- Influencer and beauty YouTuber Ayesha Malik accused Indian actress Priyanka Chopra of supporting a nuclear war between India and Pakistan.
- Malik’s accusation was in reference to a tweet Chopra posted in support of India after they launched airstrikes on Pakistan in February.
- Meanwhile, tensions between India and Pakistan have risen in recent days after India revoked Kashmir’s special autonomous status.
- Kashmir is currently under a security lockdown and communications blackout enforced by Indian military forces.
Ayesha Malik Questions Priyanka Chopra
Influencer and beauty YouTuber Ayesha Malik accused Indian actress Priyanka Chopra of encouraging nuclear war between India and Pakistan during a question and answer session led by Chopra at BeautyCon on Saturday.
“So it was kind of hard hearing you talk about humanity, because as your neighbor, a Pakistani, I know you’re a bit of a hypocrite,” Malik said in the now-viral video.
Malik went on to read a tweet posted by Chopra amid escalating tensions between India and Pakistan in February, which read, “Jai Hind #IndianArmedForces.” The phrase “Jai Hind,” loosely translates to “Hail India” or “Long Live India.”
Copra’s tweet was referring to the fact that India had just launched airstrikes on Pakistani soil, prompting Pakistan to retaliate with airstrikes on Indian soil.
At the time, Chopra received backlash for cheering India’s airstrikes on Pakistan, especially after she condemned Pakistan for responding by doing the same on Twitter.
“You are a UNICEF ambassador for peace, and you’re encouraging nuclear war against Pakistan,” Malik continued. “There’s no winner in this. As a Pakistani, millions of people like me have supported you in your business of Bollywood and you want nuclear war.”
Malik then had the microphone taken from her by security personnel.
Chopra responded to the allegations first by asking Malik if she was “done venting.”
“Whenever you’re don’t venting”. Sorry, didn’t realize that speaking on a humanitarian crisis was “venting” pic.twitter.com/OqCLgjDNa1— Ayesha Malik (@Spishaa) August 11, 2019
“I have many, many friends from Pakistan. And I am from India,” she continued. “And war is not something that I am really fond of, but I am patriotic. So I’m sorry that, if I hurt sentiments to people who do love me and have loved me.”
“But I think that all of us have a sort of middle ground that we all have to walk,” she added. “Just like you probably do as well, the way you came at me right now.”
“I love India as much as I love Pakistan,” Malik said.
“No, don’t yell, we’re all here for love,” Chopra responded. “Don’t yell, how embarrassing.”
After the interaction at BeautyCon, Malik took to Twitter to address what happened, and why she chose to speak to Chopra.
“It was hard listening to her say, ‘we should be neighbors and love each other’ — swing that advice over to your PM,” she wrote. “Both India and Pakistan were in danger. And instead she tweeted out in favor for nuclear war.”
“It took me back to when I couldn’t reach my family because of the blackouts and how scared/helpless I was,” Malik continued. “She gaslit me and turned the narrative around on me being the ‘bad guy’ — as a UN ambassador this was so irresponsible.”
Rogue Rocket interviewed Malik about the interaction, and she expanded on the same sentiment struck in her tweet.
“You can’t be an extremist patriot and also a U.N. Ambassador trying to build bridges between countries. It doesn’t make sense,” she said.
“Before the mic was snatched from me, what I was going to ask her was, ‘Will you relinquish your as the U.N. Ambassador for Peace, or will you denounce your tweets against nuclear war?’”
Others also addressed the incident on Twitter, criticizing how Chopra responded to Malik.
Some said that Chopra had talked down to Malik and embarrassed herself.
Others said Chopra was condescending and did not act like a U.N. ambassador.
A number of people also defended Chopra, with some saying her tweeting “Jai Hind” was just out of respect for Indian soldiers and did not mean she supports nuclear war.
The Situation in Kashmir
Meanwhile, tensions between the two nuclear powers increased recently, after India announced that it was taking away the special autonomous status given to the state of Kashmir.
Kashmir is a contested region that both India and Pakistan claim complete control over, and now many experts and global leaders have described the move by India as a power-grab and are concerned the two countries will be drawn into a conflict.
Since India announced they were taking away Kashmir’s special status, Indian military forces have been enforcing a widespread security crackdown and communications blackout on the 4 million people in the territory.
The crackdown has left the Kashmiri’s without the internet or the ability to contact their families, and forced many to stay in their homes by imposing a near-constant curfew.
According to Al Jazeera, razor wire coils and steel barricades have been set up to maintain the blockade, and drones and helicopters are hovering over the region.
People in Kashmir defied the lockdown this week when hundreds took to the streets to protest. This came after military forces used tear gas to break up about 8,000 anti-government protestors in a demonstration over the weekend.
While it has been reported that some schools and businesses that had previously been closed are now open again, the entire territory is still being patrolled by tens of thousands of military forces.
Meanwhile, many in the international community have said the lockdown is concerning and will likely increase tensions.
