QATAR-RUN AL JAZEERA POSTS VIDEO ATTACKING ALABAMA LAW. THE MIDDLE EASTERN COUNTRY JAILS WOMEN FOR ABORTION

Qatar-Run Al Jazeera Posts Video Attacking Alabama Law. The Middle Eastern Country Jails Women For Abortion

Al Jazeera did not portray a person in favor of H.B. 34 in the video

BY MARY MARGARET OLOHAN

  • Gov. Kay Ivey signed the Alabama Human Life Protection Act into law Wednesday.

  • Al Jazeera posted a Facebook video that shows a woman explaining why the legislation endangers women.

  • Al Jazeera is based out of Doha, Qatar, a country where abortions are not permitted in almost all cases.

Middle Eastern news outlet Al Jazeera posted a Facebook video portraying Alabama abortion legislation as dangerous, but Al Jazeera’s home country of Qatar imprisons women for unauthorized abortions.

The Facebook video describes abortion legislation, H.B. 314, the state’s governor signed into law Wednesday. “People are going to die,” Helmi Henkin, an abortion rights activist, said in the video posted Wednesday.

Al Jazeera did not portray a person in favor of H.B. 314 in the video.
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Al Jazeera is based out of Doha, Qatar, a country where abortions are not permitted in almost all cases. Qatari law mandates that women who procure abortions “without medical necessity” be sentenced up to three years of prison time, according to the Al Meezan Qatar Legal Portal. Men or doctors who procure abortions for Qatari women can be sentenced to 10 years of prison time.

Qatar is one out of 33 developing countries that ban abortion except in cases where abortions would preserve the health of the mother, according to a 2017 report from the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit that globally pushes sexual and reproductive health and rights. Guttmacher noted Qatar makes exceptions for abortions when there are fetal anomalies, which are commonly referred to as birth defects that could affect the pregnancy or the child’s quality of life.

“BREAKING,” Al Jazeera tweeted Tuesday. “Alabama’s Senate voted to outlaw abortion. The law: – Makes performing abortion a felony – Does not make exemptions for rape, incest – Only allows abortions to prevent serious health risk to the mother – Would go into law 6 months after the governor signs it.”

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A Syria policy adviser for the charity Help Refugees, Oz Katerji, responded in a tweet. “In Qatar, abortions are only legal if the pregnancy threatens the life of the mother. Women who receive an ‘unauthorised’ abortion face 5 years in jail,” Katerji said.

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“I respect a lot of the work AJ do, and I think it is crucial that people unite in condemnation of this barbarism taking place in US states, but the hypocrisy here is staggering,” Katerji continued.

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“Opponents to the law have been very vociferous in their outcry, saying that this would punish rape victims and it would push women to seek abortions underground in unsafe procedures,” Al Jazeera correspondent Heidi Zhou-Castro said, according to an Al Jazeera article. The article includes perspectives of those both for and against H.B. 314.

The Alabama Senate passed H.B. 314 Tuesday, a near-total ban on abortions that makes no exceptions for victims of rape or incest. Republican Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed the bill into law. The law, which will take effect in six months, is the most restrictive abortion law in the U.S. (RELATED: Alabama’s Near-Total Abortion Ban Spares Women, Would Send Abortion Doctors To Prison)

The only exception is for when “abortion is necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk,” according to the bill’s text. All other abortion procedures are classified under the new law as Class A felonies, punishable by up to 99 years in prison. The abortion provider would be charged with the felony, but the mother would not be charged.

“Today, I signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, a bill that was approved by overwhelming majorities in both chambers of the Legislature,” Ivey said in a statement. “To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God.”

Al Jazeera did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

NYT: Trump ‘Siding with Autocrats’ by Weighing Terror Label for Muslim Brotherhood

Members of the Arab-Israeli Islamic Movement chant slogans during a protest in support of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi (portrait) and against the army crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood supporters, in the northern Israeli city of Nazareth on August 17, 2013. AFP PHOTO / AHMAD GHARABLI (Photo credit should read AHMAD …

By Edwin Mora

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration would be “siding with autocrats and roiling [the] Middle East” if it joins several Islamic countries in designating the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) a terrorist organization, the New York Times (NYT) argued this week.

NYT has itself in the past sided with several leftist leaders including Russia’s Joseph Stalinin lying about the Soviet genocide; with Cuba’s Fidel Castro in inflating the size of his guerrilla prior to the Cuban Revolution; and taking money for ads from socialist Nicolás Maduro’s regime.

The Trump administration has been considering labeling MB a terrorist group since soon after taking office in January 2017.

NYT has joined opposition to the move expressed by the likes of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which leads the world in jailed journalists.

On Monday, the Times argued that designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization would “ignite a firestorm in the Middle East,” adding:

Government lawyers had warned that the Muslim Brotherhood did not meet the legal criteria to be designated a terrorist organization. And in a volatile region where American troops were already battling Islamist extremists, the three men believed, taking on the Brotherhood was one fight too many.

