Facebook has moved more than 1.5 billion users out of reach of European privacy law, despite a promise from Mark Zuckerberg to apply the “spirit” of the legislation globally.
In a tweak to its terms and conditions, Facebook is shifting the responsibility for all users outside the US, Canada and the EU from its international HQ in Ireland to its main offices in California. It means that those users will now be on a site governed by US law rather than Irish law.
The move is due to come into effect shortly before General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force in Europe on 25 May. Facebook is liable under GDPR for fines of up to 4% of its global turnover – around $1.6bn – if it breaks the new data protection rules.
The shift highlights the cautious phrasing Facebook has applied to its promises around GDPR. Earlier this month, when asked whether his company would promise GDPR protections to its users worldwide, Zuckerberg demurred. “We’re still nailing down details on this, but it should directionally be, in spirit, the whole thing,” he said.
A week later, during his hearings in front of the US Congress, Zuckerberg was again asked if he would promise that GDPR’s protections would apply to all Facebook users. His answer was affirmative – but only referred to GDPR “controls”, rather than “protections”. Worldwide, Facebook has rolled out a suite of tools to let users exercise their rights under GDPR, such as downloading and deleting data, and the company’s new consent-gathering controls are similarly universal.
Facebook told Reuters “we apply the same privacy protections everywhere, regardless of whether your agreement is with Facebook Inc or Facebook Ireland”. It said the change was only carried out “because EU law requires specific language” in mandated privacy notices, which US law does not.
It is well known that Israel has been supporting the so-called opposition operating in Syria in order to overthrow the legitimate government of Bashar Assad since the very beginning of the Syrian crisis in 2011. Another Tel Aviv’s goal here is to gain full control over the Golan Heights which Prime Minister B. Netanyahu is currently using to provide the militants from Syria with weapons.
Besides, the fighting jihadists striving to break the war-torn country are receiving medical care in Israeli hospitals. “Israel has been always stood by our side in a heroic way,” confirmed Moatasem al-Golani, the spokesman for the rebel group Liwa Fursan al-Joulan also known as Knights of the Golan. “We wouldn’t have survived without Israel’s financial assistance, food and weapons supplies.”
To be noticed is that the Israel Defense Forces have set up special paramilitary training camps, both in terms of imparting military, paramilitary and terrorist skills and as an opportunity for radical indoctrination. According to Inside Syria Media Center’s military correspondents on the ground, the Israeli military has been providing weapons and ammunition as well as intelligence support and a full-scale air support.
Thus, Israeli AF (IAF) have carried out more than 100 airstrikes on Hezbollah and the Syrian Arab Army’s positions. Moreover, the IAF have intensified their activity by conducting an air attack on the Syrian airbase T-4 on April 9, and also on the Ash-Shayrat and Ad-Dumayr air bases on April 17, 2018.
Furthermore, there has recently appeared new evidence of Israel’s increasing supplies to the radicals affiliated with the Free Syrian Army (FSA). This assistance mainly consists of providing arms and weapons as well as money to buy ammo at black market.
Local activists report that in late March – early April the contacts have intensified between the Israeli intelligence officers and the representatives of the Syrian armed groups acting in the area of Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The Israelis handed over to the militants some bags, boxes and cases, contents unknown, probably ammunitions, medicine and food rations.
We may propose it was the next batch of the so-called help to the Syrian militans controlled by Israel. Tel Aviv, thus, seeks to maximize the support in order to get them ready for an offensive of the Syrian troops and Lebanese Hezbollah in the south of al-Quneitra Governorate.
Obviously, by supplying opposition groups in southern Syria, Israel aims to block and sabotage not only the peaceful settlement of the conflict but also the demilitarization of the Syrian-Israeli border in the Golan Heights in accordance with Agreement on Disengagement between Israel and Syria.
