Verify people – DC Writers Way Sat, 07 May 2022 19:01:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Verify people – DC Writers Way 32 32 Char Dham ‘verification’ campaign: ‘We have to get them out of here, and we will’ Sat, 07 May 2022 18:02:07 +0000 They knew a verification campaign was coming, but little had prepared the Sapera Basti of some 500 people in Dehradun for Wednesday morning, when a team descended from the local Prem Nagar police station with a reserved force, two buses , two SUVs and motorcycles, blocking their main exit.

Within minutes, half a dozen youths were captured and taken away.

This was a fortnight after the start of the verification campaign which began on April 21, before the Char Dham Yatra. Following requests from some sadhus to ban the entry of “non-Hindus” into the Char Dham region to “preserve the dharma and culture of the Himalayan region”, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami announced that people coming to the state for the Yatra should undergo “proper vetting” so that those who might pose a threat to the peace do not enter.

According to DGP Ashok Kumar, they carry out a detailed check of those who come for the Yatra and identify any elements that may “disturb the peace”, including laborers, street vendors and tenants.

The Char Dham Yatra began on May 3, with the opening of the gates of the Gangotri and Yamunotri temples. The Badrinath temple gates will open on Monday.

Until last week, Uttarakhand police claimed to have completed vetting of more than 67,000 people across the state, finding at least 2,526 ‘suspects’. In accordance with the Police Act, they received a challan. At least 10 people have been taken into custody.

Some motorcycles are seized after their owners cannot provide documents for them. (To express)

The Sapera Basti was once home to traditional snake charmers, who started doing odd jobs since the ban on keeping snakes. Many of them in this illegally developed settlement are now beggars; police say many of them also deal in marijuana.

“These people moved here from different states and have nothing here. The land on which they built huts is government land. We continue to receive reports that some are involved in crimes like chain robbery and vehicle theft,” says Manoj Nainwal, SO of Prem Nagar Police Station, as he oversees Wednesday’s conduct, adding: “That’s why we have to get them out of here. And we will remove them.

He grabs a man from Nagpur and puts him in a police vehicle, ignoring his pleas that he makes a living by removing earwax. Another who claims to be a local is also arrested because he has no ID on him.

Police also check shacks for “suspicious items” and find a cannabis plantation. Some motorcycles are seized after their owners cannot provide documents for them. Some are searched for drugs. Many are arrested because they “look suspicious” and taken to the police station.

Several settled in the Basti from other states are asked to leave. Those who claim to be residents of Dehradun are asked to leave government land; officials also threaten to use bulldozers to clear the huts if they are not gone the next day.

Several settled in the Basti from other states are asked to leave. (To express)

The SO says they will take “suspicious items” to the police station for verification. “People taken into custody…we will check their papers and call their hometown police stations to check if they have any criminal backgrounds. Otherwise, we will let them go. Vehicles seized by us will also be released to their owners when they provide us with the paperwork.

DGP Kumar says the will is only to verify “outsiders” and dismisses questions about threats made by officials during the verification. The police can only intervene when a “criminal element” is identified, and some people can “add some things on their own”, he says.

“The police only have the right to ask someone to leave a place if the suspect is a foreign national. No one can be asked to leave a state as long as they are an Indian national and have documents to prove it. If the person lives in an illegal basti, the police have no right to request eviction. Only the administration and the government can do it…Police officials have been informed,” he said.

Those who claim to be residents of Dehradun are asked to leave government land; officials also threaten to use bulldozers to clear the huts if they are not gone the next day.
(To express)

During the briefing, Sub-Inspector PS Negi, who is part of Wednesday’s campaign, said: “We have been informed that we have to raid the area and carry out a physical check of people. Our duty is to check their identity papers, to see if they have drugs, to check their vehicles and their papers. Negi says they were told to film the whole process.

Wednesday’s trip lasts two hours, and as the police leave, there is silence in the basti. A meeting is called by the residents to discuss their next course of action. The first priority is to get the detainees released.

Sunawwar Devi claims that among the motorcycles seized is that of her husband Sameen Nath. “They took it and threatened to blow up our house with a bulldozer if we didn’t leave. My husband is not there. I told them I had the insurance and shopping bill but they wanted the registration certificate, and it’s at my brother-in-law’s, who’s in a rehab. I don’t know what to do,” she said.

Raghubir Singh, 72, who has an Aadhaar card showing Dehradun as his local address, is worried about what happens next. “We are banjaras and have no permanent home. I have lived here for 12 years and I sell herbal medicine… The last time the police came here was three years ago,” he says.

Claiming that most people in Basti have voter cards with an address in Dehradun, Mukesh, 35, a rag picker, says that during elections politicians come to collect their votes and do not return for the next five years. He also claims that it is foreigners who use their area for drug use, earning them a bad reputation.

State Congress Speaker Karan Mahara said that while similar campaigns had also taken place under previous governments, the motivation of the current one had raised suspicions. “The campaign started after a so-called saint wrote a letter to the CM demanding a ban on non-Hindus. The saint even became a hero for raising the demand…If the drive starts after a demand for action against non-Hindus, one can imagine what that will bring,” says Mahara.

Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine Thu, 05 May 2022 10:42:00 +0000

Kremlin denies Russian troops attempted to storm Azovstal steelworks

The Kremlin has denied that Russian troops tried to storm the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, considered the last stronghold of Ukrainian fighters in the southern port city, insisting that humanitarian corridors were still in use there for civilians.

Ukrainian media reported last night that Russian troops had tried to storm the factory, citing comments from a Ukrainian lawmaker. Several hundred civilians are still believed to be trapped in the steelworks, as well as soldiers.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin had not issued any new orders regarding the plant and that a previous instruction to block the plant, rather than attack it , was still valid.

“You have been witnesses: publicly the President and the Commander-in-Chief [Putin] gave the order to refrain from the assault. No further orders were given,” Peskov said in response to a reporter’s question about reversing Putin’s previous decree, the state-run Tass news agency reported.

On Wednesday, Peskov insisted that the Russian troops were not storming the territory of the factory, “but were suppressing the attempts of the militants stuck there to reach the firing points”, Tass reported.

Holly Ellyatt

President Zelensky calls for ceasefire to save trapped Mariupol civilians

A boy from Mariupol looks out the window of his family’s car after arriving at an evacuation point for those fleeing Mariupol, Melitopol and surrounding Russian-held towns on May 2, 2022, in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine.

Chris McGrath | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called for a ceasefire to rescue civilians who are still trapped under the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol, saying they must be dug up by hand.

“We hope to continue to rescue the people of Azovstal, Mariupol. There are still civilians. Women, children,” Zelenskyy said in his morning address to the nation.

To save them, he said, there needs to be a ceasefire, with Ukraine ready to accept one.

“It takes time to just get people out of these basements, these underground shelters. Under the current conditions, we cannot use special equipment to remove blockages,” he said, adding: “Everything is done manually”.

Two Russian villages bombed by Ukraine, governor says

Two villages in the Russian region of Belgorod, bordering Ukraine, were bombed by Ukraine, said Thursday the governor of the region, Vyacheslav Gladkov.

“There are shelling from the Ukrainian side on Zhuravlyovka and Nekhoteevka,” he said, Reuters reported. Gladkov said there were no civilian casualties.

Russia had previously accused Ukraine of bombing towns on Russian territory, especially those close to the border.

Ukraine has not publicly admitted to targeting positions in Russia, although one of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s top advisers called the attacks several weeks ago “karma”.

Holly Ellyatt

Russia says it killed 600 ‘nationalists’ in Ukraine

Russia claimed to have “destroyed” 600 Ukrainian fighters whom it called “nationalists” in its latest military update on Thursday. The term “nationalists” is commonly used by Russia to refer to Ukrainian soldiers and is seen as a way to denigrate the country’s armed forces.

The Russian Defense Ministry posted on Telegram that it also destroyed aircraft equipment at the Kanatovo military airfield in the Kirovograd region, a large ammunition depot in the town of Nikolaev and a fuel storage facility for Ukrainian military equipment in the Nikolaev region.

Two military equipment warehouses at a military airfield near Kramatorsk were also hit, he said.

CNBC was unable to immediately verify the information.

Holly Ellyatt

Russia could use Belarusian military drills to divert Ukrainian forces, UK says

According to the British Ministry of Defence, Russia is likely to use rapid military exercises by its Belarusian ally to divert Ukrainian forces from Donbass in eastern Ukraine, at the center of Russian assaults, as it seeks to take over the whole region.

“Russia will likely seek to inflate the threat posed to Ukraine by these exercises in order to pin down Ukrainian forces in the north, preventing them from engaging in the battle for Donbass,” the ministry said in its latest update. information update on Twitter this morning. .

Belarus announced yesterday that it was starting combat readiness exercises, saying the purpose of the drills was “to assess the readiness and ability of personnel to react quickly to possible crises”. The move has raised speculation that Belarus could join Russia’s war effort in a potential new assault on northern Ukraine. Belarus has insisted there is no threat to its European neighbours.

The UK Ministry of Defense said on Thursday that Belarusian ground forces “have been observed deploying from garrison to the field, for exercises” and that this is in line with seasonal norms as Belarus enters the climax of his winter training cycle in May.

“A deviation from normal exercise activity that could pose a threat to allies and partners is not currently anticipated,” the ministry added.

Holly Ellyatt

Russian forces renew attacks to seize Ukraine’s last stronghold in Mariupol

A destroyed administrative building at the Azovstal Iron and Steel Works.

Genghis Kondarov | Reuters

Russian forces have reportedly renewed their assault on the Azovstal steel complex, the last stronghold of Ukrainian fighters in the southern port city of Mariupol, in what is widely seen as an attempt to end the standoff.

In the latest update from the Ukrainian military, its spokesman said that Russian forces are “focusing their efforts on blocking and attempting to destroy Ukrainian units in the Azovstal steelworks.”

“With aircraft support, the enemy resumed the offensive in order to take control of the factory,” Ukraine said in its update Thursday morning.

CNBC was unable to immediately verify the information.

Hundreds of civilians, including the elderly and children, took refuge in the network of underground tunnels and bunkers under the steelworks. After a number of failed attempts to evacuate civilians, several hundred have been evacuated to the relative safety of Ukrainian-held Zaporhizhia in recent days.

—Holly Ellyatt

Russia strikes civilian targets to ‘weaken Ukrainian resolve’, UK government says

Moscow is trying to “weaken Ukrainian determination” by striking civilian targets in Ukraine, the British government announced on Wednesday evening.

