By Babak Dehghanpisheh
DUBAI (Reuters) – Iranians called on social media on Wednesday for fresh demonstrations a week after the shooting down of a passenger plane, seeking to turn the aftermath of the crash into a sustained campaign against Iran’s leadership.
Protesters, with students at the forefront, have staged daily rallies in Tehran and other cities since Saturday, when after days of denials the authorities admitted bringing down a Ukrainian plane last week, killing all 176 aboard.
“We’re coming to the streets,” one posting circulating on social media said on Wednesday, urging people to join nationwide demonstrations against a “thieving and corrupt government”.
Most of those killed on the plane were Iranians or dual citizens, many of them students returning to studies abroad from holiday visits with their families.
It remains to be seen whether the protests will lead to sustained violence. After several days of unrest, when images posted to the internet showed demonstrators being beaten by the police and shocked with electric batons, protests on Tuesday appear to have been quieter. Two months ago, authorities killed hundreds of demonstrators to put down protests sparked by fuel price hikes.
The plane was downed by air defenses on Jan. 8 when the armed forces were on high alert for U.S. reprisals following tit-for-tat military strikes, the latest escalation in a crisis that has rumbled on for years over Iran’s nuclear program.
Iran has dismissed the idea of a new deal to resolve the nuclear row, as proposed by U.S. President Donald Trump and described by Britain’s prime minister as a “Trump deal.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Trump, who quit an existing nuclear pact in 2018, broke his promises.
The military and top officials apologized profusely for the “unforgivable error” that brought the plane down and said it would prosecute those to blame, in a bid to quell the outrage.
Thousands of protesters have been shown in videos gathering in the past four days in cities across Iran. Many have been outside universities. Tehran’s central Azadi Square has also been a focus. But the scale of protests and unrest is difficult to determine due to restrictions on independent reporting.
State-affiliated media has offered few details on rallies.
Police have denied shooting at protesters and say officers were told to show restraint. The judiciary said it had arrested 30 people but would show tolerance to “legal protests”.
Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency said a person who had posted a video online last week of a missile striking the plane has been taken into custody by the Revolutionary Guards, the elite force that said one of its operators shot down the plane.
Iranians were outraged the military took days to admit it had shot down Ukraine International Airlines flight 752. They asked why the plane had been allowed to take off at a time of high tension.
Iran had launched missile strikes against U.S. targets in Iraq hours earlier in retaliation for a U.S. drone strike that killed a top Iranian commander in Iraq on Jan. 3.
Security camera footage showed two missiles, fired 30 seconds apart, hitting the plane after takeoff, the New York Times reported. U.S. intelligence officials said on Jan. 9 heat signatures of two surface-to-air missiles were detected.
The disaster and unrest have piled pressure on the Iran’s rulers, who are already struggling to keep the economy running under stringent U.S. sanctions imposed after Washington withdrew from the nuclear pact Tehran had with world powers.
Britain’s ambassador to Tehran was detained, accused of attending a protest. He said he was paying respects at a vigil for victims.
Judicial officials urged the authorities to expel the envoy and social media posts said he had left. The foreign ministry in Britain, which has long had strained ties with Iran, said he was on a previously planned trip and was not leaving permanently.
On Thursday, London hosts a meeting of Canada, Ukraine, Britain and other nations who had citizens on the downed plane to discuss legal action against Iran, Ukraine said.
Canada, which had 57 citizens on the flight, has sent investigators to Iran, where they toured the crash site on Tuesday, Iranian media reported.
(Reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh and Parisa Hafezi and the London bureau; Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore and Peter Graff)
Media Beat: October 21, 2021 | FYIMusicNews – FYI Music News
Rogers boardroom rift deepens as Edward Rogers faces resistance in bid to overhaul telecom giant’s leadership
Independent directors at Rogers Communications Inc. are pushing back against attempts by chair Edward Rogers to overhaul the telecom and media giant’s leadership, and the company’s family trust will hold an emergency meeting to consider limiting Mr. Rogers’s ability to exercise voting control.
