YouTuber Jack Maynard - who left I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! when offensive tweets he posted in 2012 emerged - has apologised for saying some "pretty disgusting things".The tweets, which prompted allegations of racism and homophobia, were published in the Sun newspaper while Maynard, 23, was in Australia. He said he was "young" and "careless" when he posted them. In an online video, Maynard added: "I've been really stupid in the past." The show told viewers Maynard - who has more than 1.2m subscribers to his YouTube channel and is the younger brother of singer Conor Maynard - had left the jungle on Tuesday. A spokesman said he had departed "due to circumstances outside camp". In a video posted on his YouTube channel, Maynard confirmed he was back in London. "The least you deserved was for me to come home and sit down and talk to you and explain everything that has been going on," he told his subscribers. "I'm so sorry to anyone that I offended, anyone that I upset, anyone I made feel uncomfortable." http://celebritynews.io/ He said he had "messed up" adding: "I've tweeted some bad things, some horrible things, some pretty disgusting things that I'm just ashamed of." "I was young I was careless, I just wasn't thinking, this was back when I had just left school and I didn't know what I was doing." The social media star, who revealed it was his 23rd birthday, added: "All I can do is beg and encourage that you guys don't make the same mistake as well. "Don't put anything online you wouldn't say to your mum." Maynard appeared on Tuesday night's show, but presenters Ant and Dec confirmed his removal half-way through the programme. His representative later said the star realised the language used in the now-deleted tweets was "completely unacceptable". They said Maynard agreed with the decision to leave the show, which was "made by his representatives and ITV". He had been one of 10 contestants taking part in the programme, which started on Sunday.
Friday, 24 November 2017
- After plenty of gameplay the console is cool -- or at worst warm -- to the touch on every surface. In a side by side test with the Xbox 360, the console is comparably virtually silent, and the Blu-ray drive is significantly quieter than the 360's DVD drive.
- USB keyboards and mice will be plug-n-play, no fuss at all. Who really wants to browse the web with a PlayStation controller anyway?
- Bluetooth mice and keyboards will not work with the system at launch.
- Any (A2DP) Bluetooth headset should theoretically work with the system, though Sony will have a recommended hardware list. http://xsemulator.net
- The EyeToy is the only USB webcam that will work with the system. The original PS2 EyeToy should still work with the PS3.
- There are currently no plans for VGA out on the PlayStation3.
- The system will not support more than seven controllers.
- There are currently no plans for a cheaper, wired version of the SIXAXIS.
- With its media playback software one can have in-game custom soundtracks, as with the Xbox 360, Wii, etc.
- Despite rumor, Sony insists the US is still officially targeted for a 400k unit launch; Japan is still set for a mere 80k. Sony execs are actually expecting an upturn in unit production before launch, so those numbers may actually go up.
- Some titles have an option to install some amount of game data (in addition to saved data) to the drive. Genji can install 4GB worth of data to decrease load times (quoted to drop from 12-15 seconds down to 3-4); this game data can be removed at any time without affecting your saved games.
- The drive can be upgraded, although not on any official basis (read: YMMV, do so at your own risk, you may void warranty, etc.).
- You cannot leave voice or picture messages for other users on the PlayStation Network, only text.
When Zafar Achakzai, a journalist in the restive Pakistani province of Balochistan, heard a loud, insistent knocking on his door just before sunrise on June 25, he did not quite know what to expect.
When he answered, he was met by about a dozen armed men, some in Pakistani paramilitary uniforms.
"They ordered me to come with them," the 21-year-old reporter told Al Jazeera by telephone. "When we were some distance from my home, they blindfolded me, and then I was held at some unknown place."For hours, he remained in the dark. Eventually, men came to ask him questions, to confirm his identity and take down details about his work. It was then that he asked them why he had been taken. "I was told that I use Facebook quite a lot. That is all that they said." Achakzai was held without charge and interrogated repeatedly over the next three days. His interrogators, who refused to identify themselves, only said that they were concerned about several Facebook posts he had made that were critical of Pakistan's powerful military. http://widgetcon.com They specifically identified three posts that were critical of the Frontier Corps paramilitary force, which controls much of the law and order in Balochistan, where an armed separatist movement and increasing Taliban-linked violence has raged for over a decade. "I responded by saying that the posts you are talking about come under my right to freedom of expression," he told Al Jazeera. "They said, 'don't talk about rights here'." He was released shortly after he was informed that an official case under the cybercrime act had been filed against him. Achakzai's abduction came soon after the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) issued dozens of summons to people across Pakistan asking them to explain their social media activity and charging them with posting material that was against the national interest. Those targeted included political and social activists, as well as at least one other journalist.
