United Airlines says the flight attendant who allegedly denied a Muslim woman an unopened can of soda will no longer serve customers on their planes.
Tahera Ahmad, director of interfaith engagement and associate chaplain at Northwestern University, penned a troubling Facebook post last weekend in which she said a flight attendant refused to provide her with an unopened can of Diet Coke because she might “use it as a weapon.”
“After investigating this matter, United has ensured that the flight attendant, a Shuttle America employee, will no longer serve United customers,” Charles Hobart, a spokesman for United, told The Huffington Post in an emailed statement. “While United did not operate the flight, Ms. Ahmad was our customer and we apologize to her for what occurred on the flight.”
The ordeal — which Ahmad said left her in tears after a fellow passenger told her to “shut the f**k up” — began a firestorm of media coverage. The hashtags #UnitedForTahera and #IslamophobiaISREAL quickly spread across social media with many calling for a boycott of the airline.
Ahmad said she was initially “truly disappointed” with United and that the airline was dismissive of her claims, boiling them down to a misunderstanding rather than an act of discrimination.
“This isn’t about me and a soda can,” she told The Guardian. “It’s about systemic injustice that is perpetuated throughout our community.”
Ahmad did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
The crew member in question is an employee of Shuttle America, a division ofRepublic Airways that contracts with airlines like United Express and Delta. While Hobart said the flight attendant would no longer fly with United, it’s unclear if she’s been fired.
“United does not tolerate behavior that is discriminatory — or that appears to be discriminatory — against our customers or employees,” Hobart said.
A representative for Republic Airways said the company couldn’t comment on individual personnel matters, but that it regretted “the poor judgement and lack of sensitivity demonstrated by one of our flight attendants during a recent interaction with Ms. Ahmad.”
“As a result of this event, we have conducted an initial internal investigation and we are confident that this is an isolated incident,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “We are in the process of reaching out to Ms.Ahmad to provide a formal apology.”
Source: Huffington Post
The model Janice Dickinson has sued Bill Cosby for defamation over denials made by the comedian’s representatives after she accused him of raping her in 1982.
Dickinson’s lawsuit seeks unspecified damages on defamation, false light and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims. The suit states Janice Dickinson has been further victimized and her reputation has suffered because of pointed denials by Cosby’s attorney that the comedian drugged and raped her in a Lake Tahoe, California, hotel room more than 30 years ago.
The allegations were made in an interview with Entertainment Tonight after numerous other women accused Cosby of drugging them and inappropriate sexual conduct dating back several decades.
The lawsuit states Janice Dickinson, 60, sought a retraction of the denials from Cosby but the request was denied.
An email sent to Cosby’s attorney Martin Singer was not immediately returned. Singer called Dickinson’s rape allegations “false and outlandish” in a letter to the Associated Press last year.
According to the Guardian UK, the lawsuit details Dickinson’s allegations that Cosby raped her after giving her wine and a pill in the hotel room, and how she wanted to go public with her story in a 2002 autobiography but was prevented from doing so by the book’s publisher.
Janice Dickinson did not report the alleged rape to police in the early 1980s out of fear of retaliation by Cosby, her lawsuit states. The statute of limitations to criminally prosecute the actor-comedian has long since passed, as has the statute on civil claims directly related to the matter.
“This is Janice Dickinson’s chance for justice,” her attorney Lisa Bloom said on Wednesday.
Three women who have accused Cosby of abuse have sued him for defamation in a Massachusetts federal court.
One of the women, Therese Serignese, said after a court hearing this month that she wanted her reputation restored after Cosby’s camp branded her a liar. Dickinson’s lawsuit is seeking a similar outcome.
“Cosby knows that he drugged and raped Ms Dickinson,” the lawsuit states. “He knew that calling her rape disclosure a lie was a false statement.”
The New York Times report on Axact, a self-identified software firm in Pakistan that the Times alleged is a front for a highly profitable fake degree business, is not exactly a bombshell.
The Times reported that customers around the world–including a jailed police criminologist in Britain who claimed to have degrees from an Axact-owned university; accountants, airline employees, and nurses in the Middle East; a former U.S. Olympic swim coach; and a woman in Michigan–have fallen for the scheme. Axact’s credibility had been questioned in individual lawsuits and other arenas, but the Times reporting, including interviews with former employees, captured the breadth of the firm’s questionable practices.
Axact has posted a response on its Web site that accuses the Times of defamation and promises “strict legal action.” Others will undoubtedly push back as well. The author of the Times story, Declan Walsh, was the paper’s Islamabad correspondent before he was expelled from Pakistan in 2013 for reasons that remain unclear. Some conspiracy-minded Pakistanis believe the article is a fabrication meant to malign their country.
