Tag Archives: staged

Anomalies in Trump situation room photo spark online conspiracy theories it was staged

Anomalies in Trump situation room photo spark online conspiracy theories it was stagedIn 2011, 10 years after the terrorist attacks in New York which destroyed the twin towers of the World Trade Centre, the architect of the hijackings, Osama bin Laden, was killed by US special forces in a raid in Pakistan.The US Navy Seals carrying out the raid relayed live footage to the White House, and a photograph of president Barack Obama alongside his national security team witnessing the operation was used on the front pages of newspapers around the world.



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Blizzard Employees Staged a Walkout to Protest Ban of Pro-Hong Kong Gamer

Blizzard Employees Staged a Walkout to Protest Ban of Pro-Hong Kong GamerSOPA Images/GettyA small group of Activision Blizzard employees walked out of work Tuesday afternoon to protest the company’s actions against a gamer who expressed support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong during an official livestream.The game publisher behind online multiplayer hits like World of Warcraft and Overwatch banned Hong Kong-based professional Hearthstone player Chung Ng Wai from thegame’s lucrative pro league for a year on Tuesday. Chung, who uses the handle “Blitzchung,” prompted the ban after saying “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times” during an interview about his tournament wins. Blizzard’s actions forced him to forfeit $ 10,000 in prize money he had already won.“The action Blizzard took against the player was pretty appalling but not surprising,” a longtime Blizzard employee told The Daily Beast. “Blizzard makes a lot of money in China, but now the company is in this awkward position where we can’t abide by our values.”“I’m disappointed,” another current Blizzard employee said. “We want people all over the world to play our games, but no action like this can be made with political neutrality.” The employees spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of professional consequences.Protesting Blizzard employees from multiple departments gathered at an iconic statue of an Orc warrior charging into battle in the center of the company’s main campus in Irvine, California, starting around 10 a.m. Pacific Time. The demonstration’s numbers fluctuated throughout the day, the two employees said, ranging from a dozen to 30, and the protesters departed sometime in the late afternoon. The protesters would have been visible to executive offices, which overlook the main plaza, the two employees said. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.The Chinese tech giant Tencent owns a 5 percent stake in Blizzard, and the gaming company earned 12 percent of its revenue from the Asia-Pacific region last quarter, according to its earnings reports.The decision prompted backlash from gamers and non-gamers alike, adding fuel to the fire begun by the National Basketball Association’s own controversy over China and the Hong Kong protests.A person claiming to be a Blizzard employee and using the handle “Standingwhk” posted a picture to Reddit and Imgur that showed roughly 20 employees involved in the demonstration. Several employees held umbrellas, a visual symbol adopted by protesters in Hong Kong. Two current Blizzard employees authenticated the photo to The Daily Beast. Blizzard has placed plaques with its core company values along a circular compass around the orc. According to the two employees and photos, protesters had papered over one that read, “Every voice matters.”The protesters also solicited signatures for a petition expressing displeasure with Blizzard leadership’s handling of the matter that they planned to submit to executives, the two employees said. Discussion about Blizzard’s actions and of the protest, they said, continued Wednesday. The two employees said Blizzard executives have not taken any public action against the protesters. Blizzard’s actions inspired a negative reaction among lawmakers, who denounced the gaming giant. On Twitter, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) said the company was willing to “humiliate itself” to please China. And Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) declared, “Implications of this will be felt long after everyone in U.S. politics today is gone.”One of the employees who spoke to The Daily Beast felt that the protest signaled a new era for Blizzard. The company has been complying with government censorship requests within its games in order to keep doing business in one of its biggest markets, he said.“Doing business in China, it’s been easier to ignore the authoritarianism of the government because they were asking us to do things like remove a skeleton [from a game],” he said. “The stakes are so much higher now. What was previously an obvious decision is much less obvious now.” Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Chicago Police Chief: Smollett Staged Hate Crime because He Was ‘Dissatisfied with His Salary’

Chicago Police Chief: Smollett Staged Hate Crime because He Was ‘Dissatisfied with His Salary’Chicago Police superintendent Eddie Johnson announced during a Thursday press conference that Empire actor Jussie Smollett hired two men to stage a racially motivated attack on him in order to advance his career and increase his earnings.Upon taking the stage, Johnson immediately expressed regret that Chicago's victims of gun violence do not receive the same media attention that was afforded to Smollett's story. He then condemned the actor's willingness to cynically use the history of racism in America to advance his career.“Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career,” Johnson said. “This publicity stunt was a scar that Chicago didn’t earn, and certainly didn’t deserve.”Johnson went on to explain that the two Nigerian brothers hired by Smollett to carry out the hoax told police he hoped the staged attack would be financially beneficial.“The stunt was orchestrated by Smollett because he was dissatisfied with his salary,” Johnson said.Smollett turned himself in early Thursday morning after being charged with disorderly conduct, a class-four felony that typically results in a sentence of anywhere between probation and three years in prison.Johnson also confirmed reports that Smollett first attempted to claim victimhood status by sending himself a threatening letter that included racist, homophobic, and politically charged language. When the letter, which was accompanied by white powder, failed to elicit the reaction Smollett hoped for, he paid the brothers, one of whom worked on Empire, $ 3,500 to stage an attack on him early on the morning of January 29.



