Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’
‘This Man Is Worrying Me on the Bus’: Prophetic Tweet of 16-Year-Old Girl a Month Before She Was Stabbed to Death on Her Journey to SchoolFriday, March 8th, 2013
A 16-year-old girl stabbed to death in a ‘random attack’ on a double-decker sent a chilling tweet about a man who was ‘worrying’ her on a bus journey a month earlier, it emerged today.
Christina Edkins had only been the top deck of the number 9 First West Midlands service for a matter of minutes when she was attacked as it pulled into a stop in Birmingham city centre at 7.37am this morning.
The popular teenager had been on her way to school.
Emergency services rushed to the scene after the bus driver reported that a passenger had been wounded.
But despite frantic efforts by passengers and paramedics to resuscitate her, she was pronounced dead at the scene.
A 22-year-old man was arrested a short distance away on suspicion of her murder at 12.20pm, around five hours later, after a huge manhunt.
He was held in Harborne Road during a foot chase after officers spotted a man who fitted the description of the suspect acting ‘furtively’ at the back of Morrisons.
It has since emerged that Christina had tweeted her concerns about a man she felt was acting strangely on a bus just weeks before she was killed.
On February 8, she said: ‘This man is worrying me on the bus keeps getting up and walking up and down stairs, and sitting in different place.’
Police said they will be examining Christina’s ‘social media footprint’ as part of the investigation, but stressed at this stage they were treating the murder as a ‘random attack’.
Detectives said the suspect was already on the bus when she got on board and that there was ‘nothing immediately’ to suggest the pair knew each other.
Officers are examining CCTV tapes on the bus which could have filmed the murder, but are not looking for anyone else in connection with her death.
Christina’s headteacher at Leasowes High School in Halesowen, Neil Shaw, today led tributes to the teenager.
In an emotional statement outside the school, he said: ‘Christina was a bright and popular student much loved by staff and students alike.
‘We are deeply saddened to hear this tragic news and our thoughts and hearts go out to her family and everyone who knew her.
‘The school is working closely with the police and a team of counsellors to provide support to our pupils and staff.’
Popular Christina revealed her ambitions to be a nurse and tweeted about how she ‘hated’ buses just weeks before her death.
Less than 24 hours before she died, Christina tweeted at 1.28pm on March 6: ‘Don’t need anyone to talk to about how I feel just need someone to be lazy with me and watch films and make me laugh.’
She also posted pictures of herself and her school friends in their uniforms during a French lesson.
On February 27, she tweeted a picture of her maths texts books and said: ‘Having to revise this all for tomorrow.’
On February 23, she tweeted: ‘When I’m on bus and @KatieEllizabeth sends me something funny and I burst out laughing and people just stare at me, hahaha opsyy.’
On the same day, she tweeted: ‘Eughh hate catching buses, can’t wait to start driving.’
Two days later, she said: ‘Want to be a nurse just cba to study for it all tbh’.
A tribute page has also been set up on Facebook for ‘beautiful angel’ Christina, with users calling her death ‘a waste of a beautiful young life’ and saying ‘justice will prevail’.
Hannah Louise said: ‘Such a pretty girl, tragic waste of life, thoughts are with her family so, so upsetting x.’
Vernon Williams described her death as ‘very very sad news indeed’, while Angel Sheppard said: ‘Rest in peace thinking of all the family.’
Hema Trivedi posted: ‘Rip beautiful girl! Heaven has gained yet another beautiful angel!’
Jade Sarah said: ‘Such a sad day thoughts are with your family and friends your such a pretty girl rest in peace I lost a friend not so long ago who was stabbed what’s the world coming to it was nothing like this before now the world’s messed up with knife crime!!!’
Jules Jewels said Christina’s death had left the ‘nation in shock’, writing: ‘I don’t know you Christina but i am so very sorry for what happened today.
‘The whole nation is in total shock over this and my thoughts are with all of your friends and family at this most difficult time. God bless.’
Nicola Downing said: ‘Rip to a beautiful young lady xx.’
Adam Willett said: ‘Justice will prevail rest in peace…wrongly taken x my thoughts r with your family.’
Denise Henty described Christina’s death as ‘such a waste of a beautiful young life’.
‘We are still anxious to hear from anyone with information or who may have witnessed the incident this morning to speak to us via the dedicated hotline 0800 096 0095.
‘There will be a high police presence across the city this afternoon following this morning’s tragedy, particularly on buses and in schools in the area to provide reassurance to local people.’
He said Christina’s family were ‘distraught’ and that specially trained officers were offering their support.
Police officers were also on guard at the family’s semi-detached house near Birmingham city centre.
In an appeal shortly after the attack, he had described the suspect as ‘extremely dangerous’ and feared he may still be carrying weapons.
He said they were looking for a black man in his late teens or early 20s.
The suspect had either a white bandage around his right hand or was carrying a small white bag.
He said it was not known whether the suspect knew the victim.
Around three hours after the attack, a man was detained and spoken in Lower Temple Street in the centre of the city, but was released without being arrested.
Traffic backed up into the city centre after police closed off the busy Hagley Road while forensics experts spent several hours combing the bus and surrounding area for clues.
