CRIMSON TAZVINZWA – How I fled Zimbabwe And Am Safe For Now In The United Kingdom 20-plus Odd Years; Being British… Having To Pay for A VISA If I Were to Fly To Zim Today; It Doesn’t Matter At All, At Least For Me – God Forbid; Why I’ll Never Fly To America While Trump Is President”’ Crimson Tazvinzwa Story – How The British Keep Me Well and Safe … At Least For Now – Remembering Jamal Khashoggi – You ARE Not Alone Mate!

DR. KELLY, THE BRITISH NUCLEAR WEAPONS EXPERT & PHYSICIST DIED A MYSTERIOUS DEATH; IT MAY NOT HAVE BEEN MYSTERIOUS AT ALL … HE DIED!!!

David Kelly 2000s.jpg
Screenshot of David Kelly, Welsh scientist and authority on biological warfare

|CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA! NO!|“No time to say Good Bye to your lot in the villages including your venerable grandfather Mr. HLUPO Nyathi MAKONI (The Buffalo) in 2000! there are many of them still lying around … the Nyathis I mean. He is gone now. God bless His Soul. The man who sold one of the ‘best and fattest oxen’ in the village so I went to school; (but for me to become a journalist instead.  Aah!’. Mum: Modesta Makoni Nyathi (Buffalo)Tazvinzwa went to BE with the Lord 7 July 2018 – YOU DIED in some hospital in Botswana for Zimbabwe has NO CREDIBLE left.

Image result for crimson tazvinzwa
Crimson Tazvinzwa

You’re not alone though CRIMSON; … You have not been back to Zimbabwe since then; people say ‘You’re now on British Passport’ – it’s OK – I hope you now see how it’s not OK.

“Just go!, My uncle Joseph Makoni Nyathi whom I had not seen for ages (20- years plus then …then) said. He was trembling so was I. That was it! That was at Harare Road Port! “Africa Unit Square” in Harare – The Freedom Corner. Jan Von Ovangelle, Hilde (vana), Julliet Masama and Chritospher Muchabayiwa – Thomas mapfumo’ bass guitarist);  were all there but no mbiras/xylophones or drums aah boys and girls –  to see me off to oblivion. Except it never had to be!

Getting on a connecting coach at Harare Road Port for Johannesburg South Africa and then  connecting flight to Zurich, Switzerland. Where I was met by Nathalie Oestreicher, Kaspar Scheidegger and the whole shebang! Kaspar’s mum, I don;t remember the name. Oh dear! She paid 160.000 fnaks for my indemnity. scary! She didi>

For then I couldn’t fly straight from Harare. Imagine! iT WOULD HAVE BEEN OBVIOUS. And easily caught. At that … Poor.

It was illegal for the likes of me.

That would have been fatal.

I packed what I could and burnt what I could at 78 Lomagundi Road, Malborough; Harare. Jan Ovangelle and Julliet Masama my Belgian housemates would bear wetness to this.Map of A1, Harare, Zimbabwe Most importantly my ‘documents’. Nobody asked me to; but I thought it was the most importnat thing to do – IDENTITY. I made it to Suisse unscathed; escaped with a a few bumps on my head and face – historical, of course; that’s another story for another month … ; which even up to now in my naivety would not call for torcher – few ‘bumps on my head’ incurred doing what I love doing –  reading, listening, observing, talking to real people, listening and writing, and commenting – not even writing news as it were and as it happens; imagine how would that have been – news synonymous with event/occurrence or as it happens; more controversial – spend most of the time in court than necessary; than being in the field – documentary is my hiding spot. Forget about my childhood dream of ‘becoming a bus driver or an assistant bus driver. My uncle always addressed me as ‘Teacher’ even before I went to school – his argument: ‘I explained things too much … in graphic details; that was the thing for me … never became a DRIVER anyway which ends well; here I am, a journalist and trainer; whom at that most people struggle to understand; let alone fathom – me neither; don’t understand myself; there were just scraps!

Journalism is DIFFICULT for you’re an enemy of ALL including your FAMILY. Surely it shouldn’t be!

Let me say now and for all. If what happened to Washington Post Journalist Jamal happens to me … that would be the end of the world for such things don’t happen in England. Magna Carta!

I have been in my somnambulism … not at all!

Saudi prince denies Saudi Washington Post journalist murder allegations as Turkish report claims writer sent audio recording of his final moments via an Apple Watch

saudi journo

  • Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz has condemned stories about the Saudi Arabian government regarding a missing Washington Post journalist
  • The Minister of Interior said the claims are ‘lies and baseless allegations against the government of the Kingdom’
  • Middle Eastern royal added that they are working together with their ‘brothers’ in Turkey to find out what happened to Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi 
  • Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government, went missing October 2 after entering a Saudi consulate in Turkey
  • Turkish government reportedly told US officials it has audio proof that he was killed and dismembered at the consulate in Istanbul 

|Mailonline|AIWA!no!AIWA!no!|Saudi Arabia is keen to find out the whole truth about what happened to Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi according to a statement from the country’s Minister of Interior.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz holds the position and spoke on behalf of his kingdom in a statement released late Friday night.

After the country had already labelled accusations the 59-year-old man was tortured, killed then dismembered October 2 for criticizing his homeland as ‘baseless’, Abdulaziz affirmed the idea through the Saudi Press Agency.

Minister of Interior Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz denied Jamal Khashoggi was murdered at the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, Turkey October 2
Minister of Interior Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz denied Jamal Khashoggi was murdered at the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, Turkey October 2
The country labeled accusations the 59-year-old man was tortured, killed then dismembered for speaking out as 'lies and baseless allegations against the government of the Kingdom'
The country labeled accusations the 59-year-old man was tortured, killed then dismembered for speaking out as ‘lies and baseless allegations against the government of the Kingdom’

The statement mentioned the ‘condemnation and denunciation of the false accusations circulated in some media on the Saudi government and people.

