Posts Tagged ‘tweeted’

Macarena past curfew! Probe launched after Paris police caught throwing farewell party in violation of Covid-19 rules

Posted by RT on January 28, 2021  |   Comments Off on Macarena past curfew! Probe launched after Paris police caught throwing farewell party in violation of Covid-19 rules

The Paris police authority has promised sanctions after a viral video showed several officers throwing a dance party at a station way past the city’s strict nighttime curfew. They did not follow social-distancing rules either.

“The send-off party was organized at the Aubervilliers police station while the curfew was in effect, and without any respect for social distancing rules,” the French capital’s regional police tweeted.

“An administrative investigation is being carried out, and administrative sanctions will be taken against the participants.”

The video, published by the new website Loopsider on Wednesday, shows maskless officers doing the Macarena, dancing to other popular tunes, and hanging out close to each other.

According to the outlet, the farewell party for a lieutenant who was being transferred, took place on the evening of January 22 and lasted until around 3am. Under the existing curfew, everyone must stay at home from 6pm to 6am, unless they are out for work or essential trips like picking up groceries or medicine. Rule-breakers face being fined.

The local police chief reportedly told subordinates they could have a few drinks as long as they do it “in a small group and with respect for distancing.”

The party was held in a recreation room, where only a maximum of six people could be at once, as per Covid-19 restrictions. But around 30 people had gathered there, Loopsider said.

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French Prime Minister Jean Castex exits the Elysee Palace in Paris, France following the weekly cabinet meeting, January 27, 2021. © Gonzalo Fuentes / Reuters
Third lockdown looms in France as Senate extends government’s ‘stay-at-home’ powers until early May

The video quickly sparked backlash on social media. Twitter users accused the police of double standards, since they are entrusted with enforcing the curfew. “The culture of impunity! The rules are for the commoners, not for the sheriffs,” one wrote.

“Scandalous. They issue warnings and fines for the noise at nighttime, and, on the other hand, they are above the law. As usual!” another vented.

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Time to change? Mixed response after German officials cheer diversity campaign to give names of migrant origin to weather events

Posted by RT on January 6, 2021  |   Comments Off on Time to change? Mixed response after German officials cheer diversity campaign to give names of migrant origin to weather events

The German migration agency has praised a campaign to showcase ethnic diversity by giving names of foreign origin to weather events. The initiative did not go down well with everyone though.

“We live in an immigration country. Nevertheless, the weather highs and lows [anticyclone and cyclone] are almost always given names like Gisela and Helmut. It’s time to change that,” a diversity group wrote on their #WeatherCorrection project’s website. The campaign to bring “new” German names into weather forecasts involves activists from Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.

“After all, Germans also have names like Ahmet, Chana, Khue und Romani,” the website said

Pretty much anyone can choose the name of a cyclone or an anti-cyclone for a fee of between €240 and €360 ($296-$444) paid to the Free University of Berlin’s Institute of Meteorology, with the proceeds going to student projects. The names are then used in official weather reports.

Fourteen such names were acquired through the initiative for 2021. So this year, Germany will see weather events with names of Arabic and Turkish origin, like Ahmet, Cemal and Jussuf, as well as Bozena, Bartosz, Irek, Dragica, Goran, and Chana, which are of Polish, south Slavic, and Hebrew origin.

The country’s migration and integration minister’s office praised the campaign in a series of tweets. “Ahmet or Alex, the main thing is the weather report! In 2021, it will be as diverse as our society, and that’s a good thing.” 

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The initiative, however, was met with a mixed response online.

“A very nice idea! And yes, our society is diverse – even if some don’t want to hear that or accept that,” one person tweeted.

Others called the idea “stupid” and complained about the “ideological indoctrination through the weather reports.”

“Thank you! The naming of high- and low-pressure areas is certainly one of the biggest issues in Germany. It doesn’t really matter whether the Ahmets and the Stafenies also get top education and well-paid jobs,” one person complained.

There are also those who say no one really cares about the names of weather events, while others find the campaign amusing. “Most high- and low-pressure areas have a migrant background, but little is known about the sexual orientation,” one Twitter user said.

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‘Who would do that?’ Austrians shocked after seeing VIDEOS of vandal trashing memorial to victims of Vienna terrorist attack

Posted by RT on December 7, 2020  |   Comments Off on ‘Who would do that?’ Austrians shocked after seeing VIDEOS of vandal trashing memorial to victims of Vienna terrorist attack

People in Austria have been left shocked and outraged after an unidentified vandal destroyed a memorial in honor of the victims of November’s deadly Islamist attack in Vienna. The incident was captured on camera.

Videos first published by local media show a masked person in a blue hat stepping on memorial candles and repeatedly kicking them around while holding something resembling a grocery bag.

Police spokesperson Markus Dittrich said they were studying the security camera footage.

The impromptu memorial with flowers and candles spang up outside the city’s main synagogue, at the place where an Islamist gunman began his deadly rampage last month.

People were shocked to find the candles scattered across the cobbled street on Sunday. “Who would do something like this? As a society, we must stand together,” Beate Meinl-Reisinger, the chairwoman of the NEOS – The New Austria and Liberal Forum party, wrote on Twitter before the video was leaked.

Many were even more outraged after seeing the vandal in action. According to the newspaper Heute, Dietmar Schwingenschrot, a local politician from the right-wing Freedom Party of Austria (FPO), has offered 1,000 euros ($1,212) to anyone “catching” the perpetrator.

The vandal, meanwhile, was called a “pig” and an “a***ole” online, with people saying the attack against the memorial was “stupid” and “disrespectful.” Some suggested the vandal may have been mentally ill. Some people online claimed the vandal was a woman.

“Incidentally, I cannot express what I wish for this person without committing a criminal offense,” a politician from the Austrian People’s Party (OVP), Matthias Arth, tweeted.

On November 2, a terrorist killed four people and wounded 23 others in central Vienna before being shot dead by police. The perpetrator was an Austrian man of Albanian descent who pledged allegiance to ISIS. The terrorist group later claimed responsibility for the attack.

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FILE PHOTO: Armed police officers patrol near the site of a gun attack in Vienna, Austria, November 4, 2020. © Reuters / Leonhard Foeger
Austrian government steps up protection of churches after Vienna attack in run-up to Christmas

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German Foreign Minister optimistic about ‘better’ relationship with US after Biden declares victory

Posted by RT on November 9, 2020  |   Comments Off on German Foreign Minister optimistic about ‘better’ relationship with US after Biden declares victory

Germany's foreign minister foresees 'many new opportunities' for cooperation with the United States after Joe Biden declared victory in the presidential election.

Heiko Maas was speaking about how the country expects relations with the United States to be a lot "better" following former vice president Joe Biden's declaration of victory in the 2020 presidential election.

Maas described how Berlin's relationship with Washington became strained under the Trump administration, as the president made changes to the transatlantic partnership and criticized Germany, particularly over defense spending. 

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FILE PHOTO: Angela Merkel and Joe Biden shake hands before talks in Berlin, Germany, February 1, 2013 © Reuters / Tobias Schwarz
European leaders congratulate Joe Biden, after media count declares him victorious in US presidential election

While the foreign minister cautioned that the situation would not immediately return to normal, he said the election result presented opportunities for "more cooperation and less conflict on the international stage," with nations working together to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and fight climate change.

Maas' comments came after his colleague Peter Altmaier, the minister for economic affairs, said he looked forward to an improvement in trade relations, as the country takes less of an "America first" approach.

On Saturday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's office tweeted her congratulations to the president-elect with all her "heart." 

While numerous media outlets called Joe Biden's election victory and the president-elect delivered a celebratory speech on Saturday, President Trump has refused to recognize the result and has made numerous allegations of voter fraud, questioning the legitimacy of mail-in ballots.

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‘Large wave’ of DDoS attacks hits KGB & Interior Ministry websites in Belarus on presidential election day

Posted by RT on August 9, 2020  |   Comments Off on ‘Large wave’ of DDoS attacks hits KGB & Interior Ministry websites in Belarus on presidential election day

Cyber-attacks on state institutions and widespread problems with internet access were reported in Belarus on Sunday, as citizens go to the polls to elect the country’s president.

