Turkish net companies have been ordered to block access to social media sites to stop the sharing of photos of Mehmet Selim Kiraz, who was taken hostage during last week’s armed siege in Istanbul.
A Turkish court has told Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more than 150 other sites to remove images taken during the siege.
The block on Facebook and Twitter was lifted after the two social networks complied with the court order.
Currently, YouTube remains blocked in Turkey.
Before imposing the blocks on the websites, Turkish authorities had moved to stop newspapers printing the images.
The newspapers were accused by the government of disseminating “terrorist propaganda” for the DHKP-C group that was reportedly behind the attack on the courthouse. The DHKP-C is considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the EU and US.
The siege ended with the gunmen and their hostage being killed when police stormed the building in a rescue bid.
Mehmet Selim Kiraz was apparently taken hostage because he headed an investigation into the death of a boy during anti-government protests that took place in 2013.
The pictures showing attackers holding a gun to Mehmet Selim Kiraz’s head were being widely shared on social media, leading authorities to act, reported Turkish newspaper Hurriyet.
“The wife and children of prosecutor Kiraz have been deeply upset. The images are everywhere,” a senior Turkish official told the Reuters news agency.
In total, 166 websites which shared the images were blocked by the court order.
YouTube published the text of the court ruling on its website saying an “administration measure” had been enacted by Turkey’s telecoms authority. It said it was seeking ways to restore access.
Facebook was also subject to the same block but it is believed the restrictions on it were lifted because it removed the images before the expiration of a deadline imposed by the court. Twitter reacted more slowly and access to the messaging system was blocked for several hours on April 6.
The US Central Command’s Twitter and YouTube accounts have been suspended after being hacked by a group claiming to back Islamic State.
One message on Centcom’s Twitter feed said: “American soldiers, we are coming, watch your back.”
It was signed by ISIS, another name for the Islamic State. Some internal military documents also appeared on the Centcom Twitter feed.
Centcom said it viewed the breach as “cyber-vandalism” and not serious.
In a statement, the military command said there was no operational impact and no classified information was posted.
“We are viewing this purely as a case of cyber-vandalism,” it said.
The hack happened as President Barack Obama was giving a speech on cyber-security.
Reflecting on major breaches like a recent hack of Sony Pictures, President Barack Obama said in his speech the US had been reminded of “enormous vulnerabilities for us as a nation and for our economy”.
Barack Obama’s spokesman Josh Earnest said the US is looking into the Centcom hacking.
He said they were investigating the extent of the incident, and that there was a significant difference between a large data breach and the hacking of a Twitter account.
An unnamed Pentagon official told Reuters the hacking was an embarrassment but did not appear to be a security threat.
According to the latest Edward Snowden leaks, the UK intelligence agency , GCHQ, has monitored in real-time YouTube video views, Facebook “likes” and Blogger visits.
Details of an alleged GCHQ program codenamed Squeaky Dolphin have been published by NBC News.
It reports that the agency showed off its abilities to the National Security Agency (NSA) in 2012.
Facebook has since started encrypting its data, but Google’s YouTube and Blogger services remain unencrypted.
Both firms have said that they did not give GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) permission to access the data.
The alleged operation’s leaked logo – showing a dolphin holding a canister branded GTE – appears to refer to Global Telecoms Exploitation, a GCHQ division believed to be capable of collecting data from fibre-optic cables.
According to an earlier leak, published by the Guardian, GCHQ has been tapping fibre-optic cables to create a “buffer” of information it could search through since at least 2011, as part of a scheme called Tempora.
GCHQ has monitored in real-time YouTube video views, Facebook “likes” and Blogger visits
The newspaper said that by 2012 the agency had tapped more than 200 cables – including transatlantic communication links – and was able to process phone and internet data taken from up to 46 of them at a time.
GCHQ declined to comment on the specifics of the latest report.
The NBC report is based on a presentation entitled Psychology: A New Kind of Sigdev [signals development]. It was part of the trove of documents former NSA contractor Edward Snowden passed to journalist Glenn Greenwald, who contributed to NBC’s report.
