Politics


Facebook bans Infowars for using ‘hate speech’ as Apple removes Alex Jones’ podcasts

4th August 2018

Facebook has shut down InfoWars’ page saying the conservative news outlet used hate speech. An editor at the website says the social media giant failed to tell it what the offending posts were.

InfoWars Editor-at-large Paul Joseph Watson said in a tweet that the account has been “permanently banned” for “unspecified” hate speech. Visitors to InfoWars page are now greeted with a message saying: “Sorry, this content isn’t available right now”.

Describing the development as a “chilling precedent for free speech,” Watson said that Facebook did not tell the media organization what the offending posts were.

“To all other conservative news outlets – you are next. The great censorship purge has truly begun,” he wrote.

Facebook said in a blog post on Monday that it was banning four of the pages belonging to Infowars founder Alex Jones for repeatedly uploading content in breach of the social network’s community standards.

The company said that when it deletes content, the removal counts as a strike against the person that uploaded it. It added that the reason for removing Jones’ pages was not related to concerns over false news.

“All four Pages have been unpublished for repeated violations of Community Standards and accumulating too many strikes,” Facebook explained.

“While much of the discussion around Infowars has been related to false news, which is a serious issue that we are working to address by demoting links marked wrong by fact checkers and suggesting additional content, none of the violations that spurred today’s removals were related to this.”

Jones is being sued by parents of the Sandy Hook school shooting for claiming that the attack was a hoax. Late last month the parents slammed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for failing to protect them from harassment by conspiracy theorists.

The development comes after Apple removed Jones’ daily podcasts from its podcast directory.

“Apple does not tolerate hate speech, and we have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users,” an Apple spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.

“Podcasts that violate these guidelines are removed from our directory making them no longer searchable or available for download or streaming. We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions.”

Apple Podcasts is arguably the most important platform in the podcasting industry. It drives a substantial amount of traffic to the podcasts it features on its homepage or in its charts.

 

 source/read more: :https://www.rt.com/usa/435217-infowars-banned-facebook-apple/

Parents of three transgender teens sue Warren County judge to allow name change

5th August 2018

A federal lawsuit claims a Warren County judge suggested a transgender teen was influenced by Caitlyn Jenner and wasn’t sincere about his gender identity when the teen’s parents requested to legally change their minor’s name.

The parents of that 15-year-old teen and two other transgender teens are suing Probate and Juvenile Court Judge Joseph W. Kirby to allow their children to change their legal names from female to male. The parents claim Kirby discriminates against transgender minors in refusing to allow them to select a name that reflects their gender identity.

The plaintiffs in the suit include the parents of one transgender teen Kirby has already ruled against, parents of another teen whose hearing is scheduled for Aug. 14, and a single parent who plans to file a petition for a name change for her transgender teen.

The judge cited the 15-year-old’s age as the reason for refusing the legal name change, but the suit also claims “Kirby suggested that [teen’s] expression of his gender identity was not sincere, but instead was the result of exposure of media coverage of the transition by Caitlyn Jenner.”

The suit cites the judge’s comments about Jenner during exchanges with the teen’s parents and the teen.

Judge to parents: “Well, explain to me the process. When did …. [child’s name] come to you and tell you that she associates herself as a boy?

Father: “It was actually last August.”

Judge: “Kind of when he [Jenner] made the papers and everybody was doing it kind of thing?”

Mother: “No, I don’t believe so.”

Judge: “Was it about the time that it kind of made headlines about a year ago and a half ago?  … Everybody was talking about all the transgender transformations were coming out in the paper?”

Judge to teen: “… How long have you known?

Teen: ” There’s always been a feeling of distress about it as long as far back as I can remember really … But then around when I learned that you can be transgender, I kind of clicked, and you know, that’s what I was upset about – that I wanted to be a boy but I couldn’t.”

Judge: That’s what I was referring to a couple of years ago when it hit the papers, and people were starting, they were identifying themselves or associating themselves with it. Uh, because it was not something that people were talking about.”

