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Myanmar court sentences U.S. journalist to 11 years in jail

BANGKOK — A court in military-ruled Myanmar on Friday sentenced detained U.S. journalist Danny Fenster to 11 years in prison after finding him guilty on several charges including incitement for allegedly spreading false or inflammatory information.

Fenster was also found guilty by Than Zaw Aung of violating visa regulations and contacting illegal organisations.

Fenster was detained in May. Fenster is still facing two additional charges in a different court. These are for allegedly violating the antiterrorism law and a statute that covers treason as well as sedition.

Fenster was detained at Yangon International Airport on May 24 as he was about to board a flight to go to the Detroit area in the United States to see his family. He is the only foreign journalist who has been convicted for a serious offense since February when the army overthrew the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Frontier Myanmar magazine, where Fenster is the managing editor, stated that it was “deeply disappointed in this decision.”

In a statement, the magazine said that the charges were based on the allegation that Fenster was still working at Myanmar Now, an independent news outlet banned by the military after the Feb. 1 coup, when in fact he had left months earlier and joined Frontier. According to the statement, the court “disregarded significant evidence” that Fenster had worked for the magazine.

“There’s no evidence to convict Danny for these charges,” Thomas Kean (the magazine’s editor in chief) stated in the statement.

American Journalist Danny Fenster. Fenster Family / AFP – Getty Images

The military-installed government has cracked down hard on press freedom, shutting virtually all critical outlets and arresting about 100 journalists, roughly 30 of whom remain in jail. Some closed outlets continue to operate without a license and publish online while their staff avoid arrest. The army’s takeover was met with peaceful protests and then dealt with using lethal force. The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners has detailed the deaths of more than 1,200 civilians, in addition to about 10,000 arrests. Since then, armed resistance has spread and U.N. experts as well as other observers worry that civil war could result from the incipient rebellion.

Fenster’s next challenge is the two additional charges that his lawyer said Monday had been filed in a different court in Yangon.

Than Zaw Aung said one of the new charges comes under a section of the Counterterrorism Act that is punishable by from 10 years to life in prison. The military-installed government has said it would apply the law harshly in cases involving opposition organizations it has deemed to be “terrorist.”

The other charge under the penal code is usually referred to as treason or sedition, and carries a penalty of seven to 20 years’ imprisonment.

The hearings on the original three charges have been held at the court in Yangon’s Insein Prison, where Fenster is jailed. They were closed to the media and the public. Fenster’s lawyer has provided accounts of the proceedings.

Subway tuna lawsuit now claims chicken, bacon, and cattle DNA detection

Subway has filed a new version of its lawsuit accusing it of misleading the public about its tuna products. Lab testing revealed that they contain animal proteins, not the “100% tuna .”

Karen Dhanowa, Nilima Amin, who filed the third version of their proposed class-action this week in San Francisco federal court. They are located in Alameda County.

Subway stated in a statement that it would seek to dismiss the “reckless, improper” lawsuit.

Subway stated that the plaintiffs had “filed three meritless complains, changing their stories each time” and that the “high-quality, wild caught, 100% tuna was strictly regulated in the United States as well as around the globe.

Since the case began in January, Subway has run TV ads and launched a website defending its tuna. Subway also updated its menu, but not its tuna. It stated that an upgrade was not necessary .

The original complaint stated that Subway’s tuna sandwiches, wraps and tuna salads were “bereft” of tuna. An amended complaint stated that they weren’t 100% sustainably landed skipjack or yellowfin tuna U.S. The second version was dismissed by District Judge Jon Tigar last month. He said that the plaintiffs didn’t prove they purchased Subway tuna on the basis of alleged misrepresentations.

He didn’t rule on the merits and gave the plaintiffs another opportunity to present their case.

The Nov. 8 lawsuit is based on the testing of 20 tuna taken from 20 Subway locations in Southern California by a marine biologist.

It said 19 samples had “no detectable tuna DNA sequences,” while all 20 contained detectable chicken DNA, 11 contained pork DNA and 7 contained cattle DNA. Many people are unable to eat different meats due to religious or diet restrictions. The complaint stated that Subway had mislabeled tuna products and “duped” customers into paying higher prices.

Amin said she ordered Subway tuna products more than 100 times from 2013 to 2019, and always checked the menu to ensure she would be eating “only tuna.”

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for fraud and violations of California consumer protection laws.

