NAIROBI, Kenya — On a continent where military coups and rubber stamp elections have proliferated in recent years, Kenya stands out.
Despite its flaws and endemic corruption, the East African nation and economic powerhouse has steadily grown into a symbol of what is possible, its democracy underpinned by a strong Constitution and its hard-fought elections an example to other African nations seeking to carve a path away from autocracy.
been appointed by Mr. Odinga’s most prominent ally in the race, President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is barred by term limits from running again.
a barefoot childhood and an early career selling chickens on the side of a busy highway.
engaged in what the court said was “witness interference and political meddling.”
Mr. Ruto was running not just against Mr. Odinga but, in effect, against his own boss, Mr. Kenyatta, whom he accused of betrayal for backing Mr. Odinga.
planned to address the nation on Tuesday.
Declan Walsh and Matthew Mpoke Bigg reported from Nairobi, and Abdi Latif Dahir from Eldoret.
NAIROBI, Kenya — A wave of relief tinged with jubilation washed across Kenya on Tuesday as its hotly contested presidential election passed largely peacefully after months of bitter jostling and mud slinging. Supporters feted one of the front-runners, Raila Odinga, at his Nairobi stronghold, while his determined rival, William Ruto, praised the majesty of democracy after casting his vote before dawn.
But that’s likely just the start of the battle.
As the polls closed, Kenya’s election shifted into a new and unpredictable phase that, if previous elections are a guide, could be rocky.
Past elections gave way to periods of tense uncertainty involving accusations of vote-rigging, protracted courtroom dramas, bouts of street violence and even a murder mystery. It can be weeks, even months, before a new president is sworn in.
“People just don’t trust the system,” Charles Owuiti, a factory manager, said as he waited to cast his ballot in Nairobi, the line snaking through a crowded schoolyard.
But so far, the ethnic divisions that framed previous votes have been dialed down. In the Rift Valley, the scene of previous clashes, fewer people than in the past fled their homes fearing they might be attacked.
Instead, Kenyans streamed into polling stations across the country, some in the predawn darkness, to choose their president, as well as parliamentarians and local leaders. Among the four candidates for president, most voters were likely to choose between Mr. Odinga, a 77-year-old opposition leader running for the fifth time, and Mr. Ruto, the outgoing vice president and self-declared champion of Kenya’s “hustler nation” — its frustrated youth.
For others, that wasn’t a choice worth making. The electoral commission estimated voter turnout at 60 percent — a huge drop from the 80 percent turnout of the 2017 election, and a sign that many Kenyans, stung by economic hardship or jaded by endemic corruption, preferred to stay home.
“Either way, there’s no hope,” said Zena Atitala, an unemployed tech worker, outside a voting station in Kibera, said to be Africa’s largest slum, on the outskirts of Nairobi. “Of the two candidates, we are choosing the better thief.”
In the coming days, the critical question is not only who won the race, but whether the loser will accept defeat.
It can get murky.
Days before the last vote, in 2017, a senior electoral official, Chris Msando, was found dead, his tortured body strewn in a remote forest outside Nairobi. His girlfriend, Carol Ngumbu, lay beside him. A post-mortem found they had been strangled.
The death of Mr. Msando, who was in charge of the results transmission system, immediately aroused suspicion of a link to vote rigging. Weeks later when Mr. Odinga, who lost the vote, challenged the result in court, he claimed the electoral commission’s server had been hacked by people using Mr. Msando’s credentials.
The election was eventually rerun, and won by Uhuru Kenyatta, the outgoing president. The killings of Mr. Msando and his partner were never solved.
But the nadir of Kenyan elections was in 2007, when a dispute over the results degenerated into a storm of electoral violence that killed over 1,200 people and, many feared, could have tipped the country into a civil war.
After that crisis, Kenyans in 2010 adopted a new constitution that devolved some powers to the local level and helped stabilize a democratic system that, for all its flaws, is today considered among the strongest in the region.
In Tuesday’s election, unofficial results flowed in at night. The election commission posted tallies from polling stations to its website as they became available, allowing newspapers, political parties and other groups to compile unofficial results.
The winning candidate needs over 50 percent of the vote, as well as one quarter of vote in 24 of Kenya’s 47 counties. Failure to meet that bar means a runoff within 30 days.
