AllAbout - Feed http://allabout.pw news from around Sat, 24 Jun 2017 02:47:24 +0000 en-US https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 85293902 ‘Mr Gay Syria’: film documents lives of LGBTI Syrian refugeeshttp://allabout.pw/mr-gay-syria-film-documents-lives-of-lgbti-syrian-refugees/ Sat, 24 Jun 2017 02:41:42 +0000 http://allabout.pw/?p=2879

(CNN)When "Mr Gay Syria" premiered at the Sheffield Film Festival in England this June, it took viewers by surprise.

For starters, the documentary revolves around a little-spoken of community: gay Syrian refugees.
Turkish director and journalist Ayse Toprak chronicles the lives of Hussein Sabat and Mahmoud Hassino, as an usual quest brings them together.
    Married with a child, 24-year-old Sabat lives in Istanbul where, unlike Syria, homosexuality isn't outlawed -- the UNHCR estimates 1,900 LGBTI refugees are harbored in Turkey -- but the community is still vulnerable.
    Hassino, meanwhile, is a Syrian refugee and LGBTI activist living in Berlin on a mission to send the first Mr Gay Syria to Mr Gay World 2016, to raise awareness of LGBTI issues in Syria.
    Sabat applies for the job.
    But confronting LGBTI issues isn't the only way that "Mr Gay Syria" surprises.
    Instead of focusing solely on the hardships facing Syrian refugees, the filmsheds light on a close-knit community of displaced friends who find laughter and levity in the midst of crisis.
    CNN spoke to Toprak about why she made the film, and the challenges doing so presented.

    How would you describe the premise of Mr Gay Syria?

    The Mr Gay Syria and Mr Gay World pageants were really used as a narrative thread to talk about these (LGBTI) issues and the lives of these characters.
    There are stories about the refugee crisis, the war, there's a love story, stories of coming out, family problems -- it's a story of strength and of a community, of people who want to hold on to life. It's all of these things, kind of woven together.

    How did the idea for the documentary come about?

    It was inspired by one of the main characters, Mahmoud, who I met while working at Al Jazeera. I was assigned to do a story on the school system for Syrian refugees in Turkey. I don't speak Arabic, so I worked with a fixer.
    Mahmoud was one of the fixers I interviewed. One of the first things he said was: "I'm gay. And if you're not okay with that, then don't work with me."
    I learned later that he is a big LGBTI activist in Syria -- and he had this dream to take LGBTI Syrian men to an international contest called Mr Gay World.

    Why Mr Gay World?

    Mahmoud thought it would be the ultimate way of defying everything that he has lived through and raising awareness about LGBTI issues.
    Everyone was really tied up with the Syrian conflict. He knew that unless he did something outrageous, like taking the first Syrian to Mr Gay World, no one would listen to his cause.
    A

    How do you think LGBTI issues relate to the Syrian crisis?

    A lot of people feel that we shouldn't be talking about LGBTI in the Arab world, or in relation to the Syrian crisis, because it's too niche. But I think it shows that we can fight for specific rights in the name of larger conflicts.
    Just because they're gay doesn't mean they aren't refugees -- they all share a common destiny with millions of Syrian refugees, dealing with conflict beyond their control and finding new homes where they can feel like they belong.
    In terms of the refugee crisis, we are showing a community that has never been explored before, and perhaps that's because LGBTI issues seem like less of a crisis, or a smaller scale, than the overall Syria situation. But you can't value one human right over another.

    Tell me about Hussein, one of the main characters.

    Hussein is a barber living in Istanbul. He's young, in his early 20s, and living a double life between his very conservative family on the outskirts of Istanbul and his gay life in the middle of the city.
    What he's going through as a gay man -- married to a woman, living in a conservative world, and what that woman is going through as well -- is so common in the Arab world. We received so many messages about him (from viewers), saying that they were living the same life.

    How does his character evolve during the film?

    He applies for Mr Gay Syria and, in his interview, the (judges) ask him: "Is it out of courage or despair that you're attending this contest?"
    And he responds: "Despair, turned into courage."
    Those words were really powerful. He's the kind of person who wants to evolve, move forward and change things -- not just for himself, but also for his family as well. His story is very tragic, actually, but he never loses that hope, which I think is important.

    Spoiler alert! Hussein ends up winning the Mr Gay Syria pageant. What drew him to this competition?

    It's not really a beauty pageant. It's more of a small community -- about 50 or 60 people (in Turkey). These guys love laughing, they love life, and love having fun even though they are surrounded by so much tragedy.
    Half of them are sex workers, they have family stuck in Syria, they live in a terrible time -- probably as bad as it gets. But regardless, they want to laugh and have fun.
    And Mr Gay Syria gave that to them. They could come back to life. You can see how much they want to live -- it's beautiful, and offers an escape.

    In the end, Hussein couldn't partake in Mr Gay World. What happened?

    It's extremely difficult for Syrians to get passports or visas right now. It's a complete black market. That's what I witnessed -- they would have had to bribe people, or buy a fake passport through a middleman.
    In the end, Hussein couldn't get a visa to go to Malta, where the competition was taking place.

