Emboldened by ‘heroes’ and hate music, white extremists on the rise

first_imgFrom Christchurch to Pittsburg, Halle to El Paso, militants have been emboldened by a narrative of hatred spread on the internet with an ease that observers find worrying.”This digital ecosystem is fueling a cumulative momentum, which serves to lower ‘thresholds’ to violence for those engaged in this space, both in the United States and elsewhere,” Graham Macklin, assistant professor at the Center for Research on Extremism at the University of Oslo, said in a recent article. One attack “encourages and inspires another, creating a growing ‘canon’ of ‘saints’ and ‘martyrs’ for others to emulate,” he wrote — noting that Norwegian neo-Nazi Anders Behring Breivik, who massacred 77 people in 2011, had become “an aspirational figure” for many.Internet a ‘facilitator’ They may lack centralized organization or even a common goal, but white supremacists encouraged by the exploits of extremist “heroes” canonized on social media pose an ever-growing security threat, analysts say.After nine people in Germany were killed by a gunman with “a very deeply racist attitude,” the country’s interior minister on Friday warned that the far right still posed a “very high” security threat.The shootings on Wednesday at a shisha bar and a cafe in the city of Hanau were the latest in a growing list of attacks in the West attributed to self-appointed defenders of a “white race” perceived to be under threat from migration, globalization and Islam. According to the Soufan Center, a global security think-tank, white supremacism has entered a phase of globalization driven by niche websites popular among neo-Nazis, such as Gab and 8chan, and even the so-called “white power” music scene.”White supremacy extremists rely on a diverse set of techniques to radicalize potential recruits,” it said in a recent report, with attackers “lionized” on such platforms “as heroes, martyrs, ‘saints,’ ‘commanders’ and other honorifics.”  White extremists do not share a single, common goal — some seek self-rule, others the expulsion of minorities — but all believe their “race” to be under threat.”Many adherents to transnational white supremacy extremism hold millenarian and apocalyptic beliefs about an imminent race war, with some ardent believers in the end of time and influenced by elements of Christian identity,” Soufan said. Some believe their governments are conspiring with minority populations to bring about their demise — the so-called Great Replacement theory, based on the title of a 2011 book by French writer Renaud Camus.Anais Voy-Gillis, an extreme right specialist at the French Institute of Geopolitics, said: “The current context, with notably the migrant crisis of 2015, has surely contributed to the radicalization of many people who are now ready to cross over to action.”Not only fringe sites are used to spread messages of fear, hate, and racial superiority.The gunman who attacked two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, last March, killing 51 Muslim worshippers, live-streamed his attack live on Facebook.A few months later, an anti-Semitic attack in the east German city of Halle, which claimed two lives, was posted on the streaming platform Twitch.”There are many radical groups in the world and the internet is a facilitator for them to get together nationally and even internationally,” Voy-Gillis told AFP.’Exporter’ of white supremacism In Europe, a well-organized coordination of far-right efforts seems unlikely, for now.Last June, a French parliamentary committee conducted an analysis of far-right groups in the country, including attempts to make contact with like-minded organizations elsewhere in Europe, notably in Germany, Greece, Belgium, Italy, Britain, Spain and Austria.At the time, the boss of France’s DGSI domestic intelligence service Nicolas Lerner told investigators the chances were “extremely limited” that these movements would have the ability to work together at a European level.But within a country’s borders, the threat is real.German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said Friday that right-wing extremism was the “biggest security threat” facing his country, as he announced a more visible police presence and bolstered surveillance at mosques, train stations, airports and borders.In the United States, an FBI report last November showed that 65 percent of “lone wolf” perpetrators of terror attacks where white.Nearly a fifth (19 percent) of 52 such attacks committed in the United States between 1972 and 2015 were motivated by ideologies “advocating for the superiority of the white race,” it found.It was the same percentage as attackers motivated by radical Islamist doctrine.”For almost two decades, the United States has pointed abroad at countries who are exporters of extreme Islamist ideology,” Russell Travers, acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said in November.”We are now being seen as the exporters of white supremacist ideology; that’s a reality with which we are going to have to deal,” he said.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Twitter suspends 70 pro-Bloomberg accounts for breaking rules