But given how close the race has been, the most likely scenario is a legal challenge, say analysts. Any citizen or group can challenge the initial result in court within seven days. Many Kenyans hope it doesn’t go any further than that.
Unofficial results flowed in on Tuesday night. The election commission posted tallies from polling stations to its website as they became available, allowing newspapers, political parties and other groups to compile unofficial results.
The winning candidate needs over 50 percent of the vote, as well as one quarter of the vote in 24 of Kenya’s 47 counties. Failure to meet that bar means a runoff within 30 days.
But given how close the race has been, the most likely scenario is a legal challenge, analysts say. Any citizen or group can challenge the initial result in court within seven days. Many Kenyans hope it doesn’t go any further than that.
WASHINGTON — The Biden administration’s push to form an international buyers’ cartel to cap the price of Russian oil is facing resistance amid private sector concerns that it cannot be reliably enforced, posing a challenge for the U.S.-led effort to drain President Vladimir V. Putin’s war chest and stabilize global energy prices.
The price cap has been a top priority of Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen, who has been trying to head off another spike in global oil costs at the end of the year. The Biden administration fears that the combination of a European Union embargo on Russian oil imports and a ban on the insurance and financing of Russian oil shipments will send prices soaring by taking millions of barrels of that oil off the market.
But the untested concept has drawn skepticism from energy experts and, in particular, the maritime insurance sector, which facilitates global oil shipments and is key to making the proposal work. Under the plan, it would be legal for them to grant insurance for oil cargo only if it was being sold at or below a certain price.
Mike Salthouse, global claims director at The North of England P&I Association Limited, a leading global marine insurer. “If you have sophisticated state actors wanting to deceive people, it’s very easy to do.”
He added: “We’ve said it won’t work. We’ve explained to everybody why.”
That has not deterred Ms. Yellen and her top aides, who have been crisscrossing the globe to make their case with international counterparts, banks and insurers that an oil price cap can — and must — work at a moment of rapid inflation and the risk of recession.
“At a time of global anxiety over high prices, a price cap on Russian oil is one of the most powerful tools we have to address inflation by preventing future spikes in energy costs,” Ms. Yellen said in July.
The Biden administration is trying to mitigate fallout from sanctions adopted by the European Union in June, which would ban imports of Russian oil and the financing and insuring of Russian oil exports by year’s end. Britain was expected to enact a similar ban but has not yet done so.
not solve the world’s oil supply problems. European officials, who have been skeptical, continue to say they are analyzing its viability.
restricted natural gas flows to parts of Europe in retaliation for sanctions, would curb oil exports because of their importance to its economy.
senior fellow at the Atlantic Council who works in the financial services industry, said of Russia’s cooperation with a price cap. “If that were the case, he wouldn’t have invaded Ukraine in the first place.”
But proponents believe that if the European Union bans insurance transactions, an oil price cap may be the best chance to mitigate the economic fallout.
John E. Smith, former director of the foreign assets control unit, said the key was ensuring that financial services firms and maritime insurers were not responsible for vetting every oil transaction, as well as providing guidance on complying with the sanctions.
“The question is will enough jurisdictions agree on the details to move this forward,” said Mr. Smith, who is now co-head of Morrison & Foerster’s national security practice. “If they do, it could be a win for everyone but Russia.”
Matina Stevis-Gridneff contributed reporting from Brussels.
The software that many school districts use to track students’ progress can record extremely confidential information on children: “Intellectual disability.” “Emotional Disturbance.” “Homeless.” “Disruptive.” “Defiance.” “Perpetrator.” “Excessive Talking.” “Should attend tutoring.”
Now these systems are coming under heightened scrutiny after a recent cyberattack on Illuminate Education, a leading provider of student-tracking software, which affected the personal information of more than a million current and former students across dozens of districts — including in New York City and Los Angeles, the nation’s largest public school systems.
Officials said in some districts the data included the names, dates of birth, races or ethnicities and test scores of students. At least one district said the data included more intimate information like student tardiness rates, migrant status, behavior incidents and descriptions of disabilities.
Chicago Public Schools, the nation’s third-largest district.
Now some cybersecurity and privacy experts say that the cyberattack on Illuminate Education amounts to a warning for industry and government regulators. Although it was not the largest hack on an ed tech company, these experts say they are troubled by the nature and scope of the data breach — which, in some cases, involved delicate personal details about students or student data dating back more than a decade. At a moment when some education technology companies have amassed sensitive information on millions of school children, they say, safeguards for student data seem wholly inadequate.
