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White House says it won’t sign international agreement to combat online extremism

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By Dareh Gregorian

The United States says it supports an international effort to find ways to stop social media from spreading hate — but won’t take part in it.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the White House praised the call to action in the name of Christchurch being spearheaded by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron.

“The United States stands with the international community in condemning terrorist and violent extremist content online in the strongest terms,” the White House said, but added that it is “not currently in a position to join the endorsement.”

That makes the U.S. an outlier. Allies including the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, Italy, India, Germany and Spain are all listed as signing on to the effort. Numerous technology giants are involved as well, including Amazon, Facebook, Google, Twitter and YouTube.

In its statement, the White House suggested that First Amendment concerns were stopping the Trump administration from joining in the agreement.

“We continue to be proactive in our efforts to counter terrorist content online while also continuing to respect freedom of expression and freedom of the press,” the statement said.

In an op-ed in The New York Times this past weekend, Ardern said the “Christchurch Call” would be a voluntary framework that “commits signatories to counter the drivers of terrorism and put in place specific measures to prevent the uploading of terrorist content.”

It’s named after the New Zealand city where a white supremacist attacked two mosques in a shooting spree that left 51 people dead. Parts of the March 15 attacks were livestreamed on Facebook.

The attacker’s digital footprint along with his own claims about how the internet shaped his views led to renewed calls for social media platforms to do more to combat hate speech as well as foreign governments that said they were prepared to take matters into their own hands.

Ahead of the meeting with world leaders and other tech companies in Paris for a “Tech for Good” summit Wednesday, Facebook announced that it would be implementing new rules around the company’s livestream tool in an effort to limit its use to “cause harm or spread hate.”

In a rare joint statement, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Amazon and Microsoft said: “The terrorist attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March were a horrifying tragedy. And so it is right that we come together, resolute in our commitment to ensure we are doing all we can to fight the hatred and extremism that lead to terrorist violence.”

The companies said “we are sharing concrete steps we will take that address the abuse of technology to spread terrorist content, including continued investment in technology that improves our capability to detect and remove this content from our services, updates to our individual terms of use, and more transparency for content policies and removals.”



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Matteo Salvini girlfriend: Brunette beauty’s HEARTBREAKING Instagram post announcing split

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THE EUROPEAN ELECTIONS are happening now and are set to deliver blows to politicians across Europe, but one politician is used to brushing off well publicised torment after his former girlfriend took to social media to reveal the couple had parted ways.

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Trump talks ‘Crazy Nancy’ Pelosi and treason at wild press conference

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By Jonathan Allen

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump repeatedly called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “crazy,” said former FBI Director James Comey and the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., were guilty of treason, and declined to commit to raising the nation’s debt ceiling during a sprawling interaction with reporters at the White House Thursday.

Trump clashed with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Wednesday, cutting short a planned meeting on infrastructure spending because he is frustrated with congressional efforts to investigate his administration. Just after that confrontation, he told the media he would not work with Democrats on legislation until they halt their inquiries.

On Thursday, he took issue with Pelosi’s characterization of his abrupt departure from the room, saying he kept his cool.

“I was so calm,” he said. “Cryin’ Chuck, Crazy Nancy — I tell you what, I’ve been watching her. I have been watching her for a long period of time. She is not the same person. She has lost it.”

Pelosi quickly fired back.

“When the ‘extremely stable genius’ starts acting more presidential, I’ll be happy to work with him on infrastructure, trade and other issues,” she wrote on Twitter.

Asked whether his self-imposed ban on legislative action extends to budget matters, including an increase in the statutory debt limit, Trump hedged.

“We’ll see what happens,” Trump said, calling himself a “very capable” person. “Let them get this angst out of their belt.”

The House is pursuing multiple open investigations involving the administration, including follow-ups to special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. Trump has denied subpoena requests for documents and testimony from congressional committees, setting up court battles with House Democrats.

He reiterated Thursday that he believes he is the victim of a long-running effort to stop him from winning in 2016, delegitimize his presidency and remove him from office either through impeachment or by Democrats damaging him enough with investigations that he can’t be re-elected.

He has charged that some of his adversaries are guilty of treason, and he was asked Thursday to provide the names of people who should be held accountable for a crime punishable by death.

Trump answered with a list of names: Comey, McCain, former FBI agent Peter Strzok and former Justice Department official Lisa Page.

Strzok and Page exchanged text messages during the 2016 campaign — when the FBI was investigating his operation — that disparaged him, and attempted to prevent him from winning.

Now, Trump says, Democrats in Congress are continuing their efforts.

“Without the ‘treason’ word — they don’t feel they can win so they’re trying to do the thousand stabs,” he said.

Congressional Democrats say that Trump has systematically abused the power of his office by summarily rejecting valid requests for information related to their legislative duties and a possible impeachment inquiry.



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Marine Le Pen first husband: The ONE connection between husbands and new boyfriend

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MARINE LE PEN’s party is tipped to top the upcoming European Parliament elections in France, leading with 24.5 percent of the French vote according to a recent poll, but what is Mrs Le Pen’s personal life like?

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