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National Rifle Association facing backlash as corporate giants drop links with gun lobby group

Added: 24.02.2018 7:27 | 0 views | 0 comments


A wave of companies has ended their association with the National Rifle Association as the backlash against the gun lobby group spreads. In the wake of the Parkland shooting, companies have come under pressure on social media to sever their ties with the NRA. The NRA's five million members have, until now, enjoyed a raft of favourable deals from the NRA's corporate partners, including cut-price car hire. However Hertz and Enterprise holdings - the parent company of major car rental firms Enterprise, Alamo and National - announced the end of their co-branding memberships. First National Bank of Omaha, which offers the "Official Credit Card of the NRA" - with benefits including  five per cent cash back on petrol and sporting goods - announced it was ending the arrangement. Read more | Florida school shooting Symantec, which offered anti-virus software, has stopped offering NRA members a discount which slashed the price of its top package from $110 to $48. Chubb Insurance has confirmed it will no longer underwrite "NRA Carry Guard" policies, although the company took the decision three months ago. The sweeping corporate desertion of the NRA follows a social media campaign under the #BoycottNRA hashtag, which has named and shamed companies with ties to the gun lobby group. The following companies have cut ties with the NRA over the last 24 hours. - Enterprise - Wyndham - Metlife - Hertz - Best Western - First National Bank - Alamo - National - Symantec - Chubb - SIRVA #BoycottNRA The list is growing!! RETWEET to show support!!— Brian Krassenstein�� (@krassenstein) February 23, 2018 Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which was founded after the 2012 shootings in Sandy Hook, has sent letters to streaming television companies demanding they axe NRA TV from their line-ups. Such is the groundswell of anger that a number of companies which severed their links with the NRA some time ago have publicly disowned the organisation on social media. In the past the NRA has not been averse to orchestrating a boycott campaign of its own, notably in 2000, when it targeted Smith & Wesson, which had cut a deal with the Clinton administration. The gun manufacturers were accused of "caving in" after agreeing a package of measures including restrictions on sales, the introduction of locking devices and limits on clip sizes. Gun owners deserted Smith & Wesson, which suffered a 40 per cent slump in gun sales.

From: www.yahoo.com

Russian mercenary boss spoke with Kremlin before attacking US forces in Syria, intel claims

