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“Woman. Life. Freedom,” Iran protests now on the world’s stadium

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Protests are engulfing Iran as a revolution against oppression spills onto the global stage, with the world unable to turn a blind eye

In Iran, protests are engulfing the country as thousands take to the streets in a revolution against oppression. 

Women are cutting their hair and burning their hijabs, demanding some form of change to the strict rules that impact their ultimate freedom.

“Woman. Life. Freedom”

DONNA MILES, WRITEr, & COLUMNIST

From the Iranian Revolution in 1979 to the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, the nation’s residents have witnessed their fair share of turmoil.

Many insist that religion, like Islam, is being used as a reason to violate basic human rights in Iran.

Women in the country and around the world, are now lifting the veil on Iran’s corruption.

“What is happening in Iran fills me with both fear and hope… Hope that there might be some meaningful change.”

Donna miles, writer, & Columnist

Pure desperation

For nearly forty years, women in Iran have faced a life of control and oppression. Subject to the strict Islamic Republic rules, bound by religion.

There have been protests in Iran before, but nothing like what we see today.

Women and men are filling the streets of the entire country, in a show of solidarity against the regime, putting their lives on the line.

Footage of Iranian women burning the hijabs and cutting their hair has encapsulated social media.

“People are risking their lives… The regime is very brutal. It significant that this time round that there is international focus and attention on Iran.

One thing is clear…The revolution is taking place, at least in people’s hearts and minds.”

Donna miles, writer, & Columnist

Spilling onto the global stage

The uprising against the regime in Iran and its treatment of women is openly and loudly spilling onto the global stage.

Its voice is so powerful it is even flooding into the sporting arena. In Qatar, Iranian soccer players refused to sing their national anthem before their World Cup game.

Credit: Al Jazeera

While the move from the sporting stars was seen by a global audience, a cloud of fear now looms over the safety and wellbeing of the players returning to their homeland.

“The players have been extremely brave. This is a significant issue for them. Enough to take a political stand to refuse to sing the national anthem.”

DONNA MILES, WRITEr, & COLUMNIST

As history shows us, sport has often been used as an avenue to express a political stance.

At the 1968 Mexico Olympics, U.S. athlete Tommie Smith raised his black-gloved fist, in defiance of racial segregation.

This is perhaps one of the most iconic moments, illustrating the blurred line between politics and sport.

Credit: The New York Times

UN finally calls out Iran

During the Iran protests, footage of authorities using brutal force against protestors sparked global attention and outrage.

Now, the United Nation has called out Iran’s actions.

At its 35th special session, the UN Human Rights Council launched a new investigation. It will independently investigate alleged human rights violations during the protests.

“It will be independently investigated.”

DONNA MILES, WRITEr, & COLUMNIST

Holly is an anchor and reporter at Ticker. She's experienced in live reporting, and has previously covered the Covid-19 pandemic on-location. She's passionate about telling stories in business, climate and health.

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Is Musk flushing Twitter down the drain?

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Elon Musk

Elon Musk has made plenty of changes to Twitter, but will it make or break the social media platform?

When Elon Musk walked into Twitter with a sink you knew things were about to get interesting. 

It’s been a chaotic few weeks of change for the social media platform. Musk quickly showed thousands of employees the door.

Noticeably, he also upended the iconic ‘blue tick’ hierarchy. 

The new boss is adamant in making the platform a place of free speech, often using public Twitter polls to dictate his next move.

It’s not very often you have a billionaire and CEO of a tech giant communicate with people everyday via a tweet thread.

“As far as communicating with people, that is something we haven’t seen. You don’t see Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates out there communicating like this or any other billionaire.”

greg nibler, tech expert

While people have been quick to judge Musk’s changes, he remains one of the most successful businessmen in history.

He lead the charge on flying to space with his SpaceX empire and was ahead of the game in the electric vehicle market.

Perhaps, the changes to the platform are a smart move for the company to succeed, despite the abruptness of them.

Proof is in the pudding because the numbers show Twitter has added 1.6 million daily users this week alone, which is an all-time high.

“It is a reality show on Twitter and people want to see it…
Is that going to turn into profitability, I don’t know.”

Greg nibler, tech expert

Plus World Cup traffic hit almost 20,000 tweets per second today, breaking another record. 

It’s likely Twitter may be more successful in private hands. Financially though, the company has declined, causing widespread concern about its economic stability.

Musk wants to vastly increase the revenue the company makes through subscriptions, but a question mark looms over its ability to triumph.

“The way in which Twitter has lost so much money in value so quickly must also be a concern to people who have lent money to Musk… Wondering has it been a good investment for them.”

KEITH SUTER, international affairs commentator

Suspended accounts debate

Previously, Twitter had banned the accounts of many users, particularly those prone to far-right rhetorics.

Former President Donald Trump’s account had been suspended for nearly a year, alongside conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and controversial Andrew Tate.

Musk asked his followers in a poll if Twitter should “offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts? As Musk says, they haven’t broken the law?”

It all follows a turbulent economic time for the social media giant as it finds its place in the ever changing cyber sphere. 

Whether or not Twitter goes down the drain, remains to be seen. 

But love him or hate him, Musk has created an entertaining platform, with millions flocking to get a taste of what is the Twitter saga.

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Does Donald Trump need Twitter to win in 2024?

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Donald Trump is making a political comeback in 2024, but can he gain relevance without Twitter?

Donald Trump is making his political comeback, and Twitter boss Elon Musk has welcomed the former President back to the platform with open arms.

It was only a matter of weeks after taking over that Musk decided to lift Trump’s nearly year-long suspension.