“There has really been an epic failure,” said Hector Balderas, the attorney general of New Mexico, whose office has sued tech companies for violating the privacy of children and students.
In a recent interview, Mr. Balderas said that Congress had failed to enact modern, meaningful data protections for students while regulators had failed to hold ed tech firms accountable for flouting student data privacy and security.
outpacing protections for students’ personal information. Lawmakers rushed to respond.
Since 2014, California, Colorado and dozens of other states have passed student data privacy and security laws. In 2014, dozens of K-12 ed tech providers signed on to a national Student Privacy Pledge, promising to maintain a “comprehensive security program.”
Supporters of the pledge said the Federal Trade Commission, which polices deceptive privacy practices, would be able to hold companies to their commitments. President Obama endorsed the pledge, praising participating companies in a major privacy speech at the F.T.C. in 2015.
The F.T.C. has a long history of fining companies for violating children’s privacy on consumer services like YouTube and TikTok. Despite numerous reports of ed tech companies with problematic privacy and security practices, however, the agency has yet to enforce the industry’s student privacy pledge.
In May, the F.T.C. announced that regulators intended to crack down on ed tech companies that violate a federal law — the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act — which requires online services aimed at children under 13 to safeguard their personal data. The agency is pursuing a number of nonpublic investigations into ed tech companies, said Juliana Gruenwald Henderson, an F.T.C. spokeswoman.
company’s site says its services reach more than 17 million students in 5,200 school districts. Popular products include an attendance-taking system and an online grade book as well as a school platform, called eduCLIMBER, that enables educators to record students’ “social-emotional behavior” and color-code children as green (“on track”) or red (“not on track”).
Illuminate has promoted its cybersecurity. In 2016, the company announced that it had signed on to the industry pledge to show its “support for safeguarding” student data.
Concerns about a cyberattack emerged in January after some teachers in New York City schools discovered that their online attendance and grade book systems had stopped working. Illuminate said it temporarily took those systems offline after it became aware of “suspicious activity” on part of its network.
On March 25, Illuminate notified the district that certain company databases had been subject to unauthorized access, said Nathaniel Styer, the press secretary for New York City Public Schools. The incident, he said, affected about 800,000 current and former students across roughly 700 local schools.
For the affected New York City students, data included first and last names, school name and student ID number as well as at least two of the following: birth date, gender, race or ethnicity, home language and class information like teacher name. In some cases, students’ disability status — that is, whether or not they received special education services — was also affected.
said they were outraged. In 2020, Illuminate signed a strict data agreement with the district requiring the company to safeguard student data and promptly notify district officials in the event of a data breach.
kept student data on the Amazon Web Services online storage system. Cybersecurity experts said many companies had inadvertently made their A.W.S. storage buckets easy for hackers to find — by naming databases after company platforms or products.
a spate of cyberattacks on both ed tech companies and public schools, education officials said it was time for Washington to intervene to protect students.
“Changes at the federal level are overdue and could have an immediate and nationwide impact,” said Mr. Styer, the New York City schools spokesman. Congress, for instance, could amend federal education privacy rules to impose data security requirements on school vendors, he said. That would enable federal agencies to levy fines on companies that failed to comply.
One agency has already cracked down — but not on behalf of students.
Last year, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Pearson, a major provider of assessment software for schools, with misleading investors about a cyberattack in which the birth dates and email addresses of millions of students were stolen. Pearson agreed to pay $1 million to settle the charges.
Mr. Balderas, the attorney general, said he was infuriated that financial regulators had acted to protect investors in the Pearson case — even as privacy regulators failed to step up for schoolchildren who were victims of cybercrime.
“My concern is there will be bad actors who will exploit a public school setting, especially when they think that the technology protocols are not very robust,” Mr. Balderas said. “And I don’t know why Congress isn’t terrified yet.”
Federal Reserve officials are set to make a second abnormally large interest rate increase this week as they race to cool down an overheating economy. The question for many economists and investors is just how far the central bank will go in its quest to tame inflation.
Central banks around the world have spent recent weeks speeding up their interest rate increases, an approach they’ve referred to as “front-loading.” That group includes the Fed, which raised interest rates by a quarter-point in March, a half-point in May and three-quarters of a point in June, its biggest move since 1994. Policymakers have signaled that another three-quarter-point move is likely on Wednesday.
