Social media companies could face big fines in Germany if they don’t remove hate speech

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Social media and other technology companies operating in Germany could now face massive fines — up to 50 million euros ($60 million) — if they fail to promptly remove hate speech and other content from their platforms.

The German law — Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz, or NetzDG for short — went into full effect on the first day of 2018 and applies to large companies with more than 2 million users, according to Bloomberg.

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Two Palestinian children killed by Israeli fire in West Bank, Gaza

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Two Palestinian children were killed on Thursday in clashes with Israeli forces that erupted in both the occupied West Bank and the blockaded Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

“Ali Qino, 16, was killed in clashes with the Israeli army that erupted in the village of Iraq-Burin south of the West Bank city of Nablus,” the ministry said in a statement.

A second Palestinian was killed in the Gaza Strip, meanwhile, when Israeli troops used live ammunition to disperse demonstrators on strip’s eastern border, according to a separate statement released by ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra.

“Amir Abu Mosaed, 16, was killed after being shot in the chest,” al-Qidra said.

“Three other Palestinians were injured, including one who is now in critical condition,” he added.

Clashes erupted Thursday afternoon between Palestinian youths and Israeli troops near the Al-Bureij refugee camp on the Gaza Strip’s eastern border with Israel.

The Palestinian territories have remained tense since U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last month, drawing widespread protest from across the Arab and Muslim world.

Since Trump’s Dec. 6 announcement, at least 18 Palestinians have been martyred — and thousands more injured — in clashes with Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem and in the blockaded Gaza Strip.

Palestine: Israel keeping iconic Jerusalem mosque in darkness

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The Israeli authorities are deliberately keeping Jerusalem’s iconic Dome of the Rock Mosque in darkness, the Jordan-run Authority for Islamic Endowments (Awqaf) said in a Monday statement.

“The Israeli occupation authorities aren’t allowing the necessary equipment into the mosque compound, so we can’t fix the power outage,” the statement read.

The Israeli police, it added, were actively hindering Jordanian initiatives aimed at preserving the Islamic identity of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, in which the Dome of the Rock (Qubbat al-Sakhrah in Arabic) is located.

For Muslims, the Al-Aqsa compound is considered the world’s third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the “Temple Mount”, claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem — currently occupied by Israel — might one day serve as the capital of an independent Palestinian state

[Photo showing Masjid al Aqsa in Al Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem.  Photographer: Andrew Shiva/Creative Commons]

CAIR Condemns Distribution of Hate Literature to Maryland Homes

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The Maryland Outreach Department of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned the reported distribution of Islamophobic and homophobic hate literature to homes in Maryland.

CAIR said the cartoon-like tracts by the hate group Chick Publications, titled “Camel’s in the Tent,” include bizarre claims that Muslims seek the “conquest” of America by taking over the country “little by little, one city at a time.” Chick has a long history of bigoted attacks on Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, and other groups.

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CAIR-DFW Calls for Probe of McKinney ISD Middle School Teachers’ Impact on Students after Islamophobic, Hateful Tweets

The Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-DFW) today called on the McKinney Independent School District to launch an independent investigation of whether two middle school teachers’ private anti-Muslim and hateful views are negatively impacting their students.

Parents of students from McKinney Independent School District contacted CAIR-DFW a regarding Islamophobic, transphobic, and hateful tweets made by two Cockrill Middle School teachers, Justin Barton and Mark Russell. On Twitter, these teachers referred to Islam as a “satanic death cult,” an “evil ideology,” and “a political ideology…[that] cannot assimilate. It must dominate.” Highly offensive anti-Muslim propaganda is retweeted numerous times. The teachers also attack the LGBTQ community and equate being transgender with having a mental illness, perversity, and delusion.

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Airstrikes in Yemen kill dozens of civilians in one day. But that’s just part of the country’s misery.

In one day this week, at least 68 Yemeni civilians were killed by airstrikes, according to the United Nations.

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The first struck a busy market in Taiz province in southwestern Yemen, leaving 54 people dead, including eight children, and 32 injured. The second killed 14 members of the same family in Hudaydah province, just to the north along the Red Sea.

Tuesday’s bombings killed more people than this week’s terrorist attacks in Afghanistan and Cairo combined — and was among the bloodiest days for civilians since the Saudi-led attacks in Yemen began in March 2015.

They are also another stark reminder of the huge humanitarian costs of nearly three years of air attacks on Yemen by a Saudi-led coalition — using many U.S. and Western arms — against a rebel force that ousted the remnants of a Saudi-backed government in early 2015. As U.N. representative Jamie McGoldrick put it, there is a “complete disregard for human life” by all parties to this “absurd war.”

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‘Crazy numbers’: civilian deaths from airstrikes almost double in a year

British involvement under scrutiny after study identifies 42% rise in number of civilians killed by explosives

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More than 15,000 civilians were killed by explosive weapons in 2017, a jump of 42% in a year, according to a global survey seen by the Guardian.

The rise – driven by airstrikes, which killed almost double the number of civilians in 2017 compared with the previous year – coincided with US-led military operations to reclaim the Islamic State strongholds of Mosul, in Iraq, and Raqqa, in Syria.

MPs said the figures were “deeply concerning” and raised questions over the transparency of legal criteria used by the Ministry of Defence to determine whether an individual is an Isis combatant.

The UK has said it has no credible evidence of its airstrikes resulting in civilian deaths, while the US military has revealed it unintentionally killed at least 801 civilians in Syria and Iraq.

The global survey, compiled by Action on Armed Violence, an organisation that highlights civilian harm from explosive weapons, suggests the civilian death toll from air-launched explosives rose by 82%, from 4,902 in 2016, to 8,932 in 2017.

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