The papers refer to the use of Splunk Dashboard to provide real-time analysis of how people use YouTube, Facebook and Blogger.
Splunk is commercially available software designed to let organisations “listen” to their own data.
Examples that GCHQ is said to have shown off include:
a table showing how many people based in the city of Lagos looked at a specific job vacancies blog over a 24-hour period
a graph showing how many London-based internet users “liked” links about former Defense Secretary Liam Fox on Facebook over a week-long period
a pie chart highlighting 20 trending YouTube video tags a day before planned anti-government protests in Bahrain
Although the examples provided do not identify specific users, NBC suggests this would have been possible to do if GCHQ had access to such data.
A spokesman for Facebook added: “Network security is an important part of the way we protect user information, which is why we finished moving our site traffic to HTTPS [encryption] by default last year, implemented Perfect Forward Secrecy, and continue to strengthen all aspects of our network.”
The first ever YouTube awards were held in New York and presided by Jason Schwartzman and Reggie Watts.
The event featured Eminem, Lady Gaga and M.I.A making live music videos directed by the awards’ creator, Spike Jonze, and others.
Eminem won Artist of the Year, while Taylor Swift’s I Knew You Were Trouble took the YouTube Phenomenon award.
The ceremony was streamed live online.
The inaugural YouTube awards reflect an increasing trend for people to turn to the internet, rather than television and radio, for music and video
Nominees were chosen by taking into account the YouTube views, likes, comments and subscription figures for different artists.
Indie actress Greta Gerwig kicked off proceedings at the sprawling Pier 36 venue, performing in a live video for Arcade Fire and their new song Afterlife.
Lady Gaga was up next, tears rolling down her cheeks as she performed her single Dope for the first time wearing a baseball cap and flannel shirt.
The coveted Video of the Year award went to South Korean group Girls’ Generation for their song I Got A Boy, while Innovation of the Year went to DeStorm Power, the YouTube user whose 250 videos on the website have been watched more than 200 million times.
The inaugural YouTube awards reflect an increasing trend for people to turn to the internet, rather than television and radio, for music and video.
In August last year, the Nielsen rating agency published a survey in which 64% of American adolescents said they listened to music on YouTube, compared with 56% who listened to radio.
Duck Dynasty’s Si Robertson discovered YouTube for the first time, and, after watching a series of instructional videos, decided he can make something better.
Uncle Si notes: “They got everything in this thing. Fainting goats. Sneezing pandas. Double rainbows, all the way to both ends… Where’s this thing been all my life?”
Jase, Jep, John Godwin, and Justin Martin helped Uncle Si shoot an instructional golf video, and upload Si’s “four point philosophy” to the web.
Si Robertson discovered YouTube for the first time
He’s so hooked on the videos that he skips lunch with the gang from the Duck Commander warehouse and then is shocked when he learns he’s been watching the laptop screen for an hour when they return.
Si Robertson decides he will make some instructional videos on subjects like “training dogs, how to walk, how to talk, how to eat a hard-shell taco,” but eventually settles on a golfing video because he was once a greens keeper at a golf course.
Dressing the part, Si Robertson later shows up in stereotypical golfing garb, including loud plaid pants, bright sweater-vest and a flat-cap.
Uncle Si explains: “You can’t go out there dressed like a baffoon.”
With Jep Robertson manning the camera, Uncle Si begins his video: “I am an amateur golfer, but a professional golf instructor.”
The final product includes Si Robertson’s four steps to better golf: Stance, swing, long putts and “don’t overdo it.”
Cleveland kidnap victim Michelle Knight has broken her public silence to bravely face the cameras for the first time since her rescue from the house of horrors in May in a recent video released on YouTube.
Michelle Knight’s captor Ariel Castro is accused of starved and punching her until she miscarried during her decade-long ordeal.
But Michelle Knight, now 32, sought to reassure the public saying: “I want everyone to know I’m doing just fine.”
She admitted in the video released onto YouTube on Monday that she had been “through hell and back, but I am strong enough to walk through hell with a smile on my face”.