Many expected Trump to jump at the offer and begin flooding our Twitter feeds again.

However, the former President may not want to return to Twitter, but why?

U.S. Commentator Susan Tehrani believes Trump’s decision to withhold his return to Twitter comes back to money.

“It might have to do with millions of dollars… [If he returns to Twitter] He may stand to lose a lot of money…

If Trump’s company goes public and only for him to go back on Twitter, start Tweeting and devalue Truth Social… He’s going to give his followers a reason to abandon Truth Social.”

Susan Tehrani, u.s. commentator

Twitter was Trump’s favourite app when he was President. He used the platform to drum up support and create buzz. Love him or hate him, Trump undeniably had people right around the world speaking about his latest thought.

In today’s society, people consume news via social media, in particular via Twitter.

With Trump absent from Twitter, it raises question about how he will maintain relevance in social media sphere in the lead up to his 2024 return.

Trump heads his own social media platform ‘Truth Social’, but it has just four million users, opposed to Twitter’s more than 200 million.

“With El on Musk at the helm it encourages a health debate…Then it going to be a place where Donald Trump can once again bypass even the mainstream media…And communicate directly with a wide audience.

Donald Trump would stand winning if he came back on Twitter.”

Susan Tehrani, u.s. commentator

Does Twitter need Trump, more than Trump needs Twitter?

With Musk at the reigns of Twitter, the social media giant is shifting its direction. Musk has made it clear he doesn’t believe in the previous ‘blue tick’ hierarchy, quickly scrapping the process.

He has been vocal about his desire for free speech on the platform. However, many are concerned that the changes may have a negative impact.

Although, change isn’t always a bad thing and perhaps Twitter needed a makeover, to keep up with today’s evolving society and array of opinions.

While Twitter is still popular, Musk’s move to reinstate Donald Trump’s account might have been strategic.

Trump is a bold politician, and regardless of his Twitter status, many are wondering what his next move will be.

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Does FIFA have blood on its hands?

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The 2022 FIFA World Cup is being held in stadiums built by forced labour

In Qatar, the 2022 Men’s FIFA World Cup is hosted in stadiums that have been built by millions of migrant workers.

Most of the workers have never been paid for their work or lost their lives in the process.

Undeniably, the men’s football championship is an event that dominates headlines and excites fans right around the world.

It’s meant to be a celebration of the sport, designed to bring communities together.

While the World Cup creates indisputable excitement, this cup carries an horrific weight of human cost.

Minky Worden, the Director of Global Initiatives at Human Rights Watch told TICKER NEWS FIFA has accrued billions of dollars in revenue.

It comes at a significant human cost to the migrant workers who have made it all possible.

“This world cup was built with the toil and sweat of migrant workers… This is entirely preventable because Qatar is such a wealthy country, and because FIFA sits on $2bn in reserves and will make an estimated $7bn from this world cup.”

minky worden, human rights watch

Human rights abuses masked by sport

However, this world cup in Qatar has a dark cloud looming over it. Qatar is the first country in the Middle East to host the FIFA World Cup.

Concerns have been raised about the safety and wellbeing of fans travelling to a country that does not support equal rights.

The cup raises triggering questions about the migrant workers who have made the world cup possible.

During the cup, FIFA will host approximately 1.2 million visitors, in stadiums built by forced labor.

Many of the migrant workers completed the stadiums, but have never been paid.

Workers walk towards the construction site of the Lusail stadium which will be build for the upcoming 2022 Fifa soccer World Cup during a stadium tour in Doha, Qatar, December 20, 2019. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Others died during the build after working excessive hours in extreme heat and with little access to basic necessities.

So should such prominent events be held in countries like Qatar?

Worden believes FIFA and the Qatari government are using sport to mask human rights abuses.

“We all love soccer but this really qualifies to what we would call sports washing… Using fireworks and celebration and a sport that we all love to cover up human rights abuses.”

minky worden, human rights watch

“This is the most expensive world cup in the history of the world, but sadly it’s also the highest cost of human lives…

These glamorous stadiums, the highways and new metros, the lavish hotels
…Have been built by migrant workers…

The population of migrant workers is more than two million.

minky worden, human rights watch

The Qatari government has adopted labour reforms more recently, but many say it’s too little too late.

“The families of workers who died have had no way to claim compensation for the deaths of their loved ones… And many of these deaths occurred in the decade before these labour reforms happened.”

minky worden, human rights watch

While it may look glitz and glam on the exterior, it raises questions whether FIFA has blood on their hands.

The 2022 Qatar World Cup has been plagued with controversy from the get-go.

From the moment the hosting rights were handed to Qatar, concerns about the legitimacy of the voting process escalated.

FIFA’s President at the time Sepp Blatter has since admitted awarding a country that doesn’t respect basic human rights for everyone was a ‘mistake.’

Blatter also echoed claims that the decision was made out of political pressure.

While Blatter has been condemned for his part in the deal, it raises concerns about FIFA’s role in honouring the hosting deal now.

Current FIFA President Gianni Infantino said the west should not be giving “moral lessons” to anyone.

However, as one of the world’s largest sporting organisations, FIFA bare ultimate responsibility of who they do business with.

They’re turning a blind eye to obvious human rights violations, masked by the roar of a football game.

“It’s fully FIFA’s responsibility because FIFA awarded the world cup to Qatar in 2010, without doing human rights due diligence.”

minky worden, human rights watch

It comes as people all around the world call out Qatar and FIFA for their collective role in human rights abuses.

German national team before World Cup qualifier

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