The boardroom rift in the middle of the $26-billion takeover of Shaw Communications Inc. erupted after Mr. Rogers attempted to replace Rogers chief executive officer Joe Natale with chief financial officer Tony Staffieri and oust other members of the company’s leadership team. It pits Mr. Rogers against his mother, Loretta Rogers, and sisters Martha Rogers and deputy chair Melinda Rogers-Hixon. – Alexandra Posadzki, The Globe and Mail
Facebook — or whatever name the tech giant picks for a reportedly looming rebrand of its data-mining empire as it seeks to teleport its business into the metaverse to escape the unending cavalcade of toxic publicity its execs generate — has a new “bad behavior” badge to sport: It’s just been fined nearly $70 million (£50.5 million) by a U.K. watchdog for deliberately withholding information related to ongoing antitrust oversight of its acquisition of US database and search enginge Giphy.– Natasha Lomas, TechCrunch
Omidyar is no stranger to the media, providing financial backing to The Intercept, for example, and the open internet advocacy group Public Knowledge. According to Politico, when asked to comment, his advocacy group Omidyar Network pointed to an unbylined blog post that went up today titled “In Support of Tech Whistleblowers Who are Holding Tech to Account.” – Richard Lawler, The Verge
As the world begins to truly contend with just how dangerous social media platforms can be, Facebook’s reckoning has been kicked into overdrive following former staffer Frances Haugen’s shocking allegations that the company has long known about its platform’s toxic effects on society — and has done little to try to fix them. Now, amid this firestorm of criticism, the company has reportedly come up with a new public relations strategy: changing its name. – Kara Alaimo, CNN
Donald Trump’s team is making a big deal of this. Yet there’s no indication that the new company has a working platform yet. The new site is just a registration page. – BBC News
For those scammers who think they’ve been scammed, there’s not a lot they can do (and few would have sympathy for them). One forum user suggested any attempt at dealing with this situation would be as useless as trying to arbitrate “against Stalin”. – Danny Palmer, ZDNet
Ex-US President Donald Trump announces social media site – Al Jazeera English
The launch of the platform, dubbed TRUTH Social, comes months after Trump was banned from most major social media sites.
Former United States President Donald Trump has announced the launch of his own social media platform, nine months after being expelled from all major sites for his role in allegedly inciting violence at the US Capitol following his election defeat last year.
In a statement on Wednesday, Trump said the launch of Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) and its “TRUTH Social” app is meant to remedy his suspensions from sites such as Facebook and Twitter in the wake of the January 6 storming of the Capitol by his supporters as legislators met to certify the victory of the Republican’s Democratic rival, incumbent President Joe Biden.
“We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favorite American President has been silenced. This is unacceptable,” Trump said in the written statement included in a news release.
“I am excited to send out my first TRUTH on TRUTH Social very soon. TMTG was founded with a mission to give a voice to all. I’m excited to soon begin sharing my thoughts on TRUTH Social and to fight back against Big Tech,” he said.
The social network is set for a preliminary rollout in November and a full rollout in the first quarter of 2022, according to the release. It is being created through a new company formed by a merger of the TMTG and a special acquisition company.
The social media platform is the first of the three stages in the company’s plans, followed by a subscription video-on-demand service called TMTG+ that will feature entertainment, news and podcasts, and an entry to the cloud-computing space, according to the release.
Trump, who was impeached by the US House of Representatives for his role in egging on rioters on January 6, but later acquitted of the charges in the then Republican-controlled US Senate, has been vocal about his desire to launch his own media platform following his presidency.
An earlier effort to launch a blog on his existing website was abandoned after the page drew dismal views.
In May, a semi-independent Facebook oversight board upheld Trump’s suspension from the site, on which he had about 35 million followers, while criticising the open-ended nature of the ban and calling for the company to determine a more concrete timeline of the ban within six months.
In July, Trump sued Facebook, Twitter and Google, along with their chief executives, seeking the restoration of his accounts and punitive damages.
Donald Trump announces launch of media company, social media site – CTV News
NEW YORK —
Nine months after being expelled from social media for his role in inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, former President Donald Trump said Wednesday he’s launching a new media company with its own social media platform.
Trump says his goal in launching the Trump Media & Technology Group and its “TRUTH Social” app is to create a rival to the Big Tech companies that have shut him out and denied him the megaphone that was paramount to his national rise.
“We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favorite American President has been silenced,” he said in a statement. “This is unacceptable.”
In a release, the new venture announced it had been created through a merger with Digital World Acquisition Corp. and said it seeks to become a publicly listed company.
Trump has spoken about launching his own social media site ever since he was barred from Twitter and Facebook. An earlier effort to launch a blog on his existing website was abandoned after the page drew dismal views.
In addition to the app, which is expected to soft-launch next month, with a nationwide rollout early next year, the company says it is planning a video-on-demand service that will feature entertainment programming, news and podcasts.
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