Ancelotti takes over at PSG

first_imgArrighi would not tell reporters outside the stadium why the former Chelsea and AC Milan coach was there, but Ancelotti’s installation as first-team coach now appears to be only a matter of time.French dailies L’Equipe and Le Parisien had reported earlier on Wednesday that Ancelotti was due to be appointed as the new coach of the Ligue 1 leaders.Ancelotti spent eight years in charge of Milan from 2001, twice delivering the Champions League, but has been out of the game since Chelsea sacked him at the end of last season after two years at the Stamford Bridge helm.He is understood to have agreed a two-and-a-half-year contract with PSG and if reports of a salary of up to seven million euros ($9m) a season are even close to reality, he would become the best-paid coach ever to work in France.Ancelotti was believed to be preparing to fly out on Sunday to the Middle East, joining PSG’s winter training camp in Qatar and Dubai through to January 5.Should his appointment be confirmed, his first match would be a French Cup round-of-64 encounter with lower-league outfit Locmine on January 8.PSG, who last won the French title in 1994 when they boasted stars such as George Weah and David Ginola, secured top spot in Ligue 1 at the halfway stage of this season after beating Saint-Etienne last week.Yet the club’s mega-rich owners Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) have always appeared keen to replace Kombouare with a coach of international renown.Kombouare, himself a former PSG player, has still not officially been sacked by the club but it is widely accepted that his future now lies away from Parc des Princes.Other names in the frame to take his place were former Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard and ex-PSG midfielder Claude Makelele, who is now involved behind the scenes in an advisory role to sporting director Leonardo.QSI president Nasser Al-Khelaifi promised after last summer’s buy-out to “to make the club a great team and a strong brand on the international scene”.They promptly spent in excess of 85 million euros to attract nine new players to the club, including 22-year-old playmaker Javier Pastore, who became the most expensive player in Ligue 1 history after arriving from Palermo for 42 million euros.Leonardo is reportedly close to bringing veteran England midfielder David Beckham to the French capital, with reports that the club has already reached an agreement to sign the 36-year-old, whose contract with LA Galaxy expires at the end of the year.Leonardo, a former PSG star, knows Ancelotti well, having been technical director at Milan during part of Ancelotti’s tenure with the Rossoneri.Ancelotti’s imminent arrival has also sparked speculation linking PSG with players to have played under the Italian in the past, including Chelsea’s French winger Florent Malouda and Milan’s Brazilian forward Alexandre Pato.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000PARIS, France, December 29 – Paris Saint-Germain have confirmed that Carlo Ancelotti was at Parc des Princes on Wednesday, amid reports the 52-year-old Italian is poised to replace Antoine Kombouare as coach of the ambitious French club.Pierre Octave Arrighi, head of operations at PSG, confirmed Ancelotti’s presence after a day of fervent speculation in the French media and on social networking sites such as Twitter, but said no announcements would be made on Wednesday evening.last_img read more

