Twitter removes video posted by Donald Trump after copyright notice by rock band Linkin Park


Twitter removes video posted by Donald Trump after copyright notice by rock band Linkin Park

Twitter today removed a video retweeted by USA President Donald Trump which included music from the American rock band Linkin Park, after the band sent a copyright notice to the microblogging site.

The band did not just stop at sending a notice for removal of the video and said that it does not authorise Trump's organisation to use any of their music.

The official Twitter handle of the band today came up with a statement: "Linkin Park did not and does not endorse Trump, nor authorize his organization to use any of our music. A cease and desist has been issued (sic)."

 
 

On Saturday, Trump retweeted the video originally posted by White House social media director Dan Scavino.

The micro-blogging platform removed the video after the band sent a copyright notice under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

"This media has been disabled in response to a report by the copyright owner," said Twitter.

Earlier this month, Twitter removed an image Trump tweeted, saying the image violated its privacy policy.

Trump's tweet showed a "meme" version of a photo taken by The New York Times in 2015. Trump tweeted along with the photo: "In reality they're not after me, they're after you. I'm just in the way".

After the NYT complained to Twitter, the micro-blogging platform removed the picture.

Late last month, Twitter flagged a tweet from Trump which promoted violence by saying if protesters tried to set up an "autonomous zone" in Washington, DC they would be met with "serious force".

That was the fourth time Twitter red-flagged Trump's tweet for glorifying violence or violating its policies.

Twitter earlier labeled a video tweeted by him which mocked CNN as manipulated media.

In May, Twitter labeled two Trump tweets that made false claims about mail-in ballots in California.

(With inputs from IANS)

 
 
 



Global COVID-19 cases rises to 14.2 million: Johns Hopkins University


Global COVID-19 cases rises to 14.2 million: Johns Hopkins University

Washington: The overall number of global COVID-19 cases has increased to over 14.2 million, while the deaths have topped to more than 601,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

As of Sunday morning, the total number of cases stood at 14,231,248, while the fatalities rose to 601,213, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update. The US accounted for the world's highest number of infections and fatalities at 3,707,023 and 140,105, respectively, according to the CSSE.

Brazil came in the second place with 2,074,860 infections and 78,772 deaths. In terms of cases, India ranks third (1,038,716), and is followed by Russia (764,215), South Africa (350,879), Peru (349,500), Mexico (338,913), Chile (328,846), the UK (295,632), Iran (271,606), Pakistan (261,917), Spain (260,255), Saudi Arabia (248,416), Italy (244,216), Turkey (218,717), France (211,943), Germany (202,426), Bangladesh (202,066), Colombia (182,140), Argentina (122,524), Canada (111,875) and Qatar (106,308), the CSSE figures showed.

The other countries with over 10,000 deaths are the UK (45,358), Mexico (38,888), Italy (35,042), France (30,155), Spain (28,420), India (26,273), Iran (13,979), Peru (12,998) and Russia (12,228).

 
 
 
 
 
 



Twitter Mass Hack: How attackers managed to compromise 130 accounts


Twitter Mass Hack: How attackers managed to compromise 130 accounts

On Thursday, high-profile Twitter accounts including those of former President Barack Obama, Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg and a number of tech billionaires including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Tesla CEO Elon Musk were hacked and the attackers posted tweets soliciting donations via Bitcoin.

"Feeling grateful doubling all payments sent to my BTC address! You send $1,000, I send back $2,000! Only doing this for the next 30 minutes," read Elon Musk now-deleted tweet.

After an initial investigation, Twitter said that they detected a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of their employees with access to internal systems and tools. This access was used to take control of many highly-visible accounts and tweet on their behalf.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said that it was a tough day for them and felt terrible that this happened.

Now, the company has revealed that the attackers targeted 130 Twitter accounts and were able to initiate a password reset, login to the account, and tweet from 45 of them.