A smiling Michelle Knight spoke directly into the camera said: “I will not let the situation define who I am. I will define the situation.”
It was not even known that Michelle Knight had been kidnapped until she was found in Ariel Castro’s home on Seymour Avenue on May 6.
“I don’t want to be consumed by hatred. With that being said, we need to take a leap of faith and know that God is in control.”
Appearing alongside Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, who Michelle Knight refers to her as “her best friends”, the three women each appeared separately in the three-minute, 33-second clip, as they thanked those who helped them and to request their privacy be respected.
All three women appear healthy and flashed their warm smiles to the camera.
The set-up interviews, were recorded on July 2 and filmed at the law offices of Jones Day in Cleveland, Ohio and put together pro bono by PR firm Hennes Paynter Communications.
Frequently referring to her faith during her brief statement, Michelle Knight expressed her dearest wish to now help others who have been through similar horrific ordeals of captivity.
“To know that there is someone out there to lean on and to talk to,” she said.
“Thank you for all your prayers. I’m looking forward to my brand new life.”
Michelle Knight has broken her public silence to bravely face the cameras for the first time since her rescue from the house of horrors in May
Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight broke their combined public silence in the video posted late on Monday evening, saying the encouragement of family, friends and the public has enabled them to restart their lives.
The captor, former bus driver Ariel Castro, 52, has pleaded not guilty to a 329-count indictment that includes charges of kidnapping and rape – alleging he kidnapped the women off the streets between 2002 and 2004 and held them captive in his two-story home.
Ariel Castro fathered a 6-year-old daughter with Amanda Berry and is accused of starving and punching Michelle Knight, causing her to miscarry – for which is facing the charge of aggravated murder of a fetus – which could carry the death penalty.
He was arrested on May 6th, shortly after Amanda Berry broke through a door at the home and yelled to neighbors for help.
Amanda Berry was 16 when she disappeared on April 21st, 2003. Gina DeJesus was 14 when she went missing in 2004.
Michelle Knight was the first to vanish in 2002 at age 20.
Kathy Joseph, an attorney for Michelle Knight, said in a statement that the three women wanted to “say thank you to people from Cleveland and across the world, now that two months have passed”.
She said they’re being recognized in public, “so they decided to put voices and faces to their heartfelt messages”.
James Wooley, attorney for Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, also issued a statement saying Michelle Knight and his clients thank people for the privacy they’ve been given and do not want to discuss their case with the news media or anyone else.
Released from hospital five days after Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight has by all accounts been staying with DeJesus’ family because of her fractious relationship with her own.
When Michelle Knight finally left hospital in mid-May, she thanked the public for their support and the fund created to aid the victims.
A hospital statement said: “Michelle Knight is in good spirits and would like the community to know that she is extremely grateful for the outpouring of flowers and gifts.
“She is especially thankful for the Cleveland Courage Fund. She asks that everyone please continue to respect her privacy at this time.”
It was revealed Michelle Knight is reportedly suffering hearing loss and facial bone damage after years of vicious beatings to her head.
Michelle Knight was 20 when she was taken off the street in 2002 and little was made of her disappearance.
Her family told police that she had run away after her young child was taken from her by the Ohio Department of Family Services.
Action News19 reported in May that Michelle Knight’s mother, Barbara returned to Cleveland after she moved to Naples, Florida, but that Michelle refused to allow her mother to see her.
“I just wish that my daughter would reach out and let me know that she’s there… She’s probably angry at the world because she thought she would never be found but thank God that somebody did,” said Michelle Knight’s mother.
“I don’t want her to think that I forgot about her… Hopefully whatever happened between us, if something did – I hope it heals because I really want to take her back to Florida with me.”
It is still not clear if mother and daughter have reunited.
It has been claimed that Michelle Knight requires facial reconstruction surgery to repair the damage of repeated beatings.
Michelle Knight was the first of the three victims to be abducted. She was last seen at a cousin’s house near West 106th Street and Lorain Avenue in Cleveland in 2002.
But her disappearance did not receive much publicity as she was classed as a runaway and her name was taken off the missing person’s database just 15 months later.