first_imgThe policies were triggered by Russia-backed accounts used in an effort to sway the outcome of the US presidential race in 2016.Facebook is also planning a response to Bloomberg’s online campaign methods, according to US media. Bloomberg has shattered the record for campaign advertising, spending a staggering $364.3 million and counting, ad tracker Advertising Analytics reported.On Friday, the candidate mocked Donald Trump with a giant billboard on the Las Vegas Strip as the president visited the city for a rally.”Donald Trump lost the popular vote,” read one slogan, while another said “Donald Trump’s wall fell over.” Twitter said Friday it suspended 70 accounts for spam-like posts supporting Democratic presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg, whose campaign has hired hundreds of people to promote him on social media.”We have taken enforcement action on a group of accounts for violating our rules against platform manipulation and spam,” a spokesperson for the platform said.Some of the accounts are now banned while others can be re-authorized once the users behind them verify they are in control, Twitter said.  The Wall Street Journal revealed Wednesday that the billionaire former New York mayor has hired around 500 people in California at $2,500 a month to regularly post messages supporting him on social media and to send text messages to their friends.The technique blurs the lines between political advertisement and promotion by ordinary activists on social media networks, which are grappling with how to handle political content and prevent abuse.Twitter prohibits sending identical tweets from multiple accounts, as is often the case with spam, and “coordinating with or compensating others to engage in artificial engagement or amplification.”It also bans creating “fake” engagement with “duplicative” content.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Italian with coronavirus in Nigeria was not isolated for almost 48 hours

first_imgEhanire said the infection was confirmed on Feb. 27 by the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, part of the Laboratory Network of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control, and that the man is now quarantined but doing well.His case is also the first confirmed coronavirus case in sub-Saharan Africa.Turkish Airlines did not immediately comment on the case. There are no confirmed cases in Turkey. A view of the Murtala Mohammed International airport in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos, May 11, 2017. (REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye/File Photo)Nigerian economy at riskOfficials from the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) are heading to Lagos to help address the case, and have activated its national Emergency Operations Center.Ehanire said Nigeria was continually stepping up its preparedness to control and contain the spread of the coronavirus, which was first reported in China.The World Health Organization has said it already has experts on the ground in Nigeria, which it identifies as one of 13 “high priority” countries in Africa.In a sign of concern in Kenya, the country’s High Court ordered flights from China to be temporarily suspended on Friday. Kenya has no confirmed cases of the virus.Ehanire said China had been working closely with Nigerian authorities, and had sent a treatment guide.Nigerian stocks fell 1.63% to their lowest level in two months on Friday following the announcement of the coronavirus case.The spread of the new coronavirus from China has hit global financial markets, and Nigeria’s economy is at risk from the tumbling price of oil, which accounts for 90% of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings.Brent crude has shed around 13% of its value this week, and Nigeria’s currency has lost ground on the one-year forward market.Topics : The Italian, whose country has been hit worse by the virus than any other in Europe, arrived on Feb. 24 on a Turkish Airlines flight that had a connection in Istanbul, Lagos state Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, told a news conference.After spending the night in a hotel near the airport, he went on Feb. 25 to his place of work in neighboring Ogun state, and stayed there until he developed a fever and body aches on the afternoon of Feb. 26, Abayomi said.Health practitioners with his company then contacted biosecurity authorities who transferred him to the high containment facility in Yaba, Lagos state.”It was very astute of the medical practitioners in that facility to keep him overnight in an isolated environment,” Abayomi said. An Italian man who has been confirmed as Nigeria’s first coronavirus case after arriving from Milan was in the country for almost two full days before being isolated, traveled through Lagos and visited another state.The case has prompted a scramble by authorities in Africa’s most populous country to try to “meet and observe” all who arrived on the same flight as the Italian and to identify the places he visited before going to the hospital.”We have started working to identify all the contacts of the person since he entered Nigeria and even those who were with him on the aircraft,” Health Minister Osagie Ehanire told reporters on Friday in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.last_img read more

Gorontalo governor pledges to donate salary to help COVID-19 victims

first_imgThe Gorontalo administration has also allocated Rp 7.8 billion (US$496,128) for COVID-19 mitigation in the region.The funds have been set aside for medical equipment, grants for medical staff and to provide basic necessities for vulnerable groups in society badly hurt by the pandemic.Gorontalo was the last province in Indonesia to report a confirmed COVID-19 case, with its first case announced last Thursday. A number of other governors have also said they would donate either part of or their entire salaries to those affected by the outbreak.West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil, for example, announced in March that the provincial administration’s staff, including himself, would take a pay cut for the next four months.Central Kalimantan Governor Sugianto Sabran also recently vowed to donate his salary and honorarium, totaling approximately 9 million rupiah, for COVID-19 mitigation in the region. Governors earn a monthly base salary of Rp 3 million per month, a position allowance of Rp 5.4 million, plus operational allowances based on a small percentage of the province’s locally generated income. Topics : Gorontalo Governor Rusli Habibie has vowed to donate his salary for the remaining two years of his term to help residents in his province affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.”There might be children who have lost their fathers or become orphans because of the coronavirus. I give my salary to them,” Rusli said last week as quoted by Antara news agency.He added that the virus not only killed people, but also caused them to lose their jobs and incomes.last_img read more

