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SKY New Zealand is a satellite and cable provider, and not part of the more famous Sky News, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. That is an important distinction to note, because SKY has taken Sky News Australia off the air in the country over their coverage of the massacre at two mosques in Christchurch.
SKY tweeted about the reason for their decision on Friday.
The controversy was over Sky News Australia replaying footage from the infamous video streamed by the murderer during the rampage.
New Zealand police advised people not to show the footage in a tweet sent on Thursday. “Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online,” it read. We would strongly urge that the link not be shared. We are working to have any footage removed.”
Nevertheless, News Corp’s Sky News Australia continued showing the footage, which prompted the pulling of the plug.
The above tweet from SKY New Zealand was deleted on Saturday and replaced with a more specific explanation.
A spokesperson for SKY told the New Zealand Herald that the decision was made on behalf of their viewers and the people of New Zealand.
“We made the decision to remove Sky News Australia from our platform while disturbing footage of the shootings was being shown to avoid causing any distress to our viewers,” the spokesperson said. “It will remain off air until we are confident the footage won’t be shared.”
Later, more emphasis was place on the integrity of the investigation, and credited Sky News Australia for prompt cooperation, in a statement to Buzzfeed.
“As the live rolling events of the Christchurch shooting unfolded, an editorial decision was made by Sky News Australia to offer sports programming to SKY NZ in place of Sky News Australia’s live feed to ensure any footage or reporting did not compromise the ongoing investigations taking place in New Zealand,” they said. “Sky News Australia acted responsibly and prudently in replacing the service as soon as it was able to early yesterday evening after consulting with SKY NZ management.”
A bit of a story shift over the course of a day or so, in that they removed and replaced their tweet, and their spokespeople offered two different explanations for the basis of the decision, as well as who actually made the decision.
More than 100 people have been killed and 843,000 affected by torrential rains in Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa, the UN and officials said, as tropical cyclone Idai is expected to hit the continent’s south-eastern countries.
Cyclone Idai has affected more than 1.5 million people in the three southern African countries, according to the United Nations and government officials.
At least 66 people in Mozambique, and four in South Africa were killed, after heavy rains caused flash flooding.
In neighbouring Malawi, the death toll rose to 56, an official said on Wednesday, with the country on high alert for cyclone Idai, which is expected to make landfall on Thursday or Friday.
Almost 83,000 people have been displaced in the country since storms began more than a week ago, causing rivers to break their banks, leaving villages underwater, and knocking out power and water supplies in some areas.
At least 31 people have been killed and dozens are missing in parts of eastern Zimbabwe after the country was hit by tropical cyclone Idai which lashed neighbouring Mozambique and Malawi, the government said.
Homes, schools, businesses, hospitals and police stations have been destroyed. Roads have been washed away and thousands are stranded by heavy flooding.
Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Information said on Saturday that the deaths were mainly from Chimanimani East, including two students, while at least 40 other people have been injured.
It added that the Zimbabwean national army was leading rescue efforts to airlift students from a damaged school and others trapped by the storm. READ MORE
A group of people, who fled their homes, was “marooned” on top of a mountain waiting to be rescued, but strong winds were hampering helicopter flights, the ministry said.
Joshua Sacco, a member of parliament in Chimanimani district, said at least 25 houses were swept away following a mudslide at Ngangu township.
“There were people inside,” he told AFP news agency. “The information we have so far is that over 100 people are missing.”
In a Twitter post, Jacob Mafume, spokesman for Zimbabwe’s main opposition Movement for Democratic Change party, warned that there was a “serious humanitarian crisis” unfolding in eastern Zimbabwe districts.
In Mozambique, where Idai made landfall on Thursday, at least 19 people died and about 70 were severely injured. The storm hit with wind gusts of about 160 kilometres per hour, causing ocean waves of up to nine metres high.
Luis Fonseca, a journalist at Lusa News Agency, said that the cyclone was expected to dissipate on Saturday in Mozambique, but it would continue to create trouble.READ MORE
“The problem now is that the rivers are likely to flood all the areas around, and this will cause even more damage to all these families which have [already] lost their houses.”
