a multi-faceted system designed to their advantage.”

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Manchester United fans goad Manchester City's Raheem Sterling © Reuters / Carl Recine
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The French-based anti-bigotry group, the International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism (LICRA), meanwhile, said that Thuram’s take on racism, defeats his efforts to campaign against it. It is “toxic” to define individuals by the color of their skin because it means falling for “the trap of racism,” the group stated.

The approach, which creates a world with the ‘whites’ on one side and the ‘blacks’ on the other, is not acceptable when one claims to fight racism, as Lilian Thurman wishes to do.

His words may end up having “the effect, opposite to the desired goal,” LICRA said.

A renowned footballer, Thuram played for Juventus and Barcelona, and was a member of the French national team for nearly 15 years. He won the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championship.

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