‘Pay to play’: Facebook rolls out nightmare scenario for publishers on its network

By ethan / October 24, 2017

Facebook is testing out a change to their network in six markets. As a result, posts from some publishers and businesses will be removed from the site’s News Feed section. The change has caused a dramatic drop in referral traffic to news outlets.

The posts will now only be shown in a separate tab called ‘Explore Feed,’ which was officially unveiled last week. The test is only active for people in Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Slovakia, Serbia, Guatemala, and Cambodia. Facebook confirmed the test on Monday, which was first spotted by Slovakian journalist Filip Struharik.

Some of the top Facebook pages in Slovakia lost as much as two-thirds to three-fourths of their reach due to the change, according to Facebook-owned analytics tool CrowdTangle.

Stories from publishers and businesses are being transferred from the main feed to the Explore Feed, while the main feed is reserved for posts from friends and family.

It may end up with publishers having to pay Facebook to promote their stories so that people can see them.

Facebook’s News Feed VP Adam Mosseri wrote about the test, saying: “We currently have no plans to roll this test out further.”

Mosseri also tweeted about the length of time the test will take.

According to Mosseri, “The goal of this test is to understand if people prefer to have separate places for personal and public content. We will hear what people say about the experience to understand if it’s an idea worth pursuing any further… As with all tests we run, we may learn new things that lead to additional tests in the coming months so we can better understand what works best for people and publishers.”

Facebook has been known to make dramatic changes in their algorithms that affect referral traffic and reach for publishers. Just last year, it changed how the News Feed works, prioritizing posts shared by family and friends over content shared by publishers.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT World News

100,000 Brits sign up for polygamous dating site helping Muslim men find multiple wives

By ethan / October 24, 2017

A website that helps Muslim men find “second wives” in Britain has more than 100,000 users registered, it has been revealed. The practice has been accused of opening women, often younger than their husbands, to physical abuse and even trafficking.

In the UK, polygamous marriages – in which a person has more than one spouse – are only recognized if they took place in countries where they are legal. British law, however, does not stop unregistered religious ceremonies from taking place.

Most Muslims in Britain do not practice polygamy, but some interpretations of the Quran say that a man may marry two, three, or four women, so long as he can deal justly and fairly with each of them.

SecondWife.com creator Azad Chaiwala says the website came from his “need” and “thinking there’ll be other people in my situation.”

“There are other deceiving ways of doing it – affairs, prostitution etc – those are not necessarily good for relationships,” he told the BBC.

“Here it is more honorable.”

Around 100,000 people have signed up – with men outnumbering women three to one, Chaiwala said. He denied the website was just for men, however.

“It takes two hands to clap; a guy can’t do it on his own. We’ve got so many successful marriages and so many women signed up themselves… they are opting to enter this kind of relationship.”

Yasmin Rehman of the Centre for Secular Space told the Daily Mail the website is “deeply dangerous” and called on politicians to step in.

“He’s promoting inequality and exploitation of women, and undermining what marriage is about. And he’s making money out of it.”

Read more

© Khaled Abdullah Ali Al Mahdi

Rehman, who is a Muslim, added: “I think he’s flouting the law – anyone else would be subject to polygamy laws. It sits alongside websites like brides from abroad.

“I meet women who have been trafficked and prostituted. I’m fed up with this being accepted. There are Muslim women across the world fighting this, some at great risk to themselves.”

Gina Khan, of One Law For All, who herself has been part of a polygamous marriage, told the newspaper the website is “disgusting.”

“It is a medieval practice for Muslim men who want to commit adultery and they are using religion. It is an abusive practice,” Khan said.

“It’s impacting hundreds of British women and it’s being ignored by the state in this country. You can bet your life they are vulnerable women. There are a lot of women who I have come across who have no say in it.”

Chaiwala says his website does not break the law, and claims it “benefits women.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT UK News

Pentagon justifies military expansion in Africa as key to ‘global strategy’

By ethan / October 24, 2017

The Pentagon is calling for an increase in the US military footprint in Africa, where there are over 6,000 troops currently stationed. This as a top general confirms the four US soldiers killed in Niger were ambushed by an Islamic State-affiliate.