Five people, including two officers, were hurt in an anti-vaccine demonstration in San Francisco.

Authorities said that five people were injured in a chain reaction crash at a San Francisco anti-vaccination demonstration.

The crash occurred shortly before 6 p.m. at the San Francisco entrance to the Golden Gate Bridge, where there was a protest billed as a “nationwide walkout” against government-mandated vaccinations against Covid-19, California Highway Patrol spokesman Andrew Barclay said. Barclay stated that the injuries sustained by the officers and the employee of Golden Gate Bridge were not life-threatening. He said that two other bridge workers were also injured and were released from the hospital.

The incident occurred in the northbound lanes, which were closed by authorities after protesters threatened “to take over” the road.

The protesters did not enter traffic, he stated, but the lane was still blocked by a concrete barrier, officers, trucks, and patrol cars.

A vehicle hit another vehicle on the Golden Gate Bridge near an anti-vaccination protest Thursday evening, officials said. NBC Bay Area

Aerial video captured by NBC Bay Area shows an SUV and a sweeper truck colliding directly next to the barricade. The vehicles collided with a truck at the barricade and thrust the truck into the officers and three bridge workers. Barclay stated that the cause of the accident is being investigated.

The protesters were angered by mandates at the federal, state and local levels requiring employees at large businesses, schools, city agencies and elsewhere to get vaccinated or regularly tested for Covid-19.

Data published Wednesday by NBC News found that the mandates appear to be working, despite protests and lawsuits.

Vaccination data from 20 cities with mandates showed that inoculation rates among employees who were required to get the shots were 15 percentage points higher than among the general populations of their cities and counties.

Tim Stelloh is a reporter for NBC News based in California.

Hong Kong’s Captain America protester is jailed under security law

HONG KONG — The Hong Kong activist, who was known for wearing the shield of a superhero at pro-democracy demonstrations, was sentenced to nearly six years in prison on Thursday. This law was imposed by a national security law. A court found that he had promoted independence from

District Court Judge Stanley Chan ruled in October that former deliveryman Ma Chun-man, 31, was guilty of inciting secession due to the slogans he chanted, placards he held and the statements he made to media.

” The defendant was incited to do so by a politician, Chan stated without naming the politician. “It’s difficult to guarantee that there will not be other Ma Chun men in this situation. “

Ma pleaded not guilty but did not testify.

Chris Ng, one of Ma’s lawyers, said to reporters that he wasn’t sure if Ma would appeal.

” I don’t feel any regret,” Ma wrote to the judge in a letter, which he signed with his nickname.

” “On my way to democracy and freedom I can’t afford not to be a coward,” Ma wrote in a letter to the judge. Part of that letter was read in court before Ma was sentenced to five and nine months imprisonment.

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Beijing imposed the national security law on Hong Kong in June last year, effectively ending the biggest and longest pro-democracy protests the former British colony has faced since returning to Chinese rule in 1997. The law, which punishes subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign troops, can be imposed on Hong Kong in June last year. It has been widely criticised as a tool for removing political opponents and crushing individual freedoms.

Beijing insists Hong Kong’s rule and freedoms are intact. It claims the legislation is necessary to close loopholes in national security, and end violent unrest that it accuses of being caused by foreign forces.

Ma was the second conviction under the law.

In the first, former waiter Tong Ying-kit was jailed for nine years. He had ridden a motorcycle into a group of police officers, displaying the slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times,” which the court ruled was “capable of inciting secession. “

Tong was also convicted for terrorist acts of using his motorcycle as an weapon.

In Ma’s case, the court saw videos of Ma chanting “Hong Kong independence is the only way out.” Also, a notebook called “Captain America’s Diary of Resistance” was taken.

Edwin Choy, another defense lawyer, asked for lenience prior to the sentencing. He said that Ma’s slogans, chants, and slogans had no impact. Choy stated that Ma didn’t commit any violent acts and wasn’t someone who would encourage violence.

More than 100 people, including many of the city’s most prominent opposition politicians and activists, have been charged under the security law. Many have been refused bail.

Angela Merkel states that people have a ‘duty’ of getting vaccinated

WELLINGTON (New Zealand) — Friday’s statement by the German Chancellor Angela Müller stated that everyone has a responsibility to get vaccinated against coronavirus in order to protect others.

She spoke as Germany grapples with a new surge of infections, which reached a record daily high of 50,000 on Thursday.