The quick moves are meant to show that officials are determined to wrestle inflation lower, hoping to convince businesses and families that today’s rapid inflation won’t last. And, by raising interest rates quickly, officials are aiming to swiftly return policy to a setting at which it is no longer adding to economic growth, because goosing the economy makes little sense at a moment when jobs are plentiful and prices are climbing quickly.
released in June suggested that officials would raise rates to 3.4 percent by the end of the year, up from around 1.6 percent now. Many economists have interpreted that to mean that the Fed will raise rates by three-quarters of a point this month, half of a point in September, a quarter-point in November and a quarter-point in December. In other words, it hints that a slowdown is coming.
But policy expectations have regularly been upended this year as data surprises officials and inflation proves stubbornly hot. Just this month, investors were speculating that the Fed might make a full percentage-point increase this week, only to simmer down after central bankers and fresh data signaled that a smaller move was more likely.
That changeability is a key reason that the Fed is likely to emphasize that it is closely watching economic data as it determines policy. Its next meeting is nearly two months away, in September, so central bankers will most likely want to keep their options open so that they can react to the evolving economic situation.
inflation has been running at the fastest pace in more than 40 years, it is likely to slow when July data is released because gasoline prices have come down notably this month.
And, although inflation expectations had shown signs of jumping higher, one key measure eased in early data out this month. Keeping inflation expectations in check is paramount because consumers and companies might change their behavior if they expect quick inflation to last. Workers could ask for higher pay to cover rising costs, companies might continually lift prices to cover climbing wage bills and the problem of rising prices would be perpetuated.
A variety of other metrics of the economy’s strength, from jobless claims to manufacturing measures, point to a slowing business environment. If that cooling continues, it should keep the Fed on track to slow down, said Subadra Rajappa, the head of U.S. rates strategy at Société Générale. While Fed officials want the economy to moderate, they are trying to avoid tipping it into an outright recession.
“When you start to see cracks appear in the unemployment measures, they’re going to have to take a much more cautious approach,” Ms. Rajappa said.
Markets have been quivering in recent days, concerned that central banks around the world will push their war on inflation too far and tank economies in the process. Investors are increasingly betting that the Fed might lower interest rates next year, presumably because they expect the central bank to set off a downturn.
“It is very likely that central banks will hike so quickly that they will overdo it and put their economies into a recession,” said Gennadiy Goldberg, a rates strategist at TD Securities. “That’s what markets are afraid of.”
American employers added 372,000 jobs in June, and wages continue to climb strongly. Consumer spending has eased somewhat, but less than expected. While the housing market is slowing, rents continue to pick up in many markets.
Plus, the outlook for inflation is dicey. While gas prices may be slowing for now, risks of a resurgence lie ahead, because, for example, the administration’s efforts to impose a global price cap on Russian oil exports could fall through. Rising rents mean that housing costs could help to keep inflation elevated.
While Mr. Powell made clear at his June news conference that three-quarter-point rate increases were out of the ordinary and that he did “not expect” them to be common, Fed officials have also been clear that they would like to see a string of slowing inflation readings before feeling more confident that price increases are coming under control.
“We at the Fed have to be very deliberate and intentional about continuing on this path of raising our interest rate until we get and see convincing evidence that inflation has turned a corner,” Loretta Mester, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, said in a Bloomberg interview this month.
The central bank will get a fresh reading on the Personal Consumption Expenditures index — its preferred inflation gauge — on Friday. That data will be for June, and it is expected to show continued rapid inflation both on a headline basis and after volatile food and fuel prices are stripped out. The Employment Cost Index, a wage and benefits measure that the Fed watches closely, will also be released that day and is expected to show compensation climbing quickly.
Given the recent decline in prices at the gas pump, at least two months of slower inflation readings by September are possible — but not guaranteed.
“They cannot prematurely hint that they think victory over inflation is coming,” Mr. Shepherdson of Pantheon wrote.
LOS ANGELES — More than a decade after Apple disrupted the music industry and Amazon upended retail, the tech heavyweights have set their sights on a new arena ripe for change: live sports.
Emboldened by their deep pockets and eager to boost viewership of their streaming-subscription services, Apple and Amazon have thrust themselves into negotiations for media rights held by the National Football League, Major League Baseball, Formula One racing and college conferences.