“While Russian operations failed, non-military targets including schools, hospitals, residential properties and transportation hubs continued to be hit, indicating Russia’s willingness to target civilian infrastructure. to try to weaken Ukrainian resolve,” the UK Ministry of Defense said.

A woman feeds her baby after being evacuated from the Azovstal Steelworks in Mariupol to Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine on May 3.

Chris McGrath | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The UK ministry said in an intelligence update that Russian ground operations are focused on the eastern part of Ukraine, but that missile strikes continue across the country as Moscow wants to disrupt the Ukrainians’ ability to resupply their troops in the east.

The Russian Defense Ministry’s press service did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Moscow has repeatedly denied hitting civilian targets, although such attacks have been widely documented. Instead, Russia accuses Ukraine of attacking civilian targets.

The British ministry said Russia was attacking cities such as Odessa, Kherson and Mariupol in order to seize control of Ukraine’s Black Sea coast and cut off its maritime line of communication and maritime trade.

LOOK: Russian troops Breach steel plant in Mariupol

—Ted Kemp

Over 340 civilians evacuated from Mariupol, Zelenskyy says

Evacuees from Mariupol arrive in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine on May 3, 2022, as Russian attacks continue. Another 344 civilians have been evacuated from the city and suburbs of Mariupol and are on their way to Zaporizhzhia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his overnight address.

Diego Herrera Carcedo | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Another 344 civilians have been evacuated from the city and suburbs of Mariupol and are on their way to Zaporizhzhia, a city in Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his overnight address.

This is the second group of people rescued from the besieged Ukrainian city after the evacuation of 156 women and children from the Azovstal steelworks who arrived in Zaporizhzhia on Wednesday.

“All will receive the most caring treatment in our state,” Zelenskyy said.

Russia’s attempt to take control of Mariupol has led to harsh living conditions in the city where thousands of people lack food, water and medical aid, while civilians and soldiers are entrenched in the Azovstal steelworks, the last stronghold of the fighters in the heavily bombed city. .

—Chelsea Ong

Russian forces largely pinned down in eastern and southern Ukraine, Pentagon says

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby holds a press conference at the Pentagon May 02, 2022 in Arlington, Virginia. Kirby announced the return of public tours of the Pentagon and provided an update on the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Kevin Dietsch | Getty Images

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the Russians had made uneven progress in Ukraine’s Donbas region after weeks of resupply and repositioning efforts.

“The Russians haven’t made the kind of progress in Donbass and in the south that we think they wanted to make,” Kirby said at a daily Pentagon press briefing. “We think they are late. We think it was slow at every turn and they met strong Ukrainian resistance,” he added.

Kirby’s comments come as the United States and its allies rush to send additional security aid ahead of what was believed to be an intensified Russian push into eastern and southern Ukraine. On Tuesday, President Joe Biden called on Congress to quickly pass $33 billion in additional US security assistance to Ukraine.

Biden’s latest military aid package of $800 million announced April 21, the eighth installment of such security assistance, brings the U.S. commitment to $3.4 billion since the late Russian invasion. february.

—Amanda Macias

COVID-19: Beijing tightens restrictions related to COVID-19 Sun, 01 May 2022 16:00:00 +0000

An online video of a Chinese orchestra playing “Do You Hear the People Sing?” went viral with nearly 19,000 shares before being blocked

  • Reuters, BEIJING and SHANGHAI

China’s capital Beijing yesterday tightened COVID-19 restrictions as it battles an outbreak, while Shanghai let some of its 25 million residents venture out into the light and air after reporting a second day of zero infections outside quarantine areas.

Shanghai’s outbreak, which began in March, is China’s worst since the first months of the pandemic in 2020. The outbreak in China’s most populous city and the risk of spread in Beijing are testing the ” zero COVID” from the government.

Beijing, with dozens of daily infections in a 10th day outbreak, has not locked down. More than 300 locally transmitted cases have been recorded since April 22.

Photo: AFP

However, Beijing yesterday tightened social distancing rules and launched a new round of mass testing in its most populous and hardest-hit district.

Over the past week, the city of 22 million has carried out mass testing in most of its 16 districts, suspended all entertainment venues and banned restaurants.

“The impact of all this on us is too great – 20,000 yuan [US$3,026] gone in a day, just like that,” said Jia, manager of a normally popular hamburger restaurant in eastern Beijing.

Photo: AP

“Our boss is also stressed about it,” Jia said, asking to be identified only by his last name. “We have three branches in Shanghai. They were all closed and lost money for a month – and now this.

Beijing’s sprawling Universal Studios theme park closed yesterday, while in the heavily visited Badaling section of the Great Wall visitors were asked to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result before entering walk in.

Chaoyang District, which accounts for the largest share of infections in Beijing’s outbreak, has launched an additional round of mass testing, with public health workers knocking on doors to remind residents to get tested.

Shanghai’s citywide lockdown since early last month has upended the daily lives of its residents. The extreme measures taken to seal off residential compounds, including the fencing off of building entrances, have sparked outrage.

The song Can you hear the people singing? from the musical Les Miserables has become a popular protest anthem. On Saturday, an online video of a Chinese orchestra playing the song, with the musicians performing from their respective homes, went viral with nearly 19,000 shares before being blocked.