    What are the challenges of making a film like this in Turkey?

    We know our way around Turkey, so filming isn't so hard, but we didn't advertise to the police that we are filming a gay story. If we were asked, we changed the name of the film to something like "A Good Life," and said it was about something else.
    We tried to stay under the radar. I don't know what would have happened if we told them it was a gay film. I thought it was possible we could lose our filming permit, but I have no idea. Maybe nothing would have happened -- but I just didn't want to risk it.

    What's the situation like for the LGBTI community in Syria and Turkey?

    I am not an expert on Syria in terms of numbers, but there are lots of hate crimes where people are beaten up or thrown into jail. They're facing extremist groups, they're hated by the regime, and they really have no space to breath.
    In Turkey, the LGBTI community has NGOs and support groups that are working for their lives, but of course hate crimes are still a problem. They constantly experience harassment and abuse, because conservative views are becoming more predominant.
    The gay pride parade, for example, used to have more than 100,000 people join, from all walks of life. But in the last few years it was banned by the government, or shut down with tear gas and rubber bullets.
    Turkey is freer than our neighboring countries when it comes to LGBTI -- in that it's not criminalized -- but there are still a lot of problems that need to be resolved.

    How does this film break from the normal narrative about Syrian refugees?

    Syrians aren't always crying and miserable. They also love to laugh and want to live. They might be living in terrible conditions, but laughter is a way to survive. That's why Mr Gay Syria is such a powerful community.
    When we showed the film at Sheffield Film Festival, one of the audience members was a Syrian girl. She raised her hand and said: "Thank you for making this film -- it's refreshing that I can cry, but I can also laugh at the same time. Because everything I usually see is about the victimization of Syrians."
    So, perhaps, a lot of the other documentaries coming out of region about Syria is all doom and gloom. We haven't yet seen many documentaries that have really powerful characters, in terms of people holding onto life, having a laugh with it, and who express their hopes and dreams.
    They're not victims in this story, they're very strong.

    How did this film change your concept of the word "refugee"?

    The closer I got to these people, the more I realized that we have this concept of refugees -- that they are helpless or powerless. What surprised me is that there was much to learn about life through them.
    I saw the beauty of their community and that they have so much strength, which I hadn't realized before. They're very vulnerable, but they have so much dignity, and that's unbelievably beautiful.
    As we got close to these characters, I thought that if I could transmit them onto the screen, that the audience could see them as I did, and feel moved.
    I don't think the film is going to change policies or anything, but if it gives people a different perspective then that's a success to me.

    What effect do you want the film to have?

    One of the first things that a friend of mine said after watching the film, was that she wished that something good would happen in the lives of these characters. She hoped that they would find their dream homes, find somewhere they belong, and live the way they wish.
    My hope is that everyone who watches the film has a similar reaction.
    This interview has been edited for grammar and brevity.

    More From this publisher : HERE

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    Article Source Here: ‘Mr Gay Syria’: film documents lives of LGBTI Syrian refugees
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    (CNN)When "Mr Gay Syria" premiered at the Sheffield Film Festival in England this June, it took viewers by surprise.

    For starters, the documentary revolves around a little-spoken of community: gay Syrian refugees.
    Turkish director and journalist Ayse Toprak chronicles the lives of Hussein Sabat and Mahmoud Hassino, as an usual quest brings them together.
      Married with a child, 24-year-old Sabat lives in Istanbul where, unlike Syria, homosexuality isn't outlawed -- the UNHCR estimates 1,900 LGBTI refugees are harbored in Turkey -- but the community is still vulnerable.
      Hassino, meanwhile, is a Syrian refugee and LGBTI activist living in Berlin on a mission to send the first Mr Gay Syria to Mr Gay World 2016, to raise awareness of LGBTI issues in Syria.
      Sabat applies for the job.
      But confronting LGBTI issues isn't the only way that "Mr Gay Syria" surprises.
      Instead of focusing solely on the hardships facing Syrian refugees, the filmsheds light on a close-knit community of displaced friends who find laughter and levity in the midst of crisis.
      CNN spoke to Toprak about why she made the film, and the challenges doing so presented.

      How would you describe the premise of Mr Gay Syria?

      The Mr Gay Syria and Mr Gay World pageants were really used as a narrative thread to talk about these (LGBTI) issues and the lives of these characters.
      There are stories about the refugee crisis, the war, there's a love story, stories of coming out, family problems -- it's a story of strength and of a community, of people who want to hold on to life. It's all of these things, kind of woven together.

      How did the idea for the documentary come about?

      It was inspired by one of the main characters, Mahmoud, who I met while working at Al Jazeera. I was assigned to do a story on the school system for Syrian refugees in Turkey. I don't speak Arabic, so I worked with a fixer.
      Mahmoud was one of the fixers I interviewed. One of the first things he said was: "I'm gay. And if you're not okay with that, then don't work with me."
      I learned later that he is a big LGBTI activist in Syria -- and he had this dream to take LGBTI Syrian men to an international contest called Mr Gay World.

