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Culture Versus Ego: Why Christiane Amanpour Defied the Iranian President

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Iranian president clashes with Christiane Amanpour demanding she wear a headscarf for their interview

Christiane Amanpour has a history of interviewing the top leaders of the world, but on Wednesday evening Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi clashed with the CNN International anchor.

Visiting the United Nations with other world leaders this week, President Raisi was to speak with Amanpour, she said, amid the uprising back home. Posting about the incident, she said that it was going to be his first interview on U.S. soil.

“After weeks of planning and eight hours of setting up translation equipment, lights and cameras, we were ready,” she explained. “But no sign of President Raisi. Forty minutes after the interview had been due to start, an aide came over. The president, he said, was suggesting I wear a headscarf because it’s the holy months of Muharram and Safar.”

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (left), Christiane Amanpour

Amanpour said that she politely declined. Raisi was in America now, where the laws about clothing give women the freedom to show things like their ankles, their arms, legs and heads, which is illegal in Iran.

“I pointed out that no previous Iranian president has required this when I have interviewed them outside Iran,” said Amanpour. “The aide made it clear that the interview would not happen if I did not wear a headscarf. He said it was ‘a matter of respect,’ and referred to ‘the situation in Iran’ – alluding to the protests sweeping the country.”

Amanpour still refused. The interview didn’t happen and the CNN team walked away from it.

Last week, a traveler, named Mahsa Amini, was killed while in police custody. “Amini’s family say officers beat her in the police van after her arrest, citing eyewitnesses who support that claim,” NPR reported.

Amini, also known by her Kurdish first name of Jhina, was visiting Tehran with her family last week when she was arrested for purportedly violating Iran’s strict dress code rules for women, in place since shortly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

She fell into a coma hours after her arrest and died in hospital on September 16.

Activists contend she was ill-treated in detention and could have suffered a blow to the head. While this is not confirmed by the authorities, the anger fuelled the protests that started from her funeral last Saturday.

“These are the biggest protests since November 2019,” said Ali Fathollah-Nejad, Iran expert at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut.

The protests come at a particularly sensitive time for the leadership, when the Iranian economy remains mired in a crisis largely caused by international sanctions over its nuclear programme.

Despite repeated warnings from Europe that time is running out, there is also no indication that the sides are on the verge of agreeing a deal to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear accord (JCPOA) that would see sanctions eased.

The protests have featured chants of “death to the dictator” as well as other anti-regime slogans and the emergence of a new rallying cry, “Zan, zendegi, azadi” (“Woman, life, freedom”).

Unprecedented images have shown protesters defacing or burning images of Khamenei or, on one occasion, setting fire to a giant image of Revolutionary Guards commander Qassem Soleimani, who is presented by the authorities as a near mythical figure after his 2020 killing by the United States in Iraq.

Protesters have also been seen directly resisting security forces, with women refusing to put their headscarves back on in front of the police and vehicles belonging to the security forces torched.

At least 11 people have been killed in the protests and activists fear the authorities will resort to the repression that, according to Amnesty International, saw 321 people killed by the security forces in November 2019.

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At least 162 killed and 700 hurt as earthquake hits Indonesia’s Java island

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Hundreds of homes were damaged, in addition to a boarding school, a hospital and several government buildings, the national disaster agency chief said.

An earthquake shook Indonesia‘s main Java island Monday afternoon, killing at least 162 people, local officials said.

Around 700 people were injured, National Disaster Mitigation Agency chief Suharyanto said.

“Many were hurt because they were hit by collapsed buildings,” he added.

The death toll reached 162 Monday night, local media reported citing West Java Gov. Ridwan Kamil.

More than 5,300 people had been displaced, the Indonesian disaster mitigation agency said in a statement. It added that at least 25 people were still trapped under collapsed buildings.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the 5.6-magnitude earthquake struck West Java at 1:21 p.m. local time (1:21 a.m. ET). It was centered in the Cianjur region at a depth of 6.2 miles — about 47 miles southeast of the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.

At least 25 aftershocks were recorded by the country’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysical Agency.

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WAP’S Prof. Chris Ulasi Leads Election Reporting Project in Nigeria

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The co-founder of The West African Pilot News, Professor Chris Ulasi, led a United States-sponsored Election Reporting Project (ERP) in Nigeria.

