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  •  Twitter said it has stopped enforcing a policy intended to prevent the spread of Covid misinformation as new owner Elon Musk who has clashed previously with US officials over pandemic safety rules continues to remake its content moderation policies The move comes after the mercurial billionaire reinstated a slew of accounts on the social media network that had previously been banned for violating its content rules such as that of former president Donald Trump Effective November 23 2022 Twitter is no longer enforcing the Covid 19 misleading information policy read a message posted on a Twitter transparency web page During the pandemic Twitter took to labelling misleading tweets about Covid and booting users who persisted in spreading such misinformation Banned content included statements intended to influence people to violate health authority guidelines along with bogus cures or denial of scientific facts according to a Twitter blog As of September of this year Twitter had suspended 11 230 accounts under the policy the blog stated Musk who also runs Tesla clashed with officials in 2020 over pandemic safety orders which temporarily shut down the electric car giant s plant in California calling shelter in place orders fascist and an outrage that infringed on personal freedom Under Musk who calls himself a free speech absolutist Twitter has begun reinstating roughly 62 000 accounts in what is being referred to internally as the Big Bang according to the Platformer news blog Since taking over the platform last month Musk has cut around half of Twitter s workforce including many employees tasked with fighting disinformation while an unknown number of others have voluntarily quit Yoel Roth the former head of trust and safety at Twitter who left after Musk took over said during an interview Tuesday at a Knight Foundation conference that he was not certain how many employees were left at the company to moderate content I couldn t tell you because our corporate directory had been turned off since the acquisition and it was nearly impossible to actually know conclusively who was still left at Twitter Roth said when asked by interviewer Kara Swisher It was that chaotic Musk believes that all content permitted by law should be allowed on Twitter and on Monday described his actions as a revolution against online censorship in America Though Musk says Twitter is seeing record high engagement with him at the helm his approach has startled the company s major moneymaker advertisers In recent weeks half of Twitter s top 100 advertisers have announced they are suspending or have otherwise seemingly stopped advertising on Twitter an analysis conducted by nonprofit watchdog group Media Matters found
    Elon Musk’s Twitter lifts rule against Covid misinformation
     Twitter said it has stopped enforcing a policy intended to prevent the spread of Covid misinformation as new owner Elon Musk who has clashed previously with US officials over pandemic safety rules continues to remake its content moderation policies The move comes after the mercurial billionaire reinstated a slew of accounts on the social media network that had previously been banned for violating its content rules such as that of former president Donald Trump Effective November 23 2022 Twitter is no longer enforcing the Covid 19 misleading information policy read a message posted on a Twitter transparency web page During the pandemic Twitter took to labelling misleading tweets about Covid and booting users who persisted in spreading such misinformation Banned content included statements intended to influence people to violate health authority guidelines along with bogus cures or denial of scientific facts according to a Twitter blog As of September of this year Twitter had suspended 11 230 accounts under the policy the blog stated Musk who also runs Tesla clashed with officials in 2020 over pandemic safety orders which temporarily shut down the electric car giant s plant in California calling shelter in place orders fascist and an outrage that infringed on personal freedom Under Musk who calls himself a free speech absolutist Twitter has begun reinstating roughly 62 000 accounts in what is being referred to internally as the Big Bang according to the Platformer news blog Since taking over the platform last month Musk has cut around half of Twitter s workforce including many employees tasked with fighting disinformation while an unknown number of others have voluntarily quit Yoel Roth the former head of trust and safety at Twitter who left after Musk took over said during an interview Tuesday at a Knight Foundation conference that he was not certain how many employees were left at the company to moderate content I couldn t tell you because our corporate directory had been turned off since the acquisition and it was nearly impossible to actually know conclusively who was still left at Twitter Roth said when asked by interviewer Kara Swisher It was that chaotic Musk believes that all content permitted by law should be allowed on Twitter and on Monday described his actions as a revolution against online censorship in America Though Musk says Twitter is seeing record high engagement with him at the helm his approach has startled the company s major moneymaker advertisers In recent weeks half of Twitter s top 100 advertisers have announced they are suspending or have otherwise seemingly stopped advertising on Twitter an analysis conducted by nonprofit watchdog group Media Matters found
    Elon Musk’s Twitter lifts rule against Covid misinformation
    Foreign3 hours ago

    Elon Musk’s Twitter lifts rule against Covid misinformation

    Twitter said it has stopped enforcing a policy intended to prevent the spread of Covid misinformation, as new owner Elon Musk — who has clashed previously with US officials over pandemic safety rules — continues to remake its content moderation policies.

    The move comes after the mercurial billionaire reinstated a slew of accounts on the social media network that had previously been banned for violating its content rules, such as that of former president Donald Trump.

    “Effective November 23, 2022, Twitter is no longer enforcing the Covid-19 misleading information policy,” read a message posted on a Twitter transparency web page.

    During the pandemic, Twitter took to labelling misleading tweets about Covid and booting users who persisted in spreading such misinformation.

    Banned content included statements intended to influence people to violate health authority guidelines, along with bogus cures or denial of scientific facts, according to a Twitter blog.

    As of September of this year, Twitter had suspended 11,230 accounts under the policy, the blog stated.

    Musk, who also runs Tesla, clashed with officials in 2020 over pandemic safety orders which temporarily shut down the electric car giant’s plant in California, calling shelter-in-place orders “fascist” and “an outrage” that infringed on personal freedom.

    Under Musk, who calls himself a “free speech absolutist,” Twitter has begun reinstating roughly 62,000 accounts in what is being referred to internally as “the Big Bang,” according to the Platformer news blog.

    Since taking over the platform last month, Musk has cut around half of Twitter’s workforce, including many employees tasked with fighting disinformation, while an unknown number of others have voluntarily quit.

    Yoel Roth, the former head of trust and safety at Twitter who left after Musk took over, said during an interview Tuesday at a Knight Foundation conference that he was not certain how many employees were left at the company to moderate content.

    “I couldn’t tell you, because our corporate directory had been turned off since the acquisition and it was nearly impossible to actually know conclusively who was still left at Twitter,” Roth said when asked by interviewer Kara Swisher.

    “It was that chaotic.

    ” Musk believes that all content permitted by law should be allowed on Twitter, and on Monday described his actions as a “revolution against online censorship in America.

    ” Though Musk says Twitter is seeing record high engagement with him at the helm, his approach has startled the company’s major moneymaker — advertisers.

    In recent weeks, half of Twitter’s top 100 advertisers have announced they are suspending or have otherwise “seemingly stopped advertising on Twitter,” an analysis conducted by nonprofit watchdog group Media Matters found.

  •  Donald Trump must testify in April as part of a defamation lawsuit brought by a woman who says he raped her in the 1990s a court said Tuesday The former US president 76 faces twin allegations of rape and defamation in a case dating back to 2019 and brought by journalist E Jean Carroll who is now 78 Both sides presented depositions in October before Judge Lewis Kaplan and on Tuesday he signed an order setting April 10 as the start of the defamation trial as sought by Carroll Carroll a former columnist for Elle magazine sued then president Trump for defamation in a New York civil court in 2019 In an excerpt of her book published by New York Magazine that year Carroll said she was raped by Trump in the changing room at the luxury Bergdorf Goodman department store on Fifth Avenue in New York in the mid 1990s Trump denied the accusation saying Carroll was not my type and that she was totally lying Carroll sued him over that latter remark Trump has said he never met Carroll and his lawyers have argued that Trump had immunity since he was president in 2019 At the time Carroll could not seek to have Trump charged with rape because the statute of limitations for the alleged offense had expired But a new law has since taken effect in New York that protects victims of sexual assault decades after attacks may have occurred It gives sexual assault victims in New York state a one year window to sue their alleged abusers even when the abuse occurred long ago So lawyers for Carroll filed an upgraded civil suit last Thursday that accuses Trump of battery when he forcibly raped and groped her and for defamation in a post on his Truth Social platform last month where he denied the alleged rape This suit seeks a civil trial in 2023 and unspecified compensatory and punitive damages for psychological harm pain and suffering loss of dignity and damage to her reputation The introduction to the new lawsuit states Roughly 27 years ago playful banter at the luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue in New York City took a dark turn when Defendant Donald J Trump seized Plaintiff E Jean Carroll forced her up against a dressing room wall pinned her in place with his shoulder and raped her The trial now scheduled for April concerns only the defamation allegation In her new complaint Carroll reiterated that she remained silent for more than 20 years out of fear of reprisals but changed her mind after the MeToo movement beginning in 2017 against violence toward women Trump s lawyer in the case Alina Habba said last Thursday that she respects and admires those who come forward under the new New York state law But this case is unfortunately an abuse of the purpose of this Act which creates a terrible precedent running the risk of delegitimizing credibility of actual victims Habba said In his October 12 posting on his Truth Social account Trump said Carroll completely made up a story that I met her at the doors of Bergdorf Goodman It is a Hoax and a lie just like all the other Hoaxes that have been played on me
    Trump ordered to testify in defamation case brought by woman who says he raped her
     Donald Trump must testify in April as part of a defamation lawsuit brought by a woman who says he raped her in the 1990s a court said Tuesday The former US president 76 faces twin allegations of rape and defamation in a case dating back to 2019 and brought by journalist E Jean Carroll who is now 78 Both sides presented depositions in October before Judge Lewis Kaplan and on Tuesday he signed an order setting April 10 as the start of the defamation trial as sought by Carroll Carroll a former columnist for Elle magazine sued then president Trump for defamation in a New York civil court in 2019 In an excerpt of her book published by New York Magazine that year Carroll said she was raped by Trump in the changing room at the luxury Bergdorf Goodman department store on Fifth Avenue in New York in the mid 1990s Trump denied the accusation saying Carroll was not my type and that she was totally lying Carroll sued him over that latter remark Trump has said he never met Carroll and his lawyers have argued that Trump had immunity since he was president in 2019 At the time Carroll could not seek to have Trump charged with rape because the statute of limitations for the alleged offense had expired But a new law has since taken effect in New York that protects victims of sexual assault decades after attacks may have occurred It gives sexual assault victims in New York state a one year window to sue their alleged abusers even when the abuse occurred long ago So lawyers for Carroll filed an upgraded civil suit last Thursday that accuses Trump of battery when he forcibly raped and groped her and for defamation in a post on his Truth Social platform last month where he denied the alleged rape This suit seeks a civil trial in 2023 and unspecified compensatory and punitive damages for psychological harm pain and suffering loss of dignity and damage to her reputation The introduction to the new lawsuit states Roughly 27 years ago playful banter at the luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue in New York City took a dark turn when Defendant Donald J Trump seized Plaintiff E Jean Carroll forced her up against a dressing room wall pinned her in place with his shoulder and raped her The trial now scheduled for April concerns only the defamation allegation In her new complaint Carroll reiterated that she remained silent for more than 20 years out of fear of reprisals but changed her mind after the MeToo movement beginning in 2017 against violence toward women Trump s lawyer in the case Alina Habba said last Thursday that she respects and admires those who come forward under the new New York state law But this case is unfortunately an abuse of the purpose of this Act which creates a terrible precedent running the risk of delegitimizing credibility of actual victims Habba said In his October 12 posting on his Truth Social account Trump said Carroll completely made up a story that I met her at the doors of Bergdorf Goodman It is a Hoax and a lie just like all the other Hoaxes that have been played on me
    Trump ordered to testify in defamation case brought by woman who says he raped her
    Foreign3 hours ago