Teen: “I guess that never struck me because I’ve known transgender people since I was a kid …”

Judge: “But weren’t they known as cross-dressers back then or did they actually go through the physical? … I just look at Bruce Jenner set the stage nationally for it, maybe even all of the world.”

“The judge failed to consider the evidence presented by the families and doctors that the name change is in the best interest of the teenager and, instead, substituted his own skeptical views,” said attorney Joshua Engel, who filed the suit along with attorney Joshua Langdon.

Kirby’s ruling in refusing the 15-year-old’s petition said the change “was not reasonable and proper and in the child’s best interest at this time.”

 

 

 

source/read more: https://www.wcpo.com/news/local-news/warren-county/parents-of-three-transgender-teens-sue-warren-county-judge-to-allow-name-change

Google Plans to Launch Censored Search Engine in China, Leaked Documents Reveal

1st Aug 2018

Google is planning to launch a censored version of its search engine in China that will blacklist websites and search terms about human rights, democracy, religion, and peaceful protest, The Intercept can reveal.

The project – code-named Dragonfly – has been underway since spring of last year, and accelerated following a December 2017 meeting between Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai and a top Chinese government official, according to internal Google documents and people familiar with the plans.

Teams of programmers and engineers at Google have created a custom Android app, different versions of which have been named “Maotai” and “Longfei.” The app has already been demonstrated to the Chinese government; the finalized version could be launched in the next six to nine months, pending approval from Chinese officials.

The planned move represents a dramatic shift in Google’s policy on China and will mark the first time in almost a decade that the internet giant has operated its search engine in the country.

Google’s search service cannot currently be accessed by most internet users in China because it is blocked by the country’s so-called Great Firewall. The app Google is building for China will comply with the country’s strict censorship laws, restricting access to content that Xi Jinping’s Communist Party regime deems unfavorable.

The search app will “blacklist sensitive queries.”

The Chinese government blocks information on the internet about political opponents, free speech, sex, news, and academic studies. It bans websites about the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, for instance, and references to “anticommunism” and “dissidents.”

 

 

 

source/read more: https://theintercept.com/2018/08/01/google-china-search-engine-censorship/

Austria rejects registering Jews for kosher meat

21st July 2018

ustria rejected Friday registering Jews who want to purchase kosher meat after a far-right politician proposed introducing stricter controls on ritual slaughtering to reduce the practice citing animal rights.

Gottfried Waldhaeusl, a cabinet minister of Lower Austria and member of the Freedom Party (FPOe), made headlines this week when he called for controls, including registration, to rein in the slaughtering of animals without first stunning them.

But Austrian government spokemsan Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal said the country would “protect the freedoms and fundamental rights of our Jewish fellow citizens and can assure that they will be upheld and in no way limited”.

“The Austrian Federal Government rejects any form of personal registration in connection with the purchase of kosher meat, such an idea is out of question and will certainly not take place in Austria,” he tweeted.

Waldhaeusl had cited animal protection, saying registration was necessary to ensure ritual slaughtering was done only for those who show they belong to a religious community and need the meat.

Austria’s Jewish and Muslim community groups condemned the proposal.

A coalition of the centre-right People’s Party (OeVP) and the far-right FPOe has governed Austria since December after winning votes on an anti-immigration platform.

On Thursday, a man was arrested after assaulting three people — with at least one of them wearing Jewish headgear — in Vienna.

Following the attack, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz of the OeVP said on Twitter that the government was doing “everything so that Jews can live safely in Austria and is determined to fight against any form of anti-Semitism”.

The FPOe was founded by former Nazis in the 1950s but in recent years has sought to clean up its image, with its leader saying the party rejects all extremism.

But since its entry into government in December, the party has been embroiled in a string of controversies that critics say show it has not stamped out extremism.

