Tag Archives: Media & Publishing (TRBC level 3)

Germany bans Salafi Muslim groups | Instant News


BERLIN, February 25 (Reuters) – German authorities carried out raids at several locations in Berlin and Brandenburg on Thursday after banning Berlin’s Salafi Muslim group, police said.

Berlin’s senate interior department on Thursday said it had banned the “jihad-salafi” association Jama’atu Berlin, also known as the Berlin Tauhid, and that police had carried out the raid, without providing further details.

The German newspaper Tagesspiegel said the group glorified the battle for “Islamic State” on the internet and called for the killing of Jews, adding that criminal proceedings were awaiting decisions against some of its members.

The newspaper added that the group had been in contact with Anis Amri, a Tunisian asylum seeker who failed with Islamic ties, who hijacked a truck and took it to a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people in 2016.

Salafis – strict Sunni Muslims – include peaceful private individuals, activists seeking to implement Sharia law, and militants who advocate violence to establish a state they perceive to represent true Islam.

The number of Salafis has risen in Germany to an all-time high of 12,150 in 2019, Germany’s domestic intelligence said in its annual report last year, listing them among “Islamic extremists”.

It said the number of Salafis has more than tripled since 2011 and that Salafi groups in Germany are going through a consolidation stage, adding that followers remain a low profile in public. (Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

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The German broadcaster resumed Hungarian service amid fears of a free press | Instant News


BERLIN (Reuters) – German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle is starting to produce material in Hungarian for the first time in decades, driven by concerns over declining media plurality and press freedom among EU members.

FILE PHOTOS: German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle logo pictured in Berlin, Germany, January 30, 2020. Image taken January 30, 2020. REUTERS / Annegret Hilse / File Photo

The move comes months after the United States’ Radio Free Europe, another post-war initiative designed to spread Western values ​​to the uninformed listeners behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War, also resumed Hungarian service.

“We see that media diversity and press freedom is getting worse all the time in Hungary,” said Peter Limbourg, Director General of DW.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s right-wing government has been criticized by rights groups for keeping the media under control with a mix of direct control, targeted ad spending and regulation.

The country has fallen 33 spots in the Reporters without Borders Press Freedom ranking over the past seven years. This month, Klubradio, the last pro-opposition radio station, went on air after losing its broadcasting license.

DW’s move, reminiscent of the heyday of Cold War international broadcasting, when government-backed international stations from both sides of the Iron Curtain competed to spread their views of the world, has drawn a strong reaction.

“DW is very biased and has fueled irrational Orbanophobia over the years. If that’s what you call German ‘public service’ media, then we are very concerned about media pluralism in DE (Germany), ”government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said in an emailed response.

“Having the courage to bring us the unenlightened Hungarian ‘true story’ from Berlin, is another sad example of the manifestation of the dictatorship of opinion by the liberal-left German media. Arrogance is amazing. “

Limbourg is not interested in Hungary’s criticism of the decision, which was taken by the broadcaster board, independently of the German government.

“I was shocked,” he said. “React before they even see what we’re going to produce. Reacting like that certainly doesn’t show much confidence. “

DW has produced content for other EU countries, including Bulgaria, Poland, and Romania for decades, but broadcasts to Hungary were stopped in 2000, 11 years after the fall of communism in central and eastern Europe.

The BBC World Service and Radio France International also stopped broadcasting to most areas after the Cold War.

DW’s offering will start small, with the show uploaded to a special Hungarian-language YouTube channel from the end of March. Limbourg said it had allocated a budget in the “middle six figures” range.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Edited by Giles Elgood

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China has tried to intimidate Hong Kong activists in Germany, Berlin said | Instant News


FILE PHOTO: Hong Kong and Chinese national flags flying behind a pair of surveillance cameras outside the Central Government Office in Hong Kong, China July 20, 2020. REUTERS / Tyrone Siu

BERLIN (Reuters) – China has been trying to intimidate Hong Kong residents living in Germany since pro-democracy protests erupted in the city two years ago, the German interior ministry said in a letter to a lawmaker published on Tuesday.

The letter sent to the chairman of parliament’s human rights committee, Gyde Jensen, in response to requests for information on the matter, could add to the pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel to take a firm line on China’s human rights.

“Since the start of the protests in Hong Kong, increased efforts by Chinese state actors in Germany to influence public opinion supporting the Chinese government as well as actions against protest supporters have been identified,” the ministry said in the letter, first published in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper and reviewed on Monday. Tuesday by Reuters.