Abdulaziz specifically addressed claims that officials had been told to kill Khashoggi, who hasn’t been seen since entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

‘He also stressed that what has been circulating about orders to kill him are lies and baseless allegations against the government of the Kingdom, which is committed to its principles, rules and traditions and is in compliance with international laws and conventions,’ the statement went on.

The Minister of Interior also told the world that the country was keen to team up with the Turkish authorities to get to the bottom of what has happened to Khashoggi.

‘He praised the cooperation with the brothers in Turkey through the Joint Investigation Commission and other official channels, stressing the importance of the role of the media in the transfer of facts and not to affect the paths of investigation and judicial proceedings,’ the message sent out to media read. ‘He also stressed the Kingdom’s keenness on the interest of its citizens at home and abroad and its keenness in particular to clarify the whole truth about the disappearance of the citizen Jamal Khashoggi.’

Protests took place outside the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington DC but KSA mentioned the 'condemnation and denunciation of the false accusations circulated in some media'
Protests took place outside the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington DC but KSA mentioned the ‘condemnation and denunciation of the false accusations circulated in some media’
The statement about Khashoggi (pictured) said Saudi Arabia is 'committed to its principles, rules and traditions and is in compliance with international laws and conventions'
statement about Khashoggi (pictured) said Saudi Arabia is ‘committed to its principles, rules and traditions and is in compliance with international laws and conventions’
A Turkish newspaper said the authorities had obtained information from Khashoggi's watch
A Turkish newspaper said the authorities had obtained information from Khashoggi’s

The statement came as a report from a Turkish newspaper claimed investigators had obtain evidence about what happened to the journalist after he send recordings from his Apple Watch.

Pro-government publication Sabat reported that the conversation was sent to his iCloud and the phone his fiancée Hatice Cengiz was holding for him outside.

CNN said the newspaper added security guards used his fingerprint to delete some evidence but not was wiped.

However it raises questions as Apple Watch does not use fingerprint technology to unlock the device. While the Apple Watch 3 with Cellular is the only version that can be used without close connectivity with an iPhone, his mobile was with his partner outside.

She had previously said Khashoggi had another cell phone inside the building however.

BBC reported that Khashoggi had told a journalist there that he didn’t think he’d ever be able to go home after hearing stories of people being punished for speaking out.

‘When I hear of an arrest of a friend who did nothing… makes me feel I shouldn’t go,’ Khashoggi said off-air. ‘That friend of mine… maybe he was talking critically over something at a dinner party. That’s what we are becoming in Saudi Arabia, we are not used to that, we never experienced [this].’

Mr Khashoggi had been living in self-imposed exile in the United States since last year.

US President Donald Trump has said he will speak to Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (pictured right) about the disappearance of the Saudi writer and US resident

Trump to ask Saudi King about missing journalist

While Donald Trump had been reluctant to risk the country not investing up to $110billion in the United States, on Friday he said the US taking the ‘terrible situation’ seriously.

The president said he will speak to Saudi Arabia‘s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud about the disappearance of Saudi writer and US resident.

The American leader spoke about the situation to reporters in Ohio ahead of his campaign rally and revealed he’ll be getting on the phone to hold a conversation with the Middle Eastern royal.

‘We’re going to find out what happened with respect to the terrible situation in Turkey having to do with Saudi Arabia and the reporter,’ he said. 

Trump, 72, said that the United States was one of many countries ‘looking very hard and fast’ to get to the bottom the story after Khashoggi vanished when he entered the building to get documents for his upcoming wedding, but his wife-to-be never saw him again.

A delegation from Saudi Arabia has now arrived in Turkey as part of an investigation into his disappearance, Turkey’s state-run news agency Anadolu said.

But US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin revealed he is still ‘planning’ on going to a major investment conference in Saudi Arabia despite man CEOs and journalists pulling out over concern for the Khashoggi story.

Former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia thinks it’s bad news for America’s relationship with the kingdom that the Trumps visited in May 2017.

‘I think this is the worst moment in US/Saudi relations since 9/11,’ Robert Jordan told MSNBC, reports Mediaite.

Jordan added that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 33, feels like he can do whatever he wants and get away with it.

 

Saudi Arabia´s consulate in Istanbul is under scrutiny after Turkish officials said they had audio recordings to prove what happened to Khashoggi

The Washington Post reported that a 15-man security team (not pictured) at Saudi Arabia´s consulate in Istanbul moved the body out of the building after killing the journalist
The Washington Post reported that a 15-man security team (not pictured) at Saudi Arabia´s consulate in Istanbul moved the body out of the building after killing the journalist

Trump Information-sphere – Debunking with data; Insights From Fact-checkers Around The World

CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA!NO!|EJC|Ever wondered if a politician’s claims really add up? Or perhaps you read a news story which seemed a little fishy? Armed with data, fact-checking organisations across the globe work tirelessly to help separate these facts from fiction, and any misnomers in-between.

To find out more about debunking with data, European Journalism Centre (EJC) gave subscribers to their data newsletter access to a global group of fact-checkers for an exclusive; “Ask Me Anything“.

How about starting with the most recent one; US President Trump’s UN LIE of the ‘century and centuries’ to come;  “In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country,” line which drove the listeners into murmurs and laughter – mockery.2018-09-26

The world just laughed out loud at Donald Trump. That day, during the president’s address to the United Nations General Assembly, the audience laughed when Trump boasted that “my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.”

As soon as the words left Trump’s mouth, a ripple of laughter traveled through the crowd and grew as Trump reacted to the guffaws

An unnecessary and embarrassing spectacle at that; if you ask me. Of course the humongous CLAIM was debunked as quickly as it was uttered; by the laughter of the audience and the world; also later on; hours later if I remember correctly, by Donald Trump himself;  

On the one hand, that is a pretty even-keeled response from someone as tantrum-prone as Trump.