 

 

 

source/read more: https://www.yahoo.com/news/austria-rejects-registering-jews-kosher-meat-155301942.html

Behind closed doors, Guantánamo secret court talks about the CIA, torture and rights

21st July 2018

The CIA used an alleged accomplice in the Sept. 11 terror attacks as a test subject to train new interrogators. Agents diapered or left naked a one-legged CIA captive during his time in secret overseas detention. Taking showers still traumatizes the alleged USS Cole bomber, whom the CIA waterboarded in 2003.

These and other details emerged from McClatchy’s review of 1,300 pages of partially declassified transcripts of Guantánamo’s secret death-penalty case sessions that have been gradually made public since February.

Although still heavily redacted, the transcripts show a consistent theme across 30 hours of closed war-crimes hearings: When the public and accused terrorists aren’t allowed to listen, the legal arguments are often about the CIA’s secret overseas prison network, the circumstances of Guantánamo detention and how now outlawed Bush-era interrogation methods might affect future justice.

In 2002 and 2003, “Essentially the United States government is running a Turkish prison. And that’s an insult, probably, to Turkey, frankly,” Navy Cmdr. Brian Mizer, a defense attorney, told a judge in a May 2014 court argument initially labeled top secret.

To mount a proper death-penalty defense in the USS Cole bombing case, Mizer said, his team needs “the gritty, granular detail” of what U.S. agents did to Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, the Saudi man accused of plotting al-Qaida’s suicide bombing that killed 17 American sailors on Oct. 12, 2000. His jury needs to “smell the urine, the feces, the blood, the sweat and see just how vile and disgusting this process was.” Then, if Nashiri were convicted, defense lawyers can ask the jury, “Do you have to kill him now?”

The transcripts come from a renewed Pentagon effort to clear a four-year backlog of transcripts at the Guantánamo court. In December, the Sept. 11 trial judge, Army Col. James L. Pohl, complained to prosecutors that the government wasn’t following his order to “expeditiously” release an unclassified version of the transcripts for the public to see, according to the declassified tranche.

Before the transcripts were released, security officials blacked out portions that remain classified and began posting redacted versions on a Pentagon website in February.

What has emerged is a puzzling patchwork of information. Some full pages are blacked out. Sometimes the censors released only fragments of sentences, making for quirky reads like this, which came at the end of four full pages of remarks that are entirely blacked out: Army Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, the chief prosecutor, declares on Jan. 11, 2018, “When the transcript comes out, they’ll all be able to see all the stuff I just said because [REDACTED].”

Still, the transcripts yielded some intriguing information from hearings that were closed to both the public and the defendants:

  • Guantánamo’s covert lockup, Camp 7, was built in 2004. That was two years before the CIA delivered Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the accused chief plotter of the Sept. 11 attacks, and 13 other black-site captives to the island prison for trial. The year of construction, revealed in June 3, 2016, testimony, was long considered secret — so much so that the prison commander declined to answer the question during a meeting with reporters in June, even as he made a pitch for money from Congress to build a more efficient $69 million version, complete with a hospice wing for aging captives.
  • A defense attorney declared in May that from their September 2006 arrival at Guantánamo until January 2007, those accused of planning the Sept. 11 attacks were “essentially entirely CIA prisoners” — not strictly detainees of the U.S. military. “I’ve never disclosed that information to anybody,” defense attorney Jay Connell told the judge, according to a declassified transcript. In open court he had used an approved intelligence-community talking point that Camp 7 “continued under CIA operational control for some period of time.” Those four months matter because in January 2007 FBI agents interrogated the terror suspects to gather evidence apart from their years of CIA abuse. And now defense lawyers want the judge to exclude those so-called clean-team interrogations from trial as tainted by torture.
  • In CIA custody, alleged 9/11 plot deputy Walid bin Attash “was stripped of his clothes and photographed while nude; he was subjected to long periods of nudity; he was interrogated while nude,” defense attorney Cheryl Bormann told a war court judge on Feb. 25, 2016, a description that was not contained in the declassified section of the torture report released by the Senate intelligence committee. “When not forced to urinate and defecate into a diaper, he was forced to urinate and defecate into a bucket while monitored.”
  • In a January hearing, Air Force Capt. Brian Brady, a defense lawyer, told the judge that defense lawyers need to know what U.S. intelligence agencies are operating at Guantánamo. If there was an active presence of the National Security Agency or Defense Intelligence Agency at the detention center, Brady argued, lawyers might be able to argue that some trial evidence was manipulated by the intelligence community.
n an image obtained by McClatchy. The 9/11 charge sheet says he went by “Khallad,” an alias.

