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Russian-backed organisations amplify QAnon conspiracy theories | USA News

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Russian government-supported organisations are playing a small but increasing role amplifying conspiracy theories promoted by QAnon, raising concerns of interference in the November US election.

Academics who study QAnon said there were no signs Russia had a hand in the early days of the movement, which launched in 2017 with anonymous web postings amplified by YouTube videos.

But as QAnon gained adherents and took on new topics, with President Donald Trump as the constant hero waging a misunderstood battle, social media accounts controlled by a key Kremlin ally joined in.

In 2019, the Internet Research Agency, a Russian “troll factory” indicted by Robert Mueller in his election interference prosecution, sent a high volume of tweets tagged with #QAnon and the movement slogan #WWG1WGA, short for Where We Go One, We Go All, said Melanie Smith, head of analysis at social media analysis firm Graphika.

The company dissects propaganda campaigns and plans to publish an analysis of QAnon this week.

More recently, Russian government-backed media RT.com and Sputnik have stepped up coverage of QAnon, which began with a false proclamation Hillary Clinton would be arrested for an undetermined reason and now includes theories about child trafficking by Hollywood elites, the novel coronavirus and more.

Cybersecurity expert on disinformation Cindy Otis, a former CIA analyst, told Reuters news agency that RT, Sputnik and other Kremlin-backed media have been writing more about QAnon, using it to fit into their broader narrative of: “The US is falling apart, look how much division there is.”

After Twitter banned thousands of QAnon accounts last month, RT.com predicted the move would backfire by directing more attention to the cause, adding that “it gave QAnon followers the validation they craved”.

Last week, it ran a similar article after Facebook removed about a third of QAnon groups and restricted the other two thirds.

RT’s story began: “Facebook has removed thousands of groups and pages related to the QAnon conspiracy after expanding its concept of ‘dangerous individuals’ to include those who merely ‘celebrate violent acts.’ Streisand effect, meet slippery slope.”

The Streisand effect refers to when singer Barbra Streisand sued to get photos of her Malibu home removed from the internet, only to win them more viewers.

The articles have fallen short of full-throated support, and others have been critical. But they cast QAnon as channelling legitimate outrage.

QAnon followers have taken note and begun to share more content from the Russian outlets, according to Graphika.

“Russia is increasingly interested in QAnon, and it’s being reciprocated,” said Graphika Chief Innovation Officer Camille Francois.

The QAnon conspiracy theorists hold signs during the protest at the State Capitol in Salem, Oregon, US on May 2, 2020 [File: John Rudoff/Getty/AFP]

Russia is actively interfering with the campaign season in other ways, the government’s top counterintelligence official said recently, including by disseminating false stories about Joe Biden in Ukraine. Democrats are pressing for the public release of more instances.

Researchers at Graphika, Stanford University and elsewhere stressed that QAnon for now remains a largely domestic phenomenon. Facebook took down two QAnon networks for coordinated artificial behaviour, before its new content restrictions, and neither had Russian connections.

But tracking QAnon has become increasingly tough, Graphika’s Smith said. “It’s very difficult to understand what a QAnon account is, versus a Trump supporter’s account versus an anti-vaxxer.”

SOURCE:
Reuters news agency



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Court Dismisses Appeal by Former Coffee Marketing Board Employees

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A panel of three justices of Court of Appeal have dismissed with costs an appeal filed before them by three representatives of 1,568 workers who were retrenched between 1992 to 1998 and entitled to payment as per Auditor General report of 13th November 2009.

These rushed to the Court of Appeal challenging the High court decision in which Government was ordered to compensate them but they didn’t agree with the interest rate which was imposed on the said money.

The three applicants (now appellants) Basiima Kabonesa, Solome Adumo and James Musoke, in 2014 dragged the Government of Uganda (Attorney General) and the Management of Uganda Coffee Marketing Board (under liquidation)  to court on behalf of other 1,568 workers seeking to be compensated more than ten billion shillings with damages and costs

On 22nd July 2015, the parties entered into a consent Judgment where it was agreed that the plaintiffs shall be paid a sum of ten billion three hundred thirty million thirteen thousand five hundred six (Shs 10,330,013,506) as total terminal benefits with an additional ten million shillings each as damages.

High Court would later okay this decision in which it awarded the plaintiffs aggravated damages totaling ten billion shillings which had to be shared equally by all of them with 10% interest per annum on Principle sum from the date of consent Judgment up to full payment and 6% on aggravated damages from judgment date up to full payment.

However, these were not satisfied with the total sum of aggravated damages awarded to them as well as the interest on the Principal sum which they described as “very low.”

The appellants also claimed that the trial judge erred when he awarded interest on Principal sum from judgment date to full payment instead of running from date of retrenchment to full payment.

In their unanimous judgment, justices Remmy Kasule, Godfrey Kiryabwire and Monica Mugenyi noted that the trial judge exercised under the law by awarding interest on terminal benefits from date of judgment.

“In terms of provisions in section 26(2) of the CPA for award of interest from date of suit, it seems to be resolved that so far, as the consent Judgment resolved, the dispute between the parties inter-allia leaving out the claim of aggravated damages and terminal benefits, the date of consent judgment redefined as between them,” reads part of the judgment.

The justices also concurred with the High Court decision of awarding the plaintiff one billion shillings as costs that have to be shared equally by all beneficiaries since the trial judge based on the condition that the consent was against the Government and  already made concessions involving colossal sums of public money.

Each party was ordered bare its costs at High Court well as the appellants were ordered to pay the costs at the appeal level.

The post Court Dismisses Appeal by Former Coffee Marketing Board Employees first appeared on ChimpReports.



