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Facebook says WSJ allegations are ‘mischaracterizations,’ confer ‘false motives’
19 September 2021, 1:16 AM

Facebook Inc (FB.O) on Saturday slammed a Wall Street Journal series of articles about the social media company’s platform as containing “deliberate mischaracterizations” and said the articles “conferred egregiously false motives to Facebook’s leadership and employees.”

The Wall Street Journal, citing a review of internal company documents that included research reports, online employee discussions and drafts of presentations to senior management, said that although Facebook researchers have identified “the platform’s ill effects,” the company failed to fix them.

The Wall Street Journal articles say that Facebook exempted high-profile users from some or all of its rules, played down the negative effects on young users of its Instagram app, made changes to its algorithm that made the platform “angrier,” and had a weak response to alarms raised by employees over how the platform is used in developing countries by human traffickers.

Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs, writing in a blog post, said the Wall Street Journal’s stories “contained deliberate mischaracterizations of what we are trying to do, and conferred egregiously false motives to Facebook’s leadership and employees.”

Clegg called “just plain false” an allegation that “Facebook conducts research and then systematically and willfully ignores it if the findings are inconvenient for the company.”

Facebook, Clegg said, understands the “significant responsibility that comes with operating a global platform” and takes it seriously, but “we fundamentally reject this mischaracterization of our work and impugning of the company’s motives.”

Clegg defended Facebook’s handling of posts on the COVID-19 vaccine and said that the “intersection between social media and well-being” remains an evolving issue in the research community.

President Ramaphosa saddened by Mayor Jolidee Matongo’s death
19 September 2021, 12:08 AM

President Cyril Ramaphosa says he is deeply saddened by the tragic death of City of Johannesburg Executive Mayor Jolidee Matongo.

Matongo, aged 46, passed away in a motor vehicle accident on Saturday.

The incident happened after Matongo participated in a local government voter registration drive in Soweto, alongside President Ramaphosa.

Matongo was elected unopposed to this position on 10 August 2021, following the passing of his predecessor, Geoff Makhubo, a month earlier.

Ramaphosa has offered his condolences to Mayor Matongo’s family, friends, colleagues and comrades, and the residents of the City of Johannesburg.

In a statement, the President says, “It is hard to comprehend this tragedy, given the vitality and passion with which Mayor Matongo interacted with me and residents of Soweto so shortly before his death. Nothing could prepare any of us for this sudden loss, which has deprived our nation’s economic centre of its second Executive Mayor in two months.”

In the video below, SABC Senior politics reporter Samkele Maseko gives an update from the accident scene:

‘Matongo was a committed and selfless activist’

Gauteng Premier David Makhura has described Matongo as a committed and selfless activist who dedicated his time to the overall improvement of the quality of life of the people of Gauteng.

Makhura says the passing of Matongo has left him shocked and shattered.

“I send my heartfelt condolences to Mrs Matongo and children, his extended family, friends and comrades,” says Makhura.

Social media react to Matongo’s passing

Social media users have taken to Twitter to also express their shock over news of Matongo’s passing.

In tweet, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader, Julius Malema has also send his heartfelt condolences to Matongo.

 

 

 

 

 

Former players back Rohit to replace Kohli as India’s T20 captain
17 September 2021, 1:00 PM

Opener Rohit Sharma has demonstrated his leadership qualities in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and is an obvious choice to succeed Virat Kohli as India’s Twenty20 captain, according to several former players.

Kohli, who has led India across formats, has decided to relinquish Twenty20 captaincy after the 20-overs World Cup scheduled in the United Arab Emirates and Oman from October 17.

Kohli has a 27-14 win-loss ratio as India’s Twenty20 captain, while his Royal Challengers Bangalore team continue to chase their maiden IPL title.

While the Indian cricket board is not in any hurry to name a successor now, Rohit, IPL’s most successful captain, is likely to be elevated as India’s Twenty20 skipper.

For former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar, it is a no-brainer.