While much of the city remains in lockdown, Shanghai officials confidently said yesterday restrictions in some areas would be eased after the city brought COVID-19 transmission risks under control at community, excluding cases in quarantine centres.

Six of its 16 districts have achieved “zero COVID” status, meaning three straight days with no new daily rise in infections, a senior city official said at a virtual news conference.

Public transport is to resume in five neighborhoods, but residents should stay in their neighborhoods when going to supermarkets, pharmacies and hospitals, a health official added.

Social media posts showed the streets of Fengxian, one of the six districts, filled with pedestrians and choked with scooters and bicycles, although Reuters could not independently verify the videos.

However, despite the drop in transmissions, Shanghai is due to launch a new round of citywide polymerase chain reaction and antigen testing this week.

Excluding imported cases, China reported 8,256 new local cases on Saturday, down from 10,703 the day before. Beijing accounted for 59 of the infections, while Shanghai recorded 7,872 new cases and all of the country’s 38 deaths.



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27 under police investigation for various offenses after nightlife restrictions eased Sat, 30 Apr 2022 06:34:00 +0000

SINGAPORE: A total of 27 people are under police investigation for various offenses after Singapore eased restrictions on nightlife businesses, Singapore Police (SPF) announced on Friday (April 29).

Between April 19 and April 26, officers from the SPF, Singapore Tourism Board, Urban Redevelopment Authority, Enterprise Singapore, Singapore Food Agency, Singapore Land Authority Singapore and the Sentosa Development Corporation have carried out enforcement checks at 406 public entertainment venues across the island to “ensure a safe resumption of nighttime activities”.

During these operations, 14 licensed and unlicensed public entertainment and nightlife establishments committed several violations of the Public Entertainment Act, the Liquor Control (Supply and Consumption) Act and COVID-19 (temporary measures) (reopening – control order) Regulations.

Two of the outlets received closure orders for violating security management measures. They are also subject to fines or prosecution, police said.

These outlets failed to implement checks to verify a customer’s vaccination status before allowing entry, and failed to minimize physical interactions between customers and staff. A total of 23 people were fined for non-compliance with security management measures.

The 27 people under investigation include operators, staff and customers of these establishments.

They are being investigated for various offenses including providing public entertainment without a valid license, membership in an illegal society, embarrassment while intoxicated, and illegal remote gambling.

Police have highlighted an establishment on Middle Road which is believed to have operated as a bar despite only having permission to operate as a restaurant.

The operator of this venue will be investigated for allegedly providing public entertainment without a valid license.

“A pair of headphones, a mixing console, a disc jockey controller and other audio equipment used to play recorded music were seized,” police said.

“The outlet operator would also have provided alcohol outside of its licensed premises and would not have put in place a screening system to check a customer’s vaccination status before allowing entry. “

As a result of the second offence, and given the operator’s previous breaches of security management measures, the outlet was given 30 days’ notice of closure and will be subject to prosecution, police added.

WSAZ investigation | find your money Mon, 25 Apr 2022 22:23:00 +0000

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Finding your money you didn’t even know was missing could be as easy as a quick search online.

It is estimated that 1 in 10 Americans have unclaimed funds sitting in government offices, in their name.

“There are no taxes involved in this,” said West Virginia state treasurer Riley Moore. “It may sound too good to be true, but I promise you it’s true.”

The West Virginia Treasurer’s Office distributes about $15 million a year. But they have about $300 million on hand, safe for now.

Even though the program is called Unclaimed Property, no real estate is involved.

It could be an old utility bill, a refund, an overpayment, or accrued interest on an account, or even mining rights.

“It can be expired checks, life insurance policies, safe deposit boxes, banks, that have not been claimed and then come to our office,” Moore said. “Then it’s our job to make sure those dollars get back to their rightful owners.”

There’s no statute of limitations, so the money could be decades old, just waiting for someone to claim it.

“I’m not here to take your money,” Moore said. “I’m here to give you back your money. So it’s always exciting to find unclaimed property that people didn’t know they had. Especially when it comes to a life insurance policy or something like that which usually ends up being quite large. Sometimes we issue checks for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Dollar amounts may vary. It can be a few dollars for one individual or several hundred thousand for someone else.

The Treasurer’s Office is also working to improve the process for returning funds to citizens of West Virginia.

During the recent legislative session, lawmakers passed House Bill 4511, which modernizes the state’s unclaimed property laws and reduces the amount of paperwork needed to complete many transactions. This will streamline the process and make the program more transparent.

The bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Jim Justice, also creates a new automated program for handling certain common claims to get checks to people faster.

The new legislation will come into force on July 1.

“If it’s $5,000 or less and we can verify their identity ourselves, we can just mail that check in,” Moore said. “So we’re excited to be able to do that, so it’s not so much work on the individual side. A big step in modernizing state government and returning money to rightful owners.

We researched the names of our colleagues and discovered that at least ten staff members had money waiting for them. Journalist Kelsey Souto was able to return almost $1,000 to her colleagues.

Their database is updated often, so keep checking even if you can’t find your name. You can also search for friends, family members, relatives, neighbors and loved ones. If you find someone you know, you can send them a link to complete and claim the article.

Search your name in a national database here.