Sophie Mangal is an American Patriot, 27, is a special investigative writer and contributor for ZionistReport.com. Her Hindu surname “Mangal” derives from the Sanskrit “mangala,” meaning “auspicious.” Sophie Mangal – a woman with a genuine passion for Syria, for the church, and for justice. After attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a media and journalism major, Mangal monitored the refugee crisis in Europe, drawing parallels between the Syrian conflict and the Balkan problem, and has visited Syria on several occasions.
They must not ‘leak’ photos of torture or posing with dead Palestinians especially on Facebook. The World must not know what the Israeli Army is doing to them. ISRAEL – FACEBOOK SCANDAL: A Soldier post photos of herself smiling next to dead Arab prisoners. Israeli NGO “Breaking the Silence” tries to bring those trash pictures to people’s attention. Reuploaded from france24english’s channel- http://www.youtube.com/user/france24e…
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if a single ethnic group controlled all of the media and news people consumed? You only have to look at the Christian faith and how it’s fallen in popularity in white countries with a Jew dominated media (e.g. Sweden, the U.K. and the U.S.A., for further info see here and here) over the past few decades; Catholicism, especially, has gone from being a once grand and respected institution to a laughing stock and the butt of many mean jokes.
Jews essentially control most of the media in America. Thus, it should come as no surprise that while they are quick to mock Catholics at every opportunity and release study after study looking at Catholic child sexual abuse and its “prevalence,” there has been scant reporting on even more severe and endemic child sexual abuse in the Jewish community.
We can actually demonstrate the effect Jewish control of the media has on religious perceptions in countries. For example, using Poland as a control group we can see that despite a few isolated cases of impropriety by priests Roman Catholic hasn’t fallen as an identity; some 92.8% of Poles ages 16 and over identify as Catholic but only half that number actually attend mass every week. If you look at English language reporting however, you would think Poles were abandoning Catholicism rapidly and that the faith would soon to be dead in the water.
There are approximately 415,616 Catholic priests who tend to 1.22 billion Catholics globally. Of these, it is estimated between 1.5% and 5% have had allegations made against them (note, allegations, not actual convictions). Yet despite this in a poll conducted in 2002 (after a story broke involving historic abuse cases) 64 percent of those queried thought Catholic priests “frequently” abused children. This just goes to show the power of the media and why no one group should be allowed to have a monopoly on it.
Most people would not suspect that this problem was equally bad (if not worse) in the Jewish community. However, in Judaism the truth isn’t some objective reality, but whatever is good for the Jews, hence there has been severe underreporting of cases to authorities with the consequence that there is a dearth of statistics.
Vice reported on the issue back in 2013:
Rabbi Rosenberg believes around half of young males in Brooklyn’s Hasidic community – the largest in the United States and one of the largest in the world – have been victims of sexual assault perpetrated by their elders. Ben Hirsch, director of Survivors for Justice, a Brooklyn organization that advocates for Orthodox sex abuse victims, thinks the real number is higher. “From anecdotal evidence, we’re looking at over 50 percent. It has almost become a rite of passage.”
Unfair media coverage is not fueled by the simplistic notion of ‘clever Israel, imprudent Arabs’. Western media is actively involved in shielding Israel and enhancing its diminishing brand, while painstakingly demolishing the image of Israel’s enemies.
The term ‘media bias’ does not do justice to the western corporate media’s relationship with Israel and Palestine. The relationship is, indeed, far more profound than mere partiality. It is not ignorance, either. It is a calculated and long-term campaign, aimed at guarding Israel and demonizing Palestinians.
The current disgraceful coverage of Gaza’s popular protests indicates that the media’s position aims at suppressing the truth on Palestine, at any cost and by any means.
Political symbiosis, cultural affinity, Hollywood, the outreaching influence of pro-Israel and Zionist groups within the political and media circles, are some of the explanations many of us have offered as to why Israel is often viewed with sympathetic eyes and Palestinians and Arabs condemned.
But such explanations should hardly suffice. Nowadays, there are numerous media outlets that are trying to offset some of the imbalance, many of them emanating from the Middle East, but also other parts of the world. Palestinian and Arab journalists, intellectuals and cultural representatives are more present on a global stage than ever before and are more than capable of facing off, if not defeating, the pro-Israeli media discourse.
