Sunday February 23, 2020
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Democrats argue over ISIS, Trump

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Washington: As Democratic presidential contenders sparred at their last debate of the year, frontrunner Hillary Clinton suggested that her Republican rival Donald Trump’s rhetoric against Muslims was becoming a potent and powerful tool for ISIS.

“He is becoming ISIS’s best recruiter. They are going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists,” she said during Saturday’s Democratic debate, hosted by ABC News.

When asked about her emphasis on gun control in the wake of the San Bernardino terror attacks by a Pakistani-origin couple, Clinton again hit out at Trump saying the real estate mogul is pushing the wrong narrative in the fight against the ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), a militant group.

“I worry greatly that the rhetoric coming from the Republicans, particularly Donald Trump, is sending a message to Muslims here in the United States and literally around the world,” she said.

That message seemed to be “that there is a clash of civilizations, that there is some kind of western plot or even war against Islam, which then I believe fans the flames of radicalization”, said Clinton.

Clinton’s closest rival, self-styled democratic socialist Bernie Sanders too attacked Trump, but for supporting low wages. “He thinks low wages are a good idea,” he said.

Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, whose campaign has not gained much traction, said the US “must never surrender our American values to racists, must never surrender them to the fascist pleas of billionaires with big mouths”.

The three candidates also clashed over gun rights with Clinton saying more citizens purchasing firearms wouldn’t help matters and Sanders focusing on a search for “consensus” on gun regulations.

“Guns in and of themselves, in my opinion, will not make Americans safer. We lose 33,000 a year already to gun violence. Arming more people — to do what(?) — is not the appropriate response to terrorism,” Clinton said.

Sanders disagreed saying that “it’s a divided country on guns. But there is a broad consensus on gun safety regulation”.

He called for background checks for potential gun owners and the closure of loopholes that allow easier purchases at gun shows.

O’Malley attacked both, saying: “Secretary Clinton changes her position on this every election year, it seems. What we need on this issue is not more polls. We need more principle.”

Clashing over the future of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Sanders said Clinton is “too much into regime change and too aggressive without knowing what the consequences may be”.

Clinton hit back saying that Sanders had voted for regime change in Libya. She also warned against any policy that would allow Iran to increase its role in Syria, equating such a move to “asking the arsonist to come and pour more gas on the fire”.

But Sanders stated that “we have got to get our foreign policy and our priorities right. It is not Assad who is attacking the United States — it is ISIS”.(Arun Kumar, IANS)

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Social Media Giant Facebook Rebuts Soros, Says no ‘Special Relationship’ with Trump

Facebook has announced it will show fewer political ads to people on its platform and Instagram, starting with the US which faces Presidential elections this year, but won't ban or limit those as Twitter has already done and Google to some extent

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Fake, News, WhatsApp, Facebook, India
The Facebook mobile app on an Android smartphone. Wikimedia Commons

Facebook has refuted allegations by billionaire philanthropist George Soros that there is a special relationship between the social networking giant and US President Donald Trump.

Soros slammed Facebook at Davos last month, accusing the social networking giant of helping to re-elect Trump in the 2020 US election.

“While we respect Mr. Soros’ right to voice his opinion, he’s wrong,” Facebook said in a statement.

“The notion that we are aligned with any one political figure or party runs counter to our values and the facts. We continue making unprecedented investments to keep our platform safe, fight foreign interference in elections around the world, and combat misinformation,” Facebook said.

Soros reiterated his comments in an opinion piece in The New York Times on Friday.

“Facebook will help President Trump to get re-elected and Mr. Trump will, in turn, defend Facebook against attacks from regulators and the media,” he alleged.

“Facebook will work to re-elect Trump and Trump will protect Facebook,” the 89-year-old said during a speech at a dinner hosted by his non-profit Open Society Foundation at Davos.

Judge, Trump, Moral
FILE – President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House, in Washington, Nov. 4, 2019. VOA

“It makes me very concerned about the outcome of 2020,” Soros added.

Earlier in January, Facebook Vice President Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth claimed that it was the social networking giant that got Donald Trump elected as the US President in 2016 because “he ran the single best digital ad campaign I’ve ever seen from any advertiser”.

In a memo obtained by The New York Times, the key Facebook executive in the same vein suggested that the platform with over 2.45 billion monthly active users should not use its enormous reach to block Trump’s re-election in 2020.

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“He (Trump) didn’t get elected because of Russia or misinformation or Cambridge Analytica. He got elected because he ran the single best digital ad campaign I’ve ever seen from any advertiser. Period”, said Bosworth who runs Facebook’s hardware group.

“Trump just did unbelievable work,” Bosworth wrote.

Facebook has announced it will show fewer political ads to people on its platform and Instagram, starting with the US which faces Presidential elections this year, but won’t ban or limit those as Twitter has already done and Google to some extent. (IANS)