Theresa May to warn tech firms over terror content

Posted by Warren Fyfe on September 20, 2017 in Warren Fyfe Site

Image copyright

Technology companies must go “further and faster” in removing extremist content, Theresa May is to tell the United Nations general assembly.

The prime minister will also host a meeting with other world leaders and Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter.

She will challenge social networks and search engines to find fixes to take down terrorist material in two hours.

Tech giant Google said firms were doing their part but could not do it alone – governments and users needed to help.

The prime minister has repeatedly called for an end to the “safe spaces” she says terrorists enjoy online.

Ministers have called for limits to end-to-end encryption, which stops messages being read by third parties if they are intercepted, and measures to curb the spread of material on social media.

At the general assembly on Wednesday, the prime minister will hail progress made by tech companies since the establishment in June of an industry forum to counter terrorism.

But she will urge them to go “further and faster” in developing artificial intelligence solutions to automatically reduce the period in which terror propaganda remains available, and eventually prevent it appearing at all.

‘Not there yet’

Together, the UK, France and Italy will call for a target of one to two hours to take down terrorist content wherever it appears.

Internet companies will be given a month to show they are taking the problem seriously, with ministers at a G7 meeting on 20 October due to decide whether enough progress has been made.

Kent Walker, general counsel for Google, who is representing tech firms at Mrs May’s meeting, said they would not be able to “do it alone”.

“Machine-learning has improved but we are not all the way there yet,” he told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme, in an exclusive interview.

“We need people and we need feedback from trusted government sources and from our users to identify and remove some of the most problematic content out there.”

Asked about carrying bomb-making instructions on sites, he said: “Whenever we can locate this material, we are removing it.

“The challenge is once it’s removed, many people re-post it or there are copies of it across the web.

“And so the challenge of identifying it and identifying the difference between bomb-making instructions and things that might look similar that might be perfectly legal – might be documentary or scientific in nature – is a real challenge.”

‘Best brains’

A Downing Street source said: “These companies have some of the best brains in the world.

“They should really be focusing on what matters, which is stopping the spread of terrorism and violence.”

Technology companies defended their handling of extremist content after criticism from ministers following the London Bridge terror attack in June.

Google said it had already spent hundreds of millions of pounds on tackling the problem.

Facebook and Twitter said they were working hard to rid their networks of terrorist activity and support.

YouTube told the BBC that it received 200,000 reports of inappropriate content a day, but managed to review 98% of them within 24 hours.

Addressing the UN General Assembly, Mrs May will say terrorists will never win, but that “defiance alone is not enough”.

“Ultimately it is not just the terrorists themselves who we need to defeat. It is the extremist ideologies that fuel them. It is the ideologies that preach hatred, sow division and undermine our common humanity,” she will say.


A new report out on Tuesday found that online jihadist propaganda attracts more clicks in the UK than in any other country in Europe.

The study by the centre-right think tank, Policy Exchange, suggested the UK public would support new laws criminalising reading content that glorifies terror.

Image copyright

Image caption

IS militants are moving to less well-known sites after being chased off mainstream social media

Google said it will give £1m to fund counter-terrorism projects in the UK, part of a $5m (£3.7m) global commitment.

The search giant has faced criticism about how it is addressing such content, particularly on YouTube.

The funding will be handed out in partnership with UK-based counter-extremist organisation the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD).

An independent advisory board will be accepting the first round of applications in November, with grants of between £2,000 and £200,000 awarded to successful proposals.

ISD chief executive Sasha Havlicek said: “We are eager to work with a wide range of innovators on developing their ideas in the coming months.”

A spokesman for the Global Internet Forum to Combat Terrorism, which is formed of tech companies, said combating the spread of extremist material online required responses from government, civil society and the private sector.

“Together, we are committed to doing everything in our power to ensure that our platforms are not used to distribute terrorist content,” said the spokesman.

Mrs May’s appearance at the UN comes days before she is due to give a major speech on Brexit – a subject that led to repeated questions from journalists on her visit.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was accused of undermining her plans by writing a 4,000-word newspaper article setting out his own vision for Brexit.

Speaking to the Guardian, Mr Johnson said he was “mystified” by the row his article had prompted, saying he had “contributed a small article to the pages of the Telegraph” because critics had been saying he was not speaking up about Brexit.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-41327816

Tags: , , , , ,


Hurricane Maria hits Virgin Islands and bears down on Puerto Rico

Posted by Warren Fyfe on September 20, 2017 in Warren Fyfe Site
Media captionFirst aerial footage from Dominica

Hurricane Maria, the second maximum-strength Atlantic storm of the season, has reached the southernmost Virgin Islands as it heads for Puerto Rico.

The category five hurricane began lashing St Croix in its north-westerly path across the Caribbean.

On Monday it inflicted substantial damage on Dominica and the first aerial images of the island have emerged.

