A man has been jailed in New Zealand for sharing footage of the al Noor Mosque attack.
Christchurch businessman Philip Neville Arps had admitted two charges of distributing an objectionable publication after the shootings.
On Tuesday he was jailed for 21 months, with a judge saying he had “glorified” the shootings.
Fifty-one Muslims died after being shot as they attended Friday prayers at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in March.
The al Noor shooting was streamed on Facebook.
Arps, among 13 people charged regarding the attack material, distributed the video to approximately 30 people on the social networking site, the court heard.
The second charge related to him asking another person to add crosshairs and a “kill count” to the video, intending to use this as a meme.
He was arrested days after the shootings and has been kept in solitary confinement since then.
In comments reported by the NZ Herald, Judge Stephen O’Driscoll said on Tuesday that Arps, 44, had “strong and unrepentant views towards the Muslim community”.
The court heard that Arps, who runs what was described as an insulation company that has used neo-Nazi imagery, showed “particular cruelty” in sharing the footage the day after the attack.
A pre-sentence report said Arps showed no remorse or empathy for any of those affected.
Judge O’Driscoll said some parts of the pre-sentence report were concerning but he did not mention them publicly, wary of Arps considering them a “badge of honour”.
The judge did, however, say that Arps had once compared himself to Nazi war criminal Rudolf Hess and that the report said he was a high risk of re-offending.
According to TVNZ, Arps faces six months of strict conditions after he completes his sentence.
These include psychiatric assessments, drug and alcohol treatment and a ban on using the internet.
Facebook, the world’s largest social media platform, has been criticised for being slow to take down footage of the attacks, which was deemed objectionable by New Zealand’s Chief Censor.
Along with other social media, Facebook has long been under pressure to do more about hateful and abusive posts.
Can Boris Johnson really ‘Get Brexit Done’ by end of 2020? | Politics News
The election message was a pledge to “Get Brexit Done”. Repeated on posters, adverts, aprons, T-shirts. Printed wherever there was a space.
The challenge now is to fulfill that promise, or perhaps even to define it. What counts as Brexit? Is it simply leaving the European Union, come what may, on the last day of the year, or is it about achieving a comprehensive trade deal?
What sort of relationship does Mr Johnson want with Europe, and what sort of compromises is he prepared to make?
You might have thought those questions would have been answered during the campaign but – emphatically – they weren’t.
Mr Johnson, for instance, insists there will be no checks or tariffs on goods crossing the Irish Sea from Britain to Northern Ireland.
Many think that promise is simply impossible to keep, even if a trade deal is signed.
If Britain were to leave without a trade deal, it is even harder to work out how Mr Johnson can live up to his promise.
And that is a prospect that many take realistically in Brussels.
At the moment, Britain doesn’t have a structure for negotiating a trade deal – no specialised teams up and running yet, no guarantee of who will be in charge of each different bit, or how power will be devolved and then used.
The EU, on the other hand, has a department ready and willing, under the auspices of Michel Barnier, the highly experienced French politician who led the first phase of Brexit negotiations.
What’s more, the European Commissioner in charge of trade is Ireland’s Phil Hogan, who brings his own deep knowledge of cross-border trade.
Stacked up behind them is the machine of the European Commission which, love it or hate it, has huge experience in framing trade deals.
The UK is up against a formidable team of negotiators, and Mr Barnier has already talked of it being unrealistic to sign a fully-formed deal by the end of 2020.
But there are plenty of others across Europe who think a deal of some kind can be reached, even if it isn’t the sort of deal that many really want.
Instead, as I first reported on Sky News a couple of months ago, the momentum is swinging towards a “pared-down” sort of agreement that would allow a basic flow of trade but would, at least in its first iteration, inevitably leave holes.
It would be the bare minimum required to establish some sort of trade agreement, but comes with a couple of big problems.
The first thing is whether it can be achieved in the time left. Despite the cheery confidence of some leaders arriving at the European Summit this week (“you can do an awful lot in 11 months,” smiled Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel), no deal of this sort has ever been signed off in such a short period of time.
The flip side is that a deal between the UK and the EU should be a lot more straightforward than one between, say, Europe and Canada.
You start from the position where both sides already share the same regulatory structures, and neither wants to diverge hugely from them.
You also have acceptance, on both sides, that it’s in nobody’s interest to rip-up existing agreements on, for instance, airplane travel or security information.
Multiple well-placed sources have told me that these things will be fiddly, but achievable, in some form, by the end of the year.
The sticking point will be something called Level Playing Field regulations – in other words, the requirement that the UK should align itself to regulations laid down by the EU.
The Europeans don’t want to back down, fearing that the UK will reduce its standards in order to obtain a competitive advantage.
