UK Warns UAE Of Repercussions Over Spy Student Sentence

Britain’s Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt (C) arrives to meet with his Iranian counterpart in the capital Tehran on November 19, 2018.
ATTA KENARE / AFP

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt warned of “repercussions” after a United Arab Emirates court on Wednesday sentenced British student Matthew Hedges to life in jail having convicted him of spying.

“I am deeply shocked and disappointed,” said Hunt. “Today’s verdict is not what we expect from a friend and trusted partner of the United Kingdom and runs contrary to earlier assurances.”

The minister warned the UAE that “the handling of this case… will have repercussions for the relationship between our two countries, which has to be built on trust.

“I regret the fact that we have reached this position and I urge the UAE to reconsider,” he added.

Hunt said he had personally raised the case at the highest levels of the UAE government, including during a visit to Abu Dhabi on November 12.

Hedges, a 31-year-old Ph.D. student at Durham University in northern England, was researching the UAE’s foreign and internal security policies after the Arab Spring revolutions of 2011.

He was detained at Dubai airport on May 5.

AFP

Twitter Releases 10 Million Tweets From Foreign Influence Efforts

In this file photo taken on November 4, 2016, The Twitter logo is seen on a sign at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco, California. PHOTO: JOSH EDELSON / AFP

Twitter on Wednesday released data on foreign influence campaigns on its platform showing some 10 million tweets, mostly from Russia, dating back as far as 2009.

California-based Twitter said it was releasing detailed data on previously disclosed misinformation efforts to allow researchers to gain more insight into the campaigns.

“In line with our strong principles of transparency and with the goal of improving understanding of foreign influence and information campaigns, we are releasing the full, comprehensive archives of the tweets and media that are connected with these two previously disclosed and potentially state-backed operations on our service,” said a statement from Twitter trust and safety chief Vijaya Gadde and site integrity head Yoel Roth.

“We are making this data available with the goal of encouraging open research and investigation of these behaviors from researchers and academics around the world.”

Twitter last year banned some Russia-based accounts accused of spreading misinformation during the 2016 US election, and earlier this year acknowledged that hundreds of accounts from Russia and Iran were engaged in manipulation efforts.

Facebook has uncovered similar efforts and has stepped up its efforts to curb foreign influence.

In Wednesday’s statement, Twitter said influence campaign efforts came from 3,841 accounts originating in Russia, and 770 potentially originating in Iran.

They included more than 10 million tweets and more than two million images and videos from as early as 2009.

“It is clear that information operations and coordinated inauthentic behavior will not cease,” Twitter said.

“These types of tactics have been around for far longer than Twitter has existed — they will adapt and change as the geopolitical terrain evolves worldwide and as new technologies emerge. For our part, we are committed to understanding how bad-faith actors use our services.”

Researchers at the Atlantic Council, who had early access to analyze the Twitter data, the influence campaigns sought to exploit vulnerabilities in a polarized electorate.

“The Russian and Iranian troll farm operations show that American society was deeply vulnerable, not to all troll farm operations, but to troll accounts of a particular type,” said a blog post from the group’s Digital Forensic Research Lab.

“That type hid behind carefully crafted personalities, produced original and engaging content, infiltrated activist and engaged communities, and posted in hyper-partisan, polarizing terms.”

AFP

Simi, Falz Drop Hilarious Video For ‘Foreign’

 

 

Singers, Simi and Falz have finally dropped the long-awaited music video to ‘Foreign’ , one of the songs off their Extended Play, and it will definitely leave you smiling.

This will be the first video to be released from the 7-track EP titled Chemistry which the duo released in 2016.

The colourful video shows the soft work and Jamb crooners as two locals trying to impress each other with false tales of how influential they both are.

Fans are already expressing much love, with some saying that the video gives a better understanding of the song. Watch the video below.

Read Also: Davido, Wizkid, Simi Top 2018 Headies Nominee’s List

Texas Tornadoes Kill 11 In Dallas Area

Texas---tornadoesNew tornadoes have buffeted the US State of Texas killing 11 people, and raising the death toll to 29 in a week of storms in several US states.

Five people in cars were probably blown off a motorway in Garland, near Dallas. Another three bodies were found in nearby towns.

Reports say churches were destroyed, cars mangled and trees toppled across a wide area.

Weather officials are predicting that Texas and Oklahoma could suffer a “historic blizzard”, bringing up to 16in (41cm) of snow.

The storms across Southern US have been unusually powerful for winter.

Garland Police believed that “winds from a tornado that passed through” the town late on Saturday were the cause of car accidents.

Kevin Anderson opts for US Citizenship over Davis Cup tie

Kevin Anderson opts for U.S. citizenship
Kevin Anderson opts for U.S. citizenship

Kevin Anderson, one of the top South African tennis player confirmed that he would be missing the crucial Davis cup match against Slovenia next a tie which is meant to ensure the SA’s qualification for the World group playoffs in the Euro-Africa Group One.

The South Africa team captian John-Laffnie de Jager revealed that anderson will be missing the tie in pursunace of his U.S. citizenship,Anderson ranked no.28 in the world said he is in the process of obtaining his green card and he cant leave the U.S. without a visa.

Anderson and two other important players for the Davis Cup tie South Africa no. 2 Rik De Voest and Fritz Wolmerans which is a big blow for the South African team as they are the very important players for the team to face Slovenia.

Disappointed team captain John-Laffnie de Jager stated that Anderson could have done his application earlier as he was already aware of the dates for the Davis Cup tie so that the issue of visa would not arise also knowing that he is a crucial member of the team and the it is important that a victory is recorded against Slovenia to qualify for the World Group playoffs for the fourth year in succession.

John-Laffnie de Jager who could not hide his disappointment also citing deliberate evasion wondered if Anderson’s visa would be ready for the ATP clay court season in Europe which will come on after the Davis Cup tie.

His presence would have seemingly given South Africa a clear advantage against Slovenia as he would have easily been the highest-ranked player in either team would also have been a major draw card after winning an ATP tournament in the US this year and establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with on the international circuit,De Jager said.

The team captain is upbeat on victory against Slovenia as other players ready to go and make South africa proud even though he admitted that the absence of Anderson,Wolmerans and De Voest is a setback for the whole team.