Malik told Rogue Rocket that her intention was always to bring what is happening in Kashmir to the forefront of mainstream media.
“Kashmir belongs to Kashmiris, and I want that message to be louder than anything else because there’s a lot of focus on me for some reason when the focus should be on the message that I was trying to yell across the stage where we need to bring attention to Kashmir,” she said.
“I remember as a child, Kashmir has always been an issue, but nobody else has been talking about it except for Pakistanis, Indians, and Kashmiris,” Malik continued.
“And for the first time in my life, I’m seeing Kashmir headline worldwide, thank God, but I want the attention to be directly towards the Kashmiris that are going through this humanitarian crisis and not me.”
See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (The Guardian) (Al Jazeera)
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Says Trump Ban Was the “Right Decision” But Sets “Dangerous” Precedent
- While defending Twitter’s decision to permanently ban President Donald Trump, CEO Jack Dorsey noted the “dangerous” precedent such a move set.
- “Having to take these actions fragment the public conversation,” Dorsey said in a lengthy Twitter thread on Wednesday. “They divide us. They limit the potential for clarification, redemption, and learning.”
- Dorsey’s message came the same day Twitter fully reinstated Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (R-Co.) account, hours after locking it for violating Twitter rules. A Twitter spokesperson later described the lock as an “incorrect enforcement action.”
Dorsey Describes Trump Ban as a Double-Edged Sword
In a lengthy Twitter thread published Wednesday, CEO Jack Dorsey defended his platform’s decision to permanently ban President Donald Trump, while also noting the “dangerous” precedent such a unilateral move sets.
Twitter made the decision to ban Trump on Jan. 8, two days after pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol complex in an assault that left multiple dead.
“I do not celebrate or feel pride in our having to ban [Trump] from Twitter, or how we got here,” Dorsey said in the first of 13 tweets.
Nonetheless, Dorsey described Trump’s ban as “the right decision for Twitter.”
“Offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all,” he added.
“That said, having to ban an account has real and significant ramifications,” Dorsey continued.
“[It] sets a precedent I feel is dangerous: the power an individual or corporation has over a part of the global public conversation.”
Dorsey described most bans as a failure of Twitter to “promote healthy conversation,” though he noted that exceptions to such a mindset also exist. Among other failures, Dorsey said extreme actions like a ban can “fragment public conversation,” divide people, and limit “clarification, redemption, and learning.”
Dorsey: Trump Bans Were Not Coordinated
Dorsey continued his thread by addressing claims and criticism that Trump’s ban on Twitter violated free speech.
“A company making a business decision to moderate itself is different from a government removing access, yet can feel much the same,” he said.
Indeed, multiple legal experts have stated that Trump’s ban on social media does not amount to First Amendment violations, as the First Amendment only addresses government censorship.
“If folks do not agree with our rules and enforcement, they can simply go to another internet service,” Dorsey added. However, Dorsey noted that such a concept has been challenged over the past week.
This moment in time might call for this dynamic, but over the long term it will be destructive to the noble purpose and ideals of the open internet. A company making a business decision to moderate itself is different from a government removing access, yet can feel much the same.— jack (@jack) January 14, 2021
Trump has now been banned or suspended from a number of platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. On Wednesday, Snapchat announced plans to terminate Trump’s account in the “interest of public safety.” Previously, Snapchat had only suspended his account, but as of Jan. 20, it will be permanently banned.
Addressing criticism of the swift bans handed down by these platforms in the wake of the Capitol attack, Dorsey said he doesn’t believe Trump’s bans on social media were coordinated.
“More likely: companies came to their own conclusions or were emboldened by the actions of others,” he said.
Twitter Reverses Course of Locking Rep. Lauren Boebert’s Account
Dorsey’s thread regarding the fragile nature of regulating users’ privileges on the platform seemed to play out earlier the same day.
On Wednesday, newly-elected Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Co.) posted a screenshot to Instagram showing that her Twitter account had been locked for six days. The screenshot stated that she had violated Twitter’s rules and would be unable to tweet, retweet, or like until her account was unlocked.
Hours later, Twitter reversed course and fully reinstated her account.
“In this instance, our teams took the incorrect enforcement action. The Tweet in question is now labeled in accordance with our Civic Integrity Policy. The Tweet will not be required to be removed and the account will not be temporarily locked,” a spokesperson for the platform told Insider.
It is unknown what tweet caused that initial ban, as Twitter refused to say.
The latest tweet from Boebert’s account to be tagged with a fact check warning is from Sunday. In that tweet, she baselessly and falsely accuses the DNC of rigging the 2020 Election, a claim that largely inspired the Capitol attacks.
See what others are saying: (Business Insider) (CNN) (Associated Press)
Uber and Lyft Drivers Sue To Overturn California’s Prop 22
- A group of Uber and Lyft drivers filed a lawsuit Tuesday against California’s controversial Prop 22, a ballot measure that was approved by nearly 59% of state voters in the 2020 election.
