Washington, May 11, 2017: An Indian-origin man in the US has said that United Airlines cancelled his flight for filming a dispute involving an employee of the airlines.
Navang Oza, 37, said the incident happened earlier this week when he complained to a United Airlines agent about a $300 charge for his luggage while he was checking in for a flight to San Francisco from New Orleans, the New York Post reported.
Oza said he paid $125 to check the same bag on the first leg of his trip.
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Unable to get an explanation, Oza said he decided to do what many other frustrated passengers have done and film the dispute.
Oza posted an unedited clip of the lengthy interaction with the ticket counter worker in New Orleans.
“You do not have my permission to videotape,” the United Airlines employee says in the video shared on Twitter. Next, she instructs an agent to “cancel the reservation”.
About a minute after ordering his trip cancelled for taping her, the United agent is seen recording Oza.
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“I was shocked because I didn’t know she had the right to cancel my flight because I started recording,” Oza told news station KNTV.
The California resident said that he ultimately re-booked his flight on a different airline. Oza said he wants United to pay for that trip.
United told news station KNTV that it is investigating the incident.
“The video does not reflect the positive customer experience we strive to offer, and for that we apologise. We are reviewing this situation, including talking with Oza and our employees to better understand what happened,” United said in a statement.
United faced a series of scandals in recent weeks, including the violent removal of passenger Dr David Dao, who sustained injuries from being dragged off an overbooked flight.
The Kentucky doctor later reached an “amicable” settlement with the airline for an undisclosed amount. (IANS)
The internet domain registration of the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer was revoked twice in less than 24 hours
After GoDaddy revoked Daily Stormer’s registration, the website turned to Alphabet’s Google Domains
Twitter, Facebook, Google’s YouTube and other platforms have ramped up efforts to combat the social media efforts of Islamic militant groups, largely in response to pressure from European governments
TORONTO/SAN FRANCISCO, August 16, 2017: The internet domain registration of the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer was revoked twice in less than 24 hours in the wake of the weekend violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, part of a broad move by the tech industry in recent months to take a stronger hand in policing online hate speech and incitements to violence.
GoDaddy, which manages internet names and registrations, disclosed late Sunday via Twitter that it had given Daily Stormer 24 hours to move its domain to another provider, saying it had violated GoDaddy’s terms of service.
The white supremacist website helped organize the weekend rally in Charlottesville where a 32-year-old woman was killed and 19 people were injured when a man plowed a car into a crowd protesting the white nationalist rally.
After GoDaddy revoked Daily Stormer’s registration, the website turned to Alphabet’s Google Domains. The Daily Stormer domain was registered with Google shortly before 8 a.m. Monday PDT (1500 GMT) and the company announced plans to revoke it at 10:56 a.m., according to a person familiar with the revocation.
As of late Monday, the site was still running on a Google-registered domain. Google issued a statement but did not say when the site would be taken down.
Internet companies have increasingly found themselves in the crosshairs over hate speech and other volatile social issues, with politicians and others calling on them to do more to police their networks while civil libertarians worry about the firms suppressing free speech.
Twitter, Facebook, Google’s YouTube and other platforms have ramped up efforts to combat the social media efforts of Islamic militant groups, largely in response to pressure from European governments. Now they are facing similar pressures in the United States over white supremacist and neo-Nazi content.
Facebook confirmed Monday that it took down the event page that was used to promote and organize the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville.
Facebook allows people to organize peaceful protests or rallies, but the social network said it would remove such pages when a threat of real-world harm and affiliation with hate organizations becomes clear.
“Facebook does not allow hate speech or praise of terrorist acts or hate crimes, and we are actively removing any posts that glorify the horrendous act committed in Charlottesville,” the company said in a statement.
Several companies acted
Several other companies also took action. Canadian internet company Tucows stopped hiding the domain registration information of Andrew Anglin, the founder of Daily Stormer. Tucows, which was previously providing the website with services masking Anglin’s phone number and email address, said Daily Stormer had breached its terms of service.
“They are inciting violence,” said Michael Goldstein, vice president for sales and marketing at Tucows, a Toronto-based company. “It’s a dangerous site and people should know who it is coming from.”
Anglin did not respond to a request for comment.
Discord, a 70-person San Francisco company that allows video gamers to communicate across the internet, did not mince words in its decision to shut down the server of Altright.com, an alt-right news website, and the accounts of other white nationalists.
“We will continue to take action against white supremacy, Nazi ideology, and all forms of hate,” the company said in a tweet Monday. Altright.com did not respond to a request for comment.
Meanwhile, Twilio Chief Executive Jeff Lawson tweeted Sunday that the company would update its use policy to prohibit hate speech. Twilio’s services allow companies and organizations, such as political groups or campaigns, to send text messages to their communities.
Arbiters of acceptable speech
Internet companies, which enjoy broad protections under U.S. law for the activities of people using their services, have mostly tried to avoid being arbiters of what is acceptable speech.
But the ground is now shifting, said one executive at a major Silicon Valley firm. Twitter, for one, has moved sharply against harassment and hate speech after enduring years of criticism for not doing enough.
Facebook is beefing up its content monitoring teams. Google is pushing hard on new technology to help it monitor and delete YouTube videos that celebrate violence.