They are competing to replace DirecTV for the rights to N.F.L. Sunday Ticket, a package the league wants to sell for more than $2.5 billion annually, about $1 billion more than it currently costs, according to five people familiar with the process. Eager not to miss out, Google has also offered a bid from YouTube for the rights beginning in 2023, two people familiar with the offer said.
reported by the SportsBusiness Journal.
Fans will still be able to access all the games on Sunday, regardless of who wins the rights, but they will probably pay a premium to add the service to their Apple, Amazon, ESPN+ or YouTube service, some of the dozen people said. It is not yet clear if that premium would be more or less than the $294 that DirecTV charges for a year, they added.
The Race to Rule Streaming TV
Apple and Amazon are trying to position themselves for a future without cable. Since 2015, traditional pay television has lost a quarter of its subscribers — about 25 million homes — as people traded cable packages for apps like Netflix and Hulu, according to MoffettNathanson, an investment firm that tracks the industry.
But the price of live sports rights is only projected to increase. The biggest media companies, including Disney, Comcast, Paramount and Fox, are expected to spend a combined $24.2 billion for rights in 2024, according to data from MoffettNathanson, nearly double what they spent a decade earlier.
The fragmenting of a decades-old distribution model has created an opportunity for Apple and Amazon. The companies want to expand deeper into media by selling subscriptions to Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime. Besides containing their own exclusive shows and sports, those services double as portals selling additional streaming offerings like Starz and HBO Max, which pay Apple and Amazon 15 percent or more of each subscription sold.
Amazon generates more than $3 billion annually from third-party subscription sales, according to estimates by the investment bank BMO Capital Markets. To make the business model work, Apple and Amazon must attract more viewers, and sports are the most powerful draw in media. The companies may be willing to lose money on Sunday Ticket to expose new customers to other parts of their business, the same calculation that DirecTV historically made.
For all their disruptive potential, though, Apple and Amazon have yet to win a marquee rights package in the United States. That is reminiscent of 20 years ago, when sports leagues feared they would lose viewers by shifting games from network television to cable. But the change gradually became standard.
Traditional television companies are trying to stave off Apple and Amazon by starting their own streaming-subscription services. Last year Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal, shuttered NBC Sports Network to bolster its USA channel and to encourage people to pay for Peacock, where it exclusively aired some English Premier League soccer games. Similarly, ESPN struck a deal with the National Hockey League to televise some games on its ESPN+ service, and CBS has shown marquee soccer games on Paramount+.
But those services have a fraction of the more than 100 million cable subscribers the media companies once reached. As a result, the bulk of sports programming goes on traditional pay-TV channels where they can guarantee leagues and advertisers larger audiences.
The National Basketball Association will be the first major test of the new competitive landscape. Its agreements with ESPN and Turner run through the 2024-25 season. Most sports and media executives predict that the league will stick with traditional broadcasters for most of its games, while carving out some small portion of rights for a tech company.
“It hedges them for the future and exposes the product to new audiences,” said George Pyne, founder of the sports private equity firm, Bruin Capital, and the former chief operating officer of NASCAR. “They can still have a long-term relationship with network partners but dip their toe in with new media.”
Until then, the best opportunities for Apple and Amazon may be overseas — where Amazon has been active for years — becauseEuropean soccer leagues resell their rights every two to three years. Amazon recently scooped up rights to Europe’s top tournament, the UEFA Champions League, in Britain, Germany and Italy. It also has rights to France’s Ligue 1, which it offers to Prime Video subscribers for annual fee of about $90, and the English Premier League.
Media companies will be pressured to expand geographically to compete, said Daniel Cohen, who leads global media rights consulting for Octagon, a sports agency. Television broadcasters could also team up to pool their financial firepower, or buy each other outright, to compete with tech giants willing to pay billions for rights like N.F.L. Sunday Ticket.
“It comes down to a Silicon Valley ego thing,” Mr. Cohen said of the high-dollar N.F.L. deal. “I don’t see a road to profitability. I see a road to victory.”
Not only did Ms. Mordaunt urge Britons to vote for Brexit, but she also played a minor, though memorable, part in the campaign by warning that Turkish migrants would flock to Britain when their own country joined the European Union, something she claimed Britain would be unable to block. The statement was erroneous: Britain, like other members, had a right to veto Turkey’s membership.