"The attackers successfully manipulated a small number of employees and used their credentials to access Twitter’s internal systems, including getting through our two-factor protections. As of now, we know that they accessed tools only available to our internal support teams to target 130 Twitter accounts. For 45 of those accounts, the attackers were able to initiate a password reset, login to the account, and send Tweets. We are continuing our forensic review of all of the accounts to confirm all actions that may have been taken. In addition, we believe they may have attempted to sell some of the usernames," the company said.

However, the company said that the attackers were not able to view previous account passwords of the 130 accounts. Meanwhile, the attackers were also able to view personal information including email addresses and phone numbers.

"We are continuing our investigation of this incident, working with law enforcement, and determining longer-term actions we should take to improve the security of our systems. We have multiple teams working around the clock focused on this and on keeping the people who use Twitter safe and informed," the company added.

 
 
 



John Lewis, lion of the civil rights movement, dies at 80


John Lewis, lion of the civil rights movement, dies at 80

Atlanta: John Lewis, a lion of the civil rights movement whose bloody beating by Alabama state troopers in 1965 helped galvanise opposition to racial segregation, and who went on to a long and celebrated career in Congress, died. He was 80.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed Lewis'' passing late Friday night, calling him “one of the greatest heroes of American history.” “All of us were humbled to call Congressman Lewis a colleague, and are heartbroken by his passing,” Pelosi said. “May his memory be an inspiration that moves us all to, in the face of injustice, make ''good trouble, necessary trouble.''”

 
 

Lewis''s announcement in late December 2019 that he had been diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer — “I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now,” he said — inspired tributes from both sides of the aisle, and an unstated accord that the likely passing of this Atlanta Democrat would represent the end of an era.

Lewis was the youngest and last survivor of the Big Six civil rights activists, a group led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. that had the greatest impact on the movement. He was best known for leading some 600 protesters in the Bloody Sunday march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.

 
 

At age 25 — walking at the head of the march with his hands tucked in the pockets of his tan overcoat — Lewis was knocked to the ground and beaten by police. His skull was fractured, and nationally televised images of the brutality forced the country''s attention on racial oppression in the South.

Within days, King led more marches in the state, and President Lyndon Johnson soon was pressing Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act. The bill became law later that year, removing barriers that had barred Blacks from voting.

 
 
 
 

“John is an American hero who helped lead a movement and risked his life for our most fundamental rights; he bears scars that attest to his indefatigable spirit and persistence,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said after Lewis announced his cancer diagnosis.

Lewis joined King and four other civil rights leaders in organizing the 1963 March on Washington. He spoke to the vast crowd just before King delivered his epochal “I Have a Dream” speech.

 
 

A 23-year-old firebrand, Lewis toned down his intended remarks at the insistence of others, dropping a reference to a “scorched earth” march through the South and scaling back criticisms of President John Kennedy.

It was a potent speech nonetheless, in which he vowed: “By the forces of our demands, our determination and our numbers, we shall splinter the segregated South into a thousand pieces and put them together in an image of God and democracy.”

It was almost immediately, and forever, overshadowed by the words of King, the man who had inspired him to activism.

Lewis was born on Feb. 21, 1940, outside the town of Troy, in Pike County, Alabama. He grew up on his family''s farm and attended segregated public schools.

As a boy, he wanted to be a minister, and practiced his oratory on the family chickens. Denied a library card because of the color of his skin, he became an avid reader, and could cite obscure historical dates and details even in his later years.

He was a teenager when he first heard King preaching on the radio. They met when Lewis was seeking support to become the first Black student at Alabama''s segregated Troy State University.

He ultimately attended the American Baptist Theological Seminary and Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. He began organizing sit-in demonstrations at whites-only lunch counters and volunteering as a Freedom Rider, enduring beatings and arrests while traveling around the South to challenge segregation.

Lewis helped found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and was named its chairman in 1963, making him one of the Big Six at a tender age.

The others, in addition to King, were Whitney Young of the National Urban League; A. Philip Randolph of the Negro American Labor Council; James L. Farmer Jr., of the Congress of Racial Equality; and Roy Wilkins of the NAACP. All six met at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York to plan and announce the March on Washington.

