Twitter Announces ‘Report Abuse’ Button For Tweets

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This petition has amassed over 12,500 signatures and has led Twitter to announce plans to add a ‘report abuse’ button.

A besieged Twitter has announced that a ‘report abuse’ button will accompany every tweet after vicious messages were sent to several women over the weekend.

The social media site has faced heavy criticism from MPs and users after Caroline Criado Perez received a barrage of rape and death threats.

Police today bailed a 21-year-old man who was arrested in connection with some of the hostile tweets.

More than 12,500 people have signed a petition demanding Twitter to deal with trolls quicker and more efficiently. There have been calls for a boycott of the site to take place on August 4.

The shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, wrote to the UK manager of Twitter and said: ‘Despite the scale and seriousness of these threats, the official response from Twitter continues to be extremely weak.

‘Social media platforms have a responsibility for the platform they give users. They should not tolerate this kind of abuse, rape threats and potentially criminal behaviour.

‘Your inadequate response fails not only Caroline, but many more women and girls who have faced similar abuse on your social network.’

However, a spokesman for Twitter has confirmed that a ‘report abuse’ button now accompanies every tweet on iPhones, with other platforms to follow.

Caroline Criado Perez's celebrations of Jane Austen being featured on a new £10 note were soon overshadowed by Twitter abuse (Picture: Reuters)
Caroline Criado Perez’s celebrations of Jane Austen being featured on a new £10 note were soon overshadowed by Twitter abuse.

The controversy began after Ms Criado Perez, a journalist, began a campaign to keep women on British banknotes.

After she gained 35,500 signatures, the Bank of England announced that Jane Austen will feature on the new £10 note when the current tender is replaced in 2017.

Ms Criado Perez said: ‘It’s sadly not unusual to get this kind of abuse but I’ve never seen it get as intense or aggressive as this.

‘We made the Bank of England change its mind, we can do the same with Twitter.’

Those who publicly supported the feminist campaigner, including Stella Creasy MP, were also targeted by the disruptive Twitter users.

Ms Creasy had hit out at Twitter’s security policies, telling the BBC:  ‘Twitter needs to be explicit that sexual violence and sexual aggression will not be tolerated as part of their user terms and conditions.’

Bangladeshi Wins Most Beautiful Voice In The Qur’an Contest Award

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Bangladeshi contestant Nazmul Sakib has bagged the top prize in the Most Beautiful Voice contest and is a strong favourite to win the 17th Dubai International Holy Qur’an Award (DIHQA), which will be announced on Monday.

Curtains will fall on the 17th session of DIHQA today in a closing ceremony that will also see conferring of the Islamic Personality of Year award on renowned Islamic preacher and orator Dr Zakir Naik of India who runs a popular television channel Peace TV.

DIHQA had earlier announced the Grand Imam of Egypt’s Al Azhar Mosque and University, Shaikh Ahmad Al Tayyeb, as Islamic Personality of the Year, but in an unprecedented move changed its decision due to Al Tayyeb’s inability to travel amid Egypt’s worsening security situation.

The closing ceremony on Monday is a culmination of DIHQA’s year-long events that include several local programmes like Qur’an memorisation for prisoners and the elderly, Qur’an recitation and memorisation for students, research work in Qur’anic sciences and manuscripts as well as a series of lectures that precede the international competition every Ramadhan.

This year, DIHQA’s main Qur’an contest saw 90 participants from across the world, of whom 10 were disqualified for various reasons. The competition ended on Saturday with the Most Beautiful Voice contest that saw 13 contestants participating in a tight race. The competition witnessed some soul-stirring renditions with the 12-year-old Bangladeshi ticking all the boxes.

“I’m really happy to win this prize and hopefully the bigger prize will follow Inshallah. My father who has worked hard in training me is really happy and I m proud that I didn’t let him down,” said the shy Bangladeshi, who won Dh5,000 as a top prize.

Yemen’s Ebrahim Ahmad Saeed took the number two position and was awarded Dh4,000. The third position was tied between Egypt’s Mohammad Ashraf and Indonesian Ulul Amr Zain Al Deen, who won Dh2,000 each. The fourth position was taken by Afghan contestant Ahmad Baher, who received Dh1,000.