That flexibility, though, is precisely the sort of thing that Brexiteers have desired from day one.
Compromise won’t come easily, but one model being considered is the idea of drawing a line in the sand now – and having both sides promising not to regress from present-day regulatory standards.
The British are enthusiastic about this; the Europeans much less so. That may be the key obstacle to getting even a “pared-down” agreement.
But a fully-fledged trade deal? Talk about that, and that’s when people start to shrug their shoulders, and whistle through their teeth.
These are complex deals that require huge scrutiny in every member state and, right now, few believe such an agreement can be reached by the end of the year.
The EU is already suggesting that it would like an extension, so talks could stretch on into 2021, or even 2022. Mr Johnson says that won’t happen; that the UK will leave, come what may, at the end of 2020.
But it’s worth noting that, even if the prime minister changed his mind and decided to extend trade talks beyond the end of next year, it can’t – in theory – be done at the last minute.
A request for an extension would require a change to the treaty, and would have to come before 1 July.
Most European deadlines are flexible, but rewriting a treaty would require plenty of time, and also goodwill from across the EU. And there are lots of countries where patience with the UK is running thin.
So if the government does decide to give itself more time to “Get Brexit Done”, it will have to make that call within the first half of the year.
For some of Mr Johnson’s supporters, that will surely feel like a backtrack. Whatever happens in the coming year, getting Brexit done won’t be easy.
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‘Fraught with danger’: Ex-MI6 officer behind Russia dossier warns about discussing sources | US News
Former intelligence officer Christopher Steele has warned about the danger of discussing sources.
It comes after a US investigation published details about people who it said contributed to a dossier that he compiled on alleged Russian links to Donald Trump’s election campaign.
The long-serving veteran of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) also hit back at the findings of the investigation by the US Department of Justice’s inspector general, which were released on Monday.
The top complaint was on claims in the report about a “primary sub-source” that was allegedly relied upon by Mr Steele in his compilation of the so-called Trump dossier.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz – who was looking into the origins of an inquiry by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) into the Russia suspicions – set out how the FBI had interviewed who they believed to be Mr Steele’s “primary sub-source” in January, March and May 2017.
His report claimed these interviews “raised significant questions about the reliability of the Steele election reporting”.
It continued: “During the FBI’s January interview, the primary sub-source told the FBI that he/she had not seen Steele’s reports until they became public that month, and that he/she made statements indicating that Steele misstated or exaggerated the Primary Sub-source’s statements in multiple sections of the reporting.”
Mr Steele and Orbis Business Intelligence – his private intelligence company – said in a statement that they were never given the opportunity to respond to these claims.
“Public discussions about a source are always fraught with danger for the source and the source’s sub-sources,” said the statement, released by their lawyers.
“Had Orbis been given the opportunity to respond in a private session, the statements by the ‘primary sub-source’ would be put in a very different light. The ‘primary sub-source’s’ debriefings by Orbis were meticulously documented and recorded”.
The former intelligence officer and his company also described how they had cooperated “voluntarily and fully” with Mr Horowitz’s during his inquiry.
“Orbis also provided the OIG (Office of the Inspector General) team unprecedented access to Orbis internal company documentation, including contemporaneous memoranda of meetings with the FBI,” they said in the statement.
They added that Mr Horowitz’s team did give Orbis redacted portions of a draft version of the report to review and offer comment on in advance of publication.
“Those portions contained numerous inaccurate and misleading statements as to which Orbis submitted suggested corrections and clarifications,” said the statement.
“Some of Orbis’s suggestions appear to be reflected in the final report.”
Mr Steele and his company then said that “at the twelfth hour late on Sunday evening” – they were told that previously redacted material had been unredacted and contained negative material about Mr Steele.
“Orbis was given no opportunity to review, much less comment, on this material,” they said.
“The result is that the OIG Report contains several serious errors and misstatements that require this response.”
In other criticisms of the report, Mr Steele and Orbis also denied a claim that he had been a Confidential Human Source (CHS) to the FBI during a relationship that started in 2010 and became a more formal contractual relationship between 2013 and 2016.
During that time Mr Steele, a Russia expert, provided information that helped the FBI in other Russia-linked investigations, including work on FIFA and athletics doping.
The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
New Zealand volcano: Risky mission under way to recover bodies from White Island | World News
New Zealand’s military and police have begun a high-risk operation to recover the bodies of at least eight people killed on White Island after a volcanic eruption on Monday.
Authorities have faced growing pressure from families of the victims and the local community to bring back those who died as soon as possible.
New Zealand Police had previously refused to go in due to safety risks, as experts warn the island remains highly volatile.
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