News ID: 92314
Publish Date : 11 July 2021 - 21:32

LONDON (Daily Mail) – In just the last 12 months, the BBC has received nearly 500,000 viewer complaints about “perceived bias”, according to a report. According to the broadcaster’s own annual report released this week, it received 462,255 complaints from 2020 to 2021, an increase of 93,878 from the previous year. Public anger over perceived bias has been driving up the numbers, which are up from 218,253 in 2018/19. “The volume of complaints to the BBC remains a concern. This financial year has seen another sharp increase in the number of complaints received,” said Ian Hargreaves, chair of the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines and Standards Committee, quoted in the report. “The committee has explored the reasons behind this increase in volume year-on-year and asked the executive to review the operational handling of complaints,” he added. The figures and the consequences were echoed by the UK watchdog Ofcom, which announced on Friday that it had received a record number of complaints in the previous year: 142,660, up from 35,545 the year before. “Our research shows too many people perceive the BBC to be shaped by a particular perspective. This is not simply about the politics of Left and Right. We recognize that many feel the BBC does not get the world from their point of view,” the BBC annual report stated.

ADDIS ABABA (AP) – Ethiopia’s ruling Prosperity Party on Saturday was declared the winner of last month’s national election in a landslide, assuring a second five-year term for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The National Election Board of Ethiopia said the ruling party won 410 seats out of 436 contested in the federal parliament, which will see dozens of other seats remain vacant after one-fifth of constituencies didn’t vote due to unrest or logistical reasons. Ethiopia’s new government is expected to be formed in October. The vote was a major test for Abiy, who came to power in 2018 after the former prime minister resigned amid widespread protests. Abiy oversaw dramatic political reforms that led in part to a Nobel Peace Prize the following year. June’s vote, which had been postponed twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic and logistical issues, was largely peaceful but opposition parties decried harassment and intimidation. No voting was held in the Tigray region.

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Shops were looted overnight, a section of the M2 highway was closed and stick-wielding protesters marched through the streets of Johannesburg on Sunday, as sporadic acts of violence following the jailing of former South African President Jacob Zuma spread to the country’s main economic hub. The unrest had mainly been concentrated in Zuma’s home province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), where he started serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of court on Wednesday night. Zuma’s sentencing and subsequent imprisonment have been seen as a test of the post-apartheid nation’s ability to enforce the law fairly - even against powerful politicians - 27 years after the African National Congress (ANC) ousted the white minority rulers to usher in democracy. But his incarceration has angered Zuma’s supporters and exposed rifts within the ANC. Police said criminals were taking advantage of the anger to steal and cause damage. National intelligence body NatJOINTS warned that those inciting violence could face criminal charges.

LOS ANGELES (Dispatches) – Hot weather alerts are in place for more than 30 million people across the western United States after the region’s second heat wave in weeks brought another round of record-equaling high temperatures. Sweltering conditions have hit much of the Pacific seaboard and as far inland as the western edge of the Rocky Mountains over the weekend, with forecasters warning of more to come. Las Vegas matched its all-time record of 117 degrees Fahrenheit (47.2 Celsius), according to the National Weather Service (NWS) -- a temperature recorded in the desert entertainment city once in 1942 and three other times since 2005. Firefighters struggled to contain an exploding Northern California wildfire under blazing temperatures as another heat wave hits the U.S. West this weekend, prompting an excessive heat warning for inland and desert areas. A heat wave also enveloped much of Spain on Sunday, driving temperatures to extreme levels and sending locals and tourists scurrying for shade and cooling waters. National weather office AEMET issued heat warnings for most of the country, with the thermometer expected to rise above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in Madrid and the southern city of Seville for the second day running.

CARACAS (Reuters) – Clashes between police and a gang in northwestern Caracas this week have left at least 26 dead, including four officers, and 38 people injured, Venezuelan Interior Minister Carmen Melendez said on Saturday. The casualty count comes after several days of heavy gunfire left some capital residents fleeing their homes and snarled traffic in several neighborhoods, as authorities in the crime-stricken city push back on what analysts describe as a gang’s effort to expand its territory beyond the Cota 905 barrio. Melendez said 10 officers were injured in the clashes and that 22 “criminals” died. She said some 28 “civilians” — a reference to residents not suspected to be gang members — were injured and that some civilians died, though she did not specify how many and did not provide further details. Human rights activists said this week that four people were killed by stray bullets during the clashes.

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