Visit the West Virginia website through this link. You can reach them by phone at (800) 642-8687.

Copyright 2022 WSAZ. All rights reserved.

Shanghai fences off COVID-hit areas, fueling fresh outcry Sun, 24 Apr 2022 04:43:00 +0000

A courier in protective gear makes deliveries at a residential compound amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Shanghai, China April 23, 2022. REUTERS/Brenda Goh/File Photo

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SHANGHAI, April 24 (Reuters) – Authorities in Shanghai battling a COVID-19 outbreak have erected fences outside residential buildings, sparking fresh public outcry over a lockdown that has forced much of of the 25 million inhabitants of the city inside.

Images of white workers in hazmat suits sealing off apartment building entrances and closing off entire streets with green fences around two meters high have gone viral on social media, sparking questions and complaints from residents.

“It’s so disrespectful of the rights of the people inside, to use metal barriers to lock them up like pets,” said a user of social media platform Weibo.

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Video showed residents shouting from balconies at workers trying to put up fences before giving in and removing them. Other videos showed people trying to knock down fences.

“Isn’t that a fire hazard?” asked another Weibo user.

Numerous fences have been erected around compounds designated “sealed areas” – buildings where at least one person has tested positive for COVID-19, meaning residents are not allowed to leave their front door. entrance.

It is not known what prompted the authorities to resort to fencing. A notice dated Saturday from a local authority shared online said it was imposing a “hard quarantine” in some areas.

Reuters was unable to verify the authenticity of the notice or any images, but saw a green fence on a street in central Shanghai on Sunday.

This week, Reuters also saw police in protective gear patrolling the streets of Shanghai, erecting roadblocks and asking pedestrians to go home.

The Shanghai government did not respond to a request for comment.

China’s most populous city and most important economic hub is battling the country’s biggest COVID-19 outbreak with a policy that forces all positive cases into quarantine centers.

The lockdown, which for many residents lasted more than three weeks, has fueled frustration over access to food and medical care, lost wages, separation from families and quarantine conditions.

It has also weighed on the world’s second-largest economy, with factory production disrupted by blocked supply chains and difficulties faced by confined residents returning to work. Read more

Shanghai is carrying out daily COVID-19 tests across the city and accelerating the transfer of positive cases to central facilities to eradicate transmission of the virus outside quarantine areas.

Over the past week, authorities have also relocated entire communities, including uninfected people, saying they must disinfect their homes, according to residents and social media posts.

Many residents have taken to the internet to talk about the lockdown and express their dissent, using euphemisms and other means to battle government censors who often remove content critical of the authorities.

Videos of “Do you hear the people singing? ‘, a protest anthem from ‘Les Misérables’, received widespread replays, with the title of the French musical having received more than 90 million mentions on WeChat on Saturday, according to data from the chat app.

Shanghai reported 39 COVID-19 deaths on April 23, up from 12 a day earlier and by far the most during the current outbreak.

It reported no deaths in the first few weeks, fueling doubt among locals about the numbers. It has since reported 87 deaths, all within the past seven days.

The city recorded 19,657 new locally transmitted asymptomatic cases, down from 20,634 the day before, and 1,401 symptomatic, down from 2,736.

Cases outside quarantine areas totaled 280 from 218 the previous day. Other cities that were in lockdown began easing restrictions once cases hit zero.

China has largely succeeded in keeping COVID-19 at bay after the initial outbreak in Wuhan in late 2019, with a “dynamic zero” policy aimed at eradicating chains of infection.

This approach has been challenged by the spread of the highly infectious but less deadly variant of Omicron, which has prompted cities to impose varying levels of movement restrictions.

Nationwide, China reported 20,285 new asymptomatic coronavirus cases on Saturday, down from 21,423 a day earlier, with 1,580 symptomatic cases down from 2,988.

Beijing recorded 22 new cases of COVID-19 – all locally transmitted – up from six the previous day, prompting a number of gyms and after-school activity providers to suspend in-person classes.

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Reporting by Brenda Goh, Jacqueline Wong, Martin Pollard, Norihiko Shirouzu, David Stanway and newsrooms in Shanghai and Beijing; Editing by Tony Munroe and Christopher Cushing

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Finding the right tools to cover Mariupol without reporters in the field Fri, 22 Apr 2022 14:49:00 +0000 “It’s a throwback to the days before when we didn’t have live cameras everywhere,” former CBS News president Andrew Heyward said of the challenges news outlets faced this week as they were trying to cover a second ultimatum from Russia for Ukrainian troops. in the city to get to.

Ukrainian troops and a number of civilians, believed to number in the hundreds, remained surrounded at a steelworks in the city on Wednesday morning as another Russian deadline passed. On Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said “thousands” of civilians remained stuck inside Mariupol.

“The circumstances surrounding coverage of Mariupol are perhaps unprecedented in recent times – a relatively large city being overtaken by war with very few legacy correspondents on the ground to provide first-hand accounts. There is no Ernie Pyle type correspondent in the field. There are no embedded reporters like we had during the invasion of Iraq,” said Tim Franklin, senior associate dean of the Medill School of Journalism. , Media, Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University Franklin also helped create an international network of fact-checkers when he was president of the Poynter Institute, a nonprofit journalism think tank.