- While Prop 22 does promise drivers wage guarantees and health insurance stipends, it also eliminated some protections as well as benefits like sick pay and workers’ compensation.
- In their lawsuit, the drivers argue that Prop 22 “illegally” prevents them from being able to access the state’s workers’ compensation program.
What’s in the Lawsuit?
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, a group of Uber and Lyft drivers asked California’s Supreme Court to overturn the state’s controversial Prop 22 ballot measure.
The drivers behind the lawsuit, along with Service Employees International Union, allege that Prop 22 “illegally” bars them from being able to participate in the state’s workers’ compensation program.
Additionally, they argue that the measure violates California’s constitution by“stripping” the state legislature of its ability to protect who unionize.
“Every day, rideshare drivers like me struggle to make ends meet because companies like Uber and Lyft prioritize corporate profits over our wellbeing,” Plaintiff Saori Okawa said in a statement.
Conversely, Uber driver and Prop 22 activist Jim Pyatt denounced the lawsuit, saying,“Voters across the political spectrum spoke loud and clear, passing Prop 22 in a landslide. Meritless lawsuits that seek to undermine the clear democratic will of the people do not stand up to scrutiny in the courts.”
California ballot measures have been occasionally repealed in the past; however, most of the time, they’ve only been repealed following subsequent ballot measures. If this lawsuit fails, such an initiative would likely be the last option for overturning Prop 22.
What is Prop 22?
Prop 22, which was approved by 59% of state voters in the 2020 Election, exempts app-based transportation and delivery companies from having to classify their drivers as employees. Rather, those drivers are listed as “independent contractors,” also known as gig workers.
Notably, Prop 22 was supported by major industry players like DoorDash, Uber, Lyft, and Instacart, which launched a massive $200 million lobbying and advertising campaign.
While those companies did promise wage guarantees and health insurance stipends for drivers, Prop 22 also eliminated a number of protections and benefits drivers would have seen under an “employee” status, including sick pay and workers’ compensation.
Because of that, many opponents have argued that the measure incentivizes companies to lay off their employees in favor of cheaper labor options.
Last week, it was reported that grocery stores like Albertsons, Vons, and Pavilions began laying off their delivery workers in favor of switching to ”third-party logistics providers.” According to Albertson’s, unionized delivery workers were not included in the layoffs.
In recent coverage from KPBS, one San Diego Vons delivery worker detailed a situation in which he and delivery workers were called into a meeting with management.
“I thought they were going to give us a bonus or a raise or something like that,” he said.
Ultimately, that employee was told he would be losing his job in late February, even though he had been with the company for two-and-a-half years.
“I didn’t want to tell them,” the employee said of his parents, one of whom is disabled. “I’m the breadwinner for the family.”
See what others are saying: (The Verge) (The Washington Post) (CNN)
Daniel Silva Blames Cory La Barrie for His Own Death in New Legal Filing
- Popular Tattoo artist Daniel Silva said the death of YouTuber Cory La Barrie was due to La Barrie’s “own negligence,” in response to a wrongful death lawsuit from his family.
- La Barrie died last May after Silva lost control of the sports car they were in, crashing into a street sign and tree.
- La Barrie’s family has accused Silva of negligence, saying his excessive speeding caused the crash. They also claim he was under the influence, though he was never formally charged with a DUI.
- According to TMZ, Silva filed documents saying La Barrie “assumed the risk of death when he jumped into Daniel’s car that fateful night back in May.”
Corey La Barrie’s Death
Popular tattoo artist Daniel Silva has blamed YouTuber Corey La Barrie for his own death in response to a wrongful death lawsuit from La Barrie’s family, according to TMZ.
The tabloid says he filed legal documents saying, “the car crash that led to Corey’s death was due to his own negligence, and he assumed the risk of death when he jumped into Daniel’s car that fateful night back in May.”
La Barrie died on May 10, his 25th birthday, after Silva was speeding and lost control of the sports car they were in, crashing into a street sign and tree.
Police say Silva tried to leave the scene but was stopped by witnesses. He was later arrested and charged with murder. Silva eventually reached an agreement with prosecutors to plead no contest to vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.
In August, Silva was sentenced to 364 days in jail, with credit for 216 days served because of California sentencing guidelines, even though it had only been 108 days since the crash at the time.
He also earned five years of probation, 250 hours of community service, and a suspended prison sentence of four years, which would be imposed if he violates the terms of his probation.
Wrongful Death Suit
Silva still faces the family’s lawsuit, which they filed the same month their son died.
In it, La Barrie’s family has accused Silva of negligence, saying his excessive speeding caused the crash. They also claim he was driving under the influence.
It’s worth noting that people close to Silva have disputed that claim and he was never charged with a DUI. However, the first police statement about the crash labeled it a “DUI Fatal Traffic Collision.” Witnesses have said the two were partying earlier that night, though