      Why Mr Gay World?

      Mahmoud thought it would be the ultimate way of defying everything that he has lived through and raising awareness about LGBTI issues.
      Everyone was really tied up with the Syrian conflict. He knew that unless he did something outrageous, like taking the first Syrian to Mr Gay World, no one would listen to his cause.
      A

      How do you think LGBTI issues relate to the Syrian crisis?

      A lot of people feel that we shouldn't be talking about LGBTI in the Arab world, or in relation to the Syrian crisis, because it's too niche. But I think it shows that we can fight for specific rights in the name of larger conflicts.
      Just because they're gay doesn't mean they aren't refugees -- they all share a common destiny with millions of Syrian refugees, dealing with conflict beyond their control and finding new homes where they can feel like they belong.
      In terms of the refugee crisis, we are showing a community that has never been explored before, and perhaps that's because LGBTI issues seem like less of a crisis, or a smaller scale, than the overall Syria situation. But you can't value one human right over another.

      Tell me about Hussein, one of the main characters.

      Hussein is a barber living in Istanbul. He's young, in his early 20s, and living a double life between his very conservative family on the outskirts of Istanbul and his gay life in the middle of the city.
      What he's going through as a gay man -- married to a woman, living in a conservative world, and what that woman is going through as well -- is so common in the Arab world. We received so many messages about him (from viewers), saying that they were living the same life.

      How does his character evolve during the film?

      He applies for Mr Gay Syria and, in his interview, the (judges) ask him: "Is it out of courage or despair that you're attending this contest?"
      And he responds: "Despair, turned into courage."
      Those words were really powerful. He's the kind of person who wants to evolve, move forward and change things -- not just for himself, but also for his family as well. His story is very tragic, actually, but he never loses that hope, which I think is important.

      Spoiler alert! Hussein ends up winning the Mr Gay Syria pageant. What drew him to this competition?

      It's not really a beauty pageant. It's more of a small community -- about 50 or 60 people (in Turkey). These guys love laughing, they love life, and love having fun even though they are surrounded by so much tragedy.
      Half of them are sex workers, they have family stuck in Syria, they live in a terrible time -- probably as bad as it gets. But regardless, they want to laugh and have fun.
      And Mr Gay Syria gave that to them. They could come back to life. You can see how much they want to live -- it's beautiful, and offers an escape.

      In the end, Hussein couldn't partake in Mr Gay World. What happened?

      It's extremely difficult for Syrians to get passports or visas right now. It's a complete black market. That's what I witnessed -- they would have had to bribe people, or buy a fake passport through a middleman.
      In the end, Hussein couldn't get a visa to go to Malta, where the competition was taking place.

      What are the challenges of making a film like this in Turkey?

      We know our way around Turkey, so filming isn't so hard, but we didn't advertise to the police that we are filming a gay story. If we were asked, we changed the name of the film to something like "A Good Life," and said it was about something else.
      We tried to stay under the radar. I don't know what would have happened if we told them it was a gay film. I thought it was possible we could lose our filming permit, but I have no idea. Maybe nothing would have happened -- but I just didn't want to risk it.

      What's the situation like for the LGBTI community in Syria and Turkey?

      I am not an expert on Syria in terms of numbers, but there are lots of hate crimes where people are beaten up or thrown into jail. They're facing extremist groups, they're hated by the regime, and they really have no space to breath.
      In Turkey, the LGBTI community has NGOs and support groups that are working for their lives, but of course hate crimes are still a problem. They constantly experience harassment and abuse, because conservative views are becoming more predominant.
      The gay pride parade, for example, used to have more than 100,000 people join, from all walks of life. But in the last few years it was banned by the government, or shut down with tear gas and rubber bullets.
      Turkey is freer than our neighboring countries when it comes to LGBTI -- in that it's not criminalized -- but there are still a lot of problems that need to be resolved.

      How does this film break from the normal narrative about Syrian refugees?

      Syrians aren't always crying and miserable. They also love to laugh and want to live. They might be living in terrible conditions, but laughter is a way to survive. That's why Mr Gay Syria is such a powerful community.
      When we showed the film at Sheffield Film Festival, one of the audience members was a Syrian girl. She raised her hand and said: "Thank you for making this film -- it's refreshing that I can cry, but I can also laugh at the same time. Because everything I usually see is about the victimization of Syrians."
      So, perhaps, a lot of the other documentaries coming out of region about Syria is all doom and gloom. We haven't yet seen many documentaries that have really powerful characters, in terms of people holding onto life, having a laugh with it, and who express their hopes and dreams.
      They're not victims in this story, they're very strong.

      How did this film change your concept of the word "refugee"?

      The closer I got to these people, the more I realized that we have this concept of refugees -- that they are helpless or powerless. What surprised me is that there was much to learn about life through them.
      I saw the beauty of their community and that they have so much strength, which I hadn't realized before. They're very vulnerable, but they have so much dignity, and that's unbelievably beautiful.
      As we got close to these characters, I thought that if I could transmit them onto the screen, that the audience could see them as I did, and feel moved.
      I don't think the film is going to change policies or anything, but if it gives people a different perspective then that's a success to me.