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Chicago Police Chief: Smollett Staged Hate Crime because He Was ‘Dissatisfied with His Salary’

Chicago Police Chief: Smollett Staged Hate Crime because He Was ‘Dissatisfied with His Salary’Chicago Police superintendent Eddie Johnson announced during a Thursday press conference that Empire actor Jussie Smollett hired two men to stage a racially motivated attack on him in order to advance his career and increase his earnings.Upon taking the stage, Johnson immediately expressed regret that Chicago's victims of gun violence do not receive the same media attention that was afforded to Smollett's story. He then condemned the actor's willingness to cynically use the history of racism in America to advance his career.“Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career,” Johnson said. “This publicity stunt was a scar that Chicago didn’t earn, and certainly didn’t deserve.”Johnson went on to explain that the two Nigerian brothers hired by Smollett to carry out the hoax told police he hoped the staged attack would be financially beneficial.“The stunt was orchestrated by Smollett because he was dissatisfied with his salary,” Johnson said.Smollett turned himself in early Thursday morning after being charged with disorderly conduct, a class-four felony that typically results in a sentence of anywhere between probation and three years in prison.Johnson also confirmed reports that Smollett first attempted to claim victimhood status by sending himself a threatening letter that included racist, homophobic, and politically charged language. When the letter, which was accompanied by white powder, failed to elicit the reaction Smollett hoped for, he paid the brothers, one of whom worked on Empire, $ 3,500 to stage an attack on him early on the morning of January 29.



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Canada prosecutor: Serial killer staged photos of victims

Canada prosecutor: Serial killer staged photos of victimsTORONTO (AP) — Serial killer Bruce McArthur staged photos of some of his victims after they died, posing corpses in fur coats and cigars in their mouths, a prosecutor said Monday as the sentencing hearing began for the former gardener who preyed on men from Toronto's Gay Village district.



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Mock hearings and staged protests: Inside the White House's 'intense' preparations for Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation

Mock hearings and staged protests: Inside the White House's 'intense' preparations for Brett Kavanaugh's confirmationAn official involved in Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s preparations described the robust operation getting him ready for the confirmation hearings.



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Relief, anger over Russia journalist's staged death

Relief, anger over Russia journalist's staged deathNews that the supposed murder of a prominent Russian journalist and Kremlin critic was actually staged by Ukraine to thwart a real attempt on his life provoked both relief and anger on Wednesday. In a stunning development barely 24 hours after he had been reported killed, Arkady Babchenko appeared at a press conference where he admitted participating in a “special operation” to catch the alleged mastermind of a Russian plot to kill him. European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said he was “relieved” that Babchenko had not been killed, after earlier denouncing the supposed murder as a “hideous crime”.



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'Murdered' journalist Arkady Babchenko turns up alive after death staged to 'expose Russian plot'