Merkel talked for 30 minutes with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a free-ranging virtual discussion on the sidelines of the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

New Zealand hosts APEC . Ardern stated she ‘stutor Merkel ,, who will soon be leaving office.

“This is a very, very difficult virus,” Merkel stated.

She stated that it was a remarkable scientific achievement to create vaccines within one year of an outbreak. However, officials were still unable to reach a large number of people who weren’t vaccinated.

” You have the right get vaccinated,” Merkel stated. “But, in a certain degree, you, as a member, also have the obligation to get vaccinated to protect your health and that of others .”

Around two-thirds (or more) of Germany’s 83million people have been fully vaccinated, but the country has refused to make mandatory vaccinations for certain workers. In the face of this latest surge, lawmakers are looking at new measures.

During their discussion, both Merkel as well as Ardern voiced frustration at the rise in disinformation via social media.

” In the past, certain events took place in our society. It was reported on television and everyone spoke about it the next day,” Merkel stated. “Today, everyone takes part in his and her social media. Only those people you meet online can be part of your bubble.

If She had any advice Merkel could offer future leaders, it would be to seek to understand others’ perspectives and to see what motivates them to act the way they do.

Ardern said one of the lessons she‘d learned from the pandemic was to get people and companies engaged with trying to find solutions by presenting them with the data and showing them the problem. She stated that everyone had been learning about this virus as it spread.

” Literally, you’re building a plane while trying to fly,” Ardern stated.

Saturday’s APEC forum will conclude with a virtual meeting between Pacific Rim leaders including President Joe Biden of the United States and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

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Copyright, c) 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.

Cuba’s most iconic restaurant celebrates 50 years

MIAMI, (AP) — This week, an iconic South Florida restaurant and epicenter for the Cuban community celebrated their 50th birthday.

The Versailles Restaurant in Miami’s Little Havana neighbourhood celebrated Wednesday with 1971 food. For 20 dollars, you could get ham croquette and a breaded steak for just $3. 25 and 20-cent Cuban coffee, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez declared the day Versailles Day and handed the keys to the Valls family who have run the restaurant for three generations. It has evolved from a small restaurant to 300 seating and now also offers a bakery and take-out window, which is well-known for dispensed hundreds of Cuban coffees per day.

“First and foremost, Versailles is a business which has transcended generations. It has had an impact on my grandfather’s generation, my father’s, mine, and my son’s. Second, it has been the epicenter for the Cuban exile, of that idea that Cuba will one day be free. It is the pride and joy of my community .

The restaurant is a popular stop for politicians. Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton have all visited it. It is often a meeting place for protests against Cuba’s government.

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Copyright, c) 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.

Within the Beltway: “Private citizens” maintain the border

November 12, 2021 / Leave a comment

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NEWS & OPINION

It is a simple, but powerful insight into the unsolved problems facing the southern U.S. border.

“Private citizen should not have to maintain a international boundary,” stated Russell Johnson during a podcast conversation between Mark Krikorian , director at the Center for Immigration Studies. This nonpartisan research organization is independent.

Mr. Johnson is a fourth generation cattle rancher from southern New Mexico. He lives and works on 8 miles of U.S.-Mexico Border land that was occupied by his great grandfather in 1918.

The rancher and his family were given the task of erecting and maintaining miles and miles of fencing to discourage the entry of illegal immigrants. He said that they have seen them cross the border either by climbing over or driving through barriers.

” It is very labor-intensive to maintain these fences. That’s why there is no compensation. Johnson stated that it was all out of his pocket.

Mr. Krikorian inquired if the rancher would ever think of moving to another place.

” We’ve been in this place for more than 100 years and have put a lot blood, sweat, and tears into it. We don’t believe we should move. “This is an issue our government must control,” Johnson responded.

” We live in America. This is still America. He said that we should receive the same protection as people who live in the country.

The podcast is part of a series called “Life on the U.S.–Mexico Border, The Abandoned Americans,” and focuses on U.S citizens who face unique challenges in the area.

” Most Americans have not heard about the impact of border operations on their taxpaying fellow citizens, who live near the border,” said the Center for Immigration Studies in a statement.

The group also noted that U.S. Border Patrol agents have apprehended 1,659,206 illegal migrants in fiscal 2021, a record for apprehensions at the southwest border.

Find the podcast and much more at CIS.org.

