Number of US hate groups jumps 20 percent since 2014

File photo for Members of the Ku Klux Klan face counter-protesters as they rally in support of Confederate monuments in Charlottesville, Virginia, Jul 8, 2017. (Reuters)
Updated 21 February 2018

Number of US hate groups jumps 20 percent since 2014

WASHINGTON: The number of US hate groups rose again in 2017, during President Donald Trump’s first year in office, and has surged 20 percent since 2014, a US civil rights watchdog said on Wednesday.
The Southern Poverty Law Center’s annual census identified 954 hate groups in 2017, a 4 percent rise from the year before. The increase followed a 2.8 increase in 2016, and the most recent number represents a jump of one-fifth from 2014.
Among the more than 600 US white supremacist groups, neo-Nazi organizations rose to 121 from 99. Anti-Muslim groups increased for a third year in a row, to 114 from 101 in 2016, after tripling in number a year earlier, the report said.
“President Trump in 2017 reflected what white supremacist groups want to see: a country where racism is sanctioned by the highest office, immigrants are given the boot and Muslims banned,” Heidi Beirich, director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project, said in a statement.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In August, Trump came under under fire for saying “both sides” were to blame for violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a leftist counter-protester was killed.
He was also criticized for a string of anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim comments, including using a vulgar term to describe Haiti and African countries in a White House meeting on immigration last month.
In a backlash to Trump, the number of black nationalist groups such as the Nation of Islam increased to 233 last year from 193 in 2016, the civil rights group’s report said. It also added two male supremacy groups to its census for the first time.
The report acknowledged that it likely failed to capture the full extent of hate groups in the United States. A growing number of extremist groups, especially those identifying with the alt-right, operate mainly online, it said.
Alt-right groups believe that white identity is under attack by multicultural forces.
The Southern Poverty Law Center report defines hate groups as organizations with beliefs or practices that demonize a class of people, usually for fixed characteristics.
In the past, some groups have criticized the Alabama-based organization’s findings, with skeptics saying it has mislabeled legitimate organizations as “hate groups.”


France may be experiencing 100,000 new COVID-19 cases per day – government advisor

Updated 42 min 19 sec ago

France may be experiencing 100,000 new COVID-19 cases per day – government advisor

  • France registered a record 52,010 new confirmed coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours

PARIS: France may be experiencing 100,000 new COVID-19 cases per day — two times more than the latest figures — Professor Jean-François Delfraissy, who heads the scientific council that advises the government on the pandemic, told RTL radio on Monday.
“There is probably more than 50,000 cases per day. We estimate, on the scientific committee, that we are more in the region of 100,000 cases per day,” said Delfraissy.
France registered a record 52,010 new confirmed coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, the health ministry said in a statement on Sunday, as a second wave of cases surges through Europe.
The new cases took the French total to 1,138,507, with France now ahead of Argentina and Spain to register the world’s fifth highest number of cases after the United States, India, Brazil and Russia.