Reader question: Can you share some good examples or best cases where data has been successfully used for fact-checking?

Anim van Wyk, Chief Editor, Africa CheckGood data aids good fact-checking, which need to point out exactly what the data can and can’t tell you. The more limitations, the less certain the answer becomes.

For example, it’s easy to use data from the World Health Organization’s Global Ambient Air Quality database to rank cities according to their pollution levels. But the fine print shows that these entries aren’t comparable. This is due to differences in the methods and quality of measurements – and the fact that some cities suspected to be the most polluted don’t report data to the WHO.

Samar Halarnkar, Editor, Factchecker.in: Data are [we never use the singular!] the foundation of fact-checking.

One example: The Indian telecommunications minister announced that within a year of taking charge, his administration ensured that the government-run telecoms behemoth, BSNL, had turned a operating profit, after seven years of losses, and had added subscribers. After a meticulous examination of data–including right-to-information requests–we found that operating profits did not mean the company had turned profitable; indeed net losses had increased, and the minister had, conveniently, not mentioned that more subscribers left than were added.

After a new right-wing government took over in 2014, there were many reports of lynchings, especially of minorities, based on violence related to cows, considered holy by many Hindus. The ruling party and its adherents insisted these were isolated incidents, were never reported before and were not related to the extreme version on Hinduism that they promoted. A debate raged nationwide, poisoning politics and society, made worse by the absence of data–national crime records did not register crimes related to bovines. At Factchecker.in, we created a database of each such crime from 2010 onwards, so that crime patterns could be compared with those after 2014, when the new government took office. Our database–now widely quoted in India and abroad–clearly shows that the overwhelming majority of the victims of such lynchings are minorities, in particular Muslims, and most violence has occurred in states run by India’s ruling party.

Image: Factchecker.in’s interactive database of cow-related violence in India.

Matt Martino, Online Editor, RMIT ABC Fact Check: Politicians in Australia often like to speak about records, both when attacking opponents and spruiking their achievements. A famous example in our unit was when the ruling Coalition Foreign Minister said that when the Opposition Labor Party were last in government, they bequeathed the “worst set of financial accounts” in Australia’s history to their incoming government. This particular fact-check took several months of work sourcing data from the history books on debt and deficit. We were able to find data on federal government surpluses and deficits, plus gross debt, stretching back to 1901, and on net debt handed over to incoming governments back to the 1970s. It’s a great example of where a claimant has used the raw number in place of a percentage, which puts the figure in historical context. In this case, experts told us that these figures must be expressed as a percentage of GDP to enable historical comparisons. Ultimately, we found that the Foreign Minister’s claim was wrong, as there were far larger (as a percentage of GDP) inherited deficits recorded during WWII, far larger gross debt inherited in the same period, and far larger net debt bequeathed to a government during the 1990s.

Dinda Purnamasari, Senior Researcher, Tirto.id: Data is the soul of fact-checking. But not just data, more importantly, the context of data itself is what makes our fact-check more reliable.

First, on 2 May 2017, Jake Van Der Kamp, an economist, shared an opinion entitled “Sorry President Widodo, GDP rankings are economists’ equivalent of fake news”. At that time, Kamp quoted a statement from President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) that Indonesia’s economic growth was third in the world, after India and China.

‘GDP is an attempt to emulate the corporate world by putting money numbers on performance but… with GDP you get no equivalents of the corporate balance sheet or profit and loss account and no notes to the accounts’“Indonesia’s economic growth is the third in the world, after India and China,” said Indonesian president Joko Widodo.

Third in the world, is it? What world is that? Within Asia alone I count 13 countries with higher reported economic growth rates than Indonesia’s latest 5.02 per cent.

They are India (7.5), Laos (7.4), Myanmar (7.3), Cambodia (7.2), Bangladesh (7.1), Philippines (6.9), China (6.7) Vietnam (6.2), Pakistan (5.7), Mongolia (5.5), Palau (5.5), Timor-Leste (5.5) and Papua New Guinea (5.4).

But of course President Widodo’s Indonesia is a very populous country with 261 million people. We cannot really compare it with pipsqueak places like Timor or Palau. Thus let’s draw the line at the 200 million people or more.

This gives us six countries across the world and, in terms of economic growth, Indonesia is in the bottom half of these six behind India, China and Pakistan. Try it at a cut-off of 100 million people or more and you still get no luck. Bottom half again.

Way to go, Joko. Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story. We’ll make a journalist of you yet.

 

After this opinion became an issue in Indonesia, Tirto.id decided to verify the data that had been used by Jokowi. We looked at data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and based on that we concluded that Indonesia was not in the third position using general criteria, but instead ranks third among BRICS and high populated countries.

Image: A graph from tirto.id’s fact-check, showing that Indonesia is ranked third out of the BRICS countries.

Second, in early August 2018, the Vice Governor claimed that their policy of odd-even traffic limitation had reduced air pollution in Jakarta. His statement became an issue, and even some media quoted his data. We verified the data using measurements from the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (Badan Meteorologi, Klimatologi, dan Geofisika – BMKG) and the US Embassy. Based on those, his statement was incorrect. The average of air pollution in Jakarta was still high and did not appear to be decreasing.

Tania Roettger, Head of Fact-Checking Team, Correctiv/EchtJetzt: Fact-checking only works for statements of fact, not opinions. So ideally there is data available to verify claims. We regularly use statistics about topics like crime, HIV-rates or jobs. If there are statistics on a topic, we will consult them. Of course, statistics differ in quality depending on the topic and who gathers the data.

Earlier this year, we debunked the claim that refugees sent 4.2 Billion Euros to their home countries in 2016. Data from the German federal bank showed that the 4.2 Billion Euros in remittances actually came from all migrants working in Germany for more than a year, not specifically from refugees. Most of the money, 3.4 Billion Euros, went to European countries, followed by Asia (491 Million) and Africa (177 Million).

