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#Russian #Actor Slammed on #Twitter for Firing Weapon in #Ukraine potentially making every #journalist a target


Every person who uses weapons while hiding behind press identification assumes responsibility for the future deaths of journalists.

Russian Actor Mikhail Porechenkov

Russian Actor Mikhail Porechenkov. Potentially making every journalist a target.

Anna Dolgov, The Moscow Times.

A Russian actor wearing a helmet marked “Press” has been caught on video firing a machine gun from a battle site in eastern Ukraine, in a stunt that provoked outrage on Russian and Ukrainian social networks.

After the video of Mikhail Porechenkov discharging his machine gun from Donetsk Airport was posted Thursday on the YouTube account of separatist “Novorossia TV,” Russian-language hashtags “#PorechenkovKiller” and “#PorechenkovTerrorist” went viral on Twitter, with some journalists saying the actor had brought additional dangers to reporters in war zones.

“Every [individual] who uses weapons while hiding behind press identification assumes responsibility for the future deaths of journalists,” Russian journalist Alexander Vishnevsky said via Twitter in a message that was retweeted hundreds of times within a few hours. Instead of “individual,” he used an expletive that can be loosely translated as “sh!thead.”

At least eight journalists and their assistants have been killed in Ukraine since the start of this year. They are Russia’s VGTRK television correspondent Igor Kornelyuk and sound engineer Anton Voloshin; Italian photographer Andrea Rocchelli and his Russian fixer Andrei Mironov; Ukrainian journalist Vyacheslav Veremiy, who was shot in February during protests in Kiev; Sergei Dolgov, the editor-in-chief of a pro-Russian newspaper in eastern Ukraine; Russia’s Channel One cameraman Anatoly Klyan; and Rossia Segodnya photographer Andrei Stenin.

Porechenkov said after his stunt that he had visited rebel-controlled Donetsk to see how a cease-fire between separatists and government forces was holding up.

“In the airport I could already clearly see that there isn’t and hadn’t been any cease-fire,” Porechenkov was quoted as saying by Gazeta.ru, without elaborating on which signs of continued fire he had witnessed. The video of Porechenkov mingling with rebels at what Novorossia TV described as a “battle position” featured no signs or sounds of a battle until the actor and a separatist next to him began firing their weapons.

The shooting appeared to be mostly a symbolic demonstration of valor in front of a video camera, and there was no indication that any of the shots hit Ukrainian forces’ positions or civilians.

Separatists accompanying Porechenkov at the rebel stronghold were clad in military fatigues and camouflage helmets. But the actor wore a blue bulletproof vest and helmet marked with the word “Press” on its back. The letters are partially visible in the video posted by Novorossia TV and can easily be read in photos of the incident that have been circulated online.

Porechenkov said the goals of his visit included delivering “medications for hospitals” in separatist eastern Ukraine. The Russian government has also pledged to deliver “humanitarian aid” to rebel-controlled areas, though Kiev and Western nations accuse it of primarily supplying weapons and fighters — a charge Moscow denies.

A leader of Russia’s democratic political opposition, Ilya Yashin, gave an account of Porechenkov’s machine-gun firing in a Twitter message, concluding: “A dove of peace.”

Porechenkov is perhaps best known for his leading role in recent film “Poddubny,” a biographical movie about famed Russian and Soviet wrestler Ivan Poddubny, who was born in what is now Ukraine.

The actor told Gazeta.ru that Russian filmmakers planned to show the film in eastern Ukraine, although the “Ukrainian authorities have banned it for some reason.”

The Ukrainian Culture Ministry announced earlier this year that it was banning the distribution of “Poddubny,” citing the same flaws for which the movie had been criticized by some Russian reviewers — distorting historical facts to promote Russia’s greatness.


The Moscow Times.

UK: #Portsmouth teenager Mehdi Hassan killed fighting for #ISIS in #Syria


Mehdi Hassan, also known as Abu DujanaMehdi Hassan, also known as Abu Dujana. He is the fourth member of the ‘Britani Brigade Bangladeshi Bad Boys’ to die.

Lizzie Dearden reporting,

A teenage jihadist from Portsmouth has become the fourth extremist from the city to be killed fighting with Isis in Syria.

Mehdi Hassan, 19, travelled to the war-torn country in October last year with a group of friends calling themselves the “Britani Brigade Bangladeshi Bad Boys”.

Photos purporting to show his dead body appeared on Isis-affiliated Twitter accounts on Friday night, with fellow militants claiming he was killed fighting in Kobani.

The Syrian border town has seen intense fighting in recent weeks, with the US-led coalition bombing Isis militants and dropping weapons to Kurdish fighters attempting to stop the group’s advance.

The Foreign Office said it could not confirm Mr Hassan’s death but “was aware of reports about the death of a British national in Syria”.

Mehdi Hassan's Twitter accountMehdi Hassan’s Twitter account

The news did not reach his family, who live in Southsea, until Saturday morning as gruesome pictures of his body circulated on social media.

The chairman of their local Portsmouth Jami Mosque, Abdul Jalil, said he had spoken to Mr Hassan’s relatives.

“It has been confirmed with the family that he has died. Right now they are very upset,” he told the BBC.

“I am saddened and again shocked for the community about this news.”

The teenager, a former pupil at the independent St John’s College in Southsea, flew to Turkey and crossed into Syria instead of going to university.

His friends, Iftekar Jaman, Mamunur Roshid and Hamidur Rahman, have previously been killed in the fighting.

Mr Roshid’s death, at the age of 24, had been confirmed on Tuesday.

People watch an explosion after an apparent US-led coalition air strike on Kobani, SyriaPeople watch an explosion after an apparent US-led coalition air strike on Kobani, Syria

Mr Hassan went by the name Abu Dujana in Syria and on social media.