Targeting dissentSince the law came into effect, at least 147 people have been arrested and 194 cases registered under the law for various offences, including online sexual harassment, according to the interior ministry. "When the law was passed, all the concerns we raised when the law was in the making - those all came true after enactment," said Nighat Dad, a lawyer and executive director of the Digital Rights Foundation (DRF). "All the provisions we said were vague that could be interpreted any way [the authorities] wanted, they have actually have done so."
Abducted, tortured, forced into exileOne of the first of those to disappear was Asim Saeed, an IT manager based in Singapore who was visiting his home in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore last winter. He was forcibly picked up from his home on the afternoon of January 6, and thrown into an unmarked pick-up truck by men in plain clothes. "They put handcuffs on me and a hood over my head," he said. After a few minutes, during which Saeed says he was slapped and his mobile and other belongings were taken from him, they arrived at an undisclosed location. "They stripped me naked and made me change into a prisoner's uniform. There were other people in the cells there as well," he said. "I asked if I could keep my underwear on, and they said no."
Government defends policyThe disappearances in January, and the subsequent crackdown by the FIA, has had a chilling effect on freedom of expression in Pakistan, say rights activists. "I absolutely believe that the disappearances were aimed at silencing critiques," said Dad, of the DRF. "We clearly have seen self-censorship. We see people who were very vocal and who have bold opinions about the state machinery and the things they are doing, they have tamed down their voices. There is a lot of self-censorship. Lots of people reached out to us, especially political bloggers and activists, asking us if they say something, whether it comes under PECA." The government, however, disagrees with that assessment, claiming that authorities have been ordered to show restraint when taking on cases of dissent using the law. "We have a policy, that despite the law, that until there is not a post that is at a very extreme level, then we neither allow an inquiry nor authorise any arrests," Talal Chaudhry, minister of state for the interior, told Al Jazeera.
Article 19 of Pakistan's Constitution"Every citizen shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression, and there shall be freedom of the press, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of the glory of Islam or the integrity, security or defence of Pakistan or any part thereof, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, 30 [commission of] 30 or incitement to an offence."
Moscow had so many places to see. Museums including the famous Pushkin Museum, the famous Gorky Park, the Kremlin, Lenin’s Tomb, Saint Basil’s Cathedral with its colourful onion-shaped domes on Red Square, stunning architectural interiors of one of the world’s largest rapid transit systems, the Moscow State University, a few which I visited while in Moscow.The culture in Russia is totally different from Asia so I had to take some time to adapt myself with this culture. But one thing very similar to our culture that I found was when one enters somebody’s home, the guest takes off his or her shoes which creates a very encouraging sign for the relationship between the guest and the host. I also learnt some things which were superstitious to Russians. That was when someone visits a Russian home it is important to bring a present even if maybe flowers. However, make sure that the flowers should be in odd number as even number is a sign of rudeness. Then if one owes a friend or relative some money, make sure that the repayment does not take place during night time as it is a bad sign so the repayment should be done in the morning or daytime. I wouldn’t like to say that staying in Russia for me was plain sailing without any difficulties. Whichever country you go, there are always pros and cons so I also encountered many difficulties. Facing long and extremely cold winters with temperatures below freezing point, traffic jams, language barrier as majority don’t speak English and their attitude towards foreigners as most say Russians are not friendly and difficult to deal with. However I not only came across every difficulty during my stay in Russia but even made some friends who were charming and good in cracking jokes. As for the food my favorite was the Russian dumplings which was very tasty and could be easily purchased from street stalls and fast-food outlets. So although as much as I encountered difficulties, I learnt so many new things like their traditions, culture, their way of dealing with foreigners and cuisine. Just when I became acquainted with the Russian way of life, my tour of duty ended so I had to say do svidaniya, which means ‘until we next meet’ to my Russian friends and headed back to the Golden land. So I would like to say is that traveling gives one of the greatest joys. Witnessing another culture, exploring and going on adventures in new lands are one of the best ways to experience life. Traveling gives you new eyes to see the world and truly expands your knowledge base.
