Apr 15, 2014 fbook icon twitter icon rss icon


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11Russian Lawmaker Tweets Then Deletes About Snowden Asylum Decision

Senior Russian lawmaker Alexei Pushkov tweeted on Tuesday that Edward Snowden, former NSA contractor and now-infamous whistleblower, had accepted Venezuela’s offer of asylum—only to delete the tweet a short time later.

After removing the post from his Twitter feed, Pushkov then tweeted that he had heard the story on Russian state-run television news channel Rossiya-24; however, a representative from the station stated that the story was in reference to Pushkov’s first tweet.

Snowden is wanted in the United States on espionage charges after releasing secret information regarding NSA surveillance programs, resulting in widespread condemnation as well as support. He has appealed to about 20 countries for asylum, and has allegedly been holed up at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport since his departure from Hong Kong on June 23. Venezuela was the first country to offer Snowden asylum, followed by Bolivia. Nicaragua has also expressed willingness to consider granting Snowden asylum. WikiLeaks, which has offered support to Snowden in his quest for asylum, has promised through Twitter to confirm when his asylum decision has been made.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has urged Snowden to pick a place and leave Russia as soon as possible.  However, the logistics surrounding Snowden’s next destination remain foggy. The United States has encouraged countries around the world to deny Snowden refuge, which will make it exceedingly difficult for Snowden to travel to whatever country he chooses. Recently, the Bolivian presidential place was grounded in Vienna due to allegations that Snowden was aboard, angering Bolivian President Evo Morales and providing proof of the difficulty of Snowden’s pending journey.

President of Expert Aviation Consulting Kirk Koenig told CNN that Snowden’s only choice would likely be to charter a flight entirely over water in order to avoid being grounded by countries in support of the United States.

In an appearance on Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey, summed up the Snowden situation as it currently stands. “It’s very clear that any of these countries that accept Snowden and offer him political asylum is taking a step against the United States,” Menendez said. “It’s making a very clear statement.”

Sources: Reuters, CNN

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11Jim Carrey Apologizes to Assault Rifle Owners

Jim Carrey apologized to assault rifle owners via Twitter on Sunday.

Carrey mocked assault rifle owners in a musical parody in a 'Funny Or Die' video back in March.

In the video, Carrey sang a song called "Cold Dead Hand" about how Charlton Heston cannot enter heaven because his gun cannot be pried from his "cold dead hand." The lyrics included: "It takes a cold dead heart to pull the trigger."

On Sunday, Carrey tweeted: "Asslt rifle fans, I do not agree wth u, nor do I fear u but I do love u and I'm sorry tht in my outrage I called you names.That was wrong. 3^{"

The comedian/actor then added: "Btw I don't need a crisis mgr, just a conscience. Calling ppl names is inappropriate but my position on assault weapons hasn't changed. ;^}"

Last month, Carrey denounced the violence of his new film "Kick Ass 2," but hasn't said he would return the money he was paid to star in the film, notes Mediaite.com.

Sources: Twitter and Mediaite.com

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11Jennifer Love Hewitt Quits Twitter

Jennifer Love Hewitt, of The Client List, gave up on Twitter due to its negativity. 

She said goodbye to her followers, saying, "Unfortunately with all the negativity people choose to send on Twitter as well as threats to [their] own well-being. I'm sad to say Twitter is no longer for me."

"I have enjoyed all the kindness and love that came my way, as well as the support. But this break is needed. Life should be filled with positivity and holding each other up, not making threats and sending bad vibes. To those of you who made it a joy, thank you from the bottom of my heart."

Sources: ICYDK

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11Women Want Accused Murderer Aaron Hernandez Released Because He's Attractive

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was arrested last week and charged with first-degree murder in the death of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd.

However, many female fans of Hernandez apparently do not want to wait for a trial. They want the ex-NFL player to be released now because he is so attractive.

According to the Houston Chronicle, female fans on Twitter are clamoring for the freedom of the accused killer.