In the aftermath of her rescue it also emerged that Michelle Knight was gang-raped and impregnated in junior high – a year before she suffered more than ten years of abuse under a kidnapper.
Michelle Knight’s mother also said at the time of her rescue that she was looking forward to being reunited with her son, now 13, after she left hospital.
If you want to help Amanda Berry, Gina Dejesus and Michelle Knight to recover, you can donate to help the victims at the Cleveland Courage Fund.
The Next Day – David Bowie’s most recent video music, which stars Gary Oldman and Marion Cotillard – was temporarily pulled from YouTube over its graphic content.
The Next Day features heavy religious imagery, including Marion Cotillard bleeding from stigmata marks.
YouTube admitted making the “wrong call” in removing the video, and reinstated it with an adult content warning.
Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey has called the video “juvenile”.
Lord Carey told The Telegraph: “If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery perhaps Christians should not worry too much at such an exploitation of religious imagery.
“I doubt that Bowie would have the courage to use Islamic imagery – I very much doubt it.
David Bowie’s The Next Day video, which stars Gary Oldman and Marion Cotillard, features heavy religious imagery
“Frankly, I don’t get offended by such juvenilia – Christians should have the courage to rise above offensive language, although I hope Bowie will recognize that he may be upsetting some people.”
The Next Day is taken from David Bowie’s comeback album of the same name.
The video sees David Bowie performing in a basement bar, surrounded by religious figures, while Gary Oldman, dressed as a priest, punches a beggar before dancing with a prostitute, played by Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard.
A spokesman for YouTube said: “With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call. When it’s brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it.”
David Bowie’s last video, for The Stars (Are Out Tonight), featured another Oscar-winner, Tilda Swinton.
Gary Oldman previously worked with David Bowie in the 1990s, when they performed a duet on guitarist Reeves Gabrels’ 1995 album The Sacred Squall of Now.
YouTube, the video site owned by Google, is set to launch a paid-for subscription service later this week that will charge users to access content on some of its specialist channels.
A single-channel subscription is expected to cost $1.99 a month and will apply to as many as 50 YouTube channels, the Financial Times reported.
Paying customers will be able to get access to exclusive videos, TV shows and films from select specialist channels.
Paying a subscription may also remove adverts from free videos.
YouTube revamped the site and introduced channels in December 2011.
In October 2012, YouTube launched 60 partner channels, including BBC Worldwide On Earth, ITN, the Jamie Oliver Food Channel and Mixmag TV.
Other partners include Channel 4 and Film 4, Howcast and The Onion.
YouTube is set to launch a paid-for subscription service that will charge users to access content on some of its specialist channels
It is not yet known which of these partner channels will be included in YouTube’s subscription service when it launches.
A “person familiar with the plans” told the FT that the channels will show archived content or exclusive previews and clips.
The extra money is also expected to fund new TV and film shows that will be shown exclusively online.
Paid-for subscriptions are an alternative way for YouTube to make money, in addition to its advertising revenues.
The new channels have helped expand YouTube’s audience to 1billion users who watch 6 billion hours of video each month.
You can already subscribe to get updates from channels for free.
YouTube hasn’t confirmed the paid-for subscription plans, but a Google spokesman said: “We’re looking into creating a subscription platform that could bring even more great content to YouTube for our users to enjoy and provide our creators with another vehicle to generate revenue from their content, beyond the rental and ad-supported models we offer.”
Rumors about paid-for subscriptions began in January when AdAge reported YouTube had been in touch with a “small group of channel producers”.
The reports claimed YouTube had asked them to submit applications to create channels that users would have to pay to access.
Then in February, Android fan blog Android Police noticed the YouTube app had been updated to include “channel subscribe” code.
The code appeared to describe a function in the app which tells users they can only subscribe to or unsubscribe from paid channels from their desktop or laptop computers.
It reads: “<string name=”paid_channel_subscribe_message”>You can only subscribe to this paid channel on your computer.</string>”
And: “<string name=”paid_channel_unsubscribe_message”> You can only unsubscribe from this paid channel on your computer.</string>”
In addition to episodic content, YouTube is also considering charging for content libraries and access to live events on a pay-per-view basics, as well as self-help or financial advice shows.
