Ecuador gives kidnappers 12 hours for news on abducted reporters

Relatives and friends of journalist Javier Ortega, photographer Paul Rivas and their driver Efrain Segarra, who were abducted by dissident Colombian rebels on the troubled border with Colombia last March 26, take part in a mass at the Basilica of Quito on April 5, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 13 April 2018
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Ecuador gives kidnappers 12 hours for news on abducted reporters

QUITO, Ecuador: Ecuador’s president gave renegade Colombian rebels 12 hours Thursday night to show whether three abducted reporters are alive, or face a forceful response.
The government Thursday received photos Thursday from the Colombian TV station RCN suggesting the three had been killed.
The journalists were abducted by rogue forces of Colombia’s FARC guerrillas along the countries’ shared border on March 26.
President Lenin Moreno, in an emotional speech, said if the government does not receive word on the team’s status “we will move forcefully ... not hesitating to punish these human rights violators,” the president said.
He spoke at Quito airport upon his return from a regional summit in Peru. “The clock starts clicking right now,” Moreno said.
Reporter Javier Ortega, 32, photographer Paul Rivas, 45, and their driver Efrain Segarra, 60, were kidnapped by rogue Colombian FARC guerrillas on March 26 at the Ecuador-Colombia border.
On April 3, Colombia’s RCN television aired a 23-second video showing the trio wearing chains with locks around their necks, the first proof of being alive.
One of the hostages asked Moreno to reach an agreement for their release.
Moreno in turn announced his government “will do everything possible and impossible so that they return safe and sound,” according to a spokesman.
Moreno decided to return urgently to Quito after a Colombian television channel announced it had received photographs that show the three journalists may be dead.
The journalists were on assignment in the border area where Ecuadoran security forces have come under a series of deadly attacks blamed on rogue FARC elements involved in drug trafficking.
The larger FARC movement reached a historic peace agreement with the Colombian government in 2016.


Twitter removes accounts linked to Alex Jones, Infowars

Updated 3 min 20 sec ago
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Twitter removes accounts linked to Alex Jones, Infowars

  • Twitter permanently suspended @realalexjones and @infowars from Twitter and Periscope in early September
  • Other tech companies, including PayPal, YouTube, Apple and Spotify, have limited or banned Jones’ activities on their sites

LOS ANGELES: Twitter has removed some accounts thought to be used to circumvent a ban on conspiracy-monger Alex Jones and Infowars, the company said Tuesday.
A Twitter spokesman confirmed that the accounts had been removed but provided no additional comment. The company says it usually does not discuss specific accounts.
Twitter permanently suspended @realalexjones and @infowars from Twitter and Periscope in early September. It said it based that action in reports of tweets and videos that violated its policy against abusive behavior.
The company said it would continue to evaluate reports regarding other accounts potentially associated with @realalexjones or @infowars and would take action if it finds content that violates its rules or if other accounts are used to try to circumvent their ban.
Other tech companies, including PayPal, YouTube, Apple and Spotify, have limited or banned Jones’ activities on their sites.
Infowars has said the moves are intended to sabotaging the site just weeks before the midterm elections.
On Twitter and elsewhere, Jones has done such things as describe survivors of a shooting in Parkland, Florida, “crisis actors” and saying the mass killing at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012 was fake. He had about 900,000 followers on Twitter. Infowars had about 430,000.