Added: 24.02.2018 6:26 | 0 views | 0 comments


A businessman known as “Putin's chef” spoke with top officials in Damascus and Moscow before Russian mercenaries he is believed to control launched a disastrous attack on US and Kurdish forces in Syria, according to US intelligence reports.  The news comes just days after the businessman, Yevgeny Prigozhin, was indicted in the United States for allegedly running a pro-Kremlin troll factory that interfered in the 2016 election.  The February 7 attack was the first deadly clash between citizens of Russia and the United States since the Cold War and suggests that tensions in Syria could grow even as the Islamic State is pushed back. Moscow initially denied the casualties. The foreign ministry later admitted at least five Russians had been killed and several dozen wounded, but said they weren't soldiers. Mr Prigozhin told a senior Syrian official in an intercepted communication in late January that he had received permission from a Russian minister for a “fast and strong” initiative and was waiting for a go-ahead from Damascus, according to intelligence reports seen by The Washington Post.  Kirill Ananyev had been working as a military contractor in Syria and was killed in the February 7 US airstrikes, a friend confirmed to The Telegraph Credit: Twitter US intelligence has said it believes Mr Prigozhin controls the Wagner private military company, and the reports suggest he closely coordinated the group's operations in Syria with the Kremlin.  The restaurant and catering magnate has in the past won lucrative contracts from the defence ministry. Close to Vladimir Putin, he has personally served the president on several occasions, including during meetings with George W. Bush.  At the end of January, Mr Prigozhin told Syrian officials that he had a “good surprise” for Bashar Assad “that would come between 6 and 9 February”. Presidential affairs minister Mansour Fadlallah Azzam reportedly promised Mr Prigozhin would be paid for his efforts. During the same period, Mr Prigozhin began communicating more frequently with top Kremlin officials, including Vladimir Putin's chief of staff Anton Vaino and deputy chief of staff Vladimir Ostrovenko, according to the intelligence reports. He spoke with Russian officials again the day after the calamitous attack.  Mr Putin's chief of staff Anton Vaino, left, who US intelligence said spoke with Mr Prigozhin before the attack, attends a Defender of the Fatherland Day ceremony on Friday Credit: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images Employees at Mr Prigozhin's Concord Catering company and Concord Management and Consulting declined to comment when reached by The Telegraph. The Kremlin had not replied to requests for comment on Friday. On February 7, between 300 and 500 pro-regime fighters supported by artillery, tank and rocket fire advanced on a Syrian Democratic Forces base at an oilfield near Deir Ezzor, according to the US military. US special forces at the base called in airstrikes that killed 100 enemy fighters, it said.  Many of those killed were Russians, a friend of one of the dead told The Telegraph last week. The Conflict Intelligence Team, which tracks Russian military activity, has named nine Russians who were killed in the strike and said many were Wagner group employees. It told The Telegraph that the Kremlin has come to rely on this illegal private military company to keep official casualty numbers low during its pro-Assad bombing campaign. Mr Putin promised not to deploy ground troops and said in December he would withdraw most forces. A Syrian pro-regime fighter who was also wounded in the US airstrikes on February 7 is seen in a hospital Credit: AFP/Getty Images A Syrian government contract seen by AP and Russian media promised a company linked to the Wagner group 25% of the profits from oil and gas fields its contractors could capture.  But it remains unclear why the Russians were allowed to charge to their deaths after US commanders had repeatedly warned their Russian counterparts the force should not advance.  Analyst Yury Barmin told The Telegraph that the Russian defence ministry may have been hostile toward Mr Prigozhin conducting a major operation without its approval.    “It looks like internal power struggle,” he said of the February 7 incident.  Mr Putin meets with George W. Bush and other world leaders at a 2006 dinner served by Mr Prigozhin, who is seen at right Credit: Sergei Zhukov/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, file Mr Prigozhin has long been tied to the Wagner group, and his Concord Management and Consulting is headed by Dmitry Utkin, who was sanctioned by the United States as Wagner's leader, according to business records.  A US indictment last week said Mr Prigozhin's trolls impersonated Americans on social media to exacerbate divisions and promote Donald Trump.  Mr Putin, who thanked veterans of the Syrian operation in a speech last night, awarded a medal on Friday to the widow of a pilot who blew himself with a grenade after parachuting out over rebel territory.