Image: Correctiv/EchtJetzt rated the statement as four on their seven point rating scale.

Reader question: Have you seen examples where the same data has been manipulated to support both sides of an argument? If so, how do you ensure that your way of looking at the data isn’t biased?

Anim van Wyk: At Africa Check, we’re fond of the quip that some people use statistics “as a drunken man uses lamp posts – for support rather than illumination”. Depending on what you want to prove, you can cherry-pick data which supports your argument.

An example is different stances on racial transformation in South Africa, or the lack thereof. A member of a leftist political party said in 2015 that  “whites are only 10% of the economically active population but occupy more than 60% of the top management positions.” The head of the Free Market Foundation, a liberal think-tank, then wrote: “Blacks in top management… doubled.”

Both were right – but by presenting only a specific slice of the same data source to support their argument.

Again, you need to find out what the data cannot tell you and try to triangulate by using different data sources.

Image: Africa Check’s ‘mostly correct’ verdict means that a claim contains elements of truth but is either not entirely accurate, according to the best evidence publicly available at the time, or needs clarification.

Matt Martino: A great example of this was the debate over “cuts” and “savings” to health and education during the early days of the Abbott Coalition government in Australia. The government argued that they were making a “saving” on health and education by reducing the amount spent on what the previous Labor government had budgeted to spend. Labor, now in opposition, argued that this was in fact a cut. We investigated the figures and found that the Coalition was still spending above inflation so it couldn’t be called a cut, but the projections the Coalition had made about savings were over such a long period of time that it was difficult to say whether they would come to pass. In the end we called the debate “hot air”.

How do we make sure we’re looking at the data the right way? We always rely on several experts in the field to guide our analysis and tell us the right way to interpret the data. We’re not experts in any of the topics we explore, whilst academics can spend their entire careers researching a single subject, so their advice is invaluable.

Dinda Purnamasari: In our experience, many use the right data, but the context is incorrect. Then, the data becomes incredible.

For example, reports that PT Telkom (state-owned telecommunication company in Indonesia) had provided Corporate Social Responsibility funds of around IDR 100 million to a Mosque and, in comparison, IDR 3.5 billion to a church.

We found that the numbers (IDR100 million and IDR3.5 billion) were right, but the purpose of the funding was incorrect. The 100 million was granted by PT Telkom in 2016 to pay the debt from a mosque renovation process. On the other hand, 3.5 billion was granted to renovate the old church, which also became a cultural heritage site in Nusa Tenggara Barat in 2017.

In this case, again, the context of data becomes an important thing in fact-checking. We must understand the methodology and how the data was gathered or estimated, even by double-checking on the ground, if needed.

Tania Roettger: Crime-data is a good example. In 2017 crime rates in Germany went down. But the statistic only shows the crimes that have been reported to the police. This has lead some politicians to claim that crime has not actually gone down and that the statistics are “fake news“.

When the meaning of data is debated, we consult independent experts to collect arguments about how the data can or should be interpreted. Or we look at alternative sources, for example the surveys some German states conduct with people about the crimes they experienced but did not report. (However, the validity of these surveys is disputed.)

Samar Halarnkar: In this era of fake news, data are often used to reinforce biases.

For instance, there was much self congratulation when the government claimed that India’s forests grew by 6,779 sq km over the two years to 2017. We found that this was not wrong because that is what the satellite imagery revealed. But what it did not reveal was that these new “forests” included forests converted to commercial plantations, as well as degraded and fragmented forests, and that the health of these forests was being gauged by satellite imagery with inadequate resolution. Indeed, numerous studies had recorded a steady degradation of forests over nearly a century.

Image: Factchecker.in found that this map of forest coverage was not what it seemed. Credit: India’s state of forest report (ISFR) 2017.

Indian remote-sensing satellites produce images with a resolution of 23.5 metres per pixel, which is too coarse to unequivocally identify small-scale deforestation and cannot distinguish between old-growth forests and plantations. To make that distinction, India needs imagery with resolution of 5.8 m per pixel.

So, all data are not always what they appear. They need to be verified and cross-checked, either with studies, other databases or ground reporting.

Reader question: How do you fact-check stories or statements when data on an issue isn’t available?

Anim van Wyk: It’s really unsatisfactory to use our “unproven” verdict, but sometimes the evidence publicly available at the time “neither proves nor disproves a statement”, as we define this rating. Still, the absence of data doesn’t mean anything goes in making statements of fact about a topic. We then point out what is known and what isn’t.

Samar Halarnkar: If data are not available–or independently verified data are not available–there is only one substitute: Verification through old-fashioned, shoe-leather reporting.

For instance, India’s Prime Minister once claimed that his government had built 425,000 toilets within a year. With no independent verification, this claim was hard to dispute. Obviously, it was impossible to verify that 425,000 new toilets had indeed been built in all of India’s schools. But after sending reporters to conduct random verifications in eight Indian states, it quickly became apparent that the Prime Minister’s claim was–to put it plainly–a lie.

Matt Martino: RMIT ABC Fact Check tests the veracity of claims made by politicians and public figures in Australia. If someone is making a claim to influence policy, our position is that they should have good evidence to back it up. Lack of evidence is no excuse so we try and persevere regardless.

Sure, this often leads to less-exciting verdicts, such as “unverifiable” or “too soon to know” but the verdict is not the be-all-and-end-all of a fact-check. In these situations, we explore what data is out there; we consult experts in the field for their opinion, and we present it to the audience as best we can so they can see how we’ve come to our decision.

Video: More detail on how RMIT ABC Fact Check finds and checks claims.

Dinda Purnamasari: If the data isn’t available, we will place it as unproven, though this flag is unsatisfactory. But, before we conclude the issue as unproven, we still explain the verification steps that we undertook. This is because we want citizens to understand that, when tirto.id places a claims as unproven, it means we could not find the credible source of the information.

