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Turkey’s Parliament Adopts Internet Control Law

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Turkey's parliament

Despite pleas and opposition from interest groups, Turkey’s parliament has adopted a new Internet bill criticised in several circles as an assault by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on freedom of expression, access to information and investigative journalism.

After hours of debate, the measures were adopted late on Wednesday where Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) dominates with 319 of the 550 seats.

The text notably permits a government agency the Telecommunications Communications Presidency (TIB), to block access to websites without court authorisation, if they are deemed to violate privacy or with content seen as “insulting”.

The legislation would also force Internet providers to keep records on Web users’ activities for two years and make them available to authorities when requested, without notifying the users.

The measures are part of a package of legislation, the rest of which is expected to be approved by Parliament on Thursday and then signed into law by President Abdullah Gul.

Under that existing legislation signed in 2007, websites including blogging tool WordPress and video-sharing services DailyMotion and Vimeo have been blocked temporarily by court orders, while YouTube was off limits for two years until 2010.

Some alternative news websites cannot be accessed and people have been fined, jailed or given suspended sentences – like world-renowned pianist Fazil Say in 2013 – for tweets insulting religious values.

Reporters Without Borders said the aim of the amendments were “to reinforce cyber-censorship, government control of the Internet and surveillance”.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called it a “slide into Internet authoritarianism” in a country that is the “the leading jailer of journalists worldwide”.

 

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JUST IN: ECOWAS Lifts Sanctions On Mali

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ECOWAS countries
ECOWAS Countries

ECOWAS Countries

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US President, Donald Trump, Wife Test Positive For Covid-19

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Donald Trump and Melania
Donald Trump and Melania

Donald Trump and wife, Melania Trump

President of the United States, Donald Trump, and his wife, Melania Trump have both tested positive for COVID-19.

The President took to his official Twitter handle on Friday to make this announcement.

Trump was last seen in public on Thursday afternoon, returning to the White House after a fundraising trip to New Jersey.

Also Read: What I Told Trump When He Accused Me Of Killing Christians – Buhari

On Thursday, he announced that his aide, Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus which has killed over 1 million people around the world.

He further revealed that he and the first lady had taken the test and waiting for the results before announcing the outcome on Friday.

 

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Mali: N’Daw, Coup Leader Goita Sworn In As President, VP

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President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita
President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita

President of Mali, N’Daw, coup leader, Goita

Retired Army Colonel, Bah N’Daw has been sworn in on Friday as the interim president of Mali and he is to head a transitional government following last month’s military coup in the country.

The swearing-in ceremony held in the country’s capital city of Bamako, where Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the military junta, was also sworn in as interim vice president.

This administration is to lead the government for a maximum of 18 months before organising national elections.

Also Read: Buhari Attends Virtual ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit Over Mali Crisis

It will be recalled that the country’s military executed a coup last month (August 18) which successfully removed the nation’s president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita from office.

Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, attended the ceremony alongside other members of the ECOWAS mediation team.

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