YouTube is expected to launch the paid-for subscription as an experiment.
The revenue split between YouTube and the channel producers is expected to be similar to the 45-55 split that YouTube currently has with advertising revenue.
At a media conference last year, YouTube’s CEO Salar Kamangar said that a subscription model would give TV networks and producers of these networks a more direct line to their audience with lower costs.
A Google spokesman added: “We have long maintained that different content requires different types of payment models.
“There are a lot of our content creators that think they would benefit from subscriptions, so we’re looking at that.”
London police is haunting a woman who launched a tirade of foul-mouthed racist abuse towards another passenger on an eastbound District line train.
The unidentified woman swore repeatedly repeating “If your country is so good, f*** off back there” at a man sitting next to her on the train.
Another passenger filmed the three-minute rant and posted it on YouTube which prompted British Transport Police to launch an investigation into the shocking alleged incident.
While it is unclear what provoked the attack or what the victim says during the video, the woman repeatedly swears, makes rude gestures and stands threateningly over the man
The woman screamed: “You come in this country you f***ing mother f***ers c***. You want everything on a plate f***ing c*** and expect us to take this.
London police is haunting a woman who launched a tirade of foul-mouthed racist abuse towards another passenger on an eastbound District line train
“You are all racist c***s, you want to take over the world.
“You’re so thick you don’t even get it.”
On April 22, the police released an image of the woman. They said the date and time of the alleged attack is unclear. The video was posted on April 11.
Detective Constable Lawrence Murphy said: “We have isolated images of a woman we believe may be able to help us with our investigation into the incident.
“We believe the footage was filmed on an eastbound District line train, which passed through Stepney Green Tube station and Mile End station.
“At this stage, we urge anyone who witnessed this incident, or who recognizes the woman, to get in touch and help us build up a full picture of exactly what took place.
“We treat all allegations of racism very seriously and urge anyone with information about this incident to contact us.”
Anyone with information should contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
In 2012, Jacqueline Williams, 47, was charged with a racially aggravated public order offence after she was filmed hurling racist abuse at train passengers. After the video, which shows a woman taunting a group of black passengers, was posted on YouTube she was arrested.
Robin Thicke’s music video for Blurred Lines has been branded too hot for YouTube and has been banned from the website.
The clip features nude models prowling around Robin Thicke and rappers T.I. and Pharrell.
The video is still playing on the music video website Vevo.
Robin Thicke’s music video for Blurred Lines has been branded too hot for YouTube and has been banned from the website
Robin Thicke’s unrated clip was released last week and garnered more than 1 million views in days. The original video was released a week before and has 1.3 million views.
The R&B crooner said in an interview last week that he had sought the approval of his wife, actress Paula Patton, to shoot with nude models.
“Obviously if she didn’t like it, I wouldn’t put it out,” Robin Thicke said.
The original kid- and teen-friendly version debuted last month.
Robin Thicke, 36, said director Diane Martel came up with the idea of using nude models.
“As long as it’s fun and the girls are comfortable, let’s do something silly,” Robin Thicke said.
“Let’s take some chances.”
Blurred Lines will appear on Robin Thicke’s sixth album, due out this summer. The singer said because of his upcoming album, he won’t appear on the second season of BET’s Real Husbands of Hollywood, which also stars comedian-actor Kevin Hart.
A second edition of the Internet Cat Video Festival, dedicated to celebrating internet videos of cats, is due to take place in Minnesota in August 2013.
Some 10,000 people gathered at the inaugural event last summer, hosted by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.
A second edition of the Internet Cat Video Festival, dedicated to celebrating internet videos of cats, is due to take place in Minnesota in August 2013
This year’s attendees are once again invited to nominate their favorite feline-themed viral videos to be played on a big screen at the event.
The festival will also now come to Brooklyn, New York, later in the year.
The video judged the best at last year’s festival featured a cat called Henri, described on his own website as “the world’s first and foremost feline philosopher”.