The Best Voice competition is DIHQA’s subsidiary contest that was initiated as an added attraction a few years ago. Among the criteria for the competition are voice modulation, correct diction, right intonation etc.

Meanwhile, several contenders have lined up for DIHQA’s top prize with exceptional performances, including Bangladeshi Nazmul Sakib, Egypt’s Mohammad Ashraf, Yemen’s Ebrahim Ahmad Saeed, Niger’s Mohammad Bello Amma and UAE’s Zaid Ali Al Jaberi.

Interestingly, over the last 17 years of the competition, none of the UAE participants has ever won the contest and this year the 14-year-old Emirati participant has raised hopes with a heart-warming performance.

“I would like to believe I have done well by the grace of Allah, but the results are in Allah’s hands. I would accept anything that comes my way. I’m more bothered about getting Allah’s blessings and mercy,” said Al Jaberi, who is the first hafidh (one has memorised the entire Qur’an) in his family.

The grade 9 student, who became a hafidh at the age of nine, thanked his father and his entire family for their support and hoped he would make them proud.

The winner of the DIHQA main Quran contest takes home Dh250,000 while the first runner up wins Dh200,000 and the second runner up gets Dh150,000. Every participant of DIHQA goes home with cash prizes with the minimum being not less than Dh20,000 along with Umrah packages.

The Islamic Personality of the Year is awarded Dh1 million, which was won by Shaikh Yousuf Estes from the United States of America last year.

BBC To Launch Five New Free HD Channels

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The BBC has announced that five new free HD channels will be added to their line-up by early next year.

Getting the high definition treatment are BBC News, BBC Three, BBC Four, CBeebies and CBBC, which will broadcast alongside their current standard definition equivalents.

Most of the new HD content will also be available on iPlayer, while the corporation says it amounts to a total of 250 hours extra HD programming per week.

Over 50% of homes in the UK are now HD enabled, with reports estimating that number will grow to 80 per cent by 2016 and 90 per cent by 2019.

The news comes in the wake of the BBC dropping support for 3D for at least the next three years after this November’s Dr Who 50th Anniversary special.

BBC Director-General, Tony Hall, said: ‘BBC One HD and BBC Two HD have already proved to be highly valued by our audiences and I’m delighted that we’re able to follow this with the launch of five new subscription-free BBC HD channels by early 2014. These new channels will allow us to showcase more of our programming at its very best.’

2014 Mercedes Benz S63 AMG Revealed

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A work of mechanical art, the latest AMG-infused Mercedes S Class sets new performance figures for the luxury  car sector. The S 63 AMG car, which starts  off life as a Mercedes Benz S Class, before being handed over to the crack team  of engineers that make up AMG, will make its official debut at September’s  Frankfurt Motor Show where it will no doubt draw a huge crowd.

From a purely technical point of view, it’s easy to admire the work that AMG  carries out and its approach to reinvigorating stock Mercedes Benz cars.

And, as always, the handcrafted V8 engine, bedecked with twin turbochargers,  that sits snugly under the hood of the S 63 AMG is a work of art.

In fact, the engine’s use of lightweight aluminum alloys, its eight cylinders  and 32 valves, plus its 585hp make it more suitable for inclusion in an  exhibition than in a luxury Merc.

Which raises the question of who exactly a luxury sedan capable of  accelerating from 0-100km/h in 4.4 seconds and one with a stiffened sports  suspension set-up is aimed at. Perhaps a chauffeur who moonlights as a racecar  driver at weekends but who is in a financial position where he can only afford  to run one vehicle?

The car is a technical masterpiece, the engineers somehow managing to make  the vehicle 100kg lighter than a stock Mercedes S Class without cutting back on  luxury.

It is also faster yet more fuel-efficient than the last AMG iteration of an S  Class and features a number of high-tech features including Magic Body Control —  a stereo camera which scans the road ahead to identify road-surface undulations  and adjust the car’s suspension settings in advance to retain ride quality.

The S 63 AMG will be available in short and long-wheelbase versions and  pricing will be confirmed in September, following its Frankfurt unveiling.

Korean War 60th Anniversary Marked

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Events have taken place in North and South Korea to mark the 60th anniversary of the armistice that ended the Korean War.

In this image, taken from video, vast crowds of soldiers participate in a ceremony in Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang.