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Pakistan restores Twitter after ban over ‘offensive content’

A Pakistani resident browses a newspaper website on Sunday, after the country's government blocked access to Twitter.
A Pakistani resident browses a newspaper website on Sunday, after the country’s government blocked access to Twitter.

By Katie Hunt, for CNN

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Pakistan blocks Twitter for much of Sunday over content considered offensive to Muslims
  • Tweets related to Facebook competition to post images of prophet Muhammad
  • Move comes after Facebook was blocked for two weeks in 2010

“(CNN) — Pakistan has restored access to Twitter after blocking the popular social networking site over the posting of content it deemed an affront to Muslims, Pakistan’s telecom authority said Monday.

Mohammed Younis, the authority’s director of public relations, said Twitter was blocked on Sunday morning because of “some material considered to be offensive to the Muslim community,” but access was restored by Sunday evening.

A spokesperson for Pakistan’s Ministry of Information Technology told CNN that Twitter was blocked because the site did not remove links and references to a competition taking place on Facebook to post images of the Muslim prophet Mohammed.

“The government is in contact with Twitter and had asked them to remove the material. When they didn’t, it was decided that the site would be blocked,” said ministry spokesman Naveed Ahmed.

 

Pakistan blocked Facebook in May 2010 in response to a similar contest that called on people to draw depictions of Mohammed.

The “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” Facebook page offended many Pakistanis as Islam discourages any visual representation of God or prophets like Mohammed.

Younis said it was the IT ministry’s decision to reverse the ban but he could not confirm whether Twitter had removed the tweets deemed offensive.

However, he said Facebook had responded to requests to remove controversial content in Sunday’s case. No-one from the ministry or Twitter was available for comment.

Facebook confirmed that it had restricted access to some content on its site in Pakistan after a request from the authorities.

“While we do not remove this type of content from the site entirely unless it violates our Statement of Rights and responsibilities, out of respect for local laws, traditions and cultures, we may occasionally restrict its visibility in the countries where it is illegal, as we have done in this case,” Facebook said in an emailed statement.

Twitter is hugely popular in Pakistan, with a reported six million account holders, including public figures such as politicians, singers and sports stars. Exiled former president Pervez Musharraf is on Twitter, as is Imran Khan, the cricketer turned politician.

It seemed many users were able to get around Sunday’s outage.

“The fact that despite their ‘Twitter Ban’, we are still tweeting from Pakistan, should tell them how stupid it is to censor internet,” tweeted Marvi Sirmed, a Pakistani columnist and human rights activist with 21,973 followers.”

Source: CNN News

#Nigeria #Lagos Tanker Drivers Get 4 Days to Quit Apapa-Oshodi Express Road

050512N.Apapa-gridlock-N.jpg - 050512N.Apapa-gridlock-N.jpg

Apapa gridlock

 

 

By Gboyega Akinsanmi

 

 
Lagos State Government Thursday  issued a four-day ultimatum to all articulated vehicle drivers to desist from unauthorised parking along Apapa-Oshodi expressway or face harsh punitive measures.

 

The gridlock caused by the tankers has virtually brought to a halt economic activities on the axis, forcing the closure of many businesses.

The state government issued the ultimatum after an emergency meeting with the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) and Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) Wednesday night.

 

The state Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, who led his counterpart in the Local Government Ministry, Mr. Ademorin Kuye, and Chairman of the state Taskforce on Special Offence Unit, Mr. Bayo Sulaiman, to the meeting, said enforcement would commence next Monday.

Opeifa said the state government could no longer watch and fold its arms to allow such display of lawlessness in the state, adding that the tanker and trailer drivers who failed to comply would have their vehicles towed.

 

He said the state government “wants you to do business but it does not want you to inconvenient others. Enough is enough. We want to make sure the Apapa expressway, all through to Ijora bridge is free of traffic”.

“We want to see that the road that leads to Tin Can is also free and that the police station at Ijora to Port is free of traffic. We want to see that tankers on Creek Road are evacuated so that the road can be free,” he added.

 

He added that “all shanties under Liverpool bridge should be cleared. We seek your cooperation to ensure that your people remove their vehicles from the road. Those people whose towing vehicles have broken down on the road should also remove them”.

According to him, “we want to fix Wharf road, Creek road and the Apapa-Oshodi expressway. We also want access to Beach land estate.  Vehicles obstructing residents’ movement to the estate should be removed.”
Opeifa said the taskforce, officials of the Kick against Indiscipline (KAI), the state Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), and other government agencies had been fully mobilised for the onslaught on the tanker drivers if they failed to evacuate their vehicles from the road by Sunday midnight.

 

Last Sunday, Fashola visited Apapa area and expressed disgust at the high level of nuisance perpetrated by the tanker and trailer drivers and vowed to dislodge them to allow smooth flow of traffic in the area.

Also speaking, Sulaiman said all routes to Apapa must be free, adding that tanker drivers should not cultivate the habit of parking their vehicles on the road as his men were ready to swing into action.
But Kuye appealed to people trading under the bridge at Liverpool to vacate the area as the place was known to harbour criminal elements in the state.

 

He said tanker and trailers drivers should not endanger the lives of people in the area as Apapa served as one of the hub of business activities of the nation.

It was gathered that representatives of the various unions at the emergency meeting agreed to comply with the ultimatum issued by the government.

Source :Thisday

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