Flair is absent in Trojans’ win

first_imgBecause if a No. 1-ranked team must play four strong quarters, then USC proved it needs much more time for improvement Saturday night, even against overmatched Idaho. Skeptical poll voters will probably be happy to see the Trojans play Nebraska in two weeks because their 38-10 victory over Idaho before an announced crowd of 90,917 at the Coliseum offered few style points, especially from the superstar quarterback. “We had times where we played the way we expect, but we had times where we didn’t,” quarterback John David Booty said. “We stopped ourselves.” In the second quarter, USC did not even bully the Vandals, getting outplayed for 15 minutes. But dominating first and third quarters at least produced the needed lopsided final score. It could have been worse. Ask Michigan. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: USC has two weeks to prepare for Nebraska after beating overmatched Idaho. By Scott Wolf STAFF WRITER Maybe USC can ask Nebraska to push back their highly anticipated meeting Sept. 15. “People think it’s not a good team that we played, but they end up doing things you don’t expect,” tight end Fred Davis said. “We feel that extra pressure.” That was apparent in the second quarter. Not to mention the fourth, when the Trojans scored zero points. But that did not deter USC coach Pete Carroll. “I always liked the way our schedule was set up,” said Carroll, because the Trojans are off next week while Nebraska plays Wake Forest. It will also give Carroll time to study some of the lackluster moments. Saturday night’s result probably will not scare Nebraska when it studies the game film. But the game did give Carroll a chance to feature many younger players in key roles, including tailback Stafon Johnson, wide receiver Vidal Hazelton and fullback Stanley Havili. And sophomore tailback C.J. Gable played with his usual industry, gaining 54 yards in the first half and a touchdown reception. But the person expected to carry the burden offensively was a hit-and-miss project as Booty offered an inconsistent performance, which is even worse when your opponent is Idaho. Booty certainly was not at his best with more than a few ill-advised or off-target passes. He completed 11 of 16 passes for 109 yards in the first half but a poor decision resulted in a second-quarter interception. His Heisman Trophy showcase did not come off without another glitch, as he also had a pass deflected, a sore issue for fans that remember tipped passes at the end of losses to Oregon State and UCLA last year. On the plus side, Booty and true freshman Kris O’Dowd enjoyed a flawless first half on quarterback-center exchanges. As expected, the Trojans never unveiled the shotgun with O’Dowd forced to start in place of the injured Matt Spanos. Wide receiver Patrick Turner (shoulder) and cornerback Josh Pinkard (knee) also sat out the game with injuries. Linebacker Brian Cushing suffered a low-ankle sprain, but X-rays were negative and he said he expects to play against Nebraska. But Turner’s absence did not explain why the lopsided talent advantage did not quite show itself in the first half, especially in the second quarter, when the Vandals outgained USC, 122-80, and were barely outscored, 7-3. “Our tempo faded and we got lackadaisical,” offensive tackle Sam Baker said. USC redeemed itself in the third quarter with an early touchdown by Havili to expand its lead to 28-7, but the Trojans also turned the ball over on downs inside the 10-yard line, with Booty throwing badly behind a receiver on fourth down. In reality, the up-and-down effort was no different than what USC offered in scrimmages and the search for breakaway skill players continued. Freshman tailback Joe McKnight displayed a nice moment on a cutback run and gained 30 yards in four carries midway through the second half. Defensively, linebacker Keith Rivers got off to a lively start with six tackles through three quarters. It all looked like it would be a massive blowout early. USC spent the first quarter with a formidable offense, as Gable rushed for 46 yards and Johnson 33. The Trojans led, 14-0, on a 4-yard run from Johnson followed by an 8-yard pass from Booty to Gable. Johnson added a 1-yard touchdown run that gave the Trojans a 35-3 advantage with four minutes left in the third quarter. Idaho did surprise early as Deonte Jackson reeled off a 22-yard run and the Vandals completed passes of 16 and 18 yards. That counts for something when you’re playing what many think is the nation’s top defense. Although Idaho outplayed USC in the second quarter, the Trojans produced the highlight play. Booty lofted a pass in the end zone for Vidal Hazelton, who grabbed it with one hand and fell to the ground without ever using his other hand. [email protected] 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

Trudeau says Ontario shortsighted and irresponsible for challenging carbon tax

first_imgMONTREAL — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ontario and other provinces trying to block the federal carbon tax are shortsighted and irresponsible.Trudeau gave a speech to an environmental conference in Montreal today during which he slammed Ontario’s constitutional challenge to the federal Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act.Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick are all either challenging the carbon tax in court or have signalled an intent to do so.Following Trudeau’s brief address, he was met on stage by high-profile Quebec environmentalist Steven Guilbeault for an armchair discussion.Guilbeault, who is currently advising the federal government on ways to address climate change, steered clear of contentious issues in his questions.The ecologist has acknowledged he is being courted by the Liberals to run for the party in the October federal election. He told reporters he has been approached by more than one political party and hasn’t decided whether to run for office.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