ERP was a two-day workshop to equip, train and support Nigerian journalists, videographers and photojournalists to adequately cover the 2023 elections in an accurate, objective, balanced and safe way.

The workshop was organised by the West Africa Broadcast and Media Academy (WABMA) and the Enugu Literary Society (ELS) in partnership with the US consulate-general in Lagos, Will Stevens.

At the opening of the two-day workshop, Stevens said the US government allocated $50 million for the training as a way to ensure that the 2023 general elections are peaceful and credible.

“We are supporting more than 100 journalists with this workshop in Ibadan, Enugu, Port Harcourt and Lagos as part of U.S. efforts to support Nigeria’s elections,” the consul-general said.

“Over the last three years and into the next year too, the US government has allocated more than 50 million dollars for technical assistance, support, training, for INEC, and for civil society, among others.

“We are committed to initiatives here in Nigeria to build needed capacity. We have funded training for hundreds of journalists on topics ranging from fact-checking, health reporting, defence and national security reporting, investigative journalism, election reporting and media ethics.

“These training, together with other programmes we offer virtually to demonstrate our commitment to this partnership that we have long enjoyed here in Nigeria.”

The lead facilitator for the workshop was the co-founder, The West African Pilot News, Dean, School of Communication and Chair, Department of Radio, Television and Films, Texas Southern University Houston, USA., Prof. Chris Ulasi.

Some other facilitators include Prof. Lai Oso, fmr. Dean of Communications, Lagos State University; and Miss Grace Ekpu, an investigative reporter with the Associated Press (AP).

According to the lead facilitator, the project was in three phases. Phase one was the workshops which included training held in several zones.

Phase two was the content stage. In phase two, trained journalists were plugged into an election reporting website and online community for support and fact-checking of content pre-during-and-after elections coverage season. Phase three is the awards stage when outstanding participating journalists would be given awards after the elections season.

The two-day intensive training, which was held in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital on 14 and 15 November was attended by journalists from different states in the southwest. The training included practical skills in fact-checking, digital security, and interaction among journalists from different backgrounds among others.

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Elon Musk fired Twitter’s head of sales after she refused to sack more employees

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He had previously begged her not to resign

  • Elon Musk sacked Twitter exec Robin Wheeler after she refused to fire more staff, sources said.
  • Wheeler was sacked despite Musk persuading her to stay after she tried to resign, per Bloomberg.
  • Some Twitter sales staff found out over the weekend and on Monday they were fired, per Platformer.

Elon Musk fired a top Twitter executive after she refused to sack more employees in the ad sales team, according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke to Insider.

Robin Wheeler, Twitter’s global head of advertising sales, handed in her resignation on Thursday 10, but Musk persuaded her to stay in the job, the sources told Insider’s Lara O’Reilly, and as Bloomberg earlier reported.

One week later, the billionaire changed his mind. Two sources said Wheeler was fired on Friday after she refused to cut the headcount of Twitter’s ad sales team — a department that was already depleted.

Wheeler, whose Twitter bio now says “proud Ex-Twitter Sales Exec,” tweeted on Friday in the past tense, saying: “To the team and my clients….you were always my first and only priority.” She concluded the tweet with a salute emoji, a sign that has recently become symbolic for Twitter employees leaving the company amid layoffs and firings.

Platformer’s Casey Newton reported that some Twitter staff in the sales team found out over the weekend and on Monday that they had been sacked after they couldn’t access Twitter’s systems.

This came after Musk sent an email to employees about his expectations for building “Twitter 2.0.” If staff didn’t sign up for “the new Twitter” by Thursday 5 p.m., they would receive three months of severance, Musk wrote in the email.

Twitter and Wheeler didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment made outside of normal US operating hours on Tuesday.

Wheeler joined Twitter in 2012 as a senior director of sales, which involved managing relationships with some of the company’s biggest clients such as Coca-Cola, Google, and Microsoft, according to her LinkedIn page. She became the head of ad sales in April this year.

Chris Riedy, Twitter’s former vice president of the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region, replaced Wheeler at the weekend, per multiple Insider sources.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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