Pohl inquired: “Let’s say, for example, either the CIA or the detention facility themselves record a conversation, and then they forward the recording or the information to the NSA or the DIA. Would that be the type of involvement you’re talking about, or are you talking about the direct involvement at the time?” Brady replied: “Both, judge.”

In February 2007, Khalid Sheik Mohammed reportedly boasted to a military panel that he personally beheaded Wall Street Journal correspondent Daniel Pearl “with my blessed right hand.” Mohammed has never been charged with the 2002 murder in Pakistan. But in a passing remark at the same closed January session, prosecutor Bob Swann told the judge that Mohammed “has provided many statements” about the grisly beheading — leaving unclear whether they were obtained through surveillance or interrogations.

The transcripts also provide new details about day-to-day operations at Camp 7, for high-value detainees, such as the 9/11 plotters, who were waterboarded, sleep-deprived, had their heads slammed into walls and were subjected to forced rectal feeding or rehydration during their years of secret CIA custody:

  • A Navy medic and nurse are on duty around the clock but there generally is no after-hours doctor on site.
  • Each cell has an adjoining outdoor recreation yard that each inmate can open or close, one commander said.
  • At times the detention center has allowed communal prayer.
  • The U.S. military videotapes “forced cell extractions,” a tackle-and-shackle technique to remove a defiant inmate from a cell but troops don’t record when guards force a defiant captive into his cell.

In early 2016, two Pentagon intelligence programs classified above top secret called ACCMs, Alternative Compensatory Control Measures, were operating at Guantánamo. They were so highly classified that only the few officials who were deemd ACCM “indoctrinated” were allowed to stay in the courtroom while the measures were discussed. Any discussion of the program is blacked out in the released transcripts. Later that year, a transcript shows, one of the ACCMs had been disbanded. Their code names, however, are still secret.

Ecuador to hand over Assange to UK ‘in coming weeks or days,’

21st July 2018

Ecuador is ready to hand over the WikiLeaks founder to the UK in “coming weeks or even days,” RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan said citing her own sources, as prospects of his eviction from the embassy are back in the media.

“My sources tell [Julian] Assange will be handed over to Britain in the coming weeks or even days,” Simonyan wrote in a recent tweet which was reposted by WikiLeaks. “Like never before, I wish my sources were wrong,” she continued.

Simonyan’s message comes, as speculations Ecuador is in talks with the UK over the future of Assange are back again in British press. Earlier this week, the Times reported Britain is locked in top-tier discussions with the Ecuadorians in a bid to remove Assange from their London embassy.

Sir Alan Duncan, the Foreign Office minister, is said to be spearheading the diplomatic effort. Sources close to Assange said he himself was not aware of the talks but believed that America was putting “significant pressure” on Ecuador, including threatening to block a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) if he continues to stay at the embassy.

The Times report comes just weeks before a visit to the UK by the newly-elected Ecuadorian president Lenin Moreno, who has labeled Assange a “hacker”, an “inherited problem” and a “stone in the shoe.”

There have been other worrying signs indicating Assange is steadily becoming a troublemaker for Ecuador. In late March this year, the Ecuadorian government has suspended Assange’s communication privileges with the outside world, cutting off his Internet connection at the embassy.

The move was sparked by Assange’s alleged breach of an agreement to refrain from interfering in other states’ affairs. Previously, he blasted the Spanish government for cracking down on the Catalan independence movement.

Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy since 2012 when he asked the Latin American state for asylum. The 47-year-old was wanted by Sweden on sexual assault allegations, but feared the extradition would lead to him being transferred to the US and prosecuted without a fair trial.

The US has been saying that Assange was “engaged in terrorism,” with Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, last year calling his arrest a “priority.” Over the years, WikiLeaks has published hundreds of thousands of classified US files, including the cables on the Iraq War, leaked by whistleblower Chelsea Manning in 2010.

 

 

 

 

source/read more:https://www.rt.com/news/433783-wikileaks-assange-ecuador-uk/

My Health Record: the Government wants to access your data until 30 years after you die

16th July 2018

Unless you opt-out by mid-October, the Federal Government will create an online record of your health details that it can access for the rest of your life and beyond – even if you ask for it to be deleted.

The Federal Government has budgeted more than $370 million to make digital health records for all Australians by the end of the year.

But privacy advocates are warning people to opt out of the database and IT specialists say it’s impossible to completely safeguard the information.

Every Australian will soon have a My Health Record — an online summary of their health information — unless they opt out over the next three months.

From Monday, Australians will have until October 15 to tell the Government they don’t want one. Otherwise, a record will automatically be created.

The project aims to give patients and doctors access to timely medical information — test results, referral letters and organ donation information, for starters — but there are concerns about the safety of some of our most personal, sensitive data.

We asked for your questions about the project on social media, and they ranged from police access to the platform’s cybersecurity.

The ABC sat down with Tim Kelsey, the head of the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) and the man in charge of the initiative, to get them answered.

The way the record works

As a patient, how can I know if my My Health Record information is being maintained by my doctor?

You can choose to opt out and have no My Health Record.

But once you have one, doctors can upload health information into it unless you ask them not to.

When you see a doctor, you can discuss adding (or not) documents such as an overview of your health, a summary of prescribed medications and referral letters.

Remember, it’s not a comprehensive picture of your health — it will only contain what you and your doctors choose to upload, and will depend on the quality of those records.

When you first access the system, you’ll be asked to decide whether you want two years of Medicare Benefits Schedule, Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, Australian Immunisation Register, and Australian Organ Donor Register data to be uploaded.

But if your doctor accesses your record first before you make the selection yourself, this data will be uploaded automatically — unless you’ve opted to have no record at all.

If you want, you can delete or restrict access to those documents later.

Not all Australian hospitals and health services are connected to My Health Record yet, so that’s something to check during your next visit.

When I get a prescription, how do I know whether I need to ask to make an update to my My Health Record? Does this vary by provider?

Doctors can upload information about prescribed medications, but as discussed above, it’s worth discussing this each time you see your doctor.

What happens to your My Health Record after you die?

My Health Record information will be held for 30 years after your death. If that date isn’t known, then it’s kept for 130 years after your birth.

Will any private health insurance companies have access?

Insurers shouldn’t be able to access your record — it’s reserved for people who work for a registered healthcare provider and who are authorised to provide you with care.

There are plans to use aggregated, anonymised My Health Record data for research and other purposes — this is known as “secondary use”.

“My Health Record information can be used for research and public health purposes in either a de-identified form, or in an identified form if the use is expressly consented to by the consumer,” a Department of Health spokesperson said.

Currently, users of the platform can tick a box on the web portal to opt out of secondary use.

Secondary uses must be of public benefit and cannot be “solely” commercial, and insurance agencies will not be allowed to participate.

However, “the impact of this exclusion” will be considered when the Department of Health’s framework governing secondary use of My Health Record data is reviewed, according to the framework document.

Australian organisations (and some overseas, in certain circumstances), including Australian pharmaceutical companies, will be able to apply to access My Health Record data for approved secondary purposes.

“We don’t expect any data to flow until 2020,” Mr Kelsey added.

The opt-out period

How can I opt out?