The storm briefly weakened to a four but is now again packing top sustained winds of 280km/h (175mph).

The storm is moving roughly along the same track as Irma, this season’s other category five hurricane.

The governor of Puerto Rico, a US territory, has told the island’s 3.5 million people to seek shelter with the hurricane poised to make landfall around 8am local time (1300 GMT).

Media captionHurricane Maria brought high winds to Guadeloupe

Officials there fear the debris left by Irma earlier this month could now prove extremely dangerous in the winds of Maria.

There are also concerns that heavy rain could cause landslides in some places, and that a predicted storm surge of up to 9 feet (2.7m) could swamp low-lying areas.

Puerto Rico has been a haven for people fleeing other storm-ravaged Caribbean islands in recent weeks.

Hundreds of shelters have been set up by the authorities.

What do we know of the damage on Dominica?

Image copyright

Image caption

Hurricane Maria early on Tuesday

The first aerial footage of the island confirms “significant damage”, Ronald Jackson of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency says.

It shows flattened buildings, rivers which have burst their banks and a flooded runway.

Dominica has been virtually cut off with telecommunications severed, but local amateur radio operators say more than 90% of properties have been damaged.

The former British colony, which has a population of 72,000 and is less than 50km long and 25km wide, escaped the worst of Hurricane Irma two weeks ago.

But on Monday the eye of the new category five storm passed directly over.

The last communication from the island was from Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit just as the storm struck late on Monday, when he said in a Facebook post that the winds had swept away the roofs of “almost every person I have spoken to or otherwise made contact with.”

Media captionHurricane Maria update

Where else has Maria passed?

The French territory of Martinique has been hit by power cuts but is thought to have escaped serious damage.

Media captionFootage from Martinique shows early devastating winds

Images show flooding in the French territory of Guadeloupe, where one person was killed by a falling tree. At least two others were missing after their ship sank near Desirade, the easternmost island in the archipelago.

Officials described weather conditions as “very bad” with violent winds. About 80,000 homes were without power there, a government statement said.

There are reports of flooding, mudslides and power outages in parts of St Lucia.

Where next?

A storm surge – rising seawater coming in from the coast – is expected to bring “life-threatening” swells of up to 9ft (2.7m) above ground in the US and British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, National Hurricane Center forecasters in the US said.

Heavy rainfall of around 25in (63cm) was expected near Puerto Rico and up to 20in in the US and British Virgin Islands.

Puerto Rico’s public safety commissioner, Hector Pesquera, issued a stern warning to island residents.

“You have to evacuate. Otherwise, you’re going to die,” he said. “I don’t know how to make this any clearer.”

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello warned the storm could be “devastating and catastrophic”, adding that he expected to lose a lot of infrastructure.

Tropical storm warnings were issued for Antigua and Barbuda, Saba, St Eustatius, St Martin, Anguilla and Martinique.

UK territories prepare for worst

How did Maria gather strength so fast?

Maria jumped from a category three to a top-strength category five within just a few hours on Monday, which was a shock for people in Dominica.

Media captionWhy are there so many hurricanes? The BBC’s David Shukman explains

A factor in its rapid development is that local sea surface temperatures are currently anomalously high by a margin of around one to two degrees, says BBC weather forecaster Steve Cleaton.

The elevated sea surface temperature will have contributed to the rapid development of this system, in concert with other very favourable atmospheric conditions within the locale such as low wind shear, our meteorologist adds.

Will Irma relief work be affected?

Some islands in Maria’s path escaped the worst of Hurricane Irma and have been used as bases to distribute relief to places that were not so fortunate.

Now there are concerns that this work could be jeopardised if they are badly hit, too.

Image copyright
AFP / Getty Images

Image caption

Puerto Ricans have been preparing in the capital, San Juan

Guadeloupe has been a bridgehead for aid going to Irma-hit French territories, while Puerto Rico has also been offering crucial assistance to its neighbours.

  • Hurricane Irma’s damage mapped

Overseas forces mobilise

Britain, France, the US and the Netherlands all have overseas territories in the Caribbean.

The British government said more than 1,300 troops were staying put in the region and an additional military team had been deployed. A 42-strong military resilience team has also been deployed to the British Virgin Islands.

Media captionWatch: The islanders caught between hurricanes

French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb told AFP that 110 more soldiers would be sent to the region to reinforce about 3,000 people already there.

The Dutch navy tweeted that troops were heading to Saba and St Eustatius to bolster security amid fears of potential looting.

US President Donald Trump has declared a state of emergency for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, where the US military has been evacuating personnel.

Are you in an area affected by Hurricane Maria? If it’s safe to do so, you can share your experience by emailing

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-41323272

Tags: , , , , ,


Mexico: Huge earthquake topples buildings, killing more than 200

Posted by Warren Fyfe on September 20, 2017 in Warren Fyfe Site
Media captionMoments after the earthquake hit

A strong earthquake has struck central Mexico, killing more than 200 people and toppling dozens of buildings in the capital, Mexico City.