Brexit supporters regard her with suspicion for another reason: She voted for an ill-fated withdrawal agreement with the European Union negotiated by Prime Minister Theresa May.
Ms. Mordaunt combines an interest in security and a military background with views on social issues that are mildly progressive by Tory party standards. She has spoken up in favor of the rights of transgender people, for example, a position that has gotten her into trouble with the culture warriors on the party’s right.
Seeking to defuse the issue, Ms. Mordaunt said last week that transgender women “are not biological women like me, but the law recognizes them in their new gender and that’s very simple and straightforward.”
In the cut-and-thrust of Tory politics, of course, it is neither.
During a televised debate on Friday evening, Mr. Mordaunt came under renewed pressure on the issue, with one of her opponents, Kemi Badenoch, questioning whether she had backtracked on her earlier position. Critics said Ms. Mordaunt’s performance was wobbly and unfocused.
Analysts said the unsettled nature of the contest had made it especially vicious. Mr. Sunak, the early front-runner, has come under attack by Mr. Johnson’s allies, who view his resignation less than two weeks ago, which set the stage for the prime minister’s downfall, as a betrayal. Mr. Sunak’s tax policy as chancellor was criticized by Jacob Rees-Mogg, with whom he sat in cabinet just days ago. Mr. Rees-Mogg refused to deny reports that he had described the policy, which included tax increases, as “socialist.”
Surface damage seen on Qatar Airways’ airbus A350 parked at Qatar airways aircraft maintenance hangar in Doha, Qatar, June 20, 2022. REUTERS/Imad Creidi//File Photo
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LONDON, July 15 (Reuters) – (Amends paragraph 6 of July 15 story to show that Airbus’ comment on French legal risks is paraphrased testimony, not a direct quote)
A UK judge on Friday rejected an attempt by Airbus (AIR.PA) to invoke a De Gaulle-era law restricting the way it responds to foreign courts, as a high-profile dispute with Qatar Airways became mired in a growing debate over cross-border legal powers.
Qatar Airways is suing France-based Airbus for $1.4 billion over damage to the painted surface and anti-lightning system on A350 jets, saying safety could be at risk from a design defect. Airbus acknowledges quality flaws but insists the jets are safe.
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Now, the two sides must provide each other with thousands of pages of documents as their dispute heads towards a rare London aerospace trial in mid-2023, barring an elusive settlement.
Airbus says it is prevented from directly handing over documents sought by Qatar Airways by a 1968 law that stops French companies from handing over sensitive economic details to foreign courts, without a special mechanism in place.
The planemaker applied to a UK judge for permission to appoint a special commissioner responsible for transmitting the documents to Qatar Airways, something it had already done to assist UK authorities during a bribery investigation.
Airbus said that failing to set up such a conduit would expose the company to criminal charges in France.
“This is not something entirely novel, weird or wacky that we are proposing,” its lawyer Rupert Allen told a division of the High Court in an online hearing on Friday.
Judge David Waksman, however, rejected the request, awarding costs to Qatar Airways.
The 1968 law – widely referred to as the “French blocking statute” – was designed to protect French companies from oppressive foreign court demands especially from the United States, with which Paris was locked in an economic Cold War.
“That in my judgment is a million miles away from what this case is all about,” Judge David Waksman said.
“This is hardly the example of an unwilling, vulnerable French company that has now found itself having to cope with a highly intrusive and oppressive form of discovery,” he said.
He also criticised the planemaker for slowness over the request for a special disclosure mechanism.
The jurisdictional row coincides with a simmering political debate in the UK over the rights of British and foreign courts following Britain’s exit from the European Union.
Tensions flared again last month when the European Court of Human Rights, which is separate from the EU, blocked Britain’s move to deport some asylum seekers to Rwanda.
At least one of the candidates to replace Boris Johnson as UK prime minister has pledged to withdraw from the court.
Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, who is not standing in the Conservative leadership race, has said Britain will stay in the ECHR but that it is “legitimate to push back”. read more
In France, a corruption case that led to a record 3.6 billion euro $3.63 billion) fine against Airbus from Britain, France and the United States in 2020 also fuelled a debate over the extra-territorial reach of U.S. prosecutors against French companies.
Airbus said throughout the four-year investigation that it was co-operating with all domestic and foreign agencies.