Still, many Pakistanis have long suspected that Axact was involved in unsavory activities. When Axact was accused of improprieties in the past, the company’s response on at least one occasion was a precursor to how it has replied to the Times: The company filed a defamation suit.
One big unknown is the potential impact on Pakistan’s information technology sector. India may be more widely recognized for its IT successes, but Pakistan has enjoyed its fair share of achievements. In recent years, Technology Review recognized an IT expert at Lahore University of Management Sciences as one of the world’s top young innovators, and several Pakistani software applications earned international awards. Although Pakistan is a relatively small player in global IT, its ranks are growing, with about 1,500 registered firms and 10,000 IT grads entering the market annually.
Could the Axact scandal taint an industry that is a major success story in a country that is seemingly a magnet for bad news? Axact grandiloquently (and falsely) describes itself as the “world’s leading IT company.” Still, the firm does sell some software products.
It’s possible Axact’s preexisting reputation as an outlier will help Pakistan’s IT industry escape this affair relatively unscathed. Pakistani journalist Farieha Aziz tweeted at me Monday: “I don’t think anyone ever really considered Axact as part of the IT sector. It was always more of a stand-alone entity.”
Regardless, Axact will face scrutiny in the coming days and weeks. So could Bol, the splashy new media network that is planning to launch this year and has attracted some of Pakistan’s most prestigious media personalities. Bol promises “to bring a revolution” to the country’s crowded mediasphere.
But the force behind Bol? Shoaib Ahmed Shaikh, the chief executive of Axact.
It may be impossible for Angolan journalist Rafael Marques de Morais to get a fair trial in his home country.
Rafael Marques has been charged with criminal defamation by several Angolan military generals as a result of his 2011 book, “Blood Diamonds: Corruption andTorture in Angola” in which he wrote that the generals had orchestrated torture and killings in Angola’s diamond-mining region.
In many countries, the generals would be the ones on trial, not the journalist who exposed the alleged crimes. But this is Angola, a country with a state-run news media, an iron-fisted president and next to no tolerance for opposition.
The trial, which had been postponed several times, began on May 14 in the Angolan capital of Luanda. The judge has allowed a line of questioning to Marques that makes no sense whatsoever. Rafael Marques told me via Skype that he has been asked whether he ever saw any generals commit any shootings or torture.
The problem with these questions is that Marques’ book does not accuse the generals of such behavior. He says that the generals are the owners of private security companies that protected the diamond mines, and that employees of these companies killed and tortured villagers. As Human Rights Watch pointed out a few days ago, Marques’ book describes “500 cases of torture and 100 killings by private security guards and Angolan soldiers in the districts of Cuango and Xa-Muteba.”
“In the court, the prosecution is doing everything it can to avoid addressing murder and torture, but to try to question me to see if I saw the generals or the managers of the companies [doing the] shooting,” Rafael Marques told me. He said his lawyer has stated that the questions are addressing something that Marques never claimed, but his lawyer has been ignored.
“This is just a political prosecution,” Marques continued. “I am fully aware of what the judge is up to, and what the sentence will be.” The prosecution is aiming to put Rafael Marques in jail for 9 years. (Neither the prosecutor nor a spokesperson for the prosecutor could be reached for comment.)
An out-of-court settlement went nowhere because Marques refused to apologize for what he had written. “I do not agree to compromise my principles,” he said.
Rafael Marques is a longtime Angolan reporter who worked with me at Forbes to publish an article in September 2013 about the billions of dollars in assets amassed by Isabel dos Santos, the eldest daughter of the Angolan president, thanks in large part to kleptocratic transfers initiated by her father. A spokesman for Isabel dos Santos said in 2013 that allegations of improper transfers are “groundless and completely absurd.” The article won a Gerald Loeb Award in June 2014 for international reporting.
Marques also won a Freedom of Expression award in March 2015 from the Index on Censorship, a U.K.-based international organization that promotes and defends the right to freedom of expression.
Regarding the charges and the trial, Rafael Marques has received support from several prominent human rights groups and even a high ranking U.S. government official.
A Filipino school in Doha has filed a defamation case against four parents, local Arabic daily Arrayah reported yesterday.
According to the case being heard by a Doha Misdemeanour Court, the Filipino school has accused the parents of defaming it through social media, after they demanded a reduction in the school fees, which they thought was “unjustifiably hiked.”
Gulf Times is reporting that though the parents complained to the Filipino school management, the fee increase was eventually enforced. So, the parents posted their comments on social media, which the school considered as bad for its reputation.
As a punitive measure against the parents, their children were denied early registration at the school and were not admitted for the new school year on the pretext that all seats were filled. Ultimately, the parents took the issue to the Supreme Education Council, which told them that it cannot interfere because it has no jurisdiction over the school.
Thereafter, the parents approached the Philippine embassy, which ensured that the school admitted the children, but the school filed a case against the parents accusing them of undermining its good reputation.