Director Will Bradon described the award as “a great honor” and is planning to unveil new material at the 2013 event.
Short videos of “cute” animal behavior are often popular on video websites such as YouTube and Vimeo, but cats seem to be a perennial favorite.
A one minute film of a cat “hugging” its kitten uploaded in May 2011 has been seen more than 50 million times on YouTube since it went viral after being posted on social news website Reddit.
“I think [cats] are easier to anthropomorphize and harder to herd,” said Plymouth University Prof. Susan Blackmore, author of The Meme Machine, in an interview with website knowyourmeme.com on the reason why cats are such an internet hit.
“There’s something secretive about them. When I was a child I used to imagine that all our local cats met up every night after dark to plot schemes against the grown-ups… One would never imagine this of dogs.”
It looks like Google users are prime targets for pranks on April Fool’s Day.
Google has gone all out with an array of pranks beginning with Google Nose – the newest addition to the search engine’s capabilities.
Google Nose apparently allows users to search the “Aromabase” of more than 15 million Scentibytes then catch a whiff of everything from wet dog to dumpsters.
Google has gone all out with an array of pranks on April Fool’s Day beginning with Google Nose
There is also the announcement that YouTube is shutting down at midnight – to allow a panel of experts to pick the best video ever for when the site re-launches in 2023.
The hilarious clip includes comments from some of the site’s biggest stars including the little boy who had a dazed conversation with his father following a dentist appointment and Judson Laipply from “Evolution of Dance” clips.
In Google Maps, there is also now a treasure hunt mode after the site allegedly found scrolls at the bottom of the ocean belonging to Captain Kidd with directions to finding his stash of gold bars.
Google Australia also came up with SCHMICK – Simple Complete House Makeover Internet Conversion Kit – offering homeowners the chance to spruce up their houses on Google Street View with different themes and features.
The search engine offers an example of a home spruced up with a fountain, green lawn and Australian flag flying proudly.
Google is not the only one breaking out a sense of humor for the start of the month.
Twitter announced that from April 1 would become Twttr as the micro-blogging site canceled the use of vowels. If you want the use of a,e,i,o, or u, then it will cost five dollars a month.
Scope has launched bacon-flavored mouthwash with the tagline “for breath that sizzles”, just in time for April 1.
YouTube has proudly announced it has passed one billion regular users on a monthly basis.
Announcing the milestone on its blog, the video sharing site owned by Google said a recent growth in smartphones had helped boost the numbers visiting the site every month.
YouTube’s popularity provides Google with a lucrative channel through which to sell advertising, alongside its core search business.
YouTube was launched in 2005 and bought by Google in 2006.
Google paid $1.76 billion for YouTube, which at the time had an estimated 30-40 million users worldwide.
With one billion monthly users, it poses a challenge to Facebook as the internet’s largest social network. Facebook reached a billion users in October 2012.
“Nearly one out of every two people on the Internet visits YouTube,” the company said in its statement.
YouTube has proudly announced it has passed one billion regular users on a monthly basis
YouTube was keen to stress the business potential of such a large audience.
“Tens of thousands of partners have created channels that have found and built businesses for passionate, engaged audiences. Advertisers have taken notice,” it said, saying that the top 100 brands listed by trade magazine Advertising Age were now running campaigns on YouTube.
YouTube was launched in California by three former PayPal employees.
The first video uploaded was by co-founder Jawed Karim and titled Me at the Zoo.
A video published on YouTube appears to show seven members of a French family, including four children, abducted by Islamist group Boko Haram in Cameroon.
The footage shows an armed man reading a statement in front of two men, a woman and four children.
Claiming to be from the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram, the alleged kidnappers demand the release of prisoners in Cameroon and Nigeria.
The family was snatched last Tuesday by gunmen on motorbikes.
Following the abduction, the French government said it believed the couple, their children aged five, eight, 10 and 12, and an uncle were taken across the border into Nigeria, probably by Boko Haram.
The family lives in the Cameroonian capital, Yaounde, where the father worked for the French gas group Suez. They had been returning from a visit to Waza National Park when they were kidnapped.