New SDPD Chief to investigate narcotic arrest incentive program

first_img March 16, 2018 Updated: 10:28 PM New SDPD Chief to investigate narcotic arrest incentive program Sasha Foo, Posted: March 16, 2018center_img Sasha Foo 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Police Chief David Nisleit Friday strongly disavowed what he described as an unofficial, “never authorized” departmental program that rewarded officers for making narcotics arrests.“Let me make this very clear — the San Diego Police Department does not have a quota system … It is not something that I will tolerate,” Nisleit said during a late-morning news conference called in response to community protests over the recently enacted incentive system for narcotics arrests.Nisleit pledged to thoroughly investigate the program, which he described as an unnamed department supervisor’s idea for “motivating our officers and focusing their efforts on drug enforcement within our community… in direct response to numerous community complaints regarding this drug activity.”The issue came to light this week when an anonymous SDPD officer divulged, in an interview with 10News, that rewards were being offered to officers who made the most drug arrests in the department’s Southern Division, which covers such border-area neighborhoods as Egger Highlands, Nestor, Ocean Crest, Otay Mesa, Palm City, San Ysidro and Tijuana River Valley.An email that a sergeant sent to more than 90 officers detailed the system, which promised top-performing personnel the chance to work in a desirable specialized police-unit post for up to a month, the news station reported.According to the memorandum, between March 1 and April 14, officers could earn two points for arrests of certain drug suspects, including dealers, one point for “less serious” narcotics enforcement and half a point for controlled-substance citations.“It’s completely everything that we are against as law enforcement officers,” said the whistle-blower. “It’s unethical. It’s a reward system, a bounty system for officers seeking rewards for their arrests.”Nisleit — who took charge of the department two weeks ago, taking over for retiring Chief Shelley Zimmerman — insisted that the motivational concept was “never authorized, is not in line with the values” of his agency and was “not something I would approve or condone in our department.”“I will be launching an internal investigation about how and why this idea was developed,” Nisleit said. ” will ensure that every officer in a leadership position understands proper protocols for vetting and approving new programs. My clear directive to all of our officers is that every person they come in contact with is treated with respect and dignity, and building relationships with each and every community is a priority.”The unnamed officersaid that he and others raised concerns about the new incentive program but were told “that no one will find out” and that it was “technically not illegal.” The anonymous lawman did not specify who purportedly made those statements.Cornelius Bowser of the Community Assistance Support Team, a local civic activists group, called for “an open and transparent response and investigation” into the apparently short-lived rewards-for-arrests system.“It targets low-income neighborhoods and disproportionately affects people of color,” Bowser said. “We call for complete transparency from San Diego Police Department as they investigate these matters.”Nisleit insisted during Friday’s briefing at downtown SDPD headquarters that the program, while created without official approval, “was never intended to target anyone from a specific group, race or socioeconomic class.” Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

The Russo Brothers response to Avengers Endgame movie leaks

first_imgAvengers: Endgame posterTwitterAvengers: Endgame movie ending reportedly leaked online and now fans are worried that before the release of the movie, the entire movie will surface online. The directors of Endgame movie have requested the fans to refrain from dropping any spoilers on social media.Ahead of Avengers: Endgame release, its ending is leaked online. Several users who have watched the ending are even spoiling it for others by sharing it on either social media platforms or by simply dropping the video to the other’s social media accounts. As a good Marvel fan, we should always avoid spoiling the movie for others and at the same time, leaking something like is not only wrong but also a crime. One should always refrain from doing this.The Russo Brothers have written an open letter in which they have requested fans to not give away any part of the Endgame movie out as they too wouldn’t want someone to spoil the movie for them. Their Instagram post soon surfaced after we reported that the climax of Avengers: Endgame movie is leaked online. The leak does not only talk about the ending but has also spoiled several key plot points, character look, important dialogues, and the ending of a superhero.”The two of us, along with everyone involved in Endgame, have worked tirelessly for the last three years with the sole intention of delivering a surprising and emotionally powerful conclusion to the Infinity Saga. Because so many of you have invested your time, your hearts, and your souls into these stories, we’re once again asking for your help. When you see Endgame in the coming weeks, please don’t spoil it for others, the same way you wouldn’t want it spoiled for you. Remember, Thanos still demands your silence!” The Russo Brothers shared this on their social media account. Avengers: Endgame movie will release on April 26, and will bring a heartbreaking conclusion to the ongoing phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The movie will star, Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk, Chris Evans as Captain America, Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow, Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, Don Cheadle as War Machine, an others.last_img read more

