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19/02/2020 13:53:21  

An anonymous reader shares a report from Wired: In January, all seven of the most-watched YouTube Gaming channels weren't run by happy gamers livestreaming the game du jour. They were instead recorded, autoplaying videos advertising videogame cheats and hacks, sometimes attached to sketchy, credential-vacuuming websites, according to one analytics firm. The trend has continued into this month, with five of the top seven most-watched YouTube Gaming channels last weekend advertising cheats. Take one example: As of this article's writing, a video featuring a cracking teenage boy's voice promoting an unconvincing "money glitch" in Grand Theft Auto 5 boasts 11,000 concurrent viewers. "So basically it's about glitching Rockstar's online servers and makes them send out whatever amount of money," says the voice. The video encourages Grand Theft Auto 5 players to visit a website called "Perfect Glitches," type in their gamer tag and the amount of in-game money they want -- up to $9,999,999,999 a day -- and hit "generate." But, ho -- the user must first prove that they are human by filling in their personal information on two other websites. [...] After you fill in your personal information -- anything from your address to your credit card number -- these types of sites will often turn around and sell it. Other times, sites that promise cheats or in-game money will download malware onto your computer. While several YouTube Gaming cheat channels have disappeared since January, a couple of long-time users remain and many more keep cropping up. One particularly psychedelic channel features a 3-D cat in a Russian hat advertising free in-game money, against a background of gaudy Russian text and a scrolling chat box. Stitch from Lilo and Stitch dances on the top left corner. With 10,000 live concurrent viewers as of this article's writing, the video buoys the whole category for a somewhat niche shooter game called Standoff 2. It's unlikely that the bulk of those eyebrow-raising view numbers are real humans watching this stuff. Instead, scammers drive bot traffic to them to push the videos to the top of YouTube Gaming directories, where they can get the most exposure for the longest period of time -- a better position from which to dupe unlucky viewers. "The prevalence of these game-cheating YouTube Gaming channels with what appears to be huge numbers of bots complicates the narrative of the so-called 'platform wars' between Twitch, YouTube Gaming, Mixer, and Facebook Gaming," reports Wired in closing. "While Twitch's livestream directory might have a couple pirated sports streams or sketchy gambling streams, its top ranks aren't nearly as dominated by ads for cheats." "If a chunk of YouTube Gaming's hours watched is due to this sort of behavior, then it may be a little longer until Twitch is knocked off its throne."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

19/02/2020 06:53:52  

Between kill nothing and kill almost everything lies the pragmatic aim of maximising diversity and abundance on Earth

It was a protest against me. But I sympathised with the demonstrators, who gathered outside the theatre where I was speaking last week to call me a killer. I didn’t dispute their claim. I am a killer.

While making Apocalypse Cow, a film for Channel 4 about how we should feed ourselves without destroying the world, I shot a deer. If it helps (though it didn’t help the deer), I hated every minute of it, from picking up the rifle and learning to use it, to finding and stalking the innocent animal, then shooting it through the chest from 180 metres, watching it rear into the air, stumble, spasm and die. It was a gruesome, horrible experience.

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19/02/2020 01:05:10  

Redbox has entered the ad-supported streaming market with the launch of Redbox Free Live TV. "But despite its name, Redbox's new streaming service isn't offering 'live TV' similar to what you'd get on a TV streaming service like YouTube TV or Hulu with Live TV," reports TechCrunch. "Instead, the new service offers a curated set of ad-supported movies and TV shows, similar to The Roku Channel, IMDb TV or TiVo Plus, for example." The news was first reported by Cord Cutters News. From the report: The service, which began rolling out last week, expands on Redbox's earlier efforts in streaming, known as Redbox on Demand. Launched publicly in 2017, Redbox on Demand is the company's online marketplace for movies and TV for rental and purchase. Those titles can then be saved in your Redbox On Demand library and watched on a compatible smart TV, media streaming device, PC, tablet or phone. They also can be cast to a TV by way of AirPlay, Chromecast, Miracast or Screencast. Redbox Free Live TV, meanwhile, is currently available on iPhone, iPad and Android devices, in addition to the web. However, the company says the service is "only available to a select audience" at this time, but will soon be offered nationwide. (Perhaps as soon as this week.) Like other free, ad-supported streaming services on the market, Redbox Free Live TV doesn't require users to subscribe, but instead runs commercial breaks as a means of generating revenue. On top of that, the content on Redbox Free Live TV is fairly niche -- news and entertainment, but limited to older shows and movies, for the most part, along with content from digital brands.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