The huge demonstration galvanized the movement, but success didn''t come quickly. After extensive training in nonviolent protest, Lewis and the Rev. Hosea Williams led demonstrators on a planned march of more than 50 miles from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama''s capital, on March 7, 1965. A phalanx of police blocked their exit from the Selma bridge.

Authorities shoved, then swung their truncheons, fired tear gas and charged on horseback, sending many to the hospital and horrifying much of the nation. King returned with thousands, completing the march to Montgomery before the end of the month.

Lewis turned to politics in 1981, when he was elected to the Atlanta City Council.

He won his seat in Congress in 1986 and spent much of his career in the minority. After Democrats won control of the House in 2006, Lewis became his party''s senior deputy whip, a behind-the-scenes leadership post in which he helped keep the party unified.

In an early setback for Barack Obama''s 2008 Democratic primary campaign, Lewis endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton for the nomination.

Lewis switched when it became clear Obama had overwhelming Black support. Obama later honored Lewis with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and they marched hand in hand in Selma on the 50th anniversary of the Bloody Sunday attack.

 
 
 



CHINA FIRES FRESH SALVO


CHINA FIRES FRESH SALVO

US officials have "lost their minds and gone mad" in their dealings with Beijing, China's foreign ministry said Friday, in the latest verbal salvo between the two superpowers.

Tensions between Washington and Beijing have run high this year and some of the most outspoken critics of China in American congress were this week hit with sanctions, days after the US imposed visa bans and asset freezes on several Chinese officials.

US Attorney General Bill Barr added fuel to the fire on Thursday when he accused Beijing of mounting an "economic blitzkrieg" to replace Washington as the world's pre-eminent power and spread its political ideology around the world.

But foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Barr and other American officials were criticising China to distract from domestic political problems.

"These people, for self-interest and political gain, do not hesitate to hijack domestic public opinion... to the point where they have lost their minds and gone mad," she said.

Hua added that China had no intention of challenging or replacing the US and said she hoped that Washington could "return to rationality" in its China policy.

"A sparrow cannot understand the ambition of a swan," she said.

"This is a serious misjudgement and misunderstanding of China's strategic intent."

 
 
 



Donald Trump 'loves people of India and China'; hopes for peace between two nations: White House


Donald Trump 'loves people of India and China'; hopes for peace between two nations: White House

US President Donald Trump has said that he wants to do everything possible to keep peace for the people of India and China, according to his spokesperson.

Over the past several weeks, the Trump administration has come out in support of India against China.

"He (Trump) said I love the people of India and I love the people of China and I want to do everything possible to keep the peace for the people," White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters at a news conference on Thursday.

 
 

She was responding to a question on Trump's message to India, which recently had a standoff with China in eastern Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control.

Earlier in the day, White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow described India as a great ally, saying President Trump is a great friend of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

On Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that India has been a great partner of the US.

"India has been a great partner... They are an important partner of ours. I have a great relationship with my foreign minister counterpart. We talked frequently about a broad range of issues. We talked about the conflict they had along the border with China. We've talked about the risk that emanates from the Chinese telecommunication infrastructure there," Pompeo told reporters in response to a question.

He was also critical of China on Wednesday.

 
 

Travelling in Europe, US National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien told reporters that China has been very aggressive with India.

 
 
 



Russia is trying to steal vaccine data?


Russia is trying to steal vaccine data?

In a charge that seems like a throwback to the Cold War era, the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre has said that Russian spies are targeting western health organisations which are trying to develop a coronavirus vaccine and steal the research.

The UK body did not specify which organisations had been targeted, or whether any information had been stolen. But sources said a Russian hacking group called APT29, which also goes by the name "the Dukes" or "Cozy Bear," is on their radar.