There are three key ways:

  • By visiting www.myhealthrecord.gov.au and opting out using the online portal.
  • Over the phone by calling 1800 723 471.
  • Or on paper by completing a form and returning it by mail. Forms will be available in 2,385 rural and remote Australia Post outlets, through 146 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and in 136 prisons.

What happens to the people who end up with a My Health Record, and then decide to opt out?

If you don’t opt out between July 16 and October 15, then a record will be automatically created for you.

After October 15, there will be a “one-month reconciliation period” before new My Health Records are registered. These new records will be created mid-November.

You can then cancel that record, but the data it contained will still exist (although inaccessible to you or health providers) until 30 years after your death.

Is a record automatically generated if a doctor uploads a document during the opt-out period, even if you did not create one yourself?

According to the ADHA, doctors can’t upload any clinical documents to the My Health Record system unless the patient record exists.

What about children who aren’t born yet — can they opt out?

After the opt-out period, newly eligible healthcare recipients, such as immigrants to Australia and parents of newborn children, will be given the chance to elect not to have a My Health Record as part of their Medicare registration.

Protection of your data

Which service provider will manage the infrastructure to ensure it isn’t vulnerable to a cyber-attack?

The platform was built by the technology provider Accenture, however the ADHA is starting discussions about “re-platforming” it.

Independent third parties audit the system’s security and undertake penetration testing, according to Mr Kelsey, but security experts warn that it’s impossible to make any online database entirely bullet proof.

Remember too, that documents created or downloaded by your doctors may be stored in their local IT system too and depend on that system’s security.

If a doctor downloads files from My Health Record, what’s to stop her from sharing those files within the practice?

By default, your online documents will be accessible to your healthcare providers.

If you have privacy concerns, you can log onto My Health Record and restrict who sees it:

  • You can set a Record Access Code and give it only to healthcare professionals you want to access your record.
  • If you want to restrict certain documents, you can set a Limited Document Access Code.

These controls may be overridden in an emergency.

As mentioned above, if a document is removed from the My Health Record system, it’s beyond the reach of your access controls.

If a GP were to allow another staff member to access a record, what is the potential punishment?

If someone accesses your My Health Record without legal authorisation and the person “knows or is reckless to that fact”, criminal and civil penalties may apply.

Where can users see information about who has accessed their record?

My Health Record users will be able to see who has looked at their record by checking its access history online.

They’ll be able to see when it was accessed, which organisation accessed it and what was done — documents being added, modified or removed, for example — but not the individual doctor who accessed it.

You can also set up an email or SMS alert for when a healthcare organisation accesses your record for the first time.

The privacy commissioner recommends checking regularly for unexpected or unauthorised access. You can call the ADHA on 1800 723 471 if you think something’s gone wrong.

Several apps can connect to My Health Record. How will the ADHA ensure they are secure?

Apps such as Healthi and Health Engine, which recently ran into trouble, are authorised by the ADHA to “show” people their health record.

According to Mr Kelsey, third party app developers can only display your My Health Record — “at the moment, it’s view-only” — and cannot store that data.

OPT OUT HERE: 1800 723 471.  https://optout.myhealthrecord.gov.au/pext/optoutextweb/views/getStarted.xhtml

 

source/read more: http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/am/my-health-record-data-access-for-30-years-after-death/9989172

and

http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-07-15/my-health-record-questions-answers-security-privacy-police/9959622

 

Welfare recipients to undergo face scan in order to get payments

2nd July 2018

A NEW controversial system may soon see welfare recipients required to have their face scanned and analysed before they can access their payments.

The system, which will also affect people trying access Medicare and childcare subsidies, age pension and pay tax online, is part of a new biometric security program that is set to begin in October.

Under the new strategy those trying to access these government services will be required to take photo to create a myGov ID, which will then be checked against driver’s licences and passports to confirm their identity.

Human Services Minister Michael Keenan has hopes the plan will see Australia become a world leader in “digital government” by 2025.