18/02/2020 23:53:39  

Though drunk-drivers and burglars may not sound like the subjects of a remarkably hopeful documentary, this film about a pioneering police scheme will irrigate your spirit

What’s the opposite of a trigger warning? A joyful vow? A promise of redemption? A wild-eyed clutch of the arm and a plea to read, watch or listen to what follows? Whatever it is, Channel 4’s documentary How to Stay Out of Jail needs one. At long last, it will irrigate your spirit with something other than tears of despair.

It is unpromising subject matter for such a project. This is a film following people who have come to the attention of the police after such actions as hitting their child with a leather belt, drunk driving, threatening a neighbour – and then the arresting officer – with a spade, handling stolen goods (and suspected links to many burglaries) and child neglect. When we first meet them, there is nothing much to get the hope or even empathy glands juicing.

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18/02/2020 11:53:18  

In 2018, the owner of Two-Bit History, a site dedicated to computer history, wrote a successful article about mathematician Ada Lovelace, who some credit as being the first computer programmer. Sadly, if you search Google for that article today you won't find it. Some idiotic anti-piracy company had it deleted because it dared to use the word "did." TorrentFreak reports: In 2018, [Sinclair Target, the owner of computing history blog, Two-Bit History] wrote an article about Ada Lovelace, the daughter of Lord Byron who some credit as being the world's first computer programmer, despite being born in 1815. Unfortunately, however, those who search for that article today using Google won't find it. As the image below shows, the original Tweet announcing the article is still present in Google's indexes but the article itself has been removed, thanks to a copyright infringement complaint that also claimed several other victims. Sinclair's article was deleted because an anti-piracy company working on behalf of a TV company decided that since its title (What Did Ada Lovelace's Program Actually Do?) contained the word 'DID,' it must be illegal. This monumental screw-up was announced on Twitter by Sinclair himself, who complained that "Computers are stupid folks. Too bad Google has decided they are in charge." At risk of running counter to Sinclair's claim, in this case -- as Lovelace herself would've hopefully agreed -- it is people who are stupid, not computers. The proof for that can be found in the DMCA complaint sent to Google by RightsHero, an anti-piracy company working on behalf of Zee TV, an Indian pay-TV channel that airs Dance India Dance. Now in its seventh season, Dance India Dance is a dance competition reality show that is often referred to as DID. And now, of course, you can see where this is going. Because Target and at least 11 other sites dared to use the word in its original context, RightsHero flagged the pages as infringing and asked Google to deindex them. In the complaint sent to Google, "the notice not only claims Target's article is infringing the copyrights of Dance India Dance (sorry, DID), but also no less than four online dictionaries explaining what the word 'did actually means," adds TorrentFreak. "Perhaps worse still, some of the other allegedly-infringing articles were published by some pretty serious information resources [including the U.S. Department of Education, Nature.com, and USGS Earthquake Hazards Program of the U.S. Geological Survey]."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

17/02/2020 11:53:43  

The TV presenter has died aged 40. Share your tributes here

Tributes have been flooding in for television presenter Caroline Flack, who has taken her own life aged 40.

Flack is known for presenting shows mostly for ITV and its sister channel ITV 2. She was the sole presenter of the revival of Love Island which started in 2015. She left the show in December 2019 following her arrest for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend.

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16/02/2020 21:53:03  

Parker told Channel Ten’s The Project he had been told to leave RFS leading to the hashtag #IstandwithPaulParker trending in Australia

A volunteer firefighter who told the prime minister to “get fucked from Nelligan” in a viral news clip says he was sacked from the New South Wales Rural Fire Service for foul language.