      What effect do you want the film to have?

      One of the first things that a friend of mine said after watching the film, was that she wished that something good would happen in the lives of these characters. She hoped that they would find their dream homes, find somewhere they belong, and live the way they wish.
      My hope is that everyone who watches the film has a similar reaction.
      This interview has been edited for grammar and brevity.

      More From this publisher : HERE

      =>
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      Article Source Here: ‘Mr Gay Syria’: film documents lives of LGBTI Syrian refugees
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      2879
      Would Trump make a good royal?http://allabout.pw/would-trump-make-a-good-royal/ Fri, 23 Jun 2017 23:23:32 +0000 http://allabout.pw/?p=2877

      (CNN)The power of the British monarchy has been on display during recent tragedies.

      Whether comforting victims of the Grenfell tower block fire or unveiling the priorities of her government in the state opening of Parliament, Queen Elizabeth II has demonstrated the sort of steady, dignified endurance that rises above the chaos of a divisive Brexit vote and an inconclusive general election.
      Leave it to Prince Harry to spoil it all.
        In a revealing interview with Newsweek, the Queen's most rebellious grandson let slip the secret at the heart of his family.
        "We are involved in modernizing the British monarchy. We are not doing this for ourselves but for the greater good of the people.... Is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen? I don't think so, but we will carry out our duties at the right time," he said.
        Prince Harry's words are extraordinary. But he should know better than anyone if his father Charles and brother William, both groomed for the job since birth, do not even want the throne.

          Prince Harry opens up about Diana's funeral

        Who, after all, could survive the nonstop attention and demand for selfies? Who would thrive under such scrutiny, and do it all while wearing a gold crown weighing more than three pounds?
        It would take a certain type of person. The sort of person who fills his court with relatives, perhaps, who thinks the separation of powers is a foreign concept, and who would quite fancy himself as the head of a church.
        Anyone coming to mind here?
        President Donald Trump may be struggling to navigate power in the world's greatest democracy. But how about the top job in a smaller, dustier administration?
        There may be centuries of convention about how the monarch is supposed to relate to Parliament (keep quiet and sign the bills when they arrive), but an unwritten constitution means there is nothing to stop him doing whatever he wants.
        These days, marrying a Catholic is not even a problem, so Melania is safe.
        It is, of course, a stupid idea. A poor joke deployed by a Brit in America (yours truly) trying to make sense of Prince Harry's comments and the truth about duty.
        Harry's point is that nobody should want the crown. Nobody should want the awesome responsibilities that come with it. The accident of birth has rather ruled him out of contention anyway. Prince Harry now stands fifth in line to the throne.

          Prince Harry hosts Obama at Kensington Palace

        But it is easy to understand how a fun-loving 30-something would balk at the idea.
        His mother died in a car accident in a French road tunnel as she was pursued by paparazzi, photographers trying to sate the massive interest in the Royals' real-life soap opera.
        A photo of Harry walking in his mother's funeral cortege became the public's defining image of the young prince.
        "My mother had just died, and I had to walk a long way behind her coffin, surrounded by thousands of people watching me while millions more did on television," he said in the Newsweek interview.
        "I don't think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances. I don't think it would happen."
        It got worse as Harry got older and became fair game for the tabloids. Now every girlfriend is scrutinized by a public that knows him only from a distance.
        When he dressed up as a Nazi for a fancy dress party, photographs turned up on newspaper front pages.

          UK royals talk candidly about losing Diana

        And as his brother William will one day find out, being king rather makes showing up at a Colonials and Natives themed party a bit of a no-no. (Although his choice of outfit at that notorious 2005 party -- a lion costume -- shows the way he has been groomed from a young age to avoid accidentally triggering outrage by dressing up as a murderous fascist.)
        We have all watched the crown and marveled at the way Princess Elizabeth blossomed into a young queen as she grappled with her new burden and the duties she learned at her father's side.
        How much more difficult that transition would be today, in our nonstop world of Twitter, hot takes and rolling news.

        Join us on Twitter and Facebook

        Anyone lusting after the position of sovereign would possess not just an unhealthy masochism, but a level of narcissism at odds with the humility displayed by the Queen during this past week.
        What kind of monster would want that life?

        More From this publisher : HERE

        =>
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        Source Here: Would Trump make a good royal?
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        (CNN)The power of the British monarchy has been on display during recent tragedies.

        Whether comforting victims of the Grenfell tower block fire or unveiling the priorities of her government in the state opening of Parliament, Queen Elizabeth II has demonstrated the sort of steady, dignified endurance that rises above the chaos of a divisive Brexit vote and an inconclusive general election.
        Leave it to Prince Harry to spoil it all.
          In a revealing interview with Newsweek, the Queen's most rebellious grandson let slip the secret at the heart of his family.
          "We are involved in modernizing the British monarchy. We are not doing this for ourselves but for the greater good of the people.... Is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen? I don't think so, but we will carry out our duties at the right time," he said.
          Prince Harry's words are extraordinary. But he should know better than anyone if his father Charles and brother William, both groomed for the job since birth, do not even want the throne.