Speaking from the Pentagon on Monday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford told reporters that US troops in Niger do not go on patrol with local forces unless the chances of enemy combat are “unlikely.” He confirmed the four US service members killed in the October 4 ambush were taken by surprise when they were attacked by a group of 50 militants affiliated with the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

Read more

FILE PHOTO : U.S. soldiers in the Laghman province of Afghanistan © Lucas Jackson

US forces in Niger were ambushed by fighters from Mali, which became a terrorist stronghold after Libya collapsed into chaos and anarchy following the US intervention in 2011. Since then, neighboring countries have seen an increase in the number and severity of terrorist attacks.

While there is no direct combat mission for US troops in Niger, debate in Congress is heating up over whether to update or replace the 9/11-era authorization for use of military force, as the presence of US troops across West Africa gains widespread media coverage.

Dunford described Niger, where there are currently at least 800 US soldiers, as “inherently dangerous.”

The US has more than 6,000 troops stationed in about 53 of the 54 African countries. Most of them, approximately 4,000, are located at Camp Lemonnier in the east African country of Djibouti.

On Sunday, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) both said on NBC’s Meet the Press that they were unaware there were so many troops stationed in the area.

“I didn’t know there [were] 1,000 troops in Niger,” Graham said, adding that he expects to be briefed on their purpose and mission later this week.

However, Graham was one of 26 senators present for an AFRICOM hearing in March, and no lawmakers reportedly asked any questions about the number of troops in the region.

Graham supports sticking with the original Authorization for Use of Military Force, which passed three days after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and sent troops to Afghanistan and then Iraq.

A close ally of Graham’s, Senator John McCain (R-Arizona), is calling for more debate on the issue and has supported the idea of a new authorization. Last week, McCain, who chairs the Armed Services Committee, threatened to subpoena the White House for information regarding the attacks in Niger, claiming he had been told “very little.”

READ MORE: McCain threatens White House with subpoena for info on Niger attacks

Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), who sits on the Foreign Relations Committee, has clashed with both Graham and McCain over war policy. He attacked Graham on Twitter on Monday as a “warmonger” who should have known about US troops in Niger.

On Friday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had meetings with both McCain and Graham and told them about the situation in the region. After the meeting, Graham told reporters that Mattis said the war on terrorism is “morphing.”

“You’re going to see more actions in Africa, not less; you’re going to see more aggression by the United States toward our enemies, not less; you’re going to have decisions being made not in the White House but out in the field,” Graham said, according to the Washington Post.

Read more

France's Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly (L) and U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis sit down for meeting with their respective staffs at the Pentaon October 20, 2017 in Arlington, Virginia © Chip Somodevilla

Speaking to reporters Monday, General Dunford echoed Graham’s statement, describing US troops stationed around the world as a “part of a global strategy.”

Dunford said that the US has been sending troops to Africa and other parts of the world in order to “put pressure” on terrorist groups “simultaneously wherever they are” and “anticipate where they will be” in the future.

He added that the US is building up a “relatively small footprint” of troops around the globe to enable local forces to deal with terrorists “before they become a threat to the American people.”

Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are scheduled to address the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on October 30.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT US News

Catalonia’s pro-independence alliance vows to challenge Madrid’s ‘dictatorship’

By ethan / October 24, 2017

Catalan pro-independence parliamentary group, Junts pel Sí, has promised to legally appeal and challenge the potential central government takeover of Catalonia, as self-determination activists plan to stage massive civil disobedience actions this week.

On Thursday, Catalan political parties are planning to hold a plenary session in the regional parliament to discuss a response to Madrid’s threats to invoke Article 155 of Spain’s 1978 Constitution, which would impose central government control on Catalonia.

Read more

© Enrique Calvo

The debate of the Catalan political elite, initiated by the Candidatura de Unidad Popular (CPU) and Junts pel Sí (JxSi) parties, will take place a day before the Spanish Senate is expected to pass Article 155, which will remove Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont from office and suspend the powers of the regional institutions.

Speaking out Monday against plans to impose the central government’s rule on Catalonia, Lluis Corominas, president of JxSi, has accused Spain of “acting like a dictatorship.” To keep Catalonia’s independence dreams alive, Corominas said a potential legal appeal against Article 155 would be discussed during the Catalonia’s parliament plenary session Thursday.

“This is the case of the institutional violence that we are suffering from, Article 155. That’s why we are requesting a plenary session,” Corominas said. “Spain is not a democracy. Spain is acting like a dictatorship. It is doing everything to impose the law on us.”

