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European Police team to hunt for IS social media accounts

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London: A new European police team is being set up to track and block social media accounts of the Islamic State (IS) terror group.

The police team will seek to track down the key figures behind the estimated 100,000 tweets a day pumped out from 45,000 to 50,000 accounts linked to the Islamist terror group, The Guardian reported.

Formed by the European police agency, Europol, it will start work on July 1, with a remit to take down IS accounts within two hours of them being detected.

Europol’s director, Rob Wainwright, told the Guardian that the new internet referral unit would monitor social media output to identify people who might be vulnerable and those preying on them.

“Who is it reaching out to young people, in particular, by social media, to get them to come, in the first place? It’s very difficult because of the dynamic nature of social media,” he said.

Wainwright added that the team would be working with social media companies to identify the most important accounts operating in a range of languages that are “underpinning what IS are doing”.

Europol believes that up to 5,000 European Union citizens, including people from Britain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands, have fled from their homes to join the IS.

(IANS)

 

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British Parliament To Vote On Withdrawal Agreement Negotiated With The EU

Some lawmakers have proposed holding a second referendum like the one in 2016 that set Britain on the path toward leaving the EU.

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Britain, European Union, May
Anti-Brexit supporters hold European Union flags as they demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament on Jan. 14, 2019. VOA

Britain’s parliament votes Tuesday on the withdrawal agreement that Prime Minister Theresa May’s government negotiated with the European Union.

May canceled a previous vote in December when it was clear she did not have enough votes for the deal to pass, and since then little seems to have changed.

Both pro- and anti-Brexit lawmakers oppose the terms of the agreement. May sought to garner last-minute support Monday by asking them to examine it again while warning of the consequences if the deal fails.

The biggest point of contention has been the arrangement to have an open border between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland that would keep Britain in some way tied to EU trade policies until the two sides can negotiate a new trade deal.

In a Tuesday radio interview International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said it was not acceptable for the unelected House of Lords to try to block the democratic will of the British people, who voted by a 52-48 margin in June, 2016 to leave the EU.
The Independent newspaper Tuesday night reported that May was preparing for a Brexit meeting with select cabinet ministers Wednesday at which they will try to come up with a joint position on post-withdrawal customs relations following rejection of Britain’s existing proposals. wikimedia commons

EU leaders said Monday the so-called “backstop” arrangement would only be in place as long as necessary.

Negotiators from Britain and the European Union agreed to the terms of the Brexit deal in November after difficult talks, and if the British parliament votes against the agreement there is great uncertainty about what will happen next.

Also Read: Brexit Consequences Getting Tougher for Theresa May

May would have until next Monday to put forth a new proposal. There is also the chance Britain could reach its March 29 withdrawal deadline with no terms in place to specify just how it will relate to the European Union when it is no longer a member.

Some lawmakers have proposed holding a second referendum like the one in 2016 that set Britain on the path toward leaving the EU. Others want parliament to take control of the Brexit process from May and her Cabinet. (VOA)