            Prince Harry opens up about Diana's funeral

          Who, after all, could survive the nonstop attention and demand for selfies? Who would thrive under such scrutiny, and do it all while wearing a gold crown weighing more than three pounds?
          It would take a certain type of person. The sort of person who fills his court with relatives, perhaps, who thinks the separation of powers is a foreign concept, and who would quite fancy himself as the head of a church.
          Anyone coming to mind here?
          President Donald Trump may be struggling to navigate power in the world's greatest democracy. But how about the top job in a smaller, dustier administration?
          There may be centuries of convention about how the monarch is supposed to relate to Parliament (keep quiet and sign the bills when they arrive), but an unwritten constitution means there is nothing to stop him doing whatever he wants.
          These days, marrying a Catholic is not even a problem, so Melania is safe.
          It is, of course, a stupid idea. A poor joke deployed by a Brit in America (yours truly) trying to make sense of Prince Harry's comments and the truth about duty.
          Harry's point is that nobody should want the crown. Nobody should want the awesome responsibilities that come with it. The accident of birth has rather ruled him out of contention anyway. Prince Harry now stands fifth in line to the throne.

            Prince Harry hosts Obama at Kensington Palace

          But it is easy to understand how a fun-loving 30-something would balk at the idea.
          His mother died in a car accident in a French road tunnel as she was pursued by paparazzi, photographers trying to sate the massive interest in the Royals' real-life soap opera.
          A photo of Harry walking in his mother's funeral cortege became the public's defining image of the young prince.
          "My mother had just died, and I had to walk a long way behind her coffin, surrounded by thousands of people watching me while millions more did on television," he said in the Newsweek interview.
          "I don't think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances. I don't think it would happen."
          It got worse as Harry got older and became fair game for the tabloids. Now every girlfriend is scrutinized by a public that knows him only from a distance.
          When he dressed up as a Nazi for a fancy dress party, photographs turned up on newspaper front pages.

            UK royals talk candidly about losing Diana

          And as his brother William will one day find out, being king rather makes showing up at a Colonials and Natives themed party a bit of a no-no. (Although his choice of outfit at that notorious 2005 party -- a lion costume -- shows the way he has been groomed from a young age to avoid accidentally triggering outrage by dressing up as a murderous fascist.)
          We have all watched the crown and marveled at the way Princess Elizabeth blossomed into a young queen as she grappled with her new burden and the duties she learned at her father's side.
          How much more difficult that transition would be today, in our nonstop world of Twitter, hot takes and rolling news.

          Join us on Twitter and Facebook

          Anyone lusting after the position of sovereign would possess not just an unhealthy masochism, but a level of narcissism at odds with the humility displayed by the Queen during this past week.
          What kind of monster would want that life?

          More From this publisher : HERE

          =>
          ***********************************************
          Source Here: Would Trump make a good royal?
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          =>

          ]]>
          2877
          Facebook launches initiative to fight online hate speech – BBC Newshttp://allabout.pw/facebook-launches-initiative-to-fight-online-hate-speech-bbc-news/ Fri, 23 Jun 2017 20:27:00 +0000 http://allabout.pw/?p=2874
          Image copyright Reuters
          Image caption Facebook says it will support and train NGOs to spot and respond to hate speech and extremism

          Facebook is launching a UK initiative to train and fund local organisations to combat extremism and hate speech.

          It comes a week after the social network announced steps of its own to remove terrorist-related content from its site.

          The UK Online Civil Courage Initiative's initial partners include Imams Online and the Jo Cox Foundation.

          Facebook has faced criticism for being slow to react to terrorist propaganda on its platforms.

          "The recent terror attacks in London and Manchester - like violence anywhere - are absolutely heartbreaking," said Facebook's chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg.

          "No-one should have to live in fear of terrorism - and we all have a part to play in stopping violent extremism from spreading.

          "We know we have more to do - but through our platform, our partners and our community we will continue to learn to keep violence and extremism off Facebook."

          Increasing pressure

          In recent months, governments across Europe have been pushing for technology companies to take more action to prevent online platforms from being used to spread extremist propaganda.

          In particular, security services have criticised Facebook, Twitter and Google for relying too much on other people to report inappropriate content, rather than spotting it themselves.

          In April, Germany passed a bill to fine social networks up to 50m (44m) if they failed to give users the option to report hate speech and fake news, or if they refused to remove illegal content flagged as either images of child sexual abuse or inciting terrorism.

          Following the London Bridge terror attack, UK PM Theresa May announced that new international agreements needed to be introduced to regulate the internet in order to "deprive the extremists of their safe spaces online".

          And last week in Paris, Mrs May and French President Emmanuel Macron launched a joint campaign to look at how they could make the internet safe, including making companies legally liable if they refused to remove certain content.

          Other efforts

          Similar initiatives to counter hate speech were launched in Germany in January 2016 and in France in March 2017.