Corominas accused Madrid of trying to impose unity over the Spanish state at the expense of “individual liberties” and “collective freedom.” He urged independence activists “to go on with parliament to protect it from the aggression of the Spanish state without precedent.”

Catalan leader: Madrid’s steps toward direct rule are ‘worst attacks’ since Franco’s dictatorship

“They want to frighten and intimidate us, physically and via legal instruments, while accusing us of crimes of sedition and rebellion. They also usurp functions of parliament and the government, which have been democratically elected.”

The JxSi leader accused the main Spanish political parties, the centrist Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) and the right-wing People’s Party (PP), who called for the implementation of Article 155, of acting like the government of Francisco Franco, which from 1939 until 1975 suppressed Catalonia’s autonomy.

“The PP government… is acting like the most extreme far-right party that has ever existed in this country. They are promoting the hatred towards Catalonia. Both sides, PP and PSOE,” the politician said.

Read more

People wave Catalan separatist flags during a demonstration organised by Catalan pro-independence movements ANC (Catalan National Assembly) and Omnium Cutural, following the imprisonment of their two leaders Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, in Barcelona © Gonzalo Fuentes

The decision to invoke Article 155 to restore order and reassert central government’s control over Catalonia was announced by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Saturday. Madrid maintains that the Catalonia’s independence vote was illegal and void, and hopes to reshuffle the political elite in a snap regional election.

Before Spanish lawmakers approve this course of action, 27 senators were tasked with studying the consequences of the imposition of such a constitutional order. Puigdemont has been invited to defend his government’s actions in wake of the October 1 referendum in front of the commission. The Catalan leader could face as much as 30 years in prison if Article 155 is introduced.

Madrid’s decision immediately provoked a wave of outrage in the region, prompting hundreds of thousands of people to take to the streets to voice their discontent with the central government’s move.

As the region remains in legal limbo amid indy standoff between Barcelona and Madrid, the socialist pro-independence CUP party called for “mass civil disobedience” on Wednesday against what the party called “the greatest aggression against the civil, individual and collective rights of the Catalan people.” Students also plan to hold mass rallies Thursday.

Earlier Monday, Catalonia’s Foreign Affairs spokesman told BBC Radio that regional authorities and institutions will never surrender sovereignty to Madrid.

READ MORE: Italian regions to begin talks on autonomy after Veneto, Lombardy referendums

The head of the Catalan parliament, Carme Forcadell, also said that the Catalan authorities were not going to take “a step back” in their pursuit of independence and were ready to defend Catalan sovereignty “now more than ever.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT World News

Russia slams US for mishandling of diplomatic archives, reserves right to tit-for-tat response

By ethan / October 24, 2017

Moscow has accused Washington of denying access to and mishandling of diplomatic archives which remained in the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco after the building was seized by US authorities amid the ongoing diplomatic row.

On August 31, Donald Trump’s administration ordered the closure of the Russian Consulate in San Francisco, as well as a consular annex in New York and a chancery annex in Washington DC. Giving Russian diplomats less than three days to halt their operations, on September 2 US federal agents seized control of the properties and all the documents that were left behind during the hasty evacuations.

The San Francisco Consulate, which handled work from seven western states, and was the oldest and most established of Russia’s consulates in the US, was forced to leave some of the paperwork behind.

Russian diplomats were told that they would be allowed collect the archives, which are covered by the diplomatic immunity. That promise was, however, neglected, the Russian Embassy in the United States said Monday, accusing Washington of violating international conventions.

“The American authorities did not provide us with access to the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco, closed by their decision since September 2, in order to evacuate its archives. Instead, they have packed the archives on their own and moved them to Washington, DC,” before turning them over to the Russians on October 23, the Embassy said in a Facebook statement.

READ MORE: Moscow slams ‘disgraceful’ removal of Russian flags from diplomatic properties seized by US (VIDEO)

The US mishandling of the archives, the Embassy stressed, was done despite “numerous protests” by the Russian side, which insisted that the documents should only be managed by the Russian embassy staff.