Netizens rip apart Saravanan for his disrespectful comments against Cheran in Bigg

first_imgSaravanan clashes with Cheran.Screen shot from the videoSaravanan, who has been sharing cold vibes with Cheran inside the Bigg Boss Tamil 3 house, will apparently have a verbal duel with him in the episode to be aired on Friday, 2 August. The latest promo posted by Vijay Television on its social media accounts indicate that the duo having a clash during the debate among the inmates to decide the best and worst performers of the week.In the clip, Cheran puts forth his argument that Saravanan did not imitate Vijayakanth’s role properly in the task. Responding to his comment, the latter stated that the former looked funny in the role of Rajinikanth.In the heat of the moment, Saravanan makes disrespectful comment and seen walking towards Cheran in anger. The promo can be seen below:Rumours are doing rounds that Saravanan and Cheran’s argument took nasty turn with most of the inmates putting their weight behind the former. The latter, apparently, got the support of Madhumitha and Tharshan.However, the netizens have extended their support to Cheran, while severely criticising the rude behaviour and disrespectful attitude towards the four-time National Award winning filmmaker by Saravanan. Check out their reaction below:raj: Saravan getting overboard .. already has hate on bus incident … Now this ! He has a right to say cheran is funny as ranjini .. he can atleast give respect ..Looks like he is getting ready for next week eviction #BiggBossTamil #BiggBossTamil3P K Siva: So the personal vengeance is coming true…. failed assistant director who had a grudge for life on his colleague because of his success now coming out in openShyam Sundar: Along with Saravanan, Kavin and Sandy teamed up against cheran in this best performers decider task. Tharshan and Madhu supported Cheran.. Very big fight todayjosi: Red card kuduthu anuppungayya indha Aala.. Two wives,Groping in Bus,Behaving rudely to others,nominating #Cheran everyweek & corrupting the minds of youngsters against him & now this disrespectful act.. Who is voting for this cPanadol: Ohhhhhhhhh….. For a change, it’s not the stupid love triangle. I think this boiled over pretty bad, there r rumors circulating that this went overboard & actions were taken by #BiggBossTamil3 team.SagiShettyy: I never saw #Cheran Ill-treated #Saravanan, why he always get angry when it comes to #Cheran… we know you are being yourself, by revealing it, I feel very bad to digest… today is the last tweet about you #Saravanan #BiggBossTamil #BiggBossTamil3Fyda: As #Cheran sir said, except dancing n look wise #Saravanan never attempted to act like vijayakanth. But cheran sir tried 2 act like Rajini. Even if cheran sir was wrong, speaking without respect is not at all acceptable..Ramya: Ya cos he only knows how to show it #cheran sir as he is a harmless man! If it’s tharshan or mugen by now his face might be brokenRiley Aura: About damn time #Saravanan got all gangsta! Been waiting for this moment for a month now. Go Sara, Go & Kill (it).Mahlini Priscilla: #cheran sir be strong dont get hurt because of this kind of people….#saravanan is just jealous with you and he pouring his poison out this way. #saravanan just shut up @ikamalhaasan pls ask kavin, sandy and saravanan whts their problem wt cheran sir.Cheran sir did well rajnisirraja: this is so rude. have some class #Saravanan Even after these many years of experience in the industry and your life why do you say all these?last_img read more

Launch cargo vessel sink in Pashur river

first_imgA representational imageA man went missing as two vessels including a passenger launch sank in Pashur river in the Sundarabns of Mongla upazila of Bagerhat during a storm on Tuesday night, reports UNB.Mohammad Mahmudul Hasan, forest officer of the Sundarbans East zone, said fertilizer-laden cargo vessel ‘ML Hardda’ sank in the river to at Harbaria point while unloading fertilizer, due a storm that swept over the country in the night.Besides, an unidentified man went missing when passenger-launch ‘ML-Aktar’ with 25 people on board sank in the Pashur river at Nandabala in the upazila during the storm around 8:45pm.The launch was heading towards Mongla port, he said adding that all other passengers managed to swim ashore.The Bangladesh Coast Guard members and officials of the Mongla Port Authorities are conducting a rescue operation till filling of this report around 10:30am Wednesday.last_img read more

