Slain Afghan journalists remembered on World Press Freedom Day

An Indian photojournalist lights a candle during a vigil in Kolkata for ten Afghan journalists who were killed in a targeted suicide bombing. (AFP)
Updated 03 May 2018
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Slain Afghan journalists remembered on World Press Freedom Day

KABUL: Afghanistan’s slain journalists were remembered on World Press Freedom Day Thursday, days after the deadliest attack on the country’s media since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.
Ten journalists, including Agence France-Presse chief photographer Shah Marai, were killed in assaults on Monday, underscoring the dangers faced by the media as the war-torn country slips deeper into violence.
“Afghanistan’s journalists are among the bravest in the world,” said Omar Waraich, Amnesty International’s deputy director for South Asia.
“Working in some of the most difficult conditions, they have faced threats, intimidation and violence for simply doing their jobs.”
A double suicide blast in Kabul on Monday left 25 people dead including Marai and eight other journalists, while a BBC reporter was killed in a separate attack in eastern Khost province.
Media workers from Tolo News, 1TV, Radio Free Europe and Mashal TV were also among the dead.
The deadly assaults have shaken Afghanistan’s tight-knit journalist community. Many of them are close friends as well as colleagues who look out for one another as they work in an increasingly hostile environment.
But many remain defiant, determined to continue their work despite the risks.
“World Press Freedom Day reminds me and my colleagues of the importance of reporting — reporting for a vibrant democracy and serving people with the information they need and they want,” Parwiz Kawa, editor-in-chief of the Hasht-e-Subh Daily newspaper, said.
“This day is to renew our commitments and to remember our sacrifices.”
Afghanistan was last year ranked the third most dangerous country in the world for journalists by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
The media watchdog said since 2016, it has recorded the killings of 34 journalists in Afghanistan.
Afghan media outlets have condemned the government’s failure to protect them, particularly at the scene of suicide attacks where secondary blasts are a constant concern.
RSF figures show 50 professional journalists were killed worldwide in 2017, the lowest toll in 14 years.


Twitter removes accounts linked to Alex Jones, Infowars

Updated 23 October 2018
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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.