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New Zealand PM hails Indian diaspora on Independence Day

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Wellington, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key on Friday hailed the contributions made by the Indian diaspora in his country, Indian Weekender newspaper reported.

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In his message to the Indian diaspora on the occasion of India’s 69th Independence Day, he said: “As prime minister, I value the contributions Indian New Zealanders are making to the overall success of our country.”

The annual celebrations are an opportunity for Indian New Zealanders to recognise this important event in India’s history. It is also an opportunity to reflect on the long-standing and broad relationship New Zealand and India have,” Key said in the statement.
New Zealand is “lucky to have a vibrant and diverse ethnic culture, and our Indian communities play an integral part in that”. Along side National (Party) MPs Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi and Dr Parmjeet Parmar, we are committed to ensuring the voice of the Indian community is heard, Key said.
In his message to the Indian community, Bakshi said: “The Independence Day signifies years of struggle by our countrymen and women who stood for their beliefs and values.”
It also signifies that if we can stand together to achieve a common goal the victory will be ours. We should continue to keep these core beliefs and values in our minds regardless of where we choose live, Bakshi added.
Parmar said that he was very proud of the progress that India has made since its independence.
While we celebrate our vibrant culture, heritage and aspirations during Independence Day festivities, I commend the Indian community in New Zealand for preserving the culture and heritage, he added.

(IANS)

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France, New Zealand Seek to Curb Online Extremism

Australian national Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old white supremacist, is the suspect in the March 15 Christchurch attack, during which he fired at people while they were praying

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Wednesday said the country will join forces with France against the use of social media to organise and promote terrorism.

Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron will chair a meeting in Paris with representatives of countries and technology companies to seek their agreement to a pledge called “Christchurch Call” to eliminate violent extremist content online, Efe news reported.

The meeting will take place on May 15, exactly two months after the attack on two mosques in New Zealand’s Christchurch, in which 50 people were killed and which was broadcast live through Facebook by the attacker.

Ardern denounced the “unprecedented” use of social media as a tool to promote terrorism and hate in that attack and called for a “show of leadership” to ensure social media is never used in that way again.

“We all need to act, and that includes social media providers taking more responsibility for the content that is on their platforms, and taking action so that violent extremist content cannot be published and shared,” she said in a statement.

A migrant is seen in silhouette near flames from a burning makeshift shelter on the second day of the evacuation of migrants and their transfer to reception centers in France, as part of the dismantlement of the camp called the “Jungle” in Calais, France, Oct. 25, 2016. VOA

“It’s critical that technology platforms like Facebook are not perverted as a tool for terrorism, and instead become part of a global solution to countering extremism. This meeting presents an opportunity for an act of unity between governments and the tech companies,” she added.

The meeting in Paris will be held alongside the “Tech for Humanity” meeting of G7 Digital Ministers, of which France is the Chair, and France’s separate “Tech for Good” summit, both scheduled on May 15.

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Australian national Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old white supremacist, is the suspect in the March 15 Christchurch attack, during which he fired at people while they were praying.

Facebook took down 1.5 million copies of the video in the 24 hours after the attack, while YouTube announced that it had removed tens of thousands of videos of the assault – an “unprecedented” number in terms of its reach and the speed with which it spread online. (IANS)