Cohenadam

A Persian-language content moderator for Instagram and a former content moderator have said Iranian intelligence officials offered them money to remove Instagram accounts of journalists and activists.

They spoke to the BBC after many Iranian Instagram users complained that posts about recent anti-government protests in their country had been deleted. Instagram’s owner, Meta Platforms, and the third-party company it uses to moderate content said there was no validity to the claims.

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Israeli and Moroccan organizations signed a number of business and tech agreements on Monday, including on water and energy, as part of the inaugural “Connect to Innovate” conference organized by Start-Up Nation Central (SNC), a non-profit outfit that tracks the Israeli tech ecosystem.

Israel and Morocco had established liaison offices in the 1990s during a short-lived diplomatic opening, but these were closed in the early 2000s during the second Palestinian intifada. Yet relations quietly continued, with some $130 million in bilateral trade in 2021, and similar figures in previous years, according to Moroccan news reports.

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The Association of Banks in Lebanon (ABL) on Tuesday rejected a financial recovery roadmap passed last week by the country’s cabinet, saying it would “place the full losses” of the country’s economic meltdown on depositors.

According to ABL, the Lebanese state had canceled the deposits with a “pen scratch” resulting from “the genius of the experts.”

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Iraq closed public buildings and temporarily shut airports Monday as another sandstorm — the ninth since mid-April — hit the country.

More than 1,000 people were hospitalised across the nation with respiratory problems, health ministry spokesman Seif al-Badr told AFP.

Air traffic was suspended at the international airports in Baghdad, Arbil and Najaf, before flights resumed at Baghdad and Arbil.

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The head of Yemen’s Houthi Supreme Political Council, Mahdi al-Mashat, on Sunday said the group was not against extending a U.N.-brokered truce, despite describing it as “not encouraging enough”.

The truce has offered a glimmer of hope in a country where the war and ensuing economic collapse have left millions facing starvation, and could also provide Riyadh with an exit from a costly conflict that is a point of tension with Washington.

The conflict is largely seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

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Seven countries including the US, France, Italy, Israel and Greece have taken part in a series of drills in and around Cyprus designed to ease civilian evacuations from conflict zones and to conduct offshore rescue operations, amid a renewed sense of urgency due to the war in Ukraine.

Cypriot Defense Minister Charalambos Petrides told foreign officials that participating nations took part in the planning of the mass evacuation of civilians fleeing a crisis in a neighboring country.

The exercise culminated in a search and rescue operation with vessels and aircraft simulating what Cypriot officials described as a “serious maritime accident” off the East Mediterranean island nation’s southern coast.

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Coming from all walks of life, protestors shout slogans that target the top officials of the clerical system, including the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and President Ebrahim Raisi.

The unrest started after the government cut subsidies on essential food items such as cooking oil, eggs and milk last Wednesday. For example, the price of cooking increased more than 400% overnight.

However, dominant slogans in the protests like “Down with Khamenei, Down with dictator” and “We don’t want mullah’s ruling” indicate that protesting the ailing economy follows another primary demand: overthrowing the system.

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Iran-backed Hezbollah lost its parliamentary edge in a high-stakes election last weekend. For Lebanon, this could mean everything, or nothing at all.

When Hezbollah’s bloc lost a majority that underpinned the last four years of Lebanese politics, it was an unusual setback.

The group had gotten used to victory over the years. In 2000, it drove Israeli forces out of southern Lebanon after 22 years of occupation. In 2006, it held its ground in a war against Israel when Israel sought to disarm the group. During Syria’s civil war, it successfully intervened on behalf of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and helped bolster his defenses after the dictator violently quashed a popular uprising against his rule.

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Iran’s state TV on Tuesday confirmed the arrest of two French citizens, saying they met with protesting teachers and took part in an anti-government rally.

The report said the two French citizens were “organizing a protest” with the purpose of creating “unrest” in Iran.

Last Thursday, France condemned the “groundless arrest” of the two and called for their immediate release.

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propriate as he and CEO Parag Agrawal quarreled over the company’s estimates of spam accounts on Monday, according to an attendee at a private conference where Musk was speaking.

Twitter’s estimate, which has stayed the same since 2013, could not be reproduced externally given the need to use both public and private information to determine whether an account is spam, he added.

Musk, who on Friday said the deal was “temporarily on hold” pending information on spam accounts, responded to Agrawal’s defense of the company’s methodology with a poop emoji.

Twitter does not currently require users to register using their real identities and expressly permits automated, parody and pseudonymous profiles on the service.

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Cohenadam

Cohenadam

Middle East, justice, human rights, religious freedom, international relations & politics. Follow me, and together, let us end tyranny.