Posts Tagged ‘wrote’

‘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.

https://www.facebook.com/alexander.augustin/posts/10159131401886096

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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‘Star Wars’ actor Boyega drops Jo Malone perfume brand for ‘trading one’s culture’ after being swapped for Asian man in Chinese ad

Posted by RT on September 15, 2020  |   Comments Off on ‘Star Wars’ actor Boyega drops Jo Malone perfume brand for ‘trading one’s culture’ after being swapped for Asian man in Chinese ad

British actor John Boyega is quitting as global ambassador for the UK perfume and scented candles giant Jo Malone after the company replaced him with a local actor in a commercial made for the Chinese market.

Boyega said that the original ad, which he created and directed, celebrated his “personal story,” featuring his hometown, friends and family members.

The company also shot an ad tailored for the Chinese market, keeping most themes and elements from the original concept, but replacing Boyega with popular actor Liu Haoran. Boyega said that it was “wrong” to do so without his consent.

“While many brands understandably use a variety of global and local ambassadors, dismissively trading out one’s culture this way is not something I can condone,” the actor wrote on Twitter.

The company had earlier apologized to both Boyega and Haoran, saying that “the concept for the film was based on John’s personal experiences and should not have been replicated.”

Commenters online largely supported Boyega’s decision to step down as ambassador for Jo Malone.

“They wanted to appear as trailblazers but weren’t brave enough to take the fight where it was needed, let alone the fact they stole your artistic direction & thought they could repurpose without permission,” a ‘heritage consultancy’ firm, Past Future, wrote.

Some were quick to allege that racism was in play and brought up the Chinese promotional poster for the 2015 film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, where Boyega’s character was featured far less prominently than in the US version.

Others mentioned the Chinese laundry detergent ad from 2016, where a woman puts a black man in the washing machine to turn him Asian. The campaign was accused of being racist as the time.

Some, however, pointed out that Jo Malone, whose main office is based in London, was likely responsible for shooting a different version of Boyega’s ad. “This isn't about the Chinese government, it's about the company he was working for,” on person wrote.

Boyega made headlines earlier this month, when he accused Disney, the current owner of the Star Wars franchise, of sidelining his character in the movies, while giving “all the nuance” to his white castmates. 

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John Boyega poses for photographers as he arrives for the European Premiere of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' in London
‘Star Wars’ actor who joined protests doesn’t care if it DESTROYS his career. But he forgot Hollywood only punishes the OTHER side

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Rahul Gandhi slams Indian PM Modi for being ‘busy with peacocks’ amid alarming Covid-19 numbers

Posted by RT on September 14, 2020  |   Comments Off on Rahul Gandhi slams Indian PM Modi for being ‘busy with peacocks’ amid alarming Covid-19 numbers

High-profile Indian opposition politician Rahul Gandhi has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of telling people to "save themselves" while failing to tackle the Covid-19 outbreak.

"India's coronavirus cases will cross [five million] this week and active cases will cross [one million]," the lawmaker from the opposition Indian National Congress party wrote on Twitter.

"The Modi government said 'be self-reliant,' which meant 'save your own lives' because the prime minister is busy with peacocks," Gandhi added.

He was referring to a video that Modi shared on social media last month, in which he was sitting and walking with peacocks, as well as feeding the birds at his residence.

Gandhi was been a vocal critic of the government's response to coronavirus since the start of the outbreak. Officials have pushed back against his attacks in the past, with Information Minister Prakash Javadekar saying in July that "the Congress will become a party of tweets as they are doing no work among the people."

India imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 25 and has since been gradually easing the quarantine restrictions. Meanwhile, the infection continued to spread as 92,701 new Covid-19 cases were reported on Monday, with 1,136 more deaths.

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Medical workers treat patients infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a hospital in New Delhi ©  REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
‘Instead of ending Covid-19, he ended the jobs’: Indian opposition figure Rahul Gandhi slams PM Modi for epidemic response

Overall, India has had 4.8 million cases since the start of the outbreak, according to government data. Almost 80,000 people have died.

In May, Modi rolled out a stimulus package dubbed the 'Self-Reliant India Scheme,' which is aimed at aiding and boosting the economy during the Covid-19 crisis.