    Trump ordered to testify in defamation case brought by woman who says he raped her

    Donald Trump must testify in April as part of a defamation lawsuit brought by a woman who says he raped her in the 1990s, a court said Tuesday.

    The former US president, 76, faces twin allegations of rape and defamation in a case dating back to 2019 and brought by journalist E.

    Jean Carroll, who is now 78.

    Both sides presented depositions in October before Judge Lewis Kaplan and on Tuesday he signed an order setting April 10 as the start of the defamation trial, as sought by Carroll.

    Carroll, a former columnist for Elle magazine, sued then-president Trump for defamation in a New York civil court in 2019.

    In an excerpt of her book published by New York Magazine that year, Carroll said she was raped by Trump in the changing room at the luxury Bergdorf Goodman department store on Fifth Avenue in New York in the mid-1990s.

    Trump denied the accusation, saying Carroll was “not my type” and that she was “totally lying.

    ” Carroll sued him over that latter remark.

    Trump has said he never met Carroll and his lawyers have argued that Trump had immunity since he was president in 2019.

    At the time Carroll could not seek to have Trump charged with rape because the statute of limitations for the alleged offense had expired.

    But a new law has since taken effect in New York that protects victims of sexual assault decades after attacks may have occurred.

    It gives sexual assault victims in New York state a one-year window to sue their alleged abusers even when the abuse occurred long ago.

    So lawyers for Carroll filed an upgraded civil suit last Thursday that accuses Trump of battery, “when he forcibly raped and groped” her, and for defamation in a post on his Truth Social platform last month where he denied the alleged rape.

    This suit seeks a civil trial in 2023 and unspecified compensatory and punitive damages for psychological harm, pain and suffering, loss of dignity and damage to her reputation.

    The introduction to the new lawsuit states: “Roughly 27 years ago, playful banter at the luxury department store Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue in New York City took a dark turn when Defendant Donald J.

    Trump seized Plaintiff E.

    Jean Carroll, forced her up against a dressing room wall, pinned her in place with his shoulder, and raped her.

    ” The trial now scheduled for April concerns only the defamation allegation.

    In her new complaint, Carroll reiterated that she remained silent for more than 20 years out of fear of reprisals but changed her mind after the #MeToo movement beginning in 2017 against violence toward women.

    Trump’s lawyer in the case, Alina Habba, said last Thursday that she respects and admires those who come forward under the new New York state law.

    But “this case is unfortunately an abuse of the purpose of this Act which creates a terrible precedent running the risk of delegitimizing credibility of actual victims,” Habba said.

    In his October 12 posting on his Truth Social account, Trump said Carroll “completely made up a story that I met her at the doors” of Bergdorf Goodman.

    “It is a Hoax and a lie, just like all the other Hoaxes that have been played on me.

  •  Twitter owner Elon Musk on Monday opened fire against Apple over its tight control of what is allowed on the App Store saying the iPhone maker has threatened to oust his recently acquired social media platform Musk also joined the chorus crying foul over a 30 percent fee Apple collects on transactions via its App Store the sole gateway for applications to get onto its billion plus mobile devices A series of tweets fired off by Musk included a meme of a car with his first name on it veering onto a highway off ramp labelled Go to War instead of continuing onwards towards Pay 30 The billionaire CEO also tweeted that Apple has threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store but won t tell us why Apple did not immediately reply to an AFP request for comment Both Apple and Google require social networking services on their app stores to have effective systems for moderating harmful or abusive content But since taking over Twitter last month Musk has cut around half of Twitter s workforce including many employees tasked with fighting disinformation while an unknown number of others have voluntarily quit He has also reinstated previously banned accounts including that of former president Donald Trump Yoel Roth the former head of trust and safety at Twitter who left after Musk took over wrote in a New York Times op ed that failure to adhere to Apple s and Google s guidelines would be catastrophic and risk expulsion from their app stores Describing himself as a free speech absolutist Musk believes that all content permitted by law should be allowed on Twitter and on Monday described his actions as a revolution against online censorship in America He also tweeted that he planned to publish Twitter Files on free speech suppression but without clarifying what data he had in mind to share with the public Though Musk says Twitter is seeing record high engagement with him at the helm his approach has startled the company s major moneymaker advertisers In recent weeks half of Twitter s top 100 advertisers have announced they are suspending or have otherwise seemingly stopped advertising on Twitter an analysis conducted by nonprofit watchdog group Media Matters found Musk on Monday accused Apple of also having mostly stopped advertising on Twitter Do they hate free speech in America he asked before replying with a tweet tagging Apple CEO Tim Cook In the first three months of 2022 Apple was the top advertiser on Twitter spending some 48 million on ads which accounted for more than 4 percent of the social media platform s revenue according to a Washington Post report citing an internal Twitter document Sarah Roberts an information studies expert at the University of California Los Angeles told AFP that Musk didn t understand that Twitter itself was a brand had cachet Now companies don t even want to be associated with it It s not even that they worry about the content Twitter is a tainted brand a brand non grata companies don t want to be associated with she added Tarnishing Tesla Musk on Monday also called Apple s fee on transactions through its App Store a secret 30 tax He shared a video released last year by Fortnite maker Epic Games that portrayed Apple as an oppressor in a mocking spin on a famous 1984 ad for Macintosh computers Apple has clashed in court with Epic which has sought to break Apple s grip on the App Store accusing the iPhone maker of operating a monopoly in its shop for digital goods or services A federal judge last year ordered Apple to loosen control of its App Store payment options but said Epic had failed to prove that antitrust violations had taken place Musk s controversial moves at Twitter along with the possibility he will need to sell more Tesla shares to keep the social media platform afloat has taken shine off of the electric car company and its stock according to Wedbush analyst Dan Ives The Musk vs Apple new battle is not what investors want to see Ives said in a tweet Wall Street wants less drama not more as this Twitter situation remains the gift that keeps on giving for the Tesla bears with every day a new chapter
    Twitter owner Musk signals new ‘war’ against Apple
     Twitter owner Elon Musk on Monday opened fire against Apple over its tight control of what is allowed on the App Store saying the iPhone maker has threatened to oust his recently acquired social media platform Musk also joined the chorus crying foul over a 30 percent fee Apple collects on transactions via its App Store the sole gateway for applications to get onto its billion plus mobile devices A series of tweets fired off by Musk included a meme of a car with his first name on it veering onto a highway off ramp labelled Go to War instead of continuing onwards towards Pay 30 The billionaire CEO also tweeted that Apple has threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store but won t tell us why Apple did not immediately reply to an AFP request for comment Both Apple and Google require social networking services on their app stores to have effective systems for moderating harmful or abusive content But since taking over Twitter last month Musk has cut around half of Twitter s workforce including many employees tasked with fighting disinformation while an unknown number of others have voluntarily quit He has also reinstated previously banned accounts including that of former president Donald Trump Yoel Roth the former head of trust and safety at Twitter who left after Musk took over wrote in a New York Times op ed that failure to adhere to Apple s and Google s guidelines would be catastrophic and risk expulsion from their app stores Describing himself as a free speech absolutist Musk believes that all content permitted by law should be allowed on Twitter and on Monday described his actions as a revolution against online censorship in America He also tweeted that he planned to publish Twitter Files on free speech suppression but without clarifying what data he had in mind to share with the public Though Musk says Twitter is seeing record high engagement with him at the helm his approach has startled the company s major moneymaker advertisers In recent weeks half of Twitter s top 100 advertisers have announced they are suspending or have otherwise seemingly stopped advertising on Twitter an analysis conducted by nonprofit watchdog group Media Matters found Musk on Monday accused Apple of also having mostly stopped advertising on Twitter Do they hate free speech in America he asked before replying with a tweet tagging Apple CEO Tim Cook In the first three months of 2022 Apple was the top advertiser on Twitter spending some 48 million on ads which accounted for more than 4 percent of the social media platform s revenue according to a Washington Post report citing an internal Twitter document Sarah Roberts an information studies expert at the University of California Los Angeles told AFP that Musk didn t understand that Twitter itself was a brand had cachet Now companies don t even want to be associated with it It s not even that they worry about the content Twitter is a tainted brand a brand non grata companies don t want to be associated with she added Tarnishing Tesla Musk on Monday also called Apple s fee on transactions through its App Store a secret 30 tax He shared a video released last year by Fortnite maker Epic Games that portrayed Apple as an oppressor in a mocking spin on a famous 1984 ad for Macintosh computers Apple has clashed in court with Epic which has sought to break Apple s grip on the App Store accusing the iPhone maker of operating a monopoly in its shop for digital goods or services A federal judge last year ordered Apple to loosen control of its App Store payment options but said Epic had failed to prove that antitrust violations had taken place Musk s controversial moves at Twitter along with the possibility he will need to sell more Tesla shares to keep the social media platform afloat has taken shine off of the electric car company and its stock according to Wedbush analyst Dan Ives The Musk vs Apple new battle is not what investors want to see Ives said in a tweet Wall Street wants less drama not more as this Twitter situation remains the gift that keeps on giving for the Tesla bears with every day a new chapter
    Twitter owner Musk signals new ‘war’ against Apple
    Foreign1 day ago