Four Sampdoria, three Fiorentina players test positive for coronavirus

first_imgFour Sampdoria players, including one who had previously recovered, and three from Fiorentina have tested positive for coronavirus, the two Serie A clubs announced on Thursday.”During the tests to which the footballers were subjected, three new cases of COVID-19 emerged, with one player testing positive again,” Sampdoria said in a statement.Top clubs in Italy are testing team members and staff as they prepare to return to training facilities this week for individual sessions. Earlier Fiorentina had revealed that three players and three of the club’s staff had tested positive for the virus, taking this week’s tally among Italy’s top flight clubs to eight after Torino announced on Wednesday that one player had the virus.Five Samp players — Omar Colley, Albin Ekdal, Morten Thorsby, Antonio La Gumina and Manolo Gabbiadini — had previously suffered from COVID-19, along with the club doctor.Three Fiorentina players — Patrick Cutrone, German Pezzella and Dusan Vlahovic — also tested positive for coronavirus in March, but have since been given the all-clear.Fiorentina said that the rest of the team will undergo tests on Friday in preparation for the start of training, which will be on a voluntary basis. Topics :center_img On Thursday, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) met the government’s technical scientific committee to discuss the medical protocol for a potential return to group training.Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora said after the meeting he was “hopeful” team training could resume of May 18.”There has been a very important, very in-depth meeting, with many requests from doctors and scientists to the FIGC,” Spadafora said on Facebook.”Now the committee, on the basis of these insights, will draw up its own assessment which will be sent to the Ministry of Health.”last_img read more

Soccer players eager to restart contact training, says Palace’s Townsend

first_imgCrystal Palace winger Andros Townsend says players are “desperate” to return to contact training and that he is encouraged by the results of the Premier League’s testing regime for the new coronavirus.The second round of testing returned two positives — with Bournemouth saying one of their players was now self-isolating — as the government issued guidance on the next step for athletes to resume close-contact training.”We’re desperate to get back to normality and contact training,” Townsend told Sky Sports. “At the start of the week you’re worried about being near other players but as the days go on, you get more and more comfortable with each positive test. “If it was two people from the same club (who had tested positive) you’d start to ask questions about how it had spread around the training ground.”But the fact it’s at two different clubs and they’ve kept it from spreading shows that we’re in the safest workplace in the country and it gives us confidence to move on to the next phase of testing.”Premier League players have returned to non-contact training in small groups with their clubs and ‘Stage Two’ of the government’s guidance will allow close quarters coaching and tackling in team sports.”We’re training in groups of eight so there’s 16 players from the squad I just haven’t seen,” Townsend added.”Hopefully with each successful round of testing we can get a few more players back into training and some time next week we can move on to phase two.”Topics :last_img read more

Lampung university students face intimidation over discussion on discrimination against Papuans

first_imgShe said her Gojek account had been hacked and used to make several GoFood orders.On the same day, Unila’s vice rector for academic and student affairs Yulianto told Chairul to postpone the discussion.Teknokra later reported on its website that Yulianto had told the student press chairman that he had received a call from people claiming to be representatives of the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) regarding the discussion.Chairul said the discussion was held to raise awareness of racial discrimination in Indonesia. “The country’s motto is Bhinneka Tunggal Ika [Unity in Diversity]. We should bring up such awareness through this open discussion, so we can respect each other,” he said.Read also: ‘#PapuanLivesMatter’: George Floyd’s death hits close to home in IndonesiaPreviously, the University of Indonesia disavowed a public discussion held by the university’s Student Executive Body (BEM UI) about racism against Papuans in the legal system, saying the discussion did not reflect the views and attitudes of UI as an institution. The university’s Lecturers Alliance, however, conveyed its support for the discussion, lauding it for it fostering a spirit of free speech among university academics.The issue of racial discrimination against Papuans resurfaced recently following the demands of prosecutors of the Balikpapan district court in East Kalimantan to sentence seven Papuans to five to 17 years’ imprisonment for treason over their involvement in antiracism protests in Jayapura in August last year. (trn)Topics : Members of the University of Lampung (Unila) student press Teknokra have received anonymous threats in relation to the organization’s plan to hold a public discussion on racial discrimination against Papuans.The online discussion was planned to be held on Thursday with three speakers scheduled to talk: Indonesian People’s Front for West Papua (FRI-West Papua) spokesperson Surya Anta Ginting, Papuan Students Alliance head Jhon Gobai and Journalist Association for Diversity (SEJUK) program manager Tantowi Anwari.On Wednesday, two members of Teknokra received threats from unknown people, who questioned their intentions for holding the discussion. Teknokra chairman Chairul Rahman Arif said an anonymous person had sent him WhatsApp messages containing the identity and address of his parents as well as a photo of his identity card.“What is the goal of holding a discussion that provokes many people. We have your [personal] data,” the message read, according to Chairul, as quoted by tempo.co.Read also: Intimidation of government critics raises concerns about freedom of speechTeknokra editor-in-chief Mitha Setiani, who was to moderate the discussion, also received threats.last_img read more

