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Twitter Prohibits Linking to 7 Social Media Platforms, Including Facebook and Instagram

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Twitter Prohibits Linking to 7 Social Media Platforms

Twitter users will no longer be able to link to certain rival social media websites, including Facebook, Instagram, and Mastodon, which the company described as “prohibited platforms” on Sunday.

It’s the latest move by Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, to crack down on certain speeches after he shut down a Twitter account tracking his private jet’s flights last week.

“We recognize that many of our users are active on other social media platforms; however, Twitter will no longer allow free promotion of specific social media platforms on Twitter in the future,” the company said in a statement.

Popular platforms that have been blocked include Facebook and Instagram, as well as upstart competitors Mastodon, Tribel, Nostr, Post, and former President Donald Trump’s Truth Social. Twitter did not explain why those seven websites were included on the blacklist but not others such as Parler, TikTok, or LinkedIn.

Twitter has stated that accounts that include the banned websites in their profile will be temporarily suspended. However, because the practice is so widespread, it’s unclear whether — or how — the company will enforce the restrictions on Twitter’s millions of users worldwide.

Twitter also prohibits the promotion of third-party social media link aggregators like Linktree, which some people use to show where they can be found on various websites.

Twitter previously blocked links to one of its competitors, Mastodon, after its main Twitter account mentioned the @ElonJet controversy last week. Mastodon has grown rapidly in recent weeks as an alternative for Twitter users dissatisfied with Musk’s overhaul of the company since he bought it for $44 billion in late October and began restoring accounts that violated the previous Twitter leadership’s rules against hateful behavior and other harms.

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Some Twitter users have included links to their new Mastodon profile and have encouraged followers to visit it. Attempts to circumvent restrictions, such as spelling out “Instagram dot com” and a username instead of a direct website link, are now prohibited on Twitter.

Instagram and its parent company, Facebook, did not respond to requests for comment on Sunday. Twitter stated that it would continue to allow “paid advertisement/promotion” from otherwise prohibited platforms and “cross-posting” some content from prohibited sites.

Musk banned the @ElonJet account permanently on Wednesday, then changed Twitter’s rules to make it illegal to share another person’s current location without their consent. He then went after journalists writing about the jet-tracking account, which is still available on Mastodon, Facebook, Instagram, and Truth Social, claiming that they were broadcasting “basically assassination coordinates.”

He used this to justify Twitter’s decision last week to suspend the accounts of numerous journalists who cover the social media platform and Musk, including reporters from The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, Voice of America, and others. Following Musk’s online poll, many of those accounts were restored.

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The Washington Post’s Taylor Lorenz became the latest journalist temporarily banned from Twitter over the weekend.

Lorenz stated that she and another Post technology reporter were working on an article about Musk. She had attempted to contact the billionaire but had received no response, so she tried again on Saturday by tagging Musk and requesting an interview on Twitter.

The specific topic was not disclosed in the tweet, but it was in response to Musk tweeting earlier in the week about an alleged incident in Southern California involving a “violent stalker” and Musk’s claims that journalists were revealing his family’s location by referencing the jet-tracker account.

When Lorenz returned to Twitter later Saturday to see if there had been a response, she was informed that her account had been “permanently suspended.”

“I won’t say I didn’t expect it,” Lorenz said in a phone interview with The Associated Press early Sunday. She claimed she was not given a reason for the ban.

Sally Buzbee, The Washington Post’s executive editor, said in a written statement Sunday that the “arbitrary suspension of another Post journalist further undermines Elon Musk’s claim that he intends to run Twitter as a platform dedicated to free speech.

“Once again, the suspension came with no warning, process, or explanation — this time as our reporter sought comment from Musk for a story,” Buzbee said. “Journalists from the Post should be reinstated immediately and without arbitrary conditions.”

Lorenz’s account had been restored by midday Sunday, as had the tweet she thought had triggered her suspension.

Source: AP, VOR News

Elon Musk Outs New York Times Over Twitter Censorship

Elon Musk Outs New York Times Over Twitter Censorship

 

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THAILAND: Rescue Dig Saves Toddler Trapped In Well For One Night

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BANGKOK, Thailand — A 19-month-old girl fell into a dry artesian well shaft at a cassava farm in northern Thailand 18 hours before she was saved. It took rescuers all night to get her out.

Rescuers clapped and cheered as the toddler, the daughter of Myanmar migrant workers, was pulled from the 15-meter (49-foot)-deep well shaft and placed on a stretcher that carried her to an ambulance waiting nearby.

“You guys did an excellent job. “We did it!” exclaimed one rescuer as his colleagues wept and hugged each other in Tak province’s Phop Phra district.

While her parents were working at the plantation, the child fell into the hole late Monday afternoon.

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Rescuers In Thailand Were On The Scene Quickly

The deep pit, dug by the landowner to be an artesian well, was left uncovered after it failed to reach groundwater, according to Phop Phra district chief Sanya Phetset on Tuesday.

According to local media, the first rescuers on the scene shouted down the hole and heard the child cry back. After lowering a camera into the hole to assess the situation, a tube was snaked to provide oxygen.

Using backhoes and other excavation tools, rescuers dug a 30-centimeter-wide trench alongside the pit overnight.

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The Child Is Now Safe And Sound

“At first, it appeared to be a simple operation because it appeared to be loose dirt, but once we started digging, we discovered rock, which made it difficult because excavators cannot dig through it,” Sanya explained.

He explained that the operation was risky because the digging could collapse the well’s sides onto the child.

After being carried to safety, the toddler was immediately taken to Phop Phra Hospital in Thailand.

“She is now safe. “She’s a little tired, but nothing serious,” Sanya explained.

