Tag Archives: breaking news

Suspect Arrested in Chapel Hill Shooting

Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, and his wife Yusor Abu-Salha, 21; and her sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19 were shot in what is being described as an “execution style attack” in a suburb of Chapel Hill at 5pm on Tuesday.

The police have now charged a local man Craig Hicks 46 with first degree murder.

His face reveals strong atheist, anti-theist views and photographs of his gun.

US media has been accused of ignoring the shooting. At time of writing Fox news had mentioned the attack once on their twitter and CNN had yet to report on it.

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The News Year Resolution: Consume Responsibly

Journalism and breaking news, wouldn’t it be nice if we could trust them?

But we’re a only a month into 2014 and already the mainstream media have displayed that they cannot be trusted to report without bias or to give any context for the events they report on.

The graphic above is a pretty handy guide to breaking news, the kind that comes with flashing graphics and alarmed tweets when no one really knows what happened yet but everyone is willing to repeat what the last person said.

Other points to consider:

  • Where is this happening?
  • Who are the groups involved?
  • Has this happened before?
  • Who stands to gain the most from this situation? (Extra important: always follow the money)

Mass media influences our understanding of the world in ways that it is difficult to be conscious of but it is always worth trying. When forming an opinion, try to be certain that it is in fact your opinion and not one you’ve simply absorb through cultural osmosis.

Good luck consuming your media responsibly this year!

World News 21/9/2013

21:50 UTC

The Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta, has released a statement saying that at least 39 people were killed and 150 injured in the attack on Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi by a Somali militant group with ties to al-Qaida. Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack via Twitter two hours ago.

Mr Kenyatta also told Reuters that he had lost close family members in the attack but that Kenya would defeat these terrorists.

Al-Shabab had threatened an attack on Nairobi in revenge of Kenyan presence in Somalia. Kenyan troops were serving as peacekeepers in Somalia. Seven hostages are said to be being held in a supermarket that five gunmen have barricaded themselves into.

In Scotland, there is said to have been at least 20,000 people at a pro-Independence rally in Edinburgh today. Scotland’s First Minister said that an independent Scotland would disarm nuclear weapons and keep Royal Mail public.

19:20 UTC

The Somali militant group al-Shabab claims that it is responsible for today’s Nairobi Westgate shopping mall attack. The group had threatened action against Kenya earlier in the year and is known to have links to al-Qaida. It confirmed its involvement via Twitter.

The Kenyan President says that at least one of the gunmen from the attack has been arrested.  Kenya’s Red Cross are saying that at least 30 people are being reported dead and 60 injured. US state departments says that this includes some Americans.

18:15 UTC

It is now thought that up to 51 people were killed in the funeral bombing today and as many as 70 injured.

17:15 UTC

A suicide bomber has crashed into a funeral tent full of mourner in the Sadr area of Baghdad. The victims were Shia and police are saying that up to 30 people were killed and up to 50 injured.  This attack comes only hours after 7 police officers were killed in Baiji.

More than 400 people have been killed so far since September began in the rising levels of violence in Iraq.

Todays violence comes as northern Kurdish Iraqis vote for greater autonomy in local elections for the Kurdistan Regional Government’s 111-seat legislature but there is no evidence as of yet that the events are connected.

15:55 UTC

There is confusion over what caused armed clashes in Nigeria’s capital of Abuja yesterday. The official story is that state armed forced moved in to investigate a tip about weapons cache for the Islamic militant group the Boko Haram.

Gunshots began around 3am local time and BBC’s Mohammed Kabir Mohammed in Abuja says the shooting took place at a two-storey building that was not finished construction that young men had been sleeping in at night.

However six witnesses told Reuters that the building was owned by a military man who wanted to move squatters off the property. If this was the Boko Haram than it is the first time they will have attack Abuja this year. Nigerian security forces are sometimes accused of executing suspects and then claiming afterwards that they were Boko Haram members.

State Security Services would not give any details of fatalities but a witness told BBC that he saw 9 bodies.

15:15 UTC

NAIROBI UPDATE: News agencies are now placing the dead up to 22 according to Red Cross. 

Kenya Red Cross Society Secretary General Abbas Guled earlier stated that: “I would say so far we have at least 15 dead. The casualties are many, and that’s only what we have on the outside. Inside there are even more casualties and shooting is still going on”.

The number of assailants seems to have settled on five armed with AK-47s and grenades. Police are currently engaged in an ongoing shop-by-shop sweep of the complex. “They have seven hostages, confirmed,” an officer told AFP.

13:56 UTC

A number of gunmen have attacked with gunfire and grenades in an upscale shopping-mall in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. Witnesses report as many as 20 attackersElijah Kamau said “attackers with AK-47s and grenades” asked Muslims to leave as only non-Muslims would be targeted around noon local time.

AP reporters about 10 dead and dozens more wounded with matches with Reuters reporters of 9 bodies seen by a Reuters photographer and an ex-British soldier on the ground. Officials will not give a current casualty figure and police are currently combing the shopping centre.

13:45 UTC

6 Iraqi SWAT police officers were killed this morning in an attack by 4 suicide bombers who stormed police headquarters in Baiji, north of Baghdad. It is not currently clear who was behind this attack but the army and police have been targets for Sunni militants in the past who have been gaining more support against Iraq’s now Shia majority government.

Edinburgh saw a large turnout with flags to a pro-Independence parade with marching bands today.

Who are the journalists of 2013?

“Thou shall not think having a blog makes you a journalist” – Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip

That’s an important thing to remember. It’s something remind myself if I get to big headed. But then again, I would also argue that having a big corporate contract doesn’t necessarily make you a journalist either. I haven’t seen anyone I’d call a journalist on FOX News or writing for The Daily Mail any time recently and yet all these news outlets pull greater respect than online news-breakers, with twitter and blogs.

Press credentials are not the necessity they once were and neither is working for a big media company or ever having your name in paper and ink print.

Photo from UN - Sec Gen briefs Journalists
Photo from UN – Sec Gen briefs Journalists

Modern social media has blurred the lines between the people telling and making the news and those who consume it. This has led to a lot of regurgitation of news stories from one agency to another but it also opens up the possibilities of looking at breaking news from several perspectives. Podcasts have taken the place of political talk radio for much of the younger generation. Shows like Citizen Radio, because they are produced by the hosts they have the freedom to push more boundaries than many in more traditional medias.

Twitter in recents years has been particularly influential in breaking stories and live updating as events unfold. The bombing of the Boston marathon and the subsequent confusion and manhunt saw Twitter really rise to the forefront of the news with Twitter-focused news outlets like Anonymous’ @YourAnonNews being an hour ahead of CNN or FOX for most of the night.

But expediency does not a journalist make either. The speed information can travel has increased dramatically but ultimately it is still the job of journalists to examine information in its context and supply considered analysis. Which is a challenge we here at Global Echo hope to undertake.

So perhaps journalists in the modern world are not defined by their credentials or their medium but rather the quality of their work.

Our world is still as huge and diverse as ever but the information age has made it seem smaller. This is a challenge, to avoid homogenous reporting, but also an opportunity to engage with a wider and more diverse audience than ever.

— Orla-Jo