An associate dean at the University of Virginia filed a defamation lawsuit on Tuesday against Rolling Stone magazine, which she said portrayed her as the “chief villain” in a discredited article about a gang rape on the university’s campus.
Nicole P. Eramo, an associate dean of students, is also suing the author of the article, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, and Rolling Stone’s parent company, Wenner Media. She is seeking nearly $8 million in damages.
Rolling Stone declined to comment.
The article, titled “A Rape on Campus” described a brutal gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity. It was initially praised for shedding light on the issue of campus rape, and the problems that some students have in pursuing their attackers. But it later emerged that the magazine had not tried to independently verify allegations, some of them explosive, made by one source, identified as Jackie in the article.
On April 5 the magazine retracted the article, and presented a report it had commissioned from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, which described a series of reportorial failings.
The lawsuit, filed in the Charlottesville Circuit Court, asserts that the magazine made defamatory statements about Ms. Eramo, a prominent character in the article, to present a narrative that she had “discouraged the reporting of a violent rape to law enforcement because she was more concerned with protecting the university’s reputation than with assisting victims of sexual assault,” the statement said.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday sought responses from the Centre and the Delhi government on a plea challenging the constitutional validity of penal provisions relating to defamation and the city government’s recent circular on the issue. A bench of justices Dipak Misra and PC Pant issued notice to the Ministry of Law and Justice and Delhi government on the plea of a Thane-based former judge and advocate.
A bench of justices Dipak Misra and PC Pant issued notice to the Ministry of Law and Justice and Delhi government on the plea of a Thane-based former judge and advocate.
Vijay Pandurang Patil has also sought setting aside of the 6 May circular issued by the Delhi government on filing of defamation cases against media houses for any news that causes damage to its reputation or that of Chief MinisterArvind Kejriwal and his council of ministers.
The apex court, however, has already stayed the circular on an application filed by senior advocate Amit Sibal and asked the city government to explain why it was issued.
The bench tagged the matter with other pending bunch of petitions on the matter and listed it for hearing on 8 July.
Patil, a former Judicial Officer, has sought directions to declare sections 499 (defamation) and 500 (punishment for defamation) of the IPC as “unconstitutional” saying it violates fundamental rights of the citizens.
These penal provisions are threat to the freedom of speech and expression, which disentitles citizens from expressing their views or opinions on the various important public issues, he said.
Patil has submitted that since he has “vast” legal experience, he is often called by various news channels for participating in discussions on social, cultural, administrative, governance and legal issues.
“Therefore, there is an immediate apprehension to the petitioner that if he will express any of his opinion or view or criticise any state action, policy, decision or state official then he will be prosecuted under Section 499 and 500 of IPC for defamation,” the plea filed through advocate Sachin Patil said.
Political parties of all hue and colour have united against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as the Delhi government under the AAP chief has issued a circular asking all its officials to lodge a complaint with the principal secretary (Home) if they come across any news item which damage the reputation of the chief minister or the government, so that further action can be taken.
Kejriwal diktat in an attempt to reign in the media from publishing or broadcasting any news item critical of the Delhi government resulted in quick reactions from the BJP and the Congress among others.
Stating that he doesn’t care about media, Delhi Chief MinisterArvind Kejriwal on Sunday said that if election is held in the national capital today, Aam Aadmi Party would poll 72 percent votes.
“Whatever comes in the media, but I conduct a survey every 15 days of my party in Delhi. If elections are conducted in the national capital, then we are ought to get 72 percent votes. After the elections, our condition has improved a lot,” Kejriwal said, while interacting with party volunteers through Google Hangout.
Kejriwal added that the AAP government is going to complete 100 days in its office on 24 May while the Modi government will complete its one year on May 26.
“I think there should be comparison of work between Modi’s and our governments. There should be comparison as to what we have done in the last 100 days and what Modi’s government has done in the last one year,” he also said.
Attacking the media, the Delhi Chief Minister said, “Media keeps showing us in negative light but don’t worry about that as people of Delhi is happy with us. Despite media’s attempts, people gave us 67 seats.”
“As far as starting a media house is concerned, we don’t want to do that. There are good people in media too, who are not happy. If some senior people come together and want to start a news channel or news paper, the government will definitely help them. We also want a honest media house which only shows news,” he said.
The Delhi CM’s full blown campaign against the media has quickly become fodder for Opposition outrage.
Condemning the circular issued by the Delhi government, BJP’s Delhi unit chief Satish Upadhyay said that the law of defamation is not a new one but it should not be used against the fourth pillar of democracy.
“By issuing this circular they are trying to strangle democracy. It hints that something is fishy,” Upadhyay told ANI.
“The circular implies that there is an unannounced emergency,” the Delhi BJP said.
The Congress was also not far behind to lap up the opportunity to pounce on Kejriwal.
