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The Guardian view on free speech online: let law decide the limits | Editorial
The standards by which the internet is controlled need to be open and subject to impartial judiciaries – not left to advertisersThe revelations we publish about how Facebook’s data was used by Cambridge Analytica to subvert the openness of democracy are only the latest examples of a global phenomenon. All over the world, governments are coming to grips with the destructive power of social media. In recent weeks, Sri Lanka, Britain, Indonesia and Myanmar have all seen measures taken against hate-speech campaigns. In some cases the companies that publish and profit from them have acted themselves; in others the government has taken direct action. In Sri Lanka, the government reacted to a burst of anti-Muslim rioting by completely shutting down Facebook, WhatsApp, and the messaging app Viber for a week on 7 March. In Britain, Facebook banned the neo-Nazi Britain First movement, which had acquired 2m “likes”, after two of its leaders were jailed. The leaders’ personal pages were also removed. Why it took the company that long to act, when the hateful nature of the pages had been obvious to the whole world ever since Donald Trump retweeted one of their made-up news stories in 2017, is difficult to explain.YouTube can not only profit from disturbing content but in unintended ways rewards its creation. The algorithms that guide viewers to new choices aim always to intensify the experience, and to keep the viewer excited. This can damage society, and individuals, without being explicitly political: recent research found that the nearly 9,000 YouTube videos explaining away American school shootings as the results of conspiracies using actors to play the part of victims had been watched, in total, more than 4bn times. Four billion page views is an awful lot of potential advertising revenue; it is also, in an embarrassingly literal sense, traffic in human misery and exploitation. Continue reading... [...]
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Only 16% of initial GST returns filed for July-Dec matched with final returns
Only 16% of initial GST returns filed for July-Dec matched with final returns [...]
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KCR, Mamata Banerjee to meet on Monday to start Third Front talks
KCR, Mamata Banerjee to meet on Monday to start Third Front talks [...]
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Australian man who raped Indian orphans released immediately after conviction
Paul Henry Dean guilty of ‘unnatural sex’ with young boys and men at orphanageAn Australian man who posed as a doctor and priest to rape children at the Indian orphanages where he volunteered has been released immediately after being convicted.Paul Henry Dean, 75, was found guilty last month of “unnatural sex” with young boys and men at an orphanage for children with visual, speech and hearing impairments. Continue reading... [...]
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Pakistan recalls envoy from India in ding-dong over harassment claims
Both nations accuse the other of harassing diplomatic staff, including 3am doorbell ringingDiplomacy between India and Pakistan can involve high-stakes negotiation, subtle messaging and the ever present threat of nuclear war. Sometimes it involves ringing someone’s doorbell in the middle of the night and running away.Islamabad has recalled its high commissioner to Delhi for “consultations” amid a row between the neighbours about the alleged harassment of each country’s diplomats and their families. Related: Why Pakistan and India remain in denial 70 years on from partition Continue reading... [...]
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AIADMK slams TDP’s no-confidence motion, calls it opportunistic party
AIADMK slams TDP’s no-confidence motion, calls it opportunistic party [...]
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Tamil Nadu health minister calls woman reporter beautiful thrice on camera, apologises
Tamil Nadu health minister calls woman reporter beautiful thrice on camera, apologises [...]
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'I fear Myanmar, I don't want to go home': Rohingya in Bangladesh – in pictures
Refugees from Myanmar continue to arrive daily at the 20 rapidly expanding camps around Cox’s Bazar. With makeshift shelters perched precariously on slopes, aid agencies fear land slides could cause a catastrophic loss of life when the cyclone season begins. Refugees in Balukhali camp speak of their dreams for the future and the horror that drove them to leave Photographs by Tom Pilston/Action Against Hunger Continue reading... [...]
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Pressure builds in 'powderkeg' Kabul as refugees return home
As Pakistan deports thousands of Afghans, informal settlements are adding to the intense strain on Kabul’s resources – with potentially disastrous resultsRacing against the setting sun to wind up the day’s labour, Shukour takes a few steps back and surveys his construction site. As the dust from the drilling settles back on the 50 square metres of rock that will become the foundations of his new house in Kabul, he stops work and talks about the home he fled as an eight-year-old.“Our Panjshir is as beautiful as India’s Kashmir,” he says, framed against a rash of grey matchbox huts vying for very available inch before the hillside falls steeply away. “It was God’s own valley until the reign of fire.”Not much has changed for us other than aid disappearing over time. The last time we received rations was years ago Related: Kabul – the fifth fastest growing city in the world – is bursting at the seams Continue reading... [...]