FOR LEXICON

“Joe-cialists.”

Here is a useful term that Ike Braannon ,, a senior fellow at The Jack Kemp foundation, used in an article by the New York Post.

The “Joe-cialists”, are legislators and other officials who agree with President Biden , and twist reality when referring to inflation and the economy.

“The news that inflation hit a 31-year high in October, increasing at an annual rate of 6.2 percent, has made it extremely difficult for anyone to deny that inflation is real. It is now a threat to the U.S.’s economic expansion and standard of living. “But, the Biden administration will do its best to obscure this reality,” Mr. Brannon wrote.

THE PUBLIC MOOD SEES IMPACT

A significant survey by the Harvard University Center for American Political Studies (Harris Poll) has worse news for President Biden , and his administration.

It finds that 57% of the respondents say the U.S. economy is “weak,” while only 24% say their personal financial situation is improving. Another 56% say the nation is on the “wrong track.”

The Democratic Party has an approval rating of just 38%, though Republicans are only a notch ahead at 39%. Mr. Biden’s approval stands at 43%, down from 62% in June. The overall approval of the U.S. Congress is a meager 31%.

Among the more disconcerting findings: 58% of the overall respondents think Mr. Biden “is showing he is too old to be president”; 90% of Republicans, 63% of independents and 27% of Democrats agree. Another 53% overall “have doubts about his fitness for office”; 85% of Republicans, 57% of independents and 16% of Democrats agree.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military earns a favorability rating of 80%, followed by the nation’s police forces with 71% approval and the FBI with 59% approval.

They are, according to the poll, “the most preferred government institutions.”

The Harvard CAPS/Harris poll of 1,578 registered U.S. voters was conducted Oct. 26-28 and released Thursday.

THE LAWYERS SAY

Now underway in Washington, DC, it’s The Federalist Society’s annual National Lawyers Convention. It’s held at an historic hotel located just blocks from the White House.

The three-day event includes an official Antonin S. Scalia memorial dinner, the Honorable Robert H. Bork Lecture, a debate luncheon and input from Sen. Tom Cotton , Arkansas Republican. Solicitor General Theodore Olson , Judge ,Laurence H. Silberman Amul R. Thapar John Allison A “fireside chat” with bestselling author Vivek Rajaswamy

Watch a live stream of all the big doings at FedSoc.org.

WEEKEND

For sale: A historic and “stately”, Revolutionary War-era house built in 1770 in David Drake in Westfield, Massachusetts. Five bedrooms, four baths, three fireplaces, wide plank pine floors, original paneling, hand-hewn beams and original beehive oven; 2,748 square feet. Chef’s kitchen, numerous restorations and updates. Clapboard exterior, mature trees. Two-car garage. Lawns manicured. Priced at $499,000 through Sotheby’s Realty; details at 161honeypotrd.com.

POLL D’HOME

44% of U.S. adults have put off buying new clothes or personal items this year in order to save money.

41% have saved money by putting off going on a vacation or taking time off.

29% have put off doing home repairs or maintenance.

28% have chosen not to put off their expenditures this year.

23% have put off car repairs or maintenance, 21% have put off receiving medical care.

77% of respondents aren’t sure.

SOURCE: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 6-9. Multiple answers could be given by respondents.

Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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Jared Polis of Colorado is the governor. He defies federal laws and says that all adults can receive COVID boosters

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DENVER — Colorado is facing a spike in coronavirus infection that could overwhelm its hospitals. Gov. Jared Polis defied federal guidance on COVID-19 booster shots Thursday by issuing an order allowing all state residents 18 and older to get them.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules allow booster shots for those 18 and over who are at high risk of exposure to the virus. The FDA also permits boosters for people 65 and older, and adults with special medical conditions. The order of Polis declares Colorado at high risk for infection. This significantly increases the eligibility of residents.

“Because disease spread is so significant across Colorado, all Coloradans who are 18 years of age and older are at high risk and qualify for a booster shot,” the Democratic governor said in his order.

Comment requests from the FDA weren’t immediately returned Thursday due to federal holidays.

But, at a White House briefing, Dr. Rochelle Waensky, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stressed the importance of giving boosters to people who are already eligible under federal guidelines. She also stressed the importance of vaccinating children ages 5-11.

” FDA, as you probably know, is currently looking into data to expand boosters to all population,” Walensky stated.

