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    A letter signed and supported by celebrities, charities, and MPS calls out the UK Government for its inaction on banning cages in egg production. Cages are one of the most condemned farming practices in the world, yet they continue to be used. Source: Animal Equality UK/Youtube Nearly 14 million chickens are stuck in cages across the UK, but 76 percent of UK consumers think that banning cages should be a priority. Cages are incredibly inhumane and restrict the movement of the hens. This impacts their well-being, and they suffer psychological and physical harm in caged environments during their short lives. Lorraine Platt, Co-Founder of the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, said, “Every year 14 million hens are kept in tiny cages with hardly enough room to spread their wings. This is unacceptable for a nation which prides itself on strong farm welfare standards.” “While we welcome the efforts of retailers leading the way in going cage-free, we still estimate that after these commitments there will remain 8 million hens kept confined in cages for their whole lives. We urge...
    CAIRO (AP) — One of Libya’s rival governments has said that a report by an international human rights group accusing it of abuses contains false accusations. Earlier this month, the London-based watchdog Amnesty International issued the report, which documents abuses against migrants by a state-funded security agency in western Libya. The Tripoli-based government of Prime Minister Abdel Hamid Dbeibah said late Thursday that Amnesty’s report “lacked professionalism and credibility.” ”We consider it a manifestation of the systematic and long-held bias against the interests of the Libyan state,” it said in a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. The report, issued on May 4, accuses the state-funded Stability Support Authority (SSA) of committing a long list of abuses — including unlawful killings, arbitrary detentions, detention of migrants and refugees, torture, forced labor and sexual crimes. The SSA is headed by Abdel-Ghani al-Kikli, a militia leader who controls a detention center in Tripoli’s Abu Salim neighborhood. Although he has been previously implicated in war crimes by global rights groups, Dbeibah appointed him as...
    CAIRO (AP) — Clashes between government-allied militias in western Libya caused damage to a sprawling oil facility, the state-run oil company said Saturday, the latest blow to the energy sector in the chaos-stricken Mediterranean nation. The fighting erupted Friday in the coastal town of Zawiya between two rival militias allied with the government of Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, which is based in the capital of Tripoli. The National Oil Corp. said the fighting damaged at least 29 sites, including storage tanks, at the Zawiya refinery complex. It said an assessment was continuing to determine the extent of the damage. The refinery is a major source of domestic fuel raising fears of an energy crisis amid the heat of the summer. The National Commission for Human Rights, a local group, condemned the clashes, which pitted the so-called Stability Support Authority against the self-styled Criminal Investigation Department in Zawiya. It was not clear what caused the clashes. There was no comment from Dbeibah’s government on the fighting. Its rival administration voiced concern and called on armed groups to stop fighting which...
    CAIRO (AP) — One of Libya’s rival administrations convened for the first time on Thursday in the southern province of Sabha, vowing to end deepening political divisions. The meeting, far from the capital Tripoli, was the latest sign that Libya remains mired in divisions, months after a U.N.-supported election that was supposed to unify the country in December failed to materialize. In recent months, the oil-rich country has become once again split between two administrations, one in Tripoli led by Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah and another by Fathi Bashagha, a former interior minister who was elected premier by the east-based parliament in February. In a televised session, Bashagha sat down with his ministers. “The era of corruption, chaos and despotism is gone. Today marks the beginning of a new national era where all Libyans will unite to achieve reform, reconstruction and justice,” said Bashagha in his opening statement. In February, the east-based House of Representatives elected Bashagha to lead a new interim government. The lawmakers there claimed the mandate of interim Prime Minister Dbeibah, who...
    CAIRO (AP) — Rival Libyan officials wrapped up weeklong talks in the Egyptian capital without an agreement on constitutional arrangements for elections, the United Nations said Tuesday. Twelve lawmakers from Libya’s east-based parliament and 12 from the High Council of State, an advisory body in the capital of Tripoli in western Libya, took part in the U.N.-brokered talks that concluded Monday in Cairo. The U.N. special adviser on Libya, Stephanie Williams, said the officials agreed to reconvene next month after the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan. Williams said the U.N. was working to seize consensus reached earlier this year between the two chambers with the aim of reaching an agreement on a constitutional and legislative framework for parliamentary and presidential elections. The talks came as Libya has been pulled apart again, with two rival governments claiming power after tentative steps towards unity in the past year, following a decade of civil war. In February, the country’s east-based House of Representatives named a new prime minister, former interior minister Fathi Bashagha, to lead a new...
