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Amazon to suspend Parler after deadly Capitol Hill riot | Social Media News

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Amazon will join Apple and Google in suspending the Parler social media platform for failing to prevent incitement to violence.

Amazon has announced it will suspend Parler, a social media platform popular with right-wing users that has already been banned by Apple and Google for failing to prevent the spread of “threats of violence” after a deadly riot at the United States Capitol.

In an email from Amazon Web Services to Parler, first reported by BuzzFeed News, Amazon said it plans to suspend Parler as of 07:59 GMT on Monday because it poses a “very real risk to public safety”.

“We’ve seen a steady increase in this violent content on your website, all of which violates our terms of service,” reads the email, the contents of which were confirmed by Amazon to Reuters and AFP news agencies.

Amazon also said there was a “serious risk that this type of content will further incite violence”.

The move effectively takes Parler offline unless it can find a new company to host its services.

Right-wing supporters of US President Donald Trump, who was permanently suspended from Twitter on Friday, have flocked to Parler after the deadly violence in Washington, DC on January 6.

The site is also seen as a haven for conservative and right-wing groups who accuse larger social media companies such as Twitter or Facebook of censoring their posts.

Five people, including a local police officer, died in relation to the pro-Trump riot at the Capitol building, which took place as Congress was voting to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory.

The deadly violence sent shockwaves across the world and spurred calls for accountability and a thorough investigation into what happened.

Dozens of alleged participants have been arrested and some US lawmakers are also pushing for Trump, who incited his supporters during a rally in Washington, DC before the riot, to be held responsible.

For his part, Trump has slammed his permanent suspension from Twitter and promised to get back online soon.

“We have been negotiating with various other sites, and will have a big announcement soon, while we also look at the possibilities of building out our own platform in the near future. We will not be SILENCED!” he said in a statement on January 8.

Google pulled Parler from its app store on Friday for allowing postings that seek “to incite ongoing violence in the US”.

Apple followed suit, saying on Saturday evening that it had given Parler 24 hours to address complaints it was being used to “plan and facilitate yet further illegal and dangerous activities”.

Cassie Miller, a senior research analyst with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) who tracks the far right, said white supremacist and far-right groups have been celebrating the riot as the beginning of a “revolution”.

“There is no way to instantly demobilise this movement, and we can therefore likely expect more mass demonstrations and violence,” Miller told Al Jazeera.

Meanwhile, Parler’s founder, John Matze, confirmed on his profile that there was a possibility the network would be unavailable “for up to a week” as it searches for a new host.

Matze also lashed out at Amazon, Google and Apple, saying Parler was being subjected to “a coordinated attack by the tech giants to kill competition in the market place”.

“You can expect the war on competition and free speech to continue, but don’t count us out,” he said.



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Trapped China miners ask for rice porridge, sausages | China News

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Rescuers drilled three more channels on Tuesday as they race against time to extract the 22 workers.

Workers trapped in a Chinese gold mine for more than nine days have received more medical and food supplies, including bandages, blankets and rice porridge, but one of the group is in a critical condition with a severe head injury, state media said.

A total of 22 workers were left trapped in the Hushan mine, in Shandong province, after an explosion on January 10.

A week later, it emerged that at least 12 of them were still alive as a note retrieved from the mine said: “We hope the rescue won’t stop.”

A drilled channel on Sunday located 11 of the miners, who were working more than 600 metres (1,968 feet) underground and rescuers were subsequently able to speak to them via a wired telephone.

But the progress of the rescue has been slow, according to Chen Fei, a top city official.

Rescuers drilled three more channels on Tuesday in an effort to extract the trapped miners [Stringer/AFP]

“The surrounding rock near the ore body is mostly granite … that is very hard, resulting in the slow progress of the rescue,” Chen told reporters.

“There is a lot of water in the shaft that may pose a danger to the trapped workers.”

Chen said the current food supply was only enough for two days.

‘Please speed up the rescue’

Rescuers drilled three more channels on Tuesday, according to a rescue map published on the Yantai government’s official Weibo account, a Chinese version of Twitter.

More than 300 people are involved in the rescue effort and excavators and machinery are on site but the teams have warned it will be extremely difficult to bring out the miners from the tunnel’s entrance.

The official Xinhua news agency said the miners had requested on Monday evening sausage and pickles as well as porridge but medical experts decided they should not eat hard food having only just regained their strength.

Fortified by the food and medical supplies – the fourth consignment to reach the group – two workers who had previously been very weak were able to walk again on Tuesday, Xinhua reported, citing a member of the rescue team.

However, the state-run newspaper People’s Daily said one worker was in a coma and in a critical condition, after sustaining a head injury in the blast, while two were “mildly unwell” and eight in good health.

One more worker has been located in another section of the mine, while the whereabouts of the other 10 remain unknown.

News that some of the miners are still alive has boosted Chinese netizens’ hopes for a miraculous escape, with thousands leaving prayer messages on Weibo and calling on the authorities to “please speed up the rescue”.

China’s National Mine Safety Administration has ordered a comprehensive inspection of the country’s non-coal mines, which will continue until the end of March, the People’s Daily reported.

There are 32,000 non-coal mines in China, most of which are small, use outdated technology and equipment and have poor safety management, it said, citing an administration official.



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