Some of the tweets include:

"Free Aaron Hernandez! He's too sexy for jail ;)"

"Free Aaron Hernandez, he to fine to be locked up."

"Free Aaron Hernandez, he didnt do it..... but free him even if he did."

More of the adoring tweets reported by CBS Chicago include:

"Am I the only one who thinks Aaron Hernandez is still sexy even if he is a murderer?"

"Leave Aaron Hernandez alone ... He's sexy as hell"

"Aaron Hernandez got charged with murder? he still fine though...shoot lol"

"Why is Aaron Hernandez still so damn sexy? Hahaha"

While it could be argued that some people are "trolling" on Twitter for attention, it would seem that even joking about an accused murderer is in bad taste, especially for the family of Odin Lloyd.

Sources: CBS Chicago and Houston Chronicle

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11Kristen Bell Proposes to Dax Shepard on Twitter

Kristin Bell proposed to her boyfriend Dax Shepard on Twitter yesterday after learning of the DOMA ruling. 

The two already have a daughter together, who was born in March. They said previously that they would not marry until marriage was legal for everyone in the United States.

"The reason we're not rushing to get married is because I don't feel appropriate taking advantage of a right that's denied to my [gay and lesbian] friends. That's why we've been so hesitant," she said in 2012. "Dax and I have talked about it a lot, and this issue is very important to both of us. We're just standing up for what we believe in. Period."

Bell went on Twitter in the morning on Wednesday, and said, ".@daxshepard1 will you marry me? Xo #marriageequality #loveislove."

Dax replied, "F*ck Yes!!!!!"

Sources: ICYDK

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11Birmingham Man Sentenced to One Year in Jail for Obama Death Threat

Alabama man, Jarvis Britton, was sentenced to one year in prison Thursday after threatening to kill the president last year on Twitter.

Britton tweeted: "Let's kill the president. F.E.A.R.”

Britton, 26, has already spent nine months in prison and will spend another three behind bars before being released on probation for three years under the surveillance of the U.S. Probation Office.

U.S. District Court Judge Lynwood Smith finalized Briton’s sentence — a judge appointed by former President Bill Clinton.

Britton pleaded guilty to the charge in March following several requests from the Secret Service to end his threatening tweets directed at the president.

One tweet questioned the credibility of free speech, tweeting: "Free speech? Really? Let's test this! Let's kill the president.” Britton added that Obama should be killed slowly with cyanide.

During the court hearing, Britton acknowledged that what he did was wrong and apologized and promised to put the matter behind him. The statement is contradictory to what he admitted in February and said that he had actually threatened the Syrian president.

Britton has been taking drugs for bipolar disorder, though a judge ruled he was competent enough to stand trial.

Sources: Newser, All Alabama

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11Sarah Palin Slams Bill Maher for Attacking Special Needs Son Trig

Sarah Palin lashed out at comedian Bill Maher on Wednesday after he called her special needs son Trig Palin “retarded.”

Palin reacted by first by tweeting an article of the incident followed by two threats. She hoped that one of the kids he made fun of would pulverize him.

“I’m in your neck of the woods this weekend, little Bill,” Palin tweeted. “Care to meet so I can tell you how I really feel?”

Former TV sports anchor and conservative, Ron Futrell, attended Maher’s Las Vegas show Saturday, and he moved closer to the stage to confront the comedian after his slur. Futrell shouted “you wack job” and “Who’s the president?” several times before being escorted out.

“It didn’t surprise me that Maher said it,” Futrell said. “It surprised me that a lot of people laughed at that joke.”

He found the comment personally offensive as well given his own son’s has special needs. When asked if his attendance at a liberal comedy show was a publicity stunt, Futrell answered in the negative, insisting that he enjoys hearing both sides of a political argument.

“Special needs be damned, there are jokes to be made by ‘caring compassionate’ liberals,” Futrell said. “I was so disgusted.”