He last posted on his Twitter account @AbuDujana___ on 17 October, writing about the intensity of air strikes in Ayn al-Arab – an alternative name for Kobani.

“Between 20-40 US strikes daily in ayn al arab. Alhamdulillah they are spending $10’s of billions…against themselves,” he wrote.

He had previously written about jihad and the goal of “ultimate success in the hereafter”, although his account had been deleted by Twitter several times.

Mashudur Choudhury, who left the UK with Mr Hassan, returned to the UK after just a few weeks and was arrested at Gatwick Airport.

He has since been convicted of terrorist offences in the first such case related to the conflict in Syria.

Assad Uzzaman is believed to be the last surviving member of the “Bad Boys” still fighting there.

An estimated 500 Britons are among 2,000 foreign fighters who have joined Isis, which calls itself the Islamic State.

It is waging a bloody war across Syria and Iraq to establish a hardline Islamic caliphate.


The Independent.

#ISIS: The ‘cub of Baghdadi': Has this boy become the youngest victim of Isis’s use of child soldiers?


ISIS - Young boy 'soldier'Young boy is seen holding guns in images circulated on social media.

Heather Saul reporting,

Isis supporters are circulating images of a child they say has become the youngest foreign fighter to be killed in battle for the jihadist group, according a counter-extremism think tank.

The images, which cannot be independently verified, show a young boy believed to be about 10-years-old holding guns, posing with a balaclava stretched across his face and standing alongside a man thought to be his father who is reportedly a militant.

Those sharing the pictures are paying tribute to the child on Twitter as the youngest martyr from the Arabian Peninsula to have been killed in Syria as Isis tries to establish a caliphate across swathes of the region, according to Charlie Cooper, a researcher at the Quilliam Foundation.

Mr Cooper said the images have been circulated on social media with hashtags translated as ‘martyrdom of the cub of Baghdadi and his father’. It is claimed that reports of his death first emerged on 26 September and that he was killed fighting alongside his father.

The child’s alleged death comes after an Australian man fighting for Isis posted a picture online showing his young son holding the severed head of a Syrian soldier in August, with the caption: “That’s my boy.”

In the same month, a report by the United Nations Human Rights Council found Isis affiliated groups have recruited, trained and used children in active combat roles.

It also found Isis has established training camps to recruit children into armed roles, where they would receive weapons training and religious education. In Raqqa, children as young as ten were being recruited and trained by Isis.

The UN said: “In using children below the age of 15, the group has committed a war crime.”

News of the boy’s alleged death comes as video footage was released showing Isis firing on targets on the besieged Syria-Turkey border town of Kobani.

The video has been distributed by the pro-Isis media group Al-A’amaq, who publish clips showing the strategic assets seized by the group and where it is advancing.

In it, the fighters can be heard vowing to descend on the town in spite of coalition air strikes, with one warning: “We will enter the city and free it from non-believers.”


The Independent.

British Imams Condemn #ISIS


“We are Muslims united against ISIS, against terrorism, against atrocity, against pain and suffering.”

For more information about Imams Online,

Visit the website: http://imamsonline.com/
Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/imamsonline
Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ImamsOnline

New iPhones run into software, bending complaints #iOS8 #Apple #iPhone6Plus


by BRANDON BAILEY.
Apple iOS 8.01 update problemsFILE – In this June 2, 2014 photo, Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks about iOS 8 at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. Apple has stopped providing an update to its new iOS 8 mobile operating software, following complaints by some users who said Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014, that the update interferes with their ability to make phone calls. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple’s newest iPhones ran into some glitches Wednesday after users complained that a new software update blocked their calls, while a widely circulated video showed the larger of the two new models is vulnerable to bending.

Apple said it would stop providing the software update, which it began distributing Wednesday morning to fix several issues in last week’s iOS 8 operating system for iPhones and iPads.

The decision to pull the update came after some people complained on Twitter and in Apple user chatrooms that the update, dubbed iOS 8.0.1, rendered their phones unable to make calls and caused problems with a feature that lets people unlock their phones with their fingerprint.

By midday Wednesday, Apple announced that it was investigating the reports and would issue advice to users “as quickly as we can.” Users are still able to the upgrade older phones to last week’s version of iOS 8, which Apple said has already been downloaded to nearly half of all iOS devices.

Some tech blogs reported the update only seemed to cause problems for the latest phone models — the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. It’s not uncommon for new software to contain bugs that have to be fixed with subsequent releases.

Meanwhile, social media sites were buzzing Wednesday with reports that the aluminum shell of the iPhone 6 Plus is vulnerable to bending. Some Twitter users claimed their phones showed a slight curving at one end after several hours in a pants pocket. With a 5.5-inch screen, the iPhone 6 Plus is slightly longer and thinner than other iPhone models.

It’s not clear how widespread the complaints are. One YouTube video showed someone bending an iPhone 6 Plus by applying extended pressure with his hands — not from normal sitting.

Both the iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus were given high ratings in a recent “breakability” test conducted by SquareTrade, a San Francisco firm that sells insurance to consumers for their electronic devices. The test did not include bending.

But SquareTrade Chief Marketing Officer Ty Shay said that after reports of bending circulated online, two staffers at his firm tried to bend a pair of 6 Plus phones: One staffer, a man, was able to duplicate the results from the video, while the other, a woman, could not. He said the bent phone appeared to still function normally.

Shay said his firm then checked and found a small number of bent older-model iPhones had been reported in the past. “It does happen,” said Shay, “but it seems like for the most part it’s cosmetic damage.”

He suggested the bending is not a major issue. Referring to the iPhone 6 Plus, he added, “I think it’s still a very durable phone. But we’ll keep an eye on the claims.”

Apple did not comment on the reports of bending.


The Associated Press.

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