(JTA) — New York State reportedly will establish a hate crimes task force.
The task force, which will identify and investigate hate crimes and discriminatory practices, will be established using $1 million set aside in the new state budget passed earlier this month, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.
It will be made up of members of the New York State Police, who will work with the state Division of Human Rights, prosecutors and local school and law enforcement officials, the AP reported, citing the office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Following the vandalism at a Jewish cemetery in Rochester, New York, Cuomo said in a statement, “New York has zero tolerance for bias or discrimination of any kind, and we will always stand united in the face of anti-Semitism and divisiveness.”
In mid-February, a report said that hate crimes against Jews more than doubled in New York City since the start of the new year from the same period in 2016.
The city’s Police Department said 56 hate crimes were reported from Jan. 1 to Feb. 12, with 28 of the incidents targeting Jews, a sharp rise from 2016.
An “alt-right” Twitter troll has made a new Internet plug-in that replaces the term “white” with “Jew,” in an apparent effort to show that the media discriminates against white people.
In a video attached to his tweet, the troll identifying himself as “Uncle Chang” applies his plug-in to news like Salon, Alternet and the Huffington Post, generating headlines that include “The Jews Must Be Stopped” and “Could It Be Time To Deny The Jews The Franchise?”
“Uncle Chang,” whose Twitter profile includes a racist photo of Asian men, brags in the self-description section that he’s a contributor to InfoWars, the “alt-right” fake news site that has promoted conspiracy theories, including the one that Michelle Obama is secretly a man who murdered Joan Rivers. His profile includes a link to a personal Web site called “GetRiced.com.”
Facebook Inc Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg pledged on Tuesday that his company would do all it could to prevent postings of incidents such as Sunday’s fatal shooting in Cleveland, which was visible on the social media site for two hours.
Zuckerberg, speaking at Facebook’s annual conference for software developers, took time out of a keynote address about an augmented reality project to express sympathy to the friends and family of the shooting victim, Robert Godwin Sr.
The suspected shooter, Steve Stephens, fatally shot himself after a brief pursuit by Pennsylvania State Police officers on Tuesday, ending a two-day nationwide manhunt, police said.
For Facebook, the broadcast of the shooting death was the latest in a series of high-profile killings, assaults and other violent incidents to be shown either live or after the fact on the world’s largest social media network.
Facebook relies largely on its 1.9 billion users to report posts that violate its terms of service, and it employs thousands of workers to examine those reports.
In a statement on Monday, the company said it was launching a review of how objectionable material is reported and taken down.
(JTA) — Covering the White House Easter Egg Roll live, CNN reporter John Berman noted that Ivanka Trump was not in attendance. Maybe, he speculated, it was because she’s Jewish.
“I saw Tiffany Trump just there before. Not Ivanka or Jared Kushner. Of course, Ivanka Trump is Jewish,” he said during Monday’s festivities. “I don’t know if she’s taking part in the Easter egg roll on the south lawn or not.”
The Newsbusters website pointed out Berman’s comment Monday and criticized what it called his “bizarre conspiracy theory” for why Trump, President Donald Trump’s daughter, and husband Kushner were not there.
If Trump did skip out on the Easter Egg Roll for some Passover powder, it was clearly not out of any Jewish aversion to the Christian holiday. On Monday, she tweeted Easter greetings.
Happy Easter. Wishing you and your family a joyous and meaningful day! — Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) April 16, 2017
A Super PAC running advertisements against Georgia Democratic congressional candidate Jon Ossoff, including one tying him to Al Jazeera, has received most of its funding this year from a single so-called ‘dark money’ group.
The Congressional Leadership Fund, a Republican Super PAC with close ties to the House GOP leadership, has spent over $3 million on today’s special election for Georgia’s 6th congressional district. The group has targeted Jon Ossoff, a Democrat favored to win the 16-way race.
In one ad, CLF highlighted payments Ossoff’s film production company had received from Al Jazeera, the Qatari-owned media network. “What is he hiding?” the ad asks.
Yet CLF’s donors seem to be hiding something, too. In a tweet today, New York Times reporter Nick Confessore notes that “most of anti-Ossoff outside money being routed through a nonprofit that doesn’t disclose donors.”
That nonprofit is the American Action Network, a 501(c)(4) led by former U.S. Senator Norm Coleman. Since January, AAN has given $3.5 million to CLF, 80% of what CLF has raised in that period. AAN, as a 501(c)(4), is not required to disclose its donors.
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