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After Toronto attack, online misogynists praise suspect as ‘new saint’

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Beirich places much of the blame on web forums and social media platforms that don’t proactively enforce rules limiting hate speech. When asked by a Reddit user earlier this month whether “open racism, including slurs” were against the site’s rules, CEO Steve Huffman wrote in a comment on Reddit , “it’s not.”

“Reddit has basically just said ‘we don’t care if there’s bad stuff in these hate forums.’ 4chan and 8chan are completely outside the bounds of normality,” Beirich said. “When millions can be exposed to heinous propaganda, you are setting the table for ultimately hate speech and ultimately hate crimes.”

Beirich called incels a subgroup of both the men’s rights activist and alt-right movements.

“You’d be shocked at the amount of violence, raping, killing and attacking of women they advocate,” Beirich said. “In the case of Elliot Rodger, there was violence on a mass scale.”

Reddit banned the channel r/incels in November, citing a violation of its “violent content” rules. The shutdown followed a number of posts where members seemed to be advocating for rape and specifically one cross post in the channel r/legaladvice where a frequent r/incels poster appeared to be soliciting tips for how to get away with rape.

Quickly, members of the community moved over to r/braincels, which called itself a “fun, energizing, and thought-provoking atmosphere for incel culture.”

The subreddit, or Reddit community, has been active for over six months, and highlights the difficulty that comes with a whack-a-mole style of enforcement that Reddit and other platforms use to ban extremist groups from their sites.

Reddit did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A full day after the attack, a post titled “The post about the Toronto killer being an incel has been proven to be fake” remained pinned to the top of the subreddit, along with a post denouncing the attack.

The third top-rated post on r/Braincels at press time featured a cartoon of a mouse wearing a Nazi armband beneath an oven timer, titled “Hi, lurking journalists!”

Hours after Minassian’s rampage, Reddit banned “malecels”—a subreddit for incel discussion where “normies” and women were prohibited that was only live for 19 days.

In one of the final posts to malecels, a user bragged the community would “not be banned anytime soon. Even if we advocate rape.”

“The admins are only competent when they get reports and because we’ll be very vigilant of letting outsiders in there’s no way admins would ever know what’s going in here,” the user wrote. “There are far too many private subreddits for an admin to reasonably monitor.”

Minassian’s visible online footprint is small. He was briefly active on the gaming forums Steam, and once released an app through the Android app store that showed users available parking spaces in Toronto.

This wouldn’t be the first time a mass murderer blamed involuntary celibacy for his crimes.

In 2009, before the internet gave incels a known place to congregate, George Sodini walked into an L.A. Fitness gym in Pittsburgh and shot up a women’s aerobics class, killing four, including himself. Sodini left behind a blog where he detailed his plans and complained of rejection from women.

“There are 30 million desirable women in the US (my estimate) and I cannot find one. Not one of them finds me attractive,” he wrote.

Rodger, who Minassian referenced by name in his Facebook post, listed sexual frustration and a hatred for women as his chief motivation for his killing spree.

In his posts, Rodger spoke in language common among the incel and pickup communities, separating men into groups of alphas and betas and reducing women to entitlements which could be won or stolen.

Rodger closed his manifesto with: “All I ever wanted was to love women, and in turn to be loved by them back. Their behavior towards me has only earned my hatred, and rightfully so! I am the true victim in all of this. I am the good guy.”

In 2015, Chris Harper-Mercer killed nine and injured seven at a community college in Roseburg, Oregon before turning the gun on himself. In his journal, Harper wrote, “My whole life has been one lonely enterprise. One loss after another. And here I am, 26, with no friends, no job, no girlfriend, a virgin.”

In his writings, he identified with Rodger as well as other mass shooters, whom he described as “people who stand with the gods.”

In February Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old who shot and killed 17 students and teachers inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, praised Rodger in a Youtube comment.

“Elliot rodger will not be forgotten,” Cruz wrote.

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New Zealand is best placed to survive a global collapse of society, study suggests | World News

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New Zealand is the country most likely to survive a collapse of global civilisation, researchers have said.

A study has suggested a combination of ecological destruction, limited resources and population growth could trigger a worldwide breakdown “within few decades”, with climate change making things worse.

A “very likely” collapse would be characterised by the disintegration of supply chains, international agreements and global financial structures, according to researchers at the Global Sustainability Institute at Anglia Ruskin University.

Wind turbines at Whitelee Windfarm in East Renfrewshire
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Researchers said the UK could increase its use of wind turbines to secure its future

They said problems could spread quickly because of how connected and economically dependant countries are on one another.

Five countries were identified as best placed to maintain civilisation within their own borders: New Zealand, Iceland, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia.

All of them are islands or island continents which have fewer extremes in temperatures and varied amounts of rainfall due to their proximity to oceans.

Researchers said this makes them most likely to have relatively stable conditions in the future, despite the effects of climate change – which is expected to hit subtropics and tropics the hardest.