A “large wave” of cyber-attacks was launched on Saturday evening and continued on Sunday, the country’s cyber-crime watchdog reported. The distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) method was used, which disrupts the normal operation of websites by flooding them with traffic and oftentimes making them inaccessible.

The websites of the State Security Committee (KGB) and the Interior Ministry were attacked. However, the attacks were “repulsed,” the authorities said.

Meanwhile, on the day of the election, many users suddenly began experiencing problems online in different parts of the country, with some complaining that they could not access YouTube, visit certain websites, and upload files to Telegram. RT and Sputnik Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan tweeted that the staff at Sputnik’s office in Minsk could not use messengers and YouTube as well.

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Alexander Lukashenko
Lukashenko says Belarus has arrested US citizens as he asks Kiev & Moscow to deal with detained Russian 'mercenaries'

The highly contentious election campaign has drawn international attention due to several controversies and large-scale anti-government protests. As incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko seeks a sixth term in office, the opposition has accused him of cracking down on rivals.

Lukashenko has repeatedly claimed that foreign forces were planning to incite violence in Belarus. Earlier in August, he said that several US citizens were detained, suspected of having links to the State Department. The US did not comment on the news of its nationals being detained.

Also, authorities detained a group of Russian citizens shortly before the vote, saying that they had tried to destabilize the situation in the country. Moscow said they were employees of a private security company and their stay in Minsk had nothing to do with Belarusian domestic affairs.

The Central Election Committee head, Lidia Yermoshina, said that as of 12am local time, the turnout was 54 percent.

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‘Your advisers made dumb bet’: Iran’s Zarif says prisoner swap with US succeeded ‘DESPITE’ Trump staffers’ efforts

Posted by RT on June 5, 2020  |   Comments Off on ‘Your advisers made dumb bet’: Iran’s Zarif says prisoner swap with US succeeded ‘DESPITE’ Trump staffers’ efforts

The Iranian foreign minister said that people on Trump’s team have been steering the US towards more conflict with Tehran, including scrapping the nuclear deal and undermining peaceful gestures, like the recent prisoner swap.

“We achieved humanitarian swap *despite* your subordinates’ efforts,” Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted to US President Donald Trump.

Trump earlier thanked the Islamic Republic for releasing US Navy veteran Michael White, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2018 for insulting Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and posting a private photo on social media. The US, in return, released Iranian-American researcher Majid Taheri, who served 16 months for violating US sanctions against Tehran.

In his tweet, Trump hinted at reaching a “big deal” with Iran sometime after the US presidential election this fall, which the president feels confident of winning. He was apparently referring to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program. Zarif was quick to remind everyone that the deal began falling apart after Trump himself left the agreement two years ago.

And we had a deal when you entered office. Iran & other JCPOA participants never left the table. Your advisors – most fired by now – made a dumb bet. Up to you to decide *when* you want to fix it.

Zarif did not mention anyone by name, but he had frequently accused Trump’s former national security advisor, John Bolton, of steering the president towards greater conflict. A well-known foreign policy hawk, Bolton was dismissed in September 2019.

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Michael White with US Special Envoy for Iran Brian Hook in Zurich, Switzerland.
‘Thank you, Iran!’: Trump says 'deal is possible' after Tehran releases US Navy vet

Trump unilaterally abandoned the JCPOA in 2018, accusing Iran of secretly violating the deal and citing general mistrust of the Islamic Republic. The move was heavily criticized by the EU, Russia, and China, all of whom are also signatories to the agreement. The global nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), confirmed at the time that Iran was sticking to the deal.

The US has since ramped up sanctions on Iran, targeting its oil exports, among other things, as part of the so-called ‘maximum pressure’ campaign against the country. Iran responded by scaling down its commitments under the JCPOA, stopping short of formally scrapping it. Officials in Tehran emphasized that they will return to full compliance once the EU provides some sort of relief from the US sanctions.

