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Trump labels Haiti, African nations “shit-hole countries”





The president made the remarks Thursday during a White House meeting with lawmakers and suggested immigrants from Norway would be preferable. Trump has since apparently denied making the off color remarks, only describing the language he used as “tough.”

“The African Union Commission is frankly alarmed at statements by the president of the United States when referring to migrants of African countries and others in such contemptuous terms,” said Ebba Kalondo, the spokeswoman for the African Union. “Considering the historical reality of how many Africans arrived in the U.S. during the Atlantic slave trade, this flies in the face of all accepted behavior and practice.”

She added that the statement was particularly unpleasant coming from the leader of country that is a “global example” of how a strong and diverse country can be the product of migration, and she expressed hope eventually that “the values the U.S. is known for because of its particular experience with migration will come to bear.”

The reaction from the United Nations human rights spokesman, Rupert Colville, was uncharacteristically blunt, describing the remarks as “racist.”

U.N. spokesman: Trump’s ‘shithole countries’ comment ‘racist’

In blunt remarks on Jan. 12, U.N. human rights spokesman Rupert Colville denounced President Trump’s “shithole countries” remarks as “shocking and shameful.” 

“There is no other word one can use but ‘racist,’” he said at a briefing in Geneva. “You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as ‘shitholes,’ whose entire populations, who are not white, are therefore not welcome.”

In Haiti, people took to Twitter to share pictures of their country — verdant green hills, palm trees in the sunset, and sparkling turquoise water.

“Hey #ShitHolePresident!” wrote Harold Isaac. “Here is what my #shithole looks like.”

Haiti’s ambassador to the United States condemned the statements and said that the country had asked for an explanation of Trump’s comments from American officials.

“In the spirit of the people of Haiti we feel in the statements, if they were made, the president was either misinformed or miseducated about Haiti and its people, ” the ambassador, Paul G. Altidor, said in a statement.

Altidor said the Haitian Embassy in Washington was inundated with emails from Americans apologizing for Trump’s remarks, which he found heartening.

Haiti’s largest newspaper condemned it as “racist and disgaceful” and said such comments “had no place in the relations between nations or people, even less so in the mouth of a president of a nation friendly to Haiti.”

In Africa, there were similar reactions celebrating their countries’ beauty, with a well-known presenter for South Africa’s broadcaster SABC tweeting “Good morning from the greatest most beautiful ‘shithole country’ in the world!!”

The deputy secretary general of the ANC, the party founded by Nelson Mandela, hit back at Trump’s comment during a news conference in South Africa. “Ours is not a shithole country, neither is Haiti or any other country in distress,” Jessie Duarte said.

Meanwhile, the Daily Maverick, a Johannesburg-based news site, wryly suggested that “Casual Friday at the White House is soon to include hoods and tiki torches at this rate.”

Botswana gave a rare official response to the remarks, summoning the U.S. ambassador there “to clarify if Botswana is regarded as a ‘shithole’ country” as well and wondering why “President Trump must use this descriptor and derogatory word when talking about countries with whom the U.S. has had cordial and mutually beneficial bilateral relations for many years.” The statement concluded by calling the remarks racist.

Kenyan political cartoonist Victor Ndula, who has criticized Trump’s immigration policies in the past, drew a “‘White’ House map of Africa,” with regions labeled as “west of the shithole,” “southern shithole” and “horn of the shithole” for Kenya’s Star newspaper.

“It’s derogatory and sad to belong to countries that have been labeled ‘shithole’ countries,” lamented Moses Osani, a communications specialist on his lunch break in Nairobi. “Immigrants also contribute to the economy of the U.S. We have relatives who work so hard, some three jobs a day, working and hoping for a breakthrough for their families back home.”

Vicente Fox, a former president of Mexico and a harsh critic of Trump, also noted on Twitter America’s immigrant history, saying “your mouth is the foulest shithole in the world. With what authority do you proclaim who’s welcome in America and who’s not. America’s greatness is built on diversity, or have you forgotten your immigrant background, Donald?”

In El Salvador, the news of the comments quickly shot to the top of news websites. “Donald Trump insults El Salvador,” read one headline.

In light of Trump’s alleged preference for immigrants from Norway, a number of users on social media were resharing a Norwegian website launched in 2016 aiming to persuade Trump-skeptical Americans to immigrate to Norway. “We are offering acute aid to descendants of emigrated Norwegians, and other Americans, considering a new start abroad,” read a welcome message on the website,“in light of the results of the U.S. presidential election.”