As an example, one of our politicians stated that the LRT development cost for 1 KM was USD 8 billion. After we checked reliable and credible sources, and we couldn’t find the information, then we concluded the issue as unproven.

Tania Roettger: “Knife crime on the rise“ is a recent story, but the federal crime statistics do not list crimes committed with knives as a special category. Some states in Germany do, but among them, they differ in what they count as knife crime. That definitely does not make our work easier.

In cases like this, we source as much information for a claim as is available. If it turns out the material is not sufficient to verify or debunk the claim, we list what is known and clearly state what is missing. If there is no convincing tendency we give the rating “unproven”. But it is important to keep in mind that those making a claim also carry a burden of proof – if one makes a statement of fact, it needs to be based on evidence. This is one of the things we’re trying to show with our work.

Reader question: Are there any established guidelines for determining the reliability of a data source? How does your organisation determine which data is appropriate to use?

Samar Halarnkar: We do not have established guidelines. In general, we consider if the data source is reliable. Sometimes, it might not entirely reliable; for example, a government source, in which case we use the data but cross check with experts, independent studies and/or our own checks. Some public databases are largely reliable: for instance, government-run databases on health, farming and education. We do not consider those data that have previously proven to be compromised or are doubtful.

Matt Martino: We don’t have any hard rules around it, but generally the source should be a non-partisan organisation. In Australia, we rely heavily on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which is a government organisation which has a reputation for providing objective data on a range of issues. This is an example of a good source.

When considering a source, it’s always pertinent to ask: “what is their agenda?” If their motivations for providing data might influence the data in a partisan way, it’s best to leave it alone. As always, it’s a good idea to consult experts in the field on what is the best source to use in verifying a claim.

Dinda Purnamasari: Since we already know that every data has their own nature, such as context, methodology, etc, we have established a standard for the secondary data that is used. Our first level of the source comes from the Government Statistic Bureau, Ministry/Local Government, company financial reports and the stock exchange. As a second layer, we use world organisations, verified and credible journals, consultants and research companies, as well the national or high reputation news agencies. Although, we have this standard, we also cross-check information by consulting with experts in the field, so that we use the best sources.

Tania Roettger: When we’re investigating a claim, one task is to understand what exactly a given piece of data is able to tell. We establish how and why it was collected, what it contains and it excludes. Usually we note the shortcomings of a statistic in the article. Whenever we are uncertain about the evidence we have gathered, we discuss the issue among our team.

Anim van Wyk: There’s no way round studying the methodology by which the data is collected. This must then be discussed with experts to get their input. And all data sources, even those considered reliable, have limitations, which has to be highlighted.

Reader question: What do you think about the potential of automated fact-checking?

Samar Halarnkar: I am sure it has immense potential, but this requires coding expertise that we do not currently have.

Tania Roettger: There are several ways in which automation could help the fact-checking process: extracting fact-checkable claims from speeches or sourcing relevant statistics and documents from a data-pool, for example. But so far we have not experienced or heard of a tool that would do our work for us.

Image: An overview of out automation could aid fact-checking from Understanding the promise and limits of automated fact-checking, by Lucas Graves.

Matt Martino: It’s an interesting area, but one which is currently undercooked. Parsing language is a big part of what we do at Fact Check, and machines are not yet capable of interpreting a great deal of the nuance in language. That being said, anything that allows greater access to the facts in a debate for audiences would be a good thing.

One area where there is already enormous potential is in searching for and identifying potential claims to check and key data on government website such as Hansard and budget papers.

I think that, like a lot of AI, there’s a long way to go, and we’ll be watching this space intently.

Anim van Wyk: The tools I’ve seen are helpful in monitoring important sources for claims to fact-check, such as transcripts from parliament. But I’m quite hesitant about fact-checks without any human intervention as nuance plays such a big role. The potential of getting it completely wrong when you are the one claiming to be correcting claims is not worth the potential credibility loss, in my opinion.

Dinda Purnamasari: It is very interesting, and could make the fact-checker’s work easier. But, for us, it is still long way to go. But, more importantly, to provide the context to data that I am sure is still hard to do by machine.

Reader Question: What are some of your go-to data tools?

Anim van Wyk: You’t can beat a good old spreadsheet. For illustration purposes, we keep it simple by using Datawrapper.

Samar Halarnkar: We use Tabula for extracting tables from PDFs. For analysis, we depend on Excel/Google Sheets and Tableau depending on the size and type of the dataset. For visualisation, we work primarily with Google Sheets, Datawrapper, Infogram and Tableau. We also use Google My Maps and CartoDB for some maps.

Matt Martino: We use Excel or Google spreadsheets for simple analyses; for more complex ones I use R Studio, which is more powerful and can handle much larger datasets. It requires coding knowledge, but the training is well worth it.

In terms of visualisation, we’ve tried many different platforms throughout the years, but Tableau Public has emerged as our go-to. Its abilities in formatting, design, calculation and visualisation are pretty much unrivalled in my opinion, and we’ve been able to create really interesting and rich visualisations using the platform, like those seen here and here.

Dinda Purnamasari: For analysis, we use excel, SPSS, and other statistical tools. It really depends on the purpose, size and type of our data and analysis. For visualisation, we use adobe illustrator, datawrapper, etc.

Want to participate in future ask me anythings? Sign up to the European Journalism Centre’s data newsletter here.

BRITISH IMMIGRATION Detention Centres; sick, tortured immigrants locked up for months …

Revealed – sick, tortured immigrants locked up for months in Britain – investigation suggests hundreds of vulnerable people are detained indefinitely;  and 

Detainees in an immigration detention centre
The survey found almost half the detainees had not committed a crime but the average detainee had been imprisoned for four months. Photograph: The Guardian

|AIWA! NO!|An unprecedented snapshot of migrants held in British detention centres found more than half of the sample were either suicidal, seriously ill or victims of torture, a Guardian investigation has established.