“The consulate archives and documents are inviolable at all times, wherever they may be,” the embassy added. “Such a neglectful attitude coming from Washington toward international law, our diplomatic and consular missions and properties, has paved a way for similar actions towards the US missions in Russia. On the principle of reciprocity, a corner stone of diplomatic relations.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT World News

Tillerson vows Taliban ‘will never win,’ urges Pakistan to meet US ‘conditions’ for support

By ethan / October 24, 2017

In a secretive trip to Afghanistan, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson doubted Pakistan’s ability to fight the Taliban. But he also denied the Taliban has any path to victory, despite the Pentagon chief saying they were “surging.”

Tillerson arrived at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul on Monday, following an earlier trip in the day to the Qatari capital, Doha.

Read more

FILE PHOTO. A Pakistani soldier in South Waziristan. © Faisal Mahmood

Discussing US strategy in the region, Tillerson said the Taliban, and others, “will never win” a military victory against the US.

But earlier this year, Defense Secretary James Mattis addressed the US’s involvement in the country’s longest running conflict. He said the US was engaged in “a strategy-free time”in Afghanistan, and US forces were not winning the war.

“I think the Taliban had a good year last year,” Mattis said. “Right now, I believe the enemy is surging.”

Tillerson’s unannounced arrival in Afghanistan follows an assassination attempt on Mattis’s life last month, when rockets landed in and around his plane as he arrived in Kabul.

The top US diplomat’s concerns on stability in the region extended not only to Afghanistan, but ostensible US ally Pakistan as well. Tillerson said terrorist organizations find safe havens in both countries. He added that the US’s relationship with Afghanistan and Pakistan is rooted in a “conditions-based approach.”

Earlier this month, Mattis railed against Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), which serves as Pakistan’s main intelligence agency.

“They have lost probably more troops than any other single country in the fight against terrorism – at the same time we’ve seen havens left to the terrorists’ own devices,” he said. “We’ve seen the government of Pakistan come down on terrorists, when the ISI appears to run its own policy.”

In late September, Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif told RT that US actions in Afghanistan dating back to the 1980s have left the region less secure. She also said that Pakistan supporting the US in the fight against terrorism following 9/11 was a “mistake.”

READ MORE: Assisting US in Afghanistan was wrong choice – Pakistani FM to RT

On Monday, Tillerson noted that Afghanistan has come a long way in terms of creating a “much more vibrant government” and a “larger economy” in the last few years. He also said there are opportunities to strengthen the foundation of a “prosperous Afghanistan society.”

However, Tillerson also reminded Afghan officials of when President Donald Trump said “we are here to stay” in the country until the US can “secure a process of reconciliation and peace.”

The secretary of state was scheduled to travel to Pakistan’s capital city of Islamabad on Tuesday to meet with the country’s civil and military leadership, according to the Express Tribune.

On October 30, both Tillerson and Mattis are scheduled to appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT US News

Stephen Hawking's PhD thesis posted online, crashes Cambridge website

By ethan / October 24, 2017

Pioneering theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking’s PhD thesis has for the first time been made available freely online, though high demand saw tens of thousands of Hawking fans crash the Cambridge website from which the 1966 work could be downloaded.

Hawking is famed for his groundbreaking work on relativity and black holes. His 1988 book “A Brief History of Time” became an unlikely bestseller, straddling the literary chasm between theoretical physics and popular non-fiction.

However, before all of that he had to get through university, and he wrote his thesis “Properties of Expanding Universes” as a 24-year-old student at Cambridge University in 1966. The 134-page scientific work is, according to the university, the most requested item in its library.

It’s popularity hasn’t waned since it was made available free just after midnight on Monday, causing the university’s Open Access repository Apollo, to go into meltdown.

“By making my PhD thesis Open Access, I hope to inspire people around the world to look up at the stars and not down at their feet; to wonder about our place in the universe and to try and make sense of the cosmos,” Professor Hawking said.” Anyone, anywhere in the world should have free, unhindered access to not just my research, but to the research of every great and enquiring mind across the spectrum of human understanding.

“Each generation stands on the shoulders of those who have gone before them, just as I did as a young PhD student in Cambridge, inspired by the work of Isaac Newton, James Clerk Maxwell and Albert Einstein. It’s wonderful to hear how many people have already shown an interest in downloading my thesis – hopefully they won’t be disappointed now that they finally have access to it!” he added.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT World News

Murder trial begins for illegal immigrant who sparked ‘sanctuary city’ debate

By ethan / October 24, 2017

Jurors in the trial of an illegal immigrant charged with the 2015 murder of a 32-year-old San Francisco woman were told to ignore both immigration and gun control. The suspect had been deported from the US five times, but kept returning to the “sanctuary city.”