    Twitter owner Musk signals new ‘war’ against Apple

    Twitter owner Elon Musk on Monday opened fire against Apple over its tight control of what is allowed on the App Store, saying the iPhone maker has threatened to oust his recently acquired social media platform.

    Musk also joined the chorus crying foul over a 30 percent fee Apple collects on transactions via its App Store — the sole gateway for applications to get onto its billion-plus mobile devices.

    A series of tweets fired off by Musk included a meme of a car with his first name on it veering onto a highway off-ramp labelled “Go to War,” instead of continuing onwards towards “Pay 30%.

    ” The billionaire CEO also tweeted that Apple has “threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why.

    ” Apple did not immediately reply to an AFP request for comment.

    Both Apple and Google require social networking services on their app stores to have effective systems for moderating harmful or abusive content.

    But since taking over Twitter last month, Musk has cut around half of Twitter’s workforce, including many employees tasked with fighting disinformation, while an unknown number of others have voluntarily quit.

    He has also reinstated previously banned accounts, including that of former president Donald Trump.

    Yoel Roth, the former head of trust and safety at Twitter who left after Musk took over, wrote in a New York Times op-ed that “failure to adhere to Apple’s and Google’s guidelines would be catastrophic,” and risk “expulsion from their app stores.

    ” Describing himself as a “free speech absolutist,” Musk believes that all content permitted by law should be allowed on Twitter, and on Monday described his actions as a “revolution against online censorship in America.

    ” He also tweeted that he planned to publish “Twitter Files on free speech suppression,” but without clarifying what data he had in mind to share with the public.

    Though Musk says Twitter is seeing record-high engagement with him at the helm, his approach has startled the company’s major moneymaker — advertisers.

    In recent weeks, half of Twitter’s top 100 advertisers have announced they are suspending or have otherwise “seemingly stopped advertising on Twitter,” an analysis conducted by nonprofit watchdog group Media Matters found.

    Musk on Monday accused Apple of also having “mostly stopped advertising on Twitter.

    ” “Do they hate free speech in America?

    ” he asked, before replying with a tweet tagging Apple CEO Tim Cook. In the first three months of 2022, Apple was the top advertiser on Twitter, spending some $48 million on ads which accounted for more than 4 percent of the social media platform’s revenue, according to a Washington Post report citing an internal Twitter document.

    Sarah Roberts, an information studies expert at the University of California, Los Angeles, told AFP that “Musk didn’t understand that Twitter itself was a brand, had cachet.

    ”“Now companies don’t even want to be associated with it.

    It’s not even that they worry about the content.

    Twitter is a tainted brand, a brand non grata companies don’t want to be associated with,” she added.

    – Tarnishing Tesla?

    –Musk on Monday also called Apple’s fee on transactions through its App Store a “secret 30% tax.

    ” He shared a video released last year by Fortnite maker Epic Games that portrayed Apple as an oppressor in a mocking spin on a famous “1984” ad for Macintosh computers.

    Apple has clashed in court with Epic, which has sought to break Apple’s grip on the App Store, accusing the iPhone maker of operating a monopoly in its shop for digital goods or services.

    A federal judge last year ordered Apple to loosen control of its App Store payment options but said Epic had failed to prove that antitrust violations had taken place.

    Musk’s controversial moves at Twitter, along with the possibility he will need to sell more Tesla shares to keep the social media platform afloat, has taken shine off of the electric car company and its stock, according to Wedbush analyst Dan Ives. “The Musk vs Apple new battle is not what investors want to see,” Ives said in a tweet.

    “(Wall) Street wants less drama, not more as this Twitter situation remains the gift that keeps on giving for the Tesla bears with every day a new chapter.