Prisoner swaps are rare friendly gestures between Tehran and Washington, as the rivals regularly exchange diplomatic and military threats. The situation around the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz also remains tense. In April, US warships and Iranian patrol boats were involved in a standoff, with both sides accusing each other of dangerous maneuvers and provocations.

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(L) © Reuters / Charly Triballeau, (R) © Reuters / Ken Cedeno
‘Shame’ for Trump to hold Bible as protests rage: Iranian president slams ‘brutal’ killing of George Floyd

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‘Stop calling me Greta of India’: 8yo climate activist says comparisons to Thunberg ‘delete’ her own campaign

Posted by RT on January 28, 2020  |   Comments Off on ‘Stop calling me Greta of India’: 8yo climate activist says comparisons to Thunberg ‘delete’ her own campaign

Young Indian environmental activist Licypriya Kangujam slammed journalists for comparing her to Greta Thunberg, despite the fact that she began campaigning before the world knew who her Swedish colleague even was.

“Dear Media, Stop calling me ‘Greta of India’. I am not doing my activism to [look] like Greta Thunberg,” Kangujam, 8, tweeted.

While praising the Swedish climate activist as inspirational and “a great influencer,” Kangujam said “we have [a] common goal but I have my own identity, story.”

If you call me ‘Greta of India’, you are not covering my story. You are deleting a story.

Kangujam became an activist at a much younger age than Thunberg. As she noted, she launched her ‘Child Movement’ “even before Greta was started.” In July 2018, then-six-year-old Kangujam participated in the UN-sponsored Asia Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction 2018 (AMCDRR 2018), a month before Thunberg began her now-famous school strike. In August of that year, Thunberg, who was 15 at the time, skipped school to protest outside the Swedish parliament demanding more action against climate change.

Kangujam, meanwhile, has been staging similar protests outside parliament in New Delhi. “As I felt my work is more important than the organization, I have less publicity and media coverage,” she said.

Kangujam’s tweet has received over a hundred thousand likes. Some commenters thanked her for her work and argued that it is unfair that her activism is overshadowed by Thunberg’s. “I get frustrated with the media because kids who have been doing this work at younger ages, earlier times, and in more dire situations have been overlooked,” one person wrote.

“I’ve been speaking up about climate change in Malaysia and people call any young activists ‘The Greta of Malaysia’, I don’t take that as a compliment,” Kuala Lumpur-based activist Aroe Ajoeni wrote.

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Greta Thunberg and Donald Trump speak at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland © Reuters / Denis Balibouse and Jonathan Ernst
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Others advised Kangujam to “get back to school” because “the change will come from within the system when kids your age will be in a position to change the country and the world at large.”

In one of her tweets from January, the young activist said she had resumed her school lessons after almost a year of absence.

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Mass shooting suspect, who killed 6 in Czech hospital, takes own life while being chased by police

Posted by RT on December 10, 2019  |   Comments Off on Mass shooting suspect, who killed 6 in Czech hospital, takes own life while being chased by police

The suspect in Tuesday's mass shooting at the University Hospital Ostrava in the Czech Republic has committed suicide. He had allegedly gunned down six people at the facility, police said.

Officers have discovered the body of the 42-year-old alleged perpetrator, who had shot himself in the head, police tweeted.

They had earlier released two photos of the suspect. One photo appeared to have come from a document, while another was taken from CCTV footage of the suspect walking down the hospital hall. The police have not released the man’s name.

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The University Hospital Ostrava. Photo by the Czech police.
Shooting at Czech hospital leaves at least 6 killed, suspect on the run


Media ‘whitewashing coup’ in Bolivia, & CIA surely celebrating Morales’ departure – pundits

Posted by RT on November 11, 2019  |   Comments Off on Media ‘whitewashing coup’ in Bolivia, & CIA surely celebrating Morales’ departure – pundits

The way Bolivian President Evo Morales departed from power bears clear signs of a coup, but the media is unlikely to present it that way, pundits and politicians said, with some suggesting the event is pure joy for the CIA.