“Obviously getting independent, verifiable information from this city is very difficult for CNN,” correspondent Matt Rivers said in a report from Lviv Wednesday morning. “You can’t have teams on the ground. There’s very little communication infrastructure. It’s just hard to get in touch with people.”

Rivers reported that a humanitarian corridor may have been established by the Russians to allow the remaining civilians to leave the city. But he told viewers the information could not be verified and acknowledged Russian history of constantly lying on such matters. Indeed, no such corridor was established that day.

At the start of the brutal Russian attack on Ukraine, journalists and correspondents from institutions such as the Associated Press provided powerful and verified testimony and images from inside the besieged city. Two AP journalists, Mstylsav Chernov and Evgeniy Maloletka, were chased by Russian troops as Ukrainian soldiers helped them escape from the city.

But in recent days, editors and producers mostly had unverified videos, audio intercepts, government statements, social media posts by citizens and soldiers, and satellite and drone imagery for use in reporting on Mariupol. (Some Mariupol words and images labeled onscreen as coming from Reuters on Monday and Tuesday were included in cable reports this week.)

An unverified video released to US media on Wednesday showed Major Serhiy Volyna, the commander of the remaining troops in Mariupol, pleading for help. He said in the video that there were civilians and about 500 wounded soldiers at the Azovstal steel plant.

“We are probably facing our last days, if not hours,” he said in the video. “This could be the last call of our lives.”

It was scary and dramatic, but his statements were unverified.

An audio intercept of what was said to be a Russian commander saying they were going to “level everything” in and around the Mariupol steel mill also got a lot of listening.

“We are expecting surprises from Russia here,” the commander is heard saying.

When asked what kind of surprises by an unidentified voice, he replied, “Three-ton ones, from heaven.”

The interception was credited to the Security Services of Ukraine (SBU), and that identification was prominently displayed, at least in CNN’s reporting on it. But, again, this has not been verified and the steel mill has not been leveled. In fact, several media outlets, including CNN, Reuters and The Guardian, reported on Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin had called off the storming of the facility instead of ordering a blockade “so that a fly could not pass”.

The war involved two countries highly skilled in their use of the media and deeply engaged in information warfare as well as armed conflict.

“To maintain trust, this is a time when news organizations must do everything possible to be transparent with readers, listeners and viewers,” Franklin said. (Franklin was an editor at the Baltimore Sun when I was television and media critic for the newspaper.)

“Of course, there are tech tools they can use to try to verify the authenticity of certain user-generated videos and photos. That might help. But the bottom line is that they need to be completely upfront about what ‘they know and they don’t know.'” Franklin said.

CNN’s chief international correspondent, Clarissa Ward, says these tools have been a big help in covering Ukraine amid a deluge of amateur videos, crowdsourced content and sometimes hard-to-discern satellite imagery. .

“Because we’re limited in our movements…and we get all this information from social media, it becomes a lot harder to try to figure out what’s real and what’s misinformation, what’s current and what’s which is old,” she told Anderson Cooper in a CNN interview. “And we’re really lucky because we have a support team of multiple people working around the clock to geotag this material trying to put it into the proper context. It’s a relatively new thing in journalism that has in kind of evolved over the last few years. But it’s become a crucial part of the job.”

Heyward, a senior adviser at MIT’s Center for Constructive Communication and Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, said another challenge the media faces in covering Mariupol is public expectations. .

“Viewers are used to seeing correspondents on the spot and reporting live wherever news is happening, but that’s not possible in Mariupol right now for obvious reasons,” he said. declared. “But … the networks can rely on social media and videos generated by people still in the city, including ordinary citizens.”

Such reports “require additional vigilance and verification as well as clear communication with the public about sourcing,” Heyward noted.

“But it’s not North Korea, or Moscow for that matter: we’re still learning history,” he said. “As long as there is transparency and proper qualification, such reporting can still be of tremendous value… It can still give the public a good sense of this horrific, even unthinkable tragedy.”

Heyward offered an example of network news successfully using multiple tools to cover the fight from his days at CBS.

“You will recall that during the second Iraq war, the networks had correspondents embedded with the troops – quite the opposite of the situation in Ukraine today. But CBS News also relied on David Martin at the Pentagon to work his impeccable sources to the big picture – we had incredible access and video on the battlefield, but we didn’t want to just rely on what our teams were seeing without David providing the broader context,” he said.

“There’s nothing quite like on-the-spot reporting, but in a fluid and complex story like the war in Ukraine, journalists have to dig deep into their toolbox to get the job done – and I think we’re seeing some impressive results.”

The police cannot force you to unlock the phone without a warrant Wed, 20 Apr 2022 21:14:00 +0000 The Fourth Amendment requires the police to have a warrant or your consent to search your phone.

People hold more information than ever thanks to the messages, apps, photos and videos stored on their phones. This often makes cell phones attractive to law enforcement when investigating a case.

A tweet with 20,000 likes warned people never to give their unlocked phone to the police, adding that phone passwords are constitutionally protected. This warning contradicts another, old viral tweet which claimed that the police could “look into your phone without a warrant” while you are being arrested.


Can the police ask you to unlock your phone without a search warrant?



No, the police cannot ask you to unlock your phone without a search warrant. But even when the police have a warrant, some courts have ruled that your cell phone password is protected by the Fifth Amendment and you can’t be coerced into sharing it.