  •  Somalia s government has declared all out war against the militant group Al Shabaab and adopted a multi pronged counterterrorism effort which despite some early headline grabbing military gains promises to be long and difficult The dogged Al Qaeda affiliate was driven from Somalia s major cities a decade ago but retains swathes of countryside where a coalition of armed groups have joined forces against the insurgents in recent months Who is fighting Two clans in drought afflicted central Somalia sick of living under Al Shabaab rule sparked a revolt against the group in July that quickly spread across the regions of Hirshabelle and Galmudug In September the Somali National Army and US trained lightning commandos joined the fray in support of these clan militias known as macawisley after the traditional sarongs worn by their fighters The government wants to seize the current momentum and encourage these types of uprisings across Al Shabaab held areas in Somalia said Omar Mahmood a researcher at the International Crisis Group think tank Though it isn t clear how many combatants are involved in this broad offensive the fighting has reached an intensity not seen in some years with unconfirmed reports of hundreds killed in skirmishes Sources in Somalia suggest the fighting could have involved 2 000 to 3 000 macawisley The jihadists are believed to number 5 000 to 8 000 nationwide Supported by US drone strikes and artillery and logistics from the African Union Transitional Force this combined effort has chased Al Shabaab from the strategic provinces of Hiran and Middle Shabelle What s the strategy In July the country s newly elected president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud outlined his administration s plan for the Islamists hit them militarily choke off their finances and counter their ideology The previous policies were militaristic policies attacking destroying But Shabaab s problem is more than a military one he said As a first step he named Mukhtar Robow one of Al Shabaab s founders who left the movement in 2017 religious affairs minister to challenge the militant s violent expression of Islam In October the government threatened to revoke the business licenses of traders who paid taxes to Al Shabaab and contributed to the millions they raise through extortion Somalia s closest foreign ally the United States announced 10 million for information that disrupted cash flows to Al Shabaab Washington recommitted troops to Somalia this year reversing a decision under former US president Donald Trump The government continues to try and build confidence among the public for them to stand up against the group We re yet to measure the success of those declarations said Samira Gaid of the Hiraal Institute a Somalia based security think tank Has Al Shabaab responded The militants may have ceded some territory but are playing a long game said Mahmood Even if they lose in the short term they will try to find ways to undermine government progress so that they can return The jihadists have returned to some areas abandoned in the face of the offensive and escalated a campaign of bombing On October 29 Somalia witnessed its deadliest attack since 2017 with a double car bombing in the capital Mogadishu leaving 121 dead and 333 injured Gaid said the clan uprising was a huge threat to Al Shabaab and they were adapting accordingly They are responding heavily to try and push it back and to dissuade other clans to join the fight she said End in sight President Mohamud told lawmakers in November that going back or defeat is not an option But retaking territory is only half the objective The hardest part is holding back that territory and ensuring people can access services to see the benefit of government rule he added Past gains against the militants have been eroded by bitter clan rivalries which Al Shabaab exploits to its advantage Clan clashes have already been reported in some areas recently liberated from the insurgents Mahmood said the government seems keen to expand its operation but doing so could be fraught It s less clear the clans would unite against Al Shabaab in southern Somalia where the militants have more influence Al Shabaab have resisted military aggression for 15 years and Mohamud himself declared in July there are strong arguments for negotiating with the militants But we are not right now in a position to negotiate with Al Shabaab he said We will at the right time We will negotiate with them Gaid said It was always clear to the government that negotiation or reconciliation can only happen when you have an upper hand This offensive will assist giving the government the upper hand to engage in talks further down the line
    The ‘total war’ against Al-Shabaab in Somalia
     Somalia s government has declared all out war against the militant group Al Shabaab and adopted a multi pronged counterterrorism effort which despite some early headline grabbing military gains promises to be long and difficult The dogged Al Qaeda affiliate was driven from Somalia s major cities a decade ago but retains swathes of countryside where a coalition of armed groups have joined forces against the insurgents in recent months Who is fighting Two clans in drought afflicted central Somalia sick of living under Al Shabaab rule sparked a revolt against the group in July that quickly spread across the regions of Hirshabelle and Galmudug In September the Somali National Army and US trained lightning commandos joined the fray in support of these clan militias known as macawisley after the traditional sarongs worn by their fighters The government wants to seize the current momentum and encourage these types of uprisings across Al Shabaab held areas in Somalia said Omar Mahmood a researcher at the International Crisis Group think tank Though it isn t clear how many combatants are involved in this broad offensive the fighting has reached an intensity not seen in some years with unconfirmed reports of hundreds killed in skirmishes Sources in Somalia suggest the fighting could have involved 2 000 to 3 000 macawisley The jihadists are believed to number 5 000 to 8 000 nationwide Supported by US drone strikes and artillery and logistics from the African Union Transitional Force this combined effort has chased Al Shabaab from the strategic provinces of Hiran and Middle Shabelle What s the strategy In July the country s newly elected president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud outlined his administration s plan for the Islamists hit them militarily choke off their finances and counter their ideology The previous policies were militaristic policies attacking destroying But Shabaab s problem is more than a military one he said As a first step he named Mukhtar Robow one of Al Shabaab s founders who left the movement in 2017 religious affairs minister to challenge the militant s violent expression of Islam In October the government threatened to revoke the business licenses of traders who paid taxes to Al Shabaab and contributed to the millions they raise through extortion Somalia s closest foreign ally the United States announced 10 million for information that disrupted cash flows to Al Shabaab Washington recommitted troops to Somalia this year reversing a decision under former US president Donald Trump The government continues to try and build confidence among the public for them to stand up against the group We re yet to measure the success of those declarations said Samira Gaid of the Hiraal Institute a Somalia based security think tank Has Al Shabaab responded The militants may have ceded some territory but are playing a long game said Mahmood Even if they lose in the short term they will try to find ways to undermine government progress so that they can return The jihadists have returned to some areas abandoned in the face of the offensive and escalated a campaign of bombing On October 29 Somalia witnessed its deadliest attack since 2017 with a double car bombing in the capital Mogadishu leaving 121 dead and 333 injured Gaid said the clan uprising was a huge threat to Al Shabaab and they were adapting accordingly They are responding heavily to try and push it back and to dissuade other clans to join the fight she said End in sight President Mohamud told lawmakers in November that going back or defeat is not an option But retaking territory is only half the objective The hardest part is holding back that territory and ensuring people can access services to see the benefit of government rule he added Past gains against the militants have been eroded by bitter clan rivalries which Al Shabaab exploits to its advantage Clan clashes have already been reported in some areas recently liberated from the insurgents Mahmood said the government seems keen to expand its operation but doing so could be fraught It s less clear the clans would unite against Al Shabaab in southern Somalia where the militants have more influence Al Shabaab have resisted military aggression for 15 years and Mohamud himself declared in July there are strong arguments for negotiating with the militants But we are not right now in a position to negotiate with Al Shabaab he said We will at the right time We will negotiate with them Gaid said It was always clear to the government that negotiation or reconciliation can only happen when you have an upper hand This offensive will assist giving the government the upper hand to engage in talks further down the line
    The ‘total war’ against Al-Shabaab in Somalia
    Foreign4 days ago

    The ‘total war’ against Al-Shabaab in Somalia

    Somalia’s government has declared “all-out war” against the militant group Al-Shabaab and adopted a multi-pronged counterterrorism effort which — despite some early headline-grabbing military gains — promises to be long and difficult.

    The dogged Al-Qaeda affiliate was driven from Somalia’s major cities a decade ago but retains swathes of countryside, where a coalition of armed groups have joined forces against the insurgents in recent months.

    Who is fighting?

    Two clans in drought-afflicted central Somalia, sick of living under Al-Shabaab rule, sparked a revolt against the group in July that quickly spread across the regions of Hirshabelle and Galmudug.

    In September, the Somali National Army and US-trained “lightning” commandos joined the fray in support of these clan militias, known as “macawisley” after the traditional sarongs worn by their fighters.

    “The government wants to seize the current momentum and encourage these types of uprisings across Al-Shabaab-held areas in Somalia,” said Omar Mahmood, a researcher at the International Crisis Group think tank.

    Though it isn’t clear how many combatants are involved in this broad offensive, the fighting has reached an intensity not seen in some years, with unconfirmed reports of hundreds killed in skirmishes.

    Sources in Somalia suggest the fighting could have involved 2,000 to 3,000 “macawisley”.

    The jihadists are believed to number 5,000 to 8,000 nationwide.

    Supported by US drone strikes and artillery and logistics from the African Union Transitional Force, this combined effort has chased Al-Shabaab from the strategic provinces of Hiran and Middle Shabelle.

    What’s the strategy?

    In July, the country’s newly elected president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud outlined his administration’s plan for the Islamists: hit them militarily, choke off their finances, and counter their ideology.

    “The previous policies were militaristic policies… attacking, destroying.

    But Shabaab’s problem is more than a military” one, he said.

    As a first step he named Mukhtar Robow — one of Al-Shabaab’s founders, who left the movement in 2017 — religious affairs minister to challenge the militant’s violent expression of Islam.

    In October, the government threatened to revoke the business licenses of traders who paid “taxes” to Al-Shabaab and contributed to the millions they raise through extortion.

    Somalia’s closest foreign ally the United States announced $10 million for information that disrupted cash flows to Al-Shabaab.

    Washington recommitted troops to Somalia this year, reversing a decision under former US president Donald Trump.

    “The government continues to try and build confidence among the public for them to stand up against the group.

    We’re yet to measure the success of those declarations,” said Samira Gaid of the Hiraal Institute, a Somalia-based security think tank.

    Has Al-Shabaab responded?

    The militants may have ceded some territory but are playing a long game, said Mahmood.

    “Even if they lose in the short term, they will try to find ways to undermine government progress so that they can return.

    ” The jihadists have returned to some areas abandoned in the face of the offensive, and escalated a campaign of bombing.

    On October 29, Somalia witnessed its deadliest attack since 2017, with a double car bombing in the capital Mogadishu leaving 121 dead and 333 injured.

    Gaid said the clan uprising was a “huge threat” to Al-Shabaab and they were adapting accordingly.

    “They are responding heavily to try and push it back and to dissuade other clans to join the fight,” she said.

    End in sight?

    President Mohamud told lawmakers in November that “going back or defeat is not an option”.

    But retaking territory is only half the objective.

    “The hardest part is holding back that territory” and ensuring people can access services to see the benefit of government rule, he added.

    Past gains against the militants have been eroded by bitter clan rivalries, which Al-Shabaab exploits to its advantage.

    Clan clashes have already been reported in some areas recently liberated from the insurgents.

    Mahmood said the government seems keen to expand its operation, but doing so could be fraught.

    It’s less clear the clans would unite against Al-Shabaab in southern Somalia, where the militants have more influence.

    Al-Shabaab have resisted military aggression for 15 years and Mohamud himself declared in July “there are strong arguments” for negotiating with the militants.

    “But we are not right now in a position to negotiate with Al-Shabaab,” he said.

    “We will, at the right time.

    We will negotiate with them.

    ” Gaid said: “It was always clear to the government that negotiation or reconciliation can only happen when you have an upper hand.

    ” This offensive “will assist giving the government the upper hand to engage in talks further down” the line.

  •   The US Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal by former President Donald Trump seeking to protect his tax returns from a congressional panel The order was in response to an appeal that Trump s lawyers filed with the high court last month after a lower court refused to overturn their ruling requiring him to turn over his tax records to the House Ways and Means Committee Representatives led by Democrats House Democrats have been seeking access to Trump s tax returns for years for one of their Trump related investigations Trump who recently launched a third run for the White House has lashed out at the investigations involving him claiming they are politically motivated Xinhua
    US Supreme Court allows congressional panel to get Trump’s tax returns-
      The US Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal by former President Donald Trump seeking to protect his tax returns from a congressional panel The order was in response to an appeal that Trump s lawyers filed with the high court last month after a lower court refused to overturn their ruling requiring him to turn over his tax records to the House Ways and Means Committee Representatives led by Democrats House Democrats have been seeking access to Trump s tax returns for years for one of their Trump related investigations Trump who recently launched a third run for the White House has lashed out at the investigations involving him claiming they are politically motivated Xinhua
    US Supreme Court allows congressional panel to get Trump’s tax returns-
    Foreign1 week ago

    US Supreme Court allows congressional panel to get Trump’s tax returns-

    - The US Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal by former President Donald Trump seeking to protect his tax returns from a congressional panel.