When fully rolled out the digital identity solution will allow users access to almost any government agency through one single portal, with the trial allowing 100,000 people to apply for a Tax File number online.

Currently applicants have to fill in a form online, print it out and take it to the post office so their identification can be verified.

But the introduction of the new system is causing some concern over the privacy of those taking part.

IT security expert Troy Hunt, who runs the website haveibeenpwned.com, told news.com.au that a biometric system — like the one proposed — wasn’t without its faults.

“One of the problems is we want to be able to access things in a secure fashion but passwords aren’t really great for doing that because a lot of us tend to use the same one for everything,” he said.

“Biometrics can be better in this aspect but on the flip side it is information that can’t really be changed if there is a security breach.”

Mr Hunt said that once a database is built up of this biometric data then there was the possibility it could be used for reasons other than it’s intended purpose. For example having a scan of people’s faces on file could make it easier to identify or track people through security camera.

He said it was up to the government to prove to Australians that the system wasn’t going to be abused.

“What we want to see from the Australian government is transparency about how this system is being used and where the information is going,” Mr Hunt said.

“They need to convince us that we can be confident in this system and trust them [with] this kind of data.”

The new system will be implemented on a voluntary basis but those who refuse to take part won’t be able to access government services online.

This means they will have to queue up at Centrelink to access these services in person.

For those who do use the new system they have been assured that their digital face image will be deleted as soon as it is checked against the other identifying documents they provided.

A media release published on Mr Keenan’s website states that “privacy and security will be at the heart of any of the changes we plan to make”.

“Consultation will also be vital with both industry and relevant interest groups to ensure we deliver services that people will want to use and also trust,” the statement reads

 

 

 

source/read more: https://www.news.com.au/technology/online/security/welfare-recipients-to-undergo-face-scan-in-order-to-get-payments/news-story/9ca653201454c0f64c5b331a36564cf5

U.S. quits U.N. human rights body, citing bias vs. Israel, alarming critics

20th June 2018

The United States withdrew from a “hypocritical and self-serving” United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday over what it called chronic bias against Israel and a lack of reform, a move activists warned would make advancing human rights globally even more difficult.

Standing with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the State Department, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley slammed Russia, China, Cuba and Egypt for thwarting U.S. efforts to reform the council. She also criticized countries which shared U.S. values and encouraged Washington to remain, but “were unwilling to seriously challenge the status quo.”

Washington’s withdrawal is the latest U.S. rejection of multilateral engagement after it pulled out of the Paris climate agreement and the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

It also comes as the United States faces intense criticism for detaining children separated from their immigrant parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein on Monday called on Washington to halt its “unconscionable” policy.

“Look at the council membership, and you see an appalling disrespect for the most basic rights,” said Haley, citing Venezuela, China, Cuba and Democratic Republic of Congo. She did not mention Saudi Arabia, which rights groups pushed to be suspended in 2016 over killings of civilians in the Yemen war.

Among reforms the United States had pushed for was to make it easier to kick out member states with egregious rights records. Currently a two-thirds majority vote by the 193-member U.N. General Assembly is needed to suspend a member state.

Haley also said the “disproportionate focus and unending hostility toward Israel is clear proof that the council is motivated by political bias, not by human rights.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the U.S. decision.

The United States has long shielded its ally Israel at the United Nations. In citing what it says is bias against Israel, the administration of President Donald Trump could further fuel Palestinian arguments that Washington cannot be a neutral mediator as it prepares to roll out a Middle East peace plan. Washington also relocated its embassy to Jerusalem after recognizing it as the capital of Israel, reversing decades of U.S. policy.

The United States is half-way through a three-year term on the 47-member Geneva-based body and the Trump administration had long threatened to quit if it was not overhauled.

 

 

 

source/read more: https://www.yahoo.com/news/amid-withdrawal-threat-pompeo-haley-speak-u-n-151017726.html?.tsrc=bell-brknews