The letter cites a protest in support of Hong Kong activists in Hamburg on 17 August 2019 in which Chinese counter-government demonstrators filmed and photographed participants “possibly for purposes of intimidation”.

About 720 people from Hong Kong have residence permits in Germany, he said.

Jensen, a member of the liberal FDP party, told Reuters: “It is time for the German government to realize that Chinese government actors can pose a threat to Hong Kong’s exiled citizens.”

“Unfortunately I am skeptical that the mechanisms used by our security agencies are sufficient to protect those affected effectively,” he said.

The Chinese Embassy in Berlin did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. A spokesman for the German interior ministry said he was not aware of the letter.

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QUOTE BOX-Reaction to Facebook agreeing to a concession deal with Australia on a media bill | Instant News


(Update with comments)

CANBERRA, February 23 (Reuters) – Facebook said on Tuesday it would restore its Australian news page after negotiating changes with the government to a proposed law that forces tech giants to pay for media content displayed on their platforms.

Following are comments from Facebook, Australia and analysts:

JOSH FRYDENBERG, AUSTRALIAN ANNOUNCEMENT

“There is no doubt that Australia has become a proxy battle for the world. I am sure there are many other countries that are looking at what is happening in Australia.

“Facebook and Google are not hiding the fact that they know that the eyes of the world are on Australia, and that’s why they’re trying to come up with a code here that works.”

CAMPBELL BROWN, VICE FACEBOOK PRESIDENT GLOBAL NEWS PARTNERSHIP

“We have reached an agreement that will allow us to support our selected publishers, including small and local publishers.

“The government has clarified that we will maintain the ability to decide whether news appears on Facebook so that we will not automatically submit to forced negotiations.

“We have always intended to support journalism in Australia and around the world, and we will continue to invest in news globally and resist attempts by media conglomerates to advance regulatory frameworks that do not take into account the true exchange of value between publishers and platforms like Facebook. “

TAMA LEAVER, PROFESSOR OF INTERNET STUDY AT CURTIN UNIVERSITY, AUSTRALIA

“This is not a draw.

“Even though Facebook managed to cover up some concessions and the laws might be lenient, I still think they are big losers here just because of the way they tried to negotiate over the past week. Many Australians are much more hesitant to rely on Facebook and in terms of their Australian reputation and user base have lost confidence.

“The law itself is still untested. It is like a weapon sitting on the treasury table that has never been used or tested. “

RICHARD WINDSOR, INDEPENDENT ENGLISH TECHNOLOGY ANALYSIS

“Facebook has scored a big win in reaching an agreement with the Australian government on payment of news from Australian sources in concessions that virtually guarantee that business will run as usual from now on.

“Prior to this“ sudden ”breakthrough, Facebook had cut off all Australian news outlets’ access to its platform which sparked huge public outrage. Critically, Australian news sites have also taken a big hit in internet traffic, clearly showing that Australian media need Facebook more than Facebook.

“Facebook has been accused of acting like North Korea in its actions, but I think they are completely justified because Australia (and everyone else) seems to view Facebook as a free public service rather than a business.

“As news sites quickly realized, their ad revenue tends to be lower without Facebook than with Facebook even if Facebook doesn’t pay them at all for their content.

“This clearly shows that the current arrangement is better than no arrangement at all. This idea of ​​free internet is a classic misconception held by the general public and legislators and the sooner this is eliminated, the faster a proper working relationship can be established. “

PAUL BUDDE, AUSTRALIA BASED INDEPENDENT INTERNET ANALYSIS

“Facebook won, because a necessary change was made to the law that prevented them from making changes to their business model.”

The Australian government can still say that they are “fighting giants and getting international attention (but) the digital giants are as strong as ever.” (Reporting by Colin Packham, Byron Kaye and Douglas Busvine; additional reporting by Renju Jose Editing by Susan Fenton)

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Australia says Facebook will restore pages after changes to landmark laws | Instant News


FILE PHOTO: 3D printed Facebook logo seen in front of the Australian flag on display in this illustration photo taken on February 18, 2021. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration / Photo File

CANBERRA (Reuters) – Facebook Inc will restore Australian news pages in the next few days after Canberra agreed to change laws that would force the social media giant to pay media companies for news content.

Australia and Facebook have been stuck in a deadlock for more than a week as Canberra pushes for the move, which is aimed at tech giants, such as Alphabet Inc.’s Facebook and Google.

Reporting by Colin Packham; Edited by Clarence Fernandez

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