Friday’s ruling came after Qatar Airways urged the judge to invoke the authority of English courts, which both sides had chosen to settle any disputes in their jetliner contracts.
“Complying with a foreign law is no defence against non-compliance” with English courts, Qatar’s lawyer Philip Shepherd said.
Airbus said in an emailed statement it had sought to comply with applicable laws rather than limit disclosure. Qatar Airways had no immediate comment on the judgment.
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Reporting by Tim Hepher
Editing by Barbara Lewis and Mark Potter
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Starting in first grade, students across Russia will soon sit through weekly classes featuring war movies and virtual tours through Crimea. They will be given a steady dose of lectures on topics like “the geopolitical situation” and “traditional values.” In addition to a regular flag-raising ceremony, they will be introduced to lessons celebrating Russia’s “rebirth” under President Vladimir V. Putin.
And, according to legislation signed into law by Mr. Putin on Thursday, all Russian children will be encouraged to join a new patriotic youth movement in the likeness of the Soviet Union’s red-cravatted “Pioneers” — presided over by the president himself.
Ever since the fall of the Soviet Union, the Russian government’s attempts at imparting a state ideology to schoolchildren have proven unsuccessful, a senior Kremlin bureaucrat, Sergei Novikov, recently told thousands of Russian schoolteachers in an online workshop. But now, amid the war in Ukraine, Mr. Putin has made it clear that this needed to change, he said.
end 30 years of openness to the West.
even a hockey player with suspect loyalties.
But nowhere are these ambitions clearer than in the Kremlin’s race to overhaul how children are taught at Russia’s 40,000 public schools.
militarize Russian society, building on officials’ ad hoc efforts after the invasion to convince young people that the war was justified.
“Patriotism should be the dominant value of our people,” another senior Kremlin official, Aleksandr Kharichev, said at last month’s workshop for teachers, which was hosted by the education ministry.
His presentation defined patriotism bluntly: “Readiness to give one’s life for the Motherland.”
Mr. Novikov, the head of the Kremlin’s “public projects” directorate, said that with the invasion of Ukraine in February, teachers faced “a rather urgent task”: to “carry out explanatory work” and answer students’ “difficult questions.”
“While everything is more or less controllable with the younger ones, the older students receive information through a wide variety of channels,” he said, acknowledging the government’s fears about the internet swaying young people’s views. A poll last month by the independent Levada Center found that 36 percent of Russians aged 18 to 24 opposed the war in Ukraine, compared with just 20 percent of all adults.
published by the education ministry last month shows that Mr. Putin’s two decades in power are set to be enshrined in the standard curriculum as a historical turning point, while the teaching of history itself will become more doctrinal.
The decree says that Russian history classes will be required to include several new topics like “the rebirth of Russia as a great power in the 21st century,” “reunification with Crimea,” and “the special military operation in Ukraine.”
And while Russia’s existing educational standard says students should be able to evaluate “various versions of history,” the new proposal says they should learn to “defend historical truth” and “uncover falsifications in the Fatherland’s history.”
As government employees, teachers generally have little choice but to comply with the new demands — though there are signs of grass-roots resistance. Mr. Ken says the Alliance of Teachers, his union, has provided legal guidance to dozens of teachers who have refused to teach this spring’s propaganda classes, noting that political agitation in schools is technically illegal under Russian law. In some cases, he says, principals have simply canceled the classes, knowing they were unpopular.
“You just need to find the moral strength not to facilitate evil,” Sergei Chernyshov, who runs a private high school in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk and has resisted promoting government propaganda, said in a phone interview. “If you can’t protest against it, at least don’t help it.”
Come September, such resistance could become more difficult, with schools directed to add an hour of class every Monday promoting the Kremlin’s version of patriotism. Virtual guest speakers in those classes will include Ramzan Kadyrov, the brutal strongman leader of the Chechnya region, and Patriarch Kirill I, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church who has called the invasion a righteous fight, according to a presentation at last month’s workshop.
schedule of the weekly classes posted by the education ministry. In October, fifth graders and up will have a session apparently meant to discourage emigration; its title: “Happiness is being happy at home.”
Also beginning in September is the Kremlin’s new youth movement, an idea endorsed by Mr. Putin in a televised meeting in April and enshrined in legislation he signed on Thursday.
A co-sponsor of the legislation, the lawmaker Artyom Metelev, said the creation of a new youth movement had long been in the works, but that the West’s online “information war” targeting young people amid the fighting in Ukraine made that measure more urgent.