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Hailstorm predicted in North-East India on March 16, 17 by Indian Meteorological Department
Hailstorm predicted in North-East India on March 16, 17 by Indian Meteorological Department [...]
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College faculty assaults students for celebrating Holi
College faculty assaults students for celebrating Holi [...]
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Myanmar willing to take back fewer than 400 Rohingya refugees
Of list of 8,000 people submitted by Bangladesh government, Myanmar deems only 374 eligible for repatriationMyanmar has said it is willing to take back fewer than 400 Rohingya refugees of the 8,000 who have said they would voluntarily return from Bangladesh.U Myint Thu, Myanmar’s permanent secretary for foreign affairs, said that of the list of thousands of returnees submitted by the Bangladesh government, they had deemed only 374 eligible for repatriation. Related: UN officials point finger at Myanmar for 'crimes under international law' Continue reading... [...]
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Circus Kathmandu takes off as trafficking survivors scale unimagined heights
Kidnapped and forced to become child circus performers, a Nepali troupe now showcase their skills on their own termsIn a dusty gymnasium south of Kathmandu, a group of twentysomething Nepalis are rehearsing a new routine. One girl sways back and forth on a trapeze suspended from the metal rafters, twisting and turning as two boys play-fight below her. Miming a struggle, one boy ducks as the other tries to grab; one jumps as the other lunges. As the boy shirks off his would-be assailant, he comes close to being hauled offstage, or “kidnapped”, in performance-speak. But the kidnapper manages to grab just the boy’s T-shirt, and tears it from him before running away.Kidnappings, trafficking and fending off villains are key themes for Circus Kathmandu, a troupe founded by and comprised of trafficking survivors. Smuggled as children into neighbouring India and sold into the travelling circus industry, they have since turned their unique skillset into an educational art form as Nepal’s first – and only – circus. Related: 'My dream is coming true': the Nepalese woman who rose from slavery to politics | Kate Hodal Continue reading... [...]
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Chinese crackdown separates Pakistani husbands from Uighur wives
Men from Gilgit-Baltistan say their spouses are being held in ‘re-education’ camps in Xinjiang“Where is Mama?” screams Ahmed’s 10-year-old daughter in a WeChat message he can hardly bear to replay.Like many traders in Pakistan’s northernmost region of Gilgit-Baltistan, Ahmed fell in love with a Chinese woman on a work trip across the border. And like dozens of others, he has now been forcibly separated from the woman he married – and the child they had together – for months. Continue reading... [...]
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Tamil asylum seeker family remains in Australia after last-minute reprieve
Family taken into detention in dawn raid a week ago reprieved just before take-off to Sri LankaA family of Tamil asylum seekers remains in Australia after a legal intervention saw them pulled off a plane bound for Sri Lanka just minutes before take-off.The dramatic reprieve at Perth airport on Tuesday night follows a dawn raid a week ago at the home in central Queensland of Nadesalingam and Priya, and their Australian-born daughters, nine-month-old Dharuniga and two-year-old Kopiga. Related: Tamil asylum seekers taken in dawn raid receive support from tens of thousands Related: Small town rallies after asylum seeker family carried off in dawn raid Continue reading... [...]
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Sri Lanka accuses Facebook over hate speech after deadly riots
Social network blamed for contributing to anti-Muslim riots that left three people deadThe Sri Lankan government has accused Facebook of failing to control rampant hate speech that it says contributed to anti-Muslim riots last week that left three people dead and the country under a state of emergency.As mobs of hardline Buddhists rioted and lit fires in towns in the central district of Kandy, Facebook, WhatsApp and several other platforms were blocked across the country.This is the problem we are trying to address with Facebook, they need to get more sinhala speaking resources to monitor hate speech in Sri Lanka https://t.co/TNiunoW9un Continue reading... [...]
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UK to expel 23 Russian diplomats over chemical attack on ex-spy
UK to expel 23 Russian diplomats over chemical attack on ex-spy [...]
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Letter: Asma Jahangir obituary
The Pakistani human rights lawyer Asma Jahangir was a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, and spoke at Chatham House in London during the launch of its most recent report in January this year. Entitled Countering Prejudices About People Who Use Drugs, it reflects her concern for marginalised and excluded groups and people. Continue reading... [...]