President Enrique Peña Nieto said more than 20 children had died and 30 were missing after a school collapsed.

The 7.1 magnitude quake also caused major damage in neighbouring states.

The tremor struck shortly after many people had taken part in an earthquake drill, exactly 32 years after a quake killed thousands in Mexico City.

The country is prone to earthquakes and earlier this month an 8.1 magnitude tremor in the south left at least 90 dead.

What is the death toll across Mexico?

The epicentre of the latest quake was near Atencingo in Puebla state, about 120km (75 miles) from Mexico City, with a depth of 51km, the US Geological Survey said.

An earlier death toll of nearly 250 was lowered to 216 by the country’s national co-ordinator for civil protection:

  • Morelos state: 71 dead
  • Puebla state: 43 dead
  • Mexico City: 86 dead
  • Mexico state: 12 dead
  • Guerrero: 3 dead
  • Oaxaca: 1

President Peña Nieto said more than 20 children and two adults had been found dead at the collapsed Enrique Rebsamen school in Mexico City’s southern Coapa district. He said another 30 children and eight adults were missing.

Image copyright

Image caption

Many are still feared trapped beneath the Enrique Rebsamen school

What about survivors?

Emergency workers, aided by volunteers, are working through the night to search the rubble of collapsed buildings for trapped people.

Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera told TV network Televisa that buildings at 44 locations had collapsed or were badly damaged. These are said to include a six-storey blocks of flats, a supermarket and a factory.

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Volunteers worked frantically to find survivors beneath the rubble

About two million people in the capital were without electricity and phone lines were down. Officials warned residents not to smoke on the streets as gas mains could have been ruptured.

In a televised address, the president said an emergency had been declared for the affected areas and the military was being drafted in to help with the response.

Across Mexico City, teams of rescue workers and volunteers clawed through the rubble with picks, shovels and their bare hands.

Image copyright

Image caption

Rescuers and volunteers tried to find survivors under the debris of collapsed buildings

Image copyright

Image caption

The rescue operation continued into the night

“My wife is there. I haven’t been able to communicate with her,” said Juan Jesus Garcia, 33, choking back tears next to a collapsed building.

“She is not answering and now they are telling us we have to turn off our mobile phones because there is a gas leak.”

The prolonged tremor hit at 13:14 local time (18:14 GMT) and sent thousands of residents into the streets.

Media captionThe strong quake was felt in the capital, Mexico City

Jennifer Swaddle, a teacher at the British International School in Mexico City, told the BBC that part of her classroom collapsed after the earthquake hit.

“As we were leaving, the outside of my classroom wall fell, so there was a big pile of rubble. Luckily, fantastically, nobody was hurt, but it was incredibly frightening,” she said.

Are you in the affected area? Email

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

What happened in 1985?

An earthquake drill was being held in Mexico City on Tuesday to mark the 32nd anniversary of a magnitude 8 quake that killed up to 10,000 people and left 30,000 others injured.

The severe tremor caused serious damage to Mexico City and its surrounding areas, with more than 400 buildings collapsed and thousands more damaged.

Correspondents say that residents may have mistaken earthquake alarms for part of the day of drills in the wake of the 1985 quake.

Mexico City is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, with more than 20 million people living in the metropolitan area.

Why is Mexico so prone to earthquakes?

Mexico is one of the most seismically active regions in the world, sitting on top of three of the Earth’s largest tectonic plates – the North American, Cocos and Pacific plates.

The latest tremor occurred near the boundary between the North American and Cocos plates, where the latter slides beneath the former.

According to the US Geological Survey, the country has seen 19 earthquakes of at least 6.5 magnitude within 155 miles of the epicentre of Tuesday’s quake over the past century.

A stronger earthquake (8.1) on 8 September is not thought to be linked to Tuesday’s as the epicentres lie about 400 miles apart and it is unusual for an aftershock to appear so long after a major quake, the Verge reports.

Panic on the streets

By Juan Paullier, BBC News, Mexico City

Mexico City is a city all too used to earthquakes. But this tremor, on the anniversary of another one that left thousands dead in 1985, was especially powerful.

It sent thousands of people into the streets, trembling, shaking, crying and trying to reach their loved ones by phone.

As time passes it is becoming clear that there are going to be many victims. In the capital alone, about 30 buildings collapsed.

In one of the worst-affected areas I saw dozens of people desperately removing rubble because they believed someone was trapped.

Skip Twitter post by @juanpaullier

End of Twitter post by @juanpaullier

What has the reaction been?

Alfredo del Mazo Maza, governor of the State of Mexico, said schools would be closed on Wednesday. He also ordered all public transport to operate services for free so that people could travel home.

Foreign leaders sent messages of support to Mexico as the scale of the disaster became clear.

