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Sky News Australia Rumoured to Be Suspended on YouTube Over Breaching COVID Misinfo Policy

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Sky News Australia has not posted a video on its YouTube channel, which has some 1.85 million subscribers, for over two days, despite earlier releasing videos on a daily basis.

YouTube has suspended Sky News Australia channel from its platform, blocking the media outlet’s ability to post videos, reportedly for violating a COVID-19 misinformation policy, social media users suggested on Saturday.

Speculation arose as the TV channel’s YouTube page has not posted any new videos for two days, but with the network continuing to post as usual on its Facebook account. Neither Sky News Australia nor YouTube has officially commented on the suspension allegations, and all of the previous content on the channel, which has some 1.85 million subscribers, remains accessible.

A reporter from New Daily Australia cited a statement from a YouTube spokesperson who confirmed that Sky News Australia had received a “strike” to its channel on the platform, as the social media company does not allow content that denies the existence of COVID-19 or promotes the use of certain drugs to treat the deadly pandemic.

“We apply our policies equally for everyone regardless of uploader, and in accordance with these policies and our long-standing strikes system, removed videos from and issued a strike to Sky News Australia’s channel”, the statement reads, cited by the reporter. “Specifically, we don’t allow content that denies the existence of COVID-19 or that encourages people to use Hydroxychloroquine or Ivermectin to treat or prevent the virus.”

The purported suspension comes after Sydney paper The Daily Telegraph said it would stop publishing columns by Alan Jones, reportedly suggesting that its anti-vaccination and anti-lockdown commentary was not resonating with readers.

Jones confirmed the cancellation of his column, denying, however, that it was not resonating, referring to his ratings on Facebook and Sky News Australia.

“If the argument has been it’s not resonating, I don’t have to defend myself,” Jones told The Sydney Morning Herald. “Have a look at Sky News YouTube, Sky News Facebook, and Alan Jones Facebook and you can see. The same column that I write for the Tele goes up on my Facebook page. The public can check it for themselves. Thirty-five years at top of the radio and I don’t resonate with the public? Honestly.”



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[Ticker] US to lift Covid travel-ban on EU tourists

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Fully vaccinated travellers from the EU and the UK will be let back into the US from “early November” onward, the White House said on Monday, ending an 18-month ban and prompting airline firms’ shares to climb. “This new international travel system follows the science to keep Americans … safe,” a US spokesman said. The EU recently recommended increased restrictions on US visitors, amid anger at lack of US reciprocity.

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Ten women and girls killed every day in Mexico, Amnesty report says | Global development

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At least 10 women and girls are murdered every day in Mexico, according to a new report that says victims’ families are often left to carry out their own homicide investigations.

The scathing report, released on Monday by Amnesty International, documents both the scale of the violence and the disturbing lack of interest on the part of Mexican authorities to prevent or solve the murders.

“Mexico is continuing to fail to fulfil its duty to investigate and, therefore, its duty to guarantee the rights to life and personal integrity of the victims as well as to prevent violence against women,” says the report, Justice on Trial.

“Feminicidal violence and the failings in investigation and prevention in northern Mexico are not anecdotal, but rather form part of a broader reality in the country,” the report adds.

Femicide has been rife in Mexico for decades – most notoriously in an epidemic of murders which claimed the life of some 400 women in the border city Ciudad Juárez during the 1990s. In recent years, a growing feminist movement has held massive street protests against the violence, but authorities have proved unwilling to take action to stop the killing.

“It’s always a question of political will,” said Maricruz Ocampo, a women’s activist in the state of Querétaro.

Ocampo has been part of teams lobbying state governors to issue an alert when femicides reach scandalously high levels – a move to raise awareness and mobilise resources. But officials often resist such moves, she said, as governors worry about their states’ images and investment.

“They refuse to recognise there is a problem,” she said.

The president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has also downplayed the problem. He branded the women protesting on 8 March, International Women’s Day, as “conservatives” and alleged a dark hand manipulating the demonstrations.

When asked last year about rising violence against women, he responded, “Tell all the women of Mexico that they are protected and represented, that we’re doing everything possible to guarantee peace and quiet and that I understand that our adversaries are looking for ways to confront us.”

Mexico recorded the murders of 3,723 women in 2020. Some 940 of those murders were investigated as femicides.

The Amnesty report focused on Mexico state, a vast collection of gritty suburbs surrounding Mexico City on three sides. It has become notorious for femicides over the past decade – and for the way the former president, Enrique Peña Nieto, a former Mexico state governor, ignored the problem.

The report found cases of families carrying out their own detective work, which were ignored by investigators. In many cases, authorities contaminated crime scenes or mishandled evidence. They often did not even pursue leads such as geolocation information from victims’ mobile phones.

In the case of Julia Sosa, whose children believe she was killed by her partner, two daughters found her body buried on the suspect’s property – but had to wait hours for police to arrive and process the crime scene. One of her daughters recalled the subsequent interview process, in which “the police officer was falling asleep”.

Sosa’s partner hanged himself, prompting police to close the case, even though family members said there were more leads to pursue.

In states rife with drug cartel violence, activists say cases of femicides go uninvestigated as impunity is commonplace.

“The authorities say it’s organised crime and that’s it,” said Yolotzin Jaimes, a women’s rights campaigner in the southern state of Guerrero. “Many of these aggressors find protection under the excuse of organised crime.”

The persistence of femicides is a stark contrast to recent gains by the women’s movement in Mexico. The country’s supreme court decriminalised abortion earlier this month. A new congress recently sworn in has gender parity and seven female governors will be installed by the end of year – up from just two before last June’s election’s

The decriminalisation of abortion “let off some steam” from the pressure driving the protests “because part of the demands was over the right to choose,” Ocampo said. “But when it comes to violence, we still see it everywhere.”

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US official urges EU to speed up enlargement

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Gabriel Escobar, the US’ newly-appointed acting deputy secretary of state for South Central Europe, has urged Europe to speed up Western Balkans enlargement. “To return 20 years later and see that there hasn’t been much progress on that front was a little disappointing,” he told the RFE/RL news agency Friday, referring to his last post in Europe in 2001. “We would like to see a more rapid integration,” he said.

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