Trump's 'praising Makkah' video a hoax, real one emerges

A screen grab from a combination of the real and fake videos.
Updated 04 March 2017
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Trump's 'praising Makkah' video a hoax, real one emerges

JEDDAH: A fake video of US President Donald Trump “expressing awe and wonder over a massive crowd gathered around the Kaaba in Makkah” has gone viral on social media.
 
The video is a manipulation of a real one in which Trump was pointing to a picture of the crowd that attended his inaugural ceremony on Jan. 20 in front of Capitol Hill in Washington.
 
 
Trump has been locked in a dispute with major US news outlets over the number of people that attended his inauguration.
 
In the fake video, he is seen pointing to the Kaaba photo and is heard saying: “One thing this shows is how far over they go here, look how far this is, it goes all the way down, all the way down. Nobody sees that, you don’t see that… but when you look at this tremendous sea of life — I call it sea of love — it’s really something special, that all these people traveled from all parts of the country, maybe the world…”
 
Trump has regularly attacked the media, and at a gathering of conservative activists on Friday he criticized news organizations that he said provide “fake news,” calling them the “enemy” of the American people.
 
Just three days ago, the White House excluded several major US news organizations, including some it has criticized, from an off-camera briefing held by the White House press secretary.
 
Reporters for CNN, the New York Times, Politico, the Los Angeles Times and BuzzFeed were not allowed into the session in the office of Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Friday. The decision drew strong protests.


HBO website and comedian John Oliver censored in China

Updated 24 June 2018
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HBO website and comedian John Oliver censored in China

  • After mocking censors working over time to delete comparisons of President Xi Jinping with the cartoon bear, comedian John Oliver and now the website of TV giant HBO have fallen victim to China’s censorship machine
  • HBO joins a long list of Western media outlets that have had their websites blocked in China including The New York Times, Facebook, and Twitter

BEIJING: It was one Winnie the Pooh joke too far.
After mocking censors working over time to delete comparisons of President Xi Jinping with the cartoon bear, comedian John Oliver and now the website of TV giant HBO have fallen victim to China’s censorship machine.
Chinese authorities blocked HBO’s website in China, just days after Oliver took Xi to task, anti-censorship and monitoring group GreatFire.org said on Saturday.
HBO joins a long list of Western media outlets that have had their websites blocked in China including The New York Times, Facebook, and Twitter.
“China: the country responsible for huge technological advances but it still can’t seem to get pandas to f***,” Oliver opened the episode of “Last Week Tonight” that is causing the problems.
Those technological advances include draconian surveillance and censorship measures which appear to have made HBO and Oliver their latest victims.
Oliver’s name and that of the show he hosts were censored on China’s popular twitter like Weibo.
“Send failure” Weibo returned when AFP attempted to post Oliver’s name.
“Content is illegal!” the service said.
YouTube, which also airs “Last Week Tonight,” has long been blocked in China.
Oliver’s segment dug into Xi’s distaste at comparisons to the self-described “bear of very little brain” and introduced viewers to repressive changes underway in the world’s most populous country.
Chinese netizens have often compared Xi to A.A. Milne’s most famous creation, something that censors have been quick to purge inside the Great Firewall.
The segment also recounted recent headlines: from Xi becoming “emperor for life” to a corruption purge that targeted his political rivals, to a crackdown on freedom of expression, human rights, and religion, to an ongoing suppression and imprisonment campaign against China’s Uighur ethnic minority.
“Xi is actively removing the post-Mao guardrails that were put in place,” Oliver said of changes to China’s constitution which allow him to remain in power indefinitely.
“China is becoming more authoritarian just as it has major plans for expansion onto the world stage,” Oliver said as the segment neared an end.
“The era of do as we say may be dawning.”