“It seems that Kejriwal is frightened of media now, it’s unfortunate that such circular has been brought out against media,” Congress leader Ajay Maken told ANI.
Another Congress leader Tom Vadakkan also attacked the Delhi chief minister for the move that threatened to infringe upon the freedom of the press.
“This is the finest double speak I have ever seen of a chief minister who has used media to target various governments,” Vadakkan said.
The Aam Aadmi Party national convener’s increasing discomfort with constant media scrutiny was evident itself on 4 May when he openly blamed television channels for allegedly trying to destroy the party and his government.
BJP parliamentarian Meenakshi Lekhi sought to remind Kejriwal that he too himself is a product of the media.
“Mr. kejriwal has been made what he is today because of the media,” Lekhi said.
Congress leader Dinesh Gundu Rao also came heavily on the AAP national convener for the circular issued by the Delhi government. “He once spoke of rights, Lokpal etc. and look what he is doing today,” Rao told ANI.
Reacting to the diktat of the Delhi government, senior journalist NK Singh said, “Arvind Kejrwal should know that he cannot file criminal defamation, it’s the work of the police.”
According to the circular issued by the directorate of information and publicity department, if any officer associated with the Delhi government feels that the published or aired news item damages his or the government’s reputation, he should file a complaint with the principal secretary (Home).
“In such case, a reference letter will be sent to the principal secretary (Home) containing details of the defamatory imputation published, the mode of publication, factual inaccuracy, details of allegations made and ground for believing that it will harm the reputation of the person against whom the imputation has been made,” a senior officer said.
A federal jury has handed a victory to HBO over Mitre Sports International’s claim that a September 2008 segment of “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel” misled viewers into thinking that its soccer balls were made by low-paid, underage children in India.
“We are delighted with the jury’s decision, which confirms what we have said since the beginning of this legal proceeding in the fall of 2008: This case was without merit, and the ‘Real Sports’ reporting was unimpeachable,” an HBO spokesman said in a statement. “We couldn’t be prouder of the ‘Real Sports’ franchise and the award-winning work done over the past 20 years.
“We are grateful to the jury for their careful consideration of the evidence.”
Variety reports that jurors listened to weeks of detailed testimony and closing arguments in Mitre’s defamation suit, in what HBO’s attorney Dane Butswinkas said was “a trial based on suggestion, not a trial by evidence.” He repeatedly showed footage of children sewing soccer balls with a degree of precision that he surmised could not have been learned recently.
Among other things, Mitre contended that it does not produce soccer balls in Meerut, which is where the children were filmed, even though that may not have been evident to viewers due to editing. Mitre claimed that the 2008 segment was manipulated, and that in fact it has been working to stem child labor practices internationally.
The report was called both “Children of Industry” and “Childhood Lost,” and Mitre contended that the segment made it look as if it was unconcerned with the use of child labor. It sued in 2008, seeking tens of millions of dollars in damages.
Mitre’s lawsuit contended that even though the segment mentions that 10 international brands were made by child labor, it targeted only Mitre.
Ireland: The mother and son now reside together outside of the jurisdiction. Neither can be identified for legal reasons.
A mother and her young son, who was placed in foster care more than three years ago, have secured €40,000 in settlement of defamation and privacy proceedings against the HSE over social media postings by the son’s foster parents.
The mother alleged the foster parents defamed her via Facebook postings. It was also alleged that the privacy of both mother and child, who is back in his birth mother’s care, was breached by the same posts.
According to the Irish Times, the woman and child now reside together outside of the jurisdiction. Neither can be identified for legal reasons.
It was claimed that, some four years ago, the child was subject to care orders made by a District Court judge and was placed by the HSE in the care of foster parents.
It was claimed the foster parents put up a number of Facebook posts containing details of the child, including pictures, in early 2012.
It was also alleged the posts contained statements that were false, untrue and highly defamatory of the child’s birth mother.
It was claimed that the pictures and the information contained in the posts should never have been put up on social media, and involved a breach of privacy, confidence and statutory duty by the HSE.
As a result of the posts, the woman claimed she was subject to ridicule and contempt and her character had been damaged.
The mother and son Rights to privacy
The mother and son also claimed the rights to privacy under the Constitution and that the European Convention on Human Rights had been breached in this instance.
It was alleged that the HSE was negligent because it failed to ensure the foster parents received adequate, or any, training concerning the use of social media or in respect of entitlement to privacy.
It was also alleged that the HSE failed to have a policy for foster parents concerning the use of social media websites.
The case came before Mr Justice Kevin Cross at the High Court, who, following an application by Brendan Kirwan BL for the woman and her son, approved the settlement.
Counsel said the settlement of €40,000, exclusive of legal costs, was “a global offer” in relation to the claims brought by both his clients.