Twitter now BLOCKS abusive tweeters from making new accounts

Twitter Inc. says it has come up with new ways to make abusive tweeters less effective: hiding their content and preventing banned users from creating new accounts.

The updates, detailed in a blog post, come after years of criticism that the company hasn’t done enough to combat abuse and harassment. It’s part of a new push under Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey to clean up the social media service. On Twitter, where people don’t have to use their real names, the same environment that encourages open discussion also helps internet trolls thrive.

The changes will make it harder for abusers to be heard as they will be hidden in search results and replies, possibly decreasing their motivation. Twitter will not immediately delete the content that’s deemed harmful, just require more clicks to get to it. By preventing permanently blocked accounts from resurfacing under a different name, Twitter may decrease the amount of users who create multiple log-ins just to attack others.

Twitter’s failure to curb harassment has been a main complaint of users, and was one reason the company failed to get a bid from potential acquirers when it was exploring a sale last year. When Dorsey became CEO in 2015, he named user safety one of his top priorities.

Several prominent people have been banned, including Milo Yiannopoulos, the controversial British writer at the conservative website Breitbart News. Known as @nero on the site, Yiannopoulos was excluded for leading harassment of Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones. Martin Shkreli, the brash former pharmaceutical executive, was suspended earlier this year after he harassed a female reporter online.

With the updates, Twitter is providing some technological solutions to a problem that in the past was mostly addressed by a team around the world reviewing content after it’s reported by users. The company is responding to its own research and feedback from users frustrated at the time between the abuse and when it’s dealt with by the company.

Twitter is trying to make its product more pleasant to use after several quarters of stagnant user growth.

Shell Seeks To Block Nigeria Pollution Claims In London Court

Dutch oil giant Shell on Tuesday urged a High Court judge in Britain to block pollution claims brought against it by more than 40,000 Nigerians, demanding the case be heard in Nigeria instead.

Lawyers for the claimants are demanding action from Shell to clean up oil spills that have devastated their Niger Delta communities for decades.

But Royal Dutch Shell lawyer Peter Goldsmith told High Court of England and Wales judge Peter Fraser that the cases concerned “fundamentally Nigerian issues”, and shouldn’t be heard in London.
“The claims raise issues of Nigerian common law, customary law and legislation,” he said during the first day of the three-day hearing. “The events are said to have occurred in Nigeria and the alleged physical damage is all said to be found in Nigeria.”

Shell pointed out that the case involves its Nigerian subsidiary SPDC, which runs a joint venture with the government. Goldsmith said the case was aimed at “procuring an ‘anchor defendant’” to establish the High Court’s jurisdiction over SPDC, opening the door for further claims.

Daniel Leader from legal firm Leigh Day, which is representing the claimants, said oil spills from Shell’s pipelines had “blighted the lives of the thousands of Nigerians who live in Ogale and Bille” communities.

“It is clear to the claimants that Royal Dutch Shell is ultimately responsible for failing to ensure that its Nigerian subsidiary operates without causing environmental devastation,” he said in a statement.

“At the moment these communities have no choice — they have to take them to court to get them to act.”

King Emere Godwin Bebe Okpabi of the Ogale community told AFP his community had no option but to seek a ruling in London.

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Troops Block Boko Haram’s Supply Routes

The Nigerian Army and the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) are tightening the noose round the  neck of Boko Haram  in the Lake Chad area, according to indications yesterday.

The troops  have blocked all supply routes to the insurgents in the build-up to the next stage of liberating the over 200 Chibok girls abducted two years ago by the terrorists.

The blockade covers arms, ammunition and other logistics, highly placed sources said.

The  number of  MNJTF troops deployed in the Lake Chad Basin by Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic  had hit   10,500 by yesterday.

The MNJTF forces are receiving intelligence and reconnaissance assistance  from France, Britain and the United States.

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Chibok girls: Troops block Boko Haram’s supply routes

Rowdy Session At House Of Reps As lawmakers Block Kachikwu From Chamber

The scheduled appearance of Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, at the House of Representatives on Monday has left the lower chamber bitterly divided, as lawmakers bicker over whether the minister should be allowed to enter into the chamber or not.

Mr. Kachikwu was invited to brief lawmakers on the recent increase in the price of petrol.

But when Mr. Kachikwu arrived to honour the invitation, he was met with echoes of anger from lawmakers who started shouting “No! No! No!”