“This would have also all appeared without the military operation,” Mr. Metelev, who is 28 and a member of Mr. Putin’s United Russia party, said in a phone interview. “It’s just that the military operation and those, let’s say, actions being carried out in relation to our country have accelerated it.”
Moscow’s propaganda infrastructure aimed at children remains far more limited than it was during the Soviet era — a time when young people actively sought out underground cultural exports smuggled in from the West. Mr. Chernyshov, the Novosibirsk school director, believes that the Kremlin’s attempts to sell its militarism to children will now also eventually run up against the young mind’s common sense.
“A 10-year-old child is much more of a humanist than the typical Russian citizen,” he said. “It’s simply impossible to explain to a child in plain language why, right now, some people are killing others.”
To fight disinformation, California lawmakers are advancing a bill that would force social media companies to divulge their process for removing false, hateful or extremist material from their platforms. Texas lawmakers, by contrast, want to ban the largest of the companies — Facebook, Twitter and YouTube — from removing posts because of political points of view.
In Washington, the state attorney general persuaded a court to fine a nonprofit and its lawyer $28,000 for filing a baseless legal challenge to the 2020 governor’s race. In Alabama, lawmakers want to allow people to seek financial damages from social media platforms that shut down their accounts for having posted false content.
In the absence of significant action on disinformation at the federal level, officials in state after state are taking aim at the sources of disinformation and the platforms that propagate them — only they are doing so from starkly divergent ideological positions. In this deeply polarized era, even the fight for truth breaks along partisan lines.
a nation increasingly divided over a variety of issues — including abortion, guns, the environment — and along geographic lines.
a similar law in Florida that would have fined social media companies as much as $250,000 a day if they blocked political candidates from their platforms, which have become essential tools of modern campaigning. Other states with Republican-controlled legislatures have proposed similar measures, including Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa and Alaska.
Alabama’s attorney general, Steve Marshall, has created an online portal through which residents can complain that their access to social media has been restricted: alabamaag.gov/Censored. In a written response to questions, he said that social media platforms stepped up efforts to restrict content during the pandemic and the presidential election of 2020.
“During this period (and continuing to present day), social media platforms abandoned all pretense of promoting free speech — a principle on which they sold themselves to users — and openly and arrogantly proclaimed themselves the Ministry of Truth,” he wrote. “Suddenly, any viewpoint that deviated in the slightest from the prevailing orthodoxy was censored.”
Much of the activity on the state level today has been animated by the fraudulent assertion that Mr. Trump, and not President Biden, won the 2020 presidential election. Although disproved repeatedly, the claim has been cited by Republicans to introduce dozens of bills that would clamp down on absentee or mail-in voting in the states they control.
memoirist and Republican nominee for Senate, railed against social media giants, saying they stifled news about the foreign business dealings of Hunter Biden, the president’s son.
massacre at a supermarket in Buffalo in May.
Connecticut plans to spend nearly $2 million on marketing to share factual information about voting and to create a position for an expert to root out misinformation narratives about voting before they go viral. A similar effort to create a disinformation board at the Department of Homeland Security provoked a political fury before its work was suspended in May pending an internal review.
In California, the State Senate is moving forward with legislation that would require social media companies to disclose their policies regarding hate speech, disinformation, extremism, harassment and foreign political interference. (The legislation would not compel them to restrict content.) Another bill would allow civil lawsuits against large social media platforms like TikTok and Meta’s Facebook and Instagram if their products were proven to have addicted children.
“All of these different challenges that we’re facing have a common thread, and the common thread is the power of social media to amplify really problematic content,” said Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel of California, a Democrat, who sponsored the legislation to require greater transparency from social media platforms. “That has significant consequences both online and in physical spaces.”
It seems unlikely that the flurry of legislative activity will have a significant impact before this fall’s elections; social media companies will have no single response acceptable to both sides when accusations of disinformation inevitably arise.
“Any election cycle brings intense new content challenges for platforms, but the November midterms seem likely to be particularly explosive,” said Matt Perault, a director of the Center on Technology Policy at the University of North Carolina. “With abortion, guns, democratic participation at the forefront of voters’ minds, platforms will face intense challenges in moderating speech. It’s likely that neither side will be satisfied by the decisions platforms make.”