One Norwegian official in Brussels joked that the country might consider changing its official tourism slogan from “Powered by Nature” to “Not a Shithole,” before saying that the whole situation was a bit awkward.

Norwegians on social media also questioned the attractiveness of immigrating to a country without free health care, paid parental leave or gun control.

“I’m a Norwegian who enjoyed studying & working in the US. The only thing that would attract me to emigrate to the US is your vibrant multicultural society. Don’t take that away,” tweeted Jan Egeland, the head of the Norwegian Refugee Council.

Reaction across the United States, home to a large population of immigrants from these countries, was emotional.

Illinois state Sen. Kwame Raoul, son of Haitian immigrants, said there was no “apologizing out of this.”

“He’s demonstrated himself to be unfit, unknowledgeable about the history of this country and the history of contributions that immigrants, particularly Haitian immigrants, have made to this country,” Raoul, a Democrat, told CBS. “It makes me embarrassed to have this guy as the president of my country.”

Republican pollster Frank Luntz quoted a report and said that 43 percent of immigrants from African countries have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared with 33 percent of the American population overall.

Farah Larrieux, a Haitian immigrant and organizer in Miami, referenced statements Trump made in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood while campaigning before the 2016 election that he wanted “to be the biggest champion” for Haitian Americans.

“This is beyond politics. The guy has no respect for anyone. I am trying not to cry,” she told CBS. “I can’t understand how someone goes from making a statement in Little Haiti saying I want to be the biggest champion of Haiti to calling Haiti a ‘shithole.’ It makes me sick.”

Journalist Amélie Baron‏ ran down a list of stereotypes promoted about the country in recent years, referencing a flap where a Weather Channel meteorologist claimed that Haitian children were so hungry they ate trees, another statement reportedly made by Trump in 2017 that Haitian immigrants “all have AIDS” and Trump’s remark from Thursday.

“How bad some US citizens judge Haiti,” she wrote.

Maria Sacchetti in Washington, Rick Noack in Berlin, Michael Birnbaum in Brussels, Josh Partlow in Mexico City, Rael Ombuor in Nairobi and Kevin Sieff in Cotonou, Benin, contributed to this report.

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Facebook’s WhatsApp limits text forwards to five user to restrain false news



Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp (FB.O) messenger service company executives has stated their desire in globally limiting the number of times a user can farward a message to five, in a bid to fight “misinformation and rumors”.

Victoria Grand, vice president for policy and communications at WhatsApp, said at an event in the Indonesian capital, “We’re imposing a limit of five messages all over the world as of today.”


Previously, a WhatsApp user could forward a message to 20 individuals or groups. The five-recipient limit expands globally a measure WhatsApp put into place in India in July after the spread of rumors on social media led to killings and lynching attempts.

Image result for Facebook's WhatsApp limits text forwards to five user to restrain false news

WhatsApp, which has around 1.5 billion users, has been trying to find ways to stop misuse of the app, following global concern that the platform was being used to spread fake news, manipulated photos, videos without context, and audio hoaxes, with no way to monitor their origin or full reach.

The app’s end-to-end encryption allows groups of hundreds of users to exchange texts, photos and video beyond the purview of independent fact checkers or even the platform itself.


Credit to Reuters for confirming the development through WhatsApp’s head of communications Carl Woog, stating that WhatsApp will roll out an update to activate the new forward limit starting Monday. adding that Android users will receive the update first, followed by users of Apple’s iOS.


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R.Kelly cut off by Sony music over alleged acts of sexual abuse



Chicago-born singer, R. Kelly has parted ways with Sony Music and its subsidiary label, RCA Records, amid controversies surrounding his alleged acts of sexual abuse.

The controversial singer, who is facing different allegations of abduction, sexual abuse and exploitation, was dropped by the record label on Friday.

R. Kelly was removed from the RCA Records website, whose parent company is Sony Music.


This new development comes in the wake of calls and petitions from members of the #MuteRKelly movement, who have been pestering the record company to part ways with him.

The calls intensified in the wake of the documentary ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ in which multiple women accused him of sexual assault.


This month has seen previous collaborators like Lady Gaga, Chance the Rapper, and Phoenix, all condemn R. Kelly and remove their collaborative songs from streaming services.

The documentary ‘Surviving R.Kelly’ is in six parts and gives detailed explanation into the history of allegations against the 52-year-old superstar.


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