The newspaper goes on to note that Trump officials who opposed labeling MB a terror group – namely former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, former Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, and Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, the president’s former national security adviser – are now gone.

Their departure has reportedly opened the door for “autocratic leaders” like Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt to influence the U.S. to move forward with the designation.

NYT reported:

The Trump administration has resurrected the proposal to brand the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, prompting a fierce debate between the government’s political appointees and its career experts.

The designation would impose wide-ranging American economic and travel sanctions on companies and individuals who interact with the loose-knit Islamist movement that was founded in Egypt and is recognized as a legitimate political entity in many Muslim-majority governments.

It is the president’s latest major foreign policy decision that appears to have been heavily influenced by autocratic leaders without first being fully vetted by career American government officials.

NYT identified the “autocratic leaders” as Sisi, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), all of whom have already outlawed MB in their respective countries.

The newspaper said those leaders “revile” MB simply because they consider the group a political opponent.

Several Muslim-majority countries — Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt — and Russia have already outlawed MB.

Qatar, which has long housed the group, and Turkey appear to remain ardent supporters.

Nevertheless, the Washington Post (WaPo) argued on Monday that “calling the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group would make all Muslims scapegoats.”

In December 2017, MB threatened to “wage war” against the United States in response to Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the American embassy there, a move that angered several Muslim countries and jihadi groups like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).

For NYT, that is not reason enough to label the group terrorists. On the contrary, the paper claimed that “unlike the Islamic State or Al Qaeda, there is no evidence that the Egyptian group has called for, or directed, terrorist attacks against American interests.”

Critics have linked the NYT to anti-semitism in recent weeks. Citing unnamed Trump officials, the news outlet noted that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and John R. Bolton, the current national security adviser, have expressed support for the terrorist designation for MB.

The U.S. has already designated top MB offshoot Hamas, a Palestinian group intent on destroying Israel, a terrorist organization.

NYT did not identify the so-called opponents of the designation within the Trump administration.

“Beyond Turkey and Qatar, the Brotherhood or offshoots are also a recognized political party or represented in governments in Morocco, Mauritania, Tunisia, Jordan, Bahrain, and Kuwait,” it reported.

The newspaper acknowledged that officials under former President Barack Obama also considered naming MB a terrorist group. NYT, however, did not accuse of Obama of “siding with autocrats” over the consideration as it has with President Trump.

For years, some Republicans in Congress have been proposing the label.

Report: Facebook Sets Up ‘War Room’ for European Elections

Zuckerberg to face pressure on taxes in meeting with Macron

By Lucas Nolan

Politico recently profiled Facebook’s new “European election war room” ahead of upcoming E.U. elections.

A recent report from Politico provides an insight into Facebook’s new “election war room” established ahead of the upcoming European election. Facebook has previously deployed a similar “war room” in the United States ahead of the midterm elections in November 2018. In October, Breitbart News reported on the war room providing an insight into the aim of the project. Facebook’s Product Manager of Civic Engagement, Samidh Chakrabarti, said in an interview that the war room is a physical room which will be used to “take quick and decisive action” against possible cases of foreign interference during the midterm elections.

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“We have many measures that we’ve put in place to try to prevent problems: the political ad transparency, blocking fake accounts, combating foreign interference, and preventing the spread of misinformation. But we know we have to be ready for anything that happens,” stated Chakrabarti. “And so that’s why we’ve been building this war room, a physical war room [with] people across the company, of all different disciplines, who are there. So, as we discover problems that may come up in the hours leading up to the election, we can take quick and decisive action.”

Now, Politico has reported on the company’s efforts to establish a similar project in Dublin, Ireland ahead of the upcoming European elections. Politico described the project writing:

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The group of twentysomething coders, engineers and content specialists sit hunched over multiple screens, scanning the platform for potential illegal behavior. Wall-mounted television monitors keep them up to date on the latest chatter on the world’s largest social network, Instagram and WhatsApp. A single European Union flag hangs on the wall, next to a poster emblazoned with the slogan “New Ways of Seeing.”

Yet despite Facebook’s  40-person European election “operations center,” which got underway on April 29, the tech giant is struggling to keep on top of the threats.
Political groups from Hungary to Spain have been able to circumvent Facebook’s new political transparency tools to quietly buy partisan social media advertising aimed at swaying potential voters, according to an analysis by POLITICO. That includes paid-for messages by Viktor Orbán, the Hungarian prime minister, Verein Recht und Freiheit (Association for the Conservation of the Rule of Law and Civil Liberties), a support group for right-wing politicians in Germany and Petra De Sutter, a Belgian candidate for the Green Party.

It seems that Facebook is aware, however, of accusations of censorship and bias. The company’s chief lobbyist in Europe told Politico that Facebook is avoiding taking too harsh a line on the content allowed on the platform:

“We recognize that some people think we should remove everything,” said Richard Allan, Facebook’s chief lobbyist in Europe, in reference to the reams of political content now flooding the digital platform. “But we have concerns of removing everything during a political election.”