          They have held training workshops with more than 100 anti-hate and anti-extremism organisations across Europe, and reached 3.5 million people online through its Facebook page.

          In the UK, people are being encouraged to visit the UK OCCI Facebook page, to share stories, content and ideas, and use the hashtag #civilcourage.

          Brendan Cox, the widower of murdered MP Jo Cox and the founder of the Jo Cox Foundation, has welcomed the move.

          "This is a valuable and much needed initiative from Facebook in helping to tackle extremism," he said.

          "Anything that helps push the extremists even further to the margins is greatly welcome. Social media platforms have a particular responsibility to address hate speech that has too often been allowed to flourish online.

          "It is critical that efforts are taken by all online service providers and social networks to bring our communities closer together and to further crack down on those that spread violence and hatred online."

          More From this publisher : HERE

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          Post Source Here: Facebook launches initiative to fight online hate speech – BBC News
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          Image copyright Reuters
          Image caption Facebook says it will support and train NGOs to spot and respond to hate speech and extremism

          Facebook is launching a UK initiative to train and fund local organisations to combat extremism and hate speech.

          It comes a week after the social network announced steps of its own to remove terrorist-related content from its site.

          The UK Online Civil Courage Initiative's initial partners include Imams Online and the Jo Cox Foundation.

          Facebook has faced criticism for being slow to react to terrorist propaganda on its platforms.

          "The recent terror attacks in London and Manchester - like violence anywhere - are absolutely heartbreaking," said Facebook's chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg.

          "No-one should have to live in fear of terrorism - and we all have a part to play in stopping violent extremism from spreading.

          "We know we have more to do - but through our platform, our partners and our community we will continue to learn to keep violence and extremism off Facebook."

          Increasing pressure

          In recent months, governments across Europe have been pushing for technology companies to take more action to prevent online platforms from being used to spread extremist propaganda.

          In particular, security services have criticised Facebook, Twitter and Google for relying too much on other people to report inappropriate content, rather than spotting it themselves.

          In April, Germany passed a bill to fine social networks up to 50m (44m) if they failed to give users the option to report hate speech and fake news, or if they refused to remove illegal content flagged as either images of child sexual abuse or inciting terrorism.

          Following the London Bridge terror attack, UK PM Theresa May announced that new international agreements needed to be introduced to regulate the internet in order to "deprive the extremists of their safe spaces online".

          And last week in Paris, Mrs May and French President Emmanuel Macron launched a joint campaign to look at how they could make the internet safe, including making companies legally liable if they refused to remove certain content.

          Other efforts

          Similar initiatives to counter hate speech were launched in Germany in January 2016 and in France in March 2017.

          They have held training workshops with more than 100 anti-hate and anti-extremism organisations across Europe, and reached 3.5 million people online through its Facebook page.

          In the UK, people are being encouraged to visit the UK OCCI Facebook page, to share stories, content and ideas, and use the hashtag #civilcourage.

          Brendan Cox, the widower of murdered MP Jo Cox and the founder of the Jo Cox Foundation, has welcomed the move.

          "This is a valuable and much needed initiative from Facebook in helping to tackle extremism," he said.

          "Anything that helps push the extremists even further to the margins is greatly welcome. Social media platforms have a particular responsibility to address hate speech that has too often been allowed to flourish online.

          "It is critical that efforts are taken by all online service providers and social networks to bring our communities closer together and to further crack down on those that spread violence and hatred online."

          More From this publisher : HERE

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          Ousted South Korean president’s confidante Choi Soon-sil sentencedhttp://allabout.pw/ousted-south-korean-presidents-confidante-choi-soon-sil-sentenced/ Fri, 23 Jun 2017 17:21:18 +0000 http://allabout.pw/?p=2871

          Seoul (CNN)The confidante of South Korea's ousted president has been sentenced to three years jail for her role in a corruption scandal that brought down the country's leader and roiled its political and business elite.

          Seoul Central District Court found Choi Soon-sil guilty of obstruction of duty by using her ties with impeached South Korean President Park Geun-hye to solicit academic favors for her daughter from Ewha Womans University, a court press officer told CNN Friday.
          Choi, who has been described as a Rasputin-like character to the ousted leader, is also on trial for abuse of power and fraud. Park went on trial for corruption last month in a case that has gripped the country.
            Choi's daughter Chung Yoo-ra, 21, was extradited from Denmark in January after spending months in hiding after the scandal broke.
            It had been alleged that Chung, an equestrian who won gold in the group dressage event at the 2014 Asian Games, had received special treatment to secure admission to the university.
            The court also sentenced the former president of the university to two years in prison and the university's former admissions head to 18 months in prison for complying with Choi's demands, the press officer said.

            President ousted

            Revelations that Park shared classified government information with Choi, a civilian and long-term personal confidante, led to the corruption scandal that resulted in Park's impeachment and removal as South Korean president in March.
            The Constitutional Court that upheld Park's impeachment agreed with accusations that Park had been unduly influenced by Choi and abused her authority in helping Choi raise donations from companies for foundations she had set up.
            Also indicted in the trial is Lotte chairman Shin Dong-bin, a billionaire businessmen who was allegedly involved in bribery.