Sources: The Huffington Post, Las Vegas Review Journal

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11Kuwaiti Teacher Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison After Calling for Ruler's Overthrow on Twitter

Kuwaiti teacher, Huda al-Ajmi, who called for the overthrow of Kuawait’s leader on Twitter, was sentenced to 11 years in jail on Monday. Ajmi's punishment is the harshest for online opposition in Kuwait thus far.

“This is the highest sentence of its kind in these kinds of cases,” one source said.

The exact tweet has yet to be released.

Ajmi was convicted of insulting Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah. Insulting the emir is forbidden in the Kuwait constitution, where the emir is described as an “immune and inviolable” figure.

According to Human Rights Watch, 25 people have been charged with offending the emir since last October, and at least six have been sentenced to prison. Ajmi is the first woman to incite offense.

Despite her sentence, Ajmi has yet to be taken into custody and has been given the option to appeal the verdict. In Kuwait, it is unusual for women to receive jail time for political crimes. Additionally, Kuwait prides itself as a state more liberal than its neighbors, especially where freedom of expression is concerned, and might be more lenient in Ajmi’s case.

Last month, former Parliament member, Mussallam al-Barak, was sentenced to five years in prison for calling the emir an autocrat. However, he managed to overturn his appeal.

The United States has called for greater freedom of expression in Kuwait.

Sources: The Star, RT

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11Cleveland Teen Will Smidlein Hacks Vine

Will Smidlein, 16, of Cleveland, Oh., managed to bypass Vine’s six-second video limit Monday night, uploading the entire three-minute, 33-second video for Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give it Up.”

“I think I broke Vine,” he tweeted. On his Twitter page, Smidlein is a self-described “web developer.”

The hack came about the day Vine became available as an Android app. Smidlein, who apparently “had experience developing for Android,” says CNN, “translated the app's code into a readable format, then tinkered with parts of the program that lets users upload posts.” 

Smidlein insists that his prank was all in good fun. "Honestly, it was just for my friends and the people who follow me on Twitter and Vine," he said. But, by the time engineers at Twitter had contacted him to remove his post. Smidlein later wrote "sorry, Twitter/Vine engineers. I tried to keep it quiet, but the internet never forgets."

Though he’s caused quite a stir amongst the Twitter and Vine engineers, Smidlein seems to have developed a fan base as well. One user commented that they think Vine should consider hiring him.

Smidlein now is sitting back watching the social media ticker roll:

Sources: CNN, Twitter, The Verge

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11Turkish PM Recep Erdogan Blames Twitter For Spreading 'Lies' During Country-Wide Protests

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan criticized Twitter and other social media networks this weekend after a small sit-in at Gezi Park in central Istanbul spiraled into a nation-wide anti-Erdogan protest - the largest since his election 10 years ago.

Erdogan said Twitter was to blame for spreading rumors of violence, which he insists he never approved. However, according to Turkey’s Andalou News Agency, more than 700 people were detained by police force and almost 200 have been hospitalized. Reports on Sunday night revealed that police officers used tear gas, water cannons and pepper spray to tame protesters in the Istanbul district of Besiktas.

Erdogan attributed the outbreak to looters, radicals and provocations of the Republican People’s Party, which opposes his administration.

“That thing called social media is the curse of today,” Erdogan said, though his 2 million Likes on Facebook and 3 million followers on Twitter tell a slightly different story. He added that Twitter was the greatest proponent of myth in Turkey, though amateur reporters are often the only voice of truth in times of political unease.

Social media plays a significant role in Turkey, where reporting by official news outlets can sometimes be unreliable. Some say Turkey may be on the cusp of its own Arab Spring, where social networks advance activist agendas.

“For the first time,” Hussein Amin, a professor at the American University in Cairo said referencing the Arab Spring, social media “provided activists with an opportunity to quickly disseminate information while bypassing government restrictions."

Sources: The Next Web, The Independent

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