The survey of almost 200 detainees held in seven deportation centres in England as of 31 August showed almost 56% were defined as an “adult at risk”. Such individuals are only supposed to be detained in extreme cases, suggesting that Home Office guidelines on detention have been breached.

The survey – conducted in association with 11 law firms and charities that work with those facing deportation – also found that a third had dependent children in the UK, and 84% had not been told when they would be deported – implying open-ended incarceration.

Almost half the detainees had not committed a crime, but the average detainee in the sample had been imprisoned for four months. The majority had lived in the UK for five years or more and some had been in the country for more than 20 years.

The sample amounts to 8% of all those held in detention at the time of survey, according to the most recent Home Office figures. A Home Office spokesperson insisted detention was “an important part of the immigration system”, but said that it must be “fair, dignified and protect the most vulnerable”, adding that further improvements could still be made to the system.

While it is not sufficiently scientific to be extrapolated across the entire removal population, the survey suggests many hundreds of extremely vulnerable people are being held indefinitely, in one of the most severe manifestations of the Conservatives’ “hostile environment” policy.

https://interactive.guim.co.uk/uploader/embed/2018/09/deportation_centres/giv-3902kLLugVLHtE4f/

Roland Adjovi a member of the UN Office of the Human Rights Commissioner’s arbitrary detention working group, said that states must ensure that detention ‘is truly a measure of last resort’

“Detention in the context of migration must be a measure of last resort,” he said. “Such detention can never be of unlimited duration and the national legislation must clearly prescribe the maximum permitted duration of detention.”

The former prisons and probation ombudsman Stephen Shaw, who has conducted two comprehensive reviews for the government into immigration detention, added: “Although the overall use of detention has fallen by one third in the last three years, far too many people are still being detained for long periods when there is no realistic prospect of their removal from the UK.”

The shadow home secretary, Diane Abbott, said: “This snapshot is truly shocking, but not entirely surprising.

“There have been repeated assurances that vulnerable people, victims of trafficking and children would not been detained. But this investigation shows that those assurances are worthless. People are even being detained even though there is no instruction for their removal. This is a scandalously inhumane and unjustifiable system.”

The government detains just over 25,000 people every year pending deportation, at an annual cost of £108m. The practice of indefinite incarceration has been criticised by high court judges, local authorities, parliamentary committees and the UN.

More than half of all detainees are in any case ultimately released back into British society, not deported. Some have taken legal action over their imprisonment. The Home Office’s latest annual report acknowledges that government has paid out £3m to 118 people unlawfully detained in the 2017/18 financial year.

The UK is the only country in Europe to detain people without a time limit. It was Guardian revelations about government’s removal targets which forced Amber Rudd to resign as home secretary in April. Detention centres are instrumental to that policy.

In July, the new home secretary, Sajid Javid, promised to make changes to immigration detention. But the Guardian investigation revealed very little had changed and many vulnerable people were still being detained.

Eleven law firms and charities entered anonymised data on 188 people to build a snapshot of people in deportation centres on 31 August. The data included how long they were held, whether they were considered an adult at risk and whether they had been told when they would be deported.

The survey found:

  • Children were held in adult detention centres, while 30% of detainees had dependent children in the UK.
  • More than half were defined as an adult at risk due to being victims of torture, having suicidal thoughts or being unwell.
  • While the government claims detainees are held briefly before being deported, 84% had not been given removal directions.
  • Detention ranged from under five days to nearly three years, with a median of four months, despite Home Office guidance that it should be used sparingly and for the shortest period necessary.
  • Detainees came from 56 countries, most commonly Nigeria and Algeria.

An adult at risk should be given special protection because they are particularly vulnerable. They should not usually be imprisoned, though they can be if the Home Office believes they pose a risk to the public or have a history of non-compliance with immigration law.

Of those represented in the Guardian survey, 27% had been tortured, 24% had serious health conditions and 4% were at risk of suicide.

https://interactive.guim.co.uk/charts/embed/oct/2018-10-08T13:48:54/embed.html

The survey found just over half of detainees had served a prison sentence.

Alieu, a refugee from Gambia who was tortured in his home country, says that seven years after being detained in Harmondsworth immigration removal centre, near Heathrow, he is still suffering trauma.

“I kept asking the Home Office: ‘Am I a criminal, am I a prisoner?’ I was locked up in a very small space and was too scared to sleep. I’m still scared of people in uniform. The trauma from being locked up in detention after I’d already experienced torture will stay with me for the rest of my life.”

https://interactive.guim.co.uk/charts/embed/oct/2018-10-08T13:44:49/embed.html

The investigation also uncovered multiple cases of children being held in the adult estate, despite this being banned in all but exceptional circumstances. Almost a third of adult detainees had dependent children in the UK, prompting concerns their removal would lead to families being separated.

Bail for Immigration Detainees, a charity that assists with detainees’ bail applications, condemned such separations, saying it causes children extreme distress.

“Many of our clients’ children have lost weight, suffered from recurring nightmares and experienced insomnia during their parents’ enforced absence,” said Celia Clarke, director of BID.

Kate Allen, director of Amnesty International UK, deplored the fact that the vast majority of detainees face open-ended imprisonment, adding: “That lack of an end date is causing serious harm, not only to those detained but also to their loved ones.”

Migration Watch, which monitors migration into the UK and has called for the detention estate to be expanded, said: “If people are here legally and they are being detained that’s a serious flaw in the system. It goes without saying that people who are here legally should not be detained.”

James Price, campaign manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance expressed concern about the cost of detention: “Detention should only be used when there is a high chance of returning the individual in a short space of time, because a bureaucratic and lengthy wait is bad for the welfare of those detained, as well as costing taxpayers and meaning less money for essential services.”

The Home Office spokesman said: “We have made significant improvements to our approach in recent years, but it is clear we can go further.

“The home secretary has made clear that he is committed to going further and faster to explore alternatives to detention, increase transparency around immigration detention, further improve the support available for vulnerable detainees and initiate a new drive on detainee dignity.”