    The order was in response to an appeal that Trump's lawyers filed with the high court last month after a lower court refused to overturn their ruling requiring him to turn over his tax records to the House Ways and Means Committee. Representatives led by Democrats.

    House Democrats have been seeking access to Trump's tax returns for years for one of their Trump-related investigations.

    Trump, who recently launched a third run for the White House, has lashed out at the investigations involving him, claiming they are politically motivated. ■



    (Xinhua)

  •  King Charles III on Tuesday welcomed South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to London for the first state visit of his reign with climate change trade and the Commonwealth expected to be on the agenda Charles and Queen Consort Camilla were joined by the heir to the throne Prince William and his wife Catherine to greet Ramaphosa and First Lady Tshepo Motsepe for a ceremonial welcome at Horse Guards Parade in central London The monarch and Ramaphosa inspected the guard of honour together The parties then travelled to Buckingham Palace the route lined with the UK and South African flags in a carriage procession escorted by mounted soldiers from the Household Cavalry The two day state visit is the first since Charles became king following the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II in September It comes more than a decade after the last by a South African leader when Jacob Zuma came to the UK in 2010 For Ramaphosa a protege of anti apartheid icon Nelson Mandela however it also comes amid political difficulties and a threat of impeachment at home In the last state visit of Elizabeth s record breaking 70 year reign the queen hosted US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania in June 2019 Later in the day Ramaphosa will visit parliament for an address to both the upper and lower houses A tour of Westminster Abbey will include the memorial stone for Mandela who served as president of South Africa between 1994 and 1999 In the evening Ramaphosa will attend a state banquet at Buckingham Palace Ramaphosa is also due to visit Downing Street for talks with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak Turbocharge growth At the start of the visit the UK and South African governments announced the launch of the next phase of the UK South Africa Infrastructure Partnership South Africa is already the UK s biggest trading partner on the continent and we have ambitious plans to turbocharge infrastructure investment and economic growth together Sunak said Trade with South Africa the continent s second biggest economy is worth 10 7 billion 12 7 billion a year Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said the choice of Ramaphosa for Charles s first state visit was a sign of the UK s enduring commitment to Africa even as it eyes new partners in Asia post Brexit But he added It s important that we also show that it s not going to be at the expense of the incredibly important partnerships we have through the Commonwealth through international fora as well as the bilateral relationship with South Africa As well as trade climate change and Charles s vision for the Commonwealth are also expected to be discussed during the visit But political problems in South Africa threaten to cast a shadow over the ceremonial pomp and splendour of the state visit Ramaphosa is at risk of impeachment for allegedly covering up a crime accused of concealing a multi million dollar cash theft He faces an accusation that he failed to report a heist at his luxury cattle farmhouse in which robbers took four million dollars in cash and instead organised for the robbers to be kidnapped and bribed into silence He has faced calls to resign and the deeply divided ruling African National Congress ANC is due to hold a vote on its leadership in December The president has acknowledged a burglary but denies kidnapping and bribery saying he reported the break in to the police South African lawmakers will discuss next month the findings of a special panel tasked with establishing whether Ramaphosa should face impeachment
    South Africa’s Ramaphosa starts Charles III’s first state visit as king
     King Charles III on Tuesday welcomed South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to London for the first state visit of his reign with climate change trade and the Commonwealth expected to be on the agenda Charles and Queen Consort Camilla were joined by the heir to the throne Prince William and his wife Catherine to greet Ramaphosa and First Lady Tshepo Motsepe for a ceremonial welcome at Horse Guards Parade in central London The monarch and Ramaphosa inspected the guard of honour together The parties then travelled to Buckingham Palace the route lined with the UK and South African flags in a carriage procession escorted by mounted soldiers from the Household Cavalry The two day state visit is the first since Charles became king following the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II in September It comes more than a decade after the last by a South African leader when Jacob Zuma came to the UK in 2010 For Ramaphosa a protege of anti apartheid icon Nelson Mandela however it also comes amid political difficulties and a threat of impeachment at home In the last state visit of Elizabeth s record breaking 70 year reign the queen hosted US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania in June 2019 Later in the day Ramaphosa will visit parliament for an address to both the upper and lower houses A tour of Westminster Abbey will include the memorial stone for Mandela who served as president of South Africa between 1994 and 1999 In the evening Ramaphosa will attend a state banquet at Buckingham Palace Ramaphosa is also due to visit Downing Street for talks with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak Turbocharge growth At the start of the visit the UK and South African governments announced the launch of the next phase of the UK South Africa Infrastructure Partnership South Africa is already the UK s biggest trading partner on the continent and we have ambitious plans to turbocharge infrastructure investment and economic growth together Sunak said Trade with South Africa the continent s second biggest economy is worth 10 7 billion 12 7 billion a year Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said the choice of Ramaphosa for Charles s first state visit was a sign of the UK s enduring commitment to Africa even as it eyes new partners in Asia post Brexit But he added It s important that we also show that it s not going to be at the expense of the incredibly important partnerships we have through the Commonwealth through international fora as well as the bilateral relationship with South Africa As well as trade climate change and Charles s vision for the Commonwealth are also expected to be discussed during the visit But political problems in South Africa threaten to cast a shadow over the ceremonial pomp and splendour of the state visit Ramaphosa is at risk of impeachment for allegedly covering up a crime accused of concealing a multi million dollar cash theft He faces an accusation that he failed to report a heist at his luxury cattle farmhouse in which robbers took four million dollars in cash and instead organised for the robbers to be kidnapped and bribed into silence He has faced calls to resign and the deeply divided ruling African National Congress ANC is due to hold a vote on its leadership in December The president has acknowledged a burglary but denies kidnapping and bribery saying he reported the break in to the police South African lawmakers will discuss next month the findings of a special panel tasked with establishing whether Ramaphosa should face impeachment
    South Africa’s Ramaphosa starts Charles III’s first state visit as king
    Foreign1 week ago

    South Africa’s Ramaphosa starts Charles III’s first state visit as king

    King Charles III on Tuesday welcomed South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to London for the first state visit of his reign, with climate change, trade and the Commonwealth expected to be on the agenda.

    Charles and Queen Consort Camilla were joined by the heir to the throne Prince William and his wife Catherine to greet Ramaphosa and First Lady Tshepo Motsepe for a ceremonial welcome at Horse Guards Parade in central London.

    The monarch and Ramaphosa inspected the guard of honour together.

    The parties then travelled to Buckingham Palace — the route lined with the UK and South African flags — in a carriage procession escorted by mounted soldiers from the Household Cavalry.

    The two-day state visit is the first since Charles became king following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, in September.

    It comes more than a decade after the last by a South African leader, when Jacob Zuma came to the UK in 2010.

    For Ramaphosa, a protege of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, however, it also comes amid political difficulties and a threat of impeachment at home.

    In the last state visit of Elizabeth’s record-breaking 70-year reign, the queen hosted US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania in June 2019.

    Later in the day, Ramaphosa will visit parliament for an address to both the upper and lower houses.

    A tour of Westminster Abbey will include the memorial stone for Mandela, who served as president of South Africa between 1994 and 1999.

    In the evening, Ramaphosa will attend a state banquet at Buckingham Palace.

    Ramaphosa is also due to visit Downing Street for talks with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

    ‘Turbocharge growth’At the start of the visit, the UK and South African governments announced the launch of the next phase of the UK-South Africa Infrastructure Partnership.

    “South Africa is already the UK’s biggest trading partner on the continent, and we have ambitious plans to turbocharge infrastructure investment and economic growth together,” Sunak said.

    Trade with South Africa, the continent’s second-biggest economy, is worth £10.

    7 billion ($12.

    7 billion) a year.

    Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said the choice of Ramaphosa for Charles’s first state visit was a sign of the UK’s “enduring commitment” to Africa, even as it eyes new partners in Asia post-Brexit.

    But he added: “It’s important… that we also show that it’s not going to be at the expense of the incredibly important partnerships we have through the Commonwealth, through international fora, as well as the bilateral relationship (with South Africa).

    ” As well as trade, climate change and Charles’s vision for the Commonwealth are also expected to be discussed during the visit.

    But political problems in South Africa threaten to cast a shadow over the ceremonial pomp and splendour of the state visit.

    Ramaphosa is at risk of impeachment for allegedly covering up a crime, accused of concealing a multi-million-dollar cash theft.

    He faces an accusation that he failed to report a heist at his luxury cattle farmhouse in which robbers took four million dollars in cash, and instead organised for the robbers to be kidnapped and bribed into silence.

    He has faced calls to resign and the deeply divided ruling African National Congress (ANC) is due to hold a vote on its leadership in December.

    The president has acknowledged a burglary but denies kidnapping and bribery, saying he reported the break-in to the police.

    South African lawmakers will discuss next month the findings of a special panel tasked with establishing whether Ramaphosa should face impeachment.