New Zealand’s ability to produce geothermal and hydroelectric energy, its abundant agricultural land and its low population would allow it to survive relatively unscathed.

Although the UK has generally fertile soils and varied agricultural output, it does not have as much agricultural land available because of its population density, raising questions about future self-sufficiency.

Britain’s reliance on fossil fuels and nuclear energy was considered to be a risk as power sources could be “rendered at least partly inoperable” if global supply chains collapse.

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Researchers said this could be mitigated by the nation’s manufacturing capabilities.

Meeting the large population’s energy demands through renewables alone would require very extensive infrastructure, they said, but the UK could increase its resilience by harnessing more energy from wind and water bodies like lagoons or barrages in the Severn Estuary.

Professor Aled Jones, Director of the Global Sustainability Institute at Anglia Ruskin University, said “significant changes are possible in the coming years and decades”.

He said: “The impact of climate change, including increased frequency and intensity of drought and flooding, extreme temperatures, and greater population movement, could dictate the severity of these changes.”

Researchers identified pandemics as another risk to societal stability, citing the United Nations’ warning that future pandemics could be even more severe than COVID-19.

Twenty countries were analysed in the report.

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Boris Johnson urges world leaders to dig deep to boost children’s education across globe | Politics News

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Boris Johnson is urging world leaders to dip into their pockets to boost children’s education across the globe and help avoid a “legacy of wasted talent” as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

The prime minister will host a summit in London on Thursday with the aim of fundraising among governments, business and charities for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).

The GPE aims to raise $5bn (£3.6bn) over the next five years in order to get 175 million more children into education around the world.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta at Chequers, the country house of the serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, in Buckinghamshire. Picture date: Wednesday July 28, 2021.
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta will close Thursday’s summit

Ahead of the Summit, Mr Johnson said: “We have a fight on our hands to ensure COVID-19 does not scupper the life chances of millions of children, leaving a lasting legacy of wasted talent.

“Too many children around the world – girls in particular – were already out of school before the pandemic.

“Enabling them to learn and reach their full potential is the single greatest thing we can do to recover from this crisis and build better, greener and fairer societies.

“Today I am urging governments, businesses and philanthropists to invest in the future by fully funding the transformative work of the Global Partnership for Education.”

Girls are feared to be particularly at risk of never returning to school once they have left, with 132 million girls around the world already estimated to be out of school even before the impact of the COVID pandemic.

Thursday’s summit is being jointly hosted with Kenya and will be opened by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and his Kenyan counterpart, Raychelle Omamo.

The prime minister and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who held bilateral talks at Chequers on Wednesday, will close the summit, along with Australia’s former prime minister Julia Gillard, who is the GPE’s chair.

World leaders, businesses, UN agencies, charities and youth leaders will join the summit both virtually and in person.

The UK last month pledged £430m to the GPE at the G7 Summit in Cornwall.

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Pedro Castillo: Left-wing rural teacher becomes Peru’s president, promising a new constitution | World News

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A man who was until recently a teacher in a rural part of Peru has been sworn in as the country’s new president.

Pedro Castillo, representing a left-wing party, stunned voters and political observers by emerging from a group of 18 candidates and advancing to the run-off, finishing in first place.

His slogan, “no more poor in a rich country”, attracted support from the impoverished and those living in rural areas.

Pedro Castillo
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Pedro Castillo has never held political office before

Mr Castillo, 51, has never held political office before, defeating right-wing career politician Keiko Fujimori by just 44,000 votes.

He is promising a new constitution, and to rule for “my peasant sisters and brothers”.

The son of illiterate peasants, he led a teachers’ strike in 2017. He is his country’s first president of peasant origin.

Mr Castillo is married with two children. Video of his wife, filmed at the weekend, shows her sweeping the floor at their house in the Andes and tending to some animals. Their home is in the country’s third-poorest district.

Peru is the second largest copper exporter in the world, but its economy has been crushed by the coronavirus pandemic. Economic gains made over the last decade have been eliminated.

Private companies are fearful that Mr Castillo will hike taxes on mining to fund health and education reforms.

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Pedro Castillo’s family leave behind rural life

But on the day of his inauguration, he said there was “not the remotest” plan to nationalise industry.

He will be seeking a “new pact” with private investors, however.

In a speech shortly after being sworn in, he said he wanted the state-owned bank to compete with private lenders but that he would maintain economic “order and predictability”.

He faces a divided Congress, meaning his political abilities will be tested from the start.

Pedro Castillo receives the presidential sash from the president of the Congress, Maria del Carmen Alva
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Mr Castillo receives the presidential sash

Claudia Navas, an analyst with the global firm Control Risks, said his government begins amid “considerable uncertainty”.

She added: “We still do not have clear his main lines of policy. However, we foresee that possibly, due to the characteristics of the Peruvian political system and the current general political and economic situation of the country, that Castillo will maintain a more pragmatic position than he announced during the campaign.

“The key is to build those consensuses and add strength to the proposals on how he is going to achieve them.”

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