Image copyright

Image caption

It is feared the death toll will rise further

US President Donald Trump, who has courted controversy with his plans for a border wall with Mexico, tweeted: “God bless the people of Mexico City. We are with you and will be there for you.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also tweeted his support following the “devastating news”.

Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis, in New York for the UN General Assembly, expressed his “solidarity” with the Mexican people.

Are you in the affected area? Email

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-41327593

Tags: , , , , ,


UK ‘biggest audience’ in Europe for jihadist web content

Posted by Warren Fyfe on September 19, 2017 in Warren Fyfe Site

Image copyright

Online jihadist propaganda attracts more clicks in the UK than any other country in Europe, a report has found.

Britain is the fifth-biggest audience in the world for extremist content after Turkey, the US, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, Policy Exchange’s study said.

The think tank suggested the UK public would support new laws criminalising reading content that glorifies terror.

The government has told internet companies like Facebook and Google to do more to to remove jihadist material.

Former US military chief General David Petraeus, who wrote a foreword to the report, said efforts to combat online extremism were “inadequate”.

He said the bombing of a London Tube train last week “merely underscored once again the ever-present nature of this threat.”

“There is no doubting the urgency of this matter,” he said.

“The status quo clearly is unacceptable.”

The report suggested new laws to criminalise the “aggravated possession and/or persistent consumption” of extremist ideology – but not to criminalise someone who “stumbles across” jihadist content.

It said child pornography was approached in a similar way, with tougher penalties for the most serious cases.

Under section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000, it is currently an offence to possess information that could assist a would-be terrorist, but not material which glorifies terrorism.

Policy Exchange surveyed 2,001 adults in the UK, finding 74% of people supported new laws to criminalise the “persistent consumption” of extremist material online.

‘Vast’ online presence

Its 130-page report found IS produces more than 100 new articles, videos and newspapers in a week – saying any decline of the terror group in the online space had been “significantly overstated”.

“For at least a year, the production of content has continued despite the death of key figures, loss of territory and ongoing fighting,” it said.

The jihadist group has retreated from territories it has seized in the Middle East, following pressure from a number of Iraqi and Syrian forces.

Image copyright

Image caption

IS militants are moving to less well-known sites after being chased off mainstream social media

IS, also known as Daesh, disseminated its online propaganda across a “vast ecosystem” of platforms, the report found – including file-sharing services, encrypted messaging platforms and social media websites, as well as Facebook, Google and Twitter.

Internet giants say they have made efforts to clamp down on extremist content, with Google describing online extremism as a “critical challenge for us all”.

Facebook said it was working “aggressively to remove terrorist content” from its website, and had developed a shared industry database of “hashes” – unique digital footprints – which catalogues violent extremist videos or images.

Twitter said that terrorist content had no place on its platform.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: “We know that Daesh pose a threat online and this report helps to highlight the scale of the issue.

“I have made it crystal clear to internet bosses that they need to go further and faster to remove terrorist content from their websites and prevent it being uploaded in the first place.”

The report suggested the UK government introduce a “sliding scale” of measures to bear down on internet companies – including giving the proposed new commission for countering extremism powers to oversee the removal of online content.

Policy Exchange said 74% of Britons surveyed thought big internet companies should be more pro-active in locating and deleting extremist content.

Martyn Frampton, Policy Exchange’s co-head of security and extremism, said governments and security services were playing a “fruitless game of whack-a-mole” by focusing on removing individual pieces of content.

“If the internet companies won’t do what their customers want and take more responsibility for removing this content, then government must take action through additional regulation and legislation,” he said.

Mrs Rudd added: “The internet cannot be used as a safe space for terrorists and criminals, and industry need to ensure that the services they provide are not being exploited by those who wish to do us harm.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41313312

Tags: , , , , ,


Rohingya crisis: Suu Kyi does not fear global ‘scrutiny’

Posted by Warren Fyfe on September 19, 2017 in Warren Fyfe Site
Media captionAung San Suu Kyi: ‘We will accept refugees who want to return’

Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has said her government does not fear “international scrutiny” of its handling of the growing Rohingya crisis.

It was her first address to the country about the violence in northern Rakhine state that has seen more than 400,000 Rohingya Muslims cross into Bangladesh.

Ms Suu Kyi has faced heavy criticism for her response to the crisis.

But she said most Muslims had not fled the state and that violence had ceased.

In her speech to Myanmar’s parliament, Aung San Suu Kyi said she felt “deeply” for the suffering of “all people” in the conflict, and that Myanmar was “committed to a sustainable solution… for all communities in this state”.

Ms Suu Kyi, who has decided not to attend the UN General Assembly in New York later this week, said she nevertheless wanted the international community to know what was being done by her government.

What is the crisis about?

Rakhine has faced unrest and sporadic violence for years, but the current crisis began in August with an armed attack on police posts which killed 12 people.