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Police chief hits back at Swedish scholars who suggest ‘racist’ force should be dismantled or reduced

Posted by RT on July 20, 2020  |   Comments Off on Police chief hits back at Swedish scholars who suggest ‘racist’ force should be dismantled or reduced

A police chief in Sweden rejected as "political activism" the view of two university scholars who claimed that law enforcers are driving criminality up with alleged "racism," instead of solving the problem.

Lund University's Ida Nafstad and Amin Parsa wrote an opinion piece in a local newspaper Sydsvenskan, claiming that the police was "an outdated power based on structural racism". 

The scholars accused law enforcement of using minority groups "as a laboratory to test new and non-certified tools," such as face recognition technology. They cited IBM, which have previously said that such technology may promote "racial profiling."

The scholars added that by checking certain neighborhoods (the police's National Operations Department labels them "especially vulnerable areas"), the police produce crime statistics that legitimize more control of poor neighborhoods, while well-to-do areas are not controlled in the same way at all.

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© Flickr / brian.ch
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Some districts in Swedish cities have effectively become no-go zones where, as some media report, even the police are instructed not to patrol. The police deny that such zones exist. 

In 2019, UPS postal service announced it had stopped delivering mail to some areas of Malmo due to the high risk posed to their drivers. 

Concluding their opinion article, Nafstad and Parsa suggested the police must be dismantled or, at least, reduced. That, according to the scientists, could be an alternative to the alleged racist tactics as people need more jobs, not police officers and drone surveillance.

Firing back, head of Gothenburg Police Erik Nord dismissed the article via his Twitter account on Monday. 

Nord said that "it is not uncommon for political activism, helpfully disguised as science," to flourish at universities and colleges. The officer insisted that most people would rather see more police on the streets than tax-funded activism in academia.

Nord has been rather a controversial person himself. In 2017, the country's attorney general vowed to launch an investigation over Nord's suggestions of deporting Islamic extremists from the country. The case was never opened, however, as the officer apologized for his remarks. 

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a crowd of refugees arrives in Malmo © Reuters / TT News Agency
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According to a study conducted for the Global Village Foundation, 53 percent of respondents in Sweden said that police development had moved in the right direction over the past five years. 

Official statistics show that the crime rate in Sweden has been more or less flat. In 2019, it was 15,064 crimes per 100,000 residents, down from 15,239 the previous year, and from 15,342 in 2015, the highest point during a 10-year period.   

Meanwhile, calls to defund the police have gained momentum in the US, where the Black Lives Matter movement believes Americans can survive without law enforcement as it is now.

This is a response to brutality and racial inequalities in policing. Defunding the force does not necessarily mean getting rid of the police altogether. Rather, it would mean reducing police budgets and reallocating those funds to education, public health, housing, and youth services.

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Coronavirus to burn out ‘naturally’ BEFORE vaccine? Former WHO oncologist says there’s ‘REAL chance’ of that

Posted by RT on May 17, 2020  |   Comments Off on Coronavirus to burn out ‘naturally’ BEFORE vaccine? Former WHO oncologist says there’s ‘REAL chance’ of that

Covid-19 could be “petering out by itself” before the world comes up with any vaccine, a leading academic, formerly the World Health Organization’s (WHO) top oncologist has said.

“There’s a real chance that the virus will burn out naturally before any vaccine is developed,” Karol Sikora, the dean of the University of Buckingham’s medical school, wrote on Twitter.

We’re seeing a roughly similar pattern everywhere – I suspect we have more immunity than estimated. We need to keep slowing the virus, but it could be petering out by itself.

The statement triggered quite a response, making Sikora later clarify that it was hi personal opinion and he was positing a “feasible scenario” that might be possible in the current “unknown situation.” The scientist went on to say that no one knows “what will happen for sure” and urged the public to stick to social distancing rules.

Countries and companies across the world have been racing to develop a vaccine against Covid-19, which has claimed more than 312,000 lives thus far, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Earlier this week, the WHO revealed that eight vaccine candidates are currently undergoing clinical trials, while another 110 candidates are now under pre-clinical evaluation. Nations including Britain and China have begun testing vaccines on humans.

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Donald Trump speaks to reporters at the White House, accompanied by Dr. Debbie Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci, May 15, 2020 © Reuters / Kevin Lamarque
Trump says govt will work at ‘WARP SPEED’ to deliver vaccine BEFORE year’s end

However, it is still unclear when an effective cure will be ready, given that successful development is projected to take months or even years.