However, they are largely invisible to western media; it is the Israeli spokesperson who continues to occupy the center stage, speaking, shouting, theorizing and demonizing as he pleases.
It is, then, not a matter of media ignorance, but policy.
Even before March 30, when scores of Palestinians in Gaza were killed and thousands wounded, the U.S. and British media, for example, should have, at least, questioned why hundreds of Israeli snipers and army tanks were ordered to deploy at the Gaza border to face-off Palestinian protesters.
Instead, they referred to ‘clashes’ between Gaza youth and the snipers, as if they are equal forces in an equivalent battle.
Western media is not blind. If ordinary people are increasingly able to see the truth regarding the situation in Palestine, experienced western journalists cannot possibly be blind to the truth. They know, but they choose to remain silent.
The maxim that official Israeli propaganda or ‘hasbara’ is too savvy no longer suffices. In fact, it is hardly true.
Where is the ingenuity in the way the Israeli army explained the killing of unarmed Palestinians in Gaza?
“Yesterday we saw 30,000 people,” the Israeli army tweeted on March 31. “We arrived prepared and with precise reinforcements. Nothing was carried out uncontrolled; everything was accurate and measured, and we know where every bullet landed.”
If that is not bad enough, Israel’s ultra-nationalist Minister of Defense, Avigdor Lieberman, followed that self-indictment by declaring there are “no innocent people in Gaza”; thus, legitimizing the targeting of any Gazan within the besieged Strip.
— B’Tselem בצלם بتسيلم (@btselem) March 31, 2018
Unfair media coverage is not fueled by the simplistic notion of ‘clever Israel, imprudent Arabs’. Western media is actively involved in shielding Israel and enhancing its diminishing brand, while painstakingly demolishing the image of Israel’s enemies.
Take for example, Israel’s unfounded propaganda that Yasser Murtaja, the Gaza journalist who was killed in cold blood by an Israeli sniper while covering the Great March of Return protests at the Gaza border, was a member of Hamas.
First, ‘unnamed officials’ in Israel claimed that Yasser is ‘a member of the Hamas security apparatus.’ Then, Lieberman offered more (fabricated) details that Yasser was on Hamas’ payroll since 2011 and ‘held a rank similar to a captain.’ Many journalists took these statements and ran with them, constantly associating any news coverage of Yasser’s death with Hamas.
It turned out that, according to the U.S. State Department, Yasser’s start-up media company in Gaza had actually received a small grant from USAID, which subjected Yasser’s company to a rigorous vetting process.
More still, a report by the International Federation of Journalist claimed that Yasser was actually detained and beaten by the Gaza police in 2015, and that Israel’s Defense Minister is engineering a cover-up.
Judging by this, Israel’s media apparatus is as erratic and self-defeating as North Korea; but this is hardly the image conveyed by western media, because it insists on placing Israel on a moral pedestal while misrepresenting Palestinians, regardless of the circumstances.
But there is more to western media’s approach to Palestine and Israel than shielding and elevating Israel, while demonizing Palestinians. Oftentimes, the media works to distract from the issues altogether, as is the case in Britain today, where Israel’s image is rapidly deteriorating.
To disrupt the conversation on Palestine, the Israeli Occupation and the British government’s unconditional support of Israel, British mainstream media has turned the heat on Jeremy Corbyn, the popular leader of the Labor Party.
Accusations of anti-Semitism has dogged the party since Corbyn’s election in 2015. Yet, Corbyn is not racist; on the contrary, he has stood against racism, for the working class and other disadvantaged groups. His strong pro-Palestine stance, in particular, is threatening to compel a paradigm shift on Palestine and Israel within the revived and energized Labor Party.