Morales stepped down as president of Bolivia on Sunday, after winning a fourth term in office on October 20. The results of this election were disputed, however, and the opposition launched massive protests. Following Morales’ own calls for an audit, a report by the Organization of American States (OAS) found “clear manipulations of the system” in his win. Amid rumors of his impending arrest, video footage shared on social media on Sunday evening showed the former leader’s home ransacked by vandals.

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Police officers escort Luis Fernando Camacho, a Santa Cruz civic leader and major opposition figure, as he waves a national flag during a protest against Bolivia's President Evo Morales in La Paz, Bolivia November 10, 2019. © REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
‘Morales’ resignation undermines claims he is dictator, US may be behind push to oust him’

The New York Times described the streets of the Bolivian capital, La Paz, as descending into “chaos,” with mobs of presumably pro-Morales protesters setting “politically motivated fires” and looting businesses. The paper said that “crowds cheered heavily armed police officers” who were deployed to “restore order.” The newspaper’s tone was similar to that of the opposition, who decried the lawlessness of “bands of delinquents” associated with Morales.

In contrast, the atmosphere in the opposition stronghold of Santa Cruz was described as “festival-like,” with people “celebrating on the streets and waving flags.” 

“The word ‘coup’ will not appear in mainstream headlines about Bolivia,” pundit Rania Khalek tweeted. “They will go out of their way to whitewash what actually happened.”

Morales’ supporters have been quick to label his removal as such. British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn condemned the “coup against the Bolivian people,” while US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar tweeted “there’s a word for the president of a country being pushed out by the military. It’s called a coup.”

Morales’s resignation came immediately after he lost the support of Bolivia’s police and military, with military commander-in-chief Williams Kaliman calling on him to step down “for the good of Bolivia,” even though Morales himself had called for a snap election to safeguard peace within the country.

Notably, there has been a steady flow of money from shady right-wing NGOs to the Bolivian opposition in recent years. One such organization, the supposedly CIA-linked National Endowment for Democracy, channeled nearly $1 million into the country in 2018 alone.

“Congratulations on winning power in Bolivia, @CIA” tweeted former US senator and anti-war activist Mike Gravel.

Morales’ deposition whittles away at the last remaining leftist leaders in Latin America, a continent that has lurched – often violently – between socialist and neoliberal right-wing governments for decades. 

Morales counted among his allies Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Cuban leader Miguel Diaz-Canel, and Argentinian President-elect Allberto Fernandez. Mexico’s left-wing government has also stood by Morales, with the country’s foreign affairs secretary saying he would offer him political asylum, in keeping with the country’s “tradition of asylum and non-intervention.”

Morales’ whereabouts are currently unknown, and nobody has yet stepped in to assume power in his stead.

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Bolivia’s Morales slams ‘coup attempt’ amid intense post-election protests

Posted by RT on November 9, 2019  |   Comments Off on Bolivia’s Morales slams ‘coup attempt’ amid intense post-election protests

Bolivian socialist leader Evo Morales said that rioters pose a threat to peace and democracy as protests over allegations of vote rigging continue to rage across the country.

“Our democracy faces the risk of a coup d’etat the violent groups try to launch in order to undermine the constitutional order,” Morales tweeted on Saturday, denouncing “this unlawful attempt in front of the international community.”

He called on Bolivians to respect democracy and the nation’s constitution for the sake of “preserving peace and life as supreme values above political interest.”

The protests have been raging in the landlocked South American country since mid-October, when Morales won his fourth consecutive term in office. Opposition politicians accused the president of vote rigging and called for a new election after he narrowly secured a 10-point lead against his rival, Carlos Mesa, which allowed him to avoid a runoff vote.

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Confirmed as winner, Bolivia’s Morales invites international community for election audit after opposition says vote was rigged

Morales denied manipulating the tallies and invited the chief regional bloc, the Organization of American States (OAS), which criticized the election, to audit the vote-counting process. He also accused Mesa of attempting to “steal” the election.

There have been rival rallies of Morales’ opponents and supporters throughout the country. While some anti-government protests have remained peaceful, others have led to rioting in major cities, clashes with police, and attacks on pro-government politicians.

Ruling Bolivia since 2006, Morales has gained a reputation as a staunch defender of socialism and an ardent critic of US foreign policy.

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