  •  South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday landed in Britain ahead of the first state visit hosted by King Charles III as monarch Ramaphosa arrived at London Stansted airport on a South African Air Force jet and was met by a British military guard of honour The official programme starts on Tuesday and will include a state banquet at Buckingham Palace The last state visit to the UK came in June 2019 when Queen Elizabeth II hosted US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania The pomp of the major diplomatic event however will be clouded by events in South Africa where Ramaphosa risks impeachment for allegedly covering up a crime Climate change trade and Charles s vision for the Commonwealth are expected to be on the agenda Ramaphosa was last in London for the state funeral of the queen at Westminster Abbey in September His state visit comes more than a decade after the last by a South African leader when Jacob Zuma came to the UK in 2010 Charles and Queen Consort Camilla will be in charge of welcoming Ramaphosa and First Lady Tshepo Motsepe but will also see the visiting couple meet other senior royals Heir to the throne Prince William and his wife Kate Princess of Wales will take him to join Charles and Camilla for a ceremonial military welcome Charles s youngest brother Prince Edward has also been recruited to accompany Ramaphosa to London s Kew Gardens and a biomedical research centre Also on the agenda is an address to lawmakers from both houses of parliament and a meeting with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in Downing Street Ramaphosa was Zuma s deputy in 2014 and gained the presidency in 2018 But he is currently fighting for his political life and facing calls to resign as the deeply divided ruling party African National Congress ANC is to hold a vote on its leadership in December A scandal in which Ramaphosa is accused of concealing a multi million dollar cash theft has piled pressure on him He faces an accusation that he failed to report a heist at his luxury cattle farmhouse in which robbers took 4 million in cash and instead organised for the robbers to be kidnapped and bribed into silence The president has acknowledged a burglary but denies kidnapping and bribery saying he reported the break in to the police A panel appointed by South Africa s parliament is set to determine whether to impeach him
    South African president arrives in UK for king’s first state visit
     South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday landed in Britain ahead of the first state visit hosted by King Charles III as monarch Ramaphosa arrived at London Stansted airport on a South African Air Force jet and was met by a British military guard of honour The official programme starts on Tuesday and will include a state banquet at Buckingham Palace The last state visit to the UK came in June 2019 when Queen Elizabeth II hosted US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania The pomp of the major diplomatic event however will be clouded by events in South Africa where Ramaphosa risks impeachment for allegedly covering up a crime Climate change trade and Charles s vision for the Commonwealth are expected to be on the agenda Ramaphosa was last in London for the state funeral of the queen at Westminster Abbey in September His state visit comes more than a decade after the last by a South African leader when Jacob Zuma came to the UK in 2010 Charles and Queen Consort Camilla will be in charge of welcoming Ramaphosa and First Lady Tshepo Motsepe but will also see the visiting couple meet other senior royals Heir to the throne Prince William and his wife Kate Princess of Wales will take him to join Charles and Camilla for a ceremonial military welcome Charles s youngest brother Prince Edward has also been recruited to accompany Ramaphosa to London s Kew Gardens and a biomedical research centre Also on the agenda is an address to lawmakers from both houses of parliament and a meeting with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in Downing Street Ramaphosa was Zuma s deputy in 2014 and gained the presidency in 2018 But he is currently fighting for his political life and facing calls to resign as the deeply divided ruling party African National Congress ANC is to hold a vote on its leadership in December A scandal in which Ramaphosa is accused of concealing a multi million dollar cash theft has piled pressure on him He faces an accusation that he failed to report a heist at his luxury cattle farmhouse in which robbers took 4 million in cash and instead organised for the robbers to be kidnapped and bribed into silence The president has acknowledged a burglary but denies kidnapping and bribery saying he reported the break in to the police A panel appointed by South Africa s parliament is set to determine whether to impeach him
    South African president arrives in UK for king’s first state visit
    Foreign1 week ago

    South African president arrives in UK for king’s first state visit

    South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday landed in Britain ahead of the first state visit hosted by King Charles III as monarch.

    Ramaphosa arrived at London Stansted airport on a South African Air Force jet and was met by a British military guard of honour.

    The official programme starts on Tuesday and will include a state banquet at Buckingham Palace.

    The last state visit to the UK came in June 2019, when Queen Elizabeth II hosted US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania.

    The pomp of the major diplomatic event, however, will be clouded by events in South Africa, where Ramaphosa risks impeachment for allegedly covering up a crime.

    Climate change, trade and Charles’s vision for the Commonwealth are expected to be on the agenda.

    Ramaphosa was last in London for the state funeral of the queen at Westminster Abbey in September.

    His state visit comes more than a decade after the last by a South African leader, when Jacob Zuma came to the UK in 2010.

    Charles and Queen Consort Camilla will be in charge of welcoming Ramaphosa and First Lady Tshepo Motsepe but will also see the visiting couple meet other senior royals.

    Heir to the throne Prince William and his wife Kate, Princess of Wales, will take him to join Charles and Camilla for a ceremonial military welcome.

    Charles’s youngest brother Prince Edward has also been recruited to accompany Ramaphosa to London’s Kew Gardens and a biomedical research centre.

    Also on the agenda is an address to lawmakers from both houses of parliament and a meeting with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in Downing Street.

    Ramaphosa was Zuma’s deputy in 2014 and gained the presidency in 2018.

    But he is currently fighting for his political life and facing calls to resign as the deeply divided ruling party African National Congress (ANC) is to hold a vote on its leadership in December.

    A scandal in which Ramaphosa is accused of concealing a multi-million dollar cash theft has piled pressure on him.

    He faces an accusation that he failed to report a heist at his luxury cattle farmhouse in which robbers took $4 million in cash and instead organised for the robbers to be kidnapped and bribed into silence.

    The president has acknowledged a burglary but denies kidnapping and bribery, saying he reported the break-in to the police.

    A panel appointed by South Africa’s parliament is set to determine whether to impeach him.

  •   Former US President Donald Trump s Twitter account was reinstated on Saturday following the permanent ban in January 2021 Twitter s new owner Elon Musk released a day long poll asking whether Trump should be allowed back on the platform on Friday More than 15 million people voted with 51 8 percent in favor and 48 2 percent against The people have spoken Trump will be reinstated Musk tweeted Saturday night As of July 2022 the platform has some 237 8 million monetizable daily active users according to Twitter s latest quarterly financial report Trump s Twitter ban came days after the January 6 riots at the US Capitol when his supporters violently attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election After a thorough review of recent tweets from the realDonaldTrump account and the context surrounding them specifically how they are received and interpreted on and off Twitter we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement to violence he wrote on Twitter in a January 2021 blog post Earlier this week Trump announced his 2024 run for president Xinhua
    Twitter reinstates Trump’s account-
      Former US President Donald Trump s Twitter account was reinstated on Saturday following the permanent ban in January 2021 Twitter s new owner Elon Musk released a day long poll asking whether Trump should be allowed back on the platform on Friday More than 15 million people voted with 51 8 percent in favor and 48 2 percent against The people have spoken Trump will be reinstated Musk tweeted Saturday night As of July 2022 the platform has some 237 8 million monetizable daily active users according to Twitter s latest quarterly financial report Trump s Twitter ban came days after the January 6 riots at the US Capitol when his supporters violently attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election After a thorough review of recent tweets from the realDonaldTrump account and the context surrounding them specifically how they are received and interpreted on and off Twitter we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement to violence he wrote on Twitter in a January 2021 blog post Earlier this week Trump announced his 2024 run for president Xinhua
    Twitter reinstates Trump’s account-
    Foreign1 week ago

    Twitter reinstates Trump’s account-

    - Former US President Donald Trump's Twitter account was reinstated on Saturday following the permanent ban in January 2021.

    Twitter's new owner, Elon Musk, released a day-long poll asking whether Trump should be allowed back on the platform on Friday. More than 15 million people voted, with 51.8 percent in favor and 48.2 percent against.

    "The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated," Musk tweeted Saturday night.

    As of July 2022, the platform has some 237.8 million monetizable daily active users, according to Twitter's latest quarterly financial report.

    Trump's Twitter ban came days after the January 6 riots at the US Capitol, when his supporters violently attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

    "After a thorough review of recent tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context surrounding them, specifically how they are received and interpreted on and off Twitter, we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement to violence." he wrote on Twitter. in a January 2021 blog post.