Paul Parker told Channel Ten’s The Project on Sunday that he was chastised by the RFS for directing the expletive toward Scott Morrison and that he had been booted from the organisation, contrary to reports from the time that he had been stood down due to exhaustion.

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16/02/2020 08:53:02  

For more than a decade, a group of criminals brought drugs, fear and violence to Dawlish

Retired couples and a smattering of teenagers bunking off school watch the grey swell of the Channel under a pale winter sky. The gaudy amusement arcades of penny-pushers and flashing gambling machines are almost completely deserted. The bored-looking staff in the ice-cream parlours and takeaways gaze into their phones, waiting for customers.

Dawlish on the south Devon coast is everything you might expect of a seaside resort in February. Yet this ostensibly sleepy West Country town was for well over a decade the nerve-centre of a violent gang from the north-east who built a brutal drug empire worth at least £1m while also preying on vulnerable young women who fell under their spell.

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15/02/2020 11:52:46  

On one day in February, a record number of people in tiny boats made the trip. What kind of welcome can they expect?

I live on the edge of England. You can’t go any further south without falling into the sea, which is a long way down from the top of the high cliffs near my home. The walk over the backs of Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters is often named as one of the most beautiful in the country, with rolling downland that ends suddenly in bright, white chalk falls and a seascape horizon so wide you can see the Earth curve.

For the last couple of years I have been privileged to be writer in residence at the Belle Tout lighthouse, which sits alone on one of these hills, almost on the edge of a 120m drop. This Georgian tower no longer shines a light, but it has been restored and transformed into a lovely place for bed and breakfast.

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15/02/2020 10:52:50  

I have a cunning plan to overcome my five-year-olds’ obsesssion with the big-bowed YouTuber

In what now looks like a state of prelapsarian innocence, I hadn’t heard of Joelle Joanie Siwa – or JoJo Siwa, as the five-year-olds know her – until my daughter asked for her on Alexa a few months ago. “Play JoJo Siwa,” she said, and has been saying ever since. At my kids’ birthday party in January, they received JoJo Siwa-branded diaries and accessories. In the local pharmacy, there is a whole rack of JoJo Siwa hair guff next to the milk. This week there was a book fair at their school, where you’d think you’d be safe, but no. In among the volumes of Pete the Cat and shark books, there she was – JoJo & Bow Bow: The Posh Puppy Pageant, one of a series of books “written” by Siwa.

There are worse kids’ internet phenomena out there, but the breadth of the Siwa franchise, and the glittery hold she has on kindergarten-age girls, makes her one of the most annoying. Siwa, who is 16 and comes from Nebraska, sprang to fame on the back of the Lifetime TV show Dance Moms. But it was her YouTube channel, JoJo Siwa vlogs, that launched her pop career and everything that came afterwards: a 52-city US tour, endless spinoffs, and her presence in our house every day.

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14/02/2020 13:52:44  

Man had been on holiday in China and returned to work but felt unwell

A Channel 4 employee who was met by NHS staff in protective clothing at the broadcaster’s London headquarters is among the latest people in Britain to have undergone precautionary testing for the coronavirus.

What is the virus causing the illness that started Wuhan?

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14/02/2020 08:52:35  

Languages do not become endangered peacefully. Duolingo’s efforts to teach such languages have entangled the company in often fraught historical contexts

In October last year, Meena Viswanath, a 31-year-old civil engineer from Berkeley, California, joined a small team of volunteers who were developing a Yiddish course on Duolingo, the free language learning app with over 300 million users. Having grown up in the only Yiddish-speaking family in a majority English-speaking New Jersey neighborhood, the prospect of broadcasting her mother tongue to a global network of students was exciting.

Throughout October, Viswanath and three other contributors regularly met to discuss the curriculum over a shared Slack channel. They had a target to get the course up and running towards the end of 2020, and to begin, progress was solid. But then they hit a roadblock.