Brands are cutting ties with the NRA after student-led campaign

Added: 24.02.2018 1:27 | 0 views | 0 comments


Companies are cutting ties with the National Rifle Association after Parkland students and gun control activists called for an end to their support.  In the past 24 hours, these companies have ended their relationship with the @NRA:Best WesternWyndham HotelsAlamo Rent A CarNational Rent A CarEnterprise Rent A CarFirst National Bank of Omaha#BoycottNRA — Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) February 23, 2018 The hashtag #BoycottNRA topped Twitter's trends in the United States on Friday as a cybersecurity firm, six car rental companies, an insurance corporation, and a bank ended their partnerships with the NRA.  SEE ALSO: Parkland shooting survivors call for a march on Washington, D.C. Companies like Enterprise Rent-A-Car and MetLife previously offered discounts to NRA members, but have now terminated those programs. Although the companies didn't acknowledge #BoycottNRA in their announcements or take a stance on gun control, many did cite social media backlash as a reason to end their partnerships. Thank you for contacting us, J! All three of our brands have ended the discount for NRA members. This change will be effective March 26. Thank you again for reaching out. Kind regards, Michael — EnterpriseRentACar (@enterprisecares) February 23, 2018   We value all our customers but have decided to end our discount program with the NRA. — MetLife (@MetLife) February 23, 2018 A spokesperson from the First National Bank of Omaha told the New York Times that "customer feedback" was a leading cause for the company to not renew their NRA Visa Card program.  First National Bank of Omaha was one of the first companies to terminate their affiliation with the NRA.  #BoycottNRA is working! Companies are jumping ship. Keep it up! No need to spend your hard earned dollars at places that will pass it along to the gun lobby.https://t.co/TUqfMC8PYw pic.twitter.com/lHV5qMQUwk — Q. Allan Brocka (@allanbrocka) February 23, 2018 In only a few hours, several more companies jumped ship, including Hertz and Norton. UPDATED: The NRA is being supported by these companiesThat's a lot of red lines.15 brands have severed ties.https://t.co/yHIk29GUF0 pic.twitter.com/gn5sEZAlgO — Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) February 23, 2018 The move away from the NRA comes after the deadly massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14. Grieving students who survived the shooting have become passionate advocates for tighter gun control laws, and are leading the effort to end NRA-affiliated discounts.  David Hogg, one of the Parkland students, asked FedEx why it hasn't cut ties with the organization yet.  Hey @FedEx why do you support the NRA? — David Hogg (@davidhogg111) February 23, 2018 Amazon is also under pressure to end its relationship with the NRA. The e-commerce giant's streaming service carries NRATV, a show that recently published a controversial video claiming that "the mainstream media loves mass shootings." The hashtag #StopNRAmazon is picking up steam on Twitter, as once loyal customers threaten to cancel their Prime memberships.  Did you know there is something called NRAtv? And that it's carried by streaming service @amazon? We'd like to stop them from carrying this gun industry funded misinformation, which adds to gun violence throughout our nation. Please let @JeffBezos know. #StopNRAmazon — Evan Handler (@EvanHandler) February 22, 2018 Amazon and the NRA did not immediately respond to requests for comment. NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch, who faced Parkland survivors during CNN's town hall on Wednesday, has not released a statement about #BoycottNRA.  WATCH: These celebrities are getting behind March for Our Lives

Social Media Metrics Prove Critical For Winter Olympians And Sponsors

Added: 24.02.2018 1:26 | 0 views | 0 comments

Until recently, there was little data available to evaluate the efficacy of an athlete or campaign other than sales figures. This decision making has become much more sophisticated and scientific based on social media metrics. Take these Winter Olympics.

From: www.forbes.com

Russia's Su-57 Deployment in Syria Is a Dangerous Farce

Added: 24.02.2018 0:26 | 0 views | 0 comments


Late in the evening on Feb. 21, 2018, a photograph appeared on social media purportedly showing two Russian Sukhoi T-50 prototype stealth fighters — also known as PAK-FAs or Su-57s — in the sky over Hmemmem air base in western Syria. Back in November 2017, Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered most of the Russian military contingent in Syria to withdraw, two years after Moscow intervened in the ongoing regional war.

From: www.yahoo.com

Who's the veteran who earned this lost burial flag? Woman in Arizona turns to social media for help

Added: 24.02.2018 0:23 | 0 views | 0 comments

A photo inside of the triangular box containing the flag appears to be of a man who served in the U.S. Navy.

From: rssfeeds.usatoday.com

We’ve stopped trusting social media – and that’s a good thing

Added: 23.02.2018 23:45 | 0 views | 0 comments

I'm one of the growing number of users cynical about social networks such as Facebook. But there are upsides to all this digital doubt, says Lara Williams

From: www.newscientist.com

LAPD Treating Jonathan Martin Gun Pic as 'Serious Threat'

Added: 23.02.2018 23:27 | 0 views | 0 comments

The LAPD does not believe ex-NFL player Jonathan Martin's gun photo on Instagram was a harmless social media prank -- they're treating it as a "serious threat" ... this according to sources directly involved in the investigation. Multiple...

From: www.tmz.com

Watch Jennifer Lawrence Address Versace Dress Criticism and Dish on Amy Schumer's Wedding

Added: 23.02.2018 21:57 | 0 views | 0 comments

Jennifer Lawrence has had quite a few weeks. Between being a bridesmaid in her best friend Amy Schumer's surprise wedding on Feb. 13, to hitting back at critics on social media, the...

From: uk.eonline.com

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