'Murdered' journalist Arkady Babchenko turns up alive after death staged to 'expose Russian plot'By Wednesday afternoon, most of of Arkady Babchenko's friends and colleagues had gone through the familiar cycle of grief and confusion that follows the killing of a Russian dissident journalist.  Obituaries had been written, travel arrangements were in train for the funeral, and Western politicians including Boris Johnson had announced they were "appalled"  Meanwhile, Ukraine had blamed Russia, Russia had blamed Ukraine, and both launched rival investigations to prove their stories.  And journalists in both countries, taught by bitter experience not to trust official probes into the deaths of their colleagues, pledged to run their own investigations. But then came a twist that no one could predict: Vasily Gritsak, the head of Ukraine's Security Service (SBU), called a press conference and announced the whole thing had been a hoax.  Arkady Babchenko, centre, told a Press conference in Kiev the reported murder was part of sting operation to catch a hit squad Credit: VALENTYN OGIRENKO /Reuters For a moment, there was an uncomprehending silence. Then a door opened, and in shuffled a familiar shaven headed man.  Arkady Babchenko was wearing light trousers and a black hoodie. And he was looking somewhat sheepish.  "I have buried many friends and colleagues many times and I know the sickening feeling," he said, by way of explanation. "I am sorry you had to experience it. But there was no other way." "Special apologies to my wife. Olechka, I am sorry, but there were no options here," he said. "The operation took two months to prepare. I was told a month ago. As a result of the operation, one person has been captured, he is being held," he added.  Mr Gritsak said Mr Babchenko's fake death, which fooled his closest friends and family, as well we international media and world leaders, had allowed Ukrainian agents to thwart a genuine plot to take the journalist's life.  Arkady Babchenko was a fierce critic of Vladimir Putin Credit: Vitalii Nosach/Reuters Staging the murder, he implied, was necessary to gain evidence of communication between the hit man and his handlers, who he said worked for the Russian security services.  Yury Lutsenko, Ukraine's prosecutor general, said the alleged plot had involved a Ukrainian citizen recruited by Russian handlers to carry out the murder.  The SBU later released video of what they said was money being handed to the hired killer.  While I am very happy Arkady is alive I am also angry and confused because my fellow reporters and I spent yesterday posting and reading memories we shared of him and feeling very down and out. This was apparently some kind of sting operation. I hope it was worth it.— Simon Ostrovsky (@SimonOstrovsky) May 30, 2018 The death and resurrection of Russia's most famous war correspondent is one of the strangest episodes in the bitter confrontation between Russia and Ukraine.  Kiev hailed a victory and Moscow condemned a stunt. But the move drew criticism from journalists and media freedom groups who said it undermined faith in reporting and played into the hands of governments who dismiss unwelcome coverage as fake news.  News of Mr Babchenko's "death" sent shock waves through the Russian journalistic community and opposition circles when it was announced on Tuesday evening.  Ukrainian police officers guard the entrance to Babchenko's home in Kiev after his body was apparently found Credit: VALENTYN OGIRENKO /Reuters Ukrainian police said the veteran war correspondent had been killed by a gunman lurking in the stairwell outside his Kiev flat late on Tuesday evening.  Police said his wife, Olga, found his body on the threshold of the flat with several gunshot wounds in his back and that he died in an ambulance on the way to hospital.  All of this seemed entirely plausible to those who knew him. The 2016 Kiev murder of Pavel Sheremet, another journalist, has still not been solved Credit: VALENTYN OGIRENKO Mr Babchenko was an implacable public critic of the Kremlin whose public statements had become increasingly abrasive, and the death appeared to fit with a pattern of murders in Kiev.  The unsolved deaths include that of Pavel Sheremet, a prominent Belarusian born liberal journalist who was blown up in his car in 2016.  The gunman in the stairwell and the shots in the back also recalled the deaths of two other prominent Kremlin critics – Anna Politkovskaya and Boris Nemtsov, who were murdered in Moscow in 2006 and 2015.  One Russian war photographer and friend of Mr Babchenko told the Telegraph he was "not surprised," on reflection, that his friend had been killed.  Babchenko had fled Russia over fears to his safety Credit: Akrady Babchenko/Facebook Several acquaintances of Mr Babchenko, many of whom had posted tributes online or even written obituaries for the Russian and foreign media, expressed relief mixed with deep unease over the deception.  And media freedom groups condemned the hoax, saying it could put other journalists in danger and play into the hands of those behind real murders.  "It is pathetic and regrettable that the Ukrainian police have played with the truth, whatever their motive," said Christophe Deloire, the head of Reporter Without Borders. "All it takes is one case like this to cast doubt on all the other political assassinations." Babchenko, a conscript in the Chechen wars, was a fierce critic of Putin Credit: Akrady Babchenko/Facebook Nor did it shine a light on the other unsolved murders – which some Ukrainian activists say the authorities have been distinctly reluctant to investigate with anything like the same level of commitment.  When a Ukrainian journalist asked about the investigation into "a real murder – that of Pavel Sheremet," Mr Gritsak replied: "we have a different topic today." The Russian government, which in the morning had condemned Mr Babchenko's murder and denied accusations of involvement, in the evening welcomed his recovery and swiftly condemned the hoax as "propaganda."  Poroshenko meets Babchenko to celebrate what he called a "brilliant operation." Not everyone agrees. t.co/U0BgtsYQNIpic.twitter.com/Fj9j8ll2Z3— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) May 30, 2018 "The fact that Babchenko is alive is the best news" said Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the foreign ministry. "The fact that the whole story was created for propaganda effect is obvious." The Ukrainian government was defiant over the operation last night.  Petro Poroshenko, the Ukrainian president, wrote on Facebook on Wednesday evening.  "I congratulate the SBU. You have conducted a brilliant operation to protect the life of Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko," Petro Poroshenko, the Ukrainian president, wrote on Facebook on Wednesday evening.  Anton Geraschenko, an aide to the Ukrainian interior ministry, justified the pain caused to Mr Babchenko's family and friends by the hoax saying Sherlock Holmes had used the same tactic. "Wasn't that also painful for his relatives a Dr Watson," he wrote on Facebook.     



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Protests staged for gun control, gun rights outside NRA meeting

Protests staged for gun control, gun rights outside NRA meetingProtesters on both sides of the U.S. gun debate took to the streets on Saturday outside the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Dallas after the latest in a long series of mass shootings put the issue back in the spotlight. Across the street from the convention center where President Donald Trump addressed NRA members on Friday, a “Rally4Reform” drew about 200 demonstrators demanding tighter restrictions on firearms sales. Many were dressed in the orange that has become the color of the gun control movement.



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