Pfizer asked U.S. regulators Tuesday to allow boosters of its COVID-19 vaccine for anyone 18 or older, a step that comes amid concern about increased spread of the coronavirus with holiday travel and gatherings.

The Biden administration originally intended boosters for adults. However, FDA scientific advisors rejected additional Pfizer doses. The panel was not convinced that young healthy adults needed another dose, and recommended boosters only for specific groups.

People who are fully vaccinated are still strongly protected against hospitalization and death from COVID-19. However, immunity to infection can decrease over time and the extra-contagious Delta variant is rapidly spreading. U.S. health officials want to increase protection for at-risk individuals who were vaccinated months back, but they stress that it is still important to get the unvaccinated their first shot.

Polis highlighted vaccinations as an important tool in combating the new surge of cases that officials fear could overwhelm state hospitals by the end the year. In the past, he has expressed dissatisfaction with vaccine distribution and authorization by the federal government.

” The Governor was disappointed by the confusing message from FDA and CDC regarding boosters. He won’t let that harm Coloradans who need it,” Conor Cahill, a spokesperson for Polis, said Thursday. “The Governor is confident this clarification is within the guidelines of the CDC .”

and FDA

Polis’ orders allows vaccine providers to give booster shots for anyone who has received double-dose Pfizer , or Moderna vaccines within the last six months. A booster can be given to people who have received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This vaccine hasn’t been as effective as its rivals. A booster is available to anyone who meets the criteria. They don’t need to stay with their original vaccine type.

About 62% of Colorado residents are fully vaccinated, putting the Rocky Mountain state above the national average and among the top 15 for states with the highest vaccination rate.

Yet Colorado had the seventh-highest COVID-19 diagnosis rate in the country over the last week, with 1 in every 259 people getting the virus, according to John Hopkins University data compiled by The Associated Press. Since weeks, the number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths has been increasing.

About 1,426 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized in Colorado, and State Epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy said Wednesday the state could hit 2,258 COVID-19 hospitalizations by Jan. 1, a record high for the pandemic.

According to the Colorado Hospital Association, about 720 beds have been made available in intensive and acute care units due to the combination of a surge in the delta variant and staffing shortages. Some 17% of all beds are occupied by those with COVID or suspected of having it, the state health department said.

Polis put the number of available hospital beds at 623 in his order, and he has repeatedly emphasized that the unvaccinated – 28% of state residents, according to state data – account for 80% those hospitalized. Officials stated that many of those remaining are older patients who are more vulnerable to the virus or have immunocompromised.

“With an estimated 1 in 67 Coloradans infected, it is likely that nearly all Coloradans are exposed to COVID-19 where they live or work,” the governor said in his order. “I declare the entire State of Colorado high risk for exposure or transmission of COVID19 and therefore eligible for the safe and highly effective COVID-19 booster shot.”

Colorado’s seven day positivity rate — The percentage of people who tested positive for the virus among all those who have been tested — reached 9. 93% as of Wednesday.

That means for every 100 people tested over that week, nearly 10 of them tested positive. Last year, the highest seven-day positivity rate was 11. 21% as of Nov. 20.

More than 700,000 Colorado residents are known to have been infected during the pandemic, and 8,814 people have died.

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

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Copyright, c) 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.

He leapt ship and braved freezing waters to reach New Zealand. He is now seeking asylum.

CHRISTCHURCH (New Zealand) — An Myanmar citizen who jumped from a cargo vessel into the freezing waters off New Zealand’s coast will be allowed to remain in the country while immigration officials process his case.

The man, 27, was rescued last week off the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island, near the city of Gisborne.

Identified by The New Zealand Herald as Min Naing, the man told the newspaper that he was “just waiting to die” after water seeped into the immersion suit he had been wearing for hours. NBC News was unable to verify his identity.

He claimed that his family belonged to the Hindu minority in Myanmar. This is where the military took power in a coup on February 2. He also stated that they were involved in protests against the military. He stated that he would be in danger of his own life if he returned to Myanmar.

Min Naing was unable to be reached by NBC News for comment.

New Zealand police stated that they started a search-and-rescue operation on Nov. 2, after a man reported missing from the ship. The man had not been seen since the previous night.

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Andrew Gaddum, chief operating officer for regional infrastructure at Eastland Group, which operates the Gisborne port, said port staff rescued the man about a mile and a half from shore.