Social media buzzer battlegrounds as Indonesia elections near

first_imgIndonesia`s president Joko Widodo (C) walks together with Siti Aisyah (front R) and her family after their meeting at palace in Jakarta, on 12 March 2019. Shock and delight rippled through the Indonesian town of Sindangsari on March 11 as residents got word that a local woman accused of assassinating the North Korean leader`s half-brother had been freed. Photo: AFPAlmost every day, “Janda”, a self-described Indonesian housewife with 2,000 Twitter followers, dispenses lifestyle tips, complains about city life, and praises how the government of president Joko Widodo has improved her life as a young mother.But Janda the housewife does not exist. The Twitter account’s real owner is an unmarried middle-aged man who offers political social media services backing Widodo’s re-election campaign.He is a leader of one of the many so called “buzzer” teams, named for the social media buzz such groups aim to create, that have sprung up in Indonesia ahead of the presidential election next month in the world’s third-largest democracy.”Our battleground is social media. The content we are making for the election is reaching at least a million people per week,” said the owner of the Janda account, declining to be named because his work is legally in a gray area.In interviews with Reuters, over a dozen buzzer team members, social media consultants and cyber experts described an array of social media operations that they said were spreading propaganda on behalf of both Widodo and his challenger, retired general Prabowo Subianto.Widodo enjoys a comfortable lead in most opinion polls over Prabowo, as the challenger is widely known. The two contested the previous election in 2014 as well, and Widodo won narrowly.Fake news was spread in that election as well, although social media was less far-reaching than it is now.Under Indonesia’s broad internet defamation law, creating and spreading fake news is illegal, but holding social media accounts in false names is not, unless a real person is being impersonated. Social media companies however mostly bar holding accounts under false names.Three buzzers directly involved in the current campaign described how they operate hundreds of personalized social media accounts each on behalf of the candidates. One denied propagating fake news, while two said they didn’t care about the accuracy of the content.Both campaign teams deny using buzzers or spreading fake news.Ross Tapsell, an expert on politics and media at Australia National University, said that it has become normal for candiates in Southeast Asia to hire online campaign strategists, who in turn tap an army of people to spread content on social media.”So there is no direct link at all to the candidate,” he said.The buzzer campaigns have far outstripped the efforts of Facebook and other social media companies to curtail creation of fake accounts and spread fake news, cyber experts say. Reuters found that while robot accounts were occasionally deleted, personalized fake accounts like “Janda” are widespread on Twitter and Facebook platforms, despite violating the companies’ rules.On the EdgeMisinformation spread by real accounts – which are often coopted by buzzer teams – is rampant on Facebook as well as on its Instagram and WhatsApp affiliates and rival service Twitter. The companies say they are working with the government and fighting back against false content.Representatives for Twitter, Facebook and Whatsapp told Reuters they regularly delete fake accounts in Indonesia, but declined to share removal numbers.A Twitter spokeswoman told Reuters it is working to remove networks of accounts engaged in misinformation and disinformation.Facebook, which counts Indonesia as its third-largest market globally with an estimated 130 million accounts, says it trains election management bodies how to flag fake news to the company, which is then evaluated by moderators and deleted if it breaks its community standards.For Indonesian Communications Minister Rudiantara, those efforts are not enough.He said the government had asked social media companies to work with authorities to create a standard operating procedure that would allow fake news and hoaxes to be flagged and resolved. They have yet to comply.”We expect it to get much worse as we get closer to the election,” said Harry Sufehmi, co-founder of Mafindo, an Indonesian organisation fighting fake news, which listed nearly 500 social media hoaxes related to politics in 2018.He was one of three experts whose research found that a larger proportion of the misinformation targets Widodo, with some posts depicting him as anti-Islam, a Chinese stooge or a communist.All are inflammatory accusations in a country that has the world’s largest number of Muslims, where the communist party is banned and suspicions linger over the influence of Beijing.A smaller portion of the misinformation campaigns target Prabowo.Buzzing for MoneyOn a recent afternoon in Jakarta, one buzzer team leader scrolled through two mobile phones that had over 250 Facebook , Instagram, Whatsapp, Youtube and Twitter accounts, each with a fake persona. He updated five of them with posts praising Widodo’s achievements or mocking Prabowo and his running mate.He denied disseminating misinformation, focusing instead on content that gushed about his clients’s virtues. But he admitted he does look for dirt on opponents as part of a “complete package” of posts and videos that he sells for 200 million rupiah ($14,000) a month.His staff of 15, whom he refers to as “cyber troops”, in turn have subcontractors, throughout Indonesia, many of whom are unaware of the ultimate identity of clients, he said.He told Reuters he was hired by an adviser to Widodo’s campaign.Ace Hasan Syadzily, a spokesman for the president’s campaign team, denied knowledge of such groups, but said “the campaign had an obligation to counter false or negative narratives” against Widodo.Another buzzer said he had been hired by advisers to Prabowo, while the third said he supplied services to a social media agency used by both campaigns.Anthony Leong, the Prabowo digital team’s coordinator, denied they use buzzer teams, noting that the campaign required its “10,000 digital volunteers” to use real names and only allowed them to post “positive content”.”Work is Fun”According to the buzzers interviewed, a junior “cyber soldier” can be paid between 1 million to 50 million rupiah per project depending on the reach of his social media accounts.”For a lot of us, the work is fun…and the salaries are decent,” said the buzzer who said he is a contractor for a social media agency used by both the Widodo and Prabowo campaigns.He said his role was to create trending topics during key election moments, using hashtags and content provided by his agency in combination with his personal fake accounts, he said.”For me, there’s no hoax or so-called negative content. The material just comes from the client,” he told Reuters.Pradipa Rasidi, a researcher at the University of Indonesia, said most buzzers are young graduates who do it “because it’s hard to find a job after university and the pay is higher”.But the legal risks are real. The buzzer activities are punishable by jail if they are judged to breach Indonesia’s internet defamation law.All three buzzers interviewed by Reuters declined to be named or provide certain details of their operations because of those risks.Policing by the social media companies, however, was not a concern: None had ever had an account or post deleted. ($1 = 14,115.0000 rupiah)last_img