The double-decker was later driven from the scene, with the body still in-situ, just before midday and the road was then re-opened.
Shocked passersby took to Facebook to speak of their horror at the incident.
Darren Bent, from Birmingham, said his wife was on the bus.
He wrote: ‘Can’t believe some guy has just stabbed and killed a school girl right in front of my missus on the number nine bus on her way to work and she had to give CPR love you xxx the guy did it as bus was about to stop and ran off.’
Stephanie Clinton added: ‘It doesn’t make you a man if you carry a knife it makes you scum. It doesn’t matter if you in a gang or not. It’s all wrong so grow up and put the knife down.’
Twitter user Mareesha wrote: ‘So the girl got stabbed by her friend?’
AustymZogs tweeted: ’15yr old Schoolgirl stabbed to death by a friend on a bus in Birmingham, UK during rush hour this morning.’
A bus user yesterday tweeted that a passenger was discovered carrying a knife on the service only yesterday.
The West Midlands Police spokesperson said: ‘At 7.37am today, police received a call from a member of the public reporting that a passenger had been attacked.
‘Officers and other emergency services were immediately dispatched but it was clear that nothing could be done to save the victim.
‘West Midlands Police have identified the victim’s family and are in the process of breaking the sad news.’
A West Ambulance Service spokesperson said: ‘West Midlands Ambulance Service can confirm it was called this morning to a medical emergency on board a bus in Hagley Road, Edgbaston shortly after 7.35am.
‘A senior paramedic officer in a rapid response vehicle, two BASICS Emergency medics and two ambulance crews attended.
‘One person was confirmed dead at the scene. ’This is a criminal matter.’
A National Express West Midlands Travel spokesman said: ‘We can confirm that a tragic incident took place on a number nine service on the Hagley Road this morning.
‘Our thoughts and condolences are with the family of the person involved and we will offer all possible support to the police in their investigation into the matter.’
Witnesses to the attack are asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
The city centre attack comes just a few months after two Big Issue sellers were stabbed to death in broad daylight in the middle of the city centre.
In May 2001, 16-year-old Rosemarie Ross was stabbed to death as she sunbathed in the sunshine in Centenary Square, Birmingham.
Yesterday we brought you reports of NRA President David Keene and NRA members receiving death threats in light of the Sandy Hook tragedy and now, Campus Reform has reported that University of Rhode Island Professor Erik Loomis has called for NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre‘s “head on a stick” during a rant on his Twitter page. Loomis also called the NRA a terrorist organization.
“[I] want Wayne LaPierre’s head on a stick,” Erik Loomis, a professor at the University of Rhode Island (URI), tweeted.
It “looks like the National Rifle Association has murdered some more children,” he added.”
Can [we] define NRA membership as dues contributing to a terrorist organization?” he asked in a separate tweet.
Loomis’ comments come on the heels of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which left 20 young children and six faculty members dead.
The professor contended Democratic lawmakers should exploit the tragedy to force more restrictive gun control measures into law.
“You are goddamn right we should politicize this tragedy,” Loomis tweeted. “[F]*ck the NRA.”
I thought college campuses were supposed to be places of civility and calm…
UPDATE: Loomis is now claiming he doesn’t want LaPierre dead, but put in prison for the rest of his life.
Although the administration’s request was unusual, for Google, it represented the kind of delicate balancing act that Internet companies confront every day.
These companies, which include communications media like Facebook and Twitter, write their own edicts about what kind of expression is allowed, things as diverse as pointed political criticism, nudity and notions as murky as hate speech. And their employees work around the clock to check when users run afoul of their rules.
Facebook confirmed that it had blocked links to the video in Pakistan, where it violates the country’s blasphemy law. A spokeswoman said Facebook had also removed a post that contained a threat to a United States ambassador, after receiving a report from the State Department; Facebook has declined to say in which country the ambassador worked.
“Because these speech platforms are so important, the decisions they take become jurisprudence,” said Andrew McLaughlin, who has worked for both Google and the White House. Most vexing among those decisions are ones that involve whether a form of expression is hate speech.
Hate speech has no universally accepted definition, legal experts say. And countries, including democratic ones, have widely divergent legal approaches to regulating speech they consider to be offensive or inflammatory.
Europe bans neo-Nazi speech, for instance, but courts there have also banned material that offends the religious sensibilities of one group or another. Indian law frowns on speech that could threaten public order.
Turkey can shut down a Web site that insults its founding president, Kemal Ataturk. Like the countries, the Internet companies have their own positions, which give them wide latitude on how to interpret expression in different countries.
Although Google says the anti-Islamic video, “Innocence of Muslims,” was not hate speech, it restricted access to the video in Libya and Egypt because of the extraordinarily delicate situation on the ground and out of respect for cultural norms.
Google has not yet explained why its cultural norms edict applied to only two countries and not others, where Muslim sensitivities have been demonstrably offended.
Free speech absolutists say all expression, no matter how despicable, should be allowed online. Others say Internet companies, like governments, should be flexible enough to exercise restraint under exceptional circumstances, especially when lives are at stake.