The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution protects Americans from “unreasonable search and seizure” – meaning law enforcement must have a warrant or your consent to search your property with some exceptions.

The law firm of Thomas C. Thomasian, a New England law firm, says this protection extends to your phone, which means police can’t search your phone without a warrant or your permission. .

A search warrant is a document issued by a judge or magistrate that authorizes a police officer to search a specific location for evidence, even if the person who owns the item or location does not consent. To obtain a warrant, law enforcement must show that there is probable cause that a crime may have been committed or evidence that a crime exists at the location being searched. The warrant outlines exactly where and what law enforcement is authorized to search and seize.

But if an officer doesn’t have a search warrant, you can deny their request.

“If an officer asks you to unlock your phone or search your phone, you have the right to refuse,” says the Department of Public Defense Services in Maricopa County, where Phoenix, Arizona is located. “The officer, however, may be able to take the cellphone as evidence.”

Blogs from law firms based in Colorado and North Carolina explain that a police officer can seize your phone if you are arrested and keep it pending a search warrant. Although they are authorized to remove the battery or the casing of the phone, they cannot search the contents of the phone until they have a search warrant. Todd Coolidge, an attorney at the Coolidge Law Firm in Arizona, says you don’t have to share your phone’s passcode with the police if they take it as evidence.

There are only a few limited exceptions to the requirement that law enforcement obtain a warrant or authorization to search your phone. If the police reasonably believe that evidence on your phone may be destroyed before they can obtain a warrant, they may search it without your permission. They can also search your phone without a warrant or authorization in an urgent emergency – in Riley v. Californiathe Supreme Court case that established the warrant requirement for telephone searches, the Supreme Court used hypothetical situations where a bomb may soon explode or a child abduction as examples of such emergencies.

Outside of these exceptions, law enforcement must get a warrant to legally search your phone if you don’t give them permission. Even if the police get a warrant to search your phone, they may not be able to force you to unlock your phone depending on where you live.

A 2020 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report stated, “Courts have come to conflicting conclusions about whether and when forcible decryption of a device protected by a password or biometric identifier goes to against the Fifth Amendment. The Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution states that no American may be “compelled in a criminal case to testify against himself”.

The CRS report found that most courts that have ruled on the issue consider cellphone passcodes to be “testimonial,” and therefore under the protection of the Fifth Amendment. He also found that a few courts thought it extended to phones that unlock using biometrics, such as a fingerprint or face ID. However, it’s not universal in all US courts, and some courts say law enforcement can force you to unlock your phone if they have a warrant to search it.

In 2021, the Supreme Court had the opportunity to rule on the matter when Andrews vs. New Jersey State was appealed to the highest court in the land, but declined to take the case. Accordingly, there is no federal precedent for password protections.

Even if you don’t provide law enforcement with the passcode to unlock your phone, they still have a few ways to access some of the data on your device. The police can submit a request or request to a telephone company or manufacturer to obtain a person’s data.

Apple says it complies with “legally valid” requests, but requests that the company determines “have no valid legal basis or are deemed unclear, inappropriate or overbroad are disputed, disputed or rejected”. Apple can provide law enforcement with data stored on its servers, but only has access to data stored on some of their phones. According to Apple, it cannot extract data from a password-protected phone running iOS 8.0 or later, which covers all devices from iPhone 6. This is because the data on these phones is encrypted and Apple does not have the key to unlock the encryption.

AT&T says stored content, like text messages and voicemails, “usually” requires a warrant for AT&T to share the data with law enforcement. AT&T may choose to reject, challenge, or only partially comply with a legal request if the request contains errors or is not applicable to the data sought.

According to Upturn, a nonprofit organization focused on technology, equity, and justice, another way law enforcement can bypass your passcode to find your phone is to use the technology of data mining.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a digital civil liberties nonprofit, says you should demand to see the warrant if law enforcement claims to have one to search your phone. The EFF says you shouldn’t interfere with their search if the police try to search your phone without a warrant or your permission. Instead, you should “write down the officers’ names and badge numbers and call an attorney immediately.”

More CHECK: Yes, Overdraft Fees Cost Americans More Than Burglaries

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Protection against tax identity theft Sat, 16 Apr 2022 00:56:00 +0000

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – April is Financial Literacy Month and April 18 is the 2022 filing deadline for most taxpayers.

The number of stolen identities increases every year, along with the money and peace of mind also stolen from its victims. Learning what it takes to protect yourself against identity theft and the chaos it brings can take some time and knowledge, but the payoff is well worth it.

Tax identity theft can extend to almost any area of ​​personal and financial life.

GBG Americas, a leader in identity verification and fraud prevention, found that people were worried not only about their money, but also about theft and identity damage.

“Our research shows that 85% of Americans are deeply concerned about cybersecurity, but sadly only about half know how to protect themselves,” said Christina Luttrell, CEO of GBG Americas.

To be protected against any kind of identity theft, people need to be more than concerned. They must be vigilant.

The sooner someone discovers they are a victim of identity theft, the sooner they can take steps to minimize the damage.

“I think we can all assume that our data is for sale on the dark web,” Lutrell proclaimed.

WAVE News viewer Antonio Thompson reached out, not only for information on what to do if you are a victim of tax identity theft, but also to warn people that it can happen more easily than you think.