    CAIRO (AP) — Rival Libyan officials began talks Wednesday in the Egyptian capital on disputed constitutional arrangements for their country’s elections. The U.N.-brokered talks come as the North African nation is increasingly deadlocked. Twelve lawmakers from Libya’s east-based parliament and 12 from the High Council of State, an advisory body in the capital of Tripoli, in western Libya, are taking part, according to the parliament’s spokesman, Abdullah Bliheg. The U.N. special adviser on Libya, Stephanie Williams, said Sunday that the meetings in Cairo would conclude on April 20. Libya has been pulled apart again, with two rival governments claiming power after tentative steps towards unity in the past year, following a decade of civil war. The oil-rich North African country has been wrecked by conflict since the NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011. The country has for years been split between rival administrations in the east and west, each supported by different militias and foreign governments. In February, the country’s east-based House of Representatives named a new prime minister, former interior minister Fathi Bashagha,...
    The State Department announced that the U.S. government reached the formal assessment that the Russian military has been committing war crimes over the course of their invasion of Ukraine. President Joe Biden is in Europe for a high-stakes NATO summit on the Ukrainian crisis, and on Wednesday, Secretary Antony Blinken released a statement accusing Vladimir Putin of unleashing “unrelenting violence that has caused death and destruction across Ukraine.” After citing “numerous credible reports” on the attacks the Russians perpetrated against civilian targets, Blinken re-affirmed his agreement with Biden “that war crimes had been committed by Putin’s forces in Ukraine” based on all available evidence. From the statement: Today, I can announce that, based on information currently available, the U.S. government assesses that members of Russia’s forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine. Our assessment is based on a careful review of available information from public and intelligence sources. As with any alleged crime, a court of law with jurisdiction over the crime is ultimately responsible for determining criminal guilt in specific cases. The U.S. government will continue to track reports...
    (CNN)The US government has formally declared that members of the Russian armed forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement Wednesday.The official US declaration that Moscow has violated the laws of conflict comes after Blinken, President Joe Biden and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman all said it was their personal opinion that war crimes have taken place."Today, I can announce that, based on information currently available, the US government assesses that members of Russia's forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine," Blinken said."Our assessment is based on a careful review of available information from public and intelligence sources," he said."As with any alleged crime, a court of law with jurisdiction over the crime is ultimately responsible for determining criminal guilt in specific cases," Blinken continued. "The US government will continue to track reports of war crimes and will share information we gather with allies, partners, and international institutions and organizations, as appropriate. We are committed to pursuing accountability using every tool available, including criminal prosecutions."Read MoreThis story is breaking and will...
    The City of West Hollywood is launching a guaranteed income program that excludes straight people. Here are the guidelines as laid out by the city government’s website: Community members who are interested in applying for the West Hollywood Pilot for Guaranteed Income must reside in the City of West Hollywood, be 50 years or older, identify as LGBTQIA, and have an individual income of $41,400 or less. So if you are straight, if you are not a member of LGBTQIA (and I have no idea what half those letters mean), you should not bother to apply “to receive unconditional monthly $1,000 payments from April 2022 through September 2023.” More: The City of West Hollywood, in collaboration with nonprofit partner, National Council of Jewish Women/LA, will open applications for the first pilot project for guaranteed income in the nation aimed at evaluating the impact of cash payments on the financial stability and quality of life of LGBTQIA older adults. Guaranteed income is a direct and regular cash payment – no strings attached – provided to a specific group of people for a designated...
    TOBRUK, Libya (AP) — A rival Libyan prime minister says he plans to be in the country’s capital and seat his government there in a matter of days — even though a parallel administration opposing his is currently located in Tripoli. Fathi Bashagha expressed his belief that the war-torn country could be unified without more fighting and that his government will focus on holding elections soon, the only way out of Libya’s decade-old conflict. However, his statement is likely to add to fears that Libya’s two rival administrations are heading into a deeper confrontation and that the divisions signal a return to civil strife after more than a year of relative calm. On Thursday, the United Nations and the United States urged restraint and expressed concern over reports of armed groups deploying in and around Tripoli. “The sole political solution in Libya is to hold presidential and parliamentary elections,” Bashagha said in an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday in the eastern city of Tobruk. A former air force pilot and businessman, Bashagha was named prime...