Sadly, Corbyn’s counter-strategy is almost entirely absent. Instead of issuing a statement condemning all forms of racism and moving on to deal with the urgent issues at hand, including that of Palestine, he allows his detractors to determine the nature of the discussion, if not the whole discourse. He is now trapped in a perpetual conversation, while the Labor Party is regularly purging its own members for alleged anti-Semitism.
Considering that Israel and its allies in the media, and elsewhere, conflate between criticism of Israel and its Zionist ideology, on the one hand, and that of Jews and Judaism on the other, Corbyn cannot win this battle.
Nor are Israel’s friends keen on winning, either. They merely want to prolong a futile debate so that British society remains embroiled in distractions and spares Israel any accountability for its action.
If British media was, indeed, keen on calling out racism and isolating racists, why then is there little discussion on Israel’s racist policies targeting Palestinians?
Media spin will continue to provide Israel with the needed margins to carry out its violent policies against the Palestinian people, with no moral accountability. It will remain loyal to Israel, creating a buffer between the truth and its audiences.
It is incumbent on us to expose this sinister relationship and hold mainstream media to account for covering up Israel’s crimes, as well as Israel for committing these crimes in the first place.
Top Photo | Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seen through the view-finder of a video camera. (AP/Se bastian Scheiner)
Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author, and editor of Palestine Chronicle. His latest book is ‘The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story’ (Pluto Press, London, 2018). Baroud has a Ph.D. in Palestine Studies from the University of Exeter and is a Non-Resident Scholar at Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, University of California Santa Barbara. His website is www.ramzybaroud.net.
Famed War Reporter Robert Fisk Reaches Syrian ‘Chemical Attack’ Site, Concludes “They Were Not Gassed”
by Tyler Durden
Robert Fisk’s bombshell first-hand account for the UK Independent runs contrary to nearly every claim circulating in major international press concerning what happened just over week ago on April 7th in an embattled suburb outside Damascus: not only has the veteran British journalist found no evidence of a mass chemical attack, but he’s encountered multiple local eyewitnesses who experienced the chaos of that night, but who say the gas attack never happened.
Fisk is the first Western journalist to reach and report from the site of the alleged chemical weapons attack widely blamed on Assad’s forces. Writing from Douma in eastern Ghouta, Fisk has interviewed a Syrian doctor who works at the hospital shown in one of the well-known videos which purports to depict victims of a chemical attack.
Importantly, the report, published late in the day Monday, is causing a stir among mainstream journalists who–minutes after the Saudi-sponsored jihadist group Jaish al-Islam (Army of Islam) accused the Syrian Army of gassing civilians–began uncritically promoting the “Assad gassed his own people” narrative as an already cemented and “proven” fact based on the mere word a notoriously brutal armed group who itself has admitted to using chemical weapons on the Syrian battlefield in prior years. Also notable is that no journalist or international observer was anywhere near Douma when the purported chemical attack took place.
Controversy ensued immediately after Fisk’s report, especially as he is among the most recognizable names in the past four decades of Middle East war reporting, having twice won the British Press Awards’ Journalist of the Year prize and as seven time winner of the British Press Awards’ Foreign Correspondent of the Year (the NY Times has referred to him as “probably the most famous foreign correspondent in Britain” while The Guardian has called him “one of the most famous journalists in the world”). An Arabic speaker, Fisk became famous for being among the few reporters in history to conduct face-to-face interviews with Osama bin Laden, which he did on three occasions between 1993 and 1997.
Fisk says he was able to walk around and investigate newly liberated Douma without Syrian government or Russian minders (in part this is likely because he has reported from inside Syria going back decades, in war-torn 1982 Hama, for example), and he begins his account as follows:
This is the story of a town called Douma, a ravaged, stinking place of smashed apartment blocks–and of an underground clinic whose images of suffering allowed three of the Western world’s most powerful nations to bomb Syria last week. There’s even a friendly doctor in a green coat who, when I track him down in the very same clinic, cheerfully tells me that the “gas” videotape which horrified the world– despite all the doubters–is perfectly genuine.