“Our crew on the pilot vessel Rere Moana left around 3: 30 p.m. and were delighted and hugely relieved to spot him floating in the water an hour later,” he said. Officials later confirmed that the man was under police custody and had been admitted to hospital with hypothermia.

Fiona Whiteridge, general manager of refugee and migrant services at Immigration New Zealand, confirmed Thursday that the man was in the country “and can remain here lawfully while they go through immigration procedures to determine if they can stay in New Zealand.”

The agency did not say whether it had received any claim for asylum, citing confidentiality laws. New Zealand’s lawyers declined to comment on the matter.

Since the military seized power on Feb. 1, ousting democratically elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, hundreds of thousands of people across Myanmar have been displaced by violence, while mass protests have been met with deadly force.

Protesters take part in a demonstration against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar in July. AFP via Getty Images file

James Kariuki, Britain’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, said this week that the military’s buildup in northwest Chin state resembled its activity in 2017 ahead of mass atrocities against the Rohingya, a Muslim minority group long persecuted by the Myanmar government.

Rights organizations say that the humanitarian situation in Myanmar is rapidly deteriorating. Martin Griffiths, the United Nations undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs, said this week that more than 3 million people were in need of aid.

“They’re in a very dangerous place,” Shamsul Alam, who is a member the Myanmar Rohingya community and lives in Auckland, New Zealand, said. “They must be rescued.”

Tin Ma Ma Oo spokeswoman for Democracy for Myanmar Working Group New Zealand. She said Min Naing’s sudden arrival might not be the first.

“We’ve received so many messages, emails,” she stated. People are desperate to know: How can we come to New Zealand? You need to get us out. Just get us out.”

“We had one crewman who messaged me and said, ‘I am currently working on a ship, if I jump the boat as well, do you think I would be able to seek asylum?'”

The group is petitioning Parliament to allow the resettlement of 1,000 refugees from Myanmar whose families are in New Zealand. New Zealand has an annual quota of 1,500 refugees, a relatively low number among Western democracies that refugee advocates and New Zealand’s Burmese community say the country should consider increasing in response to the Myanmar crisis.

Behrouz Boochani is a Kurdish-Iranian writer who has been a refugee advocate in New Zealand for many years. He said that the country was capable of doing more.

New Zealand should take more responsibility for supporting victims of human rights abuses, particularly those fleeing persecution. Boochani spent many years in Australia’s highly criticized offshore detention facility for asylum-seekers.

Alexander Gillespie is an international law professor at Waikato University, Hamilton, New Zealand. He said that he didn’t expect that it would happen and noted that New Zealand had not followed the example of Australia and the United States in increasing its refugee quota for people fleeing from the recent Taliban takeover in Afghanistan.

“If we couldn’t get an increased quota with Afghanistan, I think it’s unlikely we’ll get one with Myanmar,” he said.

YouTube hides dislike counts to protect content creators

YouTube has made some changes to its platform to help creators. YouTube will now hide dislike counts from videos.

YouTube began rolling out a new feature on Wednesday that hides the count and makes it visible only to the person who uploaded it. The actual dislike button will still be available and viewers can still choose to dislike a video in order to personalize their recommendations. The YouTube experiment to test whether the dislike button would help content creators to protect them from harassment and “dislike assaults” where viewers deliberately dislike a video in order to increase the count, prompted the update feature.

Researchers from YouTube found that viewers are less likely to click on a video’s dislike buttons to increase the count, a press releases states.

” In short, our experiment data revealed a decrease in hate attacking behavior. The release states that we also heard directly from small creators and newcomers that they feel unfairly attacked by this behavior. Our experiment proved that it does happen on smaller channels.

YouTube’s creator liaison Matt Koval stated in a video that the company hopes to make it less stressful for creators by hiding the count. I’ve always believed that viewing the dislikes of a video helps us, viewers, determine if it is a good tutorial, whether it’s well-made, and if we agree with what the creator says. YouTube research teams have discovered that there is another reason to dislike a video. “You may not have experienced it as a creator, but I haven’t,” Koval stated.

“Apparently, groups of users are targeting a video’s dislike button to drive up the count. It could be transformed into a game with visible scoreboard. It’s often because they don’t like the creators or what they stand up for. YouTube’s half-way mission is to empower everyone. “

Creators can see their dislike count in YouTube Stuido.

Minyvonne Burke is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.