At any rate, as Mark L. Movsesian, a law professor at St. John’s University, pointed out, any effort to ban hateful or offensive speech worldwide would be virtually impossible, if not counterproductive.
“The regimes are so different, it’s very, very difficult to come up with one answer — unless you ban everything,” he said.
Unlike Google, Twitter does not explicitly address hate speech, but it says in its rule book that “users are allowed to post content, including potentially inflammatory content, provided they do not violate the Twitter Terms of Service and Rules.” Those include a prohibition against “direct, specific threats of violence against others.”
That wide margin for speech sometimes lands Twitter in feuds with governments and lobbyists. Twitter was pressed this summer to take down several accounts the Indian government considered offensive. Company officials agreed to remove only those that blatantly impersonated others; impersonation violates company rules, unless the user makes it clear that it is satirical.
Facebook has some of the industry’s strictest rules. Terrorist organisations are not permitted on the social network, according to the company’s terms of service. In recent years, the company has repeatedly shut down fan pages set up by Hezbollah.
In a statement after the killings of United States Embassy employees in Libya, the company said, “Facebook’s policy prohibits content that threatens or organises violence, or praises violent organisations.”
Facebook also explicitly prohibits what it calls “hate speech,” which it defines as attacking a person. In addition, it allows users to report content they find objectionable, which Facebook employees then vet. Facebook’s algorithms also pick up certain words that are then sent to human inspectors to review; the company declined to provide details on what kinds of words set off that kind of review.
Nudity is forbidden on Facebook, too. This year, that policy enmeshed the social network in a controversy over photographs of breast-feeding women. Facebook pages were set up by groups that objected to the company’s ban on pictures of exposed breasts, and “nurse-ins” were organised, calling on women to breast-feed outside Facebook offices worldwide.
The company said sharing breast-feeding photos was fine, but “photos that show a fully exposed breast where the child is not actively engaged in nursing do violate Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.”
Just this month, a New Yorker cartoon tripped over Facebook’s rules on exposed breasts. On its Facebook page, the magazine displayed a cartoon that contained the topless figures of a man and women. The illustration was removed for violating Facebook’s naked breast decree.
Facebook soon corrected itself. With “hundreds of thousands” of reported complaints each week, the company said, sometimes it makes a mistake.
A major state-level teachers union accused a group promoting school choice for African-American families of supporting the notorious white supremacist group the Ku Klux Klan in a series of statements on Thursday.
The Louisiana Federation of Teachers accused the Louisiana Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) of advancing a “pro-KKK agenda,” in the words of one tweet sent from the union’s official Twitter account. Anotherclaimed that the group “endorses teaching that the KKK is good.”
The BAEO works to “increase access to high-quality educational options for Black children by actively supporting parental choice policies and programs that empower low-income and working-class Black families,” according to its website.
The teachers union asked BAEO over Twitter whether it supports teaching positive messages about the KKK. Unsatisfied with the group’s response, it unleashed a barrage of tweets claiming that BAEO endorses such teachings. Needless to say, those claims are false.
Kevin Chavous, a prominent African-American school choice activist and former chairman of BAEO’s board, put out this statement on the union’s claims:
This is an absolutely appalling move by an organization that has taken desperation to new and unseen heights. BAEO and its allies fight every single day to give children from low-income families access to the best educational options possible. We fight to overcome the institutional bigotry that has sentenced thousands of black children across the country to a substandard education. It’s a sad day when an organization like the Louisiana Federation of Teachers, which says it cares about kids, is among the organizations using degrading, race-baiting tactics to demean the very people who are doing their best to give kids hope.
Many women face the daily problem of being jeered at or greeted with cat-calls as they walk down the street.
The resulting footage paints a shocking picture of the sexism still being endured by many women today.
Wolf-whistled and faced with abuse and questions asking her for sex and ‘how much do you cost?’, Sofie Peeter’s film – which she submitted for her final student project – makes for a disturbing account of the everyday sexism on the streets of Brussels.
The Brussels film academy student used a hidden camera to record many of the scenes and also interviewed other students to learn more about their similar experiences.
But the film student who made the documentary says she is hopeful that it can have a positive impact upon reducing sexism and could ‘break the silence about the subject and open the dialogue for more mutual understanding and respect.’
Speaking on Belgian TV, she said: ‘These advances hurt me a lot and I had the feeling I was on my own.
‘Primarily, I would like to see that more women comprehend that they are not the only ones but, this affects a lot of women.’
She said that she received 70-80 testimonies by e-mail corroborating her experiences after putting a request on the internet for other women to get in touch.
Other testimonies from women in the film also back-up Peeters’ disturbing account.
‘It happens seldom that I walk in the street without anyone bothering me,’ said one woman in the film.
‘Walking down the street as a woman, you know that the street doesn’t belong to you.’
Whilst another said that she changed her walking route and appearance based on the abuse she anticipated.
‘I do take it seriously, I am scared. I change the way I dress, the way I walk and how I dress.’
Belgian politicians have responded to the film footage by saying legislation to crack-down on sexual harassment is already being considered.