Shortly after noon, House Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, moved a motion to let Mr. Kachikwu in, but many lawmakers shouted him down.

This prompted the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, to put the matter up for voice vote.

When Mr. Dogara asked if the lawmakers should allow Mr. Kachikwu to come him, majority of them thundered: “No! No!”

But Mr. Dogara said the “ayes” have it, nonetheless.

But the lawmakers refused to be intimidated, continuing with their chants.

After a few minutes into the commotion, the House demanded that journalists and other observers should excuse them, leaving only members in the plenary to continue what they described as “executive session.”

Why the lawmakers invited Mr. Kachikwu and still declined to give him audience to explain himself has left many in the chambers befuddled.

As at 1:00 p.m., the House has not reopened the plenary to reporters and Mr. Kachikwu’s whereabouts is unknown.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Police Block #BBOG Activists From Presidential Villa

Anti-riot policemen have blocked the BringBackOurGirls members from accessing the presidential villa where they planned to hold a press conference.

The DPO, Asokoro Police Station, CSP, Grace Longe said the protesters cannot be allowed to access the villa for security reasons.

The BBOG is currently holding its world media conference to commemorate the two years anniversary of the abduction of 219 Chibok schoolgirls at the entrance road to the presidential villa.

Credit: Punch

2016 Budget Fraud: Reps Block Ministry’s Controversial N1 Billion Allocation

The budget defence of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, on Thursday, ended in a stalemate over controversial allocations to the ministry.

There are proposals of N1.07 billion for “optic fibre and satellite space segment” and N50 million for “global communication network computer” in the ministry’s budget. The budget was presented by the minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, on Thursday.

Both budget subheads are meant for a global communication project to connect Nigeria’s 119 diplomatic missions to the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja.

However, the chairman of the House Committee, Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje, insisted that appropriations had been made “many times” for the project in the previous budgets.

Mrs. Ukeje disclosed that a total of N9billion had been appropriated for the project in the past.

She questioned the non-completion of the project over the years and the need for over N1 billion naira for the project in the 2016 budget.

Interestingly, officials of the ministry, including the minister, the permanent secretary, director of finance and administration, spoke different times without responding to Mrs. Ukeje’s probe.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Troops Block Boko Haram’s Escape Routes At Lake Chad

Defence Headquarters, DHQ, yesterday, announced total blockade of all possible escape routes of Boko Haram terrorists at the Lake Chad Basin, by the Multi National Joint Task Force, MNJTF.

This is even as the Nigerian military has vowed to intensify its joint assaults on terrorists until it killed the last unrepentant terrorist in the North East.

It would be recalled that the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt-Gen Tukur Buratai, few days ago announced blockade of access routes in and out of Sambisa forest, with the aim of routing the insurgents.

DHQ, in an operational update through its Director of Defence Information, DDI, Colonel Rabe Abubakar, said the blockade of the Lake Chad Basin area had become imperative to prevent terrorists from escaping or infiltrating the country and its neighbours. It said that MNJTF has already deployed its 7th Brigade to the area for the purpose.

“The Nigerian Armed Forces have renewed commitment to continue the ongoing coordinated joint assaults on Boko Haram in the North East until the operation of the guerrillas are totally impaired and collapsed.

“To this end, the coordinated operation of the security forces in the contested area designed to dismantle the technical pre-eminence and capabilities of the terrorist group would intensify because the masquerading guerrillas should not be given any breathing space to regroup and re-strategise their campaign…”

Read More: nationalmirroronline

Youths Block Highways In Kaduna To Protest Appointment Of Interim Council Chair

There is currently tension in Kaduna as youths, predominantly Gbagyi, blocked the ?major roads leading to Chikun local government area of Kaduna State in protest of the appointment of Hajiya Hadiza Yahuza as interim chairman of the local government.

The situation attracted heavy traffic jam? as workers were prevented from accessing the road to their work places.

Meanwhile, heavily armed policemen are? presently using tear gas to disperse the angry youths.  About five youths have been reportedly shot by the police,but it is not certain whether they are alive or dead. The area is temporarily cleared now by the police, but no one can tell the next line of action of the protesting youths.

Meanwhile, the Interim Management Committees (IMC) are expected to be sworn in today by the Governor Malam Nasir El-Rufai.

It would be recalled that prior to the screening and confirmation of the said chairman on Friday last week, the youth had on Thursday protested to the state House of Assembly against her appointment and requested that their own be appointed instead.