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Covid-19 impact: Disney Parks decides to fire 28,000 US employees

Prolonged closures at Disney’s California-based theme parks and limited attendance at its open parks has forced the company to lay off 28,000 employees across its parks, experiences and consumer products division, the company said.

In a memo sent to employees on Tuesday, Josh D’Amaro, head of parks at Disney, detailed several “difficult decisions” the company has had to make in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, including ending its furlough of thousands of employees.

Shares of the company fell less than 2% after the closing bell on Tuesday.

Around 67% of the 28,000 laid off workers were part-time employees, according to a statement by D’Amaro on Tuesday. The company declined to break down the layoffs by individual park locations.

Russia Sees Twitter's Actions Toward RIA Novosti Account As Censorship - Foreign Ministry

Moscow views the actions of social network Twitter in relation to RIA Novosti account as an act of censorship and part of a politically motivated campaign, and expects relevant international organizations to assess these actions, the Russian Foreign ministry said on Monday

MOSCOW views the actions of social network Twitter in relation to RIA Novosti account as an act of censorship and part of a politically motivated campaign, and expects relevant international organizations to assess these actions, the Russian Foreign ministry said on Monday.

Earlier, Twitter removed RIA Novosti account from the search results. Users who have not subscribed to the agency's page cannot find it either in Russia or in other countries. Previously, Twitter blocked RT and Sputnik accounts in the same way.

"We regard the forced downgrade of the position of RIA Novosti account in search results by the administration of social network Twitter as another act of censorship and discrimination against the Russian media, violating the fundamental democratic principles of freedom of expression and equal access to information," the ministry said in a statement.

It noted that "biased actions of the US IT corporation" were a continuation of the politically motivated campaign launched earlier by Twitter and Facebook to label the pages of the Russian media as "state-affiliated.

Leaked docs expose massive Syria propaganda operation waged by Western govt contractors and media

Western government-funded intelligence cutouts trained Syrian opposition leaders, planted stories in media outlets from BBC to Al Jazeera, and ran a cadre of journalists. A trove of leaked documents exposes the propaganda network.

Leaked documents show how UK government contractors developed an advanced infrastructure of propaganda to stimulate support in the West for Syria’s political and armed opposition.

Virtually every aspect of the Syrian opposition was cultivated and marketed by Western government-backed public relations firms, from their political narratives to their branding, from what they said to where they said it.

The leaked files reveal how Western intelligence cutouts played the media like a fiddle, carefully crafting English- and Arabic-language media coverage of the war on Syria to churn out a constant stream of pro-opposition coverage.

US and European contractors trained and advised Syrian opposition leaders at all levels, from young media activists to the heads of the parallel government-in-exile. These firms also organized interviews for Syrian opposition leaders on mainstream outlets such as BBC and the UK’s Channel 4.

More than half of the stringers used by Al Jazeera in Syria were trained in a joint US-UK government program called Basma, which produced hundreds of Syrian opposition media activists.

Western government PR firms not only influenced the way the media covered Syria, but as the leaked documents reveal, they produced their own propagandistic pseudo-news for broadcast on major TV networks in the Middle East, including BBC Arabic, Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, and Orient TV.

U.S. says it will not pay what it owes WHO this year

WASHINGTON, (ST)_ The United States will not pay some $80 million it owes the World Health Organization (WHO) and will instead redirect the money to help pay its United Nations bill in New York, a U.S. official said on Wednesday.

The United States plans to leave the Geneva-based WHO on July 6, 2021.

US Police Kill Black Man In Washington

Police shot dead an African-American man in the US capital Washington Wednesday, the force said, in the latest of a slew of police killings of black men and women that has sparked nationwide uproar.

The man, said to be aged 18, was shot in the southeast of the city as officers were following up on a tip about guns allegedly stashed in a vehicle.

"When they approached the vehicle, some of the folks of the vehicle fled on foot. One of the officers discharged their firearm," Washington police chief Peter Newsham told a news conference.

New Zealand mosque shooter sentenced to life without parole

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand - The white supremacist who slaughtered 51 worshippers at two New Zealand mosques was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the first time the maximum available sentence has been imposed.

Judge Cameron Mander said the crimes committed by 29-year-old Australian Brenton Harrison Tarrant were so wicked that a lifetime in jail could not begin to atone for them. He said they had caused enormous loss and hurt and stemmed from a warped and malignant ideology.

“Your actions were inhuman,” Mander said. “You deliberately killed a 3-year-old infant by shooting him in the head as he clung to the leg of his father.”

After the sentence was announced, survivors of the shootings raised hands and fists in celebration and greeted supporters waving signs with painted hearts and carrying roses outside the court building.

Greece, Cyprus, Italy, France to hold military exercises in eastern Mediterranean

Greece has announced that it will launch military exercises on Wednesday with France, Italy and Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean, the focus of escalating tensions between Athens and Ankara, according to Cyprus online.

The joint exercises south of Cyprus and the Greek island of Crete will last three days, the Greek Defense Ministry said.

Tensions ratched up when Turkey sent the Oruc Reis research vessel accompanied by warships to disputed waters on August 10 to drill for gas there.

"Cyprus, Greece, France and Italy have agreed to deploy a joint presence in the eastern Mediterranean as part of the quadripartite cooperation initiative," the defense ministry said in a statement.