Image copyright

Image caption

A new wave of Rohingya Muslims has been pouring into Bangladesh since 25 August

That was blamed on a newly emerged militant group, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (Arsa).

The Rohingya, a mostly Muslim minority, are denied citizenship and equal opportunities by the Myanmar government, which says they are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. They are largely despised by the wider Burmese majority-Buddhist population.

The attack lead to a massive security crackdown by the military, which the UN’s human rights chief later said seemed like a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing“.

Rohingya Muslims started leaving in vast numbers, crossing into Bangladesh with tales of their villages being burned and saying they were facing persecution at the hands of the military. Thousands of Rohingya had already fled to Bangladesh in recent years.

Access is restricted to the area, but on a government-controlled trip for journalists the BBC found reason to question the official narrative that Muslims were setting fire to their own villages.

What did Suu Kyi say in her the speech?

The Myanmar government does not use the term Rohingya – calling the group Bengali Muslims instead – and Ms Suu Kyi did not do so in her speech.

Delivering her address in a tone of measured defiance, she said she and her government “condemn all human rights violations and unlawful violence”.

Among the key points:

  • She did not address allegations against the military, saying only that there had been “no armed clashes or clearance operations” since 5 September.
  • She said most Muslims had decided to stay in Rakhine and that indicated the situation may not be so severe.
  • She said she wanted to speak to both Muslims that had fled and those that had stayed to find out what was at the root of the crisis.
  • She said the government had made efforts in recent years to improve living conditions for the Muslims living in Rakhine: providing healthcare, education and infrastructure.
  • She also said that all refugees in Bangladesh would be able to return after a process of verification.

How was the speech received?

Ms Suu Kyi has overwhelming support in her home country, where she was a political prisoner for years before coming to power.

But her speech has been criticised internationally for failing to address the allegations of abuse by the military.

The BBC’s Jonathan Head, who is in neighbouring Bangladesh, disputed the claim that there had been no clearance operations since 5 September, pointing out that he had seen villages being burned days after that date.

Image caption

BBC reporters witnessed burning Muslim villages in Myanmar

Amnesty International said Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi was “burying her head in the sand” by ignoring the abuses by the army.

“At times, her speech amounted to little more than a mix of untruths and victim blaming,” the rights group’s director for South East Asia and the Pacific, James Gomes, said in a statement.

‘Blind to the realities?’

By Jonah Fisher, BBC News, Nay Pyi Taw

Aung San Suu Kyi is either completely out of touch or wilfully blind to the realities of what her army is up to.

It is simply not credible to say we don’t know why more than 400,000 Rohingya have fled. The evidence is being gathered every day in the testimony of refugees.

There were other moments that raised eyebrows. Like when she presented as good news the fact that more than half the Muslims in Rakhine haven’t fled. Or when she said that there had been no clashes in Rakhine for the last two weeks.

To say as she did that “all people in Rakhine state have access to education and healthcare without discrimination” is simply wrong.

The Rohingya particularly those in camps around Sittwe have long been denied access to the most basic services, in particular healthcare.

What is Myanmar’s position?

While Ms Suu Kyi is the de facto head of the government of Myanmar, also known as Burma, it is the military which holds real power in Rakhine state as it is in charge of internal security.

The Burmese military says its operations in the northern Rakhine state are aimed at rooting out militants, and has repeatedly denied targeting civilians.

Ms Suu Kyi has previously said the narrative was being distorted by a “huge iceberg of misinformation” and said tensions were being fanned by fake news promoting the interests of terrorists.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-41315924

Tags: , , , , ,


Hurricane Maria ‘devastates’ Dominica: PM

Posted by Warren Fyfe on September 19, 2017 in Warren Fyfe Site
Media captionFootage from Martinique shows early devastating winds

Dominica has suffered “widespread damage” from Hurricane Maria, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit says.

“We have lost all that money can buy,” he said in a Facebook post.

The hurricane suddenly strengthened to a “potentially catastrophic” category five storm, before making landfall on the Caribbean island.

Earlier Mr Skerrit had posted live updates as his own roof was torn off, saying he was “at the complete mercy of the hurricane”.

“My greatest fear for the morning is that we will wake to news of serious physical injury and possible deaths as a result of likely landslides triggered by persistent rains,” he wrote after being rescued.

Maria is moving roughly along the same track as Irma, the hurricane that devastated the region this month.

It currently has maximum sustained winds of 250km/h (155mph) and has been downgraded to a category four hurricane after hitting Dominica.

However, it could increase again as it moves towards Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, according to forecasters.

Skip Facebook post by Roosevelt Skerrit

End of Facebook post by Roosevelt Skerrit

Dominica’s PM called the damage “devastating” and “mind boggling”.

“My focus now is in rescuing the trapped and securing medical assistance for the injured,” he said, and called on the international community for help. “We will need help, my friend, we will need help of all kinds.”

