Kim Kardashian West is joining other celebrities to freeze her Facebook and Instagram accounts on Wednesday, in a campaign urging the world’s biggest social media company to curb the spread of hate and propaganda.
“Misinformation shared on social media has a serious impact on our elections and undermines our democracy,” Kardashian West wrote in an Instagram post on Tuesday expressing support for the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign against Facebook Inc.
Actors including Kerry Washington, Jennifer Lawrence and Sacha Baron Cohen also tweeted on Tuesday, calling on Facebook to do more.
The campaign, launched by civil rights groups this summer, won the support of hundreds of major companies in an advertising boycott of the social media giant in July, although it had little impact on Facebook’s bottom line.
This week, organisers encouraged users to post about the harm Facebook is causing and “freeze” their use of Facebook-owned Instagram for 24 hours on Wednesday.
The embrace of that call by Kardashian West, a businesswoman and reality TV star with one of the top 10 biggest Instagram followings worldwide, threatens a fresh blow to Facebook’s image and careful management of its relationships with celebrities.
The company devotes substantial resources to celebrity “partnerships,” with dedicated teams handling special requests and giving stars early access to new products, according to two former employees familiar with the operation.
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The company has said it would team up with civil rights groups to develop more tools to fight hate speech, although the groups say executives have shown little commitment to action.
Kardashian West has become an influential powerhouse of social change, raising the issue of climate change to her 188 million followers and lobbying the White House for criminal justice reform.
Edited By: Emmanuel Okara)
Emir of Zazzau: We’ve lost a father – Tijjani Ramalan
Dr Tijjani Ramalan, Executive Chairman of Liberty TV and Radio has described the death of Dr Shehu Idris, Emir of Zazzau, as a great loss not only to the people of Zazzau Emirate and Kaduna State, but Nigeria as a whole.
In a condolences massage he issued on Sunday in Kaduna, Ramalan also described the late Emir as a father, leader and a nationalist.
He said , “I and the Liberty Family received with a heavy heart but total submission to the Will of Almighty Allah the passing on to the glory of our dear King and father, the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris
“The history of Kaduna State, Northern Nigeria and indeed our great nation Nigeria cannot be written without a mention of the valuable contributions of His Royal Highness to peace and security,”. he said
Ramalan prayed Almighty Allah to forgive the shortcomings of the late Emir and grant him Aljanah Firdaus, and give the people of Kaduna state the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed
United States initiates ‘snapback’ process to reimpose sanctions on Iran – Pompeo
The United States has initiated the so-called snapback process to restore almost all previously lifted UN sanctions against Iran, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Saturday.
“Today, the United States welcomes the return of virtually all previously terminated UN sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror and anti-Semitism,” Pompeo said.
He said the snapback of previously terminated UN sanctions became effective at 8 pm Washington time (0000 GMT).
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif rejected the United States move, saying that the snapback mechanism and reimposed sanctions were invalid.
“This step is not supported by the UN Security Council because the United States is no longer in the nuclear agreement and accordingly no longer plays a role in UN resolution 2231,” Zarif said referring to the resolution in which the UNSC backed the Iran nuclear deal signed in Vienna in 2015.
The move by Washington was merely a “propaganda trick” ahead of the United States election, Zarif said on Iranian state television.
Washington’s plans to reimpose international sanctions on Iran have been met with overwhelming opposition from other countries.
Other members of the UN Security Council (UNSC), including key United States allies who are part of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, have rejected Washington’s move and have vowed to ignore it.
Under the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Tehran limited its nuclear activities in return for sanctions relief.
“Sanctions are being re-imposed on Iran pursuant to the snapback process under UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 2231. On August 20, the United States notified the President of the Security Council of Iran’s significant non-performance of its JCPOA commitments,” Pompeo said in the Saturday statement.
“Virtually all @UN sanctions have returned on Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism and anti-Semitism.
“This includes a permanent extension of the arms embargo. This is great news for peace in the region!” Pompeo added on Twitter.
He later added that Washington would soon “announce a range of additional measures to strengthen enforcement of @UN sanctions on Iran.”
“Our maximum pressure campaign on the Iranian regime will continue until it stops spreading chaos, violence, and bloodshed,” he said.
United States special representative for Iran and Venezuela Elliott Abrams had already signalled Washington’s determination to reimpose sanctions on Tehran earlier this week.
The United States launched a formal bid in August to revive the UN sanctions under the “snapback” mechanism included in the Iran deal.
Those sanctions include the indefinite extension of an arms embargo that would otherwise expire in October.
But few countries believe Washington’s move is legal, as United States President Donald Trump unilaterally exited the JCPOA in 2018.
Washington said it would provide more information this weekend and next week on how the United States intended to enforce the global sanctions.
“In the coming days, the United States will announce a range of additional measures to strengthen implementation of UN sanctions and hold violators accountable,” Pompeo said in Saturday’s statement.
“Our maximum pressure campaign on the Iranian regime will continue until Iran reaches a comprehensive agreement with us to rein in its proliferation threats and stops spreading chaos, violence, and bloodshed,” Pompeo asserted.
Trump is likely to address Iran in his speech next week to the UN General Assembly’s largely online meeting of world leaders.
The stand-off between the United States and other member states over the issue threatens a diplomatic crisis at the world body.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
Coronavirus: Biden says Trump trusted less than Russia’s Putin, China’s Xi
United States Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden said that President Donald Trump Administration’s way of handling the coronavirus outbreak in the United States was one of the reasons he was trusted by fewer foreigners than Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Biden said this during a CNN town hall meeting in the Pennsylvania state.
The United States is set to hold a presidential election on Nov. 3.
“I’ve been doing this for a long time. I never ever thought I would see such a thoroughly totally irresponsible administration,” Biden said.
“It’s one of the reasons why if you take a look at the Pew Foundation poll — guess what, Russia’s Putin, China’s Xi Jinping are trusted by more people in the world than the president of America.
“And one of the reasons they say is COVID-19.”
According to Biden, not only did the Trump administration’s response to COVID-19 cause loss of lives in the United States, but it also caused Washington “to lose [its] influence in ways that are profound.”
The Democrat politician further described China as a “serious competitor” and Russia as an “opponent” to the United States, vowing more sanctions on Moscow in the case if it meddles in the upcoming presidential election.
The United States repeatedly accused Russia of meddling in its political processes, in particular, during the 2016 presidential election. Moscow has consistently denied these allegations.
In 2019, United States Special Counsel Robert Mueller, mandated to investigate the alleged interference, found no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
But established that Moscow systematically interfered in the United States elections via two chief methods — social media campaigns and intelligence-backed cyberattacks.
Moscow responded by pointing to the lack of actual evidence to support this assumption.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Ali Baba-Inuwa
United States judge blocks Trump’s postal rules that could disrupt election
A United States federal judge in a new ruling halted the Trump administration from implementing new postal rules that could disrupt the mail system ahead of the Nov. 3 election.
Chief Judge Stanley Bastian from the Eastern District of the State of Washington said this in Washington.
“The states have demonstrated that the defendants are involved in a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service.
“They have also demonstrated that this attack on the Postal Service is likely to irreparably harm the states’ ability to administer the 2020 general election,” Bastian said as quoted by The Washington Posts.
The judge granted a request from 14 states to temporarily block operational changes that have been blamed for a slowdown in mail delivery, the report added.
Trump’s postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, has come under fire for pushing changes that would slow down mail delivery in a year that is expected to see a record-level of mailed ballots.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Emmanuel Yashim