Moreover, the head of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci, warns there is “no guarantee that the vaccine is actually going to be effective.”

Despite years of research and testing, there is still no vaccine for the severe acute respiratory syndrome, known as SARS, which had its first outbreak in 2002, or for the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), which started its rapid spread in 2012.

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‘2020 is like Hunger Games’: Italians shocked as EARTHQUAKE hits Rome week after Covid-19 lockdown relaxed

Posted by RT on May 11, 2020  |   Comments Off on ‘2020 is like Hunger Games’: Italians shocked as EARTHQUAKE hits Rome week after Covid-19 lockdown relaxed

Many Italians were awakened in the middle of the night as the capital was shaken by an earthquake. This came several days after the government began easing quarantine rules, following nearly two months of a nationwide lockdown.

A 3.3-magnitude earthquake struck shortly after 5am local time. Its epicenter was located near the town of Fonte Nuova, around 15km (9.3 miles) from Rome. However, the tremors were felt by many in the capital.

A 3.3-magnitude earthquake struck shortly after 5am local time. Its epicenter was located near the town of Fonte Nuova, around 15km (9.3 miles) from Rome. However, the tremors were felt by many in the capital.

Although emergency response officials did not record any casualties or damage, frightened residents flocked to social media to describe how they were awakened by the sudden quakes, which were “brief, but intense” one person said.

Others responded with a bit of dark humor, alluding to the fact that the earthquake appeared amid the raging Covid-19 pandemic, with Italy being among the hardest-hit nations.

“2020 is like the Hunger Games: whoever makes it out alive on December 31 wins,” a Twitter user joked.

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File photo © REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello
Milan branded a ticking Covid-19 time 'BOMB' by Italian virologist as people flout precautions after lockdown eased

“When 2020 thinks you are relaxing too much and occasionally reminds you that the world is destroying itself,” another person wrote.

“We missed the earthquake, but when will 2020 end?” one commenter quipped.

Italy began gradually relaxing its quarantine restrictions last week after nearly two months of a nationwide lockdown, as more businesses were allowed to resume work, while maintaining safety protocols and distancing rules.

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Ankara claims reports of faulty PPE shipment to UK are part of campaign to ‘defame’ Turkey

Posted by RT on May 8, 2020  |   Comments Off on Ankara claims reports of faulty PPE shipment to UK are part of campaign to ‘defame’ Turkey

Media reports about a large shipment of Turkish-made personal protective equipment (PPE) failing quality standards upon arrival in the UK are baseless smears, Ankara has claimed. The story has caused headaches for Downing Street.

A report first published by the Telegraph and later picked up by other outlets alleged that 400,000 items of PPE sent to the United Kingdom to help battle coronavirus were deemed unusable. 

However, Turkey’s communications director, Fahrettin Altun, wrote on Twitter on Friday that allegations suggesting the medical garments were substandard are part of a campaign to “defame” the country.

He claimed that the media were caught in a “vortex of lies” and that the reports have been “refuted.”

Dominick Chilcott, the UK’s ambassador to Turkey, also pushed back against the “untrue” claims.

“A small number of gowns from a private supplier have failed tests. But more gowns from that supplier have passed tests and are suitable for use in the NHS,” the British diplomat insisted.

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Personal protective equipment (PPE) delivered from Turkey into a Royal Air Force base in Carterton, Britain, April 10, 2020.
‘When clowns purchase gowns’: UK govt skewered after ALL 400,000 items of PPE bought from Turkey fail inspection

His assessment seems to be at odds with Downing Street, however. According to the BBC, the prime minister’s spokesman said the NHS was in talks with the supplier to get a replacement order. Adding more confusion, however, a spokesman for the Turkish company which supplied the goods told the news outlet that they had not received any complaints and that all items had been certified.

Issues with the shipment of Turkish PPE was originally highlighted by the Tory government as proof of its pro-active approach to combating Covid-19. Reports that the medical garments turned out to be of no use sparked outrage across the UK, with politicians and citizens alike lambasting Downing Street for its purported carelessness.

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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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Hearses leave an ice rink used as a morgue in Madrid. ©REUTERS / Susana Vera
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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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A swimming pool in the West Bank settlement of Vered Yericho © Reuters / Ronen Zvulun
Israel lashes out at UNHRC after LIST of companies doing business in occupied Palestine is finally released

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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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