All this comes as an influential bloc of senators, including Republican Senator Rob Portman and Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, is pushing legislation that would make it easier to penalize operators of websites that facilitate online sex trafficking of women and children.
That measure, despite the noncontroversial nature of its espoused goal, was met with swift and coordinated opposition from tech firms and internet freedom groups, who fear that being legally liable for the postings of users would be a devastating blow to the internet industry. (VOA)
Aug 06, 2017: Over the past year, minorities across the United States have increased their outreach to the public and efforts to make their voices heard amid fears of a White Supremacy movement.
The Sikhs of Oak Creek, however, were working to raise awareness of their faith and uplift their community long before 2016.
On August 5, 2012, a white supremacist named Wade Michael Page killed six believers of the Sikh faith in their house of worship, a Gurdwara, outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In the five years since, members of the Gurdwara have organized scholarships, blood drives, 6K walks and runs, and presentations on understanding the Sikh faith in local schools.
“My outreach is also a coping mechanism,” Pardeep Kaleka, whose father was one of the six victims, told VOA. “Processing my own pain and hurt… I’d rather just go into the community and make it better for everybody else.”
Immediately after the shooting, the Sikh community increased its efforts to invite people of all faiths to come to the temple and learn about Sikhism.
But Navdeep Gill, who co-founded the temple’s outreach program, “Serve to Unite,” with Kaleka, says they soon realized they also needed to spread awareness outside the temple after members of the community said they were uncomfortable attending Sikh services.
“Whatever faith you practice, whatever community you come from, you should feel comfortable attending an event,” said Gill, who was tasked with organizing events commemorating the 5th anniversary of the shooting. “Whether that’s in schools, churches, telling other people who Sikhs are, as well as trying to learn about other people and see where the commonalities exist.”
Saturday’s 6K run is the 5th instance of the annual event. The blood drive was added three years ago to the August 5 activities.
This year, members of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin had their first float in the 4th of July parade. Though organizers were initially skeptical, Gill said it was well received and prompted non-Indian neighbors to strike up conversations with participating Sikhs.
Devout male followers of the Sikh faith, a monotheistic religion that originated in Northern India, keep long beards and wear turbans, and often are confused with Muslims.
And while some minorities across the country have expressed feeling less safe since U.S. President Donald Trump’s election, Oak Creek Sikhs say the political climate hasn’t affected their community.
“Honestly, nothing has changed,” Navdeesh Toor, an Oak Creek resident and member of the Gurdwara for the past eight years, told VOA.
Toor said that although hate crimes have received more media attention in the past year, which some attribute partly to divisive rhetoric heard during President Trump’s campaign and first few months in office, she doesn’t see any impact on her community.
“A vast majority of Wisconsinites voted for Trump, including minorities and a lot of desis [South Asians] I know,” she said, adding that she didn’t fault her neighbors for voting for “the lesser of two evils” in 2016.
Regardless of politics in Washington, survivors of the 2012 shooting, along with their friends, family, and fellow members of the Gurdwara, have not lost momentum in their pursuit of engaging the community.
“It’s not just about organizing 5Ks, it’s about… what we’re really being asked to do spiritually,” Kaleka said.
“I think there’s a reason [the shooting] happened, a reason those people who stood up made that sacrifice. This community has really stood up.” (VOA)
Nadia Murad Basee, a Yazidi woman, shared her experience of the atrocities that she underwent because of ISIS
Having escaped from ISIS’ captivity, the brave woman is now urging for retributive justice
She equates the experience of Yazidi people to the Jewish Holocaust in Germany
July 25, 2017: Nadia Murad Basee is a Yazidi woman who was captured by ISIS from her village Kocho, Iraq in August 2014. The terrorist organization sold her as a sex slave. Nadia’s life was shattered. Six of her brothers were killed during the ISIS raid on her house.
Nadia, who dreamt of becoming a teacher, had her life destroyed by the extremists. After months of captivity, however, she was able to escape from the hands of her kidnappers. The room where she was held was left unlocked by one of the men. Grabbing the opportunity, Nadia ran off.
Today, Nadia Murad Basee is part of the refugee asylum program in Germany amongst thousands of people. Her remarkable bravery is exhibited as she shares her story around the world.
The Yazidi woman was chosen by United Nations as the Goodwill Ambassador in 2016. She advocates for the rights and justice of Yazidi people and urges strong action against the men who committed the crimes.
Yazidis are seen as non-believers by the extremist organization ISIS. Over 5,200 Yazidis have been abducted by ISIS in Iraq.
Nadia equates the current situation to the Jewish Holocaust in Germany. As she claims, there are striking similarities. She has received assistance from IsraAID and Yazda which are non-profit organizations set up to help victims of such crimes. As Nadia puts it, these organizations have been more helpful than “any government”.
Speaking with The Jerusalem Post in Israel, Nadia said “We think our case is relevant to what they have been through in the Holocaust. It’s the thing we are going through. We think they’ll understand our case more than anybody else. We have been in many countries, meeting with governments for help for the Yazidi communities. I always wanted to come here to Israel, a lot of victims wanted to come and ask for help from the government and people of Israel.”
In the memory of Jewish genocide victims, Israel’s parliament Knesset is holding a conference where Nadia is supposed to speak on the same. Just as Hitler’s forces committed hate crimes against the Jews, ISIS has been doing the same with the Yazidi people.