Transportation Ministry denies rumor about taxing cyclists

first_imgThe Transportation Ministry has denied a rumor about the government’s plan to impose a tax on cyclists due the rising popularity of cycling amid the loosening of social restrictions that had been implemented to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.Previously, the ministry’s land transportation director general, Budi Setyadi, said bicycle usage should be regulated through a ministerial or regional head decree amid increasing cycling activities recently.“it is not true that the ministry is currently drafting a regulation on a bicycle tax,” the ministry’s spokesperson Adita Irawati said on Tuesday, as quoted by kompas.com. She added that the ministry was currently drafting a regulation focusing on the safety aspect of cycling as a daily mode of transportation, such as bicycle paths, reflectors and other safety equipment for cyclists.Read also: Urbanites turn to bike riding to beat cabin feverLaw No. 22/20119 on traffic and land transportation categorizes bicycles as non-motorized transportation, which permits the central government and regional administrations to regulate its usage.The Transportation Ministry would demand that regional administrations actively protect cyclists, Adita went on to say.Cycling has become a popular choice of transportation among Jakartans to commute and for exercise.Nongovernmental organization the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) recorded a tenfold increase in the number of cyclists along Jl. Sudirman in Central Jakarta on June 11 – prompting the Jakarta administration to set up miles of pop-up bike lanes along Jl. Sudirman and Jl. Thamrin in Central Jakarta. (dpk)Topics :last_img read more

Russia preparing mass vaccination against coronavirus for October

first_img“We plan wider vaccinations for October,” Murashko was quoted as saying.A source told Reuters this week that Russia’s first potential COVID-19 vaccine would secure local regulatory approval in August and be administered to health workers soon thereafter.The Gamaleya Institute has been working on an adenovirus-based vaccine.Yet the speed at which Russia is moving to roll it out has prompted some Western media to question whether Moscow is putting national prestige before science and safety. Russia’s health minister is preparing a mass vaccination campaign against the novel coronavirus for October, local news agencies reported on Saturday, after a vaccine completed clinical trials.Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said the Gamaleya Institute, a state research facility in Moscow, had completed clinical trials of the vaccine and paperwork is being prepared to register it, Interfax news agency reported.He said doctors and teachers would be the first to be vaccinated. The head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Kirill Dmitriev, has likened what he said was Russia’s success in developing a vaccine to the Soviet Union’s 1957 launch of Sputnik 1, the world’s first satellite.On Saturday, Russia reported 95 additional deaths from the novel coronavirus, taking its total to 14,058.Officials reported 5,462 new cases, raising the total to 845,443.More than 100 possible vaccines are being developed around the world to try to stop the COVID-19 pandemic.At least four are in final Phase III human trials, according to World Health Organization (WHO) data, including three developed in China and another in Britain. Topics :last_img read more

Australia borders to stay shut as COVID-19 daily deaths reach record

first_imgAustralian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said internal border closures were unlikely to lift before Christmas, as the country on Monday reported a record single day rise in COVID-19 deaths.There was, however, some evidence that drastic lockdown measures in the city of Melbourne were having an effect, with daily new infections in the state of Victoria slowing to a near two week low.”I am more hopeful of that today than I was in the course of the past week,” Morrison told reporters in Canberra, as he called on state leaders to cooperate to allow stranded residents to return home. Topics : Australia’s federal political system has led to its eight states and territories taking different measures in response to the crisis, resulting in several internal border closures.Victoria state, which is home to Melbourne, the country’s second biggest city and the epicentre of its second coronavirus wave, reported 19 people had died from the virus over the past 24 hours. With some other states still to report daily new case and death numbers, that already marks the country’s biggest single day rise in fatalities.However, Victoria officials also reported 322 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, the lowest single day rise in new infections since July 29.Melbourne, home to nearly 5 million people, has been in lockdown since early July, with people largely confined to their homes and business shuttered.center_img State Premier Daniel Andrews said on Monday he understood frustrations but declined to put an end date on the lockdown.”If I could paint you a picture that had any kind of reliability for next week, let alone five weeks away, then, of course, I would,” Andrews said during a televised media conference.With around 21,000 COVID-19 cases and 314 deaths, Australia has still recorded fewer infections and fatalities than many other developed nations.It was considered a global leader early in the pandemic, when it was swift to close its international border, impose social distancing restrictions and implement mass virus testing.But as the country began to reopen, community transmissions rose significantly in Victoria, where triple digit daily new cases have now been recorded for weeks.Authorities worry the spike in cases in Victoria has already spread to other states despite borders border closures.Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales, reported 14 new cases, and no deaths, on Monday. Twelve cases were linked to known clusters while another was a person in hotel quarantine after returning from overseas, leaving one case with no known links.last_img read more