The methodology

The Guardian sent a series of questions to 15 organisations who work with detainees – law firms with Home Office contracts to represent detainees and specialist NGOs. We received responses from 11.

Our partner organisations provided anonymised data about a series of key metrics, including age, length of residence and family ties in the UK, length of detention and specific vulnerabilities.

We asked them to enter data about their entire client list on a single day, 31 August, but some did not have the resources to capture every detainee on their books.

After excluding a handful of potential double counts where an NGO and a law firm may have been working with the same detainee, we were left with 188 unique responses.

We then calculated the proportion of the group with certain characteristics, such as suicidal tendencies, dependent children and long-term residency.

The data should be treated as a snapshot and not as a sample representative of the whole population in immigration detention. Many detainees never have contact with any legal representative or NGO, and will not have been captured in our sample.

 In the UK, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or emailjo@samaritans.org. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international suicide helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.

©The Guardian

AFRICA SIERRA LEONE Cancels China-Funded Mamamah Airport

Sierra Leone cancels China-funded Mamamah airport outside capital Free Town- a move that comes at a time when African leaders are waking-up from their deep slumber; beginning to question their ‘Look Far East-CHINA’ political dissertations/policies – tottering towards China’s ‘neo-imperialisation‘ of Africa through shameless debt traps – mega white elephant projects

Former Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands during a signing ceremony in Beijing's Great Hall of the People on December 1, 2016.
Image copyrightGETTY IMAGESImage captionFormer Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma (left) stepped down from power in April

|BBC|AIWA! NO!|Sierra Leone has cancelled a $400m (£304m) Chinese-funded project to build a new airport outside the capital Freetown.

Former President Ernest Bai Koroma signed the loan agreement with China before he lost elections in March.

At the time, the World Bank and the IMF warned that the project would impose a heavy debt burden.

The decision comes amid concern that many African countries risk defaulting on their debts to China.

Aviation Minister Kabineh Kallon told the BBC that the project, which was due to have been completed in 2022, wasn’t necessary and its current international airport would be renovated instead.

Image result for africa chinese debt
China’s set to have invested $60bn in Africa at the end of 2018

He said the current president, Julius Maada Bio, “didn’t see any need for Mamamah [the proposed airport]” and was considering building a bridge from the capital to Lungi airport – the only international airport in the country. Currently passengers need to get a boat or helicopter to reach Freetown.

Mr Kallon said he did not know whether the cancelled contract would lead to financial implications, and Sierra Leone remained on good terms with China.

“As [a] sovereign state, I do have the right to take the best decision for the country,” he told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme.

Chart showing growth of China's loans to African governments

China is now the single largest bilateral financier of infrastructure in Africa – surpassing the African Development Bank (ADB), the European Commission, the European Investment Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank and the Group of eight (G8) countries combined.

Critics say China is luring countries into debt traps by lending them money for massive infrastructure projects.

In August, 16 American senators voiced their concern about “predatory Chinese infrastructure lending” in a letter to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Zambia’s government has had to publicly deny reports China could seize some of its parastatal companies if it defaulted on loan repayments.

But China has denied claims that it is leading countries into a debt trap.

“If we take a closer look at these African countries that are heavily in debt, China is not their main creditor,” China’s special envoy for Africa, Xu Jinghu, told a news conference in September, Reuters reports.

“It’s senseless and baseless to shift the blame onto China for debt problems.”

Some Africans are also wary of the high levels of debt being built up and say the costs of some projects have been inflated by corruption, while others welcome China’s involvement, saying that the roads, ports, railways and other projects are badly needed.

Turkish Officials ‘suspect Saudi murder team killed journalist Khashoggi in Istanbul consulate and cut body up’

Saudi ‘murder team killed journalist Khashoggi in Istanbul consulate and cut body up’

Officials ‘suspect Saudi murder team killed journalist Khashoggi in Istanbul consulate and cut body up’
The fate of Jamal Khashoggi looks set to have a big impact on already tense Turkish-Saudi
|AIWA! NO!|Turkish authorities suspect missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who disappeared on October 2 after entering Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, was killed in a pre-meditated, video-taped murder inside the consulate, Turkish sources reportedly told London-based Middle East Eye (MEE) on October 6.

MEE reported a senior Turkish police source as saying that police believed that Khashoggi, a prominent 59-year-old critic of the Saudi government who had gone into self-imposed exile, was “brutally tortured, killed and cut into pieces” inside the consulate. “Everything was videotaped to prove the mission had been accomplished and the tape was taken out of the country,” the source said.

In the past 24 hours, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stepped up his involvement in the affair, describing Khashoggi as a “friend” and a “journalist I knew for a long time”. So far Erdogan has refrained from taking a strong line on events, saying he was awaiting a final report by prosecutors investigating the apparent death. However, he has also said he is “chasing” the case and if he does come out with an attack on Riyadh over the affair, the ongoing rift between regional powers Saudi Arabia and Turkey will widen. Ankara has taken the side of Qatar over the blockading of the small nation by Saudi Arabia and other neighbours, while Turkey’s rapprochement with Iran has riled the Riyadh government. Another point of contention is Turkey’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood, the Sunni Islamist organisation considered a terrorist entity by the Saudis. Turkey and Qatar are seen as the group’s primary state backers.

An unnamed Turkish official told Reuters that police believed the body of Khashoggi was removed from the building. “The initial assessment of the Turkish police is that Mr Khashoggi has been killed at the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul. We believe that the murder was premeditated and the body was subsequently moved out of the consulate,” said the official.