Fake news rampant after Sri Lanka attacks

first_imgSri Lankan Christian devotees light candles outside St Sebastian`s Church in Negombo on 21 May a month after Easter Sunday bombings that killed 258 people. Photo: AFPSri Lankan social networks saw a surge in fake news after the Easter suicide bombings a month ago despite an official social media blackout, highlighting the inability of governments to contain disinformation, experts said.A nine-day ban on platforms including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and WhatsApp was introduced following the Islamic State-claimed attacks on churches and hotels on 21 April which killed 258 people and wounded nearly 500.Many anxious social media users switched to virtual private networks (VPNs) or the TOR network to bypass the order and keep communication open with friends and relatives as the extent of the carnage became clear.But for others, the tools were a means to spread confusion and vitriol as the island struggled to come to terms with one of the worst terror attacks in its history.Sanjana Hattotuwa, who monitors social media for fake news at the Centre for Policy Alternatives in Colombo, said the government blackout had failed to prevent “engagement, production, sharing and discussion of Facebook content”, and that he had seen a significant increase in false reports.Old coffinsAFP has published half a dozen fact-checks debunking false claims made on Facebook and Twitter after the Easter attacks.Some had dug out photos of coffins and funerals from Sri Lanka’s brutal decades-long civil war and claimed they showed victims of the blasts.One video posted to Facebook showed police arresting a man dressed in a burqa and claimed he was involved in the bombings. The video was actually from 2018, and showed a man who had used a burkha to hide his identity while he sought to attack someone over a debt issue.Another used a five-year-old photo from India that showed a group of men wearing T-shirts with “ISIS”, another name for Islamic State, written on them to claim there was an active IS cell in eastern Sri Lanka.One Twitter user claiming to be a high-ranking Sri Lankan army brigadier used the platform to accuse neighbouring India of being involved in the attacks. The account was later taken down by Twitter after the Sri Lankan army complained.Authorities in Sri Lanka — where ethnic divisions still linger after decades of war — previously blocked Facebook in March 2018 after Buddhist hardliners used incendiary posts to fan religious violence that left three people dead and reduced several hundred homes and shops to ashes.The surge in fake news has further blemished the troubled reputation of social media — which several years ago had been seen as a means to expand freedom of information — in the region.In India, authorities have temporarily shut down mobile networks or blocked social media apps during riots, while critics say the spread of hate speech via Facebook was crucial in facilitating a brutal 2017 military crackdown on the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar.Since the attacks, Sri Lankan authorities have imposed other short bans on social media, including earlier this month after mobs in the northwestern town of Chilaw attacked Muslim-owned businesses in anger at a Facebook post by a shopkeeper.No answerBut for those unaware of the government ban or unable to circumvent it, the blocking of social media in the days following the attacks was a cause for panic.A Sydney-based engineer was desperate to call his sister in Colombo soon after hearing about the Easter blasts, but could not get through.”I kept calling her on WhatsApp, but there was no reply. We are so used to calling on WhatsApp, I had forgotten her landline number,” the Sri Lankan-born engineer said.Fortunately, he said, he managed to call a friend in Colombo who was using a VPN to access WhatsApp and told him about the social media ban that prevented him from reaching his sister.last_img