Opening statements in the trial of Jose Ines Garcia Zarate began Monday at the Superior Court of California in San Francisco. Zarate, 54, is accused of killing Katherine “Kate” Steinle as she sat with her father on San Francisco’s Pier 14 in July 2015.

Zarate, who has also gone by the names Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez and Juan Jose Dominguez de la Parr, had been deported from the United States five times. He also had several prior criminal convictions, including four felonies for possession of heroin and manufacturing narcotics.

He was released from a San Francisco jail for re-entering the US illegally only two and a half months before the shooting. After his release, Zarate was not deported because San Francisco refuses to turn over illegal immigrants to federal authorities, under the so-called “sanctuary” policies. Zarate said that he returned to the US seeking employment, and came to San Francisco because of the protections the city offers to illegal immigrants.

Read more

© Global Look Press

The case became a flashpoint in the debate about illegal immigration and “sanctuary cities,” an issue emphasized by President Donald Trump during his 2016 election campaign.

However, during jury selection, Judge Samuel Feng told prospective jurors that their political views should not enter into their deliberations. The jury has also been barred from bringing up the politics of immigration and gun control during the proceedings.

The jury, which induces three immigrants, has been instructed to consider only one question in the case: whether Zarate shot Steinle intentionally, or was it an accident?

Zarate has pleaded not guilty to the charges, claiming that the shooting was not intentional. His attorney, Matt Gonzalez, called the shooting a “freak accident,” claiming his client was 90 feet away and the bullet bounced off the pavement before hitting Steinle.

After the shooting, Zarate had told reporters he had found the gun wrapped in a T-shirt near the beach. When he picked it up, the gun accidentally fired three times, Zarate said in an interview with KGO-TV. He then threw the gun into the San Francisco Bay and walked off, not knowing he had shot anyone until he was arrested hours later.

However, Zarate also said that he had taken sleeping pills before the shooting, and that his memory of the events is not clear.

The handgun was issued to a Bureau of Land Management ranger who had reported it stolen from his parked car in San Francisco a week before the shooting occurred. Gonzalez contends that the .40-caliber SIG Sauer P226 was left in hair-trigger mode and had no safety device.

Prosecutors contend that the gun was in a position that would have required a conscious, deliberate action in order to pull the trigger. They also contend that Zarate pointed the gun at people on the pier.

“This was an act of random violence,” Assistant DA Diana Garcia said in 2015, according to CNN. “And the defendant claimed to have found this gun shortly before just firing it at somebody at close range, shooting an innocent victim in the back.”

The San Francisco district attorney’s office has charged Zarate with second-degree murder, which could carry a maximum sentence of 15 years to life. His trial is expected to take between six and eight weeks.

In June, Republicans introduced Kate’s Law, a bill that would impose mandatory minimum sentences on illegal immigrants who returned to the United States after previously being deported. The was adopted in the House of Representatives. Trump has called on lawmakers in the Senate to send the bill to his desk for signature.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT US News

‘Never underestimate the power of the dark side’: Orban goes Star Wars on EU ‘migrant invasion’

By ethan / October 24, 2017

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban has apparently called on Hungarians to beware of the power of the Sith in his latest speech on migration crisis in Europe. He also declared Eastern and Central Europe the last ‘migrant-free zone.’

“We should never underestimate the power of the dark side,” the prime minister said, referencing Star Wars as he referred to the plots of those behind the “migrant invasion,” adding that they “have no solid structure but extensive networks.”

Read more

FILE PHOTO: Migrants wait in the transit zone where their asylum claims are processed in Tompa, Hungary, June 14, 2017. © Laszlo Balogh

The EU and some of its key member states have been “taken hostage” by a “speculative financial Empire” through an orchestrated “invasion of new immigrants,” Orban said in Budapest on Monday, adding that this mysterious “financial power” was behind the “latest great migration of peoples” that flooded Europe with “millions of migrants.”

“This plan was developed to make Europe a mixed [multicultural] continent,” the prime minister said at an event commemorating the anniversary of the 1956 anti-Soviet uprising in Hungary, adding that “only we managed to stand up against it,” apparently referring to the governments of Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, which have taken a staunch anti-migrant stance and refused to accept refugee quotas imposed by Brussels.