    Additionally, the state of Texas last month opened its own investigation into TikTok, alleging that the app violated children's privacy and contributed to online sex trafficking. In a Wednesday statement, TikTok responded to the investigation by saying, "We care deeply about building an experience that helps to protect and support the well-being of our community, and appreciate that the state attorneys general are focusing on the safety of younger users. We look forward to providing information on the many safety and privacy protections we have for teens." While TikTok's popularity has grown exponentially in the United States, particularly among younger users, its growth has not been without controversy. In addition to concerns about its marketing practices to young users, which prompted a federal investigation last year, online privacy experts have repeatedly cautioned that the app — which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance — may be feeding private information to the Chinese government. Those concerns led former president Donald Trump to engage in an abortive attempt to ban the app in the United States or force its merger with a...
    Though virtually all of these newsrooms produced stories covering the COVID-19 vaccines, the taxpayer dollars flowing to their companies were not disclosed to audiences in news reports, since common practice dictates that editorial teams operate independently of media advertising departments and news teams felt no need to make the disclosure, as some publications reached for comment explained. The Biden administration engaged in a massive campaign to educate the public and promote vaccination as the best way to prevent serious illness or death from COVID-19. Congress appropriated $1 billion in fiscal year 2021 for the secretary of health to spend on activities to "strengthen vaccine confidence in the United States." Federal law authorizes HHS to act through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies to award contracts to public and private entities to "carry out a national, evidence-based campaign to increase awareness and knowledge of the safety and effectiveness of vaccines for the prevention and control of diseases, combat misinformation about vaccines, and disseminate scientific and evidence-based vaccine-related information, with the goal of increasing rates of vaccination...
    Faster justice HAMMERING UK-based Russian oligarchs is an urgent weapon against Putin. Why isn’t the Government acting with the pace it needs? 3The Government must act with pace to hammer UK-based Russian oligarchsCredit: AFP The EU has sanctioned 25 already. It is way ahead of us. We know Downing Street is hamstrung by the prospect of legal cases in London courts — and grasping lawyers still willing to represent Putin’s cronies. But unless Whitehall’s sluggish legal teams pull their finger out these tycoons will have fled with their billions before we’ve had a chance to seize them. Granted, they will have to live out their years in an economic wasteland cut off from the world. But still. Boris Johnson deserves credit for his handling of the Ukraine catastrophe, for championing the crippling sanctions on the Kremlin regime and for the aid he has poured in to the resistance to it. His Government has still been far too slow to go after the madman’s mates. Most read in NewsHELPING HAND Russian soldier 'in tears as Ukrainian locals feed him...
    Sweden made the correct decision by avoiding a full Covid-19 lockdown and relying on their population's common sense, a commission into the handling of the virus has claimed.  Despite praising keeping the country open, the commission said some restrictions should have been introduced earlier. Swedish experts said repeated lockdowns in other European countries were neither 'necessary' nor 'defensible'.  Sweden has completed a study into the nation's handling of the Coronavirus pandemic  The authors praised the decision to avoid implementing a full lockdown like other EU nations According to the the report, the decision to promote 'advice and recommendations which people were expected to follow voluntarily' had been 'fundamentally correct'.   The authors said Swedes were able to keep more of their personal freedoms than other countries.  According to The Telegraph, the report warns against imposing further lockdowns in response to 'a new, serious epidemic outbreak'.  Swedish officials claimed some countries that imposed lockdowns had significantly worse outcomes than the Scandinavian country.  RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next Long-term side effects of Covid can destroy your love life......
    After the violent Capitol insurrection failed on Jan. 6, Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes had another idea for overturning the election—a truly epic one. While Rhodes’ lawyers have claimed the leader of the far-right militia group did “precisely nothing” after his insurrection dreams were dashed, new details obtained by The Daily Beast reveal that isn’t quite accurate. According to a source with inside knowledge of the case, just days after Jan. 6, Rhodes and multiple militia members joined a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn the 2020 election. Unfortunately for Rhodes and his compatriots, the lawsuit he signed on to was, in a word, “insane.” It went off the rails almost as soon as it hit the courts, with the lead attorney citing The Lord of The Rings as legal precedent. Eventually, the case dissolved amid a sea of ridicule. But it didn’t start out that way. The full scope of the Oath Keeper’s shadow legal effort, largely spearheaded by the group’s then-general counsel Kellye SoRelle, stretched back well before the riot, according to multiple people involved. In fact, it...
    BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore County will end its mask mandate in government buildings and facilities and stop required testing for unvaccinated workers by the end of the month, County Executive Johnny Olszewski said. In a statement, Olszewski said the county’s positivity rate has dropped by nearly 89% since January, and the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 has dropped by 77% in that time. READ MORE: Jonathan Toebbe, Navy Engineer Accused Of Selling Secrets, Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy“As we approach the two-year mark of this pandemic, we are actively working to responsibly provide as much normalcy as possible for our employees and residents,” Olszewski said. “The numbers are trending in the right direction and I am glad to be in a position to take these next steps in Baltimore County.” The policy goes into effect on Monday, Feb. 28. Starting Feb. 25, the county will no longer require employees who did not report their vaccination status to test weekly. The county’s announcement comes on the same day Gov. Larry Hogan said masks would no longer be required in state government...
    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has taken note of the appointment by Libya’s east-based parliament of a new prime minister and is following the situation in the North African country closely, his spokesman said Friday. The statement by the U.N. spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, seems to reflect a more neutral position than the U.N.’s initial support for the current interim prime minister based in the capital, Tripoli, in western Libya. The east-based lawmakers on Thursday appointed former Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha to replace Abdul Hamid Dbeibah as head of a new interim government, a development that appeared to counter U.N. efforts to reconcile the country, long divided between rival administrations in the east and west. Asked about Bashagha’s appointment on Thursday, Dujarric said “yes” when pressed on whether the U.N. still recognized Dbebah, whose job was to steer the country to elections. They had been scheduled for Dec. 24 but were postponed over disputes between the rival factions on laws governing the elections and controversial presidential contestants. Dujarric issued a more neutral and nuanced statement on...
    Two days after the Internal Revenue Service said it would transition away from using facial recognition for taxpayers to access certain IRS documents online after a wave of privacy complaints, Tysons, Virginia-based ID.me said it would make the use of “selfies” optional for all of its government clients. ID.me won an $86 million IRS contract for its identification verification services last year. The company counts a total of 10 federal agencies as customers for its services, as well as 30 state agencies and more than 500 retailers. More Business News ID.me said it now offers a new option to verify identity without using automated facial recognition and will make it available to all public sector government partners. “We have listened to the feedback about facial recognition and are making this important change, adding an option for users to verify directly with a human agent to ensure consumers have even more choice and control over their personal data,” said ID.me founder and CEO Blake Hall. ID.me will also allow existing users to delete their selfie or photo account beginning...
    Fintan O’Toole: Bloody Sunday, the 10-minute massacre that lasted decades, The Irish Times Bloody Sunday is more than a U2 song. The repercussions of the killing of 10 Catholic protestors by the British Army in Derry 50 years ago is still being felt in Ireland and Great Britain. Fintan O’Toole of the Irish Times writes about what it meant that January 30th day and what it still means. —Peter Callaghan, state government reporter We Still Can’t See American Slavery for What It Was and The New Wave of Holocaust Revisionism, New York Times Researchers are making inroads on one of the biggest challenges to understanding American slavery: relying on data and accounts provided by slavers, which far outnumber accounts by slaves or former slaves (“We still can’t see American slavery for what it was,” New York Times). Because there are no living former slaves, researchers, when, say, studying the log from a chattel sale in New Orleans, have to find ways to eke out the humanity of each African, who are only represented by a space on a ledger...
    The FBI reportedly spent two years considering whether it should buy a spyware tool that would allow it to hack into any phone in the United States. US government agencies were contacted by the NSO Group, an Israeli cyberweapons firm, multiple times between 2019 and last summer, according to the New York Times Magazine. The firm, which has been accused of aiding human rights abuses in nations across the globe, demonstrated a new system, called 'Phantom,' during a presentation to officials in Washington, that could hack into any phone nationwide. While the country's top law enforcement agency ultimately did not purchase or procure the spyware software, an FBI spokesperson told the Times that investment in such technologies not only helps to 'combat crime' but also, apparently, can 'protect both the American people and our civil liberties.'  Several reasons have been offered as to why the FBI decided against procuring the device-hacking tool, chief among them a series of lawsuits and controversies that persisted against the software distribution firm at the time of negotiations.  The website of Israeli company NSO...