War stories, however, have a habit of growing darker. For the same 58-year old senior Syrian doctor then adds something profoundly uncomfortable: the patients, he says, were overcome not by gas but by oxygen starvation in the rubbish-filled tunnels and basements in which they lived, on a night of wind and heavy shelling that stirred up a dust storm.
Fisk goes on to identify the doctor by name – Dr. Assim Rahaibani – which is notable given the fact that all early reporting from Douma typically relied on “unnamed doctors” and anonymous opposition sources for early claims of a chlorine gas attack (lately morphed into an unverified “mixed” chlorine-and-sarin attack).
The doctor’s testimony is consistent with that of the well-known Syrian opposition group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), which initially reported based on its own pro-rebel sourcing that heavy government bombardment of Douma city resulted in the collapse of homes and underground shelters, causing civilians in hiding to suffocate.
According to SOHR, which has long been a key go-to source for mainstream media over the course of the war, “70 of them [women and children] have suffered suffocation as a result of the demolition of home basements over them due to the heavy and intense shelling.”
Though outlets from The Guardian to The Washington Post to The New York Times have quoted SOHR on a near daily basis throughout the past six years of war, the anti-Assad opposition outlet’s reporting of mass asphyxiation due to collapse of shelters has been notably absent from the same publications.
Fisk to Spirit Radio: “The video is real, but they are not suffering from gas poisoning…”
Fisk details the Syrian doctor’s testimony, who is adamant in his emphasis that civilians were suffocating en masse, and were not gassed:
It was a short walk to Dr Rahaibani. From the door of his subterranean clinic–“Point 200”, it is called, in the weird geology of this partly-underground city–is a corridor leading downhill where he showed me his lowly hospital and the few beds where a small girl was crying as nurses treated a cut above her eye.
“I was with my family in the basement of my home three hundred metres from here on the night but all the doctors know what happened. There was a lot of shelling [by government forces] and aircraft were always over Douma at night–but on this night, there was wind and huge dust clouds began to come into the basements and cellars where people lived. People began to arrive here suffering from hypoxia, oxygen loss. Then someone at the door, a “White Helmet”, shouted “Gas!”, and a panic began. People started throwing water over each other. Yes, the video was filmed here, it is genuine, but what you see are people suffering from hypoxia–not gas poisoning.”
It is common knowledge that Theresa May’s husband Philip essentially acts as the unofficial advisor to the Prime Minister – a fact proven by the former Conservative MP for Chichester, Andrew Tyrie, who said during a Newsnight profile of the PM’s husband that “Philip is clearly acting as, informally, an advisor to Theresa. Probably much like Denis did to Margaret Thatcher.”
Whilst it is pretty obvious that almost all married couples act as informal advisors to each other in come capacity, Tyrie’s admission that the Prime Minister’s husband has such a great influence over his wife’s decisions is made all the more worrying by the fact that Mr May – who is a Senior Executive at a £1.4Tn investment firm – stands to benefit financially from the decisions his wife, the Prime Minister, makes.
The fact that Philip May is both a Senior Executive of a hugely powerful investment firm, and privy to reams of insider information from the Prime Minister – knowledge which, when it becomes public, hugely affects the share prices of the companies his firm invests in – makes Mr May’s official employment a staggering conflict of interest for the husband of a sitting Prime Minister.
However, aside from the ease at which he is able to glean insider information from his wife about potential decisions which could go on to make huge profits for his firm, there is a far darker conflict of interest that has so far gone undiscussed.
Philip May is a Senior Executive of Capital Group, an Investment Firm who buy shares in all sorts of companies across the globe – including thousands of shares in the world’s biggest Defence Firm, Lockheed Martin.
According to Investopedia, Philip May’s Capital Group owned around 7.09% of Lockheed Martin in March 2018 – a stake said to be worth more than £7Bn at this time. Whilst other sources say Capital Group’s shareholding of Lockheed Martin may actually be closer to 10%.