SOURCE – (AP)

 

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Pope Francis Clarifies his Remarks on Homosexuality and Sin

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Pope Francis Clarifies his Remarks on Homosexuality and Sin

Pope Francis has clarified his recent remarks about homosexuality and sin, stating that he was referring to official Catholic moral teaching, which states that any sexual act other than marriage is a sin.

In a Friday note, Francis emphasized that even black-and-white teaching is subject to circumstances that may eliminate the sin.

Francis made the remarks in an interview with The Associated Press on January 24, stating that laws criminalizing homosexuality are “unjust” and that “being homosexual is not a crime.”

As he often does, Francis then imagined a conversation with someone who brought up the issue of the church’s official teaching, which states that homosexual acts are sinful or “intrinsically disordered.”

“All right, but first, let’s distinguish between a sin and a crime,” Francis said in the fictitious conversation. “It is also a sin not to be charitable to one another.”

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Pope asked for Clarification.

LGBTQ advocates hailed his comments calling for decriminalizing homosexuality as a watershed moment that would help end harassment and violence against LGBTQ people. However, his use of the word “sin” raised questions about whether he believed that simply being gay was a sin in and of itself.

The Reverand James Martin, an American priest who runs the Outreach ministry for LGBTQ Catholics in the United States, asked Francis for clarification and published the pope’s handwritten response late Friday on the Outreach website.

In his note, Francis reiterated that homosexuality “is not a crime” and that he was trying “to emphasize that criminalization is neither good nor just.”

“When I said it is a sin, I was simply referring to Catholic moral teaching, which states that every sexual act other than marriage is a sin,” Francis wrote in Spanish, emphasizing the final phrase.

However, in a nod to his case-by-case approach to pastoral ministry, Francis noted that even teaching is subject to the circumstances, “which may decrease or eliminate the fault.”

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Sex is a Sin, as is Any Sexual Act

He admitted he could have been more specific in his comments to the AP. However, he stated that he was using “natural and conversational language” in the interview, which did not necessitate precise definitions.

“As you can see, I was generally repeating something. ‘Sex is a sin, as is any sexual act outside of the bonds of holy marriage,’ I should have said. This is to speak of ‘the matter’ of sexual sin, but we all know that Catholic morality considers not only the matter but also freedom and intention, and this for all types of sin,” he said.

According to Human Dignity Trust, which works to end such laws, 67 countries or jurisdictions worldwide criminalize same-sex sexual activity, 11 of which can or do impose the death penalty. According to experts, even when laws are not enforced, they contribute to harassment, stigma, and violence against LGBTQ people.

According to Catholic teaching, marriage is a lifelong bond between a man and a woman. It restricts intercourse with married couples and prohibits artificial contraception.

During his decade-long pontificate, Francis has upheld that teaching while prioritizing outreach to LGBTQ people.

Pope Francis has emphasized a more merciful approach to applying church doctrine, preferring to accompany rather than judge people.

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US General Tells His Officers to Prepare for War with China in 2025

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US General Tells His Officers to Prepare for War with China in 2025

In an internal memo, a four-star general in the United States Air Force stated that the US and China risk going to war in two years and advised officers under his command to prepare, including with target practice.

According to NBC, General Mike Minihan, head of the Air Force’s Air Mobility Command, believes the fight will take place in 2025 but hopes he is wrong. He claimed that presidential elections in the United States and Taiwan in 2024 would allow China to take action against Taiwan.

According to NBC, a Defense Department official stated that the remarks do not represent the Pentagon’s position on China. According to an Air Mobility Command spokesperson, the memo is part of the command’s effort to prepare for conflict if deterrence fails.

The administration of President Joe Biden has repeatedly expressed concern about China’s military buildup and what the US perceives to be a more aggressive Chinese stance toward Taiwan.

According to the administration’s national security strategy, China is the only US competitor “with the intent to reshape the international order and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to do so.”

China has slammed the latest US defense spending bill, which allows up to $10 billion in weapons sales to Taiwan, for exaggerating the China threat and meddling in its internal affairs.

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Blinken Conerned Over Taiwan and China

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed concern about Beijing’s intentions regarding Taiwan as he prepares for a rare visit to Beijing, China.

When asked if the temperature had cooled with China during a visit to the University of Chicago, Blinken replied, “I think so because when you’re talking and engaging, it tends to have that effect.”

“The rest of the world anticipates that we will manage this relationship responsibly. “They understand that how we manage it will also impact them,” he said.

According to Taipei Times, Blinken will visit Beijing from February 5 to 6, marking the first US secretary of state visit to the rising Asian power since October 2018.

The trip was decided after US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping () met in November in Bali, Indonesia, to discuss wide-ranging disagreements between the world’s two largest economies.

Blinken, on the other hand, expressed concern about Taiwan, citing Beijing’s growing efforts to isolate the country and major military exercises conducted near it in August.

“What we’ve seen over the last few years is, I believe, China deciding that it was no longer comfortable with the status quo, a status quo that had prevailed for decades and had been successful in terms of our countries’ relationship and managing what a difficult situation is,” he said.

“What we say to China is that — they say this is a sovereign issue for us; we respond that this is an interest to the United States and countries all over the world,” Blinken said, referring to Taiwan’s dominance in semiconductors, which is critical to the global economy.

Any disruption of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait would be disastrous for the global economy, he said, adding that 50 percent of container ships operating around the world pass through the Taiwan Strait and that Taiwan manufactures 70 percent of higher-end computer chips.

Blinken was in Chicago for a trip that included a stop at the city’s historic Ukrainian community to discuss the response to Russia’s invasion.

By: Geoff Thomas

China Records 1st Population Drop In Decades As Births Fall

China Records 1st Population Drop In Decades As Births Fall

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