On Thursday, France confirmed it had “received information that the group Boko Haram is claiming to be holding the French family”.
“These images are terribly shocking and display cruelty without limits,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said in a statement.
A video published on YouTube appears to show seven members of a French family, including four children, abducted by Islamist group Boko Haram in Cameroon
In the video, one of the male hostages said they had been kidnapped by Jamaatu Ahlis Sunna Liddaawati wal-Jihad – the Arabic name for Boko Haram.
One of the alleged kidnappers warned that France had launched a war on Islam.
Behind him, the alleged family is shown flanked by two armed men in camouflage uniforms.
A source close to the family confirmed their identities to the AFP news agency.
Laurent Fabius said it was still trying to verify the authenticity of the video.
Last week, a French minister wrongly confirmed reports that the family had been found and released in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, French nationals have been urged to leave northern Cameroon “as quickly as possible”.
The French foreign ministry said on its website citizens were “officially advised not to go to the far north of Cameroon (the shores of Lake Chad in the South Maroua), and the border with Nigeria, until further notice”.
Boko Haram has staged many attacks across northern Nigeria in recent years, targeting churches, government buildings and the security forces.
Another Islamist group – Ansaru – is also active in the region.
Last Sunday, Ansaru claimed the abduction of seven foreign workers in Nigeria.
Italian, British, Greek and Lebanese workers are thought to be among those held after an attack on a construction project in Bauchi state.
Ansaru also says it is holding a French national, Francis Colump, who was seized in the northern state of Katsina.
North Korea has posted a video on YouTube depicting an American city resembling New York engulfed in flames after an apparent missile attack, it emerged today.
The video was uploaded on YouTube by the North’s official website, Uriminzokkiri, which distributes news and propaganda from the state media, as the country prepares to conduct its third nuclear test.
The footage is shot as a dream sequence, with a young man seeing himself on board a North Korean space shuttle launched into orbit by the same type of rocket Pyongyang successfully tested in December.
As the shuttle circles the globe – to the tune of We Are the World – the video zooms in on countries below, including a joyfully re-unified Korea.
In contrast, the focus then switches to a city – shrouded in the U.S. flag – under apparent missile attack with its skyscrapers, including what appears to be the Empire State Building, either on fire or in ruins.
“Somewhere in the United States, black clouds of smoke are billowing,” runs the caption across the screen.
“It seems that the nest of wickedness is ablaze with the fire started by itself,” it added.
The video ends with the young man concluding that his dream will “surely come true”.
“Despite all kinds of attempts by imperialists to isolate and crush us… never will anyone be able to stop the people marching toward a final victory,” it said.
North Korea has posted a video on YouTube depicting an American city resembling New York engulfed in flames after an apparent missile attack
The video emerged as South Korea’s U.N. ambassador said today that a North Korean nuclear test “seems to be imminent”.
The North is expected to conduct its nuclear test as a defiant response to UN sanctions imposed after its December rocket launch.
It comes at a time of tension resulting from North Korea’s announcement that it would carry out more rocket launches and nuclear test after it was censured by the United Nations Security Council over the launch of a rocket in December.
North Korea declared a boycott of all dialogue aimed at ending its nuclear programme.
Ambassador Kim Sook said there are “very busy activities” taking place at North Korea’s nuclear test site “and everybody’s watching”.
Kim Sook told a press conference that in the event of a nuclear test, he expects the U.N. Security Council to respond with “firm and strong measures”.
North Korea announced last month that it would conduct a nuclear test to protest Security Council sanctions toughened after a satellite launch in December that the U.S. and others say was a disguised test of banned missile technology.
The council ordered North Korea in the sanctions resolution to refrain from a nuclear test or face “significant action”.
South Korea joined the Security Council in January and holds the rotating presidency this month. Kim Sook said he was speaking as South Korea’s ambassador, not as the council president.
He said that during negotiations on the latest sanctions resolution all 15 council members – including North Korean ally China – were unified.