On the 14th April 2018, the Prime Minister Theresa May sanctioned British military action on Syria in response to an apparent chemical attack on the city of Douma – air strikes that saw the debut of a new type of Cruise Missile, the JASSM, produced exclusively by the Lockheed Martin Corporation.
The debut of this new – and incredibly expensive – weapon was exactly what US President Donald Trump was referring to when he tweeted that the weapons being fired on Syria would be “nice and new and ‘smart!’”
Every single JASSM used in the recent bombing of Syria costs more than $1,000,000, and as a result of their widespread use during the recent bombing of Syria by Western forces, the share price of Lockheed Martin soared.
Consequently, with the air strikes on Syria having hugely boosted Lockheed Martin’s share price when markets reopened on Monday, Philip May’s firm subsequently made a fortune from their investment in the Defence giant.
Frome Stop War will be hosting its third ‘Media on Trial’ event this May. Our venue on this occasion will be the City of Leeds at the historic Leeds City Museum.
See here for full details and booking.
We will be hosting our expert panel Former UK Ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford, independent investigative journalist Vanessa Beeley, Professor of Politics Society and Political Journalism at Sheffield University, Piers Robinson, Tim Hayward, Professor of Environmental Political Theory at Edinburgh University, Media Analyst and Blogger, Robert Stuart, and Independent Journalist, Broadcaster and Radio Show host Patrick Henningsen.
We will also have a special guest speaker to be announced shortly.
The panel of experts will this time focus on the media’s propensity to either embed its journalists directly with terrorist forces, most notably Channel 4’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy embedded with Nour Al Zinki in Syria, or disseminate material directly from terrorist sources. In Syria, the White Helmets have been overwhelmingly the source from which establishment and corporate media have taken their information. Previous reporting from Libya in 2011 followed a similar pattern when the BBC’s Ian Pannell was embedded with Islamic extremist, anti-government forces, while the overwhelming media narrative complied with information from those same sources.
The question therefore arises, by aligning itself to terrorist organisations, by gaining entry into sovereign nations by way of these forces and by reporting their line while misleading the general public that they are merely ‘Activists’ or ‘Opposition forces’, has the mainstream print and broadcast media acted in contravention of the UK Terrorism Act?
This is a question our experts will analyse and hope to provide some clarification for audience members and those who, given the dubious regime change reporting of the 21st Century so far, would like to see the ‘Media on Trial’.
Professor Piers Robinson is Chair of Politics, Society and Political Journalism at Sheffield University. He has written the Handbook of Media, Conflict and Security, discussed media manipulation in television appearances and written articles on the deployment of propaganda in the media.
Robert Stuart is an independent researcher whose presentation on the ‘irregularities’ in the BBC Panorama episode ‘Saving Syria’s Children’ encouraged film producer and writer Victor Lewis-Smith to tear up his BBC contract in disgust.
Professor Tim Hayward is Professor of Environmental Political Theory and Director of the Just World Institute at the University of Edinburgh. Tim has written extensively on human rights and ecological concerns, and he is currently completing a book on Global Justice and Finance. He has published articles calling into question media reporting – particularly that of Channel 4 News, as well as the BBC Panorama episode ‘Saving Syria’s Children’.
Peter Ford was the UK’s ambassador to Bahrain from 1999–2003 and to Syria from 2003–2006. Following his retirement from the Foreign Office, he became Representative of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in the Arab world. In February 2017 Ford became a Director of the British Syrian Society.
American journalist and broadcaster Patrick Henningsen is the founder of 21st Century Wire, which consistently provides a platform to those reporting from on the ground in conflict zones and who often calls into question, or directly disproves, the narrative of the mainstream media pundits.
International investigative journalist and photographer Vanessa Beeley has reported from inside Syria, Egypt and Palestine including liberated East Aleppo and has exposed the true Al Qaeda pedigree of the mainstream media darling – the White Helmets – in exhaustive and highly lauded investigations.
WHERE AND WHEN
Sunday, 27th May 2018 – 2-5pm (doors open 1pm)
Leeds City Museum,