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13/02/2020 14:51:55  

The Wi-Fi Alliance announced the new Wi-Fi 6E terminology for 802.11ax operation in the 6 GHz band last month. At CES 2020, Broadcom announced a number of Wi-Fi 6E access point solutions. Today, Broadcom is announcing the BCM4389 client Wi-Fi 6E chipset. From a report: Consumers can expect to see the chipset in the next generation of high-end smartphones. We have already covered the advantages of Wi-Fi 6E in terms of lower latency, higher throughput, and the availability of more number of 160 MHz channels in our coverage of the Wi-Fi Alliance announcement at CES. The BCM4389 builds upon Broadcom's success with the BCM4375, which happens to be the currently leading client Wi-Fi 6 chipset in the smartphone market. In addition to the new 6 GHz support with tri-band simultaneous operation and 160 MHz channel support, the BCM4389 also brings in additional power efficiency, thanks to its 16nm process technology and architectural improvements. The BCM4375 is a 28nm chipset with 2x2 2.4 GHz and 2x2 5 GHz support, while the new BCM4389 adds 2x2 6 GHz to the mix. The scanning radio accounts for the additional radio chain. The Bluetooth 5.0 functionality has also received a boost with MIMO support. Broadcom claims that the new implementation can reduce pairing time by a factor of 2 and also alleviate glitching issues when connected to Wi-Fi at the same time (compared to the BCM4375). The icing on the cake is that the MIMO support works with implicit beamforming ensuring that legacy Bluetooth devices stand to benefit too.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

12/02/2020 14:54:11  

The BBC channel is a lifeline to parents of small children. Getting rid of it, as the corporation’s chairman has suggested, is unthinkable

If some people have their way, the days of the licence fee are seemingly numbered. And in a bid to protect it, the BBC chairman, David Clementi, has gone nuclear. Take the license fee away, he says, and there won’t be any more CBeebies.

Honestly, that’s enough. Take my licence fee. Double it. Triple it, even. David, I will give you my pin code and the keys to my car if you promise not to get rid of CBeebies. It is the crown jewel of the BBC. It makes parenting possible.

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10/02/2020 19:48:15  

The network plans to offer original programming "created by people of colour for people of colour".
10/02/2020 14:51:57  

The motoring show is being switched over to Britain’s biggest channel to turbo charge its success. In fact, it’s like rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic

Top Gear is moving to BBC One. For the first time in almost half a century, it has been announced that the motoring show is going the way of The Apprentice and the Great British Bake Off, switching to the country’s biggest television channel in order to turbo charge its success.

Related: Top Gear is switching to BBC1 in attempt to safeguard licence fee

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10/02/2020 09:51:54  

‘The time is right to move the world’s best motor show to the nation’s most popular channel’

Veteran car show Top Gear is switching to BBC1 after 43 years on BBC2 as part of the corporation’s drive to attract younger viewers and safeguard the future of the licence fee.

Following the success of new presenting line-up Freddie Flintoff, Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris, Top Gear is to follow in the footsteps of other hit shows including Line of Duty, Peaky Blinders and Great British Bake Off and make the transition from BBC2 to its bigger stablemate BBC1.

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08/02/2020 22:51:23  

• Mixture of TV rights sales and new service would lift income
• ‘We will be ready should the opportunity arise’

The Premier League will eventually sell matches on a Netflix-style channel, its new chief executive, Richard Masters, has said. Masters confirmed that the Premier League had considered launching its own digital service – streaming live games and other content directly – in some countries during the TV bidding process for the 2019-22 seasons.

He confirmed such an option – which would allow the Premier League to charge directly for a “Premflix”channel rather than sell the rights to TV companies – was on the table for the 2022-25 seasons.

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08/02/2020 18:51:19  

The award-winning author of Queenie talks about racism in dating, the childhood books that formed her and the importance of friends

First published just under a year ago, Candice Carty-Williams’s debut novel, Queenie, has become not just a bestseller but a publishing phenomenon. Now out in paperback, the book has blazed a trail with its smart and funny portrayal of black womanhood and black British life. A hit with critics and readers alike, it was shortlisted for numerous prizes, including the Costa first novel award, and won Blackwell’s debut of the year prize. Carty-Williams is now adapting it for a Channel 4 series.