    Earlier this week, Trump announced his 2024 run for president. ■



    (Xinhua)

  •  Donald Trump received a standing ovation at a Republican Party gathering Saturday even as several possible White House rivals lashed out at his election denialism and insisted it was time to move on from the former US president In his first major appearance since announcing his intention to run again in 2024 Trump told the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas that the party had grown under his leadership The 76 year old falsely insisted once again that the 2020 presidential election which he lost was rigged and rejected responsibility for the GOP s poor performance in the November midterms In 2020 we had a really disgraceful election many millions of votes more than we had in 2016 and the result was in my opinion an absolute sham he told the audience by video link The election was rigged and it s too bad it was Asked about how he could improve the party s appeal to suburban voters among whom it did badly in this month s midterms Trump insisted he had a record of picking winners In the midterms as you ve probably heard I was 222 wins and 16 losses the press doesn t want to mention that and the Republican Party got five million more votes than the Democrats he said despite the final vote tallies not yet being finalized The Republican Party is a much bigger and more powerful party than it was before I got there he said With the midterms in the rear view mirror the Las Vegas event served as a catwalk for potential Trump rivals ahead of the Republican Party primaries to decide who will fight for the presidency in 2024 Florida Governor Ron DeSantis who is emerging as one of Trump s main rivals closed the meeting with a speech praising his midterms performance We dominated with independent voters we secured record margins with Hispanic voters We swept the suburbs all across the state of Florida said the 44 year old who was loudly applauded by attendees several of whom approached the stage to shake his hand The crowd also heard from former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley who said she will think in a serious way about whether to launch a bid for the White House I ve been the underdog every single time when people underestimate me it s always fun she said But I ve never lost an election And I m not going to start now Joy and a smile Many rivals hit out at Trump s grievance laden style of politicking which Republican Party operatives have said was to blame for their tepid showing on November 8 New Jersey s former governor and one time Trump confidante Chris Christie said candidate quality had been the issue Donald Trump picked candidates with one criteria Not electability not experience not wisdom not charisma not the ability to govern but do you believe the 2020 election was stolen or not If you do I endorse you If you don t I reject you he said The fact of the matter is the reason we re losing is because Donald Trump has put himself before everybody else Chris Sununu governor of New Hampshire agreed I got a great policy for the Republican Party Let s stop supporting crazy unelectable candidates in our primaries he said On Friday evening Trump s former secretary of state Mike Pompeo who is also understood to be mulling a run at the White House urged fellow Republicans to be more forward looking and more positive While he did not mention his old boss by name Pompeo made none too subtle digs about the need to be doers rather than complainers As we present the conservative case as we make the argument we do so with joy and a smile he said We don t simply rail against the machine we don t simply go on Fox News or send tweets we actually do the hard work Trump did not address the potential rivals in his appearance on Saturday but has already begun his customary bomb throwing about potential presidential competitors dubbing DeSantis Ron DeSanctimonious and saying Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin s name sounds Chinese The gathering which also featured an address by Israel s prime minister designate Benjamin Netanyahu runs until Sunday
    Trump gets warm reception at Republican gathering as rivals lash out
     Donald Trump received a standing ovation at a Republican Party gathering Saturday even as several possible White House rivals lashed out at his election denialism and insisted it was time to move on from the former US president In his first major appearance since announcing his intention to run again in 2024 Trump told the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas that the party had grown under his leadership The 76 year old falsely insisted once again that the 2020 presidential election which he lost was rigged and rejected responsibility for the GOP s poor performance in the November midterms In 2020 we had a really disgraceful election many millions of votes more than we had in 2016 and the result was in my opinion an absolute sham he told the audience by video link The election was rigged and it s too bad it was Asked about how he could improve the party s appeal to suburban voters among whom it did badly in this month s midterms Trump insisted he had a record of picking winners In the midterms as you ve probably heard I was 222 wins and 16 losses the press doesn t want to mention that and the Republican Party got five million more votes than the Democrats he said despite the final vote tallies not yet being finalized The Republican Party is a much bigger and more powerful party than it was before I got there he said With the midterms in the rear view mirror the Las Vegas event served as a catwalk for potential Trump rivals ahead of the Republican Party primaries to decide who will fight for the presidency in 2024 Florida Governor Ron DeSantis who is emerging as one of Trump s main rivals closed the meeting with a speech praising his midterms performance We dominated with independent voters we secured record margins with Hispanic voters We swept the suburbs all across the state of Florida said the 44 year old who was loudly applauded by attendees several of whom approached the stage to shake his hand The crowd also heard from former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley who said she will think in a serious way about whether to launch a bid for the White House I ve been the underdog every single time when people underestimate me it s always fun she said But I ve never lost an election And I m not going to start now Joy and a smile Many rivals hit out at Trump s grievance laden style of politicking which Republican Party operatives have said was to blame for their tepid showing on November 8 New Jersey s former governor and one time Trump confidante Chris Christie said candidate quality had been the issue Donald Trump picked candidates with one criteria Not electability not experience not wisdom not charisma not the ability to govern but do you believe the 2020 election was stolen or not If you do I endorse you If you don t I reject you he said The fact of the matter is the reason we re losing is because Donald Trump has put himself before everybody else Chris Sununu governor of New Hampshire agreed I got a great policy for the Republican Party Let s stop supporting crazy unelectable candidates in our primaries he said On Friday evening Trump s former secretary of state Mike Pompeo who is also understood to be mulling a run at the White House urged fellow Republicans to be more forward looking and more positive While he did not mention his old boss by name Pompeo made none too subtle digs about the need to be doers rather than complainers As we present the conservative case as we make the argument we do so with joy and a smile he said We don t simply rail against the machine we don t simply go on Fox News or send tweets we actually do the hard work Trump did not address the potential rivals in his appearance on Saturday but has already begun his customary bomb throwing about potential presidential competitors dubbing DeSantis Ron DeSanctimonious and saying Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin s name sounds Chinese The gathering which also featured an address by Israel s prime minister designate Benjamin Netanyahu runs until Sunday
    Trump gets warm reception at Republican gathering as rivals lash out
    Foreign1 week ago

    Trump gets warm reception at Republican gathering as rivals lash out

    Donald Trump received a standing ovation at a Republican Party gathering Saturday, even as several possible White House rivals lashed out at his election denialism and insisted it was time to move on from the former US president.

    In his first major appearance since announcing his intention to run again in 2024, Trump told the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas that the party had grown under his leadership.

    The 76-year-old falsely insisted once again that the 2020 presidential election — which he lost — was rigged, and rejected responsibility for the GOP’s poor performance in the November midterms.

    In 2020 “we had a really disgraceful election, many millions of votes more than we had in 2016… and the result was, in my opinion, an absolute sham,” he told the audience by video link.

    “The election was rigged, and it’s too bad it was.

    ” Asked about how he could improve the party’s appeal to suburban voters, among whom it did badly in this month’s midterms, Trump insisted he had a record of picking winners.

    “In the midterms, as you’ve probably heard, I was 222 wins and 16 losses, the press doesn’t want to mention that, and the Republican Party got five million more votes than the Democrats,” he said, despite the final vote tallies not yet being finalized.

    “The Republican Party is a much bigger and more powerful party than it was before I got there,” he said.

    With the midterms in the rear-view mirror, the Las Vegas event served as a catwalk for potential Trump rivals ahead of the Republican Party primaries to decide who will fight for the presidency in 2024.

    Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is emerging as one of Trump’s main rivals, closed the meeting with a speech praising his midterms performance.

    “We dominated with independent voters, we secured record margins with Hispanic voters.

    We swept the suburbs all across the state of Florida,” said the 44-year-old who was loudly applauded by attendees, several of whom approached the stage to shake his hand.

    The crowd also heard from former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who said she will think “in a serious way” about whether to launch a bid for the White House.

    “I’ve been the underdog every single time when people underestimate me, it’s always fun,” she said.

    “But I’ve never lost an election.

    And I’m not going to start now.

    ” – ‘Joy and a smile’ –Many rivals hit out at Trump’s grievance-laden style of politicking, which Republican Party operatives have said was to blame for their tepid showing on November 8.

    New Jersey’s former governor and one-time Trump confidante Chris Christie said candidate quality had been the issue.

    “Donald Trump picked candidates with one criteria.

    Not electability, not experience, not wisdom, not charisma, not the ability to govern, but ‘do you believe the 2020 election was stolen or not?

    ’ If you do I endorse you.

    If you don’t I reject you,” he said.

    “The fact of the matter is the reason we’re losing is because Donald Trump has put himself before everybody else.

    ” Chris Sununu, governor of New Hampshire, agreed.

    “I got a great policy for the Republican Party.

    Let’s stop supporting crazy unelectable candidates in our primaries,” he said.

    On Friday evening, Trump’s former secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, who is also understood to be mulling a run at the White House, urged fellow Republicans to be more forward-looking and more positive.

    While he did not mention his old boss by name, Pompeo made none-too-subtle digs about the need to be doers, rather than complainers.

    “As we present the conservative case, as we make the argument… we do so with joy, and a smile,” he said.

    “We don’t simply rail against the machine… we don’t simply go on Fox News or send tweets, we actually do the hard work.

    ” Trump did not address the potential rivals in his appearance on Saturday, but has already begun his customary bomb-throwing about potential presidential competitors, dubbing DeSantis “Ron DeSanctimonious” and saying Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s name “sounds Chinese.

    ” The gathering, which also featured an address by Israel’s prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu, runs until Sunday.

