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‘Communism is a failed system’: Cuba cracks down on social media access amid protests

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Cuba has restricted access to social media including Facebook and Whatsapp in the wake of unprecedented anti-government protests

Dozens of people have been arrested in Cuba after thousands joined the biggest protests for decades against the island’s Communist government.

Images on social media showed what appeared to be security forces detaining, beating and pepper-spraying some of the protesters. 

Unauthorised public gatherings are illegal in Cuba and protests are rare.

The White House has offered support to the cuban people calling for freedom, meanwhile Senator Ted Cruz described the protestors as brave.

Cuba is striking back against protesters by barring access to several major social media sites, including Facebook at Whatsapp

The government enacted the ban after huge anti-government demonstrations protesting an economic crisis that’s led to mass power outages and food shortages.

Mobile internet has only been available in Cuba for two years. Many activists agree that the new access to social media in the country has been a major contributing factor to the protests. In Cuba’s capital city, atypical power outages have become increasingly common.

“The pattern of restrictions observed in Cuba indicate an ongoing crackdown on messaging platforms used to organize and share news of protests in real-time,” NetBlocks director Alp Toker told Reuters.

However, the government is yet to confirm or deny whether they are intentionally causing the outages. Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said the situation is “complicated”.

“Our weapon is the internet. If they take away the internet we are unarmed”

“The government does not want people to see the truth,” said one protester, Gino Ocumares.

Dissident has also been rising in the country over the government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, and increasing restrictions on civil liberties in the country. However, the Cuban government rejects these claims. Rather, they say the US orchestrated and funded by the demonstrations.

Hundreds took part in these protests, chanting ‘down with communism’ and ‘freedom for the people of Cuba’. One resident said that the protesters were met with gunfire. The activist say the government is using ‘rapid reaction brigades’ to counter the protests. The government organises these groups of civilian fighters.

“I think the Communists have lost control, they won’t have a solution to this situation,” said one of the protesters. “The people are tired of so much humiliation, so much repression.”

Counter pro-government rallies

Protests such as these are rare in a country such as Cuba, which has a tight handle on expression of public dissent. State-run media report that at least one man died at the protests. Several people also sustained serious injuries. Although the state has confirmed no other deaths, the number is likely higher.

However, many counter-rallies have also been taking place across the country. Around 100 supporters carrying the Cuban flag gathered in one of these demonstrations yesterday.

Keira is the front-page editor at Ticker NEWS. She's previously worked at Reuters in Jakarta, and ABC in Australia. She has a Bachelor of Journalism, specialising in international politics. Keira is particularly interested in writing about politics, technology and human rights.

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Alec Baldwin film set shut down following fatal shooting

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A woman has died and a man has been hurt in an accidental shooting on the set of a film starring Alec Baldwin

It is understood that Baldwin fired the gun which was intended to be a prop.

Authorities in the US state of New Mexico stated that a gun being used as prop was discharged during filming of Alec Baldwin’s movie ‘Rust’ on Thursday.

The 42 year-old woman, understood to be a cinematographer, was taken to hospital but died of her injuries.

The man injured was receiving emergency care

Detectives are investigating the incident at Bonanza Creek Ranch which is a popular filming location in the United States.

According to reports, the movie Rust is about a 13-year-old boy who is left to fend for himself and his younger brother following the death of their parents in Kansas in the 1880s Kansas.

The teen goes on the run with his long-estranged grandfather, which is played by Baldwin, after the boy is sentenced to hang for the accidental killing of a local rancher.

Production has now been suspended

“The sheriff’s office confirms that two individuals were shot on the set of Rust. Halyna Hutchins, 42, director of photography, and Joel Souza, 48, director, were shot when a prop firearm was discharged by Alec Baldwin, 68, producer and actor,”

the police said in a statement.

According to authorities, Hutchins was transported by helicopter to University of New Mexico Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Mr Souza was taken by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center to undergo treatment the injuries that he sustained.

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Netflix employees ‘Stand Up in Solidarity’ to protest comedy special

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Why was there a sea of protestors out the front of Netflix HQ In LA today?

Netflix employees staged a ‘Stand Up in Solidarity’ walkout, to protest the streaming of comedian Dave Chappelle’s new comedy special

“brb walking out,” Most, an LGBTQ-themed social media account run by Netflix, said in a tweet Wednesday.

LGBTQ activists say Chappelle made a number of anti-trans comments in that special

Ashlee Marie Preston, a Black transgender activist who helped plan the rally, said they’re here to let Ted know that if he won’t stand up for their rights “we will” – referring to Netflix co-CEO.

Netflix’s trans employee resources group released a list of demands for the company ahead of the walkout.

“We want the company to adopt measures in the areas of content investment, employee relations and safety, and harm reduction, all of which are necessary to avoid future instances of platforming transphobia and hate speech,” employees said in the document, which was first reported by the Verge.

The walkout comes after the streaming service reinstated three employees who were suspended and another employee who was fired for leaking information about the cost of the special.

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Squid Game cements Netflix’s top position in streaming wars

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Over 142 million people have tuned into Squid Game and Netflix can thank the South Korean survival drama for boosting subscribers after a sharp slowdown in the first half of the year

Surely you’ve seen Squid Game by now, over 142 million people have tuned into the South Korean survival drama and its the reason new subscribers are flocking to Netflix

The streaming giant revealed massive subscriber growth

After a sharp slowdown in the first half of the year, Netflix added 4.38 million new subscribers, according to its earnings report for quarter three.

“Squid Game” surprised executives by becoming the streaming service’s most-watched original series and now it expects to add 8.5 million subscribers in the next quarter.

Netflix knows Squid game goes beyond the tv show, with a Saturday Night Live skit and memes on TikTok with more than 42 billion views

Many films have been delayed because of the pandemic so perhaps more people are subscribing now as Netflix rolls out a backlog of delayed content.

Netflix added it plans to have a more normal release schedule over the course of 2022.

Earnings came in line with revenue 

Netflix has revealed a major change to investors, now using new metrics when reporting viewers.

The company will start reporting hours viewed rather than the number of accounts that watched

This matches traditional tv viewing data, giving credit to viewers re-watching shows.

Netflix is trying to find ways to expand past the television and film market

Netflix wants to keep your attention beyond just shows and to get people off tiktok.

The streamer has revealed a push into gaming, having purchased its first gaming studio this past quarter.

However, even though trials have started in select countries… its only early days.

In the meantime, stream on.

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