Wednesday January 16, 2019
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Rare Vietnamese rabbit on verge of extinction?

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London: The Annamite Striped Rabbit, a rare species found in the forests of Laos and Vietnam, was recently spotted by researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA).

The rabbit was first documented by rabbit expert Diana Bell and colleagues from the UEA in the journal, Nature in 1999. It has rarely been seen since.

Researcher Sarah Woodfin, who is studying for a Masters in Applied Ecology and Conservation at UEA, set out on a three-month expedition to track the recently-discovered rabbit and study its habitat.

“It is genetically very distinct from other rabbit species. Sadly there is a possibility that this species could be at risk of extinction due to deforestation and hunting,” she said.

“I didn’t expect that I would ever see one up close. I certainly never expected that I would have the opportunity to hold one of these magnificent animals. I was utterly delighted,” she said of the encounter.

“My team and I encountered the rabbit completely by chance on the first night of my trip. It was found hopping along a stream bank eating vegetation. One of my team members managed to catch it and brought it back to camp, where we were all able to have a good look at it,” she added.

“The rabbit was very handsome, with dark stripes against a pale gold background and a red rump. We were able to take some measurements and photographs before we released it back into the forest,” Woodfin said.

Images of the rabbit had previously been caught by motion sensitive ‘camera traps’.

“It is extremely important that we understand as much as possible about this species so that we can evaluate its conservation status and implement appropriate conservation measures,” Woodfin said. (IANS)

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Facebook Violated Cyber Security Law: Vietnam

In November, Vietnam said it wanted half of social media users on domestic social networks by 2020 and plans to prevent "toxic information" on Facebook and Google.

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Facebook, data, vietnam
This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

Facebook has violated Vietnam’s new cybersecurity law by allowing users to post anti-government comments on the platform, state media said on Wednesday, days after the controversial legislation took effect in the communist-ruled country.

Despite economic reforms and increasing openness to social change, Vietnam’s Communist Party retains tight media censorship and does not tolerate dissent.

“Facebook had reportedly not responded to a request to remove fan pages provoking activities against the state,” the official Vietnam News Agency said, citing the Ministry of Information and Communication.

In a statement, a Facebook spokeswoman said, “We have a clear process for governments to report illegal content to us, and we review all these requests against our terms of service and local law.”

Facebook, data, photos, vietnam
A smartphone user displays a Facebook newsfeed .VOA

She did not elaborate.

The ministry said Facebook also allowed personal accounts to upload posts containing “slanderous” content, anti-government sentiment and defamation of individuals and organizations, the agency added.

“This content had been found to seriously violate Vietnam’s Law on cybersecurity” and government regulations on the management, provision and use of internet services, it quoted the ministry as saying.

Global technology companies and rights groups have earlier said the cybersecurity law, which took effect on Jan. 1 and includes requirements for technology firms to set up local offices and store data locally, could undermine development and stifle innovation in Vietnam.

Facebook, India, Fake News, Hate Speech, Russia, digital, vietnam
A Facebook panel is seen during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, in Cannes, France. VOA

Company officials have privately expressed concerns that the new law could make it easier for the authorities to seize customer data and expose local employees to arrest.

Facebook had refused to provide information on “fraudulent accounts” to Vietnamese security agencies, the agency said in Wednesday’s report.

The information ministry is also considering taxing Facebook for advertising revenue from the platform.

Also Read: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Gears up For Debates on Public Forums

The report cited a market research company as saying $235 million was spent on advertising on Facebook in Vietnam in 2018, but that Facebook was ignoring its tax obligations there.

In November, Vietnam said it wanted half of social media users on domestic social networks by 2020 and plans to prevent “toxic information” on Facebook and Google. (VOA)