Officials told various news outlets that they had concluded Khashoggi, who was visiting the consulate to obtain a document related to his upcoming wedding, was killed in an act of state-sponsored murder. They said they had based their beliefs on an investigation by police and intelligence officers, who pored over security camera footage and spoke with informants inside the consulate. Investigators have examined five days of security camera footage that captured all those entering and leaving both entrances to the consulate. They observed men from inside the consulate moving boxes to a black car in the hours after Khashoggi vanished. They managed to confirm Khashoggi’s entrance to the building, but they were unable to obtain footage of him leaving—even though officials at the consulate claim he left not long after arriving.

Police told media that about 15 Saudis, including officials, came to Istanbul on two private flights on October 2 and were in the consulate at the same time that Khashoggi entered it. They departed again the same day, according to MEE’s sources.

Their diplomatic bags could not be opened, a security source reportedly told MEE, but Turkish intelligence was sure that Khashoggi’s remains were not in them.

“Concrete information”
An advisor to President Erdogan, C, told Turkish CNN: “There is concrete information; it will not remain an unsolved case. If they consider Turkey to be as it was in the 1990s, they are mistaken.”

However, Saudi Consul-general in Istanbul Mohammad al-Otaibi told Sky News in an interview that “I would like to confirm that… Jamal is not at the consulate nor in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the consulate and the embassy are working to search for him”. Consular officials have claimed that they are unable to come up with video footage of Khashoggi in the consulate because the building’s internal cameras monitor but do not record.

Khashoggi, who regularly wrote for publications including The Washington Post—he has been based in Washington, DC, since fleeing from his homeland in 2017—had pointedly criticised the Saudi Kingdom’s new crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, and aspects of his reform programme. Though he is often referred to as a dissident, his friends tend to describe him as a journalist and intellectual.

Human Rights Watch called for international investigators to be included in a transparent investigation into the disappearance of Khashoggi.

“Given Saudi’s abuse of its diplomatic privileges—and all norms of diplomatic order—by brazenly kidnapping someone and allegedly killing him in their consulate, there should be a global demand for an international investigation into what happened,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW’s executive director Middle East and North Africa. “This shouldn’t be left in the hands of Saudi Arabia or Turkey.”

“Khashoggi’s reported kidnapping and even murder in the safe confines of the Saudi consulate is a deliberate strategy to sow fear into every Saudi who has spoken out about the government’s shortcomings, no matter how modestly or gently. The Saudi government wants them to know they are not safe inside or outside Saudi, and that no law or government can protect them.”

Hundreds of arrests
Under the crown prince, Saudi authorities have carried out hundreds of arrests citing national security. They have rounded up clerics, journalists, business executives and even women’s rights advocates.

An unnamed official from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 6 dismissed the claim that Khashoggi was murdered in the consulate, describing the allegations to the Saudi Press Agency as “baseless”.

Crown Prince Mohammed told Bloomberg in an interview on October 5 that Turkish authorities could search their consulate, as they had “nothing to hide”. He added that Khashoggi had left the building not long after he entered. Some Reuters journalists toured the facility on October 6, but Turkish authorities had not entered it.

“If the reports of Jamal’s murder are true, it is a monstrous and unfathomable act,” Fred Hiatt, the director of The Washington Post’s editorial page, said in a statement. “Jamal was—or, as we hope, is—a committed, courageous journalist. He writes out of a sense of love for his country and deep faith in human dignity and freedom. He is respected in his country, in the Middle East and throughout the world. We have been enormously proud to publish his writings.”

Indonesia Quake-Tsunami Death Toll Tops 1,700

A villager sits on the ruins of her house destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami in Palu on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on Saturday. (Tatan Syuflana/Associated Press)Indonesia’s disaster agency says the death toll from the earthquake and tsunami that struck Sulawesi island has risen to 1,763, with more than 5,000 people feared missing

|The Associated Press|AIWA! NO!|Agency spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said most of the dead were in the city of Palu, and warned many more people could be buried in the rubble the tremor and tsunami left in their wake. In Palu’s Petobo and Balaroa neighbourhoods, more than 3,000 homes were damaged or sucked into deep mud when the Sept. 28 quake caused loose soil to liquefy.

“Based on reports from village chiefs in Balaroa and Petobo, some 5,000 people have not been found. Our workers on the ground are trying to confirm this,” he said at a news briefing in Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital.

Nugroho said that efforts to retrieve decomposed bodies in deep, soft mud were getting tougher and that some people may have fled or been rescued and evacuated. More than 8,000 either injured or vulnerable residents have been flown or shipped out of Palu, while others could have left by land, he said.

Officially, Nugroho said only 265 people are confirmed missing and 152 others still buried under mud and rubble, nine days after the magnitude 7.5 earthquake and powerful tsunami hit Palu and surrounding areas.

The government targets to end search operations by Thursday, nearly two weeks after the disaster, at which time those unaccounted for will be declared missing and considered dead, Nugroho said.

A villager stands amidst the destruction in Palu. (Tatan Syuflana/Associated Press)
As searchers continued to dig through rubble on Sunday, central Sulawesi governor Loki Djanggola said local officials were meeting religious groups and families of victims to seek their consent to turn neighbourhoods wiped out by liquefaction into mass graves.

He said on local television that survivors in the outlying villages in Petobo, Balaroa and Jono Oge could be relocated and monuments be built in the areas, which now look like wastelands, to remember the victims interred there.

Officials have said that it is not safe for heavy equipment to operate in those areas and that they fear the risk of the spread of disease from decomposed bodies.

While grappling with immediate relief needs, the government is also mapping out plans to help more than 70,000 people, including tens of thousands of children, who have been displaced by the disasters to rebuild their lives.

Social welfare officials have set up nurseries in makeshift tents as stopgap to keep children safe and help them heal from the trauma. Local television showed children colouring in one such tent in Palu and staff using puppets to minister to affected kids.

Market vendors have resumed business and roadside restaurants were open in Palu but long lines of cars and motorcycles still snarled out of gas stations.

In Jakarta, volunteers walked around thoroughfares empty of cars collecting donations for earthquake victims during the weekly car free morning in the city centre.

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