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British navy warship HMS Defender to support French aircraft against IS

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London: Britain’s royal navy warship HMS Defender will support the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in the fight against the Islamic State terrorist group, the British Ministry of Defense announced on Wednesday.

The ship will provide air defense cover for the French carrier to tackle Islamic State (ISIL), according to the ministry.

IS claimed responsibility for a series of terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13 that killed at least 129 people.

In a statement, British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said: “France is firmly resolved in its determination to tackle ISIL and we need to help too.”

“This barbaric terrorist organization must be destroyed, and it’ s right that we offer all the support we can to confront them,” he added.

Fallon said ISIL was “a threat to our security in the UK, as well as to France and the rest of Europe.”

“We will consider any further requests for support from France under Article 42.7 of the EU Treaty following Friday’s Paris terror attacks,” he stressed.

HMS Defender, which sailed from Portsmouth last month for a nine-month deployment, has a ship’s company of 230 and commissioned on 21 March 2013, the MoD said.

The warship is “capable of carrying out a wide range of operations, including anti-piracy and anti-smuggling activities, disaster relief work, and surveillance operations as well as high intensity warfare,” the ministry noted.

HMS Defender is the fifth of the British Royal Navy’s six Type 45 Destroyers.

(IANS)

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Facebook, Twitter Urged to Do More to Police Hate on Sites

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Twitter to soon release Snapchat like feature. VOA
Fake accounts on Twitter are many. VOA

Tech giants Facebook, Twitter and Google are taking steps to police terrorists and hate groups on their sites, but more work needs to be done, the Simon Wiesenthal Center said Tuesday.

The organization released its annual digital terrorism and hate report card and gave a B-plus to Facebook, a B-minus to Twitter and a C-plus to Google.

Facebook spokeswoman Christine Chen said the company had no comment on the report. Representatives for Google and Twitter did not immediately return emails seeking comment.

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Facebook one of the most popular apps in US. Pixabay
Facebook one of the most popular apps in US. Pixabay

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean, said Facebook in particular built “a recognition that bad folks might try to use their platform” as its business model. “There is plenty of material they haven’t dealt with to our satisfaction, but overall, especially in terms of hate, there’s zero tolerance,” Cooper said at a New York City news conference.

Rick Eaton, a senior researcher at the Wiesenthal Center, said hateful and violent posts on Instagram, which is part of Facebook, are quickly removed, but not before they can be widely shared.

He pointed to Instagram posts threatening terror attacks at the upcoming World Cup in Moscow. Another post promoted suicide attacks with the message, “You only die once. Why not make it martyrdom.”

Cooper said Twitter used to merit an F rating before it started cracking down on Islamic State tweets in 2016. He said the move came after testimony before a congressional committee revealed that “ISIS was delivering 200,000 tweets a day.”

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facebook
This photo shows Facebook launched on an iPhone, in North Andover, Mass., June 19, 2017. VOA

Cooper and Eaton said that as the big tech companies have gotten more aggressive in shutting down accounts that promote terrorism, racism and anti-Semitism, promoters of terrorism and hate have migrated to other sites such as VK.com, a Facebook lookalike that’s based in Russia.

There also are “alt-tech” sites like GoyFundMe, an alternative to GoFundMe, and BitChute, an alternative to Google-owned YouTube, Cooper said.

“If there’s an existing company that will give them a platform without looking too much at the content, they’ll use it,” he said. “But if not, they are attracted to those platforms that have basically no rules.”

The Los Angeles-based Wiesenthal Center is dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism, hate, and terrorism. (VOA)