DC Attorney General Election to Proceed Despite Council Opposition

first_imgEight months after he initially filed a lawsuit over the actions of the D.C. Council, candidate Paul Zukerberg finally got a big win in his quest to force the election of a D.C. attorney general, an election which was approved by voters overwhelmingly in 2010.On June 4, a D.C. Court of Appeals panel ruled that the District must hold an election for attorney general in 2014 unless it is not “practically possible for the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics to do so under the applicable statutory and regulatory provisions.” The court further found that the D.C. Council acted illegally in attempting to delay the election until 2018.“This case stands for the proposition that all power ultimately resides with the people, and when we choose to amend our Charter at the ballot box, our elected officials must respect our vote,” said Zukerberg.In July, D.C. Council members voted to delay the election of the attorney general until 2018. The Court of Appeals panel ruled the vote was an attempt to override the 2010 charter amendment turning the attorney general’s office into an elected, rather than appointed, position. According to published reports, councilmembers are at odds with the boundaries of the office’s oversight.Irvin Nathan, the current attorney general who was appointed by Mayor Vincent Gray, applauded the council’s vote last year, saying it “will maintain a strong mayor and a powerful, vibrant attorney general office” in approving the overall transition plan. Nathan also informed the Council that it did have the power to delay the election.Zukerberg, a criminal defense attorney who seeks the position, filed suit a short time later to force the election to take place. In February, a D.C. Superior Court judge declined to order the attorney general’s office onto the April 1 primary ballot, but Zuckerberg refused to concede.“The Council’s attempt to cancel the election, or postpone it indefinitely, was held to be unlawful,” he said.Following the Court of Appeals panel’s decision, Nathan vowed to petition for a full en banc review of the issue, putting it before all nine Court of Appeals judges.“We continue to believe that the Council of the District of Columbia had the authority to interpret the 2010 charter amendment to authorize a statute scheduling the attorney general election to be in 2018, and we will be drafting a petition to the full en banc court of the D.C. Court of Appeals on that key point,” said Nathan.But many community leaders stood firm on their beliefs that elected and appointed leaders should not disregard the public’s will. In 2010, 75 percent of general election voters voted in favor of making the attorney general an elected position.“The Board of Elections must move swiftly to restore the office of attorney general to the November ballot. We are expecting a [board] statement shortly,” said Zukerberg.“I applaud the D.C. Court of Appeals for standing by the will of District voters who overwhelmingly supported an attorney general election,” said D.C. Councilmember Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6), who voted against delaying the election last summer. “I trust that the mayor will instruct the current attorney general to accept the court’s decision and move forward with this election.”While the D.C. Board of Elections waits for instructions from the attorney general’s office about whether to proceed with adding that office to the ballot, others questioned how an independent elections board could be prohibited from performing its duties.“What little democracy D.C. voters have is again threatened if their overwhelming vote for an elected attorney general is not quickly realized,” said Anise Jenkins, president of Stand Up! For Democracy in D.C.D.C. will join 43 other U.S. states that elect their attorney general by popular vote. This move further enfranchises D.C. voters, who have historically had a limited ability to vote for their government representatives.“A lack of money can’t be used as an excuse in D.C. where all around us the signs of ever-expanding wealth are evident,” Jenkins said. “The people of the District of Columbia have spoken. Let their voices be respected and heard.”last_img read more