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US and Cuba set to re-open their embassies in each other’s capitals

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USAWashington: The US and Cuba are on Wednesday scheduled to announce the reopening of embassies in Washington and Havana for the first time in over 50 years.

“We will formally announce on Wednesday that the US and Cuba have reached an agreement to re-establish formal diplomatic relations and open embassies in each other’s capitals,” a US official said.

In Havana, the American embassy is likely to occupy the same building where the Interests Section currently operates, a news portal quoted a White House official as saying.

That’s the same structure, situated on the Havana waterfront, which housed the American embassy prior to the severing of diplomatic ties after the Cuban Revolution in the 1950s.Cuba_flag

“We expect President Barack Obama and Secretary John Kerry to address this publicly Wednesday morning,” the official added.

The re-establishing of embassies is a final step in the full diplomatic thaw President Obama initiated in December.

Since then, the US has eased some travel restrictions to Cuba and allowed for some new economic ties.

In April, Obama met with Cuban President, Raul Castro, during a summit meeting in Panama, the first time the leaders of Cuba and the US had met in over 50 years.

The US officially removed Cuba from its list of state sponsors of terror earlier in June. (IANS)

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U.S. President Donald Trump Criticize Social Media Companies For Spreading Foreign Propaganda

In July, during a House of Representatives Judiciary Committee hearing, executives from Facebook, Google and Twitter testified they did not remove content based on political reasons.

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Donald Trump.
Trump: It Is 'Dangerous' for Twitter, Facebook to Ban Accounts (Wikimedia Commons)

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that it is “very dangerous” for social media companies like Twitter and Facebook to silence voices on their services.

Trump’s comments in an interview with Reuters come as the social media industry faces mounting scrutiny from Congress to police foreign propaganda.

Trump has made his Twitter account — with more than 53 million followers — an integral and controversial part of his presidency, using it to promote his agenda, announce policy and attack critics.

Trump previously criticized the social media industry on Aug. 18, claiming without evidence in a series of tweets that unnamed companies were “totally discriminating against Republican/Conservative voices.” In the same post, Trump said “too many voices are being destroyed, some good & some bad.”

Those tweets followed actions taken by Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube and Facebook to remove some content posted by Infowars, a website run by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Jones’ own Twitter account was temporarily suspended on Aug. 15.

Donald Trump. Pixabay.
Trump has made his Twitter account — with more than 53 million followers — an integral and controversial part of his presidency. Pixabay.

“I won’t mention names but when they take certain people off of Twitter or Facebook and they’re making that decision, that is really a dangerous thing because that could be you tomorrow,” Trump said.

Trump appeared on a show produced by Infowars, hosted by Jones, in December 2015 while campaigning for the White House. In removing Jones’ content, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook each pointed to specific user agreement violations. For example, Facebook removed several pages associated with Infowars after determining they violated policies concerning hate speech and bullying.

Twitter and Facebook declined to comment on Trump’s statement. Apple and Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Also Read: Slow Disclosure of Tesla Raising Governance, Social Media Concerns

In July, during a House of Representatives Judiciary Committee hearing, executives from Facebook, Google and Twitter testified they did not remove content based on political reasons.

“Our purpose is to serve the conversation, not to make value judgments on personal beliefs,” Nick Pickles, Twitter’s senior strategist, said at the time.(VOA)

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