As the Senior Vice-Chair of Parliament’s All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Kashmir, a British member of Parliament Barrister Imran Hussain visited Kashmir as part of the APPG’s ongoing inquiry into human rights violations.
There he met the Prime Minister, President, Foreign Minister, Foreign Secretary, Governor and other senior ministers.
He visited the Line of Control, one of the most dangerous places in the world that has severed villages and families, as well as the refugee camps that house thousands of Kashmiri refugees who have fled persecution and violence.
He also met the representatives of a range of NGOs, women’s groups and refugee groups. He said from them he had heard truly chilling and horrific first-hand testimonies of the human rights abuses they have been subjected to at the hands of the Indian Armed Forces.
“It is vital that the plight of the Kashmiris and the human rights violations in the region are not ignored and allowed to continue by the international community, and following this visit I will be continuing to raise, as I have done throughout my time in Parliament, this issue at the highest levels of the UK Government,” maintained Imran Hussain.
Did ‘Russian Sources’ attempt to undermine European vote?
BRUSSELS: EU officials said Friday that “Russian sources” stepped up a long-running disinformation campaign against the European Union in a bid to undermine the bloc’s elections last month.
The sources used fake social media accounts, bots, and news sites to amplify existing divisive content by targeting particular groups of voters and countries, Security Commissioner Julian King said.
“The number of disinformation cases attributed to Russian sources … doubled as compared to the same period a year ago,” King said, highlighting a report by European Commission investigators.
“So almost 1,000, as compared with over 400.”
The report from the 28-nation EU’s executive arm follows pre-election warnings from Brussels to EU countries and social media giants like Facebook and Twitter to guard against “fake news” from Moscow.
“Available evidence has not allowed us to identify a distinct cross-border disinformation campaign from external sources specifically targeting the European elections,” the report said.
“However, the evidence collected revealed a continued and sustained disinformation activity by Russian sources aiming to suppress turnout and influence voter preferences,” the report said.
When asked whether the report contradicted itself, King replied that disinformation aimed at dividing Europeans was “increasingly locally focused” rather than large scale.
He added that EU steps to counter disinformation may have also had “some sort of deterrent effect.”
Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova told the same news conference that there was “no big bang moment” — like Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal — to draw attention to organized manipulation.
Then, after revelations from a whistleblower, it was shown that tens of millions of users had their personal data hijacked by Cambridge Analytica, a political firm working for Donald Trump in 2016.
But King cited examples of what he said were false reports spread by Russian sources, such as the claims that the EU had made Poland poorer than when it had been a communist country.
The British commissioner also said Russian sources, without identifying them, suggested French President Emmanuel Macron wants to expel some countries from the EU.
He also said a fake Twitter account allegedly linked to Russia has spread false information that the EU has Nazi roots.
The Commission report said that “political actors” in member states often adopted tactics and storylines used by Russian sources to damage the EU.
For example, “malicious actors” used the fire at the Notre-Dame Cathedral in the French capital two months ago to showcase what they see as an alleged decline in Western Christian values.
The alleged trolls also blamed Austria’s political crisis and government collapse on the so-called “European deep state,” as well as “German and Spanish security services” and others, the report said.
The commission said it will take time to determine the “scope and impact” of disinformation campaigns because of their complex and sophisticated nature.
Official figures showed that turnout for the May 23 to 26 elections was at nearly 51 percent, a 20-year high, amid growing debate about the future of the EU.
And, even though populists and eurosceptics made significant inroads, they did not achieve the breakthrough feared by the political establishment.
Mainstream parties still control the lion’s share of the 751-seat European Parliament.
The Commission welcomed a voluntary campaign begun last year by US tech giants Google, Twitter and Facebook to stop the spread of falsehoods and hatred on their platforms.
The tech giants took down millions of fake accounts and did more to screen political ads, Jourova said.
But King and Jourova, a politician from the Czech Republic, said they must provide more detailed information to help identify malicious actors and the countries targeted.
They said the new commission that will be formed in the wake of the elections could still pass laws affecting the tech giants if the voluntary approach is insufficient.
Tory Boris Johnson seems all set to succeed May!
LONDON: In the first MP’s ballot to select the Tory leader Boris Johnson has commanded top place manifesting his ability to become the next PM.
According to sources Johnson bagged 114 votes, Jeremy Hunt managed to muster-up 43 while Michael Gove got 37.
It is pertinent to mention here that to move to the second round of voting candidates must get the support of over sixteen MPs in the first ballot. Three candidates who failed to get even 16 votes were eliminated from the race.
Seven candidates qualified for the next round of voting that will take place next week and the winner – whose name will be announced on 22nd July – will succeed Theresa May.
53rd Paris Air Show: Turkish Aerospace to feature fighters!
PARIS: Turkish Airforce is all set to feature fighters, helicopters and other hardware at 53rd Paris Air Show.
According to the Turkish Airforce official: “Turkey will demonstrate its infrastructure, technologies, and abilities to produce 5th generation jet aircraft which is therefore considered invaluable to a leading power like the USA, Russia, and China. In accordance with the main objectives of the Turkish Aerospace, by increasing the design, production, and certification of the jet aircraft, all domestic and national resources will be put into action.
“Turkish Fighter, which will be displayed for the first time at the world’s largest fair – the International Paris Airshow, along with other products of Turkish Aerospace will attract attention. Regarding the first showcase of Turkish Fighter the President and CEO of Turkish Aerospace Prof. Temel Kotil said: “We moved Turkey’s most important project, which we conduct the pride, to the higher point. We will do what few countries worldwide do.
“For the first time, we will exhibit Turkish Fighter in Paris in order to show our capabilities. Thus, Turkey will demonstrate that there is no difference from other countries from the point of view of technological infrastructure. As Turkish Aerospace we aspire to fulfill Turkey’s first achievements in disciplined and concentrated ways.
“In order to realize the mentioned goals, we will continue to grow our company and to build our army of engineers. I am waiting for all our qualified engineers who say ’’Let be my share as well for my country’’. Turkish Aerospace has opened its doors for you. We look forward to your determination, patience, and work.”
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