Cozy Bear is one of two hacking groups linked to Russian intelligence that is believed to have accessed the Democratic National Committee's internal systems in the run up to the 2016 US election, but Thursday's announcement is the first time this group has been named in connection with cyberattacks related to the coronavirus pandemic. The Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Russia "has nothing to do" with the hacking attacks. "We do not have information about who may have hacked into pharmaceutical companies and research centres in Great Britain. We can say one thing - Russia has nothing at all to do with these attempts," said Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for President Putin, according to the Tass news agency.




'Centrist' NYT Opinion Editor Bari Weiss resigns citing 'hostile work culture'


'Centrist' NYT Opinion Editor Bari Weiss resigns citing 'hostile work culture'

Bari Weiss, an opinion editor at The New York Times, quit her job on Tuesday with a public resignation letter that alleged harassment and a hostile work environment created by people who disagreed with her.

Andrew Sullivan, another prominent journalist who expressed concern that a "woke" culture is crowding out dissenting opinion, similarly announced his resignation from New York magazine.

Sullivan is a conservative columnist and Weiss is considered conservative by some, although she labels herself a centrist.

"Intellectual curiosity is now a liability at The Times," said Weiss, who was also a writer at the newspaper.

She was brought to the Times in 2017 by James Bennet, the opinion editor who lost his job in the aftermath of an op-ed published by U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton that advocated using federal troops to quell unrest in the wake of George Floyd's death. Some Black reporters at The Times said they felt endangered by the piece and they were supported by dozens of colleagues.

She wrote that she was hired to attract new voices to the Times in the wake of President Donald Trump's election, but that lessons from that time hadn't been learned.

"Instead, a new consensus has emerged in the press, but perhaps especially at this paper: that truth isn't a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else," she wrote.

She said she was openly smeared and demeaned by colleagues who didn't fear their behaviour would be checked.

"Showing up to work as a centrist at an American newspaper should not require bravery," Weiss wrote.

Kathleen Kingsbury, acting editorial page editor at the newspaper, said she wants to ensure that viewpoints from across the political spectrum are published.

The Times didn't address Weiss' specific harassment allegations.

"We're committed to fostering an environment of honest, searching and empathetic dialogue between colleagues, one where mutual respect is required of all," spokeswoman Eileen Murphy said.

On Twitter, Sullivan wrote that "the mob" bullied Weiss for thought crimes "and her editors stood by and watched."

Later, he tweeted that he was resigning as a columnist at New York magazine for "reasons that are pretty self-evident." He didn't specify those reasons but said he'll have a farewell column later this week and will continue his work elsewhere.

In a June 12 column titled "Is There Still Room to Debate?" Sullivan wrote about an increasingly furious campaign to quell dissent from the central idea that society's evils stem from discrimination against Blacks.

"In these past two weeks, if you didn't put up on Instagram or Facebook some kind of slogan or symbol displaying your wokeness, you were instantly suspect," he wrote.

David Haskell, editor-in-chief of New York magazine, said he and Sullivan both agreed that his ideas and the magazine's were no longer a match.

"While I found myself often disagreeing with his politics, I also found it valuable to be publishing work that challenged my thinking," he said in a memo to staff members.

He said he'll continue to push work that challenges the liberal assumptions of much of New York's readership, while acknowledging that such commentary is difficult to get right in 2020.




Big win for international students in US, as Donald Trump administration rescinds F1 visa rule


Big win for international students in US, as Donald Trump administration rescinds F1 visa rule

The Trump administration has agreed to rescind its July 6 rule, which temporarily bared international students from staying in the United States unless they attend at least one in-person course, a federal district court judge said on Tuesday.

The U-turn by the Trump administration comes following a nationwide outrage against its July 6 order and a series of lawsuits filed by a large number of educational institutions, led by the prestigious Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), seeking a permanent injunctive relief to bar the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from enforcing the federal guidelines barring international students attending colleges and universities offering only online courses from staying in the country.

As many as 17 US states and the District of Columbia, along with top American IT companies such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft, joined MIT and Harvard in the US District Court in Massachusetts against the DHS and the ICE in seeking an injunction to stop the entire rule from going into effect.