Tax identity theft is the most common form of identity theft reported to the Federal Trade Commission in the past five years.

“You feel vulnerable,” Thompson shared. “You feel like there’s so much that could be taken or potentially used.”

Thompson is now faced with what identity theft has done to her life after hearing from the IRS.

“I received a text message notifying or alerting me that the IRS had accepted my 2021 tax return,” Thompson explained. “I received a similar text message this time saying the state had accepted my return.”

Thompson had spoken to H&R Block about coming to file her taxes again this year after receiving a text from them to verify her next appointment. He didn’t remember making an appointment, but let the picker know he would be making an appointment soon.

He never has a chance. Someone else had already made an appointment and showed up in person to file their taxes on her behalf.

“All of my information was used, except for the bank where the money is going to be deposited and, of course, my earnings,” Thompson said in disgust.

The thief used real data he needed from Thompson, mixed with fake data. This is called synthetic spoofing.

Luttrell said protecting yourself takes mindfulness and knowledge. She shared these tips:

  • Monitor your credit reports.
  • Freeze your credit so no one can open lines of credit using your social security number.
  • Also be sure to file early.

Don’t be a latecomer, as fraudsters will often file their returns early.

“It’s a painful process to go through to clean it up,” exclaimed Lutrell.

People shared by Luttrell should go to a reputable company to do their taxes if you don’t do them yourself.

She expects H&R Block to find the underlying cause of what happened to Thompson, but he’s worried about how long that process will take.

Consumers surveyed by IDology (part of GBG Americas) cited these top five losses from identity theft:

  • Credit and debit card theft: 30%
  • Bank account infiltration and theft: 29%
  • Stolen and cloned mobile phone number: 24%
  • A new loan taken out in his name: 21%
  • A new credit or bank account opened in his name: 20%

For a closer look, click or tap here for the consumer study on the financial impact of identity fraud.

WAVE – Louisville and southern Indiana NBC affiliate. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @wave3news.(VAGUE)

Copyright 2022 WAVE. All rights reserved.

Assessment of the Ukrainian conflict: what we know Wed, 13 Apr 2022 14:50:13 +0000

Published on: Amended:

Kyiv (Ukraine) (AFP) – Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is nearing the start of its third month and with Moscow’s military advance and negotiations largely stalled, there doesn’t appear to be an immediate end to the fighting.

Here’s what we can definitively say about the human cost of the conflict in which allegations of Russian atrocities have raised fears of a heavy civilian toll.

– The United Nations –

The benchmark today in many world conflicts is the UN, which on Tuesday this week estimated that in Ukraine there had been “4,450 civilian casualties in the country: 1,892 killed and 2,558 injured”.

The UN, however, makes it clear that it “believes the actual numbers to be considerably higher”, citing late reports from the battlefield and efforts to verify existing information.

In light of this, the UN announced last week that it would change its methodology and release figures that reflect “a realistic estimate of the true death toll”, said the head of its civilian casualty monitoring team.

Military losses

The UN tally does not include military deaths.

The Defense Ministries of Ukraine and Russia regularly issue statements about the number of soldiers they have killed on the opposite side.

kyiv says its troops have killed 19,600 Russian servicemen since the invasion began in late February. Moscow said on March 25 that its forces had killed at least 14,000 Ukrainian servicemen.

These figures, however, are widely believed to be inflated and have not been verified by AFP or independent conflict monitors.

Russia uncharacteristically acknowledged its own military casualties, but put its death toll well below Ukraine’s at 1,351 in its latest March 25 update.

A senior NATO military official estimated at the same time that between 7,000 and 15,000 Russian soldiers could have been killed in the fighting so far.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov admitted to Sky News last week that Russian troops had suffered “significant losses” in Ukraine, calling it a “huge tragedy”.

Ukraine does not deny that its soldiers die on the battlefield but it has not published a total.

Bucha and more

The withdrawal of Russian troops from towns around the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, has revealed massive civilian casualties and those numbers are expected to rise.

Bucha, where hundreds of corpses – some with their hands tied behind their backs – were discovered, has become the most infamous location, but Ukrainian authorities are uncovering similar scenes in other liberated areas.

Ukrainian police said on Thursday that so far 720 bodies had been found in the Kyiv region.

North of kyiv, authorities in Chernigiv – the largest settlement to be recaptured from Russian forces said some 700 people had been killed since the fighting began.

In the eastern city of Severodonetsk, where fighting is still raging, officials said at least 400 civilians had been buried since the invasion began.

Clearance and demining efforts continue in areas wrested from Russian control and are expected to result in a higher tally.


Perhaps the biggest and most ominous question mark concerns the southern city of Mariupol, which has been besieged by Russian forces for weeks. Ukrainian troops resist in a large industrial factory.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said this week he believed Russia was responsible for the deaths of “tens of thousands” of people.

Donetsk region governor Pavlo Kyrylenko estimated on Tuesday that between 20,000 and 22,000 people had died in the city.

Kyiv officials said last month that by the start of March confirmed deaths were already around 5,000, but by then they could have already reached 10,000.

Ukraine’s human rights ombudsman claimed on Thursday that Russia was using 13 mobile crematoria to “clear the streets of the bodies of dead civilians”, efforts which, if confirmed, would make it all the more difficult to establish of a precise assessment in the city.