“We don’t believe it’s the right place to be for us to be the regulator of political campaigns,” he added. Facebook may not want the role, but its global reach puts it at the heart of the democratic process from France to the Philippines.

 

Politico described the new Dublin team tasked with monitoring misinformation, writing:

The team, which includes speakers of all of the EU’s 24 official languages, is split along national boundaries, with specialists — primarily men who would not look out of place in any startup office — monitoring activity on both Facebook’s social media platforms and those of rivals, notably Google and Twitter.

Facebook would not say how much content the group reviews daily, though each Facebook staffer had multiple screens open monitoring news events and other political discussions online.

Once an issue is flagged, Facebook’s engineers can then work with their counterparts across Europe and elsewhere to determine if the activity infringes the company’s standards, and then delete, play down or leave the content on the network, depending on the outcome. Topics for review include possible misinformation, voter suppression and hate speech, and the company said that it had investigated hundreds of incidents within the last week.

“Even though we’re a tech company, speaking face to face is invaluable,” said Sturdy, the Facebook executive.

VIDEO: 1300 Migrants Riot, Escape Mexican Immigration Facility

MIgrant Breakout

By Ildefonso Ortiz and Brandon Darby

Approximately 1,300 migrants from Central America and Cuba rioted and broke out of an immigration holding facility in southern Mexico Thursday.

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The incident began Thursday evening at the Century 21 station in Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico’s National Immigration Institute announced in a prepared statement. The move was started by Cuban migrants who made up the majority of those held at the facility. In total, approximately 1,300 escaped.

The breakout was recorded on cell phone video and published by Azteca Noticias. In the video, dozens of migrants can be seen running out the doors of the facility. According to Mexican authorities, the facility did not have any measures to contain inhabitants.

Mexican authorities have not released any information about injuries during the riot and escape, however, they did reveal that approximately 700 later returned to the shelter.

 

WaPo headline linking anger at Sri Lanka terrorist attacks to ‘far right’ draws Twitter’s ire

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The Washington Post is under fire for printing a story with a contentious headline, implying that anger over the recent spate of bombings in Sri Lanka is unique to the “far right.”

Titled “Christianity under attack? Sri Lanka church bombings stoke far-right anger in the West,” the piece drew outrage online far and wide for its recklessly phrased headline.

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In its story, the Post cites right-wing leaders and activists across the US and Europe – such as Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s National Rally party – who view the bombings in Sri Lanka as part of a greater attack on Christianity.

While the Post does acknowledge that “Christian minorities are targeted around the world,” some took the piece itself to be a religious slight.

“If you [need] any further proof that the Washington Post is anti-Christian, check out this asinine headline,” one user said on Twitter.

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Starbucks rolls out drug needle disposal bins to follow up addict-friendly open bathroom policy

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Starbucks is installing needle-disposal boxes in its US bathrooms after getting fined over its lack of response to a spike in needle-stick injuries among employees under its addict-friendly “open-door” bathroom policy.

The coffee behemoth has installed the boxes in 25 cities after the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) slapped the company with a $3,100 fine for endangering workers. Starbucks was penalized for failing to provide sharps-disposal containers “in or near bathrooms where contaminated sharps were commonly found,” failing to make the Hepatitis B vaccine available to employees who could be exposed to the disease through contaminated needles, and failing to provide proper training and “exposure-control programs.”

By summer 2019, Starbucks plans to have the boxes everywhere “deemed necessary” – which, considering that Americans are now more likely to accidentally die from an opioid overdose than a car crash, may be most of the country. Store managers can request a box for their location if they don’t want to wait for the rollout.

“We have had zero toilet clogs and zero needles found in an unsafe place since we had them installed last month,” an employee told Business Insider. “It’s been really wonderful.” 

Thousands of employees signed a petition last year demanding the boxes be installed, tired of worrying about needle-sticks and other dangers and complaining that “the frequency of needles being left in the bathrooms…increased significantly in recent months” after Starbucks began an official policy of allowing non-customers to use the bathroom.

Employees’ gratitude stands in sharp contrast with what until very recently was corporate denial. The OSHA probe was sparked in October by a complaint from an employee who was stuck by a needle while cleaning the bathroom. Investigators soon found these injuries so common that a second employee filed a similar complaint while they were investigating the first, according to the agency’s report. Neither employee was contacted by Starbucks’ corporate office, yielding another demerit from OSHA. Starbucks claims employees who feel unsafe performing a task (such as disposing of stray hypodermics) can speak to their managers, but needles are often concealed in trash bags or other hard-to-see places and employees who get stuck may end up saddled with huge hospital bills for emergency room visits and antiviral medication.

Many Starbucks employees say drug use in their bathrooms spiked last year after the coffee chain changed its bathroom policies to allow open access following the controversial arrest of two black men in Philadelphia who asked to use the bathroom without buying anything.

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