            More From this publisher : HERE

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            Seoul (CNN)The confidante of South Korea's ousted president has been sentenced to three years jail for her role in a corruption scandal that brought down the country's leader and roiled its political and business elite.

            Seoul Central District Court found Choi Soon-sil guilty of obstruction of duty by using her ties with impeached South Korean President Park Geun-hye to solicit academic favors for her daughter from Ewha Womans University, a court press officer told CNN Friday.
            Choi, who has been described as a Rasputin-like character to the ousted leader, is also on trial for abuse of power and fraud. Park went on trial for corruption last month in a case that has gripped the country.
              Choi's daughter Chung Yoo-ra, 21, was extradited from Denmark in January after spending months in hiding after the scandal broke.
              It had been alleged that Chung, an equestrian who won gold in the group dressage event at the 2014 Asian Games, had received special treatment to secure admission to the university.
              The court also sentenced the former president of the university to two years in prison and the university's former admissions head to 18 months in prison for complying with Choi's demands, the press officer said.

              President ousted

              Revelations that Park shared classified government information with Choi, a civilian and long-term personal confidante, led to the corruption scandal that resulted in Park's impeachment and removal as South Korean president in March.
              The Constitutional Court that upheld Park's impeachment agreed with accusations that Park had been unduly influenced by Choi and abused her authority in helping Choi raise donations from companies for foundations she had set up.
              Also indicted in the trial is Lotte chairman Shin Dong-bin, a billionaire businessmen who was allegedly involved in bribery.

              More From this publisher : HERE

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              One week. 52 senators. Can Mitch McConnell get it done?http://allabout.pw/one-week-52-senators-can-mitch-mcconnell-get-it-done/ Fri, 23 Jun 2017 14:24:11 +0000 http://allabout.pw/?p=2868

              Washington (CNN)The math isn't there yet for Mitch McConnell.

              Within hours of the Senate majority leader unveiling a long-anticipated health care bill on Thursday, four of his Republican colleagues were quick to put a damper on things: "We are not ready to vote for this bill," the group said in a joint statement.
              The swift rejection may be a negotiating ploy, but the public nature of it is a reminder for McConnell of the deep reservations running through his own conference on a proposal that conservatives do not believe goes far enough to repeal Obamacare -- and the monumental challenge that lies ahead as he looks for 50 "yes" votes.
                Over the next few days, McConnell needs to determine what concessions he can make to sway at least two of the four conservative senators -- but do so without losing support from the more moderate wing of the Senate, some of whom face tough re-elections next year.
                Sen. Ted Cruz, who along with Sens. Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Ron Johnson said they could not support the bill in its current form, told reporters Thursday afternoon that the real negotiations have only just begun -- and suggested he would be willing to swallow elements he doesn't care for.
                "Everyone's going to have to give. That's the only way you can get at least 50 out of 52 Republicans," Cruz said. "We have a very narrow majority."
                But McConnell doesn't have much time.
                He is aiming for a vote before members leave town ahead of the July 4 recess, giving Senate Republicans have just a handful of days to study a 142-page bill. And they will have even less time to consider the Congressional Budget Office's score of the bill -- and dramatic headlines of what it means for Americans' health care coverage -- once it's released early next week.
                Many of McConnell's colleagues, however, are confident that if anyone can find 50 votes, it's their majority leader -- a political tactician who knows Senate procedure inside and out.
                "Listen, I think Mitch's role is to choose to take a vote on this. I think that's what he's doing he's gone through a very exhaustive process of the input, and he's come up with a blue print that can still be amended and probably will be in reconciliation," said North Carolina Republican Sen. Richard Burr.
                "If anyone can get this done, it's him," South Dakota Sen. John Thune said.

                  Protesters dragged away from senator's office

                The difficult votes to win

                On both the moderate and conservative sides of the party, some of the lawmakers that may be the toughest for McConnell to get to a yes are the same ones who may have to rely on his generosity for their re-elections.
                Sen. Dean Heller, a Nevada moderate, is facing re-election in a swing state that expanded Medicaid. On Thursday, he was among the first to release a statement raising "serious concerns about the bill's impact on the Nevadans who depend on Medicaid."
                Cruz, a conservative from deep-red Texas who is also up for re-election in 2018, also said that the bill didn't go far enough to lower premiums.
                But in both cases, McConnell has leverage. Cruz, for example, could face a primary challenge and would be well served to stay in the good graces of McConnell. Heller similarly will have to rely on national party support to help him win in Nevada, where former Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid helped build an extensive political infrastructure.
                Also aiding McConnell is the fact that Republicans have campaigned on repealing and replacing Obamacare for more than seven years. If they vote against a repeal bill now, they will be charged with not fulfilling their years-long promise back home.
                Not to mention senators may have to face the ire of President Donald Trump if they vote against the bill.
                According to one GOP aide, Trump already made a call to Paul, and asked him personally to support the Senate bill days before its release.

