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Britain steps up attacks on ISIS, doubles warplanes

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London: British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has said that the deployment of Typhoons and two further Tornados would double the number of British fighter jets taking the fight against the ISIS militant group.

ISIS terrorists have again been struck by British Royal Air Force aircraft, with Typhoon fighters jets used for the first time in bombing missions over Syria and Iraq, according to British Ministry of Defence, Xinhua reported.

During the evening of December 4, Tornado GR4s and Typhoon FGR4s, based at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, conducted a further series of strikes on targets in the very large IS-controlled oilfield at Omar in eastern Syria, MoD said on Saturday in a statement on Saturday.

“The Tornados and Typhoons used Paveway IV guided bombs to hit wellheads, thus cutting off the terrorists’ oil revenue at the very source. Eight attacks were carried out, and early reports suggest that they were successful,” the statement said.

The ministry claimed British capabilities currently gather 60 percent of the Coalition’s tactical reconnaissance in Iraq and 30 percent of the intelligence in Syria, with over 800 personnel supporting operations in the campaign to degrade Daesh.

Since coalition air operations began last year, the RAF base at Akrotiri has been home to extensive air capabilities, including Tornado GR4s, Voyager air-to-air refueling aircraft, C130 transport aircraft, and Sentinel surveillance aircraft, according to the MoD statement.

Britain launched airstrikes against IS targets in Syria just hours after its Parliament approved a government proposal to extend military action from Iraq to Syria.

(IANS)

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Britain’s Princess Beatrice Speaks Out About Online Bullying

Beatrice said mobile technology should be a force for good for girls in developed and developing countries

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Princess Beatrice
Britain's Princess Beatrice is pictured at the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. VOA

Bullied herself online, Britain’s Princess Beatrice is determined to ensure other girls are equipped to deal with internet abuse and get the best from the digital world.

Beatrice — who as the eldest daughter of Prince Andrew and his former wife, the Duchess of York, is eighth in line to the British throne — said her bullying, about her weight and her appearance, were very public and could not be ignored.

But she said other girls faced this in private and needed to be encouraged to speak out and to know where to get support, which prompted her to get involved in campaigns against cyber bullying.

A recent study by the U.S.-based Pew Research Center found about 60 percent of U.S. teens had been bullied or harassed online, with girls more likely to be the targets of online rumor-spreading or nonconsensual explicit messages.

cyberbullying, beatrice
One in two parents in the current survey reported knowing a child in their community who had been cyberbullied, up from 45 per cent in 2011. Pixabay

“You’d like to say don’t pay attention to it … but the best advice is to talk about it,” Beatrice, 30, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation during an interview on Wednesday at the Web Summit, Europe’s largest annual technology conference.

“Being a young girl, but now being 30 and a woman working full time in technology, I feel very grateful for those experiences. But at that time it was very challenging.”

Beatrice, who works at the U.S.-based software company Afiniti, co-founded the Big Change Charitable Trust with a group of friends, including two of Richard Branson’s children, in 2010 to support young people who also grew up in the public eye.

Campaign

She also last year joined the anti-bullying campaign “Be Cool Be Nice” along with other celebrities such as Kendall Jenner and Cara Delevingne, which included a book.

princess beatrice
One of the most public attacks on the princess was at the 2011 wedding of her cousin Prince William when her fascinator sparked a barrage of media attention.

“There are lots of people who are ready to help and I want to make sure young people feel they have the places to go to talk about it,” said Beatrice, adding that teachers and parents also had a role to play.

Beatrice said her bullying was so public that she could not hide from it, but her mother, Sarah Ferguson, was a great source of support.

One of the most public attacks on the princess was at the 2011 wedding of her cousin Prince William when her fascinator sparked a barrage of media attention. A month later she auctioned the hat for charity for 81,000 pounds ($106,500).

Her mother, who divorced Prince Andrew in 1996, had to get used to unrelenting ribbing by Britain’s royal-obsessed media.

“She has been through a lot,” said Beatrice, whose younger sister, Eugenie, married at Windsor Castle last month.

Princess Eugenie, beatrice
Princess Eugenie wedding. Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank on the steps of St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle after their wedding.

“When you see role models who are continually put in very challenging situations and can support you … [then] some of the tools that I have had from her I would like to share.”

Beatrice said mobile technology should be a force for good for girls in developed and developing countries, presenting new opportunities in terms of education, careers and health.

Also Read: Google Launches New Cyber Security Unit For Play Store

“Social media and the pressures that these young people now face is a new phenomenon … and if I can do more to give young people the tools [to cope], that is my mission,” she said.

“I would say to young girls: You are not alone. Keep going.” (VOA)