“They are very firm and resolute and I would expect very firm and strong measures to be taken in terms of format as well as in substance once they go ahead with such provocation as a nuclear test,” Kim Sook said.
Pyongyang’s two previous nuclear tests, in 2006 and 2009, both occurred after it was condemned by the United Nations for rocket launches.
The sanctions, aimed at trying to derail the country’s rogue nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, bar North Korea from testing or using nuclear or ballistic missile technology, and from importing or exporting material for these programs.
The latest sanctions resolution again demanded that North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons program and cease launches.
It slapped sanctions on North Korean companies and government agencies, including its space agency and several individuals.
SodaStream ad that was banned from Sunday night’s Super Bowl game can now be viewed by anyone on YouTube and the company behind it is reaping the benefits.
SodaStream, which makes home water carbonators used to whip up homemade soda, directly challenged Coca-Cola and Pepsi in its commercial that was set to air in the fourth quarter.
CBS saw the ad as a challenge to two behemoth advertisers and promptly banned it.
“Because SodaStream is a direct competitor of the Big Soda brands that tend to be ubiquitous during the Super Bowl,” SodaStream told The Huffington Post. “The rejection of one of the company’s proposed ads, which takes aim at Big Soda, is perhaps not surprising.”
The ad pits a Coke and a Pepsi delivery driver against each other in a dueling banjos moment that culminates in both drivers’ merchandise exploding as a man opts for Soda Stream, instead.
It was reported banned on Friday.
This is not an unusual occurrence. The biggest night in football draws a massive viewership and seconds-long ads can cost millions.
But SodaStream claims they didn’t intend for their ad to be cancelled, as other advertisers have been doing for years to win some cheap PR.
SodaStream ad that was banned from Sunday night’s Super Bowl game can now be viewed by anyone on YouTube and the company behind it is reaping the benefits
Forced to rework the commercial for air during Super Bowl XLVII, the original spot has now gone viral on the internet and SodaStream has been rewarded with a mountain of publicity nonetheless.
Despite their claims to innocence in the matter, this a path the company has gone down before.
An ad intended for UK viewers was banned by the company Clearcast in November 2012 for the exact same issue when the broadcaster claimed the spot “denigrated other soft drinks”.
SodaStream subsequently posted its largest ever stock market gains.
Prior to that, the company received a cease and desist demand from Coca-Cola after placing displays made out of used water bottles and soda cans that portrayed the company as wasteful in South Africa and elsewhere.
It remains unclear if the Isreali company is intentionally culling publicity from its advertising misbehavior.
However, SodaStream will certainly win at least a few fans as the banned Super Bowl ad gains millions of free views on YouTube.
Rehman Malik, Pakistan’s interior minister, says he will restore access to video-sharing website YouTube in the coming hours, months after it was blocked.
Rehman Malik tweeted: “There was a great demand to unblock YouTube… expect the notification today!”
YouTube has been blocked to users in Pakistan since September when excerpts from an anti-Islamic film were posted, sparking protests across the world.
Pakistan blocked YouTube in 2008 and 2010 because of sacrilegious content.
It reimposed a ban on the site on 17 September following days of protests around the world after a translated version of an amateur film attacking the Prophet Mohammed was posted on an Egyptian website.
The original English language version was posted on YouTube in July.
Rehman Malik, Pakistan’s interior minister, says he will restore access to video-sharing website YouTube in the coming hours, months after it was blocked
Pakistan had reportedly asked YouTube and its parent company, Google, to block access to the video.
But Pakistani media reports say Google was unable to comply because it had no formal agreement with Pakistan.
Google had earlier said in a statement that the video was “clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube”.
But the US firm added that “given the very difficult situation” it had restricted access to the video in numerous countries including India, Libya and Egypt, where the protests started.
There has been much discontent in Pakistan with the ban, which has also affected Android mobile phone services run by Google.
However, it is unclear whether Pakistanis will have unfettered access to YouTube when the site is unblocked.
Rehman Malik also tweeted: “PTA [Pakistan Telecommunication Authority] is finalizing negotiations for acquiring a powerful firewall software to totally block pornographic and blasphemous material.”