Image caption

The Leeward Islands – where Maria will first strike – includes Antigua and Barbuda

Curtis Matthew, a journalist based in the capital, Roseau, told the BBC that conditions went “very bad, rapidly”.

“We still don’t know what the impact is going to be when this is all over. But what I can say it does not look good for Dominica as we speak,” he said.

All ports and airports are closed and residents near the coast have been ordered to go to authorised shelters.

Media captionWatch: The islanders caught between hurricanes

The nearby island of Martinique has declared a maximum-level alert while another French island, Guadeloupe, ordered evacuations.

Hurricane warnings are in place for Guadeloupe, St Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat, the US Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico: The US territory expects Maria to make landfall as at least a category three storm later on Tuesday. It escaped the worst of Irma and has been an important hub for getting relief to islands more badly affected. Governor Ricardo Rossello urged islanders to seek refuge

US Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands: Both island chains suffered severe damage from Irma and President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency for the US territories on Monday. British authorities fear debris left behind by Irma could be whipped up by the new storm and pose an extra threat. The British government said more than 1,300 troops were staying put in the region and an additional military team had been deployed.

Hurricane watches are also in place for St Martin, Saba, St Eustatius and Anguilla.

Rainfall “could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides”, said the US National Hurricane Center.

  • Hurricane Irma: Visual guide
  • Hurricane Irma: Damage mapped
  • How Irma devastated Miami’s poorest

Are you in an area affected by Hurricane Maria? If it’s safe to do so, you can share your experience by emailing

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-41317164

Tags: , , , , ,


Emmys 2017: The Handmaid’s Tale and Big Little Lies the main winners

Posted by Warren Fyfe on September 18, 2017 in Warren Fyfe Site

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Elisabeth Moss won best actress in a drama series for The Handmaid’s Tale

Dystopian TV series The Handmaid’s Tale has scooped the top drama honours at this year’s Emmy Awards.

The show won five awards including best drama series, best actress for Elisabeth Moss and best supporting actress for Ann Dowd.

Big Little Lies took five prizes in the limited series categories, including wins for Nicole Kidman and Laura Dern.

The British winners included Riz Ahmed, who took best lead actor in a limited series or movie for The Night Of.

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Riz Ahmed and Charlie Brooker were among the British winners

Other British winners included Charlie Brooker, who won best writing for a limited series for his Netflix show Black Mirror.

One of the episodes, San Junipero, also won the trophy for best TV movie. Brooker said it “was a story about love, and love will defeat hate, it will win”.

  • Emmy Awards 2017: The winners
  • Emmys: Your guide to the best US TV drama

British comedian John Oliver and his writing team scooped two prizes for satirical show Last Week Tonight. He said a show like his could definitely work in the UK.

Skip Twitter post by @BBCNewsEnts

End of Twitter post by @BBCNewsEnts

The Handmaid’s Tale’s win for best drama series means Hulu has become the first streaming service to win that award, beating the likes of big hitters Netflix and Amazon.

Bruce Miller – who won two trophies as the show’s writer and executive producer – thanked author Margaret Atwood, “who created this world for all of us”. The show is adapted from Atwood’s 1985 novel.

In the limited series categories, HBO’s Big Little Lies won best lead actress, (Nicole Kidman), supporting actress (Laura Dern), supporting actor (Alexander Skarsgard), director (Jean-Marc Vallee) and best limited series.

Image copyright

Image caption

Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon star in Big Little Lies

Accepting the award for best limited series, Kidman said: “The power of television has astounded us, you allowed us into your living rooms… but as much as the show has the entertainment value, it’s about the issues.”

The series, which deals with themes such as domestic violence, also stars Reese Witherspoon, who encouraged the TV industry to provide “more great roles for women”.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus won best actress in a comedy series for Veep for the sixth year in a row – breaking the record for the most Emmys won by a lead actor for the same role.

Veep, which was created by Armando Iannucci, also won one of the night’s top prizes for best comedy series.

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Julia Louis Dreyfus has played the lead role in Veep in all six of its seasons

Sterling K Brown’s win for best lead actor in a drama series marked the first time an African-American actor had won in the category in almost 20 years.

He continued his acceptance speech in the press room after being cut off on the main stage.

Skip Twitter post 2 by @BBCNewsEnts

End of Twitter post 2 by @BBCNewsEnts

Host Stephen Colbert and several of the winners made political references on stage.

“At long last, Mr President, here is your Emmy,” said Alec Baldwin as he collected his prize for supporting actor in a comedy series, mocking Donald Trump’s frustration at never having won for The Apprentice.

Baldwin regularly portrays President Trump on comedy sketch show Saturday Night Live, which won four awards on Sunday including best variety sketch series and best supporting actress in a comedy series for Kate McKinnon.