"I have been informed by the parties that they have come to a resolution. They will return to the status quo," Judge Allison Burroughs, the federal district judge in Boston, said in a surprise statement at the top of the hearing on the lawsuit.

The announcement comes as a big relief to international students, including those from India. In the 2018-2019 academic year, there were over 10 lakh international students in the US. According to a recent report of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), 1,94,556 Indian students were enrolled in various academic institutions in the US in January.

Judge Burroughs said the policy would apply nationwide.

"Both the policy directive and the frequently asked questions would not be enforced anyplace," she said, referring to the agreement between the US government and MIT and Harvard.

Congressman Brad Scneider said this is a great win for international students, colleges and common sense.

"The Administration needs to give us a plan to tackle our public health crisis - it can't be recklessly creating rules one day and rescinding them the next," he said in a tweet.

Last week, more than 136 Congressmen and 30 senators wrote to the Trump administration to rescind its order on international students.

"This is a major victory for the students, organisers and institutions of higher education in the #MA7 and all across the country that stood up and fought back against this racist and xenophobic rule," said Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley.


"Taking online classes shouldn't force international students out of our country," Congressman Mikie Sherrill said in a tweet.

In its July 6 notice, the ICE had said all student visa holders, whose university curricula were only offered online, "must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status".

"If not, they may face immigration consequences, including but not limited to the initiation of removal proceedings," it had said.

In their lawsuit, the 17 states and the District of Columbia said for many international students, remote learning in the countries and communities they come from would impede their studies or be simply impossible.

The lawsuit alleged that the new rule imposes a significant economic harm by precluding thousands of international students from coming to and residing in the US and finding employment in fields such as science, technology, biotechnology, healthcare, business and finance, and education, and contributing to the overall economy.

In a separate filing, companies like Google, Facebook and Microsoft, along with the US Chamber of Commerce and other IT advocacy groups, asserted that the July 6 ICE directive will disrupt their recruiting plans, making it impossible to bring on board international students that businesses, including the amici, had planned to hire, and disturb the recruiting process on which the firms have relied on to identify and train their future employees.

The July 6 directive will make it impossible for a large number of international students to participate in the CPT and OPT programmes. The US will "nonsensically be sending...these graduates away to work for our global competitors and compete against us...instead of capitalising on the investment in their education here in the US", they said.

 

 

 




China raises flood response to second-highest level


China raises flood response to second-highest level

BEIJING: China's Ministry of Water Resources (MWR) on Sunday raised the emergency response for flood control to Level II, the second-highest in the response system, as heavy downpours continued to lash vast stretches of the country.

Since July 4, alert-triggering floods have been observed in 212 rivers nationwide, among which 19 topped previous water level records, according to the MWR.

The water level in Taihu Lake, the country's second-largest freshwater lake, has risen above the alert level for 15 consecutive days, said the MWR.

China's State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters also lifted the emergency response to Level II later Sunday, following its last upgrade from Level IV to Level III on Tuesday.

The announcement came after Poyang Lake, China's largest freshwater lake located in the eastern province of Jiangxi, saw its water level at the Hukou station nearing the guaranteed level of 22.5 meters at 4 p.m. on Sunday, indicating an extraordinary emergency of flood control.

Due to severe flooding, the headquarters, the Ministry of Emergency Management, and the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration on Sunday allocated disaster-relief supplies like tents, blankets, and fold-up beds to the provinces of Jiangxi, Hunan, and Guizhou.

By noon on Sunday, floods in 27 provincial regions, including Jiangxi, Anhui, and Hubei had resulted in the deaths or disappearance of 141 people, and 2.25 million emergency relocations this year. Around 28,000 homes were flattened and 3.53 million hectares of crops affected, with the direct economic loss at 82.23 billion yuan (about 11.76 billion U.S. dollars).

China has a four-tier flood control emergency response system, with Level I representing the most severe.




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