Orban then declared Central and Eastern Europe the continent’s last “migrant-free zone.” The Hungarian leader expressed the hope that, by acting together, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia could potentially stop mass immigration.

He went on to say that the ultimate goal of the massive inflow of migrants into Europe consisted of depriving it of its Christian and national identity. The prime minister then stressed that Europe should remain “safe, fair, civic, Christian and free” and should regain the splendor he said it had before embracing multiculturalism.

Orban’s remarks concerning the “financial power” behind the mass immigration apparently referred to the Hungarian-born US billionaire George Soros. The Hungarian prime minister has already accused Soros of seeking to create a “new, mixed, Muslimized Europe” in July. He also repeatedly blamed the tycoon of fueling the refugee crisis in Europe, adding that “Brussels has come under George Soros’s influence.”

Orban’s words were echoed by Hungarian MP Andras Aradszki, who claimed that “Soros and his comrades want to destroy the independence and values of nation states” by bringing migrants into Europe. He slammed the billionaire by calling him “Satan” earlier this month.

Orban’s latest remarks also come as Central and Eastern European countries witness a shift to the right. In Austria, two anti-migrant parties took the first two places in the parliamentary election, and are now expected to form the ruling coalition.

Read more

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Business magnate George Soros © Reuters

Just a week later, parliamentary elections in the Czech Republic ended up in a victory of an anti-establishment movement headed by a local billionaire dubbed “the Czech Donald Trump,” who is particularly known for his severe criticism of the EU’s immigration policies.

Hungary itself is engaged in a bitter row with the EU over the refugee relocation quotas, together with Poland and Slovakia. The issue dates back to the EU decision made in 2015 to rehouse some 160,000 refugees from Greece and Italy over a period of two years, only around 27,700 of whom have been settled so far.

Budapest also faces pressure over the fence that covers one-quarter of the length of its borders and was designed to stop the inflow of migrants and asylum seekers at the peak of the refugee crisis. Despite repeated criticism from many European countries, Hungary refuses to remove it and claims that it has helped to cut the inflow of migrants by 99.7 percent since 2015.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT World News

WADA launches investigation into claims of ‘systematic doping’ in China

By ethan / October 24, 2017

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has announced an investigation into claims of widespread doping in Chinese sports, following the airing of a documentary on a German TV channel.

The statement regarding the probe was published on the organization’s website, and involves claims that large-scale doping practices were prevalent in China in the 1980s and 90s.

“The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has seen the 21 October documentary by German broadcaster ARD alleging systematic doping in China during the 1980s and 1990s; and, questioning whether such a system may have prevailed beyond these decades. The allegations were brought forward by former Chinese physician, Xue Yinxian, who is said to have looked after several national teams in China during the decades in question,” it reads.

WADA’s statement refers to the recently released documentary by German journalist Hajo Seppelt, titled ‘China’s doped ascent to sports superpower.’

In the film, a former doctor of the Chinese national teams, Xue Yinxia, who requested political asylum in Germany after she recently left China, stated that thousands of Chinese athletes were taking illegal drugs in the 1980s and 1990s. According to Xue, the system covered all sports and medals were won thanks to the doping system.

WADA is now looking to initiate an investigative process to evaluate Xue’s claims.

Read more

Members of the Russian Paralympic team © Alexander Vilf

Previously, Seppelt filmed two documentaries on alleged doping in Russian sports – “The Doping Secret: How Russia Makes its Winners” (released in 2014), and 2015’s “Doping – Top Secret: The Shadowy World of Athletics.”

Both movies featured Russian athlete Yulia Stepanova and her husband, a former employee of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, Vitaly. According to the film, Russian track and field athletes systematically doped themselves on the instruction of their coaches.

In 2016, the New York Times published an article on an alleged state-run doping program in Russian sport, based on the evidence given by the former head of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory, Grigory Rodchenkov, who admitted to playing a key role in the scheme.

His claims were also used for the WADA-sanctioned investigation by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren.

The investigation, known as the McLaren Report, later led to the Russian Anti-Doping Laboratory’s license being suspended, a ban on the Russian track and field team at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil, and a blanket ban on the Russian Paralympic team.

Rodchenkov and the Stepanovs have left Russia, and now reportedly live in the US.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT Sport News

Page 772 of 813
Show Buttons
Hide Buttons