Several high-profile series failed to live up to expectations, including Westworld and Stranger Things, which both went home empty-handed.

Game of Thrones, a big winner at previous Emmys, was not eligible this year because episodes from its last series didn’t air during the Emmys eligibility window.

Likewise, Twin Peaks will have to wait until next year to be considered.

Follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, or on Instagram at bbcnewsents. If you have a story suggestion email

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-41302838

Tags: , , , , ,


Police ‘may work with paedophile hunters’

Posted by Warren Fyfe on September 18, 2017 in Warren Fyfe Site
Media captionA self-styled paedophile hunter has helped convict a man from Hampshire

Police have admitted they may have to work with “paedophile hunters” after research revealed a rise in their evidence being used in court.

Figures obtained by the BBC show 11% of court cases in 2014 for the crime of meeting a child following sexual grooming used vigilante evidence, rising to 44% in 2016.

The vigilantes pose online as children then film the people they meet.

Police have urged them to stop, but admitted this was proving difficult.

Image caption

Paedophile hunter Stephen Dure posed online as a 14-year-old boy when chatting to Robert Babey, who later admitting multiple breaches of his Sexual Harm Prevention Order

‘Paedophile hunter’ evidence used in court cases

2014: 20 out of 176 cases

2015: 77 out of 256 cases

2016: 114 out of 259 cases

Source: BBC Freedom of Information request from 44 police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Chief Constable Simon Bailey, the national lead for child protection at the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said: “[These] vigilante groups are putting the lives of children at risk.

“They might not perceive it that way, but they are potentially compromising our operations.”

However, Mr Bailey said: “I’m not going to condone these groups and I would encourage them all to stop, but I recognise that I am not winning that conversation.”

Image caption

Chief Constable Simon Bailey said vigilante paedophile hunters were putting the lives of children at risk

When asked whether police could work with vigilantes, he said: “I think that’s something we’re going to have to potentially have to look at, yes, but it comes with some real complexity.”

Last week 45-year-old David Taylor from Trowbridge, Wiltshire, was jailed for 40 months after being caught by an unnamed vigilante who posed as an 11-year-old girl.

Police traced Taylor from a video of the confrontation posted on Facebook.

Image caption

Stephen Dure, known as Stevie Trap, has seen his evidence used in three court cases this year

Southampton-based paedophile hunter Stephen Dure, known as Stevie Trap, has seen his evidence, including chat logs of his online conversations with suspects, used in three court cases this year.

In one case he posed as a 14-year-old boy when chatting to Robert Babey who is due to be sentenced later this month after admitting multiple breaches of his Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Mr Dure said: “I’ve had policemen come up to me to shake my hand… to thank me. Whereas high-up police are trying to stop us.”

He said one issue raised by officers had been him posting videos of his stings online before cases had come to court.

“If that’s the way they want to go then fine I won’t upload the videos.”

Reacting to Mr Bailey’s statement that the police would think about working with vigilantes, Mr Dure added: “I think it’s great and just the idea they’re thinking about it excites me.

“I really look forward to it and hope it happens in the future, I would be very willing to work with the police.”

You can see more on this story on Inside Out on BBC One in the South at 19:30 BST on Monday. The programme will also be available on the BBC iPlayer after broadcast.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-41203273

Tags: , , , , ,


Parsons Green Tube bomb: Police still questioning suspects

Posted by Warren Fyfe on September 18, 2017 in Warren Fyfe Site
Media captionOfficers are searching a residential property in Stanwell near Heathrow Airport

Police are continuing to question two men on suspicion of terror offences following Friday’s attack on a Tube train in south-west London.

It comes as CCTV images emerged showing a man carrying a Lidl supermarket bag 90 minutes before the bombing.

An 18-year-old and 21-year-old are being held over the explosion, which injured 30 at Parsons Green station.

The UK terror threat level has been lowered to severe after being raised to critical, its highest level.

On Saturday, the 21-year-old was arrested in Hounslow, west London and the 18-year-old was detained at Dover port.

Local council leader Ian Harvey said he understood the 18-year-old was an Iraqi orphan who moved to the UK when he was 15 after his parents died.

Chicken shop

Police are searching two addresses in Surrey in connection with the arrests – one in Sunbury-on-Thames and another in Stanwell.

Mr Harvey, who leads Spelthorne Borough Council, told the Press Association it was “widely known” the 21-year-old was a former foster child who had lived at the property being searched in his ward of Sudbury East.

A third property in Hounslow has also been searched as part of the investigation, Scotland Yard said.

The BBC understands it is a Middle Eastern chicken shop called Aladdins in Kingsley Road.

Image caption

Police stand guard outside the chicken shop in Hounslow

The “severe” terror threat level means an attack is no longer imminent but is still highly likely.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said police had made “good progress” in the investigation and urged “everybody to continue to be vigilant but not alarmed”.