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Myanmar: UN blames Facebook for spreading hatred of Rohingya
‘Facebook has now turned into a beast’, says United Nations investigator, calling network a vehicle for ‘acrimony, dissension and conflict’ Facebook has been blamed by UN investigators for playing a leading role in possible genocide in Myanmar by spreading hate speech. Facebook had no immediate comment on the criticism on Monday, although in the past the company has said that it was working to remove hate speech in Myanmar and ban the people spreading it. Related: 'All these flashbacks come': Rohingya’s teens speak out on Myanmar brutality | Liz Ford Facebook has now turned into a beast Continue reading... [...]
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UN officials point finger at Myanmar for 'crimes under international law'
Human rights rapporteur says evidence about atrocities against Rohingya people must be collected and presented to international criminal courtUN human rights officials have said it is likely that “crimes under international law” have been committed against the Rohingya in Myanmar and called for a body to collect evidence that could be presented in international criminal courts. Speaking to the Human Rights Council on Monday, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, said that “the repressive practices of previous military governments were returning as the norm once more” in Myanmar. Related: 'All these flashbacks come': Rohingya’s teens speak out on Myanmar brutality | Liz Ford Related: Witness to a massacre: the former Myanmar soldier who saw his village burn Continue reading... [...]
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Sonia is back in action. Rahul's apprenticeship not over yet?
Sonia is back in action. Rahul's apprenticeship not over yet? [...]
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Not yet a full-time politician, says Rajinikanth at Uttarakhand ashram
Not yet a full-time politician, says Rajinikanth at Uttarakhand ashram [...]
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'All these flashbacks come': Rohingya’s teens speak out on Myanmar brutality | Liz Ford
Young male refugees in Bangladesh are being helped by pioneering aid efforts that try to address the hidden scars of warMemories of the day in October that changed the life of teenager Mohammed Riaz for ever come in vivid flashbacks, when it’s dark and quiet.State forces arrived in his village in the Buthidaung township of Myanmar. Officers entered the family home, raped and killed his two elder sisters and shot his brother dead. Continue reading... [...]
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Myanmar builds military bases on the site of Rohingya homes and mosques – report
Amnesty International says satellite images show ‘reshaping’ of the region to accommodate more security forces deter refugees from agreeing to returnMyanmar’s military is building bases where Rohingya homes and mosques once stood, Amnesty International said on Monday, citing new evidence from satellite imagery. Nearly 700,000 members of the Muslim minority fled to Bangladesh in 2017 after Myanmar launched a brutal crackdown on insurgents that the US and UN have called ethnic cleansing. Myanmar rejects that accusation, saying it was responding to attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army in late August. Related: 'All these flashbacks come': Rohingya’s teens speak out on Myanmar brutality | Liz Ford Related: Myanmar government is rogue and evil, says Bangladesh minister Continue reading... [...]
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Low-cost housing needs dignity, says Indian architect Balkrishna Doshi
Fresh from scooping architecture’s most august award, the champion of housing for the poor is urging greater compassionThe winner of architecture’s “Nobel prize”, Balkrishna Doshi, has called on his profession to rethink the way it approaches building for the most impoverished communities.The internationally noted champion of housing for India’s poor, Doshi was awarded the Pritzker prize last week, in large part for the Aranya low-cost housing project. It accommodates 80,000 people with houses and courtyards linked by a maze of pathways in the city of Indore. Continue reading... [...]
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Bangladeshi plane with 71 on board crashes in Nepal
At least 38 killed, police say, after US-Bangla Airlines plane slips off runway as it lands at Kathmandu airportA Bangladeshi aircraft carrying 67 passengers and four crew members has crashed as it was landing at Kathmandu airport in Nepal.The US-Bangla Airlines plane slipped off the runway as it was landing and fell down a slope, sliding for about 300 metres before it stopped on a football pitch, leaving a trail of twisted metal, paper and luggage along the burnt grass.Extremely shocked by unfortunate carsh of US_ Bangla Aircraft carrying 67 passengers and 4 crew members. Express deep sorrow on loss of lives and condole to bereaved families and also wish for early recovery of injured persons. Govt will investigate the incident immediately. Continue reading... [...]
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Rescuers at scene of Nepal plane crash – video
A Bangladeshi passenger plane crashed as it attempted to land on Monday at Kathmandu airport in Nepal. It was not clear if there were fatalities, but clouds of thick, dark smoke could be seen rising above the hilltop airport, which was immediately shut downBangladeshi plane with 71 on board crashes in Nepal Continue reading... [...]
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Kamal Haasan says Rajinikanth non-reactive on many subjects, not just Cauvery issue
Kamal Haasan says Rajinikanth non-reactive on many subjects, not just Cauvery issue [...]
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