Born in south London in 1989, she wrote much of the novel at a writers’ retreat at the home of author Jojo Moyes during a week off from her job at the publisher 4th Estate. Booker prize winner Bernardine Evaristo described it as “a deliciously funny, characterful, topical and thrilling novel for our times”.

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08/02/2020 16:51:21  

The chaos of last week’s caucuses was a gift to Donald Trump, but could easily have been avoided

Who needs the Russians when the Democratic party of Iowa is perfectly capable of screwing up the democratic process all by itself? The political world waited on Monday night with bated breath to see which of the Democratic candidates would emerge from the arcane “caucus” process in the state. But when the polls closed, no results were available.

There were, the party, stated, “inconsistencies” in the reported figures coming through from the precincts. No results would be issued until the results had been properly and accurately collated. The information was to have come from a recently developed smartphone app, with a back-up option that would enable precinct captains to phone in their results. Neither channel worked. CNN reported that one official who was trying to report his results was on hold for an hour and had apparently just got through to party headquarters when the party hung up on him – on live television. It was, to use a technical term, a shambles.

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08/02/2020 11:51:23  

In this new Channel 4 show the omnipresent doom-merchant hosts, but doesn’t partake in, a travelogue about technology saving the planet

A question I suppose we all must ask ourselves, at some point in our lives: why is Kevin McCloud here, again? Shh, don’t ask too loudly: Kevin McCloud is just over there, blazer over a sweater, flicking his head up at some panelling, inspecting your brickwork, fingers in your bank account, puzzling over how you went over budget. Did you invite Kevin McCloud in? Because I didn’t invite Kevin McCloud in, but Kevin McCloud is in. He’s like an architectural vampire: he cannot set foot into your house unless you give him explicit permission, can’t cross the threshold of the area you’ve taped out for windows unless you tell him he can do so. And yet here he is, in the corner of your comprehension, peering, McClouding, getting your wife pregnant without you noticing.

This is the recurring theme of Kevin McCloud’s Rough Guide to the Future (Wednesday, 9pm, Channel 4): Kevin McCloud is in it, but he does not need to be in it. “We drive too much, fly far too much, eat too much, and shop insatiably,” Kevin McCloud says, bombasting in front of some green screen. Is Kevin McCloud going to solve the future? Is technology the answer to the planet’s ills? The icebergs are melting, and I’m excited to find out what Kevin McCloud is going to do about it. And then: oh, right. It’s a travelogue.

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08/02/2020 10:51:11  

In over half a century of travels, I’ve felt European: buying left-hand-drive cars, learning enough of several languages to talk football with taxi drivers. But now I’m no longer a citizen …

London in the 1950s and 60s was an ebullient, technicolour time. But it was also an era during which most of monochrome Britain regarded “the Continent” as a place of “rabies and intellectuals” – as New York Times journalist Roger Cohen, raised in north London, put it in a book about his mother.

I didn’t care about rabies, and wanted to meet and emulate the intellectuals. When I was in my mid-teens, fuelled by the uprisings of 1968 in Paris and Prague, the world – my life – began when the ferry pulled out of Dover. Clutching my blue SNCF rail ticket, watching the cliffs recede with a sense of liberation, across the choppy Channel to dock in Calais, transferring to the Paris train, traversing the capital to Gare de Lyon and boarding an overnight iron horse to points south. Destinations: Provence, or Italy, or Austria, or the then-turbulent Basque Country and Spain.

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07/02/2020 19:51:20  

Brazil’s rightwing regime wants to censor textbooks, spy on teachers, and repress minority and LGBT groups. We need the international community’s support

Brazil’s democratic institutions are under attack. Since taking office, the Jair Bolsonaro administration, helped by its allies on the far right, has systematically undermined cultural, scientific and educational institutions in the country, as well as the press.

