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News ID: 108622
Publish Date : 05 November 2022 - 21:45
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BAMAKO (Dispatches) – Thousands of people have gathered in Bamako, the capital of Mali, to protest the publication of an insulting anti-Islam video on social media. The office of Bamako’s prosecutor said six people were charged with complicity in the release of a “blasphemous” video in which a man makes offensive comments against Muslims, the Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Police said the demonstration was organized by the High Islamic Council of Mali (HCM) and was attended by thousands of people. But the organizers of the demonstration have estimated the number of people present at more than one million people. The protesters had written slogans such as “No to blasphemous comments” and “No more attacks on Islam and the Prophet Mohammed” on their banners. Speaking to AFP, Imam Abdoulaye Fadiga said that what happened cannot be forgiven and the authors and publishers of the offensive video should be arrested and tried. A source in the prosecutor’s office said that the six people are in temporary custody for refusing to reveal the hiding place of the main suspect in the video. Nearly 95% of Mali’s population is Muslim, and the affair has caused uproar in the country.
 
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden says that Elon Musk had purchased a social media platform in Twitter that spews lies across the world. Twitter laid off half its workforce on Friday but said cuts were smaller in the team responsible for preventing the spread of misinformation, as advertisers pulled spending amid concerns about content moderation. Biden said at a fundraiser, “And now what are we all worried about: Elon Musk goes out and buys an outfit that sends - that spews lies all across the world... There’s no editors anymore in America. There’s no editors. How do we expect kids to be able to understand what is at stake?” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters earlier that Biden had been clear about the need to reduce hate speech and misinformation. “That belief extends to Twitter, it extends to Facebook and any other social media platforms where users can spread misinformation,” she said. Musk has promised to restore free speech while preventing Twitter from descending into a “hellscape”. But major advertisers have expressed apprehension about his takeover for months.
 
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MOSCOW (AFP) – Russian police Saturday detained a man suspected to have caused a huge fire overnight at a bar in the city of Kostroma that killed at least 15 people. Fire fighters fought through the early hours to put out the blaze at the popular Poligon bar in the city around 300 kilometers northeast of Moscow. Russian agencies earlier reported that the fire could have started after a man fired a “flare gun” on the dance floor. “Police officers identified and detained the suspect (behind) unlawful acts in an entertainment establishment in the city of Kostroma, which resulted in a fire and the death of people,” Russian police said in a statement. “He has now been handed over to investigative authorities,” it added, without providing any further details. Russia’s Investigative Committee opened a criminal case of “causing death by negligence”. State television showed images of the bar -- housed in a single-storey logistical centre -- engulfed in flames. Authorities said the fire started at around 2:00 am local time and was put out at around 7:30 am.
 
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LONDON (The Guardian) – The reputation of British politicians is at a “low point”, the UK’s new independent parliamentary commissioner for standards said, as he pledged to be an advocate for the “vast majority” of MPs who were committed to high standards in public life. Daniel Greenberg, who takes over from Kathryn Stone when her five-year term comes to an end in January, admitted that a slew of scandals in recent years as well as the turbulence of the past 12 months had tarnished parliament’s reputation. In his first interview since being appointed, the barrister and legal expert said, “It’s a low point within recent decades. It’s definitely a low point in the reputation of politics and politicians … I think politicians as a class definitely have made some mistakes.” However, he added, “We’ve had some very significant, high-profile and very serious cases of breach of standards in the past five or so years.” Greenberg will be the seventh commissioner, employed by parliament rather than the government to safeguard independence, since the post was created in 1995. He pledged to conduct his new role “without fear or favor” and to investigate whoever needed to be investigated, from backbench MPs to prime ministers.
 
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KUALA LUMPUR (AP) – Mahathir Mohamad, a 97-year-old former Malaysian prime minister, has announced his intention to extend his role in politics, as campaigning for upcoming general elections begins in a highly competitive race. Mohamad who became premier for the second time in 2018 still believes he can function soundly for the role of prime minister. “But my own supporters felt that this should be my last effort because although I am 97 years old, I am still functional, I can still move around, be active, still debate and make speeches,” he said Saturday. The campaigns, which began after the leaders filed their nominations on Saturday, are set to determine whether the Barisan Nasional (BN), or National Front, coalition can make a strong comeback or if political reformers will see their leader, Anwar Ibrahim, achieve a long-held dream of becoming prime minister. The race pits Prime Minister Ismail Sabri against veterans Anwar Ibrahim and Muhyiddin Yassin. At least 21 million Malaysians are eligible to vote in the election, which is to be held on November 19.
 
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PARIS (AP) – Jordan Bardella was elected Saturday to replace Marine Le Pen as president of France’s leading far-right party, a symbolic changing of the guard that comes at a crucial time for the resurgent National Rally. Bardella, a 27-year-old member of the European Parliament, won an internal party vote with 85 percent support, according to results announced at a party congress in Paris. He becomes the first person to lead the anti-immigration party who doesn’t have the Le Pen name since it was founded a half-century ago. The National Rally is seeking to capitalize on a breakthrough showing in legislative elections this year and growing support for far-right parties elsewhere in Europe, notably in neighboring Italy. It’s also facing broad public anger over a racist comment this week by a National Rally member in parliament that cast doubt on years of efforts to soften the party’s image. Marine Le Pen has said she wants to focus on leading the party’s 89 lawmakers in the National Assembly.  
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