  •  Donald Trump s Twitter account was reinstated Saturday after the platform s new owner Elon Musk ran a poll in which a narrow majority of voters supported the move days after the former US president announced another White House bid Trump was banned from the platform early last year for his role in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol by a mob of his supporters seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 election The people have spoken Trump will be reinstated Musk tweeted shortly after the 24 hour poll ended Vox Populi Vox Dei he added repeating a Latin adage he posted Friday meaning the voice of the people is the voice of God More than 15 million people out of 237 million daily Twitter users voted on whether to reinstate the controversial profile with 51 8 percent in favor and 48 2 percent against Trump who had more than 88 million users when his account was suspended reveled in using Twitter as a mouthpiece during his presidency posting policy announcements attacking political rivals and communicating with supporters Musk s poll asked for a simple yes or no response to the statement Reinstate former President Trump which the billionaire Twitter boss posted Friday Fascinating to watch Twitter Trump poll Musk mused Saturday morning in a blast of tweets from the controversial and hard charging new owner of the one to many messaging platform He has posed similar polls in the past asking followers last year if he should sell stock in his electric car company Tesla Following that poll he sold more than 1 billion in shares I have Truth Social Trump said Saturday he would not return to the popular platform but instead remain on his own network Truth Social launched after he was banned from Twitter Appearing via video at a gathering of the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas Trump said he welcomed the poll and was a fan of Musk but appeared to reject any return He did put up a poll and it was very overwhelming but I have something called Truth Social As to whether he would return to the platform he said I don t see it because I don t see any reason for it Trump had not posted to Twitter by late Saturday though he did share a series of unrelated messages on his Truth Social account including opinion articles criticizing the US Justice Department s appointment of a special counsel this week to investigate his role in the Capitol attack But several of his political allies were highlighting his return Welcome back realdonaldtrump tweeted House Republican Paul Gosar Prominent Trump backer Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene whose personal account is also suspended re tweeted several of his previous posts from her official government account including some tweets that were still marked with fact checking badges refuting his claims about 2020 election fraud Anyone who thinks President Trump isn t going to win the 2024 primary is fooling themselves she tweeted Anti Trump Republican Liz Cheney co chair of the congressional committee investigating the Capitol attack who lost her re election bid responded to the news by directing Twitter users to a link with a video of one of the committee s hearings With Trump back on Twitter it s a good time to watch this Jan 6 hearing she tweeted It covers each of Trump s tweets that day including those that have been deleted and features multiple Trump WH staff describing his inexcusable conduct during the violence Musk has reinstated other banned accounts including that of comedian Kathy Griffin which had been taken down after she impersonated him on the site Twitter chaos Musk also the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX has come under fire for radical changes at California based Twitter which he bought less than a month ago for 44 billion Since then he has fired half of Twitter s 7 500 staff and scrapped a work from home policy all while his attempts to overhaul the company faced backlash and delays Hundreds of employees quit rather than yield to Musk s demands that they resign themselves to working long grueling days at the new Twitter His stumbling attempts to revamp user verification with a controversial subscription service led to a slew of fake accounts and pranks and prompted major advertisers to step away from the platform
    Trump Twitter account reappears after Musk poll
     Donald Trump s Twitter account was reinstated Saturday after the platform s new owner Elon Musk ran a poll in which a narrow majority of voters supported the move days after the former US president announced another White House bid Trump was banned from the platform early last year for his role in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol by a mob of his supporters seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 election The people have spoken Trump will be reinstated Musk tweeted shortly after the 24 hour poll ended Vox Populi Vox Dei he added repeating a Latin adage he posted Friday meaning the voice of the people is the voice of God More than 15 million people out of 237 million daily Twitter users voted on whether to reinstate the controversial profile with 51 8 percent in favor and 48 2 percent against Trump who had more than 88 million users when his account was suspended reveled in using Twitter as a mouthpiece during his presidency posting policy announcements attacking political rivals and communicating with supporters Musk s poll asked for a simple yes or no response to the statement Reinstate former President Trump which the billionaire Twitter boss posted Friday Fascinating to watch Twitter Trump poll Musk mused Saturday morning in a blast of tweets from the controversial and hard charging new owner of the one to many messaging platform He has posed similar polls in the past asking followers last year if he should sell stock in his electric car company Tesla Following that poll he sold more than 1 billion in shares I have Truth Social Trump said Saturday he would not return to the popular platform but instead remain on his own network Truth Social launched after he was banned from Twitter Appearing via video at a gathering of the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas Trump said he welcomed the poll and was a fan of Musk but appeared to reject any return He did put up a poll and it was very overwhelming but I have something called Truth Social As to whether he would return to the platform he said I don t see it because I don t see any reason for it Trump had not posted to Twitter by late Saturday though he did share a series of unrelated messages on his Truth Social account including opinion articles criticizing the US Justice Department s appointment of a special counsel this week to investigate his role in the Capitol attack But several of his political allies were highlighting his return Welcome back realdonaldtrump tweeted House Republican Paul Gosar Prominent Trump backer Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene whose personal account is also suspended re tweeted several of his previous posts from her official government account including some tweets that were still marked with fact checking badges refuting his claims about 2020 election fraud Anyone who thinks President Trump isn t going to win the 2024 primary is fooling themselves she tweeted Anti Trump Republican Liz Cheney co chair of the congressional committee investigating the Capitol attack who lost her re election bid responded to the news by directing Twitter users to a link with a video of one of the committee s hearings With Trump back on Twitter it s a good time to watch this Jan 6 hearing she tweeted It covers each of Trump s tweets that day including those that have been deleted and features multiple Trump WH staff describing his inexcusable conduct during the violence Musk has reinstated other banned accounts including that of comedian Kathy Griffin which had been taken down after she impersonated him on the site Twitter chaos Musk also the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX has come under fire for radical changes at California based Twitter which he bought less than a month ago for 44 billion Since then he has fired half of Twitter s 7 500 staff and scrapped a work from home policy all while his attempts to overhaul the company faced backlash and delays Hundreds of employees quit rather than yield to Musk s demands that they resign themselves to working long grueling days at the new Twitter His stumbling attempts to revamp user verification with a controversial subscription service led to a slew of fake accounts and pranks and prompted major advertisers to step away from the platform
    Trump Twitter account reappears after Musk poll
    Foreign1 week ago

    Trump Twitter account reappears after Musk poll

    Donald Trump’s Twitter account was reinstated Saturday after the platform’s new owner Elon Musk ran a poll in which a narrow majority of voters supported the move, days after the former US president announced another White House bid.

    Trump was banned from the platform early last year for his role in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol by a mob of his supporters seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

    “The people have spoken.

    Trump will be reinstated,” Musk tweeted, shortly after the 24-hour poll ended.

    “Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” he added, repeating a Latin adage he posted Friday meaning “the voice of the people is the voice of God.” More than 15 million people — out of 237 million daily Twitter users — voted on whether to reinstate the controversial profile, with 51.

    8 percent in favor and 48.

    2 percent against.

    Trump, who had more than 88 million users when his account was suspended, reveled in using Twitter as a mouthpiece during his presidency, posting policy announcements, attacking political rivals and communicating with supporters.

    Musk’s poll asked for a simple “yes” or “no” response to the statement “Reinstate former President Trump,” which the billionaire Twitter boss posted Friday.

    “Fascinating to watch Twitter Trump poll!

    ” Musk mused Saturday morning in a blast of tweets from the controversial and hard-charging new owner of the one-to-many messaging platform.

    He has posed similar polls in the past, asking followers last year if he should sell stock in his electric car company Tesla.

    Following that poll, he sold more than $1 billion in shares.

    – ‘I have Truth Social’Trump said Saturday he would not return to the popular platform but instead remain on his own network, Truth Social, launched after he was banned from Twitter.

    Appearing via video at a gathering of the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas, Trump said he welcomed the poll and was a fan of Musk, but appeared to reject any return.

    “He did put up a poll and it was very overwhelming… but I have something called… Truth Social.

    ” As to whether he would return to the platform, he said: “I don’t see it because I don’t see any reason for it.

    ” Trump had not posted to Twitter by late Saturday, though he did share a series of unrelated messages on his Truth Social account, including opinion articles criticizing the US Justice Department’s appointment of a special counsel this week to investigate his role in the Capitol attack.

    But several of his political allies were highlighting his return.

    “Welcome back, @realdonaldtrump!

    ” tweeted House Republican Paul Gosar.

    Prominent Trump-backer Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, whose personal account is also suspended, re-tweeted several of his previous posts from her official government account, including some tweets that were still marked with fact-checking badges refuting his claims about 2020 election fraud.

    “Anyone who thinks President Trump isn’t going to win the 2024 primary is fooling themselves,” she tweeted.

    Anti-Trump Republican Liz Cheney, co-chair of the congressional committee investigating the Capitol attack who lost her re-election bid, responded to the news by directing Twitter users to a link with a video of one of the committee’s hearings.

    “With Trump back on Twitter, it’s a good time to watch this Jan 6 hearing,” she tweeted.

    “It covers each of Trump’s tweets that day, including those that have been deleted, and features multiple Trump WH staff describing his inexcusable conduct during the violence.

    ”Musk has reinstated other banned accounts, including that of comedian Kathy Griffin, which had been taken down after she impersonated him on the site.

    Twitter chaos Musk, also the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has come under fire for radical changes at California-based Twitter, which he bought less than a month ago for $44 billion.

    Since then, he has fired half of Twitter’s 7,500 staff and scrapped a work-from-home policy, all while his attempts to overhaul the company faced backlash and delays.

    Hundreds of employees quit rather than yield to Musk’s demands that they resign themselves to working long, grueling days at the new Twitter.

    His stumbling attempts to revamp user verification with a controversial subscription service led to a slew of fake accounts and pranks, and prompted major advertisers to step away from the platform.

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