Source – chimpreports.com

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Britain’s unequal troop commemorations due to ‘pervasive racism’ | Racism News

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Inquiry by Commonwealth War Graves Commission finds Black and Asian troops who fought for Empire were not properly memorialised.

As many as 350,000 Black and Asian service personnel who died fighting for the British Empire might not have been commemorated in the same way as their white comrades because of “pervasive racism”, a report has concluded.

The inquiry commissioned by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), in its report released on Thursday, says that between 45,000 and 54,000 individuals of predominantly Asian, Middle Eastern and African origin who died during World War I were commemorated “unequally”.

“A further 116,000 casualties [predominantly, but not exclusively, East African and Egyptian personnel] but potentially as many as 350,000, were not commemorated by name or possibly not commemorated at all,” the report said.

The CWGC works to commemorate those from Commonwealth forces who were killed in the two world wars and to ensure all those killed are remembered in the same way, with their name engraved either on a headstone over an identified grave or on a memorial to the missing.

It issued an apology in the wake of the inquiry’s findings.

“The events of a century ago were wrong then and are wrong now,” said Claire Horton, head of the CWGC. “We recognise the wrongs of the past and are deeply sorry and will be acting immediately to correct them.”

‘Watershed moment’

The CWGC commissioned the report in December 2019 after Unremembered, an investigative television documentary presented by opposition Labour Party MP and shadow justice secretary David Lammy.

The Unremembered investigation found that Africans killed in World War I had not been treated equally and revealed an example of a British governor saying: “The average native of the Gold Coast would not understand or appreciate a headstone.”

It also uncovered how African soldiers’ graves were abandoned in Tanzania, while European officers’ resting places continued to be maintained.

According to Thursday’s report, another officer, who later worked for the CWGC’s predecessor – the Imperial War Graves Commission, had said: “Most of the natives who died are of a semi-savage nature”, and concluded that erecting headstones would be a waste of public money.

The inquiry said decisions that led to the failure to commemorate the dead properly – or even at all – was the result of a lack of information, errors inherited from other organisations, and the opinions of colonial administrators.

“Underpinning all these decisions, however, were the entrenched prejudices, preconceptions and pervasive racism of contemporary imperial attitudes,” the report concluded.

The United Kingdom’s Secretary of Defence Ben Wallace was expected to address Parliament about the findings later on Thursday.

Lammy hailed the report as a “watershed moment”.

“No apology can ever make up for the indignity suffered by the Unremembered,” he tweeted.

“However, this apology does offer the opportunity for us as a nation to work through this ugly part of our history – and properly pay our respects to every soldier who has sacrificed their life for us … The arc of history is long but it bends towards the truth.”





Source – www.aljazeera.com

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OPINION: Leave Katikkiro Alone Until the Person Who Appointed Him Thinks Otherwise

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By Dr Roy Mayega

One of the ‘Prima Facie’ principles of Medical Ethics is ‘Autonomy’. Autonomy includes confidentiality and privacy. Confidentiality means non-disclosure unless permitted by the patient.

Privacy means “having control over the extent, timing and circumstances of sharing oneself with others.” You cannot for instance, as a practitioner, order the patient to immediately dress down in the public area and to bend over so that you stick your fingers up their rectum when everyone is watching.

You need to give them ample time to organize themselves; to do the necessary ‘local’ preparations before they feel comfortable to be undressed; and to get a sufficiently private space.

One of the biggest dilemmas faced by a person who has received a diagnosis of a chronic disease is when, how much, and to whom to disclose. It’s not a simple pedestrian matter: It’s a real hassle – the publics always stigmatize everyone with a chronic disease however moderate it is.

The time it takes for people to process their medical situation and to decide to expose themselves varies widely between individuals and is based on the type of disease, their personality, sensitivities, the medical information they have, their values, their prognosis, and the desire to protect others close to them. Some people want to ‘wait and see’.

Being ‘Prima Facie’, ethical principles are inherently binding, unless they clash with another ethical principle in which case there is an ethical dilemma to be re-solved. There is no ethical dilemma here! Ethics is not freaking morals – leave your self-righteousness to yourself. Ethics is not freaking gut feelings; and neither is ethics about culture. Beliefs and morals die, ethics doesn’t.

I have seen many social media idlers blaming the Katikkiro for ‘not taking the pedestal several months ago to describe what was wrong with the Kabaka.

The Katikkiro cannot unilaterally issue a communique without the freaking permission of his boss! And none of the idlers has any evidence to show that his boss told him to announce and he categorically refused – don’t be publicly silly.

Secondly, people have no right to deny a diagnosis of ‘Allergies’ on the basis of pedestrian medicine. Patients are not examined in videos and diagnoses are not validated by rumors. Doctors are much more sophisticated than that.

Let his physicians be the ones to dissent, or let the Kabaka’s wife declare that what was said was wrong.

Severe allergic reactions and autoimmune diseases can be severe enough to cause anything, independently in their own right, without having to collaborate with social media witchery.

It’s so funny how social media has suddenly caused an upshot in ‘male rumor-mongers’ and ‘cyber-sorcerers’.

Leave the Katikkiro alone, until the person who appointed him thinks otherwise. The person who appointed him has never been devoid of grey-matter.

Good thing is that all of you will one day grow older and experience your own chronic diseases – then we will see if you can willingly stick out your private ‘parts’ in public whenever the publics demand so. Some of you cannot even tolerate a routine prostate exam and you are here asking others to undress?

Read: Questions Abound About Kabaka Mutebi’s Health

The post OPINION: Leave Katikkiro Alone Until the Person Who Appointed Him Thinks Otherwise first appeared on ChimpReports.



Source – chimpreports.com

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