Early on, prominent members of Bolsonaro’s political party started a campaign to encourage university and high school students to covertly film their teachers and denounce them for “ideological indoctrination.” This persecution campaign, ominously called “school without party,” created a sense of intimidation and fear in educational institutions in a country barely three decades out of an oppressive military regime. Last month, Bolsonaro suggested that the state should censor textbooks to promote conservative values.

The Bolsonaro administration has made it clear it will not tolerate deviation from its ultra-conservative politics and worldview. Last year the administration fired the marketing director of Banco do Brasil, Delano Valentim, for creating an ad campaign promoting diversity and inclusion, which was then censored by the government. Later that year, as Brazil’s Amazon forest burned at an alarming rate, Bolsonaro’s administration retaliated against scientists who dared to present facts. Ricardo Galvão, the former director of Inpe (National Institute for Space Research), was removed from his post for releasing satellite data on deforestation in the Amazon.

The government is also dangerously hostile to the media. On January 21st this year, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office opened a baseless investigation into American journalist Glenn Greenwald and his team for participating in an alleged conspiracy to hack the cellphone of Brazilian authorities. The prosecution, a clear attack on freedom of the press, was a response to a series of exposes that Glenn Greenwald and The Intercept published concerning possible corruption in Bolsonaro’s inner circle.

This is not an isolated case. Government officials throughout the country, from regional courts to the military police, have taken it upon themselves to ideologically defend Bolsonaro and curtail free expression. In 2019 alone, there were 208 reported attacks on media and journalists in Brazil.

On January 16, Bolsonaro and the then-special secretary for culture, Roberto Alvim, filmed a joint broadcast that laid out their ideological plans for the country. They praised the “conservative turn” and the “resumption of culture” in the country. The next day, Alvim went further; during a video segment to announce a new national arts award, he made apparent allusions to Nazi principles and lifted phrases from Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.

Domestic outrage and international condemnation caused Alvim to step down. But Alvim was merely giving voice to Bolsonaro’s far-right political project, which continues in full force: a continuous affront to freedom of expression, justified in the name of national culture. Public institutions that represent Brazil’s multicultural heritage – the Superior Council of Cinema, ANCINE, the Audiovisual Fund, the National Library, the Institute of National Historical and Artistic Heritage (IPHAN) and the Palmares Foundation for Black Culture – have faced censorship, funding cutbacks and other political pressure.

The Brazilian filmmaker Petra Costa, director of the documentary The Edge of Democracy, currently has a chance of becoming the first female Latin American director to win an Oscar. Yet Bolsonaro’s secretary of communication recently used his official Twitter channel to disseminate a video attacking Costa as an anti-patriot spreading lies about the Bolsonaro government. Similarly, the feature films Bacurau, Invisible Life and Babenco received international acclaim at the Cannes and Venice film festivals, but Bolsonaro has declared that no good films have been produced in Brazil for a long time.

The Bolsonaro government is also working to reverse several important social achievements of the last two decades, including affirmative action. Between 2003 and 2017, the proportion of black students entering Brazilian universities increased 51%; the Bolsonaro regime wants to roll back this progress. Bolsonaro and his ministers routinely disparage ethnic minorities and the LGBT community – all while ignoring the violence and criminality of rightwing paramilitary militias.

This is a government that has no development plan for its people. Instead, the Bolsonaro regime is engaged in a dangerous culture war against contrived internal threats. It denies global warming and the burning of the Amazon, despises leaders who fight for the preservation of the environment, and disrespects the culture and environmental preservation carried out by indigenous communities.

We fear that these attacks on democratic institutions may soon become irreversible. Based on the most extreme and narrow conservative principles, Bolsonaro’s project is to change the content of school textbooks and Brazilian films, restrict access to funding for scholarships and research, and intimidate intellectuals, journalists and scientists. We ask the international community to:

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07/02/2020 18:51:27  

Dangerous conditions fail to deter record number of people from attempting to enter UK

The approach of Storm Ciara has not deterred 102 people from trying to cross the Channel on Friday.

Five inflatable boats carrying migrants who said they were from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Syria were picked up by Border Force, the Home Office said.

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07/02/2020 17:47:25  

The Border Force and Kent Police say they dealt with six incidents during one day.