Media captionThe Home Secretary says the second arrest suggests the attacker was ‘not a lone wolf’

Assistant Metropolitan Police Commissioner Mark Rowley said police had gained a “greater understanding” of how the bomb was prepared but said there was “still much more to do”.

Analysis: No ‘all clear’ yet

By BBC home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani

The lowering of the threat level is an important sign.

It means that intelligence chiefs have looked at the developing picture in the Met’s huge operation – and other threads we will never see, from perhaps MI5 and GCHQ – and concluded that detectives now have a good handle on what happened on Friday at Parsons Green.

Or, to put it another way, the threat level would not have been reduced if anyone within the counter-terrorism network still thought there was a bomber, or accomplices, on the loose.

This is not the same as an “all clear” – intelligence is only ever fragmentary.

Detectives now appear to have time on their side.

Providing they make evidential progress, they could conceivably hold both suspects for up to a fortnight before they have to charge or release them.

Speaking to the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, Ms Rudd said there was “no evidence” to suggest so-called Islamic State was behind the attack.

“But as this unfolds and as we do our investigations, we will make sure we find out how he was radicalised if we can,” she said.

Thirty people were injured – most suffering from “flash burns” – when a bomb was detonated on a Tube carriage at Parsons Green station.

Media captionJack Durston was on the train: ‘I just started crying’

The house being searched in Sunbury-on-Thames belongs to a married couple known for fostering hundreds of children, including refugees.

Ronald Jones, 88, and Penelope Jones, 71 were rewarded for their service to children when they were made MBEs in 2010.

Image copyright

Image caption

Penelope and Ronald Jones were made MBEs by the Queen in 2010

The couple are said to be staying with friends following the police raid, during which surrounding houses were evacuated.

Friend Alison Griffiths said the couple had an 18-year-old and a 22-year-old staying with them recently.

She described Mr and Mrs Jones as “great pillars of the community”, adding: “They do a job that not many people do.”

Police have urged anyone with information to contact them and to upload pictures and video to the website www.ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk or to call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.

Did you witness the arrest in Hounslow? Share your pictures, video and experiences by emailing

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41302284

Tags: , , , , ,


M5 crash: Four dead in Gloucestershire

Posted by Warren Fyfe on September 17, 2017 in Warren Fyfe Site
Media captionEmergency services were called just after 14:30 BST

Four people have died in a crash on the M5.

Police said a lorry travelling southbound crashed through the central reservation and hit at least two vehicles heading the opposite way.

A woman and two children were also injured in the crash and taken to hospitals in Bristol, where they are in a life-threatening condition.

Emergency services were called just after 14:30 BST to junctions 15 and 14 in Gloucestershire.

The lorry driver was taken to hospital to be checked over as a precaution.

Police said the motorway would be shut in both directions between junctions 16 and 14 overnight, as the recovery operation and investigations at the scene continue.

Image copyright
Ash Jones

Superintendent Simon Ellis of Avon and Somerset Police said the rescue and recovery operation was “painstaking work”.

“Our priority is to ensure the victims’ next of kin are notified and supported, as well as the ongoing management of the scene, and this important work is ongoing,” he said.

Supt Ellis thanked the emergency services, as well as members of the public who “courageously went to the aid of those involved” in the crash.

Image caption

Motorists have been stuck on the M5 for hours

Cardiologist Dr Amer Hamed was in a car travelling “10 to 20 seconds behind” when the crash happened.

He was one of the first at the scene along with a passing GP and other medics to help an injured woman who was in one of the cars.

Paramedics arrived on the scene about six minutes later and the woman Dr Hamed had been helping was taken away by ambulance to hospital.

He said: “There was a lorry involved and at least two other cars. One was absolutely destroyed and another had flipped over.”

He said motorists who had been stuck on the carriageway for several hours were being “very helpful”.

“People are helping as much as they can,” he said.

“Several people offered us water and one man came out of his car to give food. We’re going to be stuck here for a few hours yet.”

South Western Ambulance Service said it was called just after 14.30 BST.

BBC reporter at the scene – Chris Kelly

The most striking thing about the scene is the almost complete silence here.

Looking over the bridge, the police, fire and ambulance crews are patiently doing their work at quite a disturbing scene.

The lorry that has crashed has hit what M5 commuters will know as a familiar landmark, a windsock next to the road. But alongside that are several cars crushed from the impact.

On the other side of the bridge, motorists patiently wait with some eager to help. I overheard one asking if any prayer support was needed. While others talk to police officers about the sadness of what has happened.

Image caption

There are queues of six miles on the northbound stretch of the motorway

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-41294963

Tags: , , , , ,

Copyright © 2012-2017 Warren Fyfe.com All rights reserved.
This site is using the Multi Child-Theme, v2.1, on top of
the Parent-Theme Desk Mess Mirrored, v2.1, from BuyNowShop.com.