                  Rand Paul calls new GOP bill 'Obamacare-lite'

                Working in secret

                For weeks, McConnell's colleagues have publicly criticized his decision to write the bill behind closed doors.
                On Thursday, lawmakers reiterated those concerns, wondering out loud whether one week was enough to properly debate the contents of a bill aimed at overhauling the current health care system.
                "It's going to be very difficult because it is a complex bill and there are a lot of differing points of view on it too, which is the real problem," GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch told CNN.
                McConnell's dilemma is similar to what House Speaker Paul Ryan faced earlier this year when he struggled to get enough votes to get the House Republican bill through the lower chamber.
                In fact, the first time that Ryan brought up the legislation in March, it was premature, forcing him to yank the bill from the House floor before regrouping to pass it last month.
                "Moving from an opposition party to a governing party comes with growing pains," Ryan said at the time. "And well, we're feeling those growing pains today."

                  Lankford on health bill: 'solid undecided'

                More From this publisher : HERE

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                Washington (CNN)The math isn't there yet for Mitch McConnell.

                Within hours of the Senate majority leader unveiling a long-anticipated health care bill on Thursday, four of his Republican colleagues were quick to put a damper on things: "We are not ready to vote for this bill," the group said in a joint statement.
                The swift rejection may be a negotiating ploy, but the public nature of it is a reminder for McConnell of the deep reservations running through his own conference on a proposal that conservatives do not believe goes far enough to repeal Obamacare -- and the monumental challenge that lies ahead as he looks for 50 "yes" votes.
                  Over the next few days, McConnell needs to determine what concessions he can make to sway at least two of the four conservative senators -- but do so without losing support from the more moderate wing of the Senate, some of whom face tough re-elections next year.
                  Sen. Ted Cruz, who along with Sens. Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Ron Johnson said they could not support the bill in its current form, told reporters Thursday afternoon that the real negotiations have only just begun -- and suggested he would be willing to swallow elements he doesn't care for.
                  "Everyone's going to have to give. That's the only way you can get at least 50 out of 52 Republicans," Cruz said. "We have a very narrow majority."
                  But McConnell doesn't have much time.
                  He is aiming for a vote before members leave town ahead of the July 4 recess, giving Senate Republicans have just a handful of days to study a 142-page bill. And they will have even less time to consider the Congressional Budget Office's score of the bill -- and dramatic headlines of what it means for Americans' health care coverage -- once it's released early next week.
                  Many of McConnell's colleagues, however, are confident that if anyone can find 50 votes, it's their majority leader -- a political tactician who knows Senate procedure inside and out.
                  "Listen, I think Mitch's role is to choose to take a vote on this. I think that's what he's doing he's gone through a very exhaustive process of the input, and he's come up with a blue print that can still be amended and probably will be in reconciliation," said North Carolina Republican Sen. Richard Burr.
                  "If anyone can get this done, it's him," South Dakota Sen. John Thune said.

                    Protesters dragged away from senator's office

                  The difficult votes to win

                  On both the moderate and conservative sides of the party, some of the lawmakers that may be the toughest for McConnell to get to a yes are the same ones who may have to rely on his generosity for their re-elections.
                  Sen. Dean Heller, a Nevada moderate, is facing re-election in a swing state that expanded Medicaid. On Thursday, he was among the first to release a statement raising "serious concerns about the bill's impact on the Nevadans who depend on Medicaid."
                  Cruz, a conservative from deep-red Texas who is also up for re-election in 2018, also said that the bill didn't go far enough to lower premiums.
                  But in both cases, McConnell has leverage. Cruz, for example, could face a primary challenge and would be well served to stay in the good graces of McConnell. Heller similarly will have to rely on national party support to help him win in Nevada, where former Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid helped build an extensive political infrastructure.
                  Also aiding McConnell is the fact that Republicans have campaigned on repealing and replacing Obamacare for more than seven years. If they vote against a repeal bill now, they will be charged with not fulfilling their years-long promise back home.
                  Not to mention senators may have to face the ire of President Donald Trump if they vote against the bill.
                  According to one GOP aide, Trump already made a call to Paul, and asked him personally to support the Senate bill days before its release.

                    Rand Paul calls new GOP bill 'Obamacare-lite'

                  Working in secret

                  For weeks, McConnell's colleagues have publicly criticized his decision to write the bill behind closed doors.
                  On Thursday, lawmakers reiterated those concerns, wondering out loud whether one week was enough to properly debate the contents of a bill aimed at overhauling the current health care system.
                  "It's going to be very difficult because it is a complex bill and there are a lot of differing points of view on it too, which is the real problem," GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch told CNN.
                  McConnell's dilemma is similar to what House Speaker Paul Ryan faced earlier this year when he struggled to get enough votes to get the House Republican bill through the lower chamber.
                  In fact, the first time that Ryan brought up the legislation in March, it was premature, forcing him to yank the bill from the House floor before regrouping to pass it last month.
                  "Moving from an opposition party to a governing party comes with growing pains," Ryan said at the time. "And well, we're feeling those growing pains today."

                    Lankford on health bill: 'solid undecided'

                  More From this publisher : HERE

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