“Rohit deserves to be India’s next T20 captain because he has done well whenever he’s been given an opportunity to lead India,” Vengsarkar told Times of India newspaper on Friday.

“In 2018, India won the Asia Cup under his captaincy. Beside that, he’s been an exceptional captain for the Mumbai Indians, having led them to five IPL titles.”

Former player Sandeep Patil also backed IPL’s most successful captain for the job.

“Rohit has proved his mettle,” Patil, part of India’s 1983 World Cup winning squad, told the same newspaper.

Kohli cited his “immense” workload as the reason behind his decision but Indian cricket board president Sourav Ganguly said the decision was made “keeping in mind the future roadmap.”

Former captain Sunil Gavaskar said while Rohit was the best man to lead in 20-overs cricket, India should groom KL Rahul, who leads Kings XI Punjab in IPL, as a future white-ball captain.

“It’s important to think ahead,” Gavaskar told Sports Tak programme.

“He has been performing well in IPL and 50-overs cricket as well at the international stage. He can be made vice-captain,” added the former batting great.

US House Speaker Pelosi cautions Britain over N.Irish peace deal
17 September 2021, 12:41 PM

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi cautioned Britain on Friday that if the Northern Irish peace deal was destroyed then there would be no post-Brexit trade deal with the United States.

The United States has expressed grave concern that a row between London and Brussels over the implementation of the 2020 Brexit treaty could undermine the Good Friday accord, which effectively ended three decades of violence.

“If there is destruction of the Good Friday accords, they [are] very unlikely to have a UK-US bilateral,” she told a Chatham House event.

After the United Kingdom exited the bloc’s orbit on January 1, Johnson has unilaterally delayed the implementation of some provisions of the deal’s Northern Ireland Protocol and his top negotiator has said the protocol is unsustainable.

The 1998 peace deal largely brought an end to the “Troubles” – three decades of conflict between Irish Catholic nationalist militants and pro-British Protestant “loyalist” paramilitaries in which 3,600 people were killed.

The British-run region remains deeply split along sectarian lines 23 years after the peace deal brokered by the United States.

Many Catholic nationalists aspire to unification with Ireland while Protestant unionists want to stay part of the United Kingdom.

The Northern Ireland Protocol aims to keep the province, which borders EU member Ireland, in both the United Kingdom’s customs territory and the EU’s single market.

The EU wants to protect its single market, but an effective border in the Irish Sea created by the protocol cuts off Northern Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom – to the fury of Protestant unionists.

Some unionists say the protocol contravenes the 1998 peace deal.

Naomi Campbell named global ambassador for Queen’s Commonwealth Trust
17 September 2021, 12:35 PM

British model Naomi Campbell is joining international development charity the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust (QCT) as a global ambassador to support young leaders.

The trust, founded in 2018, supports young people pushing for change in their communities across sectors including healthcare, environment and education.

Marking what will be Queen Elizabeth’s 70-year reign in 2022, the charity is launching a Platinum Jubilee Fund for Young Leaders to give more support to 18–35 year-old entrepreneurs across the 54 countries of the Commonwealth.

As a QCT Platinum Jubilee Global Ambassador, Campbell’s role will be to boost the profile of the trust’s fundraising campaign as well as promote the work of its young leaders.

“Regardless of where you are from or where you are now, there are young leaders within your community doing amazing work. Sometimes they are not seen and some of them may not even see themselves as ‘leaders’ yet, but they all deserve our support, and access to education and resources,” Campbell said in a statement.

“I have been doing the work with empowering young people for over 25 years. This is something very close to my heart and I will continue to do everything I can to uplift the next generation, so they can create a better future for their communities.”

One of fashion’s most recognisable faces, Campbell is also known for her charity work, namely in Africa, which she first began with late South African President Nelson Mandela who named her “honorary granddaughter” for her activist work.

Campbell also founded Fashion For Relief in 2005, which hosts catwalk shows to raise funds for causes including victims of Hurricane Katrina and Typhoon Haiyan.

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