Christopher P. Skroupa: From the activist perspective, what were the major wins in engagement this past year? http://wearecephalization.com Andrew Freedman: After a relatively sleepy 2016 for large cap activism, the top-tier shareholder activists came back with a vengeance in 2017, mounting high-profile campaigns against well-known, large-cap target companies. Most recently, Bill Ackman fell short in his campaign against Automatic Data Processing, but it now appears Nelson Peltz may have actually won a seat in his mega battle with Procter & Gamble. There were plenty of other notable activist success stories this year, too. The targeting of CEOs was a particularly intriguing theme woven into the strategy of many of these campaigns. Elliott Management’s successful campaign at Arconic that led to CEO Klaus Kleinfeld’s departure, in the wake of his rogue attempt to make things personal against Paul Singer, is certainly one that stood out this year. Pressure from Mantle Ridge resulted in Hunter Harrison taking the helm at CSX, while Buffalo Wild Wings CEO Sally Smith announced she would retire after a bruising proxy fight with Marcato. Activist investors have had a hand in appointing or replacing more than 1,000 public company board members over the past decade, and it was only a matter of time before they began to more directly target struggling CEOs as part of their agendas. Land and Buildings' proxy fight at Taubman Centers has also proven significant despite not resulting in board seats for the activist. By shining a spotlight on Taubman's governance shortcomings and shoddy performance, a status quo-minded board was forced to reluctantly make governance and board changes to sway votes. This decision helped fuel a renewed interest in managerial entrenched companies with unfriendly shareholder governance structures, including REITs and dual share class companies, once thought to be untouchable. Now Elliott has emerged on the scene at Taubman urging a sale, and Land and Buildings may have the last laugh after all. Skroupa: What made those wins significant? Freedman: The activists’ efforts in the campaigns to hold CEOs immediately accountable to shareholders made their wins particularly significant; the wins represent a noteworthy departure from the early days of shareholder activism. Targeting a CEO for a vote of no-confidence in a director election contest or calling for the removal of a CEO as part of the activist’s platform raises the stakes in any proxy battle, making it an all-or-none gambit with little room for compromise. So, CEO-targeting may also explain why more proxy contests went to a vote this year without a settlement. Nevertheless, any strategy to remove a CEO will continue to be perceived as highly aggressive. While there may be facts and circumstances under which this strategy is warranted, the standard will be higher for obtaining shareholder support for such a referendum on senior management. Shifting topics, Land and Buildings' relentless involvement at Taubman shows that activism can rattle the complacent status quo, even where there is an uphill or uncertain path to change. Significant attention from the activists will attract, and ultimately compel, a cushy board to make changes it otherwise wouldn’t have considered. Activists are beginning to flock to deeply entrenched, underperforming companies, that typically fly just under the radar. Skroupa: How will those wins tee-up the 2018 season? Freedman: There have been at least 10 activist campaigns throughout 2017 where the activist publicly announced its intention to target the CEO for replacement. While we cannot predict what the number will be in 2018, these campaigns may very well embolden other activists to target CEOs, especially where there is a sense of urgency to turn around a perennial underperformer. In response to this trend, we are already seeing more boards fine-tune their activism defense programs by voluntarily addressing issues pertaining to CEO compensation, succession and independence. We are also seeing our activist clients take interest in entrenched, poorly performing REITs and dual share class companies. I would not be surprised to see several campaigns in 2018 aimed at improving such companies through a holistic overhaul of their governance. We aren’t talking about your everyday “tick-the-box” governance improvements, but rather wholesale changes in how a board approaches its responsibilities, accountability and its shareholders-at-large. Skroupa: Regarding the activists on top, is the old guard the new guard? Who can we expect to hear from the most? Freedman: The old guard, comprising many of the top tier activists, are grabbing headlines with high-profile launches at large-caps on what seems like a weekly basis. It felt like there were fewer large-cap fights in 2015 going into 2016, following Trian's proxy fight at DuPont. It was also during this period that we witnessed the emergence of a new class of activist investors, including traditionally passive investment firms, who were undertaking numerous activist campaigns in the small and mid-cap space. These newcomer activists together with a class of shrewd and dynamic, pure-play activists, like Engaged Capital, VIEX Capital, JCP Capital and Engine Capital, will continue to set their sights on small and mid-cap underperformers. The old guard activists made a huge comeback in 2017, running campaigns against large, household-name companies and utilizing colorful, attention-grabbing solicitation strategies through the use of social media and other web-based platforms. We think the activist titans, like Starboard and Elliott, will continue to make their presence felt through the 2018 proxy season given their willingness to engage in all forms of activist campaigns both here and around the globe.