“Now they risk losing their harvest and food insecurity is the next big risk in all over this area,” Fonseca explains.
Local officials in Mozambique said that heavy rains earlier in the week, before the cyclone struck, had already claimed another 66 lives, injured scores and displaced 17,000 people.
When the cyclone hit Mozambique, authorities were forced to close the international airport in the port city of Beira after the air traffic control tower, the navigation systems and the runways were damaged by the storm.
An official at the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) of Mozambique told AFP on Friday “there is extreme havoc”.
“Some runway lights were damaged, the navigation system is damaged, the control tower antennas and the control tower itself are all damaged.”
“The runway is full of obstacles and parked aircraft are damaged.”
Heavy downpours in neighbouring Malawi this week have also affected almost a million people and claimed 56 lives there, according to the latest government toll.
South Africa‘s military has sent in aircraft and 10 medical personnel to help in Mozambique and Malawi, it said in a statement on Saturday.
A Pittsburgh Jewish group is raising money for the Muslim community in New Zealand after a terror attack that targeted two mosques in Christchurch on Friday and left at least 49 people dead.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh said in a statement on Friday that it will be accepting donations “to help the Muslim community of Christchurch, New Zealand.”
“The Greater Pittsburgh Jewish community was shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific Islamophobic attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, yesterday resulting in the senseless murder of at least 49 people,” the group said in the statement. “We stand in solidarity with the Muslim community in Christchurch, in Pittsburgh, and around the world.”
“Our Jewish community is not the only group you have targeted,” they continue. “… You have also deliberately undermined the safety of people of color, Muslims, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities. Yesterday’s massacre is not the first act of terror you incited against a minority group in our country.”
Pittsburgh Jewish Group
The effort comes months after at least 11 people were killed and several others injured after a gunman opened fire at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh in October. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the shooting is believed to be the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history.
At the time, Muslim groups came forward to raise money for the victims of the synagogue shooting.
“Unfortunately we are all too familiar with the devastating effect a mass shooting has on a faith community,” Meryl Ainsman, chair of the board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, said.
“We are filled with grief over this senseless act of hate. May those who were injured heal quickly and fully, and may the memories of the victims forever be a blessing,” she continued.
Other Jewish leaders in Pittsburgh have also come forward after the terror attack on Friday in efforts to repay the acts of kindness received from the Muslim community last year.
Brian Schreiber, president of the Jewish Community Center, told a local CBS station on Friday that “our responsibility as the Islamic Community was here for us in our time of need is to be right back to be in their time of need to support.”
“It also means we need to be sharing with them at the Islamic Center our grief and our feeling of our support for them so they don’t feel alone in that journey,” he added.
A man from England is being praised online after he stood outside his local mosque holding a sign saying he will “keep watch” while Muslim worshippers pray after a terror attack that targeted two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday left at least 49 people dead.
Andrew Graystone can be seen in a photo holding a sign saying, “You are my friends. I will keep watch while you pray,” while standing outside of the Medina Mosque in Manchester.
Graystone told the BBC on Saturday that Muslims attending the mosque “beamed” after seeing his gesture.
“There are two ways you can respond to an attack like this – you can respond with fear or you can respond with friendship,” he said.
Graystone told the international news agency that he chose to stand outside of his local mosque because he “wanted to make sure that people know we can respond with friendship”.
“As people walked up, you could see in their eyes that they were looking at somebody standing outside their mosque, thinking ‘Oh no, is this some kind of protest or whatever,’” he said.
“And then when they saw the message saying ‘You are my friend’, their faces broke and they beamed and smiled,” he continued.
Graystone, who runs a Christian charity, told the outlet that he was surprised by the overwhelming amount of support he received on Twitter for the act of kindness.
“I hadn’t intended for anybody other than the people at Medina Mosque to know about this,” he told the BBC.
“But I guess there are